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Vol. 24 No. 9 October 2017

Photo: Hank Kordas

2nd Hand Books Now upstairs at 49 Glebe Point Road 1

End of an ...

We closed our original bookshop down last month—a moment to ponder, after 43 years in the same location. It had become time to consolidate its stock with our other shops. It was an exciting, and arduous, process. Half of the books have been re-housed upstairs at 49 Glebe Pt Rd, and the other half is sitting in a ‘new’ second hand shop in Colliers Arcade at Blackheath, adjacent to the shop which we opened there, ten years ago next month. I was seeing it as a lot of hard work, but was delighted with how smart the books looked in their new locations. I was also hoping fervently that our old customers would follow us, and that a fresh lot who hadn’t discovered the treasure trove of fine second hand books would be delighted to the fabulous range on offer. It’s been disappointing over the years to see how much people’s awareness of the wonders of second hand book browsing and buying seem to have diminished. Fewer shops (Sydney rents have a lot to do with that), the ease of online searching for out of print titles, and the (apparent) lack of interest amongst younger shoppers in second hand books must have all played their part. Anyway, we’re not giving up on them­—don’t forget that Gleebooks began as second hand booksellers—and we plan to increase our holdings as we put the bulk of the stock online. Don’t forget also that we offer a book search for any hard-to-get book, and we’re good at it. And to all those who remarked so thoughtfully and wistfully on the end of out time at ‘191’ can I say, on our behalf, that, yes, it is the end of an era, but it’s also the beginning of another. Speaking of changes. We’ve been publishing the Gleaner on a monthly basis for more than 20 years. It has, it’s fair to claim, a fine reputation amongst its readers. But, as anyone vaguely aware of the media world would know, massive changes have swept through the world of print since then, and in 2018 we have decide to move to a bi-monthly printing schedule (February/March will be the first issue). Australia Post charges and delivery times (don’t start me), higher production costs, and the increased customer dependence on online information and marketing have made a monthly schedule impossible to manage, unless we were to charge more for membership and events. So we’ll do our best to keep the standard high for quality, range and depth of interest in the Gleaner Now, onto some books. I’m reading so much at the moment that I’m losing track, but here’s a brief response to some more new releases I’ve read: I caught up with Dennis Glover’s fascinating novel fictionalising the life of George Orwell, The Last Man in Europe. Glover is an academic and speechwriter, and he’s made a fine fist of imagining Orwell’s life in his first novel. The evolution of Orwell’s political thinking as he lived through the most tumultuous decades of the 20th century are richly rendered. Particularly good are the scenes form the horrors of the Spanish civil war, and Orwell’s tortured journey through treatment for advanced pulmonary tubercolosis as he battled to finish his seminal 1984 before his death Sarah Sentilles’ Draw Your Weapons is an amazing book. I can’t claim to have got it all, such is its range and depth of reference (but it’s definitely a book to go back to). Hard to describe, it’s a dazzling reflection or argument on peace and violence and ethical life in a troubling world. lt’s a lengthy essay of fragments or pieces or collage which connect, juxtapose and crossreference (there are 20 pages of end notes). Unsurprisingly, it took Sentilles more that 10 years to write, but it deserves to be read and absorbed. This quote from Brecht, with which the book opens, gives you the flavour: ‘In the dark times will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing about the dark times’. And on a less sombre note, please pay attention to two upcoming Australian books: Luke Slattery’s Mrs. M (publishing November), a seriously interesting novel about Elizabeth Macquarie, Lachlan’s widow. It comes out of a sleepless night’s remembrance of their joint experience in the penal colony and Elizabeth’s own reflections on a drama-filled life. I’d also point to a debut novel from Lois Murphy—Soon—an intense and powerful literary thriller, with a supernatural edge, set in a small, dying town in country WA. David Gaunt


Australian Literature Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion & Anne Buist ($29.99, PB)

Zoe, a sometime artist, is from California. Martin, an engineer, is from Yorkshire. Both have ended up in picturesque Cluny, in central France. Both are struggling to come to terms with their recent past—for Zoe, the death of her husband; for Martin, a messy divorce. Looking to make a new start, each sets out alone to walk 2000 km from Cluny to Santiago, in northwestern Spain, in the footsteps of pilgrims who have walked the Camino—the Way—for centuries. This smart, funny novel about renewal—physical, psychological and spiritual—is told in alternating chapters by husband-and-wife team Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist.

Gleebooks’ special price $26.99 Suburbia by Jeremy Chambers ($30, PB)

Roland lives with his parents, Graham & Joyce, and his younger sister, Lily, in the golden light of a leafy outer suburb—Glenella. He dreams of escaping, of finding an intoxicating life somewhere else. He is fascinated by Cassie Noble, who lives down the road with her brash parents, Colleen & Reg. But when Darren Wilson moves into the neighbourhood with his Triumph motorcycle, everything changes. Jeremy Chambers’ (The Vintage & the Gleaning) new novel, is a coming-of-age drama about the end of innocence set in a baffling world of hardwood fences and fragrant lawns, amid the flickering light of memory and desire.

Mirror Sydney: An Atlas of Reflections by Vanessa Berry ($39.95, PB)

As development shadows every aspect of the city’s life, Mirror Sydney documents, in a very personal way, the fast-vanishing traces of the recent past, finding new meaning in minor landmarks and uncelebrated sites. From abandoned amusement parks to mysterious traffic islands; from the railway lost-property office to the elephant buried in Sydney Park; and from the eccentric murals of the Domain’s underground walkway to the remnants of the ill-fated monorail, Vanessa Berry’s curious gaze discovers an alternative & eccentric, little-known city. Berry’s writing balances the low-key iconoclasm of the punk & indie music scenes with the philosophical urban investigations of Walter Benjamin & Robert Walser. Her unique style of map illustration was developed through many years making zines & artworks, collaging detailed line drawings with text from typewriters & Letraset.

The Rumpus Room: And other stories from the suburbs by Tim Ross ($35, PB)

Comedian Tim Ross draws inspiration from his acclaimed ABC television series Streets Of Your Town with this selection of short stories from the suburbs. From the beachside holiday house to the backyard pool & the rumpus room, the architecture of the suburbs forms the backdrop to a uniquely Australian way of life. Ross roams through these familiar places to paint a picture of Australian domesticity & its relationship to the Australian psyche in all its funny, nostalgic, ironic & often acutely cringe-worthy glory.

Soon by Lois Murphy ($29.95, PB)

An almost deserted town in the middle of nowhere, Nebulah’s days of mining & farming prosperity—if they ever truly existed—are long gone. These days even the name on the road sign into town has been removed. Yet for Pete, an ex-policeman, Milly, Li and a small band of others, it’s the only place they have ever felt at home. One winter solstice, a strange residual and mysterious mist arrives, that makes even birds disappear. It is a real & potent force, yet also strangely emblematic of the complacency & unease that afflicts so many of our small towns, and the country that Lois Murphy knows so well. Partly inspired by the true story of Wittenoom, the ill-fated West Australia asbestos town, Soon is the story of the death of a haunted town, and the plight of the people who either won’t, or simply can’t, abandon all they have ever had.

Drawing Sybylla by Odette Kelada ($25, PB) On stage, a woman named Sybil Jones is making a speech. She is talking about the significance of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story The Yellow Wallpaper. Behind her sits a panel of writers, facing their audience, and one writer drawing Sybil’s likeness in a contemplative daze. The Sybil in the writer’s drawing starts to move, like the women behind Gilman’s wallpaper. She shakes. She takes the writer by the hand and leads her down into the paper, into the dark recesses of her mind, and into Australia’s past—into the real and imagined lives of Australia’s women writers. Winner of the 2016 Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. Now in B Format The Schooldays of Jesus by J. M. Coetzee, $24

The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser ($33, PB)

Pippa is a writer who longs for success. Celeste tries to convince herself that her feelings for her married lover are reciprocated. Ash makes strategic use of his childhood in Sri Lanka but blots out the memory of a tragedy from that time. Set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, The Life to Come is a mesmerising novel about the stories we tell and don’t tell ourselves as individuals, as societies and as nations. In a profoundly moving as well as wickedly funny novel, award winning author Michelle de Kretser reveals how the shadows cast by both the past and the future can transform, distort and undo the present.

First Person by Richard Flanagan ($39.99, HB)

Kif Kehlmann, a young penniless writer, is rung in the middle of the night by the notorious con man & corporate criminal, Siegfried Heidl. About to go to trial for defrauding the banks of $700 million, Heidl offers Kehlmann the job of ghostwriting his memoir. He has six weeks to write the book, for which he’ll be paid $10,000. But as the writing gets under way, Kehlmann begins to fear that he is being corrupted by Heidl. As the deadline draws closer, he becomes ever more unsure if he is ghostwriting a memoir, or if Heidl is rewriting him—his life, his future. Everything that was certain grows uncertain as he begins to wonder: who is Siegfried Heidl—and who is Kif Kehlmann? As time runs out, one question looms above all others: what is the truth?

Gleebooks’ special price $33

Sanctuary by Judy Nunn ($33, PB) On a barren island off the coast of Western Australia, a rickety wooden dinghy runs aground. Aboard are 9 people who have no idea where they are. Strangers before the violent storm that tore their vessel apart, the instinct to survive has seen them bond during their days adrift on a vast and merciless ocean. Fate has cast them ashore with only one thing in common . . . fear. Rassen the doctor, Massoud the student, the child Hamid & the others all fear for their lives. But in their midst is Jalila, who appears to fear nothing. The beautiful young Yazidi woman is a mystery to them all. While they remain undiscovered on the deserted island, they dare to dream of a new life. But 40 km away on the mainland lies the tiny fishing port of Shoalhaven. Here everyone knows everyone, and everyone has their place. In Shoalhaven things never change. Until now.

Australian Poetry

Darlinghurst Funeral Rites by Mark Mordue

This is a song cycle that takes the reader on a journey through Mark Mordue’s experiences in the Sydney post-punk music scene of the 1980s. It begins with his arrival in the big city, his immersion in the culture & the spirit of the times, his deep contact with bands, art & films as a leading rock journalist of the era, the corresponding hedonism & bohemianism that characterised iconic suburbs like Newtown, Surry Hills & Darlinghurst, and the disintegration of that world as a relationship ends & drugs, disillusion & displacement overtake people’s lives. ($22, PB)

On D’Hill

Yet another Dulwich Hill Fair Day has passed, with I’m afraid to say, not a lot to recommend it. I don’t see how any of these suburban Fair Days really have anything to do with ‘community’ when so many of the stalls are run by professional stall holders who have no connection to the suburb. The council dragoons the local schools into supplying some entertainment on the stage which I imagine is fun for the kids, but other than that, people seem to wander aimlessly up and down the road and not much else happens. Having said that, we do a very brisk trade, for which we are truly grateful. I doubt the makers of the ABC TV show The War on Waste predicted the massive reaction it has had. At Gleebooks, we’ve been selling Keepcups for several years (we were an early adopter of environmentally friendly business practice)—but since the show sales have been astronomical. I think even the manufacturers have had trouble keeping up. We have looked into stocking other brands of coffee cups but Choice Magazine did a survey and found the Keepcups are best so we’ll stick with them. I was delighted this month to meet author Sheridan Jobbins, who came in to sign copies of her travel memoir Wish You Were Here. The book is also a love story about how she drove across America with a man she’d only known for a few weeks and they’ve been together ever since. Sheridan’s funny and insightful and it’s a fun, easy read. Lots of great books coming out in October and I guess you all know how much I’m looking forward to you all being able to read Michelle de Kretser’s The Life to Come (which I have previously written about). Michelle has kindly agreed to come to the Dulwich Hill Gleebooks and sign copies of her book—all authors love to meet their readers so please do come and say hello. See you on D’hill, Morgan

BOOK SIGNING ON D’HILL Saturday, October 7th, 11am Michelle de Kretser The Life to Come

Chromatic by Paul Munden ($23, PB) ‘Munden’s vivid, well realised poems range across hemispheres and centuries, embracing music, art, film, historical events, and the potent catalysts of love, illness and death. In these pages our human frailties are apprehended with both a clear eye and a tender attentiveness.’— Judy Johnson.

The Criminal Re-Register by Ross Gibson ($23, PB) Here are scrummed gangs of criminals and police, with all their lurks, quirks and argots. The underworld and its overlords: how ingenious and energetic, how ardent both sides can be. What brutes they can be too, day after day, as they track and trick each other, as they make and need each other. Ross Gibson’s poignant rewriting of a found dossier of police records has some Dickens, some Dostoevsky, and some DeLillo threaded through it. The sharp local language of Christina Stead, Kenneth Slessor, Arthur Stace and Ruth Park resounds in here too.

The Tiny Museums by Carolyn Abbs ($23, PB) Carolyn Abbs’s poems in her poised collection The Tiny Museums live in the gap between deep time and now. This pairing of past/ present plays out in other unifying doublings and mirrorings, particularly those between the UK and Western Australia, between photography and poetry, and a fertile creative relationship shared by sisters. Elegant layers of textures, colours, sounds and movement invite the reader into an experiential sense of this trench between the past and the present. Her poems dealing with family grief are the centrepieces of the book and move the reader without any cloying sentimentality. Along with a skilled attentiveness to the ways in which sound moves through a line, this beautifully modulated emotional intelligence is a very great strength of her poetry.

Fingertip of the Tongue by Sarah Rice ($23, PB) ‘In Fingertip of the Tongue we find a poetry of close observation of people and everyday objects, finding in them new and deeper implications. These poems are sometimes whimsical, sometimes deeply personal, always satisfying. Sarah Rice displays a fascination with form and a great skill in finding the startlingly apt word, the evocative insight. Hers is a poetry of mind and heart.’—Ron Pretty


The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst ($33, PB)

In 1940, Evert Dax & David Sparsholt meet at Oxford University. Dax is a 2nd year student reading English, coming from a rackety upper middle class background; Sparsholt is from a humbler Midlands community & is reading engineering, a young man whose good looks & fine figure have proved highly attractive to his peers. This time is a unique one in the history of the university: with military call-up at 20, soon brought forward to 19, almost all students come up to Oxford knowing that they will only have a year or so of study. Alan Hollinghurst’s new novel moves from the darkest days of the WW2 to the changing world of the a socially & sexually liberated London of the 1960s, before landing in the mid-1970s, with the three-day week, fuel shortages and power cuts. The reverberations continue through the next generation in the 1990s before reaching a conclusion in the present decade, a world of new media and new ideas.

Gleebooks’ special prices $29.95

The Last Hours by Minette Walters ($33, PB) When the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in Dorsetshire in June 1348, no one knows what manner of sickness it is or how it spreads and kills so quickly. The Church proclaims it a punishment from God but Lady Anne of Develish has different ideas. With her brutal husband absent, she decides on more sensible ways to protect her people than the daily confessions of sin recommended by the Bishop. Anne gathers her serfs within the gates of Develish & refuses entry to outsiders, even to her husband. She makes an enemy of her daughter by doing so, but her resolve is strengthened by the support of her leading serfs—until food stocks run low & the nerves of all are tested by their ignorance of what is happening in the world outside. The people of Develish are alive. But for how long? And what will they discover when the time comes for them to cross the moat? Mrs Osmond by John Banville ($30, PB)

The Necessary Angel by C. K. Stead ($33, PB)

This carefully observed novel takes you to the heart of contemporary Paris and into a world of books and witty conversation. With a surprising twist at the end, it’s a story of people grappling with love and fidelity; a story about the importance of books; a commentary on living in complex modern-day Europe; and a page-turning mystery.

Friend of My Youth by Amit Chaudhuri

In Friend of My Youth, a novelist named Amit Chaudhuri visits his childhood home of Bombay. The city, reeling from the impact of the 2008 terrorist attacks, weighs heavily on Amit’s mind, as does the unexpected absence of his childhood friend Ramu, a drifting, opaque figure who is Amit’s last remaining connection to the city he once called home. Chaudhuri’s new novel is about geographical, historical & personal change, and asks the question—what does it mean to exist in both the past and the present? ($28, PB)

The Secret Books by Marcel Theroux ($30, HB)

Seeking adventure, a young man flees the drudgery of shopkeeping in Tsarist Russia to make a new life among the bohemians & revolutionaries of 19th century Paris. Travelling undercover in the mountains of British India, he discovers a manuscript that transforms the world’s understanding of the historical Jesus. Decades later, in a Europe threatened by unimaginable tragedy, he makes a despairing attempt to right a historic injustice. This is the epic story of a young man on the make in a turbulent world of spies & double-cross, propaganda & revolutionary violence, lost love & nascent antisemitism—a world which eerily foreshadows our own era of post-truth politics.

To the Back of Beyond by Peter Stamm ($25, PB) Have you ever wondered how you’d go about disappearing from your own life? Peter Stamm explores the paths taken by a man who chooses to vanish, and the woman he leaves behind. After returning from a pleasant holiday with his wife, Astrid, and their two children, Thomas leaves the house. He walks down the street, and he keeps on walking. At first Astrid asks herself where he’s gone, and then when he’s coming back, and finally whether he is even still alive. In precise and hypnotic prose that cuts as cleanly as a scalpel, To the Back of Beyond is a novel that takes away the safe foundations of a marriage and a lifestyle to ask deeper questions about identity, connection and how free we are to change our lives.


Having fled Rome and a stultifying marriage, Isabel Osmond is in London, brooding on the recent disclosure of her husband’s shocking, years-long betrayal of her. What should she do now, and which way should she turn, in the emotional labyrinth where she has been trapped for so long? Reawakened by grief and the knowledge of having been grievously wronged, she determines to resume her youthful quest for freedom and independence. Soon Isabel must return to Italy and confront her husband, and seek to break his powerful hold on her. But will she succeed in outwitting him, and securing her revenge?

A Vineyard in Andalusia by Maria Dueñas ($33, PB) A ruined merchant sets sail to seek his fortune in the 19th century Spanish Empire. Haunted by his lost wealth, he gambles the last of his money on what will become the greatest adventure of his life—and eventually, his salvation. When Mauro Larrea meets Soledad Montalvo, wife to a London wine merchant, she drags him into a most unexpected future, from the new Mexican republic to magnificent colonial Havana; and from the West Indies to the Andalusia of the 1860s, when the wine trade with England made the small city of Jerez legendary. ‘It beams readers with pinpoint accuracy to the heart and soul of 1860s Mexico, Cuba, and Spain on a magic carpet ride that they will be sorry to have end. Set Me Free: The Story of How Shakespeare Saved a Life by Salvatore Striano ($33, PB) Sasà grew up in Naples. He never went to school, and instead grew up with street violence and bloodshed, becoming the leader of a gang of boys who became Camorristi by the age of fourteen. At the age of thirty, he was in prison, his life all but mapped out. That’s when Shakespeare steps in. At Sasà’s most hopeless point, he is persuaded to join the prison’s drama troupe. In Shakespeare’s Tempest, Sasà stumbles on what he needs to explain the world which has defined his own life.

Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks

A hectic, funny sexual affair between two best friends. A WWII veteran dealing with his emotional & physical scars. A second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom & a whirlwind press junket. A smalltown newspaper columnist with old-fashioned views of the modern world. A woman adjusting to life in a new neighbourhood after her divorce. A teenage surfer stumbles into his father’s secret life. These are just some of the people and situations that Tom Hanks explores in his first work of fiction. ($33, PB)

My Cat Yugoslavia by Pajtim Statovci ($25, HB) Yugoslavia, 1980s: a 16 year-old Muslim girl named Emine is married off to a man she hardly knows—a match that goes terribly wrong. Decades later Emine’s son, Bekim, has grown up a social outcast in Finland; both an immigrant in a country suspicious of foreigners, and a gay man in an unaccepting society. His only friend is a boa constrictor whom he lets roam his apartment. But one night in a gay bar, Bekim meets a talking cat—this witty, charming, manipulative creature starts Bekim on a journey back to Kosovo to confront his demons & make sense of the remarkable, cruel history of his family. It is a journey that will eventually lead him to love

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan ($33, PB)

Brooklyn, during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly 12 years old, accompanies her father to the house of a rich man where she observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, & some secret pact between her father & Dexter Styles. Years later, her father has disappeared & the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous & exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief & glamorous career as a Ziegfield girl, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a night club, she chances to meet Styles, the man she visited with her father before he vanished, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life & the reasons he might have been murdered.

La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust V 1 By Philip Pullman ($33, PB; $40, HB)

Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua.

Gleebooks’ special prices $30, PB; $35 HB Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie ($25, PB) Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she is finally studying in America, resuming a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream—to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. Then Eamonn enters the sisters’ lives. Handsome & privileged, he inhabits a London worlds away from theirs. As the son of a powerful British Muslim politician, Eamonn has his own birthright to live up to or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz’s salvation? Two families’ fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined in this searing novel that asks what sacrifices will we make in the name of love?

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides ($35, HB)

Jeffrey Eugenides’ collection of short stories presents characters in the midst of personal and national emergencies. We meet Kendall, a failed poet who, envious of other people’s wealth during the real estate bubble, becomes an embezzler; and Mitchell, a lovelorn liberal arts graduate on a search for enlightenment; and Prakrti, a high school student whose wish to escape the strictures of her family leads to a drastic decision that upends the life of a middle-aged academic. Eugenides’ novels showed him to be an astute observer of the crises of adolescence, self-discovery and family love, and these stories explore equally rich and intriguing territory. Dunbar by Edward St Aubyn ($30, PB) Henry Dunbar, the once all-powerful head of a global corporation, is not having a good day. In his dotage he hands over care of the corporation to his two eldest daughters, Abby and Megan, but as relations sour he starts to doubt the wisdom of past decisions. Now imprisoned in a care home in the Lake District with only a demented alcoholic comedian as company, Dunbar starts planning his escape. As he flees into the hills, his family is hot on his heels. But who will find him first, his beloved youngest daughter, Florence, or the tigresses Abby and Megan, so keen to divest him of his estate? Edward St Aubyn delivers an excoriating take on King Lear in the newest in the Hogarth Shakespeare series.

The Benefactor by Sebastian Hampson ($30, PB)

Magazine editor Henry Calder’s ordered life has unravelled. He’s just been ousted from the glamorous job that gave his life meaning, and he lost his wife, Martha, less than a year ago. Then he meets Maggie, a rebellious young artist working as a bartender. When Maggie is evicted, Henry offers her a place to stay. But there is something about the young woman and her work that disturbs him, and before long Henry is facing a crisis neither of them could ever have foreseen. The Benefactor is about art’s power to alter our view of ourselves and our world. It asks how we construct meaning in our lives—and how we react when the foundations we have built our identities upon are knocked out from beneath us..

New this month Freeman’s: The Future of New Writing (ed) John Freeman ($33, PB)

The Boat Runner by Devin Murphy ($25, PB)


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Beginning in the summer of 1939, 14 year-old Jacob Koopman & his older brother, Edwin, enjoy lives of prosperity & quiet contentment. Many of the residents in their small Dutch town have some connection to the Koopman light bulb factory, and the locals hold the family in high esteem. On days when they aren’t playing with friends, Jacob & Edwin help their uncle Martin on his fishing boat in the North Sea, where German ships have become a common sight. But conflict still seems unthinkable, even as the boys’ father naively sends his sons to a Hitler Youth camp in an effort to secure German business for the factory. The Boat Runner follows Jacob over the course of 4 years, through the forests of France, the stormy beaches of England, and deep within the secret missions of the German Navy. Devin Murphy tells the little-known story of the young Dutch boys who were thrust into the Nazi campaign, as well as the brave boatmen who risked everything to give Jewish refugees safe passage to land abroad.

sam dastyari in the Blue Mountains

As in life, Sam Dastyari’s memoir is unexpected and unorthodox. Born in Iran and moved to Australia when he was five years old, Sam changed his name from Sahand to Sam to fit in with his mates. He joined the labor party when he was 16 and was elected as a senator only 13 years later. One Halal of a Story is a no-holdsbarred look at the good and bad of family, politics, and being Sam.

Such Fine Boys by Patrick Modiano ($30, PB)

As a boarding school student in the early 1960s, Patrick Modiano lived among the troubled teenage sons of wealthy but self-involved parents. In this novel, Modiano weaves together a series of stories about such jettisoned boys at the exclusive Valvert School on the outskirts of Paris: abandoned children of privilege, left to create new family ties among themselves. Misfits & heroes, sports champions & goodhearted chums, the boys of Valvert misbehave, run away, get expelled, & engage in various forms of delinquency & disappearance. They emerge into adulthood tragically damaged, still tethered to their adolescent selves, powerless to escape the central loneliness of their lives in an ever-darkening spiral of self-delusion & grim consequence.

This is going to be one halal of an evening!

Hum If You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais

Life under Apartheid has created a secure future for Robin Conrad, a 10 year-old white girl living with her parents in 1970s Johannesburg. In the same nation but worlds apart, Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman in a rural village in the Bantu homeland of the Transkei, struggles to raise her children alone after her husband’s death. Both lives have been built upon the division of race, and their meeting should never have occurred—until the Soweto Uprising, in which a protest by black students ignites racial conflict, alters the fault lines on which their society is built, and shatters their worlds when Robin’s parents are left dead and Beauty’s daughter goes missing. After Robin is sent to live with her loving but irresponsible aunt, Beauty is hired to care for Robin while continuing the search for her daughter. In Beauty, Robin finds the security and family that she craves, and the two forge an inextricable bond through their deep personal losses. ($33, PB)


International Literature



Where: Cost:

The Carrington Hotel Ballroom, Katoomba

5.30pm for 6.00pm start

$20 ($17 concession) includes drinks & nibbles

Bookings essential. Tickets available at Gleebooks Blackheath or phone Gleebooks on 4787 6340 or email



Sometimes books just seem to drop in my lap, a sort of gift from the gods. One such book is The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler. Fowler is the author of the wonderful crime novels I’ve written about before that features the octogenarian detectives, Bryant and May of the ‘Peculiar Crimes Unit’—the latest of which is Strange Tide—I love this series. Fowler is a most prolific writer, having written thirteen Bryant and Mays, a collection of short stories featuring the pair, and numerous other novels. His latest, 99 Forgotten Authors, is the kind of book I really like— not a cover to cover speed read, but a book that you dip into (another of my favourite dip-into books is the Daily Telegraph Book of Hymns—though I know that would not be most peoples choice). As a big reader, one of the most interesting things for me about Fowlers book was how many of the authors he writes about that I’ve never heard of, and even the ones whose names I knew, but didn’t know much about. There are some well-known names, authors for whatever reason have fallen out of popularity, some that have been reprinted, and in a short section at the end, those that deserve to be forgotten, including T. H. White—which I can’t agree with, I loved The Once & Future King. I was pleased to see some writers that I love, including Barbara Pym, Barbara Comyns, Julian Mclaren-Ross and John McGlashan. Even Lobsang Rampa gets a mention. This is a book for book lovers—it is great fun, and after every dip in, it made me want to seek out some of those authors who were unknown to me. I love finding new writers, especially obscure ones. Goodbye, Vitamin is the first novel by Rachel Khong— a young writer from California. Khong has written for various magazines and was for sometime editor of Lucky Peach. Goodbye, Vitamin starts with a man noticing a pair of men’s pants, lit by Christmas lights, hanging from a tree. On taking them down he sees that they have a label with a name address & telephone number attached... Meanwhile, the recently separated Ruth has gone home to her parents for Christmas, instead of spending Christmas with her partner Joel’s family. Here she finds out her father, Howard, has started the long, slow slide into some form of dementia. What follows is a funny, sad, poignant story of a once clever man, a university professor, loved by his students, who is becoming a different person, as the disease begins to take hold. Rachel plans to leave that after Christmas but her mother, Joan, asks her to stay for a year—just a year she begs. Joan is not coping with what is happening—she’s given up cooking and spends a long blocks of time isolated in her room. So Rachel stays to take on the role of carer for her beloved father. In a wonderful part of the book a teaching associate of her father decides to hold fake classes for her father to teach. A group of students agree to take part, and what follows is both funny and sad—the realisation that her father is no longer the man he was and will never be that person again. There is so much in this book. It is rich with relationships, Rachel with her mother and father, her brother Linus, and Bonnie—Rachel’s best friend, who is a great support during this difficult time. There is, as far as I know, no dementia in my family, but I have had contact with sufferers and this book captures the difficulties faced by families and carers, trying to remain compassionate through the day to day. Delia Ephron has written novels, plays, screenplays, essays and books for children. Her latest novel Siracusa sees two mismatched couples and one scary child holiday together in Italy, first to Rome and then to Siracusa, in Sicily. Magazine writer Lizzie is worried about the fact that her work is drying up. She lives in the shadow of her partner Michael who once wrote a Pulitzer-winning play, but nothing since. He’s supposed to be writing a novel—one of the reasons for the holiday— but lying, philandering Michael is not all that he seems. The other couple, Taylor and Finn, are not close friends of Lizzie and Michael—coming from quite different worlds. Their child Snow is the focus of all of Taylor’s attention­­—she treats her like a small child, never letting her stand on her own two feet, with disastrous consequence. Portland chef, Finn, is more focussed on his own problems—particularly his hidden affair. As things fall apart the mysterious Snow, silent but observant, suffering from what Taylor calls intense shyness, is taking it all in. Things eventually come to a head, someone dies, the partners are on the verge of breaking up, and in the middle is this innocent young girl, Snow. But is she, or is she manipulating the grown-ups for her own ends. The people in this book are not very likeable, but I found them, unfortunately, quite real. Whether Snow is the innocent she portrays or the very knowing young person who hides her real self, I will leave up to you to judge—I found her quite disturbing. I really liked this book—it is described as an ‘electrifying, psychological suspense novel’—I may not go that far, but it certainly had a strange and compelling darkness to it. Janice Wilder


Crime Fiction

Force of Nature by Jane Harper ($33, PB)

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start a hike through the rugged ‘resilience and team building’ Giralang Ranges. Only four women come out the other side. Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case. She knows all the company secrets. Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of violence & disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers run far deeper than anyone knew.

Gleebooks’ special price $29.95

Ferocity by Nicola Lagioia ($30, PB)

Southern Italy, the 1980s. On a hot summer’s night under a full moon, far from the outlying neighbourhoods of a southern Italian metropolis, Clara stumbles naked, dazed & bloodied down a major highway. When she dies no-one is able to say exactly how or why, but her brother cannot free himself from her memory or from the questions surrounding her death. The more he learns about her life & death, the more he uncovers the moral decay at the core of his family’s ascent to social prominence.

The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch ($27, HB)

Traumatised travellers on the Metropolitan line have been reporting strange encounters on their morning commute, with oddly dressed people trying to deliver an urgent message. Stranger still, despite calling the police themselves, within a few minutes the commuters have already forgotten the encounter—making the follow up interviews rather difficult. So with a little help from Abigail & Toby the ghost hunting dog, PC Peter Grant and Sgt Jaget are head out on a ghost hunting expedition.

Origin by Dan Brown ($40, HB)

Professor of symbology and religious iconology, Robert Langdon is back—this time on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock the secret to an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence. Accompanied by Guggenheim Museum Bilbao director, Ambra Vidal, and evading a tormented enemy who is one step ahead of them at every turn, they must navigate labyrinthine passageways of hidden history & ancient religion to discover a world-shaking truth that has been long buried.

Gleebooks’ special price $34.95

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke ($30, PB) When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules—a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well, and he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home. When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders—a black lawyer from Chicago & a local white woman—have stirred up a hornet’s nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes—and save himself in the process—before Lark’s long-simmering racial fault lines erupt.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen & Owen King ($33, PB) Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, in a future so real it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep. They become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze, and if awakened, or the gauze is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place... The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. Evie, however, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is she a medical anomaly or a demon who must be slain? Dancing Home by Paul Collis ($29.95, PB)

‘When he was in gaol, he’d begun to prepare himself for the fight of his life, a showdown with the policeman, McWilliams … he’d face life with death, and see who blinked first.’ Blackie and Rips are fresh out of prison when they set off on a road trip back to Wiradjuri country with their mate Carlos. Blackie is out for revenge against the cop who put him in prison on false grounds. He is also craving to reconnect with his grandmother’s country. Driven by his hunger for drugs and payback, Blackie reaches dark places of both mystery and beauty as he searches for peace. He is willing to pay for that peace with his own life. Part road-movie, part ‘Koori-noir’—Winner of 2016 David Unaipon award.

A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward ($30, PB)

When Derbyshire Detective Constable Connie Childs is dragged from her bed to the fire-wrecked property on Cross Farm Lane she knows as she steps from the car that this house contains death. Three bodies discovered—a family obliterated—their deaths all seem to point to one conclusion: One mother, one murderer. But DC Childs, determined as ever to discover the truth behind the tragedy, realises it is the fourth body—the one they cannot find—that holds the key to the mystery at Cross Farm Lane. What she fails to spot is that her determination to unmask the real murderer might cost her her career.

Munich by Robert Harris ($33, PB)

September 1938. Hitler is determined to start a war. Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace. The issue is to be decided in Munich. As Chamberlain’s plane judders over the Channel & the Führer’s train steams relentlessly south from Berlin, two young men travel with secrets of their own. Hugh Legat is one of Chamberlain’s private secretaries; Paul Hartmann a German diplomat and member of the anti-Hitler resistance. Great friends at Oxford before Hitler came to power, they haven’t seen one another since they were last in Munich six years earlier. Now, as the future of Europe hangs in the balance, their paths are destined to cross again. When the stakes are this high, who are you willing to betray? Your friends, your family, your country or your conscience?

You can never go back − but can you forgive? A haunting story about forgiveness and hope.

Gleebooks’ special price $30

The Stranger by Melanie Raabe ($30, PB)

Philip Petersen, a wealthy businessman, disappears without trace on a trip to South America. His wife, Sarah, is left to bring up their son on her own. Seven years later, out of the blue, Sarah receives news that Philip is still alive. But the man who greets her before a crowd of journalists at the airport is a stranger—and he threatens Sarah. If she exposes him, she will lose everything: her house, her job, her son…her whole beautiful life. The Rooster Bar by John Grisham ($33, PB) Law students Mark, Todd & Zola wanted to change the world. But as 3rd year students, they realise they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. When they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specialising in student loans, they begin plotting a way out—hopefully escaping their crushing debt, exposing the bank & the scam, and making a few bucks in the process. But to do so, they have to leave law school, pretend they are qualified & go into battle with a billionaire & the FBI. The Scarred Woman by Jussi Adler-Olsen ($30, PB) In a Copenhagen park the body of an elderly woman is discovered. Across town a group of young women are being hunted down. The attacks seem random, but could these brutal acts of violence be related? Detective Carl Morck of Department Q is charged with solving the mystery. Solving the case, however, is not their only concern. After a breakdown, their colleague Rose is struggling to deal with the ghosts of her past—a past seemingly connected to one of the division’s most sinister case-files. It is up to Carl, Assad & Gordon to unearth the dark & violent truth plaguing Rose before it is too late.

A Dangerous Language by Sulari Gentill ($30, PB)

Volunteering his services as a pilot to fly renowned international peace advocate Egon Kisch between Fremantle & Melbourne, Rowland is unaware how hard Australia’s new attorney-general will fight to keep the raging reporter off Australian soil. In this, it seems, the government is not alone, as clandestine right-wing militias reconstitute into deadly strike forces. A disgraced minister, an unidentified corpse & an old flame all bring their own special bedlam. Once again Rowland Sinclair stands against the unthinkable, with an artist, a poet & a brazen sculptress by his side.

Stockholm Delete by Jens Lapidus ($30, PB)

Emilie Jansson has just been made partner at a prestigious law firm when she is asked to work with an unusual partner. Teddy is an ex-con trying to stay on the right side of the law as he goes about his job as the firm’s fixer & special Investigator. Meanwhile, a burglary at a remote house in the country turns out to be a murder—and a severely wounded man found near the scene is soon in the frame for the crime. Emilie takes on the role of his defence lawyer but the case is even more complex than it first seemed, and a link is found to Teddy’s wayward past, and involving those he loves.

Soho Sins by Richard Vine ($17, PB)

They were the New York art scene’s golden couple—until the day Amanda Oliver was found murdered in her SoHo loft, and her husband Philip confessed to shooting her. But was he a continent away when the trigger was pulled? Art dealer Jackson Wyeth sets out to learn the truth, and uncovers the dangerous secrets lurking beneath the surface of Manhattan’s posh galleries and decadent parties, a world of adultery and madness, of beautiful girls growing up too fast and men making fortunes and losing their minds. But even the worst the art world can imagine will seem tame when the final shattering sin is revealed.

Soul Cage by Tetsuya Honda ($17, PB)

A severed hand is found in a van in the outskirts of Tokyo. Kenichi Takaoka, a contractor, goes missing, leaving his garage covered in blood. Lt. Reiko Himekawa is on the case, and when the hand is identified as Takaoka’s, she’s investigating a murder. Reiko is plunged into a world of past sins, forced suicides, and the shadowy control of the yakuza. But Takaoka’s body is missing, and his childhood friend swears the missing man is not Takaoka at all.

Meet the extraordinary woman who helped shape Austra lia.

The first-ever collection of short stories from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Middlesex.

True Crime

The Griffith Wars by Tom Gilling & Terry Jones ($33, PB)

The assassination of Donald Mackay was meant to solve a problem for the mafia. Instead it roused the law-abiding citizens of Griffith to fight against the powerful criminal elements who had made their town synonymous with drugs and murder. Drawing on the personal diaries and memories of Terry Jones—who, as the editor of the local newspaper, knew everyone and heard everything—The Griffith Wars reveals startling new evidence about one of Australia’s most notorious unsolved murders. It also powerfully recounts the struggle for the soul of a country town still battling to shake off its criminal past.

Black Dahlia, Red Rose by Piu Eatwell

On January 15th 1947 the naked, dismembered body of a black-haired beauty, Elizabeth Short, was discovered lying next to a pavement in a Hollywood suburb. She was quickly nicknamed The Black Dahlia. The homicide enquiry that followed consumed Los Angeles for years and the authorities blew millions of dollars of resources on an investigation which threw up dozens of suspects. Never solved, the case was immortalised in James Ellroy’s famous novel based on the case, in Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon and Brian de Palma’s movie. Piu Eatwell reveals compelling evidence, both forensic & eye witness, which finally points to the identity of the murderer. This is a dark tale of sex, manipulation, orgies, obsession, psychopathy & one of the biggest police cover ups in history. ($33, PB)

The Seventh Circle by Rob Langdon ($33, PB)

Rob Langdon served in the Australian Army for almost 15 years, before becoming a security contractor working in Iraq & Afghanistan. In July 2009 Rob was protecting a convoy when he shot & killed an Afghan guard during a heated argument after the guard drew a pistol on him. Rob’s claim of self-defence was dismissed & he was sentenced to death in a matter of minutes. This death sentence was later changed to 20 years in jail, to be served in Afghanistan’s most notorious prison, Pol-e-Charkhi, described as the world’s worst place to be a westerner. Rob was there for 7 years, and every one of those 2500 days was an act of survival in a jail run from the inside by the Taliban & filled with some of Afghanistan’s most dangerous extremists & criminals.



Joan: The Remarkable Life of Joan Leigh Fermor by Simon Fenwick ($50, HB)

A talented photographer, Joan Leigh Fermor defied the social conventions of her times and, though she came from a wealthy and well-connected family, earned her own living. She met and mingled with the leading lights of 1930s bohemia like John Betjeman, Cyril Connolly & Evelyn Waugh. She featured regularly in the gossip columns, not only for her affairs and her fashionable clothes, but for her intrepid travels to Russia and America. In 1944 in Cairo, where she was a cypher clerk, she met Paddy Leigh Fermor, lionized for his daring kidnap of the Nazi General Kreipe in Crete. They would remain together until her death in 2003. Written with full access to her personal archive, Simon Fenwick reveals gives a riveting portrait of a marriage and a milieu, revealing the sexual and intellectual mores of that wartime generation who lived life at full tilt, no matter what the consequences.

Me. You. A Diary by Dawn French ($40, HB) I can’t count the amount of diaries I have crammed full with entries in January, that then fizzle out as the other months pile in. One of my teenage diaries has fulsome fizzing reports of every single conversation, thought and feeling about every friend, every crush, every meal, every argument until mid-March, when the entry on the 18th simply reads, ‘Washed hair.’ Dawn French has written a new book for 2017! It’s interactive—the reader and Dawn will spend a year together travelling through the days, the months and the seasons of the year to make sense of it. And have some fun along the way. Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time by Hilary Spurling ($55, HB)

Anthony Powell’s comic masterpiece, A Dance to the Music of Time, an undisputed classic of English literature, spanning twelve volumes and written over twenty-five years, teems with idiosyncratic characters, capturing 20th century Britain through war and peace. Drawing on Powell’s letters and journals, and the memories of those who knew him, Hilary Spurling explores his life. Investigating the friends, relations, lovers, acquaintances, fools and geniuses who surrounded him, she reveals the comical & tragic events that inspired one of the greatest fictions of the age.

Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World by Eric Metaxas ($50, HB)

On All Hallow’s Eve in 1517, a young monk named Martin Luther posted a document he hoped would spark an academic debate, but that instead ignited a conflagration that would forever destroy the world he knew. 500 years after Luther’s now famous 95 Theses appeared, Eric Metaxas paints a startling portrait of the wild figure whose adamantine faith cracked the edifice of Western Christendom & dragged medieval Europe into the future. Martin Luther tells the searing tale of a humble man who, by bringing ugly truths to the highest seats of power, caused the explosion whose sound is still ringing in our ears. Luther’s monumental faith & courage gave birth to the ideals of faith, virtue & freedom that today lie at the heart of all modern life.

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein

Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife. But as a little boy, raised in violence & excluded from the family home, she just wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less. A woman who sleeps among garbage she has not put out for forty years. A man who bled quietly to death in his loungeroom. A woman who lives with rats, random debris and terrified delusion. The still life of a home vacated by accidental overdose. This is not just the compelling story of a fascinating life among lives of desperation, but an affirmation that, as isolated as we may feel, we are all in this together. ($33, PB)

If All the Seas Were Ink: A Memoir by Ilana Kurshan ($40, HB)

At the age of 27, alone in Jerusalem in the wake of a painful divorce, Ilana Kurshan joined the world’s largest book club, learning daf yomi, Hebrew for ‘daily page’ of the Talmud, a book of rabbinic teachings spanning about 600 years and the basis for all codes of Jewish law. A runner, a reader and a romantic, Kurshan adapted to its pace, attuned her ear to its poetry, and discovered her passions in its pages. She brought the Talmud with her wherever she went, studying in airplanes, supermarket lines, and over a plate of pasta at home,. This memoir is a tale of heartache and humour, of love and loss, of marriage and motherhood, and of learning to put one foot in front of the other by turning page after page. Kurshan takes a deeply accessible and personal guided tour of the Talmud, shedding new light on its stories and offering insights into its arguments—both for those already familiar with the text and for those who have never encountered it.


Silence ... in the age of noise by Erling Kagge

Erling Kagge, the Norwegian adventurer and polymath, once spent fifty days walking solo in Antarctica with a broken radio. In this meditative, charming and surprisingly powerful book, he explores the power of silence and the importance of shutting out the world. Whether you’re in deep wilderness, taking a shower or on the dance floor, you can experience perfect stillness if you know where to look. And from it grows self-knowledge, gratitude, wonder and much more. Take a deep breath, and prepare to submerge yourself in Silence. Your own South Pole is out there, somewhere. ($30, HB)

What You Did Not Tell: A Russian Past & the Journey Home by Mark Mazower ($50, HB)

Mark Mazower’s was a family that fate drove into the siege of Stalingrad, the Vilna ghetto, occupied Paris, and even into the ranks of the Wehrmacht. His British father was the lucky one, the son of Russian Jewish emigrants who settled in London after escaping the civil war & revolution. Max, the grandfather, had started out as a socialist & manned the barricades against tsarist troops, but never spoke of it. His wife, Frouma, came from a family ravaged by the Great Terror yet somehow making their way in Soviet society. Mazower’s book recounts a brand of socialism erased from memory—humanistic, impassioned & broadranging in its sympathies. But it also explores the unexpected happiness that may await history’s losers, the power of friendship, and the love of place that allowed Max & Frouma’s son to call England home.

The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn by Margaret Willes ($45, HB)

Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn are two of the most celebrated English diarists. They were also extraordinary men & close friends. This first full portrait of that friendship transforms our understanding of their times. Pepys was earthy & shrewd, while Evelyn was a genteel aesthete, but both were drawn to intellectual pursuits. Brought together by their work to alleviate the plight of sailors caught up in the Dutch wars, they shared an inexhaustible curiosity for life & for the exotic. Margaret Willes explores their mutual interests—diary-keeping, science, travel, and a love of books—and their divergent enthusiasms; Pepys for theatre & music, Evelyn for horticulture & garden design. Through the richly documented lives of two remarkable men, Willes revisits the history of London & of England in an age of regicide, revolution, fire & plague to reveal it also as a time of enthralling possibility.

Now in Paperback Victoria by Julia Baird, $35 This Long Pursuit: Reflections Of A Romantic Biographer by Richard Holmes, $25 Kenneth Clark: Life, Art and Civilisation by James Stourton, $25 Minefields by Hugh Riminton

From a small-town teenager with a drinking problem, cleaning rat cages for a living, to a multi-award winning international journalist reporting to an audience of 300 million people, Hugh Riminton has been a frontline witness to our times. From genocide in Africa to the Indian Ocean tsunami, from wars in Iraq & Afghanistan to slave-buying in Sudan, he has seen the best & worst of human behaviour. In Australia, he has covered political dramas, witnessed the Port Arthur Massacre & the Thredbo disaster & broke a major national scandal. His work helped force half-adozen government inquiries. His story is entertaining, deeply personal and quietly wise. ($33, PB)

Danger Music by Eddie Ayres ($33, PB)

Eddie Ayres has a lifetime of musical experience—from learning the viola as a child in England & playing with the Hong Kong Philharmonic for many years, to learning the cello in his thirties & landing in Australia to present an extremely successful ABC Classic FM morning radio show. But all of this time Eddie was Emma Ayres. In 2014 Emma was spiralling into a deep depression, driven by anguish about her gender. She quit the radio, travelled & decided on a surprising path to salvation—teaching music in a war zone—at the renowned Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul, teaching cello to orphans & street kids. In Danger Music, Eddie takes us through the bombs & chaos of Kabul, into the lives of the Afghan children who are transported by Bach, Abba, Beethoven & their own exhilarating Afghan music. Alongside these epic experiences, Emma determines to take the final steps to secure her own peace; she becomes the man always there inside—Eddie.

Logical Family: A Memoir by Armistead Maupin

Armistead Maupin explains how he evolved from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer whose novels inspired millions to claim their own lives. It is a journey that leads him from the racism & misogyny of mid-century North Carolina to a homoerotic Navy initiation ceremony in the jungles of Vietnam to an awkward conversation about girls with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office of the White House. After losing his virginity to another man ‘on the very spot where the first shots of the Civil War were fired’, Maupin packs his earthly belongings into his Opel GT (including a portrait of a Confederate ancestor) and heads west to that strangest of strange lands: San Francisco in the early 1970s. ($35, PB)

Travel Writing

Wine Dogs Australia: The Leunig Edition by Craig McGill & Susan Elliott ($35, HB)

Wherever good wine is made, you’re likely to find a dog scouting the tasting room or winery—for example, the Tasmanian sausageeating champion, the wine industry’s infamous handbag thief, and the Hunter Valley chook terminator. Wine Dogs Australia 5 features over 130 wineries across Australia with stunning photos of their loyal pooches. Along the way, the mutts and purebreds are interspersed with a foreword and cartoons by legendary Australian artist Michael Leunig.

Journey ($50, HB)

Human journeys have arisen from all manner of impulse, from migration & the search for food, to pilgrimages, trade, scientific curiosity, or simply the quest for adventure. Journey is a stunning visual guide to the stories of human movement & endeavour—from the first trade networks in ancient Sumer to the epic Voyager missions. Follow in humanity’s footsteps around the globe with exciting accounts of history’s most famous, significant & thrilling journeys.

Greece: A Literary Guide for Travellers by Michael Carroll ($40, HB)


ince the arrival of the First Fleet there have been

Gypsies in Australia, yet their experiences have never been included in any official histories. In Australian Gypsies, awardwinning memoirist and novelist Mandy Sayer weaves together a vivid, wide-ranging history from the first Gypsy people to arrive in Australia (including James Squire, the colony’s first brewer) through to Gypsy families today.

‘A revealing, behind the scenes account of how Australia’s asylum seeker policy moved from humanity to inhumanity.’ – Gillian Triggs


n the late 1970s, 2000 Vietnamese arrived in

Australia by boat, fleeing persecution. Claire Higgins’ important book recounts these extraordinary events. It is driven by the question of how we moved from a humanitarian approach to policies of mandatory detention − including on remote islands − and boat turn-backs.

w w w. n ews o u t h p u b l i s h i n g .co m

Greece has the longest written history in Europe. Her myths and legends, so deeply embedded in Western consciousness, and her sublime landscapes, so infused with history, have been muse for writers, artists and travellers for millennia. Travelling from Athens to the scattered islands of the Ionian and Aegean seas, the words of literary titans in the West echo through the centuries: from Homer and Plato to Byron, Flaubert and Twain; Henry Miller to John Fowles; the Durrells to Patrick Leigh Fermor and Cavafy, Kazantzakis and Seferis. Their luminous portraits of Greece— poignant, provocative, always entertaining—enrich our own experiences of the country and shed light on a dramatic and often tragic past.

Paris: Through a Fashion Eye by Megan Hess

Megan Hess takes a stylish adventure through the French capital, showing the best places for a fashionista to eat, sleep, shop & play— all illustrated in her elegant style. Hess’ tour reveals where fashion icons such as Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfield, Chistian Dior and LouisFrançois Cartier worked and played, the top restaurants, hotels, boutiques & sites to visit, as well as her own personal favourite places to shop. This is a must-have insider’s guide to Paris for any fashion lover or Francophile. ($30, HB)

Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer et al ($45, HB) Atlas Obscura celebrates over 600 of the strangest & most curious places in the world. The dazzling glowworm caves in New Zealand, or a baobob tree in South Africa that’s so large it has a pub inside where 15 people can drink comfortably. Architectural marvels, including the M.C. Escher-like stepwells in India. Mind-boggling events, like the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain, where men dressed as devils literally vault over rows of squirming infants. Not to mention the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Virginia, Turkmenistan’s 40-year hole of fire called the Gates of Hell, a graveyard for decommissioned ships on the coast of Bangladesh, eccentric bone museums in Italy, or a weatherforecasting invention that was powered by leeches, still on display in Devon, England. Big Pacific: An Incredible Journey of Exploration and Revelation (ed) Rebecca Tansley

The Pacific Ocean covers one-third of Earth’s surface—greater than all of the planet’s landmasses combined. It contains half of the world’s water, hides its deepest places, and is home to some of the most dazzling creatures known to science. Big Pacific presents the Pacific Ocean and its inhabitants as you have never seen them before, blending a wealth of Ultra HD colour photographs & stories to take you into a realm teeming with exotic life rarely witnessed up close. ($49.95, HB)

Atlas of Untamed Places: A voyage through our extraordinary wild world by Chris Fitch ($40, HB)

Chris Fitch takes a journey through the world’s most wild places, visiting immensely diverse floral kingdoms, remote jungles abundant with exotic birds, and both freezing cold & scorching hot inhospitable environments. From these natural havens he travels to the extreme & the incredible: lightening inducing lakes, acidic mud baths & man-eating tiger kingdoms. As well as those wildernesses being reclaimed by nature, such as Chernobyl, that after being left abandoned for years has returned to a natural wild habitat, free from human intervention. And not forgetting those most bizarre of destinations, such as the tidal surges of the Qiantang River, the bridge to Modo Island that emerges from the sea, and the strange magnetic pull of Jubuka rock. With beautiful maps and stunning photography, An Atlas of Untamed Places is an intrepid voyage to nature’s most unusual, unpredictable, & extraordinarily wild destinations.

Also new Paris: An Inspired Wander Through the City of Lights by Alexandra Carroll ($35, PB)


books for kids to young adults nonfiction

compiled by Lynndy Bennett, our children's correspondent

picture books

Why Can’t I Be A Dinosaur? by Kylie Westaway, (ill) Tom Jellett ($25, HB)

Nellie is not happy to discover that her ‘dinosaur day’ has clashed with Aunt Daisy’s wedding. She can’t possibly wear a dress today! After much stomping and roaring she settles on a brilliant compromise. A delight to behold, she clomps down the aisle strewing pink petals, green dinosaur feet poking out from the hem of her purple bridesmaid’s dress. Go Nellie! Mandy (Just as irresistible as their previous book, Whale in the Bath LB.)

The Variety of Life by Nicola Davies (ill) Lorna Scobie ($30, HB)

What a wonderful celebration of the amazing diversity of the natural world, with millions of species of plants and animals living in water, on land and in the sky! Delightful illustrations are accompanied by fascinating facts, endangered species are marked with a star and everything is given both its common and scientific names. Introductory notes and a comprehensive glossary complete the picture. Readers of 6+ will surely revel in this exploration of biodiversity. Mandy

Play in a Box by the National Theatre, (ill) Hui Skipp ($28, BX)

Discover how to create, direct and act in your very own play in this brilliant kit from the National Theatre. Inside find everything you need to put on a show, including ideas and inspiration for the characters, settings and plot, as well as tips for staging, costume, make-up, props, sound and lighting. Contains 30 Character Cards, 8 Setting Cards, Plot Twist Book, 32-page Stagecraft Handbook, a programme, and tickets to colour in. This kit will be the perfect gift for all young actors, directors and theatre-lovers.

All About Theatre by the National Theatre ($28, HB; $25, PB)

Teamed with Play in a Box this gives a completely rounded access to all aspects of theatre productions. Described by Benedict Cumberbatch as ‘a brilliant introduction to theatre’, this fascinating book by the National Theatre shows how plays like War Horse and many others are made. It’s packed with interviews with famous directors and actors, like Meera Syal, Julie Walters and Ben Whishaw, and productions like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and One Man, Two Guvnors. Hear from experts at the world-famous National Theatre about every aspect of stagecraft, including propmaking, set building and lighting design, and discover, from concept to final curtain, how plays are made.

Titania and Oberon by William Shakespeare, retold by Jo Manton (ill) Phyllis Bray ($25, HB)

First published in 1945, this is a retelling of the story of the King and Queen of the fairies from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Told simply, and with plenty of direct quotes from the play, this is an extremely beautiful book. Phyllis Bray was a very popular artist, designer and mural painter, and her lithograph illustrations for this book are something else. Very much of their time, with loose expressive lines, flowery colours and small details that will delight, the artist’s vision of fairyland is all it should be. Wonderful endpapers, a gorgeous clothbound cover, and full double pages of colour pictures will take the reader away on gossamer wings, ‘over hill, over dale… swifter than the moon’s sphere’. Very highly recommended. Louise


The Iliad/The Odyssey by Homer, retold by Gillian Cross (ill) Neil Packer ($50, BX) Whether you are familiar with Homer’s classic works, or you are about to embark on them, this gorgeous presentation box is a covetable gift. In Cross’s retellings, these epics are brought within the range of any reader while retaining the thrilling authenticity of the originals, and Packer’s bold stylistic illustrations add drama and visual appeal to render the stories even more memorable. Not only essential reading for any bibliophile, but also a superb prize or special reward! Lynndy In Praise of Beatrix

Beatrix Potter doesn’t need me to promote her, her books sell in a steady stream, and she is one of the most recognisable children’s illustrators of all time. However, I would like to say how completely I love her books—for illustration and story alike, and how much I value those small, child’s hand sized hardcovers, their sober cream jackets, with the restrained typeface and shiny coloured vignette. There are lots of new versions, all pleasant, big picture books, colourful board books and treasuries of all the tales. But it’s the small, plain hardcovers that I love, and always buy for any important new baby. My goddaughter will have had her new baby by the time this comes out, and I’ve already chosen his selection: The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, The Tale of Mrs.Tiggy–Winkle, The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse, The Tale of Peter Rabbit (of course), and possibly my favourite children’s book of all time, The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher. Louise


A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery series by Robin Stevens ($17, PB)

There are children who love mystery novels, and enjoy nothing more than a murder in the library, with a piece of lead piping. I admit I was one myself (although I don’t like adult crime novels), and when I was young, Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers were my writers of choice. These days there are plenty of more appropriate mystery series for young readers, but Robin Stevens’ A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery series, is my absolute favourite. Two English schoolgirls, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, set up a detective agency at their boarding school. Set in England in the 1930s, these books have all the hallmarks of the genre—bad weather, grim school mistresses, gormless parents and so on. Not all the books in the series are set in the school, and they are progressive—the characters age with each book, which makes them more dynamic to read as a whole. People have said these books are Agatha Christie meets Enid Blyton, but I think they are more than that. The narrator, Hazel Wong, has been sent to school in England from Hong Kong, and her insights as an outsider are often very amusing, and sharp. Each volume has a map and a list of characters, which definitely help set the scene. Louise

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Wow! This is an outstanding debut, and the start of a series by Australian author Townsend. Cursed heroine Morrigan, who was born on Eventide, the unluckiest day of the year, is destined to die on her 11th birthday… until she is whisked away by a strange man to Nevermoor, a fantasy version of London. The problem is that Morrigan can only remain in Nevermoor, and escape death, if she earns a place in the city’s most prestigious organization—the Wondrous Society—by passing four difficult and dangerous tests. This has every element one could possibly ask of a fantasy novel: risk, captivating twists, an alternate world, snarky wit, credible characters, cunning inventions and utterly delectable whimsy. By far one of my favourite books this year, Nevermoor is a novel I urge you not to miss!! ($17, PB) Lynndy


teen fiction

A Skinful of Shadows by Francis Hardinge ($25, PB)

I’ve been a fan of Francis Hardinge since her first book and it’s regrettable she was largely overlooked until winning the 2015 Costa Prize with The Lie Tree. At least now she attracts deservedly close attention from other luminaries such as Patrick Ness who proclaims: ‘Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now.’ She is a writer who invests every book with astounding originality and I am confident this book, her most recent, will prove equally imaginative. Unfortunately there were no advance copies, so I’ll trust the publisher’s blurb to entice readers: ‘This is the story of a bear-hearted girl... Sometimes, when a person dies, their spirit goes looking for somewhere to hide. Some people have space within them, perfect for hiding. Twelve-year-old Makepeace has learned to defend herself from the ghosts which try to possess her in the night, desperate for refuge, but one day a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard. And now there’s a spirit inside her. The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, and it may be her only defence when she is sent to live with her father’s rich and powerful ancestors. There is talk of civil war, and they need people like her to protect their dark and terrible family secret. But as she plans her escape and heads out into a country torn apart by war, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession—or death.! Lynndy

Food, Health & Garden

Tragedy, Trials & Triumphs: Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Australia in the Twentieth Century by Alan Donald Hewson ($49.95, HB)

Alan Hewson weaves his own 60 year journey in obstetrics into the national narrative of the development of obstetrics & gynaecology in Australia. His book contains many little known facts on the revolution that took place within this discipline during the 20th century, which saw childbirth in Australia change from the dreadful, dangerous & frightening experience of the previous century, into the cocooned safety of today, where Australia is now the safest place in the world to bear a child. He relates a great deal about the science & art of obstetrics, and confronts the personal issues faced by every conscientious obstetrician who has been a part of this medical revolution.

Genealogy for Gardeners by Simon Maughan

There are hundreds of different plant families, which botanists have grouped together using what they know of their family histories & genealogy, to bring some sense & order to more than quarter of million different plant species. Teach yourself to see similarities of characteristics between plants and get a pretty good idea of which family they belong to. Genealogy for Gardeners presents the enormous diversity shown by the many families of plants in a way that is easy to understand, whether one’s interest lies in natural history or with horticulture. The superb illustrations make it an attractive & accessible book. ($35, HB)

Basic Fermentation: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Cultural Manipulation by Sandor Ellix Katz This is a great introduction to fermenting foods at home, whether you’re looking to expand your kitchen repertoire into exciting new flavours or seeking to make affordable, natural, probiotic food to heal your guts & soothe your soul. The book includes clear, straightforward instructions to get you started making anything fermentable, from bread to cheese to yogurt to kimchi to miso to injera to honey wine. Who knew making tasty, healthy, interesting food could be so simple? ($25, HB)

The Diggers Club Gardening Diary 2018

The Diggers Club is Australia’s largest garden club & promotes conservation, preservation & education across Australia. This beautiful diary captures the essence of all things heritage with a week to a page & weekly garden facts, monthly seeds to sow, seasonal advice, room for your plant labels. Also with blank pages for your own seasonal observations & garden notes. ($24.95, SP)

New this month: Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book 2018, $20 Maggie’s Recipe for Life by Maggie Beer with Ralph Martins ($40, PB)

Maggie Beer and Professor Ralph Martins have teamed up to fight one of the most debilitating diseases of our later years. Based on the latest scientific research, Maggie has created more than 200 recipes that help provide the nutrients we need for optimum brain health. More than one million Australians are affected every day by Alzheimer’s or its impact on their family but the good news is that you can eat well to age well, from this moment on.

Basics to Brilliance Kids by Donna Hay ($45, HB) Highlighting the importance of mastering the basics, Donna Hay’s new book celebrates fresh, healthy food, and the joy of cooking, eating & sharing delicious food with the people we love. Featuring over 120 fantastic family-friendly recipes, Hay gives you & your kids endless ideas for birthday parties, picnics, school fairs & bake sales, family & celebration dinners, brilliant breakfasts, beach days, backyard movie nights & sleepovers.

Low Carb, Healthy Fat by Pete Evans ($40, PB) Pete Evans clearly explains the benefits of adopting a low-carb, healthy-fat lifestyle, with nutritional advice on which foods to embrace & avoid, simple meal plans to get you going and, of course, more than 130 delicious recipes to make eating well that much easier. With dishes such as cauliflower and pumpkin dhal, panfried salmon with Thai cucumber salad and Indian-spiced lamb chops with mint chutney, regaining your health has never been more enjoyable. Recipes from an Italian Butcher: Roasting, Stewing, Braising ($59.95, HB)

150 inspiring & authentic Italian recipes for meat, poultry & game (most published for the first time in English)—from the world’s most trusted authority on Italian cuisine, this book showcases simple, hearty dishes from chicken cacciatore & braised beef with Barolo to osso buco & Roman lamb. This comprehensive and authoritative book demystifys the different cuts, cooking methods, & techniques unique to each meat type— along with the side dishes that best complement them.

Rick Stein: The Road to Mexico ($50, HB) Starting in San Francisco & Baja California, and working his way down to the southernmost tip of Mexico, Rick Stein cooks, eats & experiences Mexican food at its very best & most diverse. Packed with vegetables, centred around fresh ingredients & always high on flavour, Mexican & California cooking is naturally healthy & satisfying—from the incredible seafood of the north Pacific coast & the mole of Oaxaca, to the spices & salsas of Yucatan & Quintana Roo.

In The Restaurant: Society in Four Courses by Christoph Ribbat ($30, PB)

Since the first ‘restorative’ establishments opened in eighteenth-century Paris, restaurants have been places to see and be seen, to show off style and distinction—and to feel at home among strangers. Christoph Ribbat brings together the engrossing gastronomical experiences of kitchen staff and genius chefs, waitresses and philosophers, gastronomers and sociologists. He looks behind the scenes to tell the story of one of our most essential social establishments: from the first Parisian gourmet temples to the rise of fast food, to the most innovative chefs of our time.

Urban Botanics: An Indoor Plant Guide for Modern Gardeners by Emma Sibley ($35, PB)

Succulents, cacti, flowering & foliage plants are growing everywhere; in our homes, work places, bars & shops. Across 70 different plants, originating from every corner of the world, illustrator Maaike Koster and Emma Sibley (founder of UK-based London Terrariums) have collected a wide variety to tempt even the most timid of gardeners. Each plant is rendered in considered detail, facing a paragraph on its origins, care tips and any information about fellow species. The joy of these plants is that they are easy to maintain, and everyone has access to them - you no longer need to have a back garden to turn your hand to this green-fingered past time.

Hummus and Co: Middle Eastern food to fall in love with by Michael Rantissi & Kristy Frawley ($50, PB)

Kepos & Co.’s 2nd book offers recipes for every kind of gathering— speedy & delicious midweek dinners, a family barbecue with plentiful salads, or a Sunday slow roast of cumin-spiced lamb shoulder, with Persian cranberry rice pilaf & tangy vegetables; dips, relishes, rubs & spreads from Israel, Iraq, Lebanon & Turkey that turn a simple piece of fish or meat into a feast; authentic teas and sweet treats like Jaffa tea cake with marzipan; vegetables-scorched onions with pomegranate molasses, steamed leeks with spinach & haloumi, roasted pumpkin with dukkah & minted yoghurt & much more.

Cornersmith: Salads and Pickles ($40, PB) Make one or two vegetable dishes, open a jar of pickles or ferments, add a good loaf of bread and perhaps an easy protein - a great piece of cheese, some eggs, a slice of grilled meat or fish. No diets, no superfoods, no guilt... Just good food with more taste and the added benefit of cutting down food waste. Cornersmith’s new book has a focus on seasonal salads, pickles & preserving—including dozens of simple ideas for fresh ingredients that might otherwise be thrown away. Bourke Street Bakery: All Things Sweet by Paul Allam & David McGuinness ($55, HB)

From the easiest of foolproof cakes, to the crumbliest of pastries and pies, and the most buttery, flaky croissants and danishes—All Things Sweet represents years of testing, adapting & refining secret recipes. A companion to their definitive bread bible, Bourke Street Bakery, here at last is the comprehensive guide to baking cakes, sweet pastries, tarts and more, with the Bourke Street twist.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat ($50, HB)

Chef and writer Samin Nosrat has taught everyone from professional chefs to middle school kids to author Michael Pollan to cook using her revolutionary, yet simple, philosophy. Master the use of four elements—Salt, which enhances flavour; Fat, which delivers flavour & generates texture; Acid, which balances flavour; Heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food—and anything you cook will be delicious. By explaining the hows & whys of good cooking, Nosrat will teach & inspire a new generation of cooks how to confidently make better decisions in the kitchen & cook delicious meals with any ingredients, anywhere, at any time.

Australian Bush Superfoods ($30, PB)

Australia’s unique native ingredients boast nutritional & medicinal benefits that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. From the Kakadu plum with its unmatched vitamin C content, to Bunya nuts that contain natural antibacterial properties, knowledge of these superfoods has been passed down in Aboriginal cultures for thousands of years. This book features 40 of Australia’s most interesting and beneficial bush superfoods, with beautiful illustrations, photography and information on where they grow, traditional Indigenous uses, nutritional benefits, and advice on how to use them in your home kitchen. Following this information is a signature plant-based recipe using each key superfood.



s Eve nt ar d n e Cal






Launch—3.30 for 4



Robert Salisbury

The Shadows: Nostrum Deus Lucifer In this cautionary tale of the not too distant future Robert Salisbury draws into question The Shadows and their right to anonymity.




Claire H

Asylum by Boat Australia’s R in conv. with Claire Higgins’ b Australia has mov itarian approach in the late 1970s t datory detention— mote islands—and

Don’t miss out! ail! Sign up for gleem y kl James Ross’ wee te. email events upda .au m co asims@gleebooks.



Double Launch

Launch—6 for 6.30 Helen Dale




Kingdom of the Wicked: Bk 1 - Rules Launcher: Sen. David Leyonhjelm 784 ab urbe condita—31 AD. Jerusalem. A charismatic young leader is arrested after a riot in the Temple. As the city spirals into violence, the stage is set for a legal case that will shape the future—the trial of Yeshua Ben Yusuf.

Australia Since the arrival there have been G ia—given their bl stories, Mandy S ishes some longsta myths alon





—3.30 for 4 Geoff Page

Hard Horizons

Ron Pretty

The Left Hand Mirror Geoff Page and Ron Pretty will launch each other’s new Pitt Street Poetry collections.

21 Launch—6 for 6.30

Paul Geoffrey Brazenor In Memoriam

Launch—3.30 for 4 Remission Mission Emcee: Warren Wickman Peter Skrzynecki Remission Mission is Paul’s story. It A Fiercer Light is typical of the man that he would A Fiercer Light is a non-academic wish to convey his experiences to tribute collection of essays honouring others who have cancer, even after the life and work of Judith Wright. his own cancer warrior’s fight was over. will shape the future—the trial of Yeshua Ben Yusuf. Launch—6 for 6.30 Launch—3.30 for 4


30 Launch—6 for 6.30

In Search of Space: Journeys in Wild Places Launcher: Haydn Washington This is a collection of essays by Ross Brownscombe that describe his encounters with wild places in the Blue Mountains, Southwest Tasmania and Alaska, occasionally alone but most often with his wife and family.

Anthropologies & Futures— Researching Emerging & Uncertain Worlds This book brings together a group of leading scholars from across the world to present new ways of conceptualising how to engage with a future-oriented research agenda.

A Duterte Reader Launchers: Adele Webb & Anna Cristina Pertierra With essays by leading experts in diverse fields, this book offers a penetrating portrait of the volatile Philippines’ administration, poised between a troubled past and an uncertain future.




Ross Brownscombe

Juan Francisco Salazar & Sarah Pink

Nicole Curato


Join entry 10%c chase

All events listed are $12/$9 concession. Book Launches are free.

Gleeclub members free entry to events at 49 Glebe Pt Rd October Events are held upstairs at #49 Glebe Point Road unless otherwise noted. Bookings—Phone: (02) 9660 2333, Email:, Online: 2017


—6 for 6.30 Higgins

t: The Origins of Refugee Policy Ben Doherty book looks at how ved from a humanto refugee arrival to policies of man—including on red boat turn-backs.

—6 for 6.30 y Sayer

an Gypsies of the First Fleet Gypsies in Australlessing to tell their Sayer also demolanding but baseless ng the way.


Event—6 for 6.30

THURSDAY Event—6 for 6.30


Phillip Adams


Gareth Evans


Launch—6 for 6.30 Christine Negroni

Insights & Reflections in conv. with Barry Jones Phillip Adams, the occasionally controversial but undeniably prolific writer and broadcaster, has collected his favourite insights and reflections from previous columns and speeches in this generous volume spanning 2003 to the present day.

Incorrigible Optimist in conv. with Geraldine Doogue In this sometimes moving, often entertaining, and always lucid memoir Evans looks back over the highs and lows of his public life as a student activist, civil libertarian, law reformer, industry minister, international policymaker, educator and politician.

The Crash Detectives Veteran aviation journalist and air safety investigator Christine Negroni goes inside crash investigations from the early days of the jet age to the present—exploring how humans & machines fail, and how the lessons learned from these accidents have made flying safer.




Event—6 for 6.30 Peter Greste

Event—6 for 6.30 Sarah Goldman

The First Casualty The First Casualty is foreign correspondent Peter Greste’s first-hand account of how the war on journalism has spread from the battlefields of the Middle East to the governments of the West.

Caroline Chisholm: An Irresistible Force in conv. with Babette Smith A fresh, spirited & engaging biography of a fascinating and influential woman who was absolutely instrumental in shaping modern Australia—but whose influence and importance has largely been forgotten.



—6 for 6.30 Peter Kinderman presents

Event—6 for 6.30 Eddie Ayres

Danger Music From the former ABC Classic FM broadcaster comes a remarkable story about the power of music and courage to be one’s self.

25 Launch—6 for 6.30

Our Turbulent Minds for the Big Anxiety Festival Kinderman challenges the prevailing idea that mental illnesses are simply biological & should be treated like any other medical disease. This, he says, is a denial of the very real social causes of mental health problems.


20 Launch—6 for 6.30

Free Event

Anna Clark

The Catch: The Story of Fishing in Australia Launcher: Iain McCalman Bringing her personal passion for throwing in a line, author Anna Clark charts the history of fishing, from the first known accounts of Indigenous fishing and early European encounters with Australia’s waters to the latest fishing fads.


Noëlle Janaczewska

The Book of Thistles Launcher: Peter Bishop Part accidental memoir, part environmental history and part exploration of the performative voice on the page, The Book of Thistles is about the cultural and social life of this group of plants we call thistles.

Remember! get free the Gleeclub and our shops, to events held at every purcredit accrued with delivered to e, and the Gleaner onth. your door every m

In Early November

Event: Wed 1st, 6 for 6.30: Michael Leunig—Ducks for Dark Times Event: Tue 7th, 6 for 6.30: Scott Bevan—The Harbour Event: Wed 8th, 6 for 6.30: Richard Denniss in conversation with Ross Gittins ­­—Curing Affluenza

Event: Sun 12th, 4 for 4.30: Peter Carey—A Long Way From Home TBC 13

Granny’s Good Reads with Sonia Lee

In 1797 a ship laden with a cargo of rum left Calcutta for the new colony at Port Jackson but was wrecked in Bass Strait near an island now known as Preservation Island. With their ship gone, five of the sailors and twelve Bengali crewmen led by William Clark took to the longboat and made for Port Jackson to get help, only to be wrecked again in a storm near Ninety Mile Beach in Victoria. There was then nothing for it but to trek overland. Mark McKenna has told this gripping tale of survival against the odds in From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories. The trekkers were aided by aboriginal tribes who gave them food, let them sleep near their fires and helped them cross the many rivers on the way. That a few of these brave men actually reached their destination was nothing short of miraculous. Meanwhile the marooned sailors on Preservation Island survived on mutton birds and fish, hoping against hope that they would be rescued and after many anxious months their prayers were answered. The precious cargo was eventually sold, the captain having prudently ensured its survival by stowing it on nearby Rum Island. McKenna’s book contains three other equally interesting stories. One is about a ‘new Singapore’ in West Arnhem Land in the 1840s, another about the impact of industrial development on the rock art of the Pilbara, and the final story is a fascinating account of Captain Cook’s relations with aborigines at the Endeavour River in 1770. Mark McKenna’s interview with Phillip Adams is on the archive of ABC RN’s Late Night Live and William Clark’s epic walk is remembered on Earshot, also on RN. My life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul is a fun read. ‘Bob’ is her Book of Books, which she began keeping as a teenager in 1988, writing in it the title of every book she ever read. She plays fair by writing ‘inc.’ for ‘incomplete’ beside any book she starts but doesn’t finish. From an early age she became addicted to reading and similarly addicted readers will enjoy comparing and contrasting their own favourites and reading experiences. When Paul was ten she asked for a job at the local Library, imagining that she could then spend all day reading. After college she was interviewed for a job writing copy for Quaker Oats but decided that this wasn’t for her and instead went, without much money, to Thailand, Cambodia, London, Paris and China, with many a hair-raising adventure along the way. In China/Tibet she tried to follow the path Vikram Seth took in From Heaven Lake, but found the weather even less propitious than Seth did. Her father had generously paid her fare, asking in return only that she bring him back a spittoon, but in this she failed—not having any idea what a spittoon looked like and not being able to ask any of the locals because she couldn’t speak Mandarin. Some of her opinions on books are very funny. She made a pact with her brother Roger that they would both read War and Peace, then go to Russia for the post-mortem. Roger confessed that he had meant to read it but hadn’t, so she powered through it alone, in the belief that the great Russian novels are at heart soapies about ‘unrequited love, lusty affairs and diehard feuds’. After much of the above she landed the perfect job at the New York Times Book Review, at first in the children’s book section, then as editor—a position which her three children regarded as a demotion. I have no ‘Bob’ but write down the titles of most of the books I read in the note pages in the front and back of my diary. I occasionally look back at these titles and have difficulty in recalling what some of them were about, let alone why I gave them three stars. Though I have indeed read War and Peace at least twice, I must confess to having written ‘inc.’ next to Moby Dick. The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo is a novel about trauma. Two schoolgirls witness a robbery in a local deli. Lisa is abducted, leaving narrator Meredith a very troubled girl. Lisa was leader of a group of meanies who were making Meredith’s life hell. For this Meredith overcompensates by creating a parallel universe where Lisa is living more or less happily with her abductor and fantasy dog Annie. Meredith’s parents are comfortably-off dentists. Dad is a cheerful, equable sort of bloke, while mother Claire is a worrier. The family had earlier on suffered another setback when son Evan, a promising baseball player, had one eye ruined and his hopes of a scholarship dashed by an errant ball. How the family deals with these issues is the subject of this well written, original, even uplifting novel. Definitely four stars. Sonia

The Catch: The Story of Fishing in Australia by Anna Clark ($40, PB)

In every coastal town in Australia, there’s a bait shop and a boat ramp, and, in garages around the country, fishing rods are strung up waiting for their next outing. Anna Clark charts the history of fishing, from the first known accounts of Indigenous fishing and early European encounters with Australia’s waters, to the latest fishing fads & the challenges of balancing needs of commercial and recreational fishers. ‘I just couldn’t put it down—my best fishing read to date’—Rob Paxevanos.


Australian Studies Incorrigible Optimist: A Political Memoir by Gareth Evans ($49.99, HB)

A colourful & central figure in Australian politics for two decades—described by Bob Hawke as having ‘the most acute mind’ of any of his ministers—Gareth Evans has also been applauded worldwide for his contributions, both as Foreign Minister & in later international roles, to conflict resolution, genocide prevention & curbing weapons of mass destruction. Evans looks back over the highs & lows of his public life as a student activist, civil libertarian, law reformer, industry minister, international policymaker, educator & politician. He explains why it is that, despite multiple disappointments, he continues to believe that a safer, saner & more decent world is achievable, and why, for all its frustrations, politics remains an indispensable profession not only for megalomaniacs but idealists.

Gleebooks’ special price $45

Palestine Diaries: The Lighthorsemen’s Own Story, Battle by Battle by Jonathan King( $40, PB)

Culminating with the cavalry charge at Beersheba on 31 October 1917, Palestine Diaries is the story of Australia’s Light Horsemen of WWI, told in their own brutally honest words—day by day, battle after bloody battle. The soldiers in these pages were the first to achieve incredible victories for their new nation—ahead of the Western Front, and unlike the defeats of Gallipoli. These soldiers helped demolish the centuries-old Ottoman Empire by driving the Turks from the strategic Suez Canal across the Sinai, and up through Palestine, Jordan, and Syria to be first into the enemy stronghold of Damascus—a victory that would not only change the course of the war, but would also plant the seeds of the modern Middle Eastern conflicts.

Choosing Openness: Why global engagement is best for Australia by Andrew Leigh ($10, PB)

Across the developed world, global engagement has become a major political fault line. Some say that trade, investment & immigration are threats rather than opportunities. Global uncertainty, rising inequality & populism present real challenges to globalists. Andrew Leigh argues that Australia’s past prosperity has flowed from engaging with the world. An open Australia requires stronger advocacy & smarter policies. From 1914 to 1945, the world turned inwards, as fear shut down flows of people & goods across national borders. A century later, can we make a better choice?

Caroline Chisholm: An Irresistible Force—How Caroline Chisholm Helped Shape a Nation by Sarah Goldman ($40, HB)

Arriving in Australia in 1838, Caroline Chisholm was appalled by the plight of young female immigrants in Australia—there were no jobs for them, no accommodation, and many of them resorted to prostitution to survive. In response to this need, she became a woman on a mission. She met every immigrant ship & became a familiar figure on the wharves, finding positions for immigrant girls and sheltering many of them in her home. As the government of the day refused to help, Chisholm established accommodation, services & the first employment office in the colony, drawing up the first ever employment contracts in Australia. She established minimum wages, found jobs & homes, created employment agencies in a dozen rural centres as well. This biography brings to life her spirited character, her modern relevance, her feminist credentials & her egalitarian spirit.

Australian Gypsies: Their secret history by Mandy Sayer ($35, PB)

Since the arrival of the First Fleet there have been Gypsies in Australia, yet their experiences have never been included in any official histories. Mandy Sayer weaves together a vivid, wide-ranging history that begins with the roots of the Romani culture, tracing the first Gypsy people to arrive in Australia (including James Squire, the colony’s first brewer) through to Gypsy families today, who share the stories of their ancestors and their lives. With her unconventional, nomadic early life, Sayer has a unique insight into the lives of the people she meets, and given their blessing to tell their stories, Sayer also demolishes some longstanding but baseless myths along the way.

Hawkesbury Settlement Revealed by Jan Barkley-Jack ($20, HB)

This book deals with the third mainland settlement which grew at the River Hawkesbury—with a specific focus on women’s lives— their varied roles extending far beyond domesticity. At least 11 women at Hawkesbury between 1797 & 1802 were granted their own title to land, and 8 of these were ex-convicts. The book also tackles the meeting of European & Indigenous cultures, and delves into the local results of the influence of the French Revolution. The popular myth of military supremacy is firmly debunked, particularly with the patterns of land granting in the district—showing that Acting Governor Grove deliberately manufactured the Hawkesbury to be a low socio-economic area.


The Darkening Age by Catherine Nixey ($33, PB)

Despite the long-held notion that the early Christians were meek & mild, going to their martyr’s deaths singing hymns of love & praise, the truth, as Catherine Nixey reveals, is very different. They were violent, ruthless & fundamentally intolerant. Unlike the polytheistic world, in which the addition of one new religion made no fundamental difference to the old ones, this new ideology stated not only that it was the way, the truth and the light but that, by extension, every single other way was wrong and had to be destroyed. From the 1st century to the 6th, those who didn’t fall into step with its beliefs were pursued in every possible way: social, legal, financial & physical. Their altars were upturned & their temples demolished, their statues hacked to pieces & their priests killed. It was an annihilation. This is an authoritative & vividly written debut.

The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich ($30, HB)

Published in 1985 in Russia and now available in English for the first time, this is Svetlana Alexievich’s collection of stories from Soviet women who lived through the Second World War: on the front lines, on the home front and in occupied territories. As Alexievich gives voice to women who are absent from official narratives—captains, sergeants, nurses, snipers and pilots—she shows us a new version of the war we’re so familiar with, creating an extraordinary alternative history from their private stories.

Captain Cook and the Pacific : Art, Exploration and Empire ($70, HB)

Captain James Cook’s voyages of exploration across & around the Pacific Ocean were a marvel of maritime achievement, and provided the first accurate map of the Pacific. The expeditions answered key scientific, economic & geographic questions, and inspired some of the most influential images of the Pacific made by Europeans. This volume uses the collections of London’s National Maritime Museum to illuminate every aspect of the voyages: oil paintings of lush landscapes, scientific & navigational instruments, ship plans, globes, charts & maps, rare books & manuscripts, coins & medals, ethnographic material, and personal effects—each artefact holding a story that sheds light on Captain Cook, the crews he commanded, and the effort’s impact on world history.

Chaucer’s People by Liza Picard ($33, PB)

The Prioress was a sweet, pretty, well-mannered young nun; what was she doing on the road to Canterbury with a mixed band of men, instead of staying in her convent to pray? The Knight was ‘a very perfect gentle knight’; but why had his military service landed him in such distant places as Lithuania and Spain? By providing Chaucer’s characters with a three-dimensional framework—the times in which they lived—Liza Picard opens up the 14th century world to the modern reader. Drawing on contemporary experiences of a vast range of subjects including trade, religion, toe-curling remedies & hair-raising recipes, she recreates the medieval world in all its glorious detail.

Queens of Conquest: England’s Medieval Queens by Alison Weir ($35, PB)

Beginning with Matilda of Flanders, who supported William the Conqueror in his invasion of England in 1066, and culminating in the turbulent life of the Empress Maud, who claimed to be queen of England in her own right and fought a bitter war to that end, Alison Weir strips away centuries of romantic mythology and prejudice to reveal the lives of five English queens in the century after the Norman Conquest—who emerge as hugely influential figures and fascinating characters.

Belonging: The Story of the Jews 1492–1900 by Simon Schama ($35, PB)

Belonging starts with the Jews’ expulsion from Spain in 1492 and navigates miracles & massacres, wandering, discrimination, harmony & tolerance; to the brink of the 20th century and, it seems, a point of profound hope. It tells the stories not just of rabbis & philosophers but of a poetess in the ghetto of Venice; a boxer in Georgian England; a general in Ming China; an opera composer in 19th century Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala & Mantua, the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul, the taverns of Ukraine & the mining camps of California—and through Schama’s passionate telling of this second chronicle in an epic tale, a history emerges of the Jewish people that feels it is the story of humanity.

Young Hitler by Paul Ham ($33, HB) What turned ‘a Viennese bum’, as Göring later damned him, into one of the most brutal dictators in human history? How had Hitler’s first war, the defining years of his life, affect his rise to power? In a broader sense, was Hitler a freak of history? Or rather an extreme example of a recurring ‘type’ of demagogue, who thrives in chaos, revolution and economic collapse? By peeling back the layers of Hitler’s childhood, war record and early political career, Paul Ham’ conjures the ordinary man beneath the myth and seeks to solve the riddle behind the enigma of the Nazi leader.


The First Casuality: A memoir from the front lines of the global war on journalism by Peter Greste ($35 PB)

Wars have always been about propaganda but today’s battles are increasingly between ideas, and the media has become part of the battlefield. Extremists have staked a place in news dissemination with online postings, and journalists have moved from being witnesses to the struggle to a means by which the war is waged—which makes them a target. Having covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, as well as having spent time prison in Egypt, Greste is extremely well placed to describe in vivid detail what effect this has on the nature of reporting and the mind of the reporter. Based on extensive interviews and research, Greste shows how this war on journalism has spread to the West, not just in the murders at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo or the repressions of Putin’s Russia, but Australia’s metadata laws and Trump’s phony war on ‘fake news’.

Gleebooks’ special price $29.95

Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy by Noam Chomsky

From escalating climate change to the devastation in Syria, pandemic state surveillance to looming nuclear war, Noam Chomsky takes stock of the world today. Over the course of ten conversations with long-time collaborator David Barsamian, spanning 2013–2016, Chomsky argues in favour of radical changes to a system that cannot possibly cope with what awaits tomorrow. ($30, PB)

Salafi-Jihadism by Shiraz Maher ($23, PB) While much has been said about the way jihadists behave, their ideology remains poorly understood. Shiraz Maher charts the intellectual underpinnings of salafi-jihadism from its origins in the mountains of the Hindu Kush to the jihadist insurgencies of the 1990s and the 9/11 wars. His ground-breaking introduction to salafi-jihadism recalibrates our understanding of the ideas underpinning one of the most destructive political philosophies of our time. Sun Tyrant: A Nightmare Called North Korea by J. P. Floru ($25, PB)

In the spring of 2016, Londoner J.P. Floru tagged along with three friends running the Pyongyang Marathon, and what he discovered is a place second only to the moon in otherworldliness. During their nine-day trip the group were shown by two minders what the regime wanted them to see. They witnessed people bowing before their leaders’ statues, being told not to take photos of the leaders’ feet, and hearing the hushed reverence with which people recite the history invented by the regime to keep itself in power. Combining the diary he kept during his North Korea visit with extensive research about the idiosyncrasies of that famously enigmatic country, Floru shows what happens when a population is reduced to near-slavery in the 21st century.

Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason by David Harvey ($33, PB)

Marx’s Capital is one of the most important texts of the modern era. The three volumes, published between 1867 and 1883, changed the destiny of countries, politics and people across the world—and continue to resonate today. In this book, David Harvey lays out their key arguments. He considers the degree to which technological, economic and industrial change during the last 150 years means Marx’s analysis and its application may need to be modified, explaining & illustrating in clear, concise language the profound insights and enormous analytical power they continue to offer.

The French Exception by Adam Plowright

39 year old Emmanuel Macron is the youngest-ever inhabitant of the Élysée Palace. A surprise candidate from the start, Macron was considered a rank outsider until a series of fortuitous events—including his survival of a massive last-minute data hack—cleared his path to victory and condemned Marine Le Pen to a resounding defeat in May 2017, in France’s most emotional election since 1948. Paris-based British journalist Adam Plowright presents the inside story of Macron’s sudden rise to power, delving into his personal & political background, his vision for the future, and how he is perceived inside France & throughout the rest of the world—especially from within Westminster. Can his movement herald a new centrist vision for Europe, or will his Presidency merely be the forerunner to a Le Pen victory in 2022?. ($30, PB)

Now in paperback The Holocaust by Laurence Rees, $25


October To-Read List

Extremely timely, enlightening and passionate. Peter Greste’s first-hand account of how the war on journalism has spread from the battlefields of the Middle East to the governments of the West.

From the Norwegian explorer, a stunning meditation on the power of silence and how to shut out the world.

Mrs Osmond is a masterly novel of betrayal, corruption and moral ambiguity, from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea.

By turns compelling, comic, and chilling, First Person is a haunting journey into the heart of our age. From the bestselling author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

Science & Nature

Joseph Banks’ Florilegium: Wild Flora from Cook’s First Voyage ($120, HB)

Joseph Banks accompanied Captain Cook on his first voyage round the world from 1768 to 1771. A gifted and wealthy young naturalist, Banks collected exotic flora from Madeira, Brazil, Tierra del Fuego, the Society Islands, New Zealand, Australia and Java, bringing back over 1300 species that had never been seen or studied by Europeans. On his return, Banks commissioned over 700 superlative engravings between 1772 and 1784. Known collectively as Banks’ Florilegium, they are some of the most precise & exquisite examples of botanical illustration ever created. The Florilegium was never published in Banks’ lifetime, and it was not until 1990 that a complete set in colour was issued in a boxed edition (limited to 100 copies) under the direction of the British Museum (Natural History). It is from these prints that the present selection is made, directed by David Mabberley, who has provided expert botanical commentaries, with additional texts by art historian Mel Gooding, setting the works in context as a perfect conjunction of nature, science and art.

Improbable Destinies: How Predictable is Evolution? By Jonathan Losos ($50, HB)

The natural world is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes & wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times. Convergence suggests that evolution is predictable, and if we could replay the tape of life, we would get the same outcome. Jonathan Losos reveals what the latest breakthroughs in evolutionary biology tell us about one of the greatest ongoing debates in science. Evolution can occur far more rapidly than Darwin expected, which has opened the door to something that was previously thought impossible: experimental studies of evolution in nature. Drawing on his own work with anole lizards on the Caribbean islands, as well as studies of guppies, foxes, field mice & others being conducted around the world, Losos reveals just how rapid & predictable evolution can be.

Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory by Leonard Susskind and Art Friedman ($50, HB)

Leonard Susskind & his former student Art Friedman are back with the third book in their physics series—this time to introduce readers to special relativity & classical field theory. Using their typical brand of relatively simple maths, enlightening sketches and the same fictional counterparts, Art and Lenny, this book takes an enlightening journey through a world now governed by the laws of special relativity. Starting in their new watering hole, Hermann’s Hideaway, with a lesson on relativity, Art and Lenny walk us through the complexities of Einstein’s famous theory.

Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation by Alan Burdick ($33, PB)

When the stakes are this high, who are you willing to betray? Your friends, your family, your country or your conscience? From the bestselling author of Fatherland, Conclave and An Officer and a Spy.

In this funny, poignant and unflinchingly honest memoir, one of the world’s best-loved storytellers explains how he evolved from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer.

For more than 2000 years the world’s great minds have argued about the true essence of time. Is it finite or infinite? Is it continuous or discrete? Does it flow like a river or is it granular, proceeding in small bits like sand trickling through an hourglass? Alan Burdick takes readers on a quest to understand how & why we perceive time the way we do. He visits the most accurate clock in the world (which exists only on paper); discovers that ‘now’ actually happened a split-second ago; finds a 25th hour in the day; lives in the Arctic to lose all sense of time; and, for one fleeting moment in a neuroscientist’s lab, makes time go backwards.

How to Build a Universe: An Infinite Monkey Cage by Brian Cox & Robin Ince ($40, HB)

Covering thousands of concepts & conundrums, Cox & Ince tackle everything from the Big Bang to parallel Universes, fierce creatures to extraterrestrial life, brain science to artificial intelligence. Bringing together the best, most unusual & hilarious of the inquisitive minds that help shape & understand our world, from Neil deGrasse Tyson & Dara O’Briain to Sir Patrick Stewart, Tim Minchin, Stephen Fry & more, this book is an illuminating celebration of science—sometimes silly, sometimes astounding and very occasionally facetious. Edward St Aubyn, ‘perhaps the most brilliant novelist of his generation’ (Alan Hollinghurst), takes on King Lear for the Hogarth Shakespeare series.

Philip Pullman returns to the world of His Dark Materials with this magnificent first volume of The Book of Dust.



Now in B Format Time Travel by James Gleick, $20 Convergence: The Deepest Idea in the Universe by Peter Watson, $20

Tamed and Untamed: Brief Encounters of the Animal Kind by Sy Montgomery & E Marshall Thomas

With humour, empathy, and introspection, Montgomery and Thomas look into the lives of all kinds of creatures—animals as diverse as snails, house cats, hawks, sharks, dogs, lions, and even octopuses—and examine the ways we connect with our fellow species. Both authors have devoted their lives to sharing the animal kingdom’s magic with others, and their combined wisdom is an indispensable contribution to the field of animal literature. ($30, PB)

The Smell of Fresh Rain: The Unexpected Pleasures of our Most Elusive Sense by Barney Shaw

Inspired by an unsettlingly synaesthesic question put to him by his son, Barney Shaw conducts an investigation into the biology, psychology and history of smell. His book is also a search for effective ways to describe the kinds of smell we instantly relate to, but find strangely ineffable, and it includes a 200-item thesaurus of succinct descriptions of common smells. ($30, HB)

Moonshots: 50 Years of NASA Space Explo- The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and ration Seen through Hasselblad Cameras Gershom Scholem ($82, HB)

Working with NASA’s archives of Hasselblad images, aerospace author Piers Bizony presents the ultimate must have for any space enthusiast, or sci-fi lover. The extraordinary photographs taken by NASA astronauts over the past 50 years were captured almost exclusively on Hasselblad cameras. Many of these images have been reproduced—in this book exploiting the sheer size and resolution of the film frames. The Apollo voyages form the centrepiece of the book, but equally fabulous images from precursor Gemini missions are also featured, along with pictures taken by Space Shuttle crews, and during construction of the International Space Station. ($100, HB)

The Quantum Astrologer’s Handbook by Michael Brooks ($30, PB)

Michael Broooks resurrects from the vaults of neglect the polymath Jerome Cardano, a Milanese of the sixteenth century. A gambler and blasphemer, inventor and chancer, plagued by demons and anxieties, astrologer to kings, emperors and popes. This stubborn and unworldly man was the son of a lawyer and a brothel keeper, but also a gifted physician and the unacknowledged discoverer of the mathematical foundations of quantum physics. ‘Michael Brooks is a magician in the old sense — both scientist and artist. He uses both disciplines to create a compelling, fresh look at the quantum world. A fantastic read for students of reality.’

Philosophy & Religon

The Dream of Enlightenment by Anthony Gottlieb

From the early 1640s to the eve of the French Revolution Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz & Hume all made their mark on Western thought. Anthony Gottlieb tells their story & that of the birth of modern philosophy. What does the advance of science entail for our understanding of ourselves & for our ideas of God? How should a government deal with religious diversity—and what is government actually for? Their questions remain our questions, and it is tempting to think these philosophers speak our language & live in our world; but to understand them properly, we must step back into their shoes. Gottlieb puts readers in the minds of these frequently misinterpreted figures, elucidating the history of their times while engagingly explaining their arguments & assessing their legacy. ($23, PB)

Edge of Reason: A Rational Skeptic in an Irrational World by Julian Baggini ($28, PB)

According to Aristotle, the capacity for reason sets us apart from other animals, yet today it has ceased to be a universally admired faculty. Rationality & reason have become political, disputed concepts, subject to easy dismissal. Julian Baggini argues eloquently that we must recover our reason & reassess its proper place, neither too highly exalted nor completely maligned. Rationality does not require a sterile, scientistic worldview, it simply involves the application of critical thinking wherever thinking is needed. Addressing major areas of debate as religion, science, politics, psychology & economics, Baggini calls for commitment to the notion of a ‘community of reason’, where disagreements are settled by debate & discussion, not brute force or political power.

Changing the Subject: Philosophy from Socrates to Adorno by Raymond Geuss ($65, HB)

Ask a question and it is reasonable to expect an answer or a confession of ignorance. But a philosopher may defy expectations. Confronted by a standard question arising from a normal way of viewing the world, a philosopher may reply that the question is misguided, that to continue asking it is, at the extreme, to get trapped in a delusive hall of mirrors. According to Raymond Geuss, this attempt to bypass or undercut conventional ways of thinking, to escape from the hall of mirrors, represents philosophy at its best & most characteristic. To illustrate, Geuss explores the ideas of 12 philosophers who broke dramatically with prevailing wisdom, from Socrates & Plato in the ancient world to Wittgenstein & Adorno in our own. The result is a striking account of some innovative & important philosophers in Western history & an indirect manifesto for how to pursue philosophy today.

The Language of Plants: Science, Philosophy, Literature (eds) Monica Gagliano et al ($45, PB)

The 18th century naturalist Erasmus Darwin argued that plants are animate, living beings & attributed them sensation, movement & a certain degree of mental activity, emphasising the continuity between humankind & plant existence. Two centuries later, the understanding of plants as active & communicative organisms has reemerged in such diverse fields as plant neurobiology, philosophical posthumanism & ecocriticism. This collection brings together groundbreaking essays from across the disciplines to foster a dialogue between the biological sciences & the humanities and to reconsider our relation to the vegetal world in new ethical and political terms.

Hannah Arendt & Gershom Scholem met in 1932 in Berlin &quickly bonded over their mutual admiration for & friendship with Walter Benjamin. They began exchanging letters in 1939, and their lively correspondence continued until 1963, when Scholem’s vehement disagreement with Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem led to a rupture that would last until Arendt’s death a dozen years later. The years of their friendship, however, yielded a remarkably rich bounty of letters: together, they try to come to terms with being both German & Jewish, the place & legacy of Germany before & after the Holocaust, the question of what it means to be Jewish in a post-Holocaust world, and more. Walter Benjamin is a constant presence, as his life & tragic death are emblematic of the very questions that preoccupied the pair.

Paul: The Pagans’ Apostle by Paula Fredriksen ($65, HB)

Often seen as the author of timeless Christian theology, Paul himself heatedly maintained that he lived and worked in history’s closing hours. His letters propel his readers into two ancient worlds, one Jewish, one pagan. The first was incandescent with apocalyptic hopes, expecting God through his messiah to fulfill his ancient promises of redemption to Israel. The second teemed with ancient actors, not only human but also divine: angry superhuman forces, jealous demons, and hostile cosmic gods. Both worlds are Paul’s, and his convictions about the first shaped his actions in the second. Only by situating Paul within this charged social context of gods and humans, pagans and Jews, cities, synagogues, and competing Christ-following assemblies can we begin to understand his mission and message. This original and provocative book offers a dramatically new perspective on one of history’s seminal figures.

Psychology Into the Grey Zone: A Neuroscientist Explores the Border Between Life and Death by Adrian Owen ($30, PB)

In 2006 Dr Adrian Owen & his team discovered a new realm of consciousness, a twilight zone somewhere between life &death. They called this the Grey Zone. The people who inhabit the Grey Zone are often mistakenly labelled as being irretrievably lost, with no awareness & no sense of self. The shocking truth is that they are often still there, an intact mind trapped deep inside a broken body & brain, hearing everything around them, experiencing emotions, thoughts, pleasure & pain, just like the rest of us. Through Owen’s pioneering techniques, we can now talk to them—and they can talk back. We have known for a long time that a body does not define a person—but what if a brain does not define a mind? What does it mean if a mind can exist unharmed within a deeply damaged brain? Through cutting edge research and case studies that are poignant, tragic and uplifting, Dr Owen maps this inner universe of the self, showing us what it means to be alive and human.

Freud: The Making of An Illusion by Frederick Crews ($55, HB)

Essayist & literary critic Frederick Crews dismantles Freud’s totemic reputation, brick by brick. Looking at recently revealed correspondence, he examines Freud’s own personality, his selfishness, competitiveness & willingness to cut corners & exploit weaknesses to get his own way. He explores Freud’s wholehearted embracing of cocaine as a therapeutic tool, and the role it played in his own career. And he interrogates Freud’s intellectual legacy, exposing how many of his ideas & conclusions were purely speculative, or taken wholesale from others. As acidic as it is authoritative, this critique of the man behind the legend is compulsory reading for anyone interested in Freudianism.

The Origins of Creativity by Edward O. Wilson

Creativity is the unique & defining trait of our species; and its ultimate goal, self-understanding,’ begins Edward Wilson’s sweeping examination of the humanities & their relationship to the sciences. By studying fields as diverse as paleontology, evolutionary biology & neuroscience, Wilson demonstrates that human creativity began not 10,000 years ago, as we have long assumed, but over 100,000 years ago in the Paleolithic Age. Chronicling the evolution of creativity from primates to humans, Wilson shows how the humanities, in large part spurred on by the invention of language, have played a previously unexamined role in defining our species. Exploring a surprising range of creative endeavours—the instinct to create gardens; the use of metaphors & irony in speech; or the power of music & song—Wilson proposes a transformational ‘Third Enlightenment’ in which the blending of science & the humanities will enable us to gain a deeper understanding of the human condition, and how it ultimately originated. ($40, HB)


blogging & backtracking Cultural Studies & Criticism This has been a year of looking backward in the books I’ve been reading—mainly at the lives of artists and their wives from the last century. Taking a break from all that languor and artistic friction, I’ve just read two extremely current books, with themes and concerns that would not have existed even five years ago.

Reading blogs is one of the more diverting ways of wasting time on the internet. I used to read a lot of them but have whittled the ones I follow down to three or four now. ‘Mommy blogs’ are my blogs of choice—I even enjoy the subgroup of ‘Mormon Mommy’ blogs. The fact that people invite strangers into their homes, via the internet, is weird, but fascinating; the books they read, the things they make, the meals they cook—it’s all there. But there is another side to all this showcasing of their lives, and it’s strictly commercial. Many blogs will highlight a link to where they purchase their books, their clothes, their furniture—and with one click you too can buy the same, with a small percentage going to the blogger. Holly Wainwright’s The Mummy Bloggers, is about that world. We follow three women as they chronicle aspects of their lives, for all to see. One glossy Mummy, one Earth Mother, and one fairly standard harassed mum who is the breadwinner for her family. Each one has been nominated for a lucrative blogging award that would send them into the stratosphere of blogworld. This is a very entertaining book, and I read it in one sitting. However it is a cautionary tale with some quite disturbing aspects, and a satisfying twist at the end. The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth (due 11.17) is a series of tenuously linked short stories about a number of very intriguing and memorable characters. The eponymous Bethany’s story is a revealing look at being young today. Bethany seems to lurch from disaster to disappointment at a real pace, and William Boyd artfully conveys a genuine sense of the random and the tentative nature of modern life. This is a deceptively simple book, I found myself backtracking all the way through, to find all the characters that flitter throughout the narrative, and I reread it as soon as I finished it. Louise

Now in B Format Known and Strange Things by Teju Cole, $23 Book of Thistles: and other prickly subjects by Noëlle Janaczewska ($30, PB)

Some plants have sustained empires & sparked wars. Some have ignited public outrage. Think tea, opium, tulips—and thistles. In 1852 South Australia passed its Thistle Act, probably the first weed control legislation anywhere in the world. The word ‘thistle’ refers to a large & widespread group of plants. Several hundred species within the Asteraceae family, plus a bunch of other plants we call thistles—even though technically, botanically, they’re not. Google ‘thistles’ and many of the sites will tell you how to get rid of them. Dig a little deeper, however, and from this weedy territory other narratives begin to emerge. Part accidental memoir, part environmental history, and part exploration of the performative voice on the page, The Book of Thistles is about the cultural and social life of this group of plants we call thistles.

The Mother of All Questions: Further Feminisms by Rebecca Solnit ($25, PB) Following on from Men Explain Things to Me comes a new collection of essays in which Rebecca Solnit opens up a feminism that doesn’t stigmatize women’s lives, whether they include spouses and children or not; that brings empathy to the silences in men’s lives as well as the silencing of women’s lives; celebrates the ways feminism has shifted in recent years to reclaim rape jokes, revise canons, and rethink our everyday lives.

In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea by Danny Goldberg ($30, PB)

1967 saw the flowering of the Haight-Ashbury hippie community in San Francisco, the release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper and debut albums from The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix & Janis Joplin. It was the year of the Summer of Love & LSD; the Monterey Pop Festival; Muhammad Ali’s conviction for draft avoidance & Martin Luther King Jr’s public opposition to the war in Vietnam; Black Power; the Six-Day War and Che Guevara’s murder. Exhaustively researched and informed by interviews including Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary and Gil Scott-Heron (one of Danny Goldberg’s high school classmates), this is a refreshing new analysis of the era and provides a unique perspective on how and why the legacy of 1967 lives on today.


On Doubt by Leigh Sales ($13, PB)

Acclaimed journalist Leigh Sales has her doubts, and thinks you should, too. Her classic personal essay carries a message about the value of truth, scrutiny and accountability—a much-needed, pocketsized antidote to fake news. Donald Trump, the post-truth world and the instability of Australian politics are all examined in this fresh take on her prescient essay on the media and political trends that define our times.

Living the 1960s by Noeline Brown ($40, PB) The sixties was a decade of safari suits, shift dresses, capri pants, and droopy moustaches. Of multi-purpose French onion soup, junket, tripe, and Bloody Marys. Of success on the world’s sporting stage and social and political stirrings at home, as Baby Boomers and their parents began to see the world differently. Actor Noeline Brown cut a groovy figure in the sixties, but confesses she was a bit of a snob: When she caught sight of The Rolling Stones in Sydney’s Hilton cocktail bar one night during their 1965 tour to Australia, she coolly noted their drink of choice, bartender Eddie Tirado’s newly introduced Bourbon and Coke, before returning to sip her classic Martini, ‘hoping to look cosmopolitan and sophisticated’. With more than 160 images, fact boxes & lively anecdotes, Brown paints a picture of a decade that didn’t just swing; it twisted, stomped & screamed. The Book Lovers’ Miscellany by Claire Cock-Starkey ($25, HB)

From a list of unfinished novels, a short history of the comic, the story behind Mills and Boon and an entry on books printed with mistakes, to a guide to the colours of Penguin paperback jackets and a list of the most influential academic books of all time. Between these pages you will discover the history of paper, binding, printing and dust jackets; which books have faced bans; which are the longest established literary families; and which bestsellers were initially rejected. The ideal gift for every bibliophile.

True Stories: And Other Essays by Francis Spufford ($50, HB)

How must a nonfiction writer imagine facts, vivifying them to bring them to life? How must a novelist create a dependable world of story, within which facts are, in fact, imaginary? And how does a religious faith felt strongly to be true, but not provably so, draw on both kinds of writerly imagination? Ranging freely across topics as diverse as the medieval legends of Cockaigne, the Christian apologetics of C. S. Lewis, and the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini, Spufford provides both fresh observations and thought-provoking insights.

The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler ($50, HB)

Christopher Fowler ventures into the back catalogues & backstories of 99 authors who, once hugely popular, have all but disappeared from our shelves. Whether male or female, domestic or international, flash-in-the-pan or prolific, mega-seller or prize-winner—no author, it seems, can ever be fully immune from the fate of being forgotten. Fowler remembers their careers, lifting the lid on their lives, and why they often stopped writing or disappeared from the public eye. These 99 journeys are punctuated by 12 short essays about faded once-favourites: including the now-vanished novels Walt Disney brought to the screen, the contemporary rivals of Sherlock Holmes & Agatha Christie who did not stand the test of time, and the women who introduced us to psychological suspense many decades before it conquered the world.

Tinkering: Australians Reinvent DIY Culture by Katherine Wilson ($29.95, PB)

At a time when the labour-market is failing as a source of security & identity for many, domestic tinkering is emerging as a legitimate occupation in a way we have not seen since pre-industrial times. In Australia, practices of repair, invention, building, improvising, & crafting, that take place in sheds, back-yards, paddocks, kitchens & home-workshops, are becoming an important part of the informal economy & social cohesion, complicating distinctions between work & leisure, amateur & professional, production & consumption. Katherine Wilson documents domestic tinkering as an undervalued form of material creativity, social connection, psychological sanctuary, personal identity, & even political activism.

Not Guilty: Queer Stories from a Century of Discrimination by Sue Elliott & Steve Humphries

Only 50 years ago, sex between men was a crime. The 1967 Sexual Offences Act changed that in part, but it was only the beginning of the long fight for equality in the eyes of the law, in society and in millions of private lives. This vital new oral history is built around the intimate testimonies of largely unknown characters, telling stories of denial, deceit & subterfuge, public pain & secret pleasure through the ten tumultuous decades before & since that watershed Act. ($25, PB)

Wake Up: The Nine Hashtags of Digital Disruption by David Fagan ($24.95, PB)

David Fagan was at the forefront of the digital revolution as he helped take one of Australia’s largest media organisations from print to digital. In Wake Up, he explores the challenges & opportunities of the digital age from his position on the front line. He chronicles the rise of social media, online shopping, the Uber & Airbnb phenomena & the upending of traditional industries. Fagan observes the big emerging trends & examines the technologies leading this change, as the arrival of robots & artificial intelligence affects the way we live, work & play. If you haven’t been paying attention, now is the time to wake up.

The New Urban Crisis by Richard Florida ($50, HB) In recent years, the young, educated & affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight & urban decline. And yet all is not well, Richard Florida argues in The New Urban Crisis. Florida anticipated this back-to-the-city movement in his groundbreaking The Rise of the Creative Class, and he demonstrates how the same forces that power the growth of the world’s superstar cities also generate their vexing challenges: gentrification, unaffordability, segregation, and inequality. Meanwhile, many more cities still stagnate, and middle-class neighbourhoods everywhere are disappearing. Our winner-take-all cities are just one manifestation of a profound crisis in today’s urbanized knowledge economy. The New Urban Crisis offers a compelling diagnosis of our economic ills and a bold prescription for more inclusive cities capable of ensuring growth and prosperity for all. American Originality: Essays on Poetry by Louise Glück ($43, HB)

Written with the same probing, analytic control that has long distinguished her poetry, Louise Glück forces readers to consider contemporary poetry and its demigods in radical, unconsoling, and ultimately very productive ways. Determined to wrest ample, often contradictory meaning from our current literary discourse, Glück comprehends and destabilizes notions of ‘narcissism’ and ‘genius’ that are unique to the American literary climate. This includes erudite analyses of the poets who have interested her throughout her own career, such as Rilke, Pinsky, Chiasson & Dobyns, and introductions to the first books of poets like Dana Levin, Peter Streckfus, Spencer Reece & Richard Siken.

The Origins of Cool in Postwar America by Joel Dinerstein ($72, HB)

Cool. It was a new word and a new way to be, and in a single generation, it became the supreme compliment of American culture. Joel Dinerstein reveals how cool began as a stylish defiance of racism, a challenge to suppressed sexuality, a philosophy of individual rebellion, and a youthful search for social change. Through eye-opening portraits of iconic figures, he illuminates the cultural connections & artistic innovations among Lester Young, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Jack Kerouac, Albert Camus, Marlon Brando & James Dean, among others. He eavesdrops on conversations among John-Paul Sartre, Simone De Beauvoir, and Miles Davis, and on a forgotten debate between Lorraine Hansberry and Norman Mailer over the ‘white negro’ and Black cool. Out of this mix, Dinerstein sketches nuanced definitions of cool that unite concepts from African-American and Euro-American culture: the stylish stoicism of the ethical rebel loner; the relaxed intensity of the improvising jazz musician; the effortless, physical grace of the Method actor—tracing the history of cool during the Cold War by exploring the intersections of film noir, jazz, existential literature, Method acting, blues, and rock-and-roll.

Language & Writing Devotion by Patti Smith ($28, HB)

Patti Smith first presents an original tale of obsession—a young skater who lives for her art, a possessive collector who ruthlessly seeks his prize, a relationship forged of need both craven & exalted. She then takes a second journey, exploring the sources of her story—travelling through the South of France to Camus’s house & visiting the garden of the great publisher Gallimard where the ghosts of Mishima, Nabokov, & Genet mingle. She tracks down Simone Weil’s grave in a lonely cemetery, hours from London, and winds through the nameless Paris streets of Patrick Modiano’s novels. Whether writing in a cafe or a train, Smith generously opens her notebooks for a glimpse of the alchemy of her art and craft in this arresting book on writing.

Light in the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process (ed) Joe Fassler

What inspires you? That’s the simple, but profound question posed to forty-six renowned authors in Light the Dark. Each writer begins with a favourite passage from a novel, a song, a poem—something that gets them started and keeps them going with the creative work they love. From there, incredible lessons and stories of life-changing encounters with art emerge, like how sneaking books into his job as a night security guard helped Khaled Hosseini learn that nothing he creates will ever be truly finished. Or how a college reading assignment taught Junot Díaz that great art can be a healing conversation, and an unexpected poet led Elizabeth Gilbert to embrace an unyielding optimism, even in the face of darkness. ($30, PB)

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Quack, Quack, Quack: The Sellers of Nostrums in Print, Posters, Ephemera & Books by William H. Helfand. HC. 252 pp., illus., bibl., index. (Grolier Club, New York, 2002). As New Condition. $50.00.

Some books simply deserve to be rescued from our shelves and displayed for their unique subject matter. This beautifully printed and designed exhibition catalogue on the broad topic of medical quackery is one such. It contains a 50-page introduction and a catalogue of 183 items: posters, advertisements, postcards, book title pages and sheet music among other ephemera. It covers the subject from the itinerant seller of potions five centuries ago to unsolicited internet spam today.

Quack: Noun. A pejorative term. A person who dishonestly claims to have special knowledge and skill in some field, typically medicine. Used by the medical establishment to describe—and disparage—the ‘irregular’, the outsiders, unlicensed, fringe practitioners who ignore medical orthodoxy. The origins of the word are obscure but it probably derives from an abbreviation of the mid-17th Century Dutch word quacksalver—quacken meaning ‘prattle’ and salf—‘salve’. Quacks—often under-educated or itinerant doctors—also possess certain characteristics that signify their trade: a theatrical and entertaining manner, exaggerating the abilities or the effectiveness of their products—often through aggressive advertising and imitating features of orthodoxy, and the use of medical jargon—to establish their legitimacy. Ten entertaining chapters cover such topics as:

Vin Mariani (Mariani Wine) whose active ingredient was cocaine. It was introduced to Paris in 1871 by Angelo Mariani (1838–1914) who had trained as a pharmacist. Its formulation called for two ounces (55gms) of coca leaves to each pint (half a litre) of Bordeaux wine. Promoted as a cure for impotence, insomnia, influenza, nerves and melancholy. A master of publicity, Mariani sent a dozen bottles of the wine to people of note—composers, writers, artists. When the famed users of his libation wrote to thank him, he published their replies in a series of limited edition booklets. Mariani’s list of testimonials eventually numbered over 1,400. One such was dated 14 June 1898, from the White House, Washington DC, where President William McKinley notes he is familiar with ‘the tonic whose virtues I shall be happy to avail myself of in future as the occasion may require’. I like to think the 25th President of the United States polished off that crate of cocaine-laced wine before he met anarchist Leon Czołgosz and his assassin’s bullet in September 1901.

Selling Sex Cures: Why are we not surprised? The sale of products which claimed to cure both impotency and—conversely—venereal diseases, has always been a lucrative field for quacks. In 1817, syphilis & other sexual problems such as scrofula & excessive masturbation, could be cured by drinking Dr. Samuel Solomon’s Celebrated Cordial Balm of Gilead (how topical is this!). Its primary object was to provide relief ‘to those persons who by immoderate indulgence of their passions, have ruined their constitutions’. Women’s sexual issues were not ignored and inspired a significant number of products. In 1870 a treatment for those ’Ladies who been denied the pleasures of maternity’—was ‘Madam Winneford’s Magnetic Maternal Wafer’. One of my favourites in this collection is a booklet written by General Augustus J. Pleasanton from 1877 entitled: The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Colour of the Sky (1877). The former Union Brigadier-General believed that sunlight filtered through blue glass could provide numerous cures for both humans and domestic animals.

Famed artists of the day also lent their talents to those promoting various curealls. A striking Maxfield Parrish poster from 1900 promotes No-To-Bac – a smoking substitute chewing gum containing licorice and ammonium chloride. Cures from ‘the Living Death’ of Opium, Morphine, Whiskey and Cigarette addiction included: Dr. Cook’s Helping Hand or Dr. Meeker’s Antidote (1890) which was conceded ‘by all (except Rivals) to be the only PAINLESS and POSITIVE CURE’. However, Dr Keeley’s Potion (1894) takes the prize for inspiring prose, rescuing sufferers ‘out of the shadows of clouded memory, out from the storm of battle against debasing appetite, out from a night of unending despair, out from the land of horrors and myths, gnomes and devils’. In conclusion, this is an enlightening and enjoyable book chronicling the tradition of quackery in Western medicine. ‘Despite what we do’, concludes author Helfand, ‘the quacks and their nostrums will be with us forever’. Stephen


Stalemate & Revolution Part 3 Passchendaele: The Untold Story by Robin Prior & Trevor Wilson—$33.95, PB Passchendaele: Requiem for Doomed Youth by Paul Ham—$45, HC The First World War by John Keegan—$32, PB John Monash: A Biography by Geoffrey Searle ($50, HC 2nd hand)

At a London meeting of the War Cabinet in June 1917, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, Chief of Staff of the British Expeditionary Force, outlined plans for his latest offensive. Prime Minister Lloyd George, recalled Haig’s presentation: ‘He spread on a table a large map and made dramatic use of both hands to demonstrate how he proposed to sweep up the enemy—first the right hand brushing along the surface irresistibly, and then came the left, his outer finger touching the frontier with the nail across’. After clearing the Passchendaele Ridge, to deny the enemy observation over the Ypres Salient, the Allied advance would continue towards Bruges. This would be combined with a secondary thrust along the coast as well as an amphibious landing behind German lines to secure the Belgian ports and thereby eliminate the U-Boat menace. The gathering fear of America’s entry into the conflict lent ever greater urgency to German efforts to starve out their European enemies by submarine warfare. British shipping losses in April and May alone were 650 ships totalling some 1.5 million tons. Haig could expect no help from other Allies. The Russians were dismissed as by the War Cabinet as ‘hopeless’.

The French army was stricken by what were officially called ‘acts of collective indiscipline’—mutiny. Suffering over a million casualties (from a male population of 20 million) since 1914 had broken their offensive spirit. During May and June 1917, this indiscipline—a form of military strike—took place within 54 divisions, over half the army. They would hold the line but not go on the attack. General Philippe Pétain, the new French commander, took swift action in making immediate improvements for the troops: rotating units more regularly from the front line, allowing longer periods of rest, better food and more home leave. But with the carrot came the stick. Mass arrests and Courts Martial also followed with 3,427 guilty verdicts given for mutinous conduct. Some 554 soldiers were sentenced to death although only 49 were executed. The government suppressed news of the events so as to sustain public morale. Indeed, a full account of the of the extent and intensity of the French Army mutinies remains to be written. Some military archives were released in 1967. The remainder were to be made available to historians only in 2017. Thus, the burden of achieving Haig’s ambitious plans which would involve a 40km advance, three times the distance achieved by any Allied offensive thus far, would rest on the British troops and their allies—Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians—alone. From June to November 1917 a series of offensives followed each other. The Battle of Messines (7–14 June) saw a week-long artillery bombardment that fired over four million shells—dwarfing the efforts at the Somme a year earlier. Some 25 large mines had been placed 30 metres under the German trench line, in shafts that had taken British, ANZAC and Canadian tunnellers six months to dig. One was 600 metres long. On 7 June 1917, nineteen of these were detonated within 30 seconds along a 11km front, releasing an explosive force of 500 tons. These were the largest series of controlled explosions ever made in the pre-atomic age. One of the mines blew a crater 135 metres in diameter. Buildings within a 50km radius shook on their foundations. The explosions were heard in London. In Switzerland, seismographs registered a small earthquake. Not all the mines were used. Two mines failed to explode. Another was detonated in 1935. In 1956 yet another was ignited by an electrical storm. A century later, two still lie unexploded beneath the peaceful Flanders landscape. Over 10,000 German soldiers were killed instantly or buried alive. Some 7,300 were taken prisoner. The offensive made good progress initially, however within a week the Germans, employing their tactics of defence in depth, conducted a skilful fighting retreat and re-established themselves in pre-prepared new trench lines of heavily fortified blockhouses and strongholds.

The use of mass artillery and mines had also devastated the Flanders drainage system and destroyed the embankments that kept the water table below ground level. Water gathered in every shell hole. In August, Flanders experienced the heaviest rainfall in 75 years. It transformed the battlefield into a swamp. Men were forced to stand knee deep—sometimes waist high—in water and mud. The terrain became so sodden that in no other land battle in history did so many men die by drowning The Battle of Passchendaele (or the Third Battle of Ypres) began on 31 July 1917 and would stretch four months in a series of murderous individual engagements: Langemark, Menin Road Ridge, Broodseinde, Zonnebecke and Polygon Wood. Fighting in these last three mentioned, by the five Australian divisions, were systematic step-bystep advances, staying within range of the supporting artillery. They pushed the line forward by a few kilometres, but at a dreadful cost; in just over a week in September there were almost 11,000 Australian casualties. Lieutenant-Colonel Leslie Morshead—who would rise to become Australia’s finest front-line General of World War II—commanded the 33rd Brigade and described conditions near Passchendaele: Things are bloody, very bloody… The whole country over which we fought is a mass of shell holes, water and mud. It is exhausting to walk over it. It is a fact that four men were drowned in the mud and it was quite usual for men to be bogged up to their armpits. We had eight days of this…You can perhaps imagine the condition of the men when we were relieved.


Major-General John Monash, Commander of the 3rd Division was equally blunt: Our men are being put into the hottest fighting and are being sacrificed in harebrained schemes like Passchendaele and there is no one in the War Cabinet to lift a voice in protest. Australian interests are suffering badly and Australia is not getting anything like the recognition it deserves.

Having chewed up the ANZAC Corps in a pointless sacrifice, Haig turned next to the Canadians. In November, what little remained of Passchendaele Village was captured by the four divisions of the Canadian Corps—at a cost of 15,000 casualties. The Allied line was then consolidated. Passchendaele was the battle that gave rise to the story of Haig’s chief of staff being driven to the front and, as he viewed the muddy wasteland, breaking into tears and saying, ‘Good God, did we really send men to fight in that?’ ‘It gets worse’, his driver said, ‘farther on up.’ Ninety-nine days of fighting had resulted in over 220,000 Allied casualties. The Germans had suffered worse, perhaps 260,000 casualties, but they had another 40 fresh divisions in Russia, with which to plan a new Western Front offensive in 1918. By the end of 1917 Britain had conscripted every man that could be spared from the farms and factories. The recruiters now sought the over-aged, the infirm and the physically deficient in their desperation for soldiers. Haig’s profligate tactics had left Britain with no fresh armies. Stephen Reid


So Where Are We? by Lawrence Joseph ($35, HB)

Beginning where his collection Into It left off, amid the worldwide violence unleashed by the World Trade Center terrorist attack, Lawrence Joseph’s poems—global and historic in scope— boldly encounter the imaginative challenges of our time: issues of political economy, labor & capital, racism & war, and ‘the point at which / violence becomes ontology, / these endless ambitious experiments in destruction, / a species grief’. Against these realities, he presents an intimate, sensuous language of beauty and love, ‘a separate / palette kept for each poem’, a constant shifting and fluid play of sound and tone.

The Aeneid (tr) David Ferry ($80, HB) National Book Award winner David Ferry is one of the foremost contemporary translators of Latin poetry. His translations of Virgil’s Eclogues & Georgics having established themselves as much-admired standards. He brings to the Aeneid the same genius, rendering Virgil’s formal, metrical lines into an English that is familiar & alive. Yet in doing so, he surrenders none of the feel of the ancient world that resonates throughout the poem & gives it the power that has drawn readers to it for centuries. In Ferry’s hands, the Aeneid becomes once more a lively, dramatic poem of daring & adventure, of love & loss, devotion & death. The Lost Words: A Spell Book by Robert Macfarlane ($50, HB)

Once upon a time, words began to vanish from the language of children. Words like Dandelion, Otter, Bramble, Acorn and Lark represent the natural world of childhood, a rich landscape of discovery and imagination that is fading from children’s minds. This celebration of the poetry of nature words and the living glory of our distinctive, British countryside uses acrostic spellpoems by wordsmith Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustrations by Jackie Morris, to capture the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

The Emperor of Water Clocks: Poems by Yusef Komunyakaa ($25, PB)

‘If I am not Ulysses, I am / his dear, ruthless half brother’ announces Yusef Komunyakaa early in his lush new collection. And Ulysses (or his half brother) is but one of the characters Komunyakaa conjures over the course of this densely lyrical book. Here his speaker observes a doomed court jester; here another recalls Napoleon as the emperor ‘tells the doctor to cut out his heart / & send it to the empress, Marie-Louise’. Through these mutations and migrations and permutations and peregrinations, there are constants: Komunyakaa’s jazz-inflected rhythms, his effortlessly surreal images, his celebration of natural beauty and of love.



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True History of the Kelly Gang Peter Carey, PB

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The Fire Engine That Disappeared Sjöwall & Wahlöö, PB

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Magic Soup: 100 Recipes for Health and Happiness, HB

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The Crime and the Silence: A Quest for the Truth of a Wartime Massacre Anna Bikont, HB

The Burning of Moscow: Napoleon’s Trial by Fire 1812 Alexander Mikaberidze, HB

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Walking English: A Journey in Search of Language David Crystal, PB

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From a Persian Kitchen, HB


The Immortal Evening: Dinner with Keats, Wordsorth & Lamb Stanley Plumly, HB

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Thirteen Ways of Looking Colum McCann, HB

Spinglish: The Definitive Dictionary of Deliberately Deceptive Language Beard & Cerf, HB

Arcadian Nights: The Greek Myths Reimagined John Spurling, HB

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The Luminaries Eleanor Catton, HB

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Walking With Abel: Journeys with the Nomads of the African Savanna Anna Badkhen, HB



The Early Stories of Truman Capote, HB

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A Time of Torment John Connolly, HB

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On Further Reflection: 60 Years of Writing Jonathan Miller, HB

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River of Ink: Essays on Literature, Art & History Thomas Christensen, HB

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The Escape of Sigmund Freud David Cohen, HB

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The Italian Country Table: Home 365 Games & Puzzles to Keep Your Mind Sharp, PB Cooking from Italy’s Farmhouse 21

The Arts

Renoir: An Intimate Biography by Barbara Ehrlich White ($50, HB)

August Renoir became hugely popular despite great obstacles: thirty years of poverty followed by thirty years of progressive paralysis of his fingers. Despite these hardships, much of his work is optimistic, even joyful. He had intimate relationships with fellow artists (Caillebotte, Cézanne, Monet, and Morisot), with his dealers (Durand-Ruel, Bernheim, and Vollard) and with his models (Lise, Aline, Gabrielle, and Dedee). Barbara Ehrlich White’s lifetime of research informs this fascinating biography, and the story is interspersed with more than 1,100 extracts from letters by, to, and about Renoir, 452 of which come from unpublished letters.

Making Things Right by Ole Thorstensen

This is the story of a loft conversion. It is also a book about work & identity, about collaboration & pride in skilled craftsmanship, and about what it means to make things with your hands in a consumerism-driven world. A master carpenter & builder with 30 years’ experience, Thorstensen gives a matter-of-fact, reflective voice to the workers who construct our living spaces & our urban environment. From the moment of a client’s phone call to their occupation of a newly constructed living space, he tracks the project as it takes shape: the delicate negotiation to establish an optimum plan; the collaboration with a trusted team of specialist painters, plasterers, plumbers, electricians; the handling of materials; the blood, sweat & frustration involved in doing a job well. Working with your hands gives you time to think, and with all its practical detail, Making Things Right is the simple philosophy of a working life. ($30, PB)

Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005–2016

This is Annie Leibovitz’s follow-up to her two landmark books, Annie Leibovitz: Photographs, 1970–1990 and A Photographer’s Life, 1990–2005. In this new collection, Leibovitz has captured the most influential & compelling figures of the last decade—each of the photographs documenting contemporary culture with an artist’s eye, wit, and an uncanny ability to personalize even the most recognizable & distinguished figures. ($120, HB)

Vitamin C: Clay and Ceramic in Contemporary Art ($79.95, HB)

Clay and ceramics have in recent years been elevated from craft to high art material, with the resulting artworks being coveted by collectors and exhibited in museums around the world. Vitamin C conducts a global survey of this revival with 100 of today’s most important clay and ceramic artists including Caroline Achaintre, Ai Weiwei, Edmund de Waal, Theaster Gates, Marisa Merz, Ron Nagle, Gabriel Orozco, Grayson Perry, Sterling Ruby, Thomas Schutte, Richard Slee & Betty Woodman.

The Artist Project: What Artists See When They Look At Art ($95, HB)

Artists have long been stimulated & motivated by the work of those who came (sometimes centuries) before them. Interviews with 120 international contemporary artists discussing works from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection that spark their imagination shed new light on art-making, museums, and the creative process. Images of the artworks appear alongside images of the contemporary artists’ work, allowing readers to discover a rich web of visual connections that spans cultures and millennia.

Artists Who Make Books ($150, HB) The ‘artist’s book’ has long been an important form of expression, and this book showcases 32 internationally recognized artists who have integrated book production into their larger creative practice. This volume features a selection of books—many rarely seen—by every artist included, an accompanying text providing further context, and over 500 illustrations of covers and interior spreads. Included are insightful interviews with Tauba Auerbach, Paul Chan & Walther Konig, and in-depth essays by Benjamin H. D. Buchloh & Lynda Morris. Black: Architecture in Monochrome

A stunning exploration of the beauty and drama of 150 black structures built by the world’s leading architects over 1,000 years—houses, churches, libraries, skyscrapers, and other buildings from some of the world’s leading architects, including Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson, and Eero Saarinen, David Adjaye, Jean Nouvel, Peter Marino, and Steven Holl. ($59.95, HB)


The Militant Muse: Love, War and the Women of Surrealism by Whitney Chadwick ($50, HB)

Focusing on the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, Whitney Chadwick charts five female friendships among the Surrealists to show how Surrealism, female friendship, and the experiences of war, loss, and trauma shaped individual women’s transitions from someone else’s muse to mature artists in their own right. Her vivid account includes the fascinating story of Claude Cahun and Suzanne Malherbe in occupied Jersey, as well as the experiences of Lee Miller and Valentine Penrose at the front line. Drawing on personal correspondence between women, she includes the extraordinary letters between Leonora Carrington & Leonor Fini during the months following the arrest & imprisonment of Carrington’s lover Max Ernst & the letter Frida Kahlo shared with her friend & lover Jacqueline Lamba years after it was written in the late 1930s.

Polaroid: The Missing Manual by Rhiannon Adam

This book charts the first widespread use of Polaroid, its subsequent decline & its current rebirth. It gives a comprehensive breakdown of every method of image manipulation, such as ‘Polaroid image transfers’, ‘cyanotype contact printing’ & ‘emulsion lifts’—with step-by-step, photographic instructions & a showcase of the very best end results. It also shows how to breathe new life into old equipment, from adapting Type 80 cameras so they accept Fuji film to building pinhole Polaroid cameras. A resources section contains an index of cameras, compatible films and a guide on where to buy equipment. ($45, HB)

The Art of Cartographics ($50, HB) This is a collection of maps where design has taken the traditional map in a new direction, with exquisite results. Featuring geographical maps, fictional maps, and fresh & innovative approaches to cultural, economic & political maps, it presents the very best in rational beauty & invites the reader on a journey across the globe. This carefully curated selection from around the world offers inspiration for designers & map-lovers alike.

The Art of Winnie-the-Pooh by James Campbell

But before Winnie-the-Pooh & friends appeared in many millions of books and in nearly 50 languages, they started life in the 1920s as the product of a unique collaboration between A. A. Milne & E. H Shepard; author & illustrator wove images & text together in a way that was utterly original for the time. For Shepard, it was a process that he relished, creating artwork for new editions right up until his death in 1976 at the age of 96. This full-colour volume, reveals the story behind this remarkable partnership, showing the evolution of Shepard’s work, from the first sketches through to the illustrations we know and love, and even on to the characters’ later incarnations at Disney. ($50, HB)

Degas : A Passion for Perfection (ed) Jane Munro

Relentless experimentation with technical procedures is a hallmark of Edgar Degas’ lifelong desire to learn. The numerous iterations of compositions and poses suggest an intense self-discipline, as well as a refusal to accept any creative solution as definitive or finite. Published in the centenary year of the artist’s death, this book presents an exceptional array of Edgar Degas’s work, including paintings, drawings, pastels, etchings, monotypes, counter proofs, and sculpture, with approximately sixty key works from private and public collections in Europe and the US—some published here for the first time. Shown together, the impressive works represent well over half a century of innovation & artistic production. Essays by leading Degas scholars & conservation scientists explore his practice & recurring themes of the human figure & landscape. ($80, HB)

Picasso | Encounters: Printmaking & Collaboration by Jay A. Clarke & Marilyn McCully ($40, PB)

Although Pablo Picasso is often thought of as a solitary genius, his career was fuelled by the inspiration he drew from both personal & collegial relationships. He practiced printmaking throughout his career—an interest that fostered collaboration, as it brought him in contact with numerous printers & publishers. At the same time, his many famous muses—Marie-Therese Walter, Dora Maar, and others—influenced both his techniques & his imagery. This book features 35 of Picasso’s most important prints that showcase the artistic exchange vital to his process. It includes his first major etching from 1904, portraits of his lovers & family members, and prints that transform motifs by Rembrandt, Manet & other earlier artists, such as a 1970 interpretation of Rembrandt’s Ecce Homo.

Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible: 260 Exquisite Designs by Hitomi Shida (tr) Gayle Roehm ($20, PB)

Knitting guru Hitomi Shida shares a wide range of rewarding and intricate stitches including: cables, popcorn stitches, twisted stitches, edgings, and many more. A set of detailed, step-by-step diagrams show you how to execute all the basic stitches. Instructions and diagrams for a series of small projects offer practice working with large patterns, lacy patterns, pattern arrangement, and round yokes among other things. Knitting projects include: a classic hat made using large pattern, an elegant scarf in lacy patterns, the ever-popular fingerless mittens, thick socks that can be made using various patterns, a feminine collar using round stitching, and much more. This is the perfect book for the experienced knitter who is looking for new stitches that yield spectacular results.

Warner Bros: The Making of an American Movie Studio by David Thomson ($38, HB)

The Warner Brothers-Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack-arrived in America as unschooled Jewish immigrants, yet they founded a studio that became the smartest, toughest, and most radical in all of Hollywood. David Thomson provides fascinating and original interpretations of Warner Brothers pictures from the pioneering talkie The Jazz Singer through black-and-white musicals, gangster movies, and such dramatic romances as Casablanca, East of Eden, and Bonnie and Clyde. He recounts the storied exploits of the studio’s larger-than-life stars, among them Al Jolson, James Cagney, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Doris Day, and Bugs Bunny.

Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop from Elvis to Jay Z (ed) Jonathan Lethem

This collection invites you into the tumult & excitement of the rock revolution through fifty landmark pieces by a supergroup of writers on rock in all its variety, from heavy metal to disco, punk to hip-hop. Stanley Booth describes a recording session with Otis Redding; Ellen Willis traces the meteoric career of Janis Joplin; Ellen Sander recalls the chaotic world of Led Zeppelin on tour; Nick Tosches etches a portrait of the young Jerry Lee Lewis; Eve Babitz remembers Jim Morrison. Alongside are Lenny Kaye on acapella & Greg Tate on hip-hop, Vince Aletti on disco & Gerald Early on Motown; Robert Christgau on Prince, Nelson George on Marvin Gaye, Luc Sante on Bob Dylan, Hilton Als on Michael Jackson, Anthony DeCurtis on the Rolling Stones, Kelefa Sanneh on Jay Z. ($65, HB)

Tokyo Boogie-Woogie : Japan’s Pop Era and its Discontents by Hiromu Nagahara

In this first English-language history of the origins and impact of the Japanese pop music industry, Hiromu Nagahara connects the rise of mass entertainment, epitomized by ryukoka (‘popular songs’), with Japan’s transformation into a middle-class society in the years after World War II. With the arrival of major international recording companies like Columbia and Victor in the 1920s, Japan’s pop music scene soon grew into a full-fledged culture industry that reached out to an avid consumer base through radio, cinema & other media. Emerging during some of the most volatile decades in Japan’s history, popular songs struck a deep chord in Japanese society, gaining a devoted following but also galvanizing a vociferous band of opponents. Many regarded it as a scandal, evidence of an increasingly debased and Americanized culture. For others, popular songs represented liberation from the oppressive political climate of the war years. Tokyo Boogie-Woogie is a tale of competing cultural dynamics coming to a head just as Japan’s traditionally hierarchical society was shifting toward middle-class democracy. The pop soundscape of these years became the audible symbol of changing times. ($64, HB)

what we're reading

John: John le Carré’s cold war era spy George Smiley accompanied me on many family holidays to the Central Coast, and I well remember reading Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy, Smiley’s People, and a few years later The Spy who Came in from the Cold. My reading was chronologically incorrect but The Spy who Came was grittier, a bit nastier, than the labyrinth of plot and sub-plot he created in the later books. And it is to the earlier work that le Carré takes us in A Legacy of Spies. The world has changed and the secrets from the past are surfacing. The death of a spy, Alec Leamas, fifty years ago requires scrutiny, perhaps public scrutiny. In the courts, in Parliament. There is a new breed of spy and they have recalled Smiley’s trusted lieutenant Peter Guillam from retirement ... just to clarify a few things. To help understand what happened, and who was responsible. Oh, and does he know where George is … Andrew: There is a very sweet story behind The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young in its current edition. Originally published in 2003 by a small specialist farming press, it is a really charming depiction of the emotional lives of the animals (and particularly the cows) on the author’s ‘Kite’s Nest Farm’. Mentioned facetiously in passing by Alan Bennett in his most recent collection of diaries (Keeping On Keeping On), he is very enthusiastic about the book, but wonders how a book that covers the way cows make friends, play games, nurse grudges, baby sit, and grieve, fails to cover their ‘romantic’ lives. These few throwaway lines in the diary triggered a steady interest in secondhand copies of the then out of print book, and demand for a new edition began to grow. Bennett’s publisher, Faber, have taken the plunge and will publish it again for a much larger audience next month. This is a super little book; you can knock it over in a night or two easily, and is a lovely pick-me-up if the travails of modern life have got you down. It will make a fantastic ‘stocking stuffer’ this Christmas, for fans of Bennett, Blandings, James Rebanks, and the like. Viki: I’ve just finished the latest in the travails of everyone’s favourite tattooed girl, Elizabeth Salander—The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye. David Lagercrantz has taken over the writing of her further adventures—and as editor of this magazine I’m appalled that I seem to have missed out on the first of these, The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Now I’ll have to go back. Lagercrantz’s writing is sparer than Larsson’s—there were times in Larsson’s trilogy when I found myself praying for the red editorial pencil—and the new story had me engaged til the final page. The reveal this time is why the dragon tattoo? You’ll get no spoiler from me, but there’s musical genius twins with hyperacusis, social psycho experiments gone wrong, and the usual evil shenanigans from the highest and lowest of Swedish society—all put to rights by Salander’s hacking and slashing, and her journalist buddy, Blomkvist’s, digging. The only fault I would find, is that whilst the paring down is great, to my mind there isn’t quite enough of Salander in this outing—another reason to head back to the Spider’s Web.


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Bestsellers—Non-Fiction 1. Watching Out: Reflections on Justice & Injustice

Julian Burnside

2. One Halal of a Story

Sam Dastyari

3. A Charter of Rights for Australia: New Edition

George Williams

4. Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India

Shashi Tharoor

5. The Museum of Words: A Memoir of Language,

Writing & Mortality

Georgia Blain

6. The Enigmatic Mr Deakin

Judith Brett

7. Against Native Title: Conflict & Creativity in

Outback Australia

Eve Vincent

8. Detours

Tim Rogers

9. Tex

Tex Perkins

10. Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the

Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

Nancy MacLean

Bestsellers—Fiction 1. A Legacy of Spies

John le Carré

2. Whipbird

Robert Drewe

3. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness 4. Extinctions 5. The Choke 6. Taboo 7. The Twentieth Man 8. The Handmaid’s Tale

Arundhati Roy

Josephine Wilson Sophie Laguna Kim Scott Tony Jones Margaret Atwood

9. The Red-Haired Woman

Orhan Pamuk

10. The Last Man in Europe

Dennis Glover


and another thing.....

I for one am very happy the second hand books have been rehoused upstairs at the big shop, numero 49—second hand browsing is one of my favourite things. Janice’s recommendation on page 6—The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler—is one of the reasons why. Apart from cheaper edition of Shakespeare for school, or the true publishing oddities you can unearth, or the out of print titles that complete a collection, a well curated second hand book shelf will have many of those once famous authors who now languish in obscurity waiting to be rediscovered. I expect Janice will be raiding the shelves for authors she’s uncovered in Fowler’s book, so you’d better be quick. I’m in the middle of Jane Harper’s new book Force of Nature (page 6) at the moment— and am champing at the bit to get back to it. Harper really knows how to write about the Australian landscape—this time it’s not the drought stricken emptiness of outback Australia that she captures so well in The Dry, but the beauty, and claustrophobic closeness—a ‘sense of being under siege’—of mountainous bushland. Five women on an ‘outward bound’ teamwork building exercise for executives get lost in the Giralang ranges—four of them make it out, and one (as I read) is still lost in the wilderness. Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk is in on the search because the missing woman just happens to be the whistleblower in his latest case—red herrings abound, and to make matters worse the Giralang ranges have a serial killer history, and the son of the serial killer is in the wind, or behind every towering gum. After such a successful first novel, I’m impressed Harper could come up with another cracker so quickly. My ‘dip-into’ book this month is The Library of America’s collection of writing on rock & pop music—Shake it Up (page 23). I’ve just read a very intense take on Sgt Peppers, and a sad chronicling of Brian Wilson’s breakdown around Smile—I’m looking forward to my next dip. And, as Xmas approaches, I’m starting to think about gifts ... Browsing Wine Dogs (page 9) the other day brought a smile to even this cat lover’s face, so for dog lovers I reckon it would be just the ticket. Viki

For more October new releases go to:

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Profile for Gleebooks

Gleaner October 2017  

Book and DVD new releases for October 2017 from one of Australia's leading independent bookshops.

Gleaner October 2017  

Book and DVD new releases for October 2017 from one of Australia's leading independent bookshops.

Profile for gleebooks