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Vol. 25 No. 2 March 2018
Launching this month ... Ian Tyrrellâ€™s River Dreams
First quarter reading
The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton ($39.99, HC)
Jaxie dreads going home. His mum’s dead. The old man bashes him without mercy, and he wishes he was an orphan. But no one’s ever told Jaxie Clackton to be careful what he wishes for. In one terrible moment his life is stripped to little more than what he can carry and how he can keep himself alive. There’s just one person left in the world who understands him and what he still dares to hope for. But to reach her he’ll have to cross the vast saltlands on a trek that only a dreamer or a fugitive would attempt. This is a searing look at what it takes to keep love and hope alive in a parched and brutal world.
Here’s what I’m reading this month, from that precarious bedside table pile: Tim Winton: The Shepherd’s Hut. (March) I mentioned this book in my last column, and It’s stayed with me so that I need to revisit it. The best writers (and Winton is certainly one) can rework a landscape, a setting, a human condition, and never write the same book twice. The Shepherd’s Hut is powerfully and profoundly original, and in Jaxie Clackton, the novel’s protagonist—an adolescent man on an epic journey across the West Australian salt basins, Winton has created an unforgettable character. His journey to adulthood (and we hope he makes it), is like no other, and offers a compelling and eloquent (Winton’s language and imagery are pitch perfect, as ever) meditation on growing up, in the harshest conditions imaginable. It’s brilliant. Julian Barnes: The Only Story. (out now) So what’s the ‘only story’? Well, love of course, Barnes’ abiding preoccupation. But despite the clear echoes of The Sense of an Ending, with its psychological acuteness and seemingly effortless construction, this is a more concentrated, melancholic story. For The Only Story describes a relationship between a younger man and an older married woman (he 19, she 48, when they meet) which lasts years, ends sadly, and dominates the life of our narrator (the young man, Paul). But it’s beautifully wrought and observed, as you’d imagine, and the detail in thought and language is exquisite Matthew Klam: Who is Rich? (late April) It’s nearly 20 years since Matthew Klam’s quirky collection of stories Sam the Cat saw him hailed as the next big thing in American fiction. Who is Rich? is funny, provocative and acerbically satirical. The action takes place at an East Coast summer education program, where our narrator, Rich Fischer, a middle-aged graphic artist, has taught since he was a hot young artist. Now he scrapes out a living for his family of four, illustrating for a political magazine which seems to have seen better days. And he is failing miserably to uphold his duties as husband, father and breadwinner. In a way, the train wreck which ensues is as predictable as it is rewarding to read, but though the bitter., self-lacerating humour is a thread of serious investigation of just who Rich is, and how precarious the navigation of a life ‘dedicated’ to art can be. Intriguing and original, and well worth a read. Gail Jones: The Death of Noah Glass (April) I’ve been a huge fan of Jones’ fiction, and this, her seventh novel, doesn’t disappoint. It’s a beautiful mosaic of family life, moving between the lives of a (just dead) art historian and his two adult children who are attempting to come to terms with the mystery of his last year. Incredibly, it seems their father, the eponymous Noah, is a suspect in the theft of a sculpture from a museum in Palermo, and both children are forced to retrace his life’s path. So we have a story rich in wise and sharp reflection about family relationship, about grief and living on, about religious art and much more. Palermo. There’s romance, crime and mystery thrown in, within a narrative that moves seamlessly between Sydney and Sicily. David Gaunt
Apple and Knife by Intan Paramaditha
Mara finds herself brainstorming an ad campaign for Free Maxi Pads, with a little help from the menstruation-eating hag of her childhood. Jamal falls in love with the rich & powerful Bambang, but it is the era of the smiling general & his naivety might get him recruited to Bambang’s brutal cause. Solihin would give anything to make dangdut singer Salimah his wife—anything at all. In the globally connected and fast-developing Indonesia of Apple and Knife, taboos, inversions, sex & death all come together in a heady, intoxicating mix full of pointed critiques & bloody mutilations. Women carve out a place for themselves in this world, finding ways to subvert norms or enacting brutalities on themselves & each other—giving new insights into life as a woman in Indonesian society—seemingly different from the mainstream Australian experience, but maybe not so different after all. Translated by Stephen J. Epstein ($28, PB)
Winner of the Summer Reading Competition Mary Cutten from Western Australia 2
Gleebooks’ special price $34.99
What the Light Reveals by Mick McCoy ($30, PB)
Conrad is falsely accused of passing military secrets to the Russians. His life and that of his family is turned upside down by discrimination and fear. Unemployed, misrepresented by the media, betrayed by relatives & threatened by strangers, Conrad sees no choice but to uproot his family from their homeland to start a new life in Moscow. It is also the story of Ruby, and of her & Conrad’s adopted son Alex, & biological son Peter, and of the tension & intrigue that confronts them & shapes their lives in 2 countries. Russia lives & breathes in McCoy’s superb evocation of it, but Australia is never far away. As Peter says, ‘Tell me again why we’re still here?’ This is a novel of both heart & intellect, a book about the need to belong, about what a family is, and why we all need one.
You Belong Here: A Novel by Laurie Steed ($25, PB) You Belong Here follows the Slater family from the years 1972– 2002, finding faith, faults & redemption, in a raw, at times heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful meditation on what it means to be a family in modern Australia. ‘An unforgettable exploration of the things that hold families together, and tear them apart. It finds the extraordinary in ordinary lives, and brings a tenderness, honesty, and sense of humour that’s rarely seen in Australian fiction. It’s beautifully written and stays with you long after it ends.’—Ryan O’Neill, 2017 Miles Franklin shortlisted author.
The Lovers by Catherine Rey ($25, PB) The Lovers is an arresting tale, a mystery with a low burn tension, which revolves around the disappearance of Lucie Bruyère. The novel unveils the truth about her charismatic yet subtly controlling partner, the world-famous artist Ernest Renfield. The suspenseful story, both police investigation and multi-voiced Rashomon, ends in a dramatic and powerful illumination. ‘I found The Lovers utterly compelling. This impeccably crafted novel told from multiple perspectives offers the page-turning suspense of a mystery while resisting easy resolution. It is ultimately a meditation on making art: the cost it exacts and the solace it brings.’—Michelle de Kretser The Lebs by Michael Mohammed Ahmad ($28, PB)
‘Bani Adam thinks he’s better than us!’ they say over and over until finally I shout back, ‘Shut up, I have something to say!’They all go quiet and wait for me to explain myself, redeem myself, pull my shirt out, rejoin the pack. I hold their anticipation for three seconds, and then, while they’re all ablaze, I say out loud, ‘I do think I’m better.’ As far as Bani Adam is concerned Punchbowl Boys is the arse end of the earth. Though he’s a Leb and they control the school, Bani feels at odds with the other students, who just don’t seem to care. He is a romantic in a sea of hypermasculinity. Bani must come to terms with his place in this hostile, hopeless world, while dreaming of so much more. The Opal Dragonfly by Julian Leatherdale ($30, PB) September, 1851. Sydney, city of secrets & gossip. 17 year-old Isobel Macleod is determined to save her father because she loves him. But when she dares to trespass in a forbidden male world, a wave of ill fortune threatens to swallow up her family & their stately home, Rosemount Hall, ‘the finest house in the colony’ on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour. Is Isobel to blame for her family’s fate or does the cause lie further in the past? When Isobel was 4, Major Macleod returned from an expedition with two ‘souvenirs’: an Aboriginal girl who became her friend & two opals fashioned into a dragonfly brooch for her mother. When Isobel inherits this ‘unlucky’ heirloom, she wonders if the terrible dreams it summons are a curse or a gift.
The Rules of Backyard Croquet by Sunni Overend
Disgraced fashion prodigy Apple March has gone into hiding, concealing herself within the cashmere & silk folds of a formerly grand fashion boutique—the hanging of blouses & handling of difficult patrons now her only concern. But when her sister Poppy needs a wedding dress, old passions are reignited ... along with threats from her past. As Apple finds herself falling for someone she shouldn’t, her quest to re-emerge becomes entangled in a time she wants forgotten, and life unravels as quickly as it began to mend. From the cool heart of Melbourne, to Paris and New York, in an effervescent world of croquet, Campari and cocoon coats, can Apple prevail over demons past to become the woman she was born to be? ($30, PB)
Australian Literature The Everlasting Sunday by Robert Lukins
During the freezing English winter of 1962, 17 year-old Radford is sent to Goodwin Manor, a home for boys who have been ‘found by trouble’. Drawn immediately to the charismatic West, Radford soon discovers that each one of them has something to hide. Life at the Manor offers a refuge of sorts, but unexpected arrivals threaten the world the boys have built. Will their friendship be enough when trouble finds them again? At once both beautiful and brutal, The Everlasting Sunday is a haunting debut novel about growing up, growing wild and what it takes to survive. ($29.95, PB)
Trick of the Light by Laura Elvery ($22.95, PB) An art teacher sends four of her students on a guerrilla mission. A young runner struggles to make sense of his best friend’s death. A health-food company adopts a farcical promotional strategy. A factory worker spends her days applying radioactive paint to watches, while dreaming of a future with her new suitor. With a keen eye for detail and rich emotional insight, Laura Elvery reveals the fears and fantasies of everyday people searching for meaning. Ranging from tender poignancy to wry humour, Trick of the Light is the beguiling debut collection. In the Garden of the Fugitives by Ceridwen Dovey ($32.99, PB)
Almost 20 years after forbidding him to contact her, Vita receives an email from her old benefactor, Royce. Once, she was one of his brightest protégés; now her career has stalled & Royce is ailing, and each has a need to settle accounts. Beyond their murky shared history, both have lost beloveds, one to an untimely death, another to a strange disappearance. And both are trying to free themselves from deeper pasts, Vita from the inheritance of her birthplace, Royce from the grip of the ancient city of Pompeii and the secrets of the Garden of the Fugitives. Between what’s been repressed and what has been excavated are disturbances that reach back through decades, even centuries.
Gleebooks’ special price $29.99
Out this Month: Chaser Quarterly: Bad Holidays, $12.95
l l i H ’ D n O
Regular visitors to our emporium on D’Hill may have noticed my absence for some weeks in February—or not! There’s no getting out of admitting it happened while showing off my ice-skating skills in my living room. As I executed a particularly difficult spin, the rug slipped out from under me and my little toe bent back at such an angle the base of the toe split open, nearly severing the whole thing. I’m calling it the ‘I, Morgan’ incident. I’ll be gone later in March too, as I take a short holiday and then join other Gleebooks’ staff at a book industry conference in Hobart from which I intend to return professionally enhanced, renewed and social media savvy—or not! Closer to home, I’m looking forward to the launch (see below) on March 2nd of River Dreams: the people and landscape of the Cooks River by historian, Ian Tyrrell. In this fascinating history Tyrrell combines ecological history with the story of how humans and industry destroyed the river and how now, humans (ie. The Cooks River Association and its offshoot of eco-volunteers, the wonderful Mudcrabs) are attempting to restore it. The book is eminently readable—and a must-read if you want to know more about your local environment as well as the surprising and interesting history of the region. I was delighted to catch up with Vanessa Berry’s Mirror Sydney, a stunning and widely-praised series of observations about the out-of-the way, the lost, the hidden, or only imagined secrets of Sydney—it’s geographical and built terrain. Beautifully written—the following refers to (an imaginary) Sydney Park at St Peters: ‘The park is different when I look up. The green hills are transparent. Behind them is another scene, of brickpit craters…of an old-growth forest, and another, a lagoon and ferns …Smoke trails up from the brickworks chimneys. It merges with the clouds that move over and across this complicated landscape, all that has taken place and is taking place here.’ (ie. West Connex). Accompanied by her own charming drawings, Mirror Sydney is a truly marvellous book. I predict prizes for Vanessa Berry this year. And from the other side of the world, one of my picks for March new releases is Philip Hensher’s The Friendly Ones. This is a wonderful contemporary fiction about how the lives of two neighbouring families, one very English and one Pakistani—intertwine. While the lives of the English family are interesting and fraught, it is the back story of the Pakistani family during the war for independence which is really moving. In its episodic structure, its wit and its humanity, The Friendly Ones reminded me a little of Michelle de Kretser’s The Life to Come. Both, in the end, celebrate ordinary people in all their complicated, chaotic beauty. See you on D’Hill, Morgan
The Cooks River Valley Association and The Mudcrabs—Cooks River Eco-volunteers invite you to attend the launch of Prof. lan Tyrrell’s book: River Dreams: The People and Landscape of the Cooks River Gleebooks 536 Marrickville Rd, Dulwich Hill Friday 2nd March Time: 6.15pm (for 6.30) RSVP 9560 0660 3
The Dictionary of Animal Languages by Heidi Sopinka ($30, PB)
Born into a wealthy family in northern England, sent to boarding school & educated by nuns, Ivory Frame escapes to interwar Paris where she finds herself through art, living amongst the most brilliant & bohemian people—the surrealists. Torn between a volatile & all-consuming affair with a Russian painter, and her soaring ambition, Ivory’s life is violently interrupted by WW2. Now, aged 90, Ivory labours defiantly in the frozen north at her last, greatest artwork—a vast account of animal language—alone except for her sharp research assistant Skeet. And then unexpected news from the past arrives—this complex woman is told that she has a grandchild, despite never having had a child of her own.
Look at Me by Mareike Krugel ($30, PB) Katharina’s husband isn’t coming home for the weekend — again—so she’s on her own. When their chaotic daughter Helli has a nosebleed, Kat has to dash off to school to pick her up. Then their son, Alex, announces he’s bringing his new girlfriend home for the first time. Kat’s best friend from college is coming around tonight too, and she’s wondering if she should try to seduce him—but first she needs to do the shopping, the vacuuming & the laundry, deal with an exploding clothes-dryer, find their neighbour’s severed thumb in the front yard & catch a couple of escaped rodents. Then perhaps she’ll have time to think about the thing she’s been trying not to think about—the lump she’s just found in her breast. Because you can’t just die & leave a huge mess for someone else to clean up—can you? And wasn’t there supposed to be more to life than this? Ties by Domenico Starnone ($25, PB)
They were young & in love, and they wanted to be free from their families. They married, but as middle-age & family obligations set in & the world changed around them, their marital vows seemed to lose their meaning. When he left, she felt gripped by impotent rage; she burned with questions that had no answers. She stayed with the kids in a city from which she felt a growing estrangement. He transferred from Naples to Rome & moved in with a younger woman. But the inescapable ties that bind us can be tenacious, stronger even than both the wounds inflicted by abandonment & the desire for freedom. But is it possible to retrace one’s steps and regain what was lost? If so, at what price? Translated by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Apex Hides the Hurt by Colson Whitehead
The town of Winthrop has decided it needs a new name. The resident software millionaire wants to call it New Prospera; the mayor wants to return to the original choice of the founding black settlers; and the town’s aristocracy sees no reason to change the name at all. What they need, they realize, is a nomenclature consultant. And, it turns out, the consultant needs them. But in a culture overwhelmed by marketing, the name is everything and our hero’s efforts may result in not just a new name for the town but a new and subtler truth about it as well. ($20, PB)
Don’t Skip Out on Me by Willy Vlautin ($30, PB) Meet Horace Hopper, a 21 year-old farm hand in Tonopah, Nevada, who works for Mr Reece & his wife, the nearest thing he’s had to family in years. But Horace, half-white half-Paiute Indian, dreams of bigger things. Leaving behind the farm & its fragile stability, he heads South to re-invent himself as the Mexican boxer Hector Hidalgo. Slowly, painfully, the possibility emerges that his dreams might not just be the delusions of a lost soul. But at what cost, and what of those he’s left behind? Exploring the fringes of contemporary America, Willy Vlautin delivers a compassionate novel about the need for human connection & understanding. The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch ($28, PB)
In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence & the planet’s nowradioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless, pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin. Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule—galvanised by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her. New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice.
Out this month: Granta 142: Animalia (ed) Sigrid Rausing ($25, PB)
The Man Who Would Not See by Rajorshi Chakraborti ($33, PB)
As children in Calcutta, Ashim & Abhay made a small mistake that split their family forever. 30 years later, Ashim has re-entered his brother’s life, with blame & retribution on his mind. It seems nothing short of smashing Abhay’s happy home will make good the damage from the past. At least, this is what Abhay & his wife Lena are certain is happening. A brother has travelled all the way from small-town India to New Zealand bearing ancient—and false—grudges, and with the implacable objective of blowing up every part of his younger brother’s life. Reconciliation was just a Trojan horse. But is Ashim really the villain he appears to be, or is there a method to his havoc? Evacuation by Raphaël Jerusalmy ($20, PB) Naor, a young filmmaker, is driving with his mother. He tells her about being in Tel Aviv after a recent evacuation. Everyone else has fled, except for Naor & Yael, his artist girlfriend, and Saba, his grandfather, who is a writer. The occasional missile explodes nearby. But Saba refuses to leave the place he loves. And Yael has her own secret aspirations. In defiance of the war, they scavenge an existence & explore the mysteries of their beloved city—until the unthinkable happens. This suspenseful novel is a profound tale about our choices under pressure, about love, for each other & for a place, about death, and about finding a way to peace.
Trick by Domenico Starnone ($25, PB) Imagine a duel between an elderly man & a mere boy. The same blood runs through their veins. One, Daniele Mallarico, is a successful illustrator whose reputation is slowly fading. The other, Mario, is his 4 year-old grandson. The older combatant has lived for years in solitude, focusing obsessively on his work. The younger one has been left by his querulous parents with his grandfather for a 72-hour stay. Shut inside an apartment in Naples that is filled with the ghosts of Mallarico’s own childhood, grandfather & grandson match wits, while outside lurks Naples, a wily, violent & passionate city whose influence is not easily shaken. Translated by Jhumpa Lahiri. Catapult by Emily Fridlund ($20, PB)
The unknowable wisdom of a baby; two teenagers with plans to build a time machine;the unnerving relationship between a man & his dangerous dog; a bumpy reunion between two childhood friends . . . These are stories about how people grow together & pull apart, the strangeness of lives lived at close quarters. Envy, distrust, confidence, collusion, hope—Man Booker shortlisted author Emily Fridlund (History of Wolves) delves into the small lies & large truths that make up our lives in a spellbinding collection of short stories.
The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells ($30, PB)
Marty, Liz & Jules’ idyllic childhood with their loving parents in Munich is shattered by the death of their parents in a car crash, and their charmed life is exchanged for a bleak state boarding school. As the three deal with the death of their parents in very different ways, they become estranged from one another; Marty focusing on his career; Liz turning to different forms of escapism; and Jules turning from a vivacious child to a quiet, withdrawn teenager. Whilst at boarding school he meets the mysterious and charming Alva—but he only realises years later what she meant to him; and what she never told him. Just as it seems that they can make amends for the time wasted, the past catches up with them.
Trajectory: A short story collection by Richard Russo
A professor confronts a young plagiarist as well as her own weaknesses as the Thanksgiving holiday looms closer and closer. A real estate agent facing an ominous medical prognosis finds himself in his father’s shadow while he presses forward—or not. A semi-retired academic is conned by his estranged brother into joining a group tour of the Venice Biennale, fleeing a mortifying incident with a traumatised student back in Massachusetts but encountering further complications in the maze of Venice. A lapsed novelist tries to rekindle his screenwriting career, only to be stymied by the pratfalls of that trade when he’s called to an aging, iconic star’s mountaintop retreat in Wyoming. In these four stories Richard Russo steps away from the blue-collar citizens that populate many of his novels. ($33, PB)
Saudade by Suneeta Peres da Costa ($19.95, PB) A coming-of-age story set in Angola in the period leading up to the colony’s independence, Saudade focuses on a Goan immigrant family caught between complicity in Portuguese rule, and their dependence on the Angolans who are their servants. The title (saudade means ‘melancholy’ in Portuguese) speaks to the longing for homeland that haunts its characters, and especially the young girl who is the book’s protagonist and narrator. Suneeta Peres da Costa’s novella lyrically captures the difficult relationship between the daughter and her mother, and the ways in which their intimate world opens up questions about domestic violence, the legacies of Portuguese slavery, and the end of empire.
All The Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth J. Church
In the summer of 1968, Ruby Wilde is the toast of Las Vegas. Showgirl of the Year, in her feathers & rhinestones, five-inch heels & skyhigh headdresses, she mesmerises audiences from the Tropicana to the Stardust. Ratpackers & movie stars, gamblers & astronauts vie for her attention & shower her with gifts.But not so long ago Ruby Wilde was Lily Decker from Kansas: an orphaned girl determined to dance her way out of her troubled past. When she was 8 years old, Lily survived the car crash that killed her parents & sister. Raised by an aunt who took too little interest in her & an uncle who took too much, dancing was her solace & her escape. Now, as Ruby Wilde, the ultimate Sin City success story, she discovers that the glare of the spotlight cannot banish the shadows that haunt her, and in her search for freedom she must learn the difference between what glitters & what is truly gold. Recommended by Janice in the February Gleaner’s Wilder Aisles. ($30, PB)
Camilla Lackberg’s new psychological thriller featuring Detective Patrik Hedström and Erica Falck.
The Odyssey: A New Translation by Peter Green
The Odyssey is vividly captured & beautifully paced in this swift & lucid new translation by acclaimed scholar & translator Peter Green. Richly illuminated by an engrossing introduction, concise chapter summaries, a glossary, and substantial explanatory notes, this is the ideal translation for general readers & students alike to experience The Odyssey in all its glory. ‘This is a triumph, a worthy successor to Peter Green’s outstanding translation of The Iliad. The style is flexible, sometimes colloquial, and often touching the heights, while being always immensely accessible to a modern reader. No version known to me is better at conveying the feeling as well as the sense of the original’—Christopher Pelling ($60, HB)
Heartpounding adventure and breathtaking magical inventions.
Fashion and love collide in the stylish new novel from the author of The Dangers of Truffle Hunting.
Pearls On A Branch: Tales from the Arab World Told by Women (ed) Najla Khoury ($30, PB)
While civil war raged in Lebanon, Najla Khoury travelled with a theatre troupe, putting on shows in marginal areas where electricity was a luxury, in air raid shelters, Palestinian refugee camps & isolated villages. Their plays were largely based on oral tales, and she combed the country in search of stories. Many years later, she chose 100 stories from among the most popular & published them in Arabic in 2014—stories told as they had been heard from parents & grandparents. Out of the 100 stories published in Arabic, Inea Bushnaq & Najla Khoury chose thirty for this book.
The Pearler’s Wife by Roxane Dhand ($33, PB)
It is 1912, and Maisie Porter stands on the deck of the SS Oceanic as England fades from view. Her destination is Buccaneer Bay in Australia’s far north-west—she is to be married to a man she has never met—wealthy pearling magnate, Maitland. Also on board is William Cooper, the Royal Navy’s top man. Following a directive from the Australian government, he and 11 other ‘white’ divers have been hired to replace the predominantly Asian pearling crews. However, Maitland & his fellow merchants have no intention of employing the costly Englishmen for long. Maisie arrives to a surprisingly cool reception from Maitland, and finds herself increasingly drawn to the intriguing Cooper. But Maisie’s new husband is harbouring deadly secrets. And when Cooper and the divers sail out to harvest the pearl shell, they are in great danger.
The Killing of Butterfly Joe by Rhidian Brook
24 year-old Welshman Llew Jones is in jail. All he wanted was to see America & write about it. Then he met the extraordinary Butterfly Joe & his freakish family & got caught up in an adventure that got way, way out of control. Now his friend’s gone & Llew has to give his side of the story. This part neo-gothic thriller, part existential road trip, part morality tale, hurtles across 1980s America leaving the life of introspection behind to participate in the Great American Dream: the one that takes you from ‘rags to riches via pitches’. It’s about the end of innocence & the dawn of consequence; the forces of revenge pitted against the powers of forgiveness; and, ultimately, the search for freedom and self-definition. ($30, PB)
An Unsuitable Match by Joanna Trollope ($30, PB)
Dealing with one’s own emotions is one thing. Facing a parent’s roller-coaster of a love life is quite another. Rose Woodrowe is getting married to Tyler Masson—a wonderful, sensitive man who is headover-heels in love with her. The only problem? This isn’t the first time for either of them, and their five grown-up children have strong opinions on the matter. Who to listen to? Who to please? Rose and Tyler are determined to get it right this time, but in trying to make everyone happy, can they ever be happy themselves?
Spring: Seasons Quartet 3 by Karl Ove Knausgaard ($35, HB)
I have just finished writing this book for you. What happened that summer nearly three years ago, and its repercussions, are long since over. Sometimes it hurts to live, but there is always something to live for. Spring follows a father and his newborn daughter through one day in April, from sunrise to sunset. It is a day filled with the small joys of family life, but also its deep struggles. This new novel in the Seasons quartet, Karl Ove Knausgaard reflects uncompromisingly on life’s darkest moments and what can sustain us through them.
False Claims of Colonial Thieves ($25, PB) Charmaine Papertalk Green & John Kinsella
From poets John Kinsella & Charmaine Papertalk-Green comes a tête-à-tête that is powerful, thought provoking, and challenges what we think we know about our country, colonisation, and how we understand our land. Striking conversations surrounding childhood, life, love, mining, death, respect & diversity; imbued by silken Yamatji sensibility & sublimely responded to by the son of a foreman from South Champion Mine. This collection weaves two differing points of view together as Papertalk-Green & Kinsella’s words traverse this land & reflect back to us all, our many identities & quiet voices.
Interval by Judith Bishop ($24.95, PB) Judith Bishop’s attentive poetic gaze unfailingly reveals the luminous. In Interval, her poems—many addressed to a lover, or to children—explore intimacy, solitude and the ‘chemical mess’ of human love. As Carl Phillips said of Event, ‘These are splendid poems indeed, whose intelligence, vision, and sheer beauty at every turn persuade’. Julian Tuwim: Selected Poems ($29.95, PB)
Julian Tuwim (1919–1953) was a Polish poet, writing cabaret sketches, humoresque pieces, satires, and comic pieces rooted in and alluding to Jewish tradition. His phrases would echo in the Warsaw streets. He wrote texts for the theatre and librettos for opera, as well as lyrics to musical hits of his era and film soundtracks. Marcel Weyland’s new translations in this anthology of Tuwim’s poetry are a triumph of a kindred spirit who shares with the Poet his sense of semantic experiment and emotional adventure rarely seen in the world of poetry.
João by John Mateer ($19.95, PB)
In a sequence of 64 sonnets, John Mateer describes the encounters of an alter-ego, João, as he travels across the globe, attending festivals and readings, meeting with friends, lovers, and often-famous fellow authors. Questioning identity, melancholy in disposition, troubled by dreams and memories, João is also an innocent, and given to moments of illumination and joy. Mateer is both ironic and affectionate in his treatment of this picaresque figure, creating through his sonnet sequence a narrative which is new in Australian writing, the worldwide adventures of the poet as anti-hero, one who, despite his disappointments, still believes in the power of literature to create a sense of belonging, and to invoke ‘the deep mandala of meeting and friendship’.
THE WILDER AISLES
The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable is a novel set in Nantucket, on the East Coast of the US. The story revolves around Cliff House—a once grand house, that like others around it, is in danger of falling into the sea. Fierce storms, high tides and wild weather have caused serious slippage—the houses, threatened by erosion, are losing their backyards and swimming pools. The story goes back and forward in time, a device I don’t usually like, but it works in this case. The eponymous book of summer is the guest book of Cliff House—full of stories from previous female inhabitants. These include Ruby, who, just married, to Sam, goes to live in Cliff House on the eve of WWII. Her daughter Cissy is now living at Cliff House, determined to stay there, even though day by day there is less of it. Cissy’s daughter Bess arrives to try and get her mother to leave, but Cissy has always been a troublemaker, and is enjoying the battle with the locals. While Cissy attempts to enlist support, Bess discovers the book of summer and its secrets—stories of her grandmother, her uncles and her aunt Mary—those about Ruby and Sam and their marriage Bess finds quite distressing. This is a book about female lives, about love and marriage, about resilience and the strength to carry on despite whatever life has in store. Cissy’s battle to save the house, no matter how futile, shows a strong person, unwilling to be defeated. In the end all secrets are revealed, including Bess’s—ghosts are laid to rest and people are able to resume their lives and carry on the best they can. This is what I call a picture book—by which I mean I could see everything Gable describes—the house falling into the sea, the landscape, the stormy sea. I love wild weather. There is of course a lot more to this book than I can reveal here. I really enjoyed it, and the fact that some of it is based on real events, made it of even greater interest. I’ve just caught up with Barbara Nadel’s On The Bone. Nadel has a couple of crime series—the one set in Turkey with the chain-smoking Inspector Çetin İkmen and his sidekicks, Mehmet Süleyman and Armenian pathologist Arto Sarkissian is the one I’ve been following. I hadn’t read one for a while, and when I opened On the Bone (18th in the series) I had the pleasure of remembering how much I enjoy them. I particularly like his two police men, Ikmen and Süleyman. In the smart Istanbul district of Beyoğlu a young man, Umit Kavas, suddenly drops dead in the street. Although his death is from natural causes, his autopsy reveals, much to the policemen’s astonishment, his last meal was of human flesh—perhaps the very last taboo, or at least one of them. Not wanting to alarm the populace, they begin a secret investigation into who Umit’s last meal was—where they came from, how they were killed. The fact that Umit’s father is General Abdullah Kavas, doesn’t make things any easier. Their search leads to a Grand hotel and American celebrity chef, Boris Myskow. What goes on at this hotel? Who are the well-dressed men who eat in the upstairs private dining room served by Myskow himself? And who are the not so well-dressed men who eat in the restaurant? To find out more the detectives plant a young undercover policewoman in the hotel’s kitchen. Along side this investigation is a squat in the town, housing dissidents who object to the secularisation of the country, gay and trans people, prostitutes and people with no where else to live. This interlinking story is about Imam Ozgur Ayan and his two sons, and Radwan a Syrian refugee, and young men disappearing—some going to join the Jihad. How this all ties together makes for a great story—and one very pertinent to our own times. Highly recommended. Having re-engaged with my old friends Ikmen and Suleyman, I am looking forward to the latest in the series, released last year—The House of Four. As I was browsing the crime shelves the other day the title Zen and the Art of Murder called out to me—its cover picture of a Japanese zen monk, in robes and sandals, walking through the snow, further intrigued me ... and then there was the setting—the Black Forest, on the border between France and Germany. What is a monk doing in the icy Black Forest you ask. So does Chief Inspector Louise Boni, who is dreading another cold winter, when she receives the strangest assignment of her career—to follow a zen buddhist monk. The monk has been injured, and he seems to be escaping some terrible evil. He is reluctant to make contact, and as he doesn’t speak German or English, and Louise has no Japanese, any communication proves difficult. Louise is, however, not the only one following the monk, and when shots are fired, she realises they are both in trouble—so she turns to a man who has a Japanese wife and a knowledge of buddhism. When tragedy strikes, Louise finds herself involved in something much bigger and more dangerous than it first seemed. As some of the action goes across the border into France, the investigation becomes a joint operation between the police of the two countries. This is only a small part of what is a very engaging story, so I suggest you buy a copy, settle down with a cuppa and enjoy. If the front cover is to be believed the author, Oliver Bottini, is planning further ‘Black Forest investigations’, so hopefully more to look forward to in the future. Janice Wilder
The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan ($33, PB)
Young Garda Cormac Reilly is called to a scene he will never forget. Two silent, neglected children — 15 year-old Maude & 5 year-old Jack—are waiting for him at a crumbling country house. Upstairs, their mother lies dead. 20 years later, a body surfaces in the icy black waters of the River Corrib. At first it looks like an open-and-shut case, but then doubt is cast on the investigation’s findings—and the integrity of the police. Cormac is thrown back into the cold case that has haunted him his entire career — what links the 2 deaths, 2 decades apart? As he navigates his way through police politics & the ghosts of the past, Reilly uncovers shocking secrets & finds himself questioning who among his colleagues he can trust.
Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley
Joe King Oliver was one of the NYPD’s finest investigators until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault, and lands in the notorious Rikers Island prison. A decade later, King is working as a PI, when he receives a card in the mail from a woman admitting she was paid by someone in the NYPD to frame him all those years ago. At the same time as trying to uncover why the NYPD had it out for him, King is investigating the case of black radical journalist Leonard Compton, aka A Free Man, accused of killing two on-duty police offices who had been abusing their badges to traffic drugs and women into the city’s poorest neighbourhoods. ($30, PB)
Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh
One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since. Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to ask questions about her parents’ deaths. But by digging up the past, is she putting her future in danger? Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie. ($30, PB)
The Punishment She Deserves by Elizabeth George
When a Member of Parliament shows up in New Scotland Yard wanting an investigation into the suicide of the son of one of his constituents in the medieval town of Ludlow—a wealthy brewer ready to file a major lawsuit over the death. The Assistant Commissioner sees two opportunities in this request: the first is to have an MP owing him a favour, and the second is to get rid of DS Barbara Havers. Rather than with Havers’ usual partner Lynley, he partners her with the one person who shares his enthusiasm for ridding the Metropolitan Police of Barbara Havers, DCS Isabelle Ardery. But Ardery has her own difficulties, and she is not happy to be sent away from London. ($30, PB)
Widows by Lynda La Plante ($30, PB) Lynda La Plante’s iconic sisters in crime novel is reimagined for the 21st century—Dolly Rawlins, Linda Perelli & Shirley Miller are left devastated when their husbands are killed in a security van heist that goes disastrously wrong. When Dolly discovers her husband Harry’s bank deposit box, containing a gun, money—and detailed plans for the hijack. Novices in the craft of crime, the three women recruit hooker Bella O’Reilly as a 4th to help execute their plan. Facing mounting pressure from DI Resnick, and local thugs Arnie & Tony Fisher, can they stick together and finish the job their husbands started? The Hoarder by Jess Kidd ($28, PB)
Maud Drennan—underpaid carer & unintentional psychic—is the latest in a long line of dogsbodies for the ancient, belligerent Cathal Flood. Yet despite her best efforts, Maud is becoming drawn into the mysteries concealed in his filthy, once-grand home. She realises that something is changing: Cathal, and the junk-filled rooms, are opening up to her. With only her agoraphobic landlady & a troop of sarcastic ghostly saints to help, Maud must uncover what lies beneath Cathal’s decades-old hostility, and the strange activities of the house itself. And if someone has hidden a secret there, how far will they go to ensure it remains buried?
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton ($25, PB)
`Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.’ It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young & beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden—one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party—can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over & over again. The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath.
Consent: Read Me by Leo Benedictus ($30, PB) This book is an experiment. We’re experimenting together. You are part of the experiment, if you’ll agree to it. Normally I don’t let my subjects choose to be subjects. If you know you’re being watched, you cease to be you. But I want you to read this. I wrote it for you. This magnetic book pulls you in its wake even as you resist its force. Sometimes you don’t want to know what’s next.
The Power Game by Meg Keneally ($33, PB) The 3rd in the Monsarrat series sees gentleman convict Hugh Llewelyn Monsarrat & Mrs Mulrooney sent to remote Maria Island off Van Diemen’s Land to solve the murder of Bart Harefield, the detested cutter skipper responsible for bringing supplies & correspondence to the island. Bart wasn’t shy about reading the letters he brings across— so when he’s murdered, blame is laid at the feet of Thomas Power, the charismatic Irish revolutionary held in detention on Maria Island. Monsarrat & Mrs Mulrooney soon realise their real job is to tie Power neatly to the crime, so he can be hanged without inciting rebellion. But were there others who also had reason to want to shut Harefield up? A Darker State by David Young ($20, PB) The body of a teenage boy is found weighted down in a lake. Karin Müller, newly appointed Major of the People’s Police, is called to investigate. But her power will only stretch so far, when every move she makes is under the watchful eye of the Stasi. Then, when the son of Müller’s team member goes missing, it quickly becomes clear that there is a terrifying conspiracy at the heart of this case, one that could fast lead Müller & her young family into real danger. The Sinner by Petra Hammesfahr ($18, PB)
Cora Bender killed a man on a sunny summer afternoon in full view of her family and friends. But why? What could have caused this quiet, lovable young mother to stab a stranger in the throat, again and again, until she was pulled off his body? For the local police it was an open and shut case. But Police Commissioner Rudolf Grovian refused to close the file and started his own maverick investigation. So began the slow unravelling of Cora’s past, a harrowing descent into a woman’s private hell. The basis for the acclaimed Netflix series.
Holy Ceremony by Harri Nykanen ($18, PB) A woman’s body scrawled with religious texts is found in a Helsinki apartment. Jewish homicide inspector Ariel Kafka investigates. What begins as an investigation of Christian religious lunatics shifts into a hunt for a perpetrator who is more damaged than dangerous, the victim of institutionally countenanced paedophilia at a boarding school. Ariel Kafka finds himself investigating a series of crimes leading to the enigmatic Brotherhood of the Holy Vault, founded at the school. The brotherhood’s former members have gone on to become Oxford professors and important CEOs, all reluctant to recall their school days. But before Kafka can solve the puzzle, more than one person must pay for past sins with his life. When It Grows Dark by Jorn Lier Horst ($20, PB)
A letter from the dead could solve Wisting’s coldest case. Stavern 1983: Christmas is approaching and an ambitious young policeman named William Wisting has just become the father of twins. Edged off a robbery investigation by more experienced officers, he is soon on a less prestigious case. In a dilapidated barn stands a forgotten, bullet-riddled car. How long has it been there and what happened to the driver? This is the case that shaped William Wisting as a policeman—with a resolution 33 years in the future.
The Girl in the Woods by Camilla Lackberg ($30, PB) When a 4 year-old girl disappears in the woods just outside Fjällbacka, the community is horror-struck. 30 years ago, a young girl went missing from the exact same spot, and was later discovered, murdered. Back then, two teenage girls were found guilty of the killing. Could it really be a coincidence that one of the girls—now a world-famous actress—has just returned to Fjällbacka? Detective Patrik Hedström starts investigating, with his wife, bestselling crime writer Erica Falck, by his side. But as Patrik and Erica dig deeper, the truth becomes ever murkier, because it seems that everyone in the tight-knit community is hiding something. And soon, the residents must confront the fact that they could be harbouring a murderer in their midst. Culprits: The Heist Was Just the Beginning (eds) Richard Brewer & Gary Phillips ($29, PB)
Some stories are all about the crime. These stories are about the maelstrom of what happens after. A hard-bitten crew of professional thieves pull off the score of their lives, coming away with seven million in cash. Like any heist there are some unforeseen complications, and unfortunately they don’t get away without a few bodies dropping. But despite this, they get away with the swag. Seven million. Enough to change their lives, make new identities, start fresh. But that’s when the real trouble begins... In this linked anthology, we follow each member of the crew of culprits as they go their separate ways after the heist, and watch as this perfect score ends up a perfect nightmare.
Now in B format The Unmourned: Book 2, The Monsarrat Series by Thomas & Meg Keneally, $20 Sunday Morning Coming Down: A Frieda Klein Novel (7) by Nicci French, $20 The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham, $15 The Force by Don Winslow, $20
Court Reporter by Jamelle Wells ($33, PB)
As a seasoned court reporter, the ABC’s Jamelle Wells has filed thousands of stories on murderers, sex offenders, thieves, bad drivers, family feuds & business deals gone wrong. In the line of duty, she has sat next to criminals & their families, been chased, spat on, stalked & carted off by ambulance for emergency surgery after an accident outside ICAC. Every day in courts across Australia the evidence, facts & theories are played out in a kind of theatre, with their own characters, costumes & traditions. But ever-present is the human tragedy of ordinary people’s lives disrupted, destroyed & forever altered. The judges, the lawyers and barristers, the witnesses & the victims—all striving to play their part in the quest for fairness, justice & always, the truth of what really happened. From the calculated & cruel, to the unfair and unlucky, from pure evil to plain stupid—Jamelle Wells has seen it all.
Once a Copper: The Life and Times of Brian ‘The Skull’ Murphy by Vikki Petraitis
Once known as Australia’s toughest cop, Brian Murphy was both charged with manslaughter (and acquitted), then awarded a Valour Award for bravery in the line of duty. A non-drinking, Catholic family man, ‘The Skull’ didn’t fit the 1950s police mould & often found himself on the outer among his colleagues. Dodging crooks & corruption on both sides of the thin blue line, he carefully cultivated a reputation for being a ‘mad bastard’. Over 40 men felt the sting of his bullets, and many more felt the sting of his fists. But behind Australia’s toughest cop lay a personal secret of sexual abuse which Murphy shares publicly for the first time, in the hope that it will help others. This abuse formed the kind of police officer he later became — tough on the bad guys, but fiercely protective towards victims. ($29.95, PB)
The Darkest Web: Drugs, death and destroyed lives ... the inside story of the internet’s evil twin by Eileen Ormsby ($33, PB)
A kingpin willing to murder to protect his dark web drug empire. A corrupt government official determined to avoid exposure. A death in Minnesota leads detectives into the world of dark web murder-for-hire where hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin is paid to arrange killings, beatings & rapes. People with the most depraved perversions gather to share their obscene materials in an almost inaccessible corner of the dark web. There’s the world wide web, and then there’s the dark web—the parallel internet accessed by only a select few. Eileen Ormsby has spent the past five years exploring every corner of the Dark Web. She has shopped on darknet markets, contributed to forums, waited in red rooms & been threatened by hitmen on murder-for-hire sites. This book will take you into the murkiest depths of the web’s dark underbelly: a place of hitmen for hire, red rooms, hurtcore sites & markets that will sell anything a person is willing to pay for—including another person.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara ($30, PB)
For more than 10 years, a mysterious & violent predator committed 50 sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared. 3 decades later, true crime journalist, Michelle McNamara, was determined to find the psychopath she called ‘the Golden State Killer’. She pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was. Her book offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth.
The Good Mothers: The Story of the Three Women Who Took on the World’s Most Powerful Mafia by Alex Perry ($33, PB)
We live in their buildings, work in their companies, shop in their stores, eat in their restaurants & elect politicians they fund. Founded more than 150 years ago by shepherding families in the toe of Italy, the ‘Ndrangheta is today the world’s most powerful mafia, with a reach that extends to 50 countries around the world. Its power rests on a code of silence, omertà, enforced by a claustrophobic family hierarchy & murderous misogyny. Girls are married off as teenagers in arranged clan alliances. Beatings are routine. A woman who is ‘unfaithful’—even to a dead husband—can expect to be killed to erase the ‘family shame’.In 2009, when abused wife Lea Garofalo ‘disappears’ after giving evidence against her mafiosi husband, prosecutor Alessandra Cerreti realises the ‘Ndrangheta’s bigotry may be its great flaw. She finds two collaborators inside Italy’s biggest crime families, and must persuade them to cooperate to save themselves & their children. Alessandra is fighting to save a nation. The women are fighting for their lives. Not all will survive.
Biography Rather His Own Man by Geoffrey Robertson
In a sequel to the The Justice Game, Geoffrey Robertson charts his progress from pimply state schoolboy to top Old Bailey barrister & thence onwards & upwards to a leading role in the struggle for human rights throughout the world. He wryly observes the absurdities of growing up as one of ‘Ming’s kids’; the passion of student protest in the 60s & his early crusades for ‘Down Under-dogs’, before leaving on a Rhodes Scholarship to combat the British establishment, with the help of John Mortimer of Rumpole fame. There are dramatic accounts of fighting for lives on death rows, freeing dissidents & taking on tyrants, armed only with a unique mind & a passion for justice—on display whenever he boomeranged back to Australia to conduct Geoffrey Robertson’s Hypotheticals. Featuring a cast of characters ranging from General Pinochet to Pee-Wee Herman; from Malcolm Turnbull to Mike Tyson; from Nigella Lawson to Kathy Lette, Robertson’s life is a riveting & often laugh-out-loud tale of David & Goliath battles. ($45, HB)
Gleebooks’ special price $39.95 The Boy from Baradine by Craig Emerson
In the mid-1960s, in the small town of Baradine in north-western NSW, the Emerson family was in continual crisis. The mother suffered from deep depression, the father was exhausted by their constant fights. The two sons—Craig & Lance—were traumatised by their mother’s mental struggles & inexplicable outbursts of violence against them. Yet both parents worked hard for meagre wages to give Craig a good education, and he vindicated their sacrifice. After gaining a PhD in economics, he was invited to join Bob Hawke’s staff to help design & implement the Labor government’s economic & environmental program. During Craig’s own roller-coaster journey as a politician, factional powerbrokers exiled him to the back bench, but his perseverance & abilities earned him the honour of becoming a minister in both the Rudd & Gillard governments. ($35, PB)
Look What You Made Me Do by Helen Walmsley-Johnson ($35, HB)
Guardian journalist Helen Walmsley-Johnson’s first husband controlled her life, from the people she saw to what was in her bank account. He alienated her from friends & family & even from their 3 daughters. Eventually, he threw her out & she painfully began to rebuild her life. Then, divorced & in her early forties, she met Franc. Kind, charming, considerate Franc. For 10 years she would be in his thrall—even when he too was telling her what to wear, what to eat, even what to think. This book is her candid & utterly gripping memoir of how she was trapped by a smiling abuser, not once but twice. It is a vital guide to recognising, understanding & surviving this sinister form of abuse and its often terrible legacy. It is also an inspirational account of how one she found the courage to walk away.
Afterglow: A Dog Memoir by Eileen Myles
Author & poet Eileen Myles chose Rosie from a litter of pups on the street, and over the course of 16 years together, she was devoted to the pit bull & their linked quality of life. Starting from the emptiness following Rosie’s death, this memoir launches a playful investigation into the mostly mutually beneficial, sometimes reprehensible power dynamics between pet & pet-owner. At the same time, it reimagines Myles’s experiences with alcoholism & recovery, intimacy & mourning, celebrity & politics, spirituality & family history, while joyously transcending the parameters of memoir. Moving from an imaginary talk show where Rosie is interviewed by Myles’s childhood puppet, to shimmering poetic transcriptions of video footage taken during their walks and Rosie’s final enlightened narration from the afterlife, this totally singular text combines elements of science fiction, screenplay, monologue, and lucid memory to get to the heart of how & why we dedicate our existence to our dogs. ($30, PB)
She Read to Us in the Late Afternoons: A Life in Novels by Kathleen Hill ($43, HB)
As a child in a music class where a remarkable teacher watches over a classmate marked for tragedy, Kathleen Hill by chance reads Willa Cather’s novel, Lucy Gayheart, and is prepared against her will for death by drowning. Later, recently married & living & teaching in a newly independent Nigeria she gives Achebe’s Things Fall Apart to her students & is instructed by them in the violent legacy of colonialism. And loses her American innocence when she visits a nearby abandoned slave port & connects its rusting shackles with the students sitting before her. In a town in northern France, haunted by Madame Bovary, by Emma’s solitude & boredom, she puts aside Flaubert’s novel & discovers in Bernanos’ Diary of a Country Priest the poverty & suffering she had failed to see all around her. Later she reads aloud Proust’s masterwork to Diana Trilling, whose eyesight is failing sight inspires—an undertaking that takes six years to complete.. Faced with Trilling’s approaching death and the mysteries of her own life, Hill’s memoir wonders whether reading after all may not be experience at its most ardent, its most transforming.
Mariner: A Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge by Malcolm Guité ($30, PB)
Though The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was written in 1797 when Samuel Taylor Coleridge was only 25, it was an astonishingly prescient poem. As Coleridge himself came to realise much later, this tale—of a journey that starts in high hopes & good spirits, but leads to a profound encounter with human fallibility, darkness, alienation, loneliness & dread, before coming home to a renewal of faith & vocation—was to be the shape of his own life. Academic, priest & poet Malcolm Guite draws out how with an uncanny clarity, image after image & event after event in the poem became emblems of what Coleridge was later to suffer & discover. Of course the poem is more than just an individual’s story: it is also a profound exploration of the human condition and, as Coleridge says in his gloss, our ‘loneliness and fixedness’. But the poem also offers hope, release & recovery; and Guité also draws out the continuing relevance of Coleridge’s life & writing to our own time.
Rebel with a Cause by Jacqui Lambie ($30, PB) During her time in Parliament Jacqui was the most authentic Australian voice in the Senate. Love her or hate her, you can’t deny she’s totally heartfelt and unscripted. In an age when populism in politics often just means a backlash against the existing order, Jacqui actually stood for issues: a better deal for our military veterans, and a better system of care for those afflicted by the scourge of ice addiction. The story of her life as an ordinary working class girl from Tasmania, and her journey through the army, her enforced medical retirement after 10 years when she suffered a horrendous back injury, her fight to get adequate treatment and compensation from the DVA, her struggles to raise two kids as a single mother on welfare, her son’s ice addiction, the slow rebuilding that saw her determined to prevent other people experiencing the bureaucratic-inflicted torment that she was forced to survive, her roller coaster ride as a politician, and finally her resignation from the Senate and her plans for the future. Educated by Tara Westover ($33, PB) Tara Westover grew up preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. She spent her summers bottling peaches & her winters rotating emergency supplies, hoping that when the World of Men failed, her family would continue on, unaffected. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records, no medical records—according to the state & federal government, she didn’t exist. As she grew older, her father became more radical, and her brother, more violent, and at 16 she decided to educate herself. This struggle for knowledge took her to Harvard & to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled too far. If there was still a way home. Westover has crafted, from her singular experience, a universal coming-of-age story, one that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers—the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.
Gleebooks’ special price $29.95
Crew: The story of the men who flew RAAF Lancaster J for Jig by Mike Colman ($33, PB)
On the evening of 24 February 1944, RAAF Lancaster bomber J for Jig took off from an airfield in Lincolnshire. On board was a crew of 7 young men—5 Australians, 2 Scots—whose mission was to bomb factories in Schweinfurt, Germany. But J for Jig never reached its target. It was shot down in the night skies over France. This book is about the 7 lives on that aircraft—who they were, what they did, whom they loved & whom they left behind. Some were to die that night, and others were to survive, withstanding incredible hardships & adventures as prisoners & evaders in a war that was far from over. Crew recreates J for Jig’s final mission but, more than that, in telling seven individuals’ stories Mike Colman has captured the achievements, loss & the enduring legacy of the generation that fought in WW2.
Swords in the Hands of Children: Reflections of an American Revolutionary by Jonathan Lerner ($40,HB)
Against the vividly evoked chaos & conflicts of the Vietnam Era, Jonathan Lerner probes the impulses that led a small group of educated, privileged young Americans to turn to violence as a means of political change. Beyond that, he tells the true story of an intellectually adventurous but insecure gay man immersed in the macho, misogynistic & physically confrontational environment of the Weathermen—the group that unleashed a series of bombings across the US. At its height, the organization consisted of several hundred people, all committed to violent change and toe-to-toe battles with the police. Inventing himself first as ‘minister of propaganda’ for a movement—and along the way participating in the Venceremos Brigade in Cuba & observing the Native American uprising at Wounded Knee—and then reinventing himself as high-rolling gay hustler, Lerner recounts a wild & utterly American journey from idealism to destruction & beyond. Other Weatherpeople have written memoirs; none has explored the painful history of the consequential group with such penetrating honesty. ‘It is a must read for anyone—young or old—inclined to see the Weatherman as right on, or badass, or as pioneers of a form of political struggle useful for the United States’s future. Lerner was there. He now sees the weather very differently.’—Los Angeles Review. Essential reading for progressives struggling with how to act and survive in the Age of Trump.
Paths to the Past: Encounters with England’s Hidden Landscapes by Francis Pryor ($35, PB)
Landscapes reflect & shape our behaviour. They make us who we are & bear witness to the shifting patterns of human life over the generations. Formed by a complex series of natural & human processes, they rarely yield their secrets readily. Bringing to bear a lifetime’s digging, Francis Pryor delves into England’s hidden urban & rural landscapes, from Whitby Abbey to the navvy camp at Risehill in Cumbria, from Tintagel to Tottenham’s Broadwater Farm. Scattered through fields, woods, moors, roads, tracks & towns, he reveals the stories of our physical surroundings & what they meant to the people who formed them, used them & lived in them. These landscapes, he stresses, are our common physical inheritance. If we can understand how to make them yield up their secrets, it will help us, their guardians, to maintain & shape them for future generations.
Secret Houses of the Cotswolds ($40, HB) by Jeremy Musson & Hugo Rittson Thomas
On a personal tour of 20 of the UK’s most beguiling houses in this much loved area of western England, author & architectural historian, Jeremy Musson, and Cotswolds-based photographer Hugo Rittson Thomas, accompanied by 20 devoted owners, offer privileged access to houses that range from castles & manor houses, by way of 18th & 19th century mansions, revealing their history, architecture & interiors. In the footsteps of artists & designers from Georgian designers such as William Kent to Victorian visionary, William Morris, founder of the arts & crafts movement, they offer a series of fascinating country houses of different sizes & atmospheres, which have shaped the English identity, and in different ways express the ideals of English life.
How New York Breaks Your Heart by Bill Hayes A policeman pauses at the end of a day. Cooks sneak in cigarette breaks. A pair of movers plays cards on the back of a truck. Friends claim the sidewalk. Lovers embrace. A flame-haired girl gazes mysteriously into the lens. And park benches provide a setting for a couple of hunks, a mom & her baby, a stylish nonagenarian. Bill Hayes’ street photography and lyric reflections reveal ordinary New Yorkers at their most peaceful, joyful, distracted, anxious, expressive, and at their most fleeting—bringing the texture of the city to vivid life. ($33, HB)
Fifty Places to Run Before You Die by Chris Santella ($35, HB)
This essential travel companion for runners of all levels seeking to conquer new terrain while breaking personal records features a balance of popular races (marathons, 10Ks & endurance runs) & scenic trails off the beaten path, as well as interviews with accomplished runners & leaders of respected running organizations. The book gives the details that make each venue unique—and plenty of tips for those who aspire to run there. Discover events & courses both national & international, including the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc in France, the New York City Marathon, the Vancouver Sun Run, the Grand Canyon, the Dolomites in Italy & the Great Ocean Road Marathon in Australia.
Escape by Bike: Adventure Cycling, Bikepacking & Touring Off-Road by Joshua Cunningham
Cycling writer & photographer Joshua Cunningham spent 11 months cycling from London to Hong Kong, a journey that spanned 26 countries and 13,670 miles. During his journey, he captured thousands of photographs of the landscapes—many barely touched by humans—and acquired a wealth of invaluable experience, from arranging travel & selecting the best bike to what to pack for each climate & terrain, and how to choose & navigate your route. Part travelogue, part practical guide, each chapter focusses on a geographical environment: forest, desert, mountain, tropical & urban—its combination of practical text & inspiring photography is perfect for any aspiring bike adventurer. ($40, PB)
Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World by Suzy Hansen ($47, HB)
In the wake of the September 11 attacks & the US-led invasion of Iraq, Suzy Hansen, who grew up in an insular conservative town in New Jersey, was enjoying early success as a journalist for a high-profile New York newspaper. Increasingly, though, the disconnect between the chaos of world events & the response at home took on pressing urgency for her. Seeking to understand the Muslim world that had been reduced to scaremongering headlines, she moved to Istanbul. Hansen arrived in Istanbul with romantic ideas about a mythical city perched between East & West, and with a naive sense of the Islamic world beyond. Over the course of her many years of living in Turkey & travelling in Greece, Egypt, Afghanistan & Iran, she learned a great deal about these countries & their cultures and histories and politics. But the most unsettling surprise would be what she learned about her own country—and herself. It took leaving her home to discover what she came to think of as the two Americas: the country & its people, and the experience of American power around the world. She came to understand that anti-Americanism is not a violent pathology. It is, Hansen writes, ‘a broken heart...A one-hundred-year-old relationship’.
BOOK EVENTS AT
EVENTS IN MARCH 2018 IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS MICHAEL PEMBROKE writer, historian, naturalist and judge has written an absorbing account of one of the world’s most important trouble spots, Korea - its ancient past, troubled history and the current tragedy.
Michael will be in BLACKHEATH to discuss his book with historian and author Robert O’Neill, author of Australia in the Korean War 1950-53. .
SATURDAY 10TH MARCH 2018 2.30pm for a 3.00pm start
THE GEORGE BOUTIQUE HOTEL 194 Great Western Hwy, Blackheath
$20 ($17 concession) includes afternoon tea
THE BIRDS AT MY TABLE
WHY WE FEED WILD BIRDS AND WHY IT MATTERS Why do people fill bird feeders in their backyards? Does the food even benefit the birds? What are the unintended consequences of providing additional food to our winged friends? These questions and more will be answered by author DARRYL JONES who will discuss his new book with naturalist, author and photographer, Ian Brown.
FRIDAY 23RD MARCH 2018 5.30pm for 6.00pm start
THE GEORGE BOUTIQUE HOTEL 194 Great Western Hwy, Blackheath
$20 ($17 concession) includes drink & nibbles
Bookings essential. Tickets available at Gleebooks Blackheath or phone Gleebooks on 4787 6340 or email email@example.com
Catching Thunder: The True Story of the World’s Longest Sea Chase by Eskil Engdal & Kjetil Saeter ($33, PB)
December 2014—in the forbidding waters off Antarctica, Captain Hammarstedt of the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker embarks on a voyage across ten thousand miles of hazardous seas, to relentlessly pursue the Thunder— an infamous illegal fishing ship—in what will become the longest chase in maritime history. Wanted by Interpol, the Thunder has for years evaded justice—accumulating millions in profits, hunting endangered species, and ruthlessly destroying ocean habitats. Eskil Engdal & Kjetil Saeter follow this incredible expedition from its very beginning. Yet even as seasoned journalists, they cannot anticipate what the chase will uncover, as the wake of the Thunder leads them to trail of criminal kingpins, rampant corruption, modern slavery, and an international community content to turn a blind eye. Soon, catching Thunder becomes more than a chase but a pursuit of the truth itself and a symbolic race to preserve the well-being of our planet.
Dancing Bears: True Stories about Longing for the Old Days by Witold Szablowski
For hundreds of years, Bulgarian Gypsies trained bears to dance, welcoming them into their families & taking them on the road to perform. In the early 2000s, after the fall of Communism, they were forced to release the bears into a wildlife refuge. But, even today, whenever the bears see a human, they still get up on their hind legs to dance. In the tradition of Ryszard Kapuscinski, award-winning Polish journalist Witold Szablowski tells remarkable stories of people throughout Eastern Europe and in Cuba who, like Bulgaria’s dancing bears, are now free but long for when they were not. He describes hitchhiking through Kosovo as it declares independence, arguing with the guides at the Stalin Museum, and sleeping in London’s Victoria Station alongside a homeless Polish woman. Dancing Bears is a fascinating portrait of social and economic upheaval, and a lesson in the challenges of freedom and the seductions of authoritarian rule. ($33, PB)
Sydney: A Love Affair by Matt Irwin ($89.99, HB)
Matt Irwin’s love of Sydney is unquestionable, as is his photographic ability to capture the ‘speaking’ moment. He has watched & documented Sydney’s evolution into the city it has become today. He observes &understands his subject intimately, chasing the elusive moods of Sydney until the symphony of light & matter collide in a perfect photographic moment.
books for kids to young adults
compiled by Lynndy Bennett, our children's correspondent
Perhaps it’s part of the zeitgeist that of late we’ve had numerous conversations with customers about poetry… so we’ve decided to engage with the flow. LB Recently a customer told me there are no poetry books for children, a statement I had to politely disavow. In fact there have always been books of poetry for children, since children’s literature became an actual thing. I vividly remember reading my Golden Anthology of Poetry, edited by Louise Untermeyer and with illustrations by Joan Walsh Anglund, for years and years—it literally fell apart; it introduced me to many poets who I still read today. Anthologies are the best way to discover poets you like, a rich springboard into the deep and satisfying ocean that is poetry. Starting with nursery rhymes, we have a wonderful collection of poetry for children, from babyhood to young adult. Here are just a few from our collection. Louise
The Oxford N
POETRY for KIDS
Falling Up by Shel Silverstein ($36, HB)
Shel Silverstein’s poems never fail to amuse the primary school aged child. His collections of poetry are illustrated with his own black and white drawings, and are always beautifully made books—nice thick stock, with sturdy covers, and dust jackets. We always have several of his books in stock. Louise
sery Rhyme B This is the defin ook by Iona & itive collection Peter Opie of nursery rhym say in the prefac es, first assembl e, the time in a ed by the Opies child’s life whe ‘at the transition in 1955. As they n their extent of al stage betwee literature is the n picture book is perfect for th nursery rhyme …and the first at stage, with ov is story book’. Th er 600 exquisite by Joan Hassall. is is the book th little black and ($34.95, HB) Lo at white vignettes uise and illustrations
c Form Everyday Guide to Po) eti A Kick in the Head: An PB 8, ($1 ka sch Chris Ra by Paul Janeczko, (ill) ku from a senryū or tanka; confuse cinquains and
a hai loraIf you can’t distinguish k into this splendid exp and poems of address, duc s ode e ddl mu ght. Raschka’s wei ive clerihews; itat hor aut h wit yfully presented yet y tion of poetic forms, pla ity to Janeczko’s expertl lages bring illustrative lev col er h pap wit , torn form and h ur eac olo waterc dern showcase Poetry from classics to mo follow ns atio lan exp ive accessible explanations. ens ext the relevant page. More out a very brief descriptor on for taking the mystery s collaboration is ideal Thi k. boo the of ly examples live g cin in the back odu intr and re, tigmatising the gen of poetic convention, des ating. Lynndy mid inti be to not teed guaran
Poems to Learn by Heart ($36, HB) compiled by Caroline Kennedy, (ill) Jon J Muth a gift of the heart
A poem is ‘There’s a poem to celebrate every moment in life… are it—it’s yours forevit—sh rize Memo us. nge challe or re reassu , that can inspire dy introduces a gamut Kenne , tically thema ed arrang er.’ In this diverse collection, and relive. Children and adults of human experience and emotions to relate to to Ogden Nash, Shakespeare or alike will find something to appeal: from Ovid of language in poetry derives power the Yeats to Naomi Shihab Nye. Much of the words themselves, there ing savour from apart and aloud, spoken from its being length. Limericks? Easy. any of poems rising memo is tremendous satisfaction in in the extra credit secis it then Kubla Khan? Greater commitment required, but ive watercolour ilevocat fully beauti s Muth’ with ed Adorn tion of this anthology. y Lynnd re. treasu lustrations, this is a family favourite to It’s exciting to see a new series for this genre; the fact that these Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush books are Australian, and illustrated in full colour, just adds to the appeal of the stories. Lynndy
ith 25, PB) the f Verse ($(ill) Brian Wildsm strated by o n e d r a ously illu life ri G n lo to o g ’s s e d n is m e il s A Ch rt Louis Stev llection of poem e old favourites co certain e has a this co h. All th by Rob in 1966, The book Wildsmit s. lished tor Brian n picture First pub sh illustra and crayo . Louise li r g u n E lo at co late, gre ght water ibly fresh strong, bri e still being incred with the il h w , m char nostalgic
ldren by Carol Ann Duffy ($25, PB) New and Collected Poems for Chi eate’s own poems, light hearted, amusing and
Laur This is a collection of the current Poet child, and in fact She seems to speaking directly to the lgia. nosta ul wistf a with ating reson ction. Louise colle al speci really A from Mummy’. dedicates this book ‘for Ella with love
Leave Your Sleep: A Collection of Classic Children’s Poetry (ill) Barbara McClintock, with CD by Natalie Merchant ($43, HB)
Natalie Merchant’s acclaimed double album Leave Your Sleep was a rendering of children’s poetry as songs with her original music. Here she performs nineteen of those songs, accompanying the featured poems illustrated by McClintock. Many of the poems are well-known, by luminaries such as Anonymous, Robert Graves, e. e. cummings and Edward Lear, others less so—yet each resonates in its adapted form. No need to be daunted by poetry; songs are just poems with music? Lynndy
for beginner readers A Pet Called Nibbles A School Day Smile by Zanni Louise (ill) Gillian Flint ($13, PB)
Tiggy is a realistic child, spirited yet sometimes shy; happily imaginative yet wanting to be like her classmates. Luckily her magic paintbrush helps her solve any problems that worry her. We’re looking forward to seeing this relatable series, and Tiggy, grow. Lynndy
toys & crafts
We now stock the fabulous Stockmar modelling wax, in a veritable bright rainbow of colours, at $2.95 a block. I’ve always loved this product, it smells wonderful, and is very easy to use once you get the hang of it. It lasts for ages, and doesn’t leak oil like plasticine. Perfect for making small detailed things—we made a complete miniature zoo the other day at home. As it takes a while to become malleable from the heat of your hands, it’s perfect for encouraging perseverance and patience—two admirable virtues, sometimes lacking in those I do handcrafts with. All Moulin Roty toys are such a treat, but I’m in love with their beautiful French fabric dolls (there are six different ones) each in their own Parisian outfits ($42.95 each) and the exquisite Ballerina Mice. The tutu-ed mice come in their own boxes ($50 each), with a very special edition of a Ballerina Mouse, and three tutus, in a carry case that doubles as a wardrobe. I think it’s definitely an heirloom toy at $110, but I want one!
The wonderful wooden Uncle Goose blocks also fall into the heirloom category—expensive—but very well made, definitely to be handed down the generations, and still be not only intact but perennially appealing. We have the fabulous Nautical Blocks ($69.95), with an illustrated knot on each of the 26 blocks, a letter, its corresponding flag, and Morse code. That set comes with a calico bag. I love the Flower Blocks ($59.95) too, with ornate letters carved in and printed on each block, and different flowers as well. The Planet Blocks ($49.95) are a set of 9 different blocks with illustrations of the planets, and information printed on all sides. The Nursery Rhyme Blocks (a set of 9, for $39.95) would be a brilliant storytelling tool, with engraved pictures, a rhymes printed on the sides. Louise
Food, Health & Garden
Rude by Nimko Ali ($33, PB) Was Jessica Ennis on her period they day she won Olympic Gold? What do you do when you’re living on the streets and pregnant? What does it feeling like to have a poo after you’ve given birth? We all have questions but it’s not seen as very polite to talk about our fanny; in fact it is down-right rude. Rude is an important, taboo-breaking book that shares the stories of pregnancy and periods, orgasms and the menopause, from women from all walks of life. From refugee camps in Calais to Oscar-winning actresses, to Nimko’s own story of living with FGM, each woman shares their own relationship with their vagina and its impact on their life. The $1000 Project by Canna Campbell ($35, PB) Financial planner Canna Campbell saved $32,000 in 12 months by using her unique strategy of bundling—saving & earning extra money in small, achievable parcels of $1000. Now she wants to empower you to get the same results! Canna shares all of her tips & tricks for saving & earning additional money, as well as advice for turning these savings into long-term passive income through savvy investments. She also gives general advice on how to get financially healthy, including how to clear up bad debt & how to manage your superannuation more sensibly—The $1000 Project is like a diet & exercise plan for your finances. Can You Die of a Broken Heart? by Nikki Stamp
When actress Debbie Reynolds died a day after her beloved daughter, Carrie Fisher, the world diagnosed it as ‘heartbreak’. But what’s the evidence? Does emotional upheaval affect the heart? Can love, or chocolate, really heal our heart problems? And why do we know so much about heart attacks in men, when they are more fatal in women? Heart & lung surgeon Dr Nikki Stamp takes us into the operating theatre, explaining what she sees in patients with heart complications & how a life-saving transplant works. In the vein of Gut and The Brain That Changes Itself, Stamps book is rich with anecdotes & insights for maintaining heart health. ($30, PB)
Healthy Hormones by Kirkpatrick & Johnstone
Naturopath Belinda Kirkpatrick helps you understand your hormones & provides easy ways to manage symptoms, hormonal conditions & fertility through diet & lifestyle. Expert nutritional advice & lifestyle tips are combined with answers to the many questions that women have asked her during a decade of clinical practice. The book features 50 deliciously healthy family recipes, specially created by recipe developer Ainsley Johnstone. The dishes are tailored around hormonebalancing ingredients & nutrient-dense fertility foods. ($35, PB)
SuperVeg by Celia Brooks ($40, PB) Celia Brooks shines the spotlight on 25 of the most health-giving vegetables on the planet and explores the formidable nutritional benefits of each veg, providing a wealth of supporting information including selection, preparation and cooking techniques. Over 100 creative, health-enhancing, everyday vegetarian recipes cover simple flavour pairings through to more substantial offerings, and bring the joy of powerful nutrition, deliciousness and versatility to your home kitchen. The Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson ($30, PB)
With The Keto Reset Diet, you can eat to total satisfaction by enjoying rich, high-satiety foods, and even weather occasional slip-ups with high carb treats or undisciplined vacation binges and not go into a tailspin. Instead, you can quickly recalibrate back to fatadaptation, and use keto as a lifelong tool to stay trim, healthy, energetic, and free from the disastrous health conditions caused by the high carb, high insulin producing modern diet. With step-bystep guidance, daily meal plans and a recipe section with over 100 delicious keto-friendly recipes, this is the definitive guide to help the keto-beginner or the experienced health enthusiast understand the what, why, and how to succeed with ketogenic eating.
Feasting by Amanda Ruben ($50, HB)
Many Jewish families continue the tradition of gathering to share a meal on Friday nights, and in Feasting, Amanda Ruben brings together her fresh takes on classic recipes. Carrot salad with miso tahini, Middle Eastern fruit salad with cashew cream, and the best pastrami you may ever taste—these are simple, delicious and (surprisingly) healthy dishes for any lunch, dinner party or holiday celebration. When Jewish heritage meets global culinary influences, every meal is sure to be a true feast.
Sticky Fingers, Green Thumb by Hayley McKee ($30, PB)
These recipes celebrate vegetables, herbs & edible flowers in cakes & other sweet snacks. Tips on how to harness their unique flavours, prep them for baking & even grow them yourself will inspire you to create flavour-packed baked treats that aren’t loaded with empty gestures. Say goodbye to mushroom risotto & zucchini fritters & hello to porcini caramel & chestnut cake, & apple cider & zucchini muffins—earthy, seasonal baking at its best.
I’m about to embark on a cooking campaign based on Nadine Levy Redzepi’s wonderful Downtime, which has the encouraging subtitle Deliciousness at Home. Nadine is married to René Redzepi, the co-founder chef of Noma, the very famous Danish restaurant. I have heard her being interviewed on the excellent Radio Cherry Bombe podcast from New York, and recently watched the fairly intense doco about Noma. These are serious food people, but she has in fact written an accessible recipe book, without dumbing it down. Redzepi has the very inclusive theory that you treat your family like guests, and guests like family—a very nice concept. Noma is well known for serving foraged food—but don’t worry, all the ingredients in this book can be hunted down in the supermarket. There are some ‘template’ recipes that can be used in different ways, some really outstanding festive dishes like a giant macaron cake (I can’t wait to try this one), some Danish favourites and a big variety of meals for a crowd—like lasagne with sausage meatballs. There’s a really good list of tools and equipment, and extremely appealing photographs, with beautiful ceramic dishes and fabulous cutlery throughout the book. This is an aspirational cookbook, but definitely within reach. Louise ($55, HB) While Louise is going all Nordic & fancy this month I’m going the one pot route, cooking up a curry storm from Pete Evans’ 2016 book, One Pot Favourites. Louise tells me it’s said that generally people only cook one to three recipes from a cookbook, but I’ve made at least 10 from this book—and they’ve all been great successes. Coconut cream cauliflower curry, palak paneer with swedes (the swedes give an extra bite & keep it vegan, but you can add paneer cheese if you want), chicken rogan josh, pepper chicken masala, malaysian fish curry, and a beef rendang—all total winners. I like to follow a recipe by the book the first time, and then refine to taste, and all of these lend themselves to this development process—there’s always room for more ginger & garlic. Once you’ve got the spices in the cupboard all of these can be whipped up easily without too much shopping. Evans has a bit of a bad rep these days due to those potentially lifethreatening paleo views (notice how this year on MKR everyone is drooling over Manu, and averting their gaze from poor crazyeyes Pete), but I just ignore the paleo elements—stock works just as well as bone broth, and I can’t be bothered making broccoli rice. Viki ($40, PB)
Sharp: The Definitive Guide to Knives, Knife Care, and Cutting Techniques, with Recipes from Great Chefs by Josh Donald ($45, HB)
Josh Donald, reveals the specialised knowledge, recipes & beautiful imagery of the world of artisanal knifes. Divided into two parts, part one covers the history & mechanics of knifemaking & German, French & Japanese knifemakers. Part two is how to choose, care for, and sharpen knives; as well as how to use them in 16 recipes. Each recipe details a number of cuts with directions and visuals. More than 150 photographs capture the excitement in owning & using good knives.
Roasting Tray Magic: One Tin, One Meal, No Fuss! by Sue Quinn ($30, PB)
Move over one-pot: one-tray is the quickest, easiest way to make fast, tasty meals in the oven. You can make entire family suppers just in a roasting tin or an oven tray—everything from breakfasts like baked apple porridge or Shakshuka, to handy snacks, lunches & warm salads including quick flatbreads & frittatas, through to warming gratins, risottos & roasts, and of course, delectable cakes & traybake puddings like peanut butter & caramel brownies.
Australian Geographic Gardening School by Akeroyd Simon & Bayton Ross ($29.95, HB)
This is a complete resource for novice & intermediate gardeners who want to formalize their knowledge & take their skills to the next level. The first 2 sections provide useful background information plants & gardens, such as understanding plant taxonomy. The following 6 sections focus on practical guidelines on topics such as planting, pruning, problem solving, growing fruit, and arranging plants. The book concludes with a 32-page section that provides detailed information & growing guidelines for common plant genera & species.
Gardens of History and Imagination: Growing New South Wales (eds) Poiner & Jack ($60, PB)
For those coming to Australia gardening was an act of settlement; it was also a statement of possession for individuals and for Britain. For a long time it was with memories of ‘home’, often selective and idealised, that settlers made gardens but as the colony developed its own character so did gardening possibilities and practices. The ten essays in this book examine the role of gardens and gardening in the settlement of New South Wales and in growing a colony and a state. They explore the significance of gardens for the health of the colony, for its economy, for the construction of social order and moral worth. No less do they reveal the significance of forming and reforming personal identities in this process.
Events r Calenda
Rememb er Join the Gleeclub ! an entry to e vents held d get free a 10%cred it accrue t our shops, d with eve purchase ry , and the Gleaner delivered to your d oor.
WEDNESDAY t! iss ou il! m t ’ Don ema or gle eekly f p u Sign ebooks w e. le at The g vents upd e m.au email eebooks.co @gl asims
Event— Michael P
Korea: W American Ce This is a timely n role of the US in and its responsibil impasse on the K
14 Event—6 for 6.30
River Dreams In conv. with Ian Hoskins In the beginning, there was the river—before the beach, before the drain, before the dredging, before the dams, before numerous other actions that altered the stream. A timely reminder of the need to tread cautiously in seeking to dominate, or ignore, our environment.
Deep Time in conv. with Ia Exploring what it a place of great a complex question & belonging, this slow shift in nation the deep time dr changed the way m this continent & it
19 Event—6 for 6.30
20 Event—6 for 6.30
Finding My Place: From Cairo to Canberra In 2016, Anne Aly was the first Australian Muslim woman, the first Egyptian-born woman and the first counter-terrorism expert to be elected to Federal Parliament. ‘What am I doing here?’ she asked herself as she was sworn in with her hand on her father’s copy of the Quran.
On Borrowed Time In conv. with Martin Krygier Robert Manne looks at climate change, the media, Australia’s asylum seeker policy, Donald Trump’s alleged links to Russia, Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership, the ideas driving Islamic State, and a searing critique of Jonathan Franzen’s views on climate change activists.
The Boy From Baradine Launcher: Bob Hawke Craig Emerson’s memoir is a deeply human tale of trauma and triumph, of fear and fun, of character overcoming adversity. It will also inspire young people that it is possible to succeed from the most unlikely of personal circumstances.
The Birds a in conv. with Darryl Jones tak flight through the feeding as he pond of interaction bet wild animals—digg issues and questio of bird f
21 Event—6 for 6.30 Craig Emerson
Event—6 for 6.30 Mark McKenna
QE 69: On the Use and Abuse of Australian History In conv. with Paul Daley Mark McKenna considers the frontier, the Anzac legacy and deep time. He drags some fascinating new scholarship into the light, and pushes the debate about history beyond the familiar polarities.
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
—6 for 6.30 Pembroke
Launch—6 for 6.30
Anna Cristina Pertierra
Media Anthropology for the Digital Age In conv. with: Graeme Turner and Heather Horst Anna Pertierra tells the story of how anthropology—once firmly associated with the study of esoteric cultures—became a central part of the global study of media & communication.
Launch—6 for 6.30 Colin Dray
Sign Sam is a young boy recovering from Where the an operation that has left him unable entury Began new account of the to speak ever again. A unexpected the Korean War trip takes his family across Australia lity for the current during bushfire season. Voiceless, Korean peninsula. Sam can only watch helplessly as the family trip becomes a smoke-filled nightmare.
—6 for 6.30 Griffiths
Dreaming: ain McCalman t means to live in antiquity, with its ns of ownership s book is about a nal consciousness: reaming that has many of us relate to ts human history.
—6 for 6.30 l Jones
16 Launch—6 for 6.30 Pyotr Patrushev In Memoriam
Launch—3.30 for 4
The Unimportance of Being Earnest Launcher: Ayesha Jane Earey 2 close Sri Lankan friends are unaware, till the end, that they are blood brothers. One brought up as Tamil, the other as Sinhalese. Hence The Un-importance Of Being Earnest about Aryan and Dravidian. As in Oscar Wilde all told through classy comedy.
10 Launch—3.30 for 4
Working with Developmental Anxieties in Couples and Family Psychotherapy This book presents both a clear theoretical framework for understanding the development of the couple and family, and a practical application for these ideas.
17 Event—3.30 for 4
18 Launch—3.30 for 4
In the Garden of the Fugitives SOLO TALK Almost twenty years after forbidding him to contact her, Vita receives an email from her old benefactor, Royce. Once, she was one of his brightest protégées; now her career has stalled and Royce is ailing, and each has a need to settle accounts.
Fullmoon: Thoughts in the time of Facebook Launcher: Louise Wakeling With music and poetry from Ghassan Alameddine Raghid’s over-riding philosophy of love and what it is and should entail between lovers, is exemplified in the miraculous symmetry of nature and the universe.
Buddha’s Balalaika & The Transcendant Ape Launchers: John Merson and Robyn Williams Pyotr Patrushev was a simultaneous interpreter, journalist, writer, and polymath— his ideas helped resolve conflicts in Russia at the time of the Perestroika.
Launch—6 for 6.30 at My Table Julie Ankers h Ann Jones Call Me Frank kes us on a wild Panel: Chaired—Simon Marnie e history of bird ders this odd form with Kevin Weldon AM, Iain Finlay tween humans & & David Mason- Jones ging at the deeper 20 men over 50 tell it like it is. ons of the practice feeding.
31 Coming in April
Event: Wed 4th—Barry Jones in conv. with Phillip Adams Event: Tue 10th—Australian Foreign Affairs Book Club, chaired by Jonathan Pearlman
Event: Thur 12th—Meredith Lake in conversation with Andrew West—The Bible in Australia for more events go to: http://www.gleebooks.com.au/bookings
Granny’s Good Reads with Sonia Lee For my birthday I treated myself to the gorgeously produced Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense by Jenny Uglow. I knew little about Lear beyond the fact that he wrote The Owl and the Pussycat and many nonsense rhymes, and was, as he said himself, ‘pleasant to know’. Lear was born in 1812, was the youngest of seventeen children, and was neglected by his mother and brought up by his sisters—especially Ann, whom he lived with from the age of fourteen. He was epileptic—a shameful condition to Victorians, had poor eyesight and asthma and, worst of all for those times, was gay. By chapter two we find that, on top of his other troubles, he was grappling with some serious abuse, ‘the greatest evil done to me in my life’. What happened is unclear but he recorded the date in his diary every year. He painted parrots, which brought him to the attention of the Earl of Derby, who made a pet of him and invited him into his drawing room to entertain the guests, while another patron paid for him to go to Italy, where he was ‘happy as a hedgehog’. He was a great hit with the children he entertained with his nonsense rhymes, and was such a genial travelling companion that there were people willing to pay his expenses while on their painting expeditions abroad. In the years before photographs there was a ready market for folios of his travels with accompanying sketches. In 1846 Queen Victoria invited him to give her painting lessons, which boosted his morale considerably. On his travels to the Holy Land he fell in unrequited love with a younger man, which only compounded his inner torment. He was for a while taken up by Holman Hunt of the preRaphaelites and became friends with Alfred Tennyson and his wife Emily. In 1861 he published a new edition of his 1846 Book of Nonsense, which thereafter became a classic. His best-known and best-loved poems are The Owl and the Pussycat, The Dong with the Luminous Nose and The Jumblies. This is an exquisite book with a wonderful cover and copious illustrations. It celebrates a sad genius with an irreverent eye for the absurd and an irrepressible love of words, who was ‘forever roaming with a hungry heart’. I also treated myself to This Long Pursuit: Reflections of a Romantic Biographer by Richard Holmes. I have been an admirer of Holmes since his earlier volumes Footsteps and Sidetracks in which he followed his subjects through every phase of their lives, even standing at the windows where they stood, gazing out as he thinks they would have. His two-volume Life of Coleridge is enthralling, as is The Age of Wonder, which deals with the relationship between science and the imagination in the 19th century. The last chapter of This Long Pursuit is a fascinating study of Anne Gilchrist and her husband Alexander, authors of a 19th century life of William Blake. Anne says of her husband: ‘he desired always to treat his subject exhaustively…to stand hand in hand with him, seeing the same horizon, listening, pondering, absorbing’. Holmes too takes the same approach, standing next to his subjects as critical supporter in a ‘simple act of complex friendship’. A glorious treatment of the art of biography, which Holmes shows to be endlessly abundant and inventive. Nicola Upson’s new novel Nine Lessons is a great read, and will be of particular interest to fans of Josephine Tey— with both Tey and some of her familiar characters playing important parts in the story. Some former choral scholars of King’s College, Cambridge are bumped off one by one, and the plot is thickened by the terrifying deeds of a serial rapist. As might be expected, there’s an exciting denouement with the loose ends neatly tied up. For readers who don’t know Tey’s novels, my favourites are The Franchise Affair, Miss Pym Disposes and, for young adults, Brat Farrar. All highly recommended. Anyone about to have an operation would be advised not to read Anaesthesia by Kate Cole-Adams lest they find themselves worrying about waking up during the procedure or, worse still, not waking up at all. Adams is a journalist who made an exhaustive study of anaesthetics, going to conferences in Hull and other places. When faced with major surgery herself she felt she knew too much and told her surgeon so. Her anaesthetist kindly phoned her and reassured her that he would not be using a muscle relaxant and told her exactly what drugs he would be using. A somewhat meandering book, it is nevertheless full of information and I found it impossible to put the wretched thing down even when I wanted to. Sonia
Australians on the Western Front 1918 Volume I: Resisting the Great German Offensive by David W. Cameron ($35, PB)
In the first in a 2-part series, David Cameron tells the story of Australian troops on the Western front in March & April of 1918. These troops were directly responsible for pushing back the German advances on the Somme towards Amiens at Dernancourt & VillersBretonneux & further north at Hazebrouck, saving the Channel Ports, and their actions resulted in the collapse of the German offensive which was to finally win the war for Germany. With vivid descriptions drawing on the diaries & letters of soldiers on the battlefields, Cameron weaves together a thrilling narrative around the significant moments that marked the defeat of the great German offensive, placing their actions within the broader strategic context. The Australian victories in April 1918 enabled the British to launch their own great offensive in August 1918, in which the Australian Army Corps now led by General John Monash, would play a pivotal role in the defeat of Germany three months later (which will be covered in Volume 2).
QE 69: Moment of Truth—History & Australia’s Future by Mark McKenna ($23, PB)
Australia is on the brink of momentous change, but only if its citizens & politicians can come to new terms with the past—Indigenous recognition & a new push for a republic await action. But judging by the Captain Cook statue controversy, our debates about the past have never been more fruitless. Is there a way beyond the history wars that began under John Howard? In an age of free-floating fears about the global, digital future, is history any longer relevant, let alone equal to the task of grounding the nation? Mark McKenna considers the frontier, the Anzac legacy & deep time. He drags some fascinating new scholarship into the light, & pushes the debate about history beyond the familiar polarities.
Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia by Billy Griffiths ($35, PB)
Soon after Billy Griffiths joins his first archaeological dig as camp manager & cook, he is hooked & embarks on a journey through time, seeking to understand the extraordinary deep history of the Australian continent. This book is the passionate product of that journey which investigates a twin revolution: the reassertion of Aboriginal identity in the 2nd half of the 20th century, and the simultaneous uncovering of the traces of ancient Australia by pioneering archaeologists. It is about a slow shift in national consciousness, exploring what it means to live in a place of great antiquity, with its complex questions of ownership & identity. Griffiths brings to life the deep time dreaming that has changed the way many Australians relate to their continent and its enduring, dynamic human history.
On Borrowed Time by Robert Manne ($35, PB) In a new collection of essays Robert Manne applies his brilliant mind to the topics that have shaped our world over the last five years—including climate change, the media, Australia’s asylum seeker policy, and Wikileaks. This provocative & challenging book features essays on Donald Trump’s alleged links to Russia, Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership, the ideas driving Islamic State, and a searing critique of Jonathan Franzen’s views on climate change activists. River Dreams: The people & landscape of the Cooks River by Ian Tyrrell ($40, PB)
The Cooks River in south-eastern Sydney is a river renowned as Australia’s most altered & polluted. While 19th century developers called it ‘improvement’, the sugar mill, tanneries & factories that lined its banks had drastic consequences for the health of the river. Local Aboriginal people became fringe dwellers, and over time the river became severely compromised, with many ecosystems damaged or destroyed. Later, a large section was turned into a concrete canal, and in the late 1940s the river was rerouted for the expansion of Sydney Airport. While much of the river has been rehabilitated in recent decades by passionate local groups & through government initiatives, it continues to be a source of controversy with rapid apartment development placing new stresses on the region. Ian Tyrrell has written a timely reminder of the need to tread cautiously in seeking to dominate, or ignore, our environment
Dancing in Shadows: Histories of Nyungar Performance by Anna Haebich ($30, PB)
Anna Haebich sheds light on a little-known history of Nyungar performance by documenting how the Nyungar people of WA strategically and courageously adapted their rich performance culture to survive the catastrophe that engulfed them, and generously share their culture, history & language in theatre. Pushed away by the colonists & denied their culture & lands they continued to live & perform in the shadows over the years, in combinations of the old & the new, including indigenised settler songs & dances. Nyungar people survived & now number around 40,000 people—constituting the largest Aboriginal nation in the Australian settler state. The ancient family lineages live in city suburbs & country towns & they continue to perform to celebrate their ancestors & to strengthen community wellbeing by being together.
Please note: The release of Stan Grant’s new book The Urgency of Now which was advertised in the February Gleaner for March release has been delayed until 2019. A White Hot Flame: Mary Montgomerie Bennett, Author, Educator, Activist for Indigenous Justice by Sue Taffe ($34.95, PB)
Mary Montgomerie Bennett (1881–1961), a member of a successful squatting family, became a voice for reform at a time when Aboriginal Australians had their citizens’ rights curtailed by repressive state laws. From her late forties until her death she fought for justice on behalf of the first Australians. She was a teacher, a writer, & an advocate. She vehemently opposed the separating, on racial grounds, of Aboriginal children from their families. She put the case, decades before campaigns began, for Aboriginal rights to traditional lands. And she argued for citizenship rights, including equal pay & access to old age pensions for Aboriginal people. A friend described her as ‘a white hot flame’, relentless in pursuit of a better world for the people she loved.
Lustre: Pearling and Australia (eds) Tanya Edwards, Sarah Yu ($24.95, PB)
The Aboriginal trade and cultural significance of the magnificent Pinctada pearl shell had been well established before the arrival of ambitious European and Asian fortune seekers to the northern reaches of the country. Pearling quickly became a ruthless and illustrious industry spanning from Shark Bay to the Torres Strait Islands. From objects of ancient trade to beautiful pearl jewellery, Lustre traces the gritty human story of pearling across the north of Australia. This visually stunning book weaves together strands of Aboriginal, Asian & European histories, revealing the stories of the people who, for generations, have collected & harvested these treasures from Saltwater Country.
Conflict, adaptation, transformation: Richard Broome & the practice of Aboriginal history (ed) Ben Silverstein ($39.95, PB)
This collection traces the legacy of Richard Broome’s pathbreaking work in Aboriginal history with bringing together a range of prominent & emerging scholars who have been exploring the contours of the field to make notable contributions to histories of frontier violence & missions, Aboriginal participation in sport & education, ways of framing relationships with land, and the critical relevance of Aboriginal life history & memoir to re-considering Australian history. The book conducts interesting arguments on Indigenous networks & mobilities, of memoirs & histories, frontier violence, massacres, and the History Wars, as well as Noel Pearson & issues of paternalism in Aboriginal politics.
Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Nassim Nicholas Taleb ($35, PB)
Is the pope atheist? Why can a stubborn minority easily end up ruling? Should you take advice from a salesperson? This book is all about why having skin in the game matters. For a society to function properly, those who benefit should also risk something and those who risk something should benefit. Full of philosophical tales and practical stories, Skin in the Game offers a key rule to live by—do not do to others what you don’t want them to do to you, with its practical extension—never take advice from someone who gives advice for a living.
Equal Power: A handbook for men and women by Jo Swinson ($35, PB)
Why is gender inequality so stubbornly persistent? Power. Even today, power remains concentrated in the hands of men right across the business, political & cultural worlds. Decisions taken by those with power tend to perpetuate gender inequality rather than accelerate solutions. And those who see the problem feel powerless: ingrained sexism & gender inequality seem too huge to solve. Jo Swinson holds a mirror up to society, laying bare the extent of gender inequality while making the case that everyone has the power to create change. Whether you are a teenage student, a global CEO or a taxi driver, there is much we can do as friends, consumers, parents & colleagues to promote fairness. In this inspiring book, former UK Government Minister for Women Jo Swinson outlines the steps, small & large, required to make our society truly equal.
Dear Zealots: Letters from a Divided Land by Amos Oz ($30, HB)
These 3 essays were written out of a sense of urgency & belief that a better future is still possible. It touches on the universal nature of fanaticism & its possible cures; the Jewish roots of humanism & the need for a secular pride in Israel; and the geopolitical standing of Israel in the wider Middle East & internationally. Amos Oz sheds a clear and surprising light on vital political and historical issues, daring to offer new ways out of a reality that appears to be closed down.
Has the West Lost It? by Kishore Mahbubani ($30, PB)
The West’s centuries-old status as the centre of global wealth & power is coming to an end. As the new powers— China & India from Asia & others from Africa & Latin America—rise to the top of the world’s pecking order, how should the West react? Kishore Mahbubani examines the myths & self-delusions of Western power with an outsider’s critical eye, and argues provocatively that the West can no longer impose its power & ideals on the world at large, and—paradoxically—that only by admitting its decline can the West set itself up for strategic success in the long term. The shocking freshness of his geopolitical analysis will give all Westerners & political thinkers pause for thought.
China’s Great Wall of Debt by Dinny McMahon ($33, PB)
The world has long considered China a juggernaut of economic strength, but since the global financial crisis, the country’s economy has ballooned in size, complexity, and risk. Once dominated by four state-owned banks, the nation’s financial system is a tangle of shadow banking entities, informal financial institutions, and complex corporate funding arrangements that threaten growth, stability, and reform efforts. The country has accumulated so much debt so quickly that economists increasingly predict a financial crisis that could make ‘Brexit’ or Greece’s economic ruin seem minor, and could undermine China’s ascent as a superpower. This is a penetrating examination of the country’s opaque financial system and the complex factors—demographic shifts; urbanization; industrialization; a pervasive over-reliance on debt-fueled investments—that have brought the country to the brink of crisis.
Europe’s Fault Lines: Racism and the Rise of the Right by Elizabeth Fekete ($37, PB)
Drawing on her work for the Institute of Race Relations over 30 years, Liz Fekete’s investigates the ways in which a newly-configured right interconnects with anti-democratic & illiberal forces at the level of the state, showing how what appear to be blind spots about far-right extremism on the part of the state constitute collusion as police, intelligence agencies & the military embark on practices of covert policing that bring them into direct or indirect contact with the far right—bringing to mind the darkest days of Europe’s authoritarian past. Old racisms may be structured deep in European thought, but they have been revitalized & spun in new ways—the war on terror, the cultural revolution from the right, and the migration-linked demonization of the destitute scrounger.
Dictatorland: The Men Who Stole Africa by Paul Kenyon ($35, PB)
The dictator who grew so rich on his country’s cocoa crop that he built a 35-storey-high basilica in the jungles of the Ivory Coast. The austere, incorruptible leader who has shut Eritrea off from the world in a permanent state of war & conscripted every adult into the armed forces. In Equatorial Guinea, the paranoid despot who thought Hitler was the saviour of Africa & waged a relentless campaign of terror against his own people. The Libyan army officer who authored a new work of political philosophy, The Green Book, and lived in a tent with a harem of female soldiers, running his country like a mafia family business. And behind these almost incredible stories of fantastic violence & excess lie the dark secrets of Western greed & complicity—the insatiable taste for chocolate, oil, diamonds & gold that have encouraged dictators to rule with an iron hand, siphoning off their share of the action into mansions in Paris & banks in Zurich and keeping their people in dire poverty. A vivid, heartbreaking portrait of the fate that so many African countries suffered after independence.
Europe’s Crises (ed) Manuel Castells
Today, the European Union is facing a crisis as serious as anything it has experienced since its origins more than half a century ago. What makes this so serious is that it is not a single crisis but rather multiple crises the euro crisis, the migration/refugee crisis, Brexit, etc. that overlap and reinforce one another, creating a cumulative array of challenges that threatens the very survival of the EU. This volume brings together sociologists, economists and political scientists from around Europe to shed light on how the EU got into this predicament. It argues that the multiple crises that have plagued the European Union in the last decade stem to a large extent from flaws in its construction and that these flaws are consequences of the political processes that led to the formation of the EU in other words, the decisions that made possible the development of the EU created the conditions for the multiple crises it experiences today. ($42.95, PB)
Now in B Format Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman, $20 Who Lost Russia? How the World Entered a New Cold War 15 by Peter Conradi, $23
Science & Nature
Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality & Our Destiny Beyond The by Michio Kaku ($50, HB)
Human civilization is on the verge of spreading beyond Earth. More than a possibility, it is becoming a necessity—whether our hand is forced by climate change & resource depletion or whether future catastrophes compel us to abandon Earth, one day we will make our homes among the stars. Physicist & futurist Michio Kaku explores how humanity might gradually develop a sustainable civilization in outer space. Always accessable, Kaku shows how science fiction is becoming reality—mind-boggling developments in robotics, nanotechnology & biotechnology could enable us to build habitable cities on Mars; nearby stars might be reached by microscopic spaceships sailing through space on laser beams; and technology might one day allow us to transcend our physical bodies entirely.
The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It by Jonathan D. Quick
Somewhere out there, a killer virus is boiling up in the bloodstream of a bird, bat, monkey, or pig, preparing to jump to a human being. This as-yet-undetected germ has the potential to wipe out millions of lives over a matter of weeks or months. That risk makes the threat posed by ISIS, a ground war, a massive climate event, or even the dropping of a nuclear bomb on a major city pale by comparison. This epidemic could come upon us without warning, as we succumb to fear, denial & panic, and shield ourselves with complacency, hubris, & our own financial self-interest. However in this book Jonathan Quick offers hope by telling the stories of the heroes, past & present, who’ve succeeded in their fights to stop the spread of illness & death. He explains the science & the politics of epidemics. And he shows exactly how we can prevent, and end, epidemics in the future. ($33, PB)
The Birds At My Table: Why We Feed Wild Birds and Why it Matters by Darryl Jones ($28, PB)
Half the citizens of Australia, the UK & the US feed birds—whether its by planting trees that attract them, putting food out on apartment balconies, setting up birds baths & feeders, or by unwittingly leaving scraps behind in parks. The international bird seed industry is huge & most of the seed is gown in India or Africa. Another way of describing all this activity is as an unplanned ecological experiment on an unbelievably large scale. Darryl Jones takes a wild flight through the history of bird feeding as he ponders this odd but seriously popular form of interaction between humans & wild animals. He digs at the deeper issues & questions of the practice of bird feeding, raising awareness of the things we don’t yet know & why we really should.
Unthinkable: An Extraordinary Journey Through the World’s Strangest Brains by Helen Thomson
Imagine getting lost in a one-room flat; seeing auras; never forgetting a moment; a permanent orchestra in your head; turning into a tiger; life as an out-of-body experience; feeling other people’s pain; being convinced you are dead; becoming a different person overnight. Helen Thomson tells the stories of nine extraordinary people. From the man who thinks he’s a tiger to the doctor who feels the pain of others just by looking at them, their experiences illustrate how the brain can shape our lives in unexpected and, in some cases, brilliant and alarming ways. Delving into the rich histories of these conditions, exploring the very latest research and cutting-edge medical techniques, Thomson explains the workings of our consciousness, our emotions, our creativity and even the mechanisms that allow us to understand our own existence. ($30, PB)
Birds in Their Habitats: Journeys with a Naturalist by Ian Fraser ($39.95, PB)
Everywhere we go there are birds, and they all have mysteries to be unravelled. These mysteries include the way they look, from bizarre to apparently mundane, why they live where they live, and the things they do—many of which are far too incredible to even be imagined as fiction. Birds in Their Habitats is a collection of stories & experiences, which introduce fascinating aspects of birdlife, ecology & behaviour. Informed by a wealth of historical & contemporary research, Ian Fraser takes the reader on a journey through four continents: from the unfamiliar—the Chonos Archipelago of southern Chile & the arid Sahel woodlands of northern Cameroon, to those as familiar as a suburban backyard. And with humour and personal insight, it is a book about the sometimes strange world of the people who spend a life absorbed in birds.
Recovering Australian Threatened Species: A Book of Hope (eds) Stephen Garnett et al ($59.95, PB)
Australia’s nature is exceptional, wonderful & important. But much has been lost, and the ongoing existence of many species now hangs by a thread. This book showcases successful conservation stories & identifies approaches & implementation methods that have been most effective in recovering threatened species. These diverse accounts—dealing with threatened plants, invertebrates, fish, reptiles, birds & mammals—show that the conservation of threatened species is achievable: that it can be done & should be done. They collectively serve to inform, guide and inspire other conservation efforts.
On Gravity: A Brief Tour of a Weighty Subject by A. Zee ($33, HB)
Of the 4 fundamental forces of nature, gravity might be the least understood & yet the one with which we are most intimate. From the months each of us spent suspended in the womb anticipating birth to the moments when we wait for sleep to transport us to other realities, we are always aware of gravity. Physicist A. Zee combines profound depth with incisive accessibility to take a tour of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Inspired by Einstein’s suggestion that spacetime could ripple, Zee begins with the stunning discovery of gravity waves. He goes on to explain how gravity can be understood in comparison to other classical field theories, presents the idea of curved spacetime & the action principle, and explores cutting-edge topics, including black holes & Hawking radiation. He travels as far as the theory reaches, leaving tantalizing hints of the utter unknown, from the intransigence of quantum gravity to the mysteries of dark matter and energy. Zee’s warmth & freshness of style opens a unique pathway to comprehending relativity & gaining deep insight into gravity, spacetime & the workings of the universe.
The Art of Naming by Michael Ohl ($60, HB) From Tyrannosaurus rex to Heteropoda davidbowie—Michael Ohl considers scientific naming as a joyful & creative act. Naming is the necessary next step after discovery; it is through the naming of species that we perceive & understand nature. Ohl explains the process, with examples, anecdotes, & a wildly varied cast of characters. He describes the rules for scientific naming—standard binomial nomenclature, the generic name followed by specific name—go back to Linnaeus, but they are open to idiosyncrasy & individual expression. A lizard is designated Barbaturex morrisoni (in honor of the Doors’ Jim Morrison, the Lizard King);Ohl, a specialist in ‘winged things that sting’, confesses to Harry Potter influence in the naming of wasp Ampulex dementor. Scientific names have also been deployed by scientists to insult other scientists, to make political statements & as expressions of romantic love. Ohl journeys in the footsteps of the discoverers of species & the authors of names, into the nooks & crannies & drawers & cabinets of museums, and through the natural world of named & not-yet-named species.
Enemies Within: Communists, Spies and the Making of Modern Britain by Richard Davenport-Hines ($33, PB)
What pushed Blunt, Burgess, Cairncross, Maclean & Philby into Soviet hands? With access to recently released papers & other neglected documents, Richard Davenport-Hines gives a new history of the influence of Moscow on Britain told through the stories of those who chose to spy for the Soviet Union. He challenges the entrenched assumptions about abused trust, corruption & Establishment cover-ups that began with the Cambridge Five & the disappearance of Guy Burgess & Donald Maclean on the night boat to Saint-Malo in 1951. Davenport-Hines traces the bonds between individuals, networks & organisations over generations to offer a study of character, both individual & institutional—the operative traits of boarding schools, the universities of Oxford & Cambridge, the Intelligence Division, Foreign Office, MI5, MI6 & Moscow Centre—charting how the undermining of authority, the rejection of expertise & the suspicion of educational advantages began, & how these have transformed the social & political temper of modern Britain.
Hitler and Film: The Fuhrer’s Hidden Passion by Bill Niven ($55, HB)
A presence in Third Reich cinema, Adolf Hitler also personally financed, ordered & censored films & newsreels & engaged in complex relationships with their stars & directors. Bill Niven offers a powerful argument for reconsidering Hitler’s fascination with film as a means to further the Nazi agenda. He explores Hitler’s influence on & relationship with film in Nazi Germany, arguing that Hitler was as central to the Nazi film industry as Goebbels. Niven also looks at Hitler’s representation in Third Reich cinema, personally & through films focusing on historical figures with whom he was associated, and how Hitler’s vision for the medium went far beyond ‘straight propaganda’—he aimed to raise documentary film to a powerful art form rivaling architecture in its ability to reach the masses.
Rwanda: From Genocide to Precarious Peace by Susan Thomson ($45, HB)
The brutal civil war between Hutu & Tutsi factions in Rwanda ended in 1994 when the Rwandan Patriotic Front came to power & embarked on an ambitious social, political & economic project to remake the devastated central-east African nation. Susan Thomson, who witnessed the hostilities firsthand, has written a provocative modern history of the country, its rulers & its people, covering the years prior to, during & following the genocidal conflict. Her analysis explores the key political events that led to the ascendance of the Rwandan Patriotic Front & its leader, President Paul Kagame, and examines the country’s transition from war to reconciliation from the perspective of ordinary Rwandan citizens, Tutsi & Hutu alike—raising serious questions about the stability of the current peace.
Philosophy & Religion Decoding Chomsky: Science and Revolutionary Politics by Chris Knight ($30, PB)
Occupying a pivotal position in postwar thought, Noam Chomsky is both the founder of modern linguistics & the world’s most prominent political dissident. Chris Knight adopts an anthropologist’s perspective on the twin output of this intellectual giant, acclaimed as much for his denunciations of US foreign policy as for his theories about language & mind. Knight explores the social & institutional context of Chomsky’s thinking, showing how the tension between military funding & his role as linchpin of the political left pressured him to establish a disconnect between science on the one hand & politics on the other, deepening a split between mind & body characteristic of Western philosophy since the Enlightenment.
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, & Progress by Steven Pinker ($35, PB)
If you follow the news, the 21st century doesn’t seem to be going so well. From 9/11 to the Great Recession, the Syrian civil war, the Ebola epidemic, growing inequality, racial unrest, and bitterly contested elections, the world seems to be sinking into chaos and hatred. Steven Pinker argues in this landmark new book, we do not truly inhabit a dystopia of deprivation and violence—in fact, every global measure of human flourishing is on the rise. We’re living longer, healthier, safer, and more affluent live–not just in the West, but worldwide. Steven Pinker proposes that human progress is the gift of a coherent value system that many of us embrace without even knowing it. The values of the Enlightenment underlie all our modern institutions, and deserve credit for the stupendous progress we have made. The way to deal with our current challenges, Pinker argues, is to treat them as problems to solve, as we have solved other problems in our past. Putting the case for an Enlightenment newly recharged for the 21st century, he shows how, by using our faculties of reason & sympathy to understand the world & to enhance human flourishing, we can tackle problems that inevitably come with being products of evolution in an entropic universe.
A Workbook for Arguments, Second Edition: A Complete Course in Critical Thinking by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston ($47, PB)
This is a complete textbook for a course in critical thinking or informal logic. The second edition additions: Updated & improved homework exercises to ensure that the examples continue to resonate with students. Increased coverage of scientific reasoning, demonstrating how scientific reasoning dovetails with critical thinking more generally. Two new activities in which students analyze arguments in their original form, as provided in brief selections from the original texts.
A Biography of Ordinary Man: On Authorities and Minorities by François Laruelle ($39.95, PB)
François Laruelle’s systematically elaborates on his ethical & ‘nonphilosophical’ thought in a critical dialogue with some of the dominant voices of continental philosophy. Through novel theorizations of finitude & determination in the last instance, Laruelle develops a thought ‘of the One’ as a ‘minoritarian’ paradigm that resists those paradigms that foreground difference as the conceptual matrix for understanding the status of the minority. The critique of the ‘unitary illusion’ of philosophy developed here stands at the foundation of Laruelle s approach to ‘uni-lateralizing’ the power of philosophy & the universals with which it has always thought, and thereby acts as a basis for his subsequent investigations of victims, mysticism & Gnosticism.
I am Not a Brain: Philosophy of Mind for the 21st Century by Markus Gabriel ($55.95, HB)
Philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges an increasing trend in the sciences towards neurocentrism—a notion which rests on the assumption that the self is identical to the brain—raising doubts as to whether we can know ourselves in this way. In a sharp critique of this approach, he presents a new defense of the free will & provides a timely introduction to philosophical thought about the self all with verve, humour, & surprising insights. Gabriel criticizes the scientific image of the world & takes an eclectic journey of self-reflection by way of such concepts as self, consciousness, and freedom, with the aid of Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nagel but also Dr Who, The Walking Dead & Fargo.
Ignorance by Robert Graef ($33, PB)
Robert Graef cites Socrates, whom the Delphic Oracle declared to be the wisest of all people simply because he realized how much he didn’t know. After laying out the many branches of ignorance—in education, the media, politics, religion, science & other major institutions, and assessing the costs & consequences of that ignorance— world conflicts, endemic poverty, environmental damage, waste, racism & the manipulative forces of industry & politics that use propaganda to manipulate the public—Graef offers ways to follow in the path that Socrates forged, to counter the closed minds whose false sense of certainty cannot help but distort reality, and to be better prepared to take on even the most serious challenges of today.
The Illusion Of Certainty: How the Flawed Beliefs of Religion Harm Our Culture by James T. Houk ($35, PB)
James Houk argues that the future can only be safeguarded by a global humanistic outlook that recognizes & respects differing cultural perspectives & endorses the use of critical reason and empiricism. He coins the term ‘culturalism’ to describe dogmatic viewpoints governed by culture-specific values & preconceived notions. Culturalism gives rise not only to fundamentalism in religion but also stereotypes about race, gender & sexual orientation. Turning specifically to Christian fundamentalism, the author analyzes the many weaknesses of what he calls a faith-based epistemology, particularly as such thinking is displayed in young-earth creationism, the reliance on revelation & subjective experiences as a source of religious knowledge, and the reverence accorded the Bible despite its obvious flaws. As he points out, the problem with such cultural knowledge generally is that it is non-falsifiable & ultimately has no lasting value in contrast to the data-based & falsifiable knowledge produced by science, which continues to prove its worth as a reliable source of accurate information.
Psychology Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself by Mark Epstein ($47, HB)
Mark Epstein reveals how Buddhism & Western psychotherapy both identify the ego as the limiting factor in our well-being, and both come to the same conclusion: When we give the ego free reign, we suffer; but when it learns to let go, we are free. Epstein offers readers a how-to guide that refuses a quick fix, grounded in two traditions devoted to maximizing the human potential for living a better life. Using the Eightfold Path, eight areas of self-reflection that Buddhists believe necessary for enlightenment, as his scaffolding, Epstein looks back on his own experience & that of his patients. While the ideas of the Eightfold Path are as old as Buddhism itself, when informed by the sensibility of Western psychotherapy, they become something more: a road map for spiritual and psychological growth, a way of dealing with the intractable problem of the ego.
Fit to Practice: Everything You Wanted to Know About Starting Your Own Psychology Practice in Australia But Were Afraid to Ask by Kaye Frankcom et al ($29.95, PB)
New psychologists graduate with an expectation of setting up their own private practice. But how is that best done? What are the traps to avoid, the questions to ask, the knowledge needed to succeed? Kaye Frankcom, Bruce Stevens & Philip Watts have more than 75 years of private practice experience between them as well as backgrounds in academic training, dealing with complaints about psychologists, training & supervision of psychologists, and presenting as expert witnesses. Written from a no-nonsense approach, with plenty of practical examples & personal reflections, this is a manual designed for those either entering private practice or already practicing who might want to continue their professional development.Topics covered include:setting up in private practice, Medicare audits, consultation, supervision, self-care, ethical dilemmas, record keeping, case notes, writing reports, avoiding legal pitfalls, closing & selling a practice.
Reputation: What It Is and Why It Matters by Gloria Origgi ($57, HB)
Reputation touches almost everything, guiding our behaviour & choices in countless ways. But it is also shrouded in mystery. Why is it so powerful when the criteria by which people & things are defined as good or bad often appear to be arbitrary? Why do we care so much about how others see us that we may even do irrational & harmful things to try to influence their opinion? Gloria Origgi draws on philosophy, social psychology, sociology, economics, literature & history to offer an illuminating account of an important yet oddly neglected subject. She examines the influence of the Internet & social media, as well as the countless ranking systems that characterize modern society & contribute to the creation of formal & informal reputations in our social relations, in business, in politics, in academia, and even in wine.
A Safe Place for Change: Skills and Capacities for Counselling & Therapy by Hugh Crago & Penny Gardner ($44.95, PB)
Hugh Crago and Penny Gardner draw on many years of teaching basic counselling skills in universities and private training institutes to demystify that crucial first year in the study of counselling. They write clearly about complex concepts and issues, and focus on the common ground shared by most recognised approaches to counselling and therapy. They present the fundamental and more advanced capacities and skills in a sequence that makes sense for the learner, but which also illuminates the client’s experience over an ongoing series of sessions.
All in the Family Have you seen The Post yet? I loved it. The Pentagon Papers is just a dim memory from my teen years—I think one of our teachers may have mentioned at the time it was happening—we weren’t very well informed about current affairs at our school. The Post is as much about Katharine Graham as it is about Ben Bradlee, the famous journalist and executive editor of the paper, who also went on to expose the Watergate scandal. Graham’s highly engaging Personal History is a great read. Graham inherited the Washington Post from her late husband, who had inherited it from his father in law—Graham’s father, and her memoir is a fascinating look at a life full of highs and lows from someone who used the immense privilege she was born into to eventually to forge a really extraordinary career—included in which, the choice to publish the Pentagon Papers, which started a domino effect that ultimately ended the Vietnam war. A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures is a memoir of both Ben Bradlee’s working and personal life. Written in a very easy to read, journalistic manner, it’s a fascinating account of an ambitious, clever man, who always seemed to be at the right place at the right time. Thrice married, and leaving a trail of broken hearts behind him, he never makes excuses for his behaviour, or tries to justify it. This could be rather challenging in real life, but makes for a really refreshing read—I admire his forthrightness. One of the central relationships in his earlier life was his friendship with John and Jacqueline Kennedy—this started when they were all young parents living near each other. His admiration for Kennedy is very clear, and he claims to have had no knowledge of his torrid private life. It transpires that Ben Bradlee’s sister in law, the painter Mary Meyer, was one of the president’s mistresses at the time of his assassination, a fact Bradlee claims not to have known until later, when she was brutally murdered, and her diaries were found. Of course it’s an author’s prerogative to pick and choose what they leave out of their stories, and it’s also important to remember there are many versions of the same truth. Jean Kennedy is the last one living of the nine Kennedy children, and her memoir The Nine of Us: Growing up Kennedy has been written looking through very rose coloured glasses. Nevertheless it’s a surprisingly moving look at a growing up in this large family who have already been extensively written about. She glosses over all the scandals, and doesn’t dwell on the tragedies, but she obviously had very strong connections with all her siblings—even the much older ones, and a particularly cohesive bond with Edward, who was her junior. The book is also a tribute to her mother Rose, who was clearly a paragon of will and organisation, given that she still managed to generate a lot of fun for her children, who were all very strong individuals. Illustrated with black and white photos, this is an endearing little book, well worth reading if you are interested in the Kennedys. Louise
Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord ($40, HB)
Patty McCord helped create the unique and high-performing culture at Netflix, where she was chief talent officer. McCord advocates practicing radical honesty in the workplace, saying good-bye to employees who don’t fit the company’s emerging needs, and motivating with challenging work, not promises, perks & bonus plans. McCord argues that the old standbys of corporate HR—annual performance reviews, retention plans, employee empowerment and engagement programs—often end up being a colossal waste of time & resources. Her road-tested advice, offered with humour & irreverence, provides readers a different path for creating a culture of high performance & profitability..
What are We Doing Here? by Marilynne Robinson ($28, PB)
In this new essay collection Marilynne Robinson trains her incisive mind on our modern political climate & the mysteries of faith. Whether she is investigating how the work of great thinkers about America like Emerson & Tocqueville inform our political consciousness or discussing the way that beauty informs & disciplines daily life, Robinson’s peerless prose & boundless humanity are on full display. This is a call to continue the tradition of the great thinkers & to remake political & cultural life as ‘deeply impressed by obligation [and as] a great theatre of heroic generosity, which, despite all, is sometimes palpable still.’ Robinson offers a balm: impelling us to action, but offering us hope.
Cultural Studies & Criticism Building and Dwelling by Richard Sennett ($55, HB)
In this sweeping study, Richard Sennett traces the anguished relation between how cities are built & how people live in them, from ancient Athens to 21st century Shanghai. He shows how Paris, Barcelona & New York City assumed their modern forms; rethinks the reputations of Jane Jacobs, Lewis Mumford & others; and takes a tour of emblematic contemporary locations, from the backstreets of Medellín, Colombia, to the Google headquarters in Manhattan. Through it all, he shows how the ‘closed city’ — segregated, regimented & controlled—has spread from the global North to the exploding urban agglomerations of the global South. As an alternative, he argues for the ‘open city,’ where citizens actively hash out their differences & planners experiment with urban forms that make it easier for residents to cope. Rich with arguments that speak directly to our moment—a time when more humans live in urban spaces than ever before—this book draws on Sennett’s deep learning & intimate engagement with city life to form a bold & original vision for the future of cities.
Gleebooks’ special price $49.99 Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World by Andrew Leigh ($30, PB)
Randomised test are carried out on us every day—by supermarkets, search engines, online dating sites, political parties & direct marketers. but how do these tests work? Are there any ethical issues? And what do they reveal about our choices? Andrew Leigh tells the stories of radical researchers who overturned conventional wisdom in medicine, politics, business, law enforcement & more. From finding the cure to scurvy to discovering what policies really improve literacy rates, randomistas have shaped life as we know it—but they often had to fight to conduct their trials and have their findings implemented. In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell, Randomistas is an entertaining exploration of a hidden but vital foundation of modern life.
Of Women: In the 21st Century by Shami Chakrabarti
Shami Chakrabarti is Britain’s leading human rights campaigner. Labour’s Shadow Attorney General & a member of the House of Lords. Her latest book starts from the position that gender injustice is the greatest human rights abuse on the planet. It blights First and developing worlds; rich & poor women. Gender injustice impacts health, wealth, education, representation, opportunity & security everywhere. It is no exaggeration to describe the position of women as an apartheid, but it is not limited to one country or historical period. For this ancient & continuing wrong is millennial in duration & global in reach. Only radical solutions can even scratch its surface. However, the prize is a great one—the collateral benefits to peace, prosperity, sustainability & general human happiness are potentially enormous. ($23, PB)
Skin in the Game: The pleasure and pain of telling true stories by Sonya Voumard ($28, PB)
The daughter of a European refugee mother & a journalist father, Sonya Voumard recounts, her passionate but questioning relationship with journalism & the nature of the interview. There’s a disastrous 1980 university encounter with Helen Garner which forms the seed for her fascination with the dynamics of the interview & culminates in her connecting again with Garner more than 3 decades later to work out what went so wrong. There are the insights of a career played out against the changing nature of journalism including the author’s time as a Canberra correspondent. And there are revealing & tender portraits of Kings Cross, of growing up in suburban Melbourne, her father’s love of journalism, and a family journey to the Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre where her mother’s Australian life began.
Reason & Lovelessness: Essays, Reviews and Encounters, 1980–2017 by Barry Hill ($39.95, PB)
Barry Hill is a multi-award winning writer of poetry, essays, biography, history, criticism, novels, short stories, libretti & reportage. As a writer, Hill’s voice is informed by his Australian working-class & militant union background, which has been distilled by his higher education in history & philosophy at the Universities of Melbourne & London. After a decade working as a teacher, educational psychologist, and a journalist in Melbourne and London, he has been writing full-time since 1976 — mainly based in Queenscliff, Victoria, but with stints at the Australia Council flat in Rome, where he finished poetic and dramatic works on Lucian Freud and Antonio Gramsci, and returns to Central Australia. In recent decades he has deepened his studies in Chinese & Japanese—in keeping with his long-term interest in Buddhism. This collection of essays, reviews & reportage amply demonstrates the enduring importance of Hill’s contribution, in these genres, to Australian literary & intellectual life.
History & the Poet: Essays on Australian Poetry by Robert Wood ($24.95, PB)
Robert Wood is unafraid to talk about poetry & its centrality to his life and the many, varied communities within which he moves. These short essays are lively, vivid impressions of how poetry provides a way of understanding the world, politics & history. Sometimes aphoristic, sometimes humorous, they remind us of our expanding linguistic universe, and especially the rich language communities of Australia, including the Indigenous ones. These writings are part of a brilliant, younger generation’s new uptake of poetry and poetics.
Dear Fahrenheit 451: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Break-Up Notes to Her Books by Annie Spence ($30, PB)
Have you ever wished you could tell your favourite books just what they mean to you? Or wanted to give a piece of your mind to the ‘must-read’ book that you wish you hadn’t? Librarian Annie Spence has done just that, writing letters to the books under her care, from love letters to Matilda & The Goldfinch, to snarky break-up notes to Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hobbit. Annie’s letters will make you laugh, remind you why you love your favourite books, and give you lots of new entries for your reading list. She’s also on-hand to help out with your bookish dilemmas: recommendations for lazy readers; excuses to tell your friends when you’d rather stay home reading; and how to turn your lover into a reader.
On Henry Miller: Or, How To Be An Anarchist by John Burnside ($45, HB)
Henry Miller’s critical reputation—if not his popular readership—has been in eclipse at least since Kate Millet’s blistering critique in Sexual Politics, her landmark 1970 study of misogyny in literature and art. But John Burnside says that Miller’s notorious image as a ‘pornographer and woman hater’ has hidden his vital, true importance—his anarchist sensibility. Miller wrote that ‘there is no salvation in becoming adapted to a world which is crazy’, and Burnside shows how Miller teaches us to become less adapted to the world, to resist a life sentence to the prison of social, intellectual, emotional & material conditioning. Exploring the full range of Miller’s work, and giving special attention to The Air-Conditioned Nightmare and The Colossus of Maroussi, Burnside shows how, with humour & wisdom, Miller illuminates the misunderstood tradition of anarchist thought. Along the way, Burnside reflects on Rimbaud’s enormous influence on Miller, as well as on how Rimbaud & Miller have influenced his own writing.
2nd Hand Rows
WINSTON S. CHURCHILL: Complete Biography in 8 volumes. Volume 1: Youth 1874–1900. Volume 2:Young Statesman 1901–1914. Volume 3: 1914–1916. Volume 4: 1917–1922. Volume 5: 1922–1939. Volume 6: Finest Hour 1939–1941. Volume 7: Road to Victory 1941–1945. Volume 8: Never Despair 1945–1965. Heinemann, London, 1966-1988. 8 Volumes, thick 8vo. Pp. xxxvi + 608. Pp xxix + 775. Pp xxxvii + 988. Pp xvi + 967. Pp xxvii + 1167. Pp xx + 1308. Pp xx + 1417. Pp xvii + 1438. Maps, illustrations, diagrams, indexes. Various editions and reprints. Some slight foxing to edges of some volumes otherwise all volumes are in Very Good Condition with Very Good Dust jackets. $500.00. It is entirely appropriate that Sir Winston Spencer Churchill (1874–1965), one of the towering figures of 20th century history, should have his life chronicled in such a monumental work as this. This official biography was begun by his son, Randolph Churchill (1911–1968) who tragically laboured under the shadow of both physical decline—due to the consequences of a midlife of dissipation—and a mortal illness. Randolph completed the first two volumes and then—in a truly inspired choice—the remainder of this work was handed to the Oxford historian Professor Martin Gilbert (1936–2015). Gilbert’s narrative is superbly written. The two key volumes, of course, are 6 and 7 covering the years 1939–1945 with Churchill as War Leader. His life is chronicled day by day, sometimes hour-by-hour during the six years when, in 1940, the subject himself declared: ‘I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial.’ Martin Gilbert also completed the fourteen volumes of documentary supplements to this work. Stephen
Language & Writing
Sounds Appealing: The Passionate Story of English Pronunciation by David Crystal ($30, HB)
It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it ... There have long been debates about ‘correct’ pronunciation in the English language, and David Crystal is here to set the record straight. Sounds Appealing tells us exactly why, and how, we pronounce words as we do. Pronunciation is integral to communication, and is tailored to meet the demands of the two main forces behind language: intelligibility and identity. Equipping his readers with knowledge of phonetics, linguistics and physiology—with examples ranging from Eliza Doolittle to Winston Churchill— Crystal explores the origins of regional accents, how they are influenced by class and education, and how their peculiarities have changed over time.
Writing Wrongs: Common Errors in English by Robert Martin ($35, PB)
This is a concise and thoughtful guide to common errors in English. It covers frequently confused and misused words along with problems of grammar, punctuation, and style, and offers a brief and up-to-date guide to major citation styles. Though it provides guidelines and recommendations for usage, Writing Wrongs acknowledges the evolution of language over time and the fact that different contexts have different rules—a friendly, flexible, and easy-to-read reference it avoids being narrowly prescriptive.
Now in B Format The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Miserables by David Bellos, $25
You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming. This rare First Edition copy is in good general condition (some spotting to edges, previous owner’s signature on front endpaper, price-clipped dust jacket). $200 The Visitors’ Book: In Francis Bacon’s Shadow—The Lives of Richard Chopping & Denis Wirth-Miller by John Lys Turner $25, HB. As new condition. I must confess I had never heard of Richard Chopping although I had long admired his cover illustrations for Ian Fleming’s original Bond books. A few of these books have come and gone from our secondhand shelves over the years and recently the eleventh in the series and last to be published in Fleming’s lifetime—You Only Live Twice—turned up in Glebe. And only days later a biography of Chopping and his partner, the British painter Denis Wirth-Miller, landed on my desk. Working from an extensive personal archive inherited from the artists, author Jon Lys Turner paints a vivid picture of Bohemian life in London in the 1950s and ’60s with Chopping and Wirth-Miller acting as ‘the missing link’ between the Bloomsbury generation and the younger writers and artists who gravitated around the painter Francis Bacon. Their infamous week-long parties attracted a ragbag of society types, artists, lowlifes and hangers-ons reflecting the fluid social and sexual mores of the period. The Visitors’ Book is a wonderfully gossipy biography of two talented and fascinating men who deserve more than just a footnote in the history of British art. Scott The Travelling 2nd Hand bookseller: Postcard from Coimbra, Portugal The beautiful medieval town of Coimbra boasts the second oldest university in Europe perched high above a mass of twisting narrow streets and the picturesque Mondego River. In the shadow of the historic Astoria Hotel in the town’s old quarter bookseller Miguel de Carvalho operates the jewel-like Livraria Alfarrabista—a small but exquisite bookshop packed with rare and unusual books, African antiquities, old photographs and paintings, and other treasures. Miguel’s magnificent collection of masks and carved figures from Nigeria and Cameroon line the walls downstairs and continue on shop’s mezzanine first floor where Miguel hosts a regular program of writer’s talks (he was astonished when I told him how many events we stage each month at Gleebooks!). After the disappointment of Porto’s famous Livraria Lello Bookshop, sadly now a tourist trap since appearing in one of the Harry Potter films, it was a delight to stumble upon the Livraria Alfarrabista with its quirky ambiance, beautifully curated stock and charming host. Scott
Part 1: Backs to the Wall
Kaiserschlacht 1918: The Final German Offensive by Randal Gray ($30, PB) The Kaiser’s Battle by Martin Middlebrook ($43, PB) With Our Backs To The Wall: Victory and Defeat in 1918 by David Stevenson ($36, PB) 1918 opens. The fourth year of war. The Russian Revolution of October–November 1917 has seen the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas II and three centuries of the Romanov Dynasty. The new Bolshevik regime—led by Vladimir Lenin—seeks an armistice and a peace settlement with Germany. A treaty is signed at Brest-Litovsk seeing Russia’s withdrawal from the war. Lenin’s chief negotiator and signatory, Leon Trotsky is unapologetic: ‘We can face the people of France, Italy and Great Britain with a clear conscience. We did all we could to prevail upon the belligerent nations to join us in the peace negotiations.’ This settlement allows Germany to transfer some 45 divisions from the East to bring a numerical superiority of 500,000 men to the Western Front—192 divisions to 178 Allied. By 1918, the Kaiser Wilhelm II, although nominally Supreme Warlord, has been almost completely marginalised. Since mid-1917 General Erich Ludendorff and Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg—famed victors of battles on the Eastern Front—rule Germany as a virtual military dictatorship. Germany has won the war in the East at the negotiating table. She hopes to win the war in the West on the battlefield with one last, great offensive. It must be completed before the mass arrival of American troops to reinforce the Allies—over 300,000 will arrive in May. Another million by August. Ludendorff is resolved: ‘We must strike before the Americans can throw strong forces into the scales.’ For Germany, it is the last throw of the dice. These fresh divisions are literally the nation’s final reserves of manpower. The conscript class of 1900 are called to arms. Germany is being bled dry in a vast, final mustering of all her manpower that can be spared from absolutely essential civilian war industries. Yet, the Allied armies of Britain and France are in no better state. In 1917, both have reduced their infantry divisions from twelve battalions to nine—a reduction of 3,000 men per division. In Britain, the Military Service Act is passed, conscripting men up to age 51. All men born between 1895 to 1900 are to be conscripted.
the biggest breakthrough achieved by either side on the Western Front in over three years. The German offensive gathers momentum. After years of stalemate, a 20–25 km advance is made in three days. Bapaume, Albert, Mont St Quentin and Peronne are all captured as Ludendorff directs his forces towards Amiens. This city is the hub of the Allied railway system and a key junction between Northern France and Paris. Its loss would be disastrous. By 23 March, the Germans have advanced close enough to Paris to allow the Krupp manufactured super-guns —the Pariser Kanone (The Paris Guns)—a trio of the largest artillery pieces ever built, to bombard Paris from a distance of 120 miles (75kms). At 7.16am an artillery shell weighing 235 lbs (106 kgs) lands in the French capital after a three-minute flight. Twenty shells are fired that day, killing 256 Parisians. The Kaiser has no doubts the war is about to end in Germany’s favour. On 24 March, Wilhelm returns to Berlin from the battlefront to declare: ‘The battle is won. The English are utterly defeated!’—and promptly decrees a National Victory Holiday. On 26 March 1918 Allied commanders hold a crisis meeting at Doullens, near Amiens. The British discuss withdrawing their armies to the Channel Ports. In this atmosphere of near-catastrophe, French Marshal Ferdinand Foch is appointed Supreme Commander of Allied Armies—‘It is a hard job you offer me’—he remarks, ‘a compromised situation, a dissolving front, a battle in full progress turning against us. Nevertheless, I accept.’ The Allied situation remains so dire that in early April, Field Marshal Douglas Haig, Commander of British Armies issues a Special Order of the Day to all Ranks: ‘There is no other course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause each one of us must fight on to the end.’ Stephen Reid
For Germany, it is also a race to achieve victory before the collapse of the home front. In January 1918 the pressures of the Allied naval blockade lead to mass demonstrations of 400,000 people protesting food shortages. Outbreaks of strikes and rioting by workers see industrial centres placed under martial law. Severe shortages of fuel, clothing, commercial goods and medicines are commonplace. Silver and copper coinage has been withdrawn from circulation—their metal content is now needed for war use. Inflation is widespread. The country is awash with increasingly worthless paper currency. The political coalition of national parties that has sustained the war effort is beginning to fracture. Nothing but early, decisive victory can now hold the German Home Front together. The planned offensive is named Operation Michael—after Germany’s Patron Saint. It is informally known as the Kaiserschlacht—The Kaiser’s Battle. New tactics will be used. Stosstruppen—Storm troops—will be deployed in the first wave. Elite units that have evolved since 1915. They are lightly armed, highly mobile troops. Using infiltration tactics, they will bypass areas of resistance and make rapid advances through the enemy lines. A 40-mile (60km) area of the Somme is chosen as the main assault zone. It is held by the Fifth Army, the weakest of the four British armies and the one that has suffered most heavily in the Passchendaele battles of 1917. It has still not fully recovered. In this section of the front, the trench defence system is also shallow and incomplete. Ludendorff has chosen well. He sums up the object of the offensive—a ‘rolling up’ of the enemy trench line: ‘We will punch a hole…For the rest, we shall see. We did it this way in Russia’. He aims to split apart the British and French armies at the Somme and the Aisne. An advance can then be made on Paris. At 4.40am on the foggy morning of 21 March 1918 the storm breaks. An intense five-hour artillery bombardment by 6,000 heavy guns and 3,000 mortars sees over 3.5 million shells fired on a 150 sq. mile (389 sq. km) area. A British rifleman recalled: ‘It was sheer hell—shells, trench mortars, the lot, gradually cutting down our platoon…At that time there was only about three or four of us alive but no order was given to fall back. While we were discussing what to do—there being nobody in charge—my pal was hit by a piece of shell that sliced his head completely off. You can imagine how I felt. All the rest were dead by now, mostly having lost their limbs, so I decided to go along the trenches to see if I could find anybody alive. This was not easy as parts of the trench was blown in…’ The fog is thickened by the use of gas. Chlorine and phosgene gas shells are also used in the bombardment. A mass of seventy-six first-class German divisions strike at twenty-eight British divisions of unequal quality. By the end of the day the Allied front is broken. The Fifth Army retreats in disorder over the Somme. Some 21,000 British prisoners are taken on the first day of the offensive. It is
Magna Carta and All That Rod Green, HB
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History Geoffrey Ward & Ken Burns, HB
Houses & Gardens Robert A. M. Stern, HB
Hokusai Olaf Mextorf, HB
The Harder They Come T C Boyle, HB
Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel, HB
Sweet Caress William Boyd, HB
A Broken Hallelujah: Rock & Roll, Redemption and the Life of Leonard Cohen Liel Leibovitz, HB
Hans Christian Andersen: European Witness Paul Binding, HB
Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage Kathleen Winter, HB
The Childrenâ€™s Crusade Ann Packer, HB
Cities of Empire: The British Colonies & the Creation of the Urban World Tristram Hunt, HB
Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in Power Philip Dwyer, HB
Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present Max Boot, HB
City of Ambition: FDR, LaGuardia & the Making of Modern New York Mason B. Williams, HB
Dining with the Georgians: A Delicious History Emma Kay, HB
Dark Mirror: Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Iconography Sara Lipton, HB
Pleasure Bound: Victorian Sex Rebels & the New Eroticism Deborah Lutz, HB
Fire and light: How the Enlightenment Transformed Our World James M. Burns, HB
Fatal Rivalry: Flodden, 1513 George Goodwin, HB
Gaudi Marina Linares, HB
Mapping England Simon Foxell, HB
Silver Philippa Merriman, HB
Kashmiri Cuisine Sarala Razdan, HB
The Arts Arthur Streeton: The Art of War ($24.95, HB)
While resident in London in 1915, Streeton joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, working as an orderly at the 3rd London General Hospital, where he came to understand the impact of war. His response to the tumult of the First World War is poignantly encapsulated in the works he produced as an Official War Artist in France from May to November 1918. As an artist best known for his lyrical landscapes, his depictions of the modern machines of war are unexpected, but to a large extent, technology was what made WW1 so devastating, and Streeton was there in the last months to observe its impact on the troops, towns, and landscape. His vision of damaged guns, planes, and places serves as a metaphor for the many maimed and shell-shocked servicemen he encountered.
David Hockney Prints ($39.95, HB) Over a lifetime of printmaking David Hockney has produced a significant body of work. Through his prints he combines his extraordinary gift for drawing with a singular imagination and great technical facility and inventiveness. This publication covers the full range of Hockney’s printmaking practice, from etchings, lithographs and screenprints, to paper pulp works, photocopies, faxes, and iPad drawings, many drawn from the National Gallery of Australia’s renowned Kenneth Tyler Print Collection.
Defying Empire: 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial ($39.95, PB)
Bringing together works by 30 contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander artists from across the country, Defying Empire commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum that recognised Aboriginal people as Australians for the first time. The works touches on the issues of identity, racism, displacement, country, nuclear testing, sovereignty & the stolen generations through many media: painting on canvas & bark, weaving & sculpture, new media, prints, photography, metalwork, and glasswork.
Hyper Real ($49.95, HB)
Hyper Real charts the evolution of hyperreal art into the 21st century through the work of key figures in its early development in the 1960s & 1970s to today’s artists who are exploring new mediums & technologies that progress the genre’s compelling narratives & tropes. From eerily lifelike figures to out-of-this-world virtual reality, these works provoke reflection, fascination, fear & joy, and chronicle the cycles of life & our constant need for connection, posing the fundamental ageold question of figurative sculpture: ‘what makes us human?’ A question that takes on even greater impetus in our radically changing world.
The Pixels of Paul Cézanne: And Reflections on Other Artists by Wim Wenders ($33, PB)
This is a collection of essays by Wim Wenders which he presents his observations & reflections on the fellow artists who have influenced, shaped & inspired him. ‘How are they doing it?’ is the key questions Wenders asks as he looks at the dance work of Pina Bausch, the paintings of Cézanne, Edward Hopper of Andrew Wyeth, or the films of Ingmar Bergman, Michelanelo Antonioni, Ozu, Anthony Mann, Douglas Sirk and Sam Fuller. By trying to understand their individual perspective, he reveals his own art of perception.
Nefertiti’s Face: The Creation of an Icon by Joyce Tyldesley ($40, HB)
Nefertiti’s face adorns postcards, tea towels & mouse-mats across the world, she has featured in computer games & jazz albums, and one woman even spent half a million pounds on plastic surgery to resemble her. This enduring obsession is the result of one object: the beautiful & mysterious bust of her, created by the sculptor Thutmos & now in Berlin’s Neues Museum. In this wide-ranging study, Egyptologist Joyce Tyldersley explores the history of the bust, from its origins in a busy Amarna workshop in Ancient Egypt, to its rediscovery & controversial removal to Europe in 1912, and its present status as one of the world’s most important artefacts.
Hiroshige & Eisen: The Sixty Nine Stations of the Kisokaido
In 1835, renowned woodblock print artist Keisai Eisen was commissioned to create a series of works to chart the Kisokaidō journey between Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Kyoto. After producing 24 prints, Eisen was replaced by Utagawa Hiroshige, who completed the series of 70 prints in 1838. Sourced from the only-known set of a nearcomplete run of the first edition of the series, & 22 bound in the Japanese tradition and with uncut paper. ($224.95 HB)
Curatorial Activism: Towards an Ethics of Curating by Maura Reilly & Lucy Lippard
Current art world statistics demonstrate that the fight for gender and race equality in the art world is far from over: only 16% percent of this year’s Venice Biennale artists were female; only 14% of the work displayed at MoMA in 2016 was by nonwhite artists; only ⅓ of artists represented by US galleries are female, but over ⅔ of students enrolled in art & art-history programs are young women. Arranged in thematic sections focusing on feminism, race & sexuality, Curatorial Activism examines & illustrates pioneering examples of exhibitions that have broken down boundaries & demonstrated that new approaches are possible, from Linda Nochlin’s Women Artists at LACMA in the mid1970s to Jean-Hubert Martin’s Carambolages in 2016 at the Grand Palais in Paris. This volume is both an invaluable source of practical information for those who understand that institutions must be a driving force in this area and a vital source of inspiration for today’s expanding new generation of curators. ($40, HB)
Living with Leonardo: Fifty years of sanity & insanity in the art world & beyond by Martin Kemp
A personal memoir interwoven with original research, this book goes deep inside Leonardo da Vinci scholar Martin Kemp’s lifelong passion for the genius who has helped define our culture. Each chapter considers a specific work as Kemp offers insight into his encounters with academics, collectors, curators, devious dealers, auctioneers & authors—as well as how he has grappled with legions of ‘Leonardo loonies’, threaded vested interests in academia & museums, and fended off fusillades of non-Leonardos. Kemp explains his thinking on the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa, retells his part in the identification of the stolen Buccleuch Madonna, and explains his involvement on the two major Leonardo discoveries of the last 100 years: La Bella Principessa and Salvator Mundi. Illustrated with the works being discussed, the book explores Leonardo’s genius from every angle, including technical analysis & the pop culture works he inspired, such as The Da Vinci Code, and his enduring influence 500 years after his death ($40, HB)
Experiment: New Bauhaus Photography Chicago ($70, HB)
At the New Bauhaus and what later became the Institute of Design, teachers like Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Gyorgy Kepes & Arthur Siegel, Harry Callahan & Aaron Siskind taught an uninhibited approach to the medium which influenced generations of photographers. To mark the start of the great Bauhaus anniversary in 2019, this book introduces the protagonists & institutions who since the foundation of the New Bauhaus in Chicago in 1937 have inspired, created & collected photography & then presented it to the public. The wide range of illustrations extends from abstract photograms & material experiments to conceptual & process-oriented works series. Contemporary works from Chicago complete the picture & reflect the importance of the Bauhaus thought process for the present day.
Journals, 1939–1977 by Keith Vaughan ($62, PB)
Keith Vaughan belonged to the Neo-Romantic group of landscape painters that included Paul Nash & Graham Sutherland. Much troubled by his homosexuality, he began a diary in 1939, ‘faced at the age of twentyseven with what then seemed the likelihood of imminent extinction before I had properly got started’; and he would write until his suicide in 1977. Editor Alan Ross hails Vaughan’s Journals as ‘a self-portrait of astonishing honesty: devoid of disguise in any shape or form, or hypocrisy’. The earlier entries, covering the war years & his period of greatest creativity in the 1940s & 1950s, ‘are revealing for the light they shed on a painter’s character and, to a lesser extent, working methods’. The later pages chronicle ‘a descent into hell . . . redeemed by their frankness, spleen & dry humour’..
Gabriele Munter by Isabelle Jansen ($99, HB)
Gabriele Munter was a photographer before she was a painter, taking her first photos around 1900 during her stay in the US. She started painting soon after & never stopped—working on her art almost every day for the rest of her life. Because of her relationship with Kandinsky her paintings from the ‘Blue Rider’ years & her association with German Expressionism have often been the focus for evaluations of her work, yet Munter’s art was far more multifaceted, imaginative, and stylistically diverse. This book seeks to offer a broader perspective on Munter’s creative output, examining her oeuvre from classic genres such as portraits and landscapes to interiors, abstractions, and her works of ‘primitivism’.
Exist Otherwise: The Life and Works of Claude Cahun by Jennifer L. Shaw ($75, HB)
This book both recounts Claude Cahun’s life & analyses her complex writings & images. Shaw’s account embeds Cahun’s work in the exciting milieu of Paris between the wars & follows it into the dangerous territory of the Nazi-occupied Isle of Jersey. Using letters & diaries, Shaw brings Cahun’s ideas & feelings to life—contributing to our understanding of photography, Surrealism and the histories of women artists & queer culture. This book includes a full range of illustrations by Cahun and other renowned photographers, as well as writings never before translated into English.
Chopin’s Piano: A Path Through the Romantic Century by Paul Kildea ($55, HB)
In November 1838 Frederic Chopin, George Sand & her two children sailed to Majorca to escape the Parisian winter. They settled in an abandoned monastery at Valldemossa in the mountains above Palma where Chopin finished what would eventually be recognised as one of the great & revolutionary works of musical Romanticism—his 24 Preludes. There was scarcely a decent piano on the island (these were still early days in the evolution of the modern instrument), so Chopin worked on a small pianino made by a local craftsman, which remained in their monastic cell for 70 years after he & Sand had left. Paul Kildea traces the history of Chopin’s 24 Preludes through the instruments on which they were played, the pianists who interpreted them & the traditions they came to represent. Yet the story begins & ends with the Majorcan pianino, which during the WW2 assumed an astonishing cultural potency as it became, for the Nazis, a symbol of the man & music they were determined to appropriate as their own.
Uncut History of Rock: The 1970s Rock’s Greatest Decade ($50, HB)
Encompassing classic contemporary interviews with bands and artists as well as in-depth reviews and articles, and illustrated by a fantastic assortment of photographs of the bands both in action and behind-the-scenes, this volume is a definitive must-have for any fan of rock, of the 1970s, or just of music in general.
Sundog by Scott Walker ($33, HB)
American-born, British singer-songwriter, composer and record producer, Scott Walker is known for his distinctive voice and for the unorthodox career path which has taken him from 1960s pop icon to 21st century avant-garde musician. Originally coming to fame in the mid-1960s singing orchestral pop ballads as the frontman of The Walker Brothers, he went on to a solo career balancing a light entertainment with increasing artistic innovations in arrangement and writing perspective. Since the mid-1980s Walker has revived his solo career while drastically reinventing his artistic and compositional methods, via a series of vividly avant-garde albums. The change in approach has been compared to ‘Andy Williams reinventing himself as Stockhausen’. With an introduction by Eimear McBride, this is the first ever selection of Walker’s lyrics. Seduced by Mrs Robinson by Beverly Gray ($45, HB) When The Graduate premiered in December, 1967, its filmmakers had only modest expectations attached to what seemed to be a small, sexy, art house comedy adapted from an obscure first novel by an eccentric 24 year old. The film catapulted an unknown actor, Dustin Hoffman into stardom with a role that is now permanently engraved in our collective memories, garnered 7 Academy Award nominations, turned the word ‘plastics’ into shorthand for soulless work and a corporate, consumer culture, and sparked a national conversation about what came to be called ‘the generation gap’. Beverly Gray offers up a smart close reading of this iconic film and vivid, never before revealed details from behind the scenes of the production— including all the drama and decision making of the cast and crew— exploring how this unconventional movie rocked the late 60s world.
Fire on All Sides: Insanity, insomnia and the incredible inconvenience of life by James Rhodes ($33, PB)
As James Rhodes embarks on a gruelling five-month concert tour, performing in front of thousands of people, the tortuous voices in his mind his constant companions, he has no choice but to face these wild, mad ramblings head on. Luckily, there is the music. There is always the music. Bach, Chopin, Beethoven—they are his holy grail, his mechanism for survival. Just.
Toscanini: Musician of Conscience by Harvey Sachs Arturo Toscanini (1867–1957) was famed for his dedication, photographic memory, explosive temper & impassioned performances. At times he dominated La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic & the Bayreuth, Salzburg & Lucerne festivals. His reforms influenced generations of musicians, and his opposition to Nazism & Fascism made him a model for artists of conscience. With access to the conductor’s archives, Harvey Sachs has written a new biography positioning Toscanini’s musical career & sometimes scandalous life against the currents of history. Set in Italy, across Europe, the Americas & in Palestine, with portraits of Verdi, Puccini, Caruso, Mussolini & others, Toscanini soars in its exploration of genius, music & moral courage. ($56.95, HB)
Making a Meal of It: Writing About Film by Brian McFarlane ($29.95, PB)
For more than forty years, readers of The Age newspaper have learned about the latest films through the interpretations and judgements of Brian McFarlane This selection of McFarlane’s writings on film also include reviews & writings for Australian Book Review, Cinema Papers, Inside Story, Meanjin, Metro, Screening the Past, Senses of Cinema, Sight & Sound, and many other newspapers, magazines, and journals.)
DVDs With Scott Donovan The Deuce: Season 1 ($39.95)
David Simon & George Pelecanos return to the small screen with The Deuce—show that chronicles the rise of the porn industry in New York City in 1971–72, driven by the gradual legalization of porn and a politically motivated effort to ‘clean up’ Times Square. Seizing the chance to cash in on the nascent porn business (and sometimes being consumed by it) are a vivid assortment of characters, including: Vincent Martino (James Franco), a bartender with vision and connections, Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a self-managed prostitute, looking to get off the danger of the streets with a new career in porn filmmaking; pimps, hos, cops, journos, politicians—a gritty investigation of all the grey areas you’d expect from the team that brought you The Wire & Treme.
Marx Brothers Collection: The Coconuts; Animal Crackers; Monkey Business; Horse Feathers; Duck Soup ($45.95)
A bargain collection from the kings of comedy chaos—missing necklaces, stolen paintings, a quartet of stowaways, football recruits, shady guests, musicians, spies, Rufus T. Firefly über alles—including poor Margaret Dumont. Plus a featurelength documentary about the Marx Brothers and their meteoric rise as Hollywood’s masters of comedic mayhem, featuring interviews with the Marx family, Leonard Maltin, Dick Cavett, filmmakers & historians.
The Beguiled ($21.95)
This remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood vehicle, starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning, unfolds during the Civil War, at a Southern girls’ boarding school. Its sheltered young women take in an injured Union soldier, who then cons his way into each of the lonely women’s hearts, causing them to turn on each other, and eventually, on him. Sofia Coppola was awarded Best Director at Cannes (the second woman to win best director in Cannes 71 year history— the last was Russian director Yuliya Solntseva in 1961, who won for her dramatic retelling of grassroots resistance to the Nazi movement in the Soviet Union).
God’s Own Country ($32.95. Region 2) Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor) works long hours on his family’s remote farm in the north of England. He numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge-drinking at the local pub and casual sex. But when a handsome Romanian migrant worker (Alec Secareanu) arrives to take up temporary work on the family farm, Johnny suddenly finds himself having to deal with emotions he has never felt before. As they begin working closely together during lambing season, an intense relationship starts to form which could change Johnny’s life forever.
what we're reading
Andrew: At the moment, I’m charging my way through Circe by Madeline Miller, author of Song of Achilles. Miller is a classical scholar with an absolutely wonderful contemporary eye for story and character, and ear for dialogue. Song of Achilles was a surprise bestseller and prize winner for the debut novelist, and she is just as confident and beguiling here, with her retelling of the life of Circe—the goddess and sorceress probably most famous for punishing the crew of Odysseus by turning them into swine. Her Circe could easily have been an Angela Carter heroine with a zinging strength of character, and cracking feminist sensibility. Miller has an uncanny knack in forging a proper narrative peopled with fully rounded characters out of the shards of source material. John: I have just had a couple of weeks off and have read a very diverse bunch of books. Perhaps the most surprising for some people will be The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. This is a really practical guide to money and investing that’s written for normal people who want to take charge of their finances. Pape has written for newspapers and on TV but I only knew him because we have been selling lots of copies of the book—and I wondered why. He doesn’t talk down to the less financially literate. He doesn’t preach. He doesn’t think that budgets work! He talks about strategies to reduce debt, how negotiate with your ban, what to look for with super, how to save and invest for the long term. You might wish you had had this advice, and followed it, when you were 20 but he says its never too late to improve your circumstances. On a more literary note I reread David Malouf’s Great World which reminded me why David is one of out living national treasures, and one of the greatest Australian writers. I also read the latest Burnie Gunther book from Philip Kerr—Greeks Bearing Gifts which sees Bernie working for an insurance company—it’s due for release in early April—Highly recommended.
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Bestsellers—Non-Fiction 1. Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House
2. This Time: Australia’s Republican Past & Future
3. Mythos 4. Sapiens 5. Women & Power
Stephen Fry Noah Yuval Harari Mary Beard
6. Korea: Where the American Century Began
7. River Dreams: The People & Landscape of the
8. Defying The Enemy Within
Ian Tyrrell Joe Williams
9. Symphony of Seduction: The Great Love Stories
of Classical Composers
10. Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture—
A New Earth
Bestsellers—Fiction 1. Home Fire
2. Manhattan Beach
3. The Only Story
4. Lincoln in the Bardo 5. The Woman In The Window
George Saunders A J Finn
6. Call Me By Your Name André Aciman 7. Force of Nature 8. The Life to Come 9. The Tattooist of Auschwitz 10. The Immortalists
Jane Harper Michelle de Kretser Heather Morris
and another thing..... Welcome to the first online only Gleaner—as collectable as the Kindle above! Thank you to everyone who sent their email addresses and signed up for our emailed notifications for the Gleaner and events. This month there are two book to films I’m very much looking forward to—Willy Vlautin’s Lean on Pete and Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop. Both books were immediate favourites from page one. Vlautin’s blunt, spare—and ultimately heartbreaking—prose, and Fitzgerald’s poetic struggle of the heron and the eel—village politics vs the hope of a quietly remunerative literary life. Both fantastic—read them before you see the movies, as the book is pretty much always better. I’d be interested if anyone has an instance of the film being better than the book—please email. Meanwhile Willy Vlautin has a new book, Don’t Skip Out on Me (page 4), I’ve already got myself a US hardcover which I’ve reserved for my next fully free day—Vlautin’s ‘quietly devastating contemporary Westerns’ always need to be read in one sitting. Speaking of westerns, or westerners, I’ve been working my way through Larry McMurtry’s biographical writings on his experiences in movie land, Film Flam and Hollywood: A Third Memoir—both very entertaining. The down-to-earth McMurtry writes with great charm about the egocentricities of Lalaland, and about the art of writing in general. I have a friend who is Larry McMurtry’s number one fan (in a non-Stephen King way) planning a trip to McMurtry’s Texas panhandle town of Archer—home of his rare and secondhand bookshop, Booked Up—his fandom has me considering a read and reread of McMurtry’s novels. From this month’s Gleanings I’m also reading Jonathan Lerner’s Swords in the Hands of Children: Reflections of an American Revolutionary—hiss memoir of the boomer generation terrorist organsiation the Weatherman. An iconoclastic telling, further complicated by Lerner’s closeted homosexuality, of a cultish juvenile macho society that offers a different perspective into the so-called newness of ‘radicalisation’ in today’s alientated western teen world, and gives food for thought in terms of action against the juggernaut of capitalist militarism that continues to threaten earth and its inhabitants. Viki
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Book and DVD new releases for March 2018 from one of Australia's leading independent bookshops.