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gleaner Vol. 26 No. 5 June 2019

news views reviews

this month.. Jackson Brodie rides again in Kate Atkinson’s

Big Sky


A couple of must reads

Just two books to talk about this month, as I slowly come I’m on holidays as you read this, travelling, relaxing back to life after SWF. Both by women, but literally a world and hectic Sydney Writers’ Festival. apart.recuperating The first is aafter novela by the American author, Elizabeth The outstanding memory compelling in Eat, every asGilbert, best known for hermost massive bestseller Pray, pect her account, especially hermost sympathy the Love.ofI never read that, but foundinher recent for fiction, bereaved family.ofThere’s little aquestion that this is yet The Signature All Things wonderfully enjoyable, another death of aaccount mentally whichgifted didn’tyoung have and erudite work. It’s an ofill a person scientifically to happen, but Wild covers sothat much, with deeptosensitivity, woman’s journey through a life takes her such from care Kew and Gardens Tahiti. It’s that we areepic leftalmost, in no doubt thatbut everyone, us included, is rumination a victim ofabout a an ambitious, in scope, a quite wise and lovely human nature. Which to suggest, by a roundabout way, that it’s a splendid imperfect health and is policing system. book to introduce yourself to Gilbert’s fiction. And then to say that she brings the and wisdom to her new novel, City of Girls, a first-person com same wit David ing-of-age story, told with the benefit of hindsight by the gloriously engaging Vivian Morris. Our narrator has been exiled from the middle class comfort of her parents’ house into the ‘care’ of an eccentric, theatrical Aunt Peg. This is an uneven, far from flawless piece of storytelling, but it’s hugely entertaining, and packs more than a few well-delivered punches. Vivid, flesh-and-bone characters, and a world unfamiliar to most readers, revealed with zest and tenderness. Worth a wallow. The Yield, the long awaited new novel from Tara June Winch (her debut novel being the award-winning Swallow the Air), is indeed a world away from City of Girls. Set on the banks of the Murrumby River, at Prosperous, on Massacre Plain, this a profoundly affecting story of endurance, fortitude and even celebration, in the face of the dispossession of a people and a culture. August Gondiwindi has returned to Australia after ten years, for the funeral of her beloved grandfather—an event coinciding with the takeover of ancestral land at Prosperous House for mining. And grandfather Albert ‘Poppy’ Gondiwindi, knowing his death is imminent, has been compiling a dictionary of words and phrases from the language he was not allowed to use as a child. It’s a fictional scenario which provides a breadth and depth of possibilities that Winch takes full advantage of—and the result is a work of dazzling originality, in structure, language, and intent. Quite simply, nobody has written anything quite like this before. Interspersed narratives weave through chapters comprised of entries from Poppy’s dictionary, from the diary of the Lutheran missionary whose intervention in Aboriginal lives a century before has such tragic consequence, and from the contemporary action. And as the title intimates, ‘Yield’ embodies both senses of the word—of reaping/taking, and of giving/giving up. Winch explores this beautifully, all the while reclaiming the storytelling of her people. Essential reading. (out July 2nd). David Gaunt

A Fixed Place by Kathleen Mary Fallon ($25, PB)

What was it like, living through the social, cultural & political upheaval of the last 50 years of the 20th century in this Lucky Country? With life flying forward into the future, what could be held onto, and what self (that place which is never fixed) could fix & hold the experience of those years? Kathleen Mary Fallon has collected writings published across a span from the 1980’s in magazines & ephemeral publications to make a picture of the act of creation through writing. These stories are slippery with the grunt & sweat of hard yakka—the work of striving towards consciousness against the grain of good old she’ll-be-right complacency. Whether in slave-like conditions in quiet suburbs or in dreamlike states on the horizon of the Australian imagination, the characters & their stories are in our cultural DNA & need to be remembered.

Crossings by Alex Landragin ($33, PB)

A Parisian bookbinder stumbles across a manuscript containing three stories, each as unlikely as the other. The first, The Education of a Monster, is a letter penned by the poet Charles Baudelaire to an illiterate girl. The second, City of Ghosts, is a noir romance set in Paris in 1940 as the Germans are invading. The third, Tales of the Albatross, is the strangest of the three: the autobiography of a deathless enchantress. Together, they tell the tale of two lost souls peregrinating through time. An unforgettable tour de force, Crossings is a novel in three parts, designed to be read in two different directions, spanning 150 years & seven lifetimes.

Memoirs of Many in One by Patrick White

The last Patrick White novel published in his lifetime, Memoirs of Many in One presents the eccentric, often fantastical recollections of the ageing actor, Alex Xenophon Demirjian Gray. These are ‘edited’ by the writer Patrick White, her friend and executor, who is often the target of her scorn. Witty and affecting, Memoirs reveals another side of White’s fiction even as it echoes many of the themes running through his work. ($12.95, PB)


Australian Literature The Electric Hotel by Dominic Smith ($33, PB)

For nearly half a century, Claude Ballard has been living at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel. A French pioneer of silent films, who started out as a concession agent for the Lumière brothers, the inventors of cinema, Claude now spends his days foraging mushrooms in the hills of Los Angeles & taking photographs of runaways & the striplings along Sunset Boulevard. But when a film-history student comes to interview Claude about The Electric Hotel—the lost masterpiece that bankrupted him & ended the career of his muse, Sabine Montrose—the past comes surging back. In his run-down hotel suite, the ravages of the past are waiting to be excavated: celluloid fragments & reels in desperate need of restoration & his memories of the woman who inspired & beguiled him.

Hitch by Kathryn Hind ($33, PB)

Amelia stands beside a highway in the Australian desert, alone except for her dog & the occasional road train that speeds past her raised thumb. After her mother’s funeral, Amelia was confronted by Zach & reminded of the relationship they had when she was a teenager. She feels complicit & remains unable to process what happened. So she ran. Her best friend, Sid, is Zach’s cousin & the one person in the world she can depend upon. But, of course, the road isn’t safe either. Amelia is looking for generosity or human connection in the drivers she finds lifts with, and she does receive that. But she is also let down in this raw exploration of consent & its ambiguities, personal agency & the choices we make.

Gleebooks’ special price $29.99

The Subjects by Sarah Hopkins ($30, PB)

Daniel is a 16 year-old drug dealer and he’s going to jail. Then, suddenly, he’s not. A courtroom intervention. A long car ride to a big country house. Other ‘gifted delinquents’—the elusive, devastating Rachel, and Alex, so tightly wound he seems about to shatter. So where are they? It’s not a school, despite the ‘lessons’ with the headsets & changing images. It’s not a psych unit—not if the absence of medication means anything. It’s not a jail, because Daniel’s free to leave. Or that’s what they tell him. He knows he & the others are part of an experiment. But he doesn’t know who’s running it or what they’re trying to prove. And he has no idea what they’re doing to him. A literary, and terrifyingly credible, novel about our juvenile justice system written by a lawyer working in the field.

The White Girl by Tony Birch ($29.95, PB)

Odette Brown has lived her whole life on the fringes of a small country town. After her daughter disappeared & left her with her granddaughter Sissy to raise on her own, Odette has managed to stay under the radar of the welfare authorities who are removing fair-skinned Aboriginal children from their families. When a new policeman arrives in town, determined to enforce the law, Odette must risk everything to save Sissy & protect everything she loves. Tony Birch shines a spotlight on the 1960s & the devastating government policy of taking Indigenous children from their families.

This Excellent Machine by Stephen Orr ($34.95, PB)

Clem Whelan’s got a problem: trapped in the suburbs in the Sunnyboy summer of 1984 he has to decide what to do with his life. Matriculation? Become a writer? To make sense of the world, Clem uses his telescope to spy on his neighbours. From his wall, John Lennon gives him advice; his sister (busy with her Feres Trabilsie hairdressing apprenticeship) tells him he’s a pervert; his best friend, Curtis, gets hooked on sex and Dante and, as the year progresses and the essays go unwritten, he starts to understand the excellence of it all. His Pop, facing the first dawn of dementia, determined to follow an old map into the desert in search of Lasseter’s Reef. His old neighbour, Vicky, returning to Lanark Avenue—and a smile is all it takes. Followed by a series of failed driving tests; and the man at his door, claiming to be his father. It’s going to be a long year, but in the end Clem emerges from the machine a different person, ready to face what he now understands about life, love, and the importance of family and neighbours.

Allegra in Three Parts by Suzanne Daniel ($30, PB)

11-year-old Allegra shuttles between her grandmothers who live next door to one another but couldn’t be more different. Matilde works all hours & instils discipline, duty & restraint. She insists that Allegra focus on her studies to become a doctor. Meanwhile free-spirited Joy is full of colour, possibility & emotion, storing all her tears in little glass bottles. She is riding the 2nd wave of the women’s movement in the company of her penny tortoise, Simone de Beauvoir, encouraging Ally to explore broad horizons & live her ‘true essence’. And then there’s Rick who lives in a flat out the back & finds distraction in gambling & solace in surfing. He’s trying to be a good father to Al Pal, while grieving the woman who links them all but whose absence tears them apart..

Real Differences by S. L. Lim ($30, PB)

Middle-class, clever & white, Nick is a child of privilege while his best friend Andie is the daughter of Indo-Chinese refugees. Despite their very different backgrounds, they share a conviction they can change the world for the better. At the outset, Nick is pushing papers in a dead-end job while Andie is embarking on a secular crusade against world poverty. This generates conflict with her white husband Benjamin, who feels that Australians should come first. Meanwhile, Andie’s cousin, the teenage Tony is burdened by his parents’ traumatic past & impossible expectations. To their dismay, he finds solace in radical faith. S. L. Lim acutely captures the dreams and disaffections of a millennial generation.

We’ll Stand in That Place and Other Stories (ed) Michelle Cahill ($24, PB)

The stories in this latest anthology in the annual Margaret River Short Story Competition (now in its 8th year) deal with contemporary concerns, such as climate change, cultural inclusiveness & the need for queer spaces—exploring the complex emotions that we sometimes fail to honour in our daily lives & close relationships. The 19 short stories were selected from over 240 entries—including this year’s winning story We’ll Stand in That Place by Kit Scriven.

The Poison of Polygamy: A Social Novel by Wong Shee Ping ($35, PB)

Serialised in 1909-1910, The Poison of Polygamy is the first novel of the Chinese-Australian experience. It follows the fortunes of a young man who leaves his wife behind in southern China to seek his fortunes in the Victorian goldfields. In a rollercoaster tale of blackmail, murder & betrayal, he encounters all manner of perils, from storms at sea to collapsing gold mines & even a thylacine attack in the Victorian bush. The book reveals the human face of migration between Qing China & colonial Australia, and reflects important Chinese social & political developments of the time—with many characters & incidents based on real people & events. In this bilingual edition, the original Chinese text is presented alongside the English translation, complete with footnotes.

My Name Is Revenge: A Novella and Collected Essays by Ashley Kalagian Blunt ($25, PB)

On 17 December 1980, at 9:47 am, 2 men shot the Turkish consul-general to Sydney & his bodyguard near the consul’s home in Vaucluse. The assassins aimed, fired & vanished. A finalist in the 2018 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award, My Name Is Revenge is a novella set in 1980s Sydney based on true events. From the assassination in Australia, one of a series of international terrorist attacks, the story traces back to the streets of 1920s Berlin & the Armenian genocide of WWI. Three companion essays provide historical context.

The Chaser Quarterly 16: The Chaser’s Book of Modern Fairy Tales ($19.95, PB)

We all know the tale Hansel and Gretel, or The Sleeping Beauty, but yesterday’s morality tales need serious updating. The Chaser’s tales all investigate a current topic that you can read to your kids to teach them about how morality actually works nowadays. For instance: Why it’s alright to take money from dead people; Why you shouldn’t tell anyone about a horrible man if he’s more powerful and well connected than you; Why you should accept gold coins to not talk about rising water levels.

This Taste for Silence by Amanda O’Callaghan

The balance of power in a marriage shifts, with shocking consequences. An elderly woman recounts a chilling childhood memory on the family farm. A taxi driver with a missing wife reveals unexpected skills. An inherited painting brings an eerily troubling legacy. Subtle & unsettling, Amanda O’Callaghan’s stories work at the edges of the sayable, through secrets, erasures & glimpsed moments of disclosure. They shimmer with unspoken histories & characters who have a ‘taste for silence’. ($22.95, PB)

A Lifetime of Impossible Days by Tabitha Bird

On one impossible day in 1965, 8 year-old Willa receives a mysterious box containing a jar of water & the instruction: ‘One ocean— plant in the backyard.’ So she does—and somehow creates an extraordinary time slip that allows her to visit her future selves. In 1990, Willa is 33 & a mother-of-two when her childhood self magically appears in her backyard. But she’s also a woman haunted by memories of her dark past—and is on the brink of a decision that will have tragic repercussions. In 2050, Willa is a silver-haired, gumboot-loving 93-year-old whose memory is fading fast. Yet she knows there’s something she has to remember, a warning she must give her past selves about a terrible event in 1990. If only she could recall what it was. Can the three Willas come together, to heal their past and save their future, before it’s too late? ($33, PB)

Now in paperback The Butcherbird Stories by A.S. Patric, $28

l l i H ’ D n O

When recommending Elizabeth Gilbert’s brilliant novel The Signature of All Things to sceptical customers, this bookseller would feel the need to say: ‘Forget Eat, Pray, Love, this novel bears no relation to her famous memoir. It’s a stunningly written historical novel with the wonderful Alma Whittaker at its heart—a shy and strange woman who defies the strictures of her time to become a botanist, scientist and adventurer, who at the same time as Charles Darwin, is coming to her own conclusions about evolution. It’s a book loved by everyone who’s read it.’ As will be City of Girls.

In her introductory letter to the uncorrected proofs that booksellers and reviewers receive prior to publication, Gilbert makes very clear her intention and purpose with this novel—and that is to give us something that will ‘go down like a champagne cocktail’, a book that will give us temporary relief from our personal troubles as well as those of this (Trumpian) world. In this Gilbert succeeds mightily. But don’t be fooled—we now know her incapable of writing anything mindlessly frothy (forget Eat Pray Love). For Gilbert also tells us she wanted to write about so-called promiscuous women who, unlike so many literary heroines, are not punished for their sexuality and their desires, women who embrace the wild unpredictability that life can offer. Set in New York in the 1940s, City of Girls centres on the naive Vivian who has dropped out of Vassar and is sent by her parents to stay with her Aunt Peg, the owner of a run-down, wonderfully eccentric vaudeville theatre. Vivian is a whip-hand with a sewing machine and soon becomes wardrobe mistress to the gorgeous, but not always glamorous showgirls who take her under their wing. There is a war on in Europe, but the US is yet to commit and in the meantime, New York nightlife is awash with alcohol, drugs, dancing late into the night and sex with whomever one fancies. Vivvy and her beloved showgirl friend Celia throw themselves into this heady world, freely and unquestioningly. Things change with the arrival of Edna—a serious actress who has escaped Nazi Europe with her daft but handsome young husband, Arthur. Then Billy, Aunt Peg’s charming ex, a Hollywood screenwriter, turns up and soon he’s writing a musical for Edna. Suddenly they’re not doing vaudeville anymore and the musical becomes a huge hit. The long sequence of the writing of the show, its staging and performance is superbly evoked and totally mesmerising. But of course, in all stories such as this, something must go terribly wrong and terribly wrong does it go. Gilbert takes Vivvy into a ripe old age when she is relating her life story to a young woman whose identity remains a mystery right up to its reveal at the end. We learn of the time she and Peg are putting on shows for the workers at the Manhattan shipyards. (We can imagine perhaps, the characters out of Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach attending those shows.) After the war, Vivvy becomes a wedding dress couturier. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say she never marries but has many lovers and is happy with her independence, her friends and what has been a life of self-determination and freedom. Gilbert writes beautifully about the Manhattan of the 40s and beyond. Her wonderfully drawn characters are sympathetic, three-dimensional and very quirky. There’s the marvellous Aunt Peg and her partner in both business and life, Olive. The dashing scoundrel, Billy, and the lovely Celia—who could have been a contender. Edna, the beautiful and stylish actress is, ironically, the one who brings home to the others the reality of war. We feel for these people, forgive them their mistakes and flaws and love them more for it. And isn’t that what we want for ourselves and the people in our lives? City of Girls is unashamedly a book about women and for women. It will be a joy for this bookseller to place it in the hands of the many customers who beg for a book they can immerse themselves in and forget their worries, if just for a while. As Elizabeth Gilbert exhorts, ‘Life is short and difficult, people. We must take our pleasures where we can find them. Let us not become so cautious that we forget to live.’ See you on D’Hill, Morgan

QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY SALE on D’HILL!!! Long weekend Sat 8th to Mon 9th

sale on selected childrens’ books Come to 536 Marrickville Rd and pick up a bargain for the kids!


International Literature City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert ($30, PB)





From Suzanne Daniel comes an outstanding debut novel, capturing 1970s Australia with compassion, humour and a distinctive voice. Full of quirky characters, this book radiates a rare warmth and charm.

‘A magnificent, intricate machine of a book that is a sheer delight to read. With vivid characters and a brilliant premise, it is a puzzle, a love story and an adventure.’ CHRIS WOMERSLEY

It is the summer of 1940. Nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris arrives in New York with her suitcase and sewing machine, exiled by her despairing parents. Although her quicksilver talents with a needle and commitment to mastering the perfect hair roll have been deemed insufficient for her to pass into her sophomore year of Vassar, she soon finds gainful employment as the self-appointed seamstress at the Lily Playhouse, her unconventional Aunt Peg’s charmingly disreputable Manhattan revue theatre. There, Vivian quickly becomes the toast of the showgirls, transforming the trash and tinsel only fit for the cheap seats into creations for goddesses. Morgan loves it, David agrees—see pages 2 and 3.

special price $29.99 Unquiet Heart by Martin Sixsmith ($30, PB)



LIANE MORIARTY The #1 New York Times bestseller and novel that launched the hit TV series with a special cover to celebrate the release of Season 2 starring Meryl Streep. ‘Funny and thrilling’ BOOKLIST (starred review)

DAVID KOCH Friendly, clear and easy to use, this is the guide you need to reset your money habits so you can learn more, worry less, breathe easier and enjoy of the fruits of your labour.

All The Names They Used For God by Anjali Sachdeva ($28, PB)

Spanning centuries, continents & a diverse set of characters, these alluringly strange stories are united by each character’s struggle with fate. In a secret, subterranean world beneath the prairie of the Old West, a homesteader risks her life in search of a safe haven. A workman in Andrew Carnegie’s steel mills is turned into a medical oddity by the brutal power of the furnaces—and is eventually revitalized by his condition. A young woman created through genetic manipulation is destroyed by the same force that gave her life. Anjali Sachdeva lasers in on our fears, our hopes & our longings to point out intrinsic truths about society & humanity.

Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor ($33, PB)

1878, The Lyceum Theatre, London. Henry Irving, the Chief, is the volcanic leading man & impresario; Ellen Terry is the most lauded & desired actress of her generation, outspoken & generous of heart; and ever following along behind them in the shadows is the unremarkable theatre manager, Bram Stoker. Fresh from life in Dublin as a clerk, Bram may seem the least colourful of the trio but he is wrestling with dark demons in a new city, in a new marriage, and with his own literary aspirations. As he walks the London streets at night, streets haunted by the Ripper & the gossip which swirls around his friend Oscar Wilde, he finds new inspiration. But the Chief is determined that nothing will get in the way of his manager’s devotion to the Lyceum & to himself. And both men are enchanted by the beauty & boldness of the elusive Ellen.

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak ($33, PB)

‘In the first minute following her death, Tequila Leila’s consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood, were now completely deprived of oxygen. But they did not shut down. Not right away.’ Our brains stay active for ten minutes after our heart stops beating. For Tequila Leila, each minute brings with it a new memory—growing up with her father & his two wives in a grand old house in a quiet Turkish town; watching the women gossip & wax their legs while the men went to mosque; sneaking cigarettes & Western magazines on her way home from school; running away to Istanbul to escape an unwelcome marriage; falling in love with a student who seeks shelter from a riot in the brothel where she works. Most importantly, each memory reminds Leila of the five friends she met along the way—the friends who are now desperately trying to find her.


1917. Russia is dying amid war, revolution & terror. The birth pains of the new world are a foretaste of the cruellest century. At their heart is Sergei Yesenin, 22, a poet, lover, wounded veteran, beautiful & afraid. Damaged by childhood abandonment, Sergei fears the world, drinks, brawls & womanises. He battles life’s hurt with the charm of poetry & the drug of fame. But love is the validation he seeks. His search for meaning in dark times will lead him to passionate affairs with women & with men, until he discovers the one person who might change his life. Zinaida Raikh, exquisitely lovely, sensitive & gifted, offers Sergei the redemption he craves. But love is the devil, and the devil is fickle.

Lost Property by Laura Beatty ($30, PB)

In the middle of her life, a writer finds herself in a dark wood, despairing & uncomprehending at how modern Britain has become a place of such greed & indifference. In an attempt to understand her country & her species, she & her lover rent a busted-out van & journey across France to the Mediterranean, across Italy to the Balkans & Greece & on to the islands. Along the way, they drive through the Norman Conquest, the Hundred Years War, the wars with the Huguenots, the fragility of the Italian Renaissance, the Balkan wars of the 1990s & the current refugee crisis, meeting figures from Europe’s political & artistic past—a Norman knight, Joan of Arc, Ariosto, D’Annunzio & Alan Moore’s nihilistic Rorschach, each lending their own view of humanity at its best and at its very worst. A wild and brilliant novel about nationhood and borders, about art and ideology, and about the violence running through the branches of our 10,000-year-old family tree.

You Will Be Safe Here by Damian Barr ($30, PB)

2010. Sixteen-year-old outsider Willem just wants to be left alone with his books and his dog. Worried he’s not turning out right, his ma and her boyfriend send him to New Dawn Safari Training Camp. Here they ‘make men out of boys’. Guaranteed. 1901. The height of the second Boer War in South Africa. Sarah van der Watt and her son are taken from their farm by force to Bloemfontein Concentration Camp where, the English promise—they will be safe.

Ecstasy: A Novel by Mary Sharratt ($28, PB)

Coming of age in the midst of a creative and cultural whirlwind, young, beautiful Alma Schindler yearns to make her mark as a composer. A brand-new era of possibility for women is dawning and she is determined to make the most of it. But Alma loses her heart to the great composer Gustav Mahler, nearly twenty years her senior. He demands that she give up her music as a condition for their marriage. Torn by her love and in awe of his genius, how will she remain true to herself and her artistic passion?

Mary B by Katherine J. Chen ($28, PB)

What is to be done with Mary Bennet? She possesses neither the beauty of her eldest sister, Jane, nor the high-spirited wit of secondborn Lizzy. Even compared to her frivolous younger siblings, Kitty and Lydia, Mary knows she is lacking in the ways that matter for single, not-so-well-to-do women in nineteenth-century England who must secure their futures through the finding of a husband. At least she has the silent rebellion and secret pleasures of reading and writing to keep her company. But even her fictional creations are no match for the scandal, tragedy, and romance that eventually visit Mary’s own life. Set before, during, and after the events of Pride and Prejudice, Chen’s debut novel pays homage to a beloved classic while envisioning a life that is difficult to achieve in any era—that of a truly independent woman.

Happy Reader—Issue 13, The ($9, PB)

For avid readers and the uninitiated alike, this is a chance to reengage with classic literature and to stay inspired and entertained. The first half is a long-form interview with a notable book fanatic and the second half explores one classic work of literature from an array of surprising and invigorating angles. Last issue it was Laurie Anderson followed by a dissection of Frankenstein.

My Life As A Rat by Joyce Carol Oates ($30, PB)

Violet Rue is the baby of the 7 Kerrigan children and adores her big brothers. What’s more, she knows that a family protects its own. To go outside the family—to betray the family—is unforgiveable. So when she overhears a conversation not meant for her ears and discovers that her brothers have committed a heinous crime, she is torn between her loyalty to her family and her sense of justice. The decision she takes will change her life for ever. Exploring racism, misogyny, community, family, loyalty, sexuality & identity, this is a dark story with a tense & propulsive atmosphere—Joyce Carol Oates at her very best.

Diary of a Somebody by Brian Bilston ($30, PB)

Brian Bilston’s New Year’s resolution is to write a poem every day for a year while he tries to repair his ever-desperate life. His ex-wife has taken up with a new man, a marketing guru who seems to be disturbingly influencing his son, Dylan. Dylan’s football team keeps being beaten 0–11, and at work Brian is drowning in a sea of spreadsheets— increasingly confused by the complexities of modern communication & management jargon. So poetry will be his salvation. But can Brian’s poetry save him from Toby Salt, his arch nemesis in the Poetry Group and potential rival suitor to Brian’s new poetic inspiration, Liz? So when Toby goes missing Brian is inevitably the number one suspect. Part tender love story, part murder mystery, part coruscating description of a wasted life, and interspersed with some very funny poems about the mundane and the profound.

Salt Slow by Julia Armfield ($33, PB)

From Julia Armfield, the winner of The White Review Short Story Prize 2018, this collection of short stories is about women & their experiences in society, about bodies & the bodily, mapping the skin & bones of its characters through their experiences of isolation, obsession & love. Throughout the collection, women become insects, men turn to stone, a city becomes insomniac & bodies are picked apart to make up better ones. The mundane worlds of schools & sea side towns are invaded & transformed, creating a landscape which is constantly shifting to hold on to the bodies of its inhabitants. Blending the mythic & the gothic, Armfield considers characters in motion—turning away, turning back or simply turning into something new.

Correspondents by Tim Murphy ($33, PB)

Rita Khoury, an Irish-Lebanese woman—both sides of her family came to the US in the golden years of immigration. In her home north of Boston Rita grows into a stubborn, perfectionist, and relentlessly bright young woman. She studies Arabic at university & moves to cosmopolitan Beirut to work as a journalist, and is then posted to Iraq after the American invasion in 2003. In Baghdad, Rita finds that her safety depends on her talented interpreter Nabil al-Jumaili, an equally driven young man from a middle-class Baghdad family who is hiding a secret about his sexuality. As Nabil’s identity threatens to put him in jeopardy and Rita’s position becomes more precarious as the war intensifies, their worlds start to unravel, forcing them out of the country and into an uncertain future. This is a powerful story about the legacy of immigration, the present-day world of refugeehood, the violence that America causes both abroad and at home, and the power of the individual and the family to bring good into a world that is often brutal.

The Second Worst Restaurant in France by Alexander McCall Smith ($30, PB)

Paul Stewart’s agent & girlfriend, Gloria, has arranged for him to write The Philosophy of Food in Six Easy Chapters, a project he relishes but that will have to be delivered in 6 months. However, Gloria has now moved in with him (not specifically invited) and has brought with her two extremely vocal & demanding Siamese cats. The cats give Paul no peace. So Paul calls on the aid of his cousin, Chloe, who suggests he join her in the French village not far from Poitiers where she has taken a six-month lease on a house—so he can get the book finished in peace. He needs no second bidding and it is not long before he escapes to France. Once there, however, Paul finds his fortunes tangled up with the fate of one eating establishment in the village: the infamous Second Worst Restaurant in France.

Dry Milk by Huo Yan ($22.95, PB)

John Lee is a lonely and increasingly misanthropic Chinese migrant who has lived in Auckland for thirty years, running a second-hand junk shop while maintaining a relationship of disdain with his disabled wife. When he becomes infatuated with a young international student who lodges in their house, and puts his life savings behind a scheme to export powdered milk to China, the dubious balance with which he has held his life together comes apart, and feelings of alienation and humiliation begin to spiral out of control. Huo’s novella is a stark portrait of social isolation, and of the experience of the emigrants that left China in the period after the Cultural Revolution.

Now in B Format Last Stories by William Trevor, $20 The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, $20 Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, $20 Calypso by David Sedaris, $23 The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, $23


he web was supposed to transform our world. So

why are things so messed up? In Webtopia, Peter Lewis draws from his own pre- and post-tech experience and conversations with entrepreneurs, politicians, pastors, parents, teachers and journalists to argue that technology itself is not the problem. We are.


adness stalked the colony of New South Wales and

tracing its wild path changes the way we look at our colonial history. What happened when people went mad in the fledgling colony of New South Wales? In this important new history, we find out through the tireless correspondence of governors and colonial secretaries, the delicate descriptions of judges and doctors, the brazen words

of firebrand politicians, and the heartbreaking letters of siblings, parents and friends. We also hear from the mad themselves.

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



Much to my daughter’s dismay, I do enjoy a good medical story, book or TV. So this month three books about illness. I was drawn to When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi after reading the back cover. Kalnithi was in the last stage of training to be a neurosurgeon, when he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Acknowledged by his peers as one of the youngest and brightest in his field, with a future bright with possibility, he and his wife Lucy planning a child, the news was devastating. The book follows his journey to the end. Of course this is a sad book, but as you travel with Paul, you find a man who, while facing the reality of his illness, decides to do all he can to live a meaningful life, and to use what ever resources he has to keep working, assisting fellow doctors and students, and providing care and compassion to his patients—a relationship he becomes intimately aware of when the tables turn and he becomes the patient. Paul’s other great love was English literature, with a masters completed at Stanford. Reading the book, you can see how much he loved words. He was widely read with a particular love for poetry. However, when he heard the call to medicine his career trajectory changed radically from the humanities to science. Kalanithi’s personality absolutely shines through this book—as a husband, son, doctor, friend and patient, he never gives up— and his love of life, his family, friends and colleagues doesn’t fail. I loved this book, the humanity that is displayed throughout Paul’s journey moved me— and I will read it again. As Ann Patchett says on the back cover: ‘this book is a universal donor—I would recommend this book to anyone, everyone.’ American neuroscientist, Lisa Genova is the author of Still Alice and a book I mentioned previously, Every Note Played—the story of a concert pianist struck down by ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Genova writes her books as fiction, but they are all based on real events that are thoroughly researched. Left Neglected was the last of her books I hadn’t read, and it doesn’t disappoint. When I first read the title I assumed it would be about someone abandoned to die a sad, lonely death. But no ... Sarah Nickerson, mother of three, married to Bob, is a high-flyer with a high-powered job, working sometimes eighty hours a week—always on call. Her husband Bob is not far behind. It’s a life they couldn’t maintain without Abby, their children’s nanny. Then one day Sarah, distracted by her mobile (drivers take note), crashes into a tree. She wakes in hospital to find staples holding her scalp together and the news that the right side of her brain has suffered a severe injury, and she has lost all feeling on the left side of her body. To Sarah, her left side no longer exists. Having lived most of her life on the run, she finds it difficult to accept her new circumstances— for example, being a can-do person, decides she can go to the bathroom without assistance, gets out of bed, and falls in a heap. Sarah’s journey to recover is long and hard—hospital, rehab and as she slowly starts to recover, with the help of family, even the mother she’d lost contact with. A new life gradually emerges for Sarah, Rob and her children. A great read. Lastly, The Jones Family Food Roster by Alison Jones. Alison, married to Ian, mother of five children, is a happy, busy woman living in Melbourne, feeling fit and well. The family take the ferry to Tasmania for a holiday, involving bush walking at Cradle Mountain. On a particularly difficult part of the track, Alison falls and hurts her arm, after making a sling with her son’s sweater, she gamely manages to make her way, with great difficulty to the end of the walk. When they are back at the lodge, Ian and Alison decide to go to hospital for an x-ray. The doctor in emergency is reluctant to do the x-ray, as it is after hours, and he thinks it is just sprained. However, Alison insists, and the following day the radiologist calls and tells her that there is something of concern on the x-ray, and suggests she see a Orthopaedic surgeon on her return to Melbourne. After tests and a biopsy, Alison is told that she has a rare and incurable cancer. Alison is of course shattered by the diagnosis, but is also immediately worried about her family. How will the kids & Ian manage when the intensive treatments that will involve periods in hospital take her away from them. What comes next is something quite wonderful. Alison has always been very active in her community and on hearing of her illness her friends all rally round and form a daily roster to make the evening meal for Alison and the family. Not only does this make sure Alison has the rest she needs, but it means the family comes together every day for dinner. Because of this upheaval in her life, Alison, who is Jewish but non-practicing, decides to become an observant Jew. Ian, who is a nominal Anglican decides to convert, and the celebration of Shabbat dinner on Fridays becomes another thing the family shares with friends. This is a lovely book full of hope and joy—and the addition of a couple of the recipes made with such love from traditional Jewish recipes, makes it even more appealing. The sale of this book supports cancer research at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Janice Wilder


Crime Fiction

Big Sky by Kate Atkinson ($33, PB)

Jackson Brodie, ex-military, former detective, now private investigator, has had more than his fair share of brushes with death, is on a case, could this be his last? In this, his fifth outing, Brodie has been hired by Crystal Holroyd to find out who is following her. Crystal, has reinvented herself—she is the young, second wife of Tommy Holroyd (haulage tycoon), who is friends with Andy Bragg (exotic travel agent), Stephen Mellor (lawyer) and Vince Ives (soon to be divorced, unemployed sad sack). Tommy, Andy and Steve like to think of themselves as the three musketeers. Crystal says Tommy saved her life; Vince saved Steve’s life; Jackson Brodie saved Vince’s life; and Jackson Brodie’s life was saved by Reggie Chase, now DC Reggie Chase, a life time ago. Foreign girls are lured to England with the promise of a better life. A historic sex case involving underage kids, sex parties and high flyers has been reopened and is making people nervous. Past and present crimes, acquaintances, friendships make up the many threads to this story. Store them in your memory, as you read on they all become clear and by the end you will have the whole story, morphed into one. This quirky detective series, with serious crimes tackled and the sense of true justice prevailing is told with a light touch. And a playlist as long as your arm. Stef special price $29.95

The Body in the Castle Well by Martin Walker ($33, PB)

A rich American art student is found dead at the bottom of a well in an ancient hilltop castle. She had been working in the archives of an eminent French art historian—a crippled Resistance war hero. Her White House connections get the US Embassy & the FBI involved. Bruno learns that she had been trying to buy the chateau & art collection of her tutor, even while her researches led her to suspect that some of his attributions may have been forged. This takes Bruno down a trail that leads him from the ruins of Berlin in 1945, to France’s colonial war in Algeria. The long arm of French history has reached out to find a new victim, but can Bruno identify the killer—and prove his case? Conviction by Denise Mina ($33, PB) The morning starts as any other for Anna McDonald. But the moment she opens the front door to her best friend, everything changes. Anna turns to see her husband standing at the top of the stairs, suitcase in hand. They’re leaving, together. And they’re taking Anna’s 2 daughters with them. Anna tries to drown out the pain of their deceit by listening to a true crime podcast. There’s a sunken yacht, a multiple murder and a hint of power & corruption. But when Anna hears the name of one of the victims, she realises that this is a murder she can’t ignore. Her past, so carefully hidden until now, will no longer stay silent. The Autumn Murders by Robert Gott ($30, PB) In the autumn of 1944, George Starling prepares to exact revenge on the person he hates most in the world—Detective Joe Sable of the Melbourne Homicide division. Driven by his dark passion for Nazism, Starling is going to make sure that nothing & no one will stand in his way & survive. Homicide is in turmoil. Riven by internal divisions & disrupted by the war, it has become a dangerous place for Joe to work. Constable Helen Lord, suspended from her position in Homicide, and battling grief, is also in Starling’s sights. Knowing that Inspector Titus Lambert can’t protect them from Starling’s ruthless aim, Helen & Joe decide to set their own trap. But when the trap is sprung, who will be caught in it?

The Whisper Man by Alex North ($33, PB)

Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy & his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a fresh start. But Featherbank has a dark past. 15 years ago a twisted serial killer abducted & murdered 5 young boys. Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as ‘The Whisper Man’. Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom & Jake as they try to settle in to their new home. Except that now another boy has gone missing. And then Jake begins acting strangely. He says he hears a whispering at his window.

Cold for the Bastards of Pizzofalcone by Maurizio de Giovanni ($30, PB)

In the 3rd ‘Bastards of Pizzofalcone’ novel, a heinous, double murder in a squalid apartment on the wrong side of town pits Inspector Lojacono, Di Nardo & the rest of the motley collection of cops known as the ‘bastards’ of the Pizzofalcone precinct of Naples against their superiors, the press & the local political hierarchy. Only by bringing the killer to justice can they save their reputations & the department. De Giovanni’s books offer a brilliant vision of the criminal underworld & the lives of the cops in Europe’s most fabled, atmospheric, dangerous & lustful city. Joe Country by Mick Herron ($33, PB) In Slough House bad memories are stirring. Catherine Standish is buying booze again, Louisa Guy is raking over the ashes of lost love & new recruit Lech Wicinski, whose sins make him outcast even among the slow horses, is determined to discover who destroyed his career. Meanwhile, in Regent’s Park, Diana Taverner’s tenure as First Desk is running into difficulties. If she’s going to make the Service fit for purpose, she might have to make deals with a familiar old devil. Jackson Lamb would sooner be left brooding in peace, but even he can’t ignore the dried blood on his carpets. So when the man responsible breaks cover at last, Lamb sends the slow horses out to even the score.

The Body Lies by Jo Baker ($33, PB)

When a young writer accepts a job at a university in the remote countryside, it’s meant to be a fresh start, away from the scene of a violent assault she’s desperate to forget. But despite the distractions of a new life & single motherhood, her nerves continue to jangle. To make matters worse, a vicious debate about violence against women inflames the tensions & mounting rivalries in her creative writing group. When a troubled student starts sending in chapters from his novel that blur the lines between fiction & reality, the professor recognises herself as the main character in his book—and he has written her a horrific fate.

This Storm by James Ellroy ($33, PB)

January, ‘42. L.A. reels behind the shock of Pearl Harbor. Local Japanese are rounded up and slammed behind bars. Massive thunderstorms hit the city. A body is unearthed in Griffith Park. The cops tag it a routine dead-man job. They’re wrong. It’s an early-warning signal of Chaos. There’s a murderous fire and a gold heist, exploding out of the past. There’s Fifth Column treason - at this moment, on American soil. There are homegrown Nazis, commies & race racketeers. There’s two dead cops in a dive off the jazz-club strip. And three men and one woman have a hot date with History.

No One Home by Tim Weaver ($33, PB)

On Halloween night, four households gather for a party in the tiny Yorkshire village of Black Gale. Three hours in, they head outside, onto the darkened moors, to play a drunken game of hide and seek. None of them return. There’s no trail, no evidence and no answers. An entire village has just vanished. With the police investigation dead in the water, the families of the disappeared ask missing persons investigator David Raker to find out what happened. But nothing can prepare him for the truth.

Recursion by Blake Crouch ($30, PB)

‘My son has been erased.’ Those are the last words the woman tells Barry Sutton, before she leaps from the Manhattan rooftop. Barry begins to investigate and finds that across the country, people are waking up suffering from False Memory Syndrome, a mysterious disease that afflicts people with vivid memories of a life they never lived. Miles away, neuroscientist Helena Smith is developing a technology that allows us to preserve our most intense memories, and relive them—reexperience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent. Barry’s leads him to Helena & the discovery that her work has yielded a terrifying gift - the ability not just to preserve memories, but to remake them.

Stasi 77 by David Young ($20, PB)

Karin Muller of the GDR’s People’s Police is called to a factory in the east of the country where a man has been murdered. Could his murderer simply be someone with a grudge against the factory’s nationalisation, as Muller’s Stasi colleagues insist? Why too is her deputy Werner Tilsner behaving so strangely? More victims surface, and it becomes clear that there is a cold-blooded killer out there taking their revenge. Muller will have to delve into the region’s dark past. But are the Stasi working with or against her on this case? For those who really run this Republic have secrets they would rather remain uncovered. And they will stop at nothing to keep them that way.

The Nancys by R.W.R. McDonald ($30, PB)

Toni Jordan Tippy Chan is 11 & lives in a small town in a very quiet part of the world—the place her Uncle Pike escaped from the first chance. Now Pike is back with his new boyfriend Devon to look after Tippy while her mum’s on a cruise. Tippy is in love with her uncle’s old Nancy Drew books, especially the early ones where Nancy was 16 & did whatever she wanted. Tippy wants to be Nancy, so when her teacher’s body is found beside Riverstone’s only traffic light, Tippy’s moment has arrived. She & her minders form The Nancys, a secret amateur detective club. But what starts as a bonding & sightseeing adventure quickly morphs into something far more dangerous.

The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor ($30, PB)

There are those who send prickles up the back of our necks. The charmers. The liars. The manipulators. Jessamine Gooch’s weekly radio show looks into the past lives of convicted killers, asking if there was more that could have been done to prevent their terrible crimes. Then one day she is approached by a woman desperate to find her missing friend, Cassie, fearing her abusive husband may have taken that final deadly step. But as Jessamine delves into the months prior to Cassie’s disappearance she fails to realise there is a dark figure closer to home, one that threatens the safety of her own family.

The Tremor of Forgery by Patricia Highsmith

American writer Howard Ingham is in Tunisia working on a screenplay, but when the film’s director fails to arrive, he feels stranded. The erratic mail eventually brings new of his suicide. For reasons obscure even to himself, Ingham decides to stay on to work on a novel. But a series of mysterious events—a hushed-up murder & a vanished corpse—lures him inexorably in to the deep, ambivalent shadows of the Arab town; into deceit and away from conventional morality. Ultimately, what is in question is not justice or truth, but the state of his oddly quiet conscience. Classic Highsmith! ($23, PB)

True Crime

The Dark Side of the Mind: True Stories from My Life as a Forensic Psychologist by Kerry Daynes ($30, PB)

A large part of Kerry Daynes’ day job is spent delving into the psyche of convicted men & women to try to understand what lies behind their actions & how to set them on the path to becoming law-abiding citizens. Welcome to the life of a forensic psychologist. No two days are the same. The people you work with are wildly unpredictable, sometimes frightening & often deeply frustrating. Drawing on her case files from the frontline, Daynes offers readers an unforgettable insight into the psychological causes of some of the most extreme forms of human behaviour, and what the treatment & incarceration of those who transgress says about society.

Angel Of Death by Leigh Straw ($33, PB)

The newspapers called her ‘Australia’s most beautiful bad woman’ and she was deadly to know... This is the story of ‘Pretty’ Dulcie Markham, a key figure of the underworld of Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane, who, according to one crime reporter, ‘saw more violence & death than any other woman in Australia’s history’. Nicknamed the ‘Black Widow’ & ‘Angel of Death’ by the crooks, reporters & police who knew her best, Dulcie’s lovers were stabbed & gunned down in the most violent years of Australian crime, the 1920s to the 1950s ... not always by her ...

The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective by Susannah Stapleton ($33, PB)

Maud West ran her detective agency in London for more than 30 years, having starting sleuthing on behalf of society’s finest in 1905. Her exploits grabbed headlines throughout the world but, beneath the public persona, she was forced to hide vital aspects of her own identity in order to thrive in a classobsessed & male-dominated world. And, was a most unreliable witness to her own life. Who was she, and what was the reality of being a female private detective in the Golden Age of Crime? Interweaving tales from Maud West’s own ‘casebook’ with social history & extensive original research, Susannah Stapleton investigates the stories Maud West told about herself in a quest to uncover the truth. With walk-on parts by Dr Crippen & Dorothy L. Sayers, Parisian gangsters & Continental blackmailers, this is a portrait of a woman ahead of her time & a deliciously salacious glimpse into the underbelly of ‘good society’ during the first half of the 20th century.


Before I Forget by Geoffrey Blainey ($45, HB)

Geoffrey Blainey reflects on his humble beginnings as one of 5 children of a Methodist Minister & school teacher—a carefree childhood spent in rural Victoria, from Terang to Leongatha, Geelong to Ballarat. These places ignited for Blainey a great affection for the Australian landscape, and a deep curiosity in Australia’s history. He longed to travel, and would climb atop the roof of their home to stare out at the Great Dividing Range and imagine the world beyond. As a newsboy he developed an early interest in current affairs, following the parry & thrust of WW2 & the political careers of local identities John Curtin & Robert Menzies. He hitched to Sydney with a schoolfriend to see the harbour that greeted the First Fleet, and visited the national theatre of Parliament House on the way home to see Billy Hughes, JT Lang, Arty Fadden, Arthur Calwell, Enid Lyons and hero Ben Chifley in action. Blainey gives both a marvellous telling of the experiences and influences that have shaped him, and a fascinating and affectionate social history in and of itself.

The Professor and the Parson by Adam Sisman

One day in November 1958, the celebrated historian Hugh Trevor-Roper received a curious letter—an appeal for help, written on behalf of a student at Magdalene College, with the unlikely claim that he was being persecuted by the Bishop of Oxford. Curiosity piqued, Trevor-Roper agreed to a meeting. It was to be his first encounter with Robert Parkin Peters: plagiarist, bigamist, fraudulent priest & imposter extraordinaire. This book traces the strange career of one of Britain’s most eccentric criminals. Motivated not by money but by a desire for prestige, Peters lied, stole & cheated his way to academic positions & religious posts from Cambridge to New York, Singapore & South Africa. His trail of destruction included 7 marriages (3 of which were bigamous), an investigation by the FBI & a disastrous appearance on Mastermind. Based on Trevor-Roper’s own detailed ‘file on Peters’, this is a witty & charming account of eccentricity, extraordinary narcissism & a life as wild & unlikely as any in fiction. ($30, PB)

Notebooks: 1934-1947 by Victor Serge ($45, PB)

Victor Serge’s notebooks were discovered in 2010 & appear in this volume for the first time in their entirety in English. They are a message in a bottle from one of the great spirits, and great writers, of our shipwrecked time. In 1936, Serge—poet, novelist & revolutionary—left the Soviet Union for Paris, the rare opponent of Stalin to escape the Terror. In 1940, after the Nazis marched into Paris, he fled France for Mexico, where he would spend the rest of his life. His years in Mexico were marked by isolation, poverty, peril & grief; his Notebooks, however, brim with resilience, curiosity, outrage, a passionate love of life & superb writing. He paints haunting portraits of Osip Mandelstam, Stefan Zweig & ‘the Old Man’ Trotsky; argues with André Breton; and, awaiting his wife’s delayed arrival from Europe, writes her passionate love letters. He describes the sweep of the Mexican landscape, visits an erupting volcano, and immerses himself in the country’s history & culture. He looks back on his life & the fate of the Revolution. He broods on the course of the war & the world to come after. In the darkest of circumstances, he responds imaginatively, thinks critically, feels deeply, and finds reason to hope.

Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety by Donald Hall ($30, PB)

Ex US Poet Laureate, Donald Hall is now nearing ninety—and delivers a new collection of self-knowing, fierce, & funny essays on aging, the pleasures of solitude, and the sometimes astonishing freedoms arising from both. He intersperses memories of exuberant days—as in Paris, 1951, with a French girl memorably inclined to say, ‘I couldn’t care less’—with writing, visceral & hilarious, on what he has called the ‘unknown, unanticipated galaxy’ of extreme old age. ‘Why should a nonagenarian hold anything back?’ Hall answers his own question by revealing several vivid instances of ‘the worst thing I ever did’, and through equally uncensored tales of literary friendships spanning decades, with James Wright, Richard Wilbur, Seamus Heaney, and other luminaries. And he returns to the death of his beloved wife, Jane Kenyon, in an essay as original & searing as anything he’s written in his extraordinary literary lifetime.

The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory, The by Corey White ($33, PB)

Comedian Corey White was a golden child. He knew this because his father would hit his mother & his sisters but not him. And his mother adored him so much she let him drop out of primary school. After losing his father to jail & his mother to heroin, though, he became a target for cruelty & dysfunction in foster homes. A scholarship to a prestigious boarding school lifted him out of foster care—soon overwhelmed by a crushing depression and drug addiction. Through it all, he kept thinking sometimes hoping, sometimes fearing - that he was destined for something bigger. Would he find salvation in the halls of a university, or a poetically grimy crack den, or through love? Or would the golden glow that had been in him since childhood ultimately fade, leaving only darkness and ruin?



Vasily Grossman and the Soviet Century by Alexandra Popoff ($60, HB)

If Vasily Grossman’s 1961 masterpiece, Life and Fate, had been published during his lifetime, it would have reached the world together with Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago, and before Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag. But Life and Fate was seized by the KGB. When it emerged posthumously, decades later, it was recognized as the War and Peace of the 20th century. Always at the epicentre of events, Grossman (1905­–1964) was among the first to describe the Holocaust & the Ukrainian famine. His 1944 article The Hell of Treblinka, became evidence at Nuremberg. Grossman’s powerful anti-totalitarian works liken the Nazis’ crimes against humanity with those of Stalin. We are only now able to examine Grossman’s prose, which has the everlasting quality of great art, as well as his life & legacy, which Alexandra Popoff’s authoritative biography illuminates.

Operation Babylift by Ian W. Shaw ($33, PB)

In late March 1975, as the Vietnam War raged, an Australian voluntary aid worker named Rosemary Taylor approached the Australian Embassy seeking assistance to fly 600 orphans out of Saigon to safety. Rosemary and Margaret Moses, two former nuns from Adelaide, had spent 8 years in Vietnam during the war, building up a complex of nurseries to house war orphans & street waifs as the organisation that built up around them facilitated international adoptions for the children. Using extensive archival & historical research, and interviews of some of those directly involved in the events described, Ian Shaw details the last month of the Vietnam War from the perspective of the most vulnerable victims of that war: the orphans it created. Through the story of the attempt to save 600 children, we see how a small group of determined women refused to play political games as they tried to remake the lives of a forgotten generation, one child at a time.

Little One by Peter Papathanasiou ($30, PB)

Peter Papathanasiou is the son of migrants & grandson of refugees. His parents emigrated from Greece to Australia in 1956 but were unable to have children, a huge sorrow—and shame—for them among Australia’s Greek community & their own family. Finally, in 1973, Peter’s uncle & aunt in Greece offered to have a baby & give it to his parents to raise as their own in Australia. Peter was born in 1974 & given up by his biological parents so that a childless sister could become a mother. He grew up an only child in Australia, finally discovering his true parentage in 1999 when his mother revealed the secret of his birth. By then, his birth mother had died, but he found he had 2 older brothers still living in northern Greece. What follows is a moving memoir of family & place, as he traces his parents’ journey to Australia, their struggle as migrants, and the very different world that they came from—a world where the bond of family was so strong, a husband & wife were prepared to make an extraordinary gift.

Spies and Stars: MI5, Showbusiness and Me by Charlotte Bingham ($30, PB)

London in the 1950s. In the wickedly funny sequel to the MI5 and Me Charlotte Bingham is a reluctant typist at MI5 & the even more reluctant daughter of the organisation’s most illustrious spy. Now she has had the bad luck to fall in love with Harry, a handsome if frustrated young actor, who has also been press-ganged into the family business, acting as one of her father’s undercover agents in the Communist hotbed of British theatre. Together they embark on a star-studded adventure through the glittering world of theatre —but, between missing files, disapproving parents & their own burgeoning creative endeavours, life gets very complicated.

The Way Home: Tales from a Life Without Technology by Mark Boyle ($30, PB)

No running water, no car, no electricity or any of the things it powers—the internet, phone, washing machine, radio or light bulb. Just a wooden cabin, on a smallholding, by the edge of a stand of spruce. In this lyrical account of a remarkable life without modern technology, Mark Boyle explores the hard won joys of building a home with his bare hands, learning to make fire, collecting water from the stream, foraging & fishing. What he finds is an elemental life, one governed by the rhythms of the sun & seasons, where life & death dance in a primal landscape of blood, wood, muck, water & fire much the same life we have lived for most of our time on earth. Revisiting it brings a deep insight into what it means to be human at a time when the boundaries between man & machine are blurring.

The Ginger Child: On Family, Loss & Adoption by Patrick Flanery ($33, PB)

‘But would you take a ginger child?’ a social worker asks author Patrick Flanery as he & his husband embark on their 4-year odyssey of trying to adopt. This curious question haunts Flanery’s journey— exploring what it means to make a family as a queer couple, to be an outsider in a foreign country, to grapple with the inheritance of intergenerational loss. He moves deftly between memoir & meditation on parenting, adoption & queerness in contemporary culture, stopping along the way to consider recent science fiction film, camp horror television, fiction & visual art.

Travel Writing

The Shanghai Free Taxi: Journeys with the Hustlers and Rebels of the New China by Frank Langfitt

The Chinese economic boom, with its impact on the environment, global trade & the tech industry, has been one of the most important stories of the 21st century—but that the boom is largely over, and the new reality in China is unequal growth, political anxiety & a newly empowered strongman president. When journalist Frank Langfitt wanted to learn more about the real China, he started driving a cab— offering the citizens of Shanghai a simple deal: a conversation in exchange for a free taxi ride. These rides turned into follow-up interviews, shared meals & a wedding invitation as he got to know an array of quirky yet representative characters like Beer Horse, the pushy dealer who sells Langfitt his used car; Rocky, a stylishly dressed migrant worker who loves John Denver music; and Xiao Chen, who moved his family to Hawaii to escape China’s oppressive education system but was unable to get out of the country himself. ($33, PB)

The Gentle Art of Tramping by Stephen Graham

The tramp is a friend of society; a seeker, they pay their way if they can. One includes in the category ‘tramp’ all true Bohemians, pilgrims, explorers afoot, walking tourists & the like. Tramping is a way of approach, to Nature, to your fellow-man, to a nation, to beauty, to life itself. It is a gentle art & there is much to learn; illusions to overcome, prejudices & habits to be shaken off. Originally published in 1926, Stephen Graham’s guide is for anyone who has dreamed of taking to the road with nothing more than a bag full of essentials & big ideas. It gives guidance on walking, being open to discovery & being kind­—advice as relevant now as it was then. ($28, PB)

Art Lover’s Guide to Paris by Ruby Boukabou

There’s no doubt that Paris is brimming with some of the world’s best art. But on a trip to the City of Light, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the options, get caught up in the queues and miss the back street gems. Along with listings of the unmissable museums & galleries (where you’ll appreciate the ancients through to the contemporaries), the Boukabou’s guide includes more off beat places to find public & private art all over town (from design hotels to auction houses, beautiful brasseries to artist studios). She also gives insider tips from local & international professionals & shows where to take a sketch class, see live street art, buy an artwork, attend intriguing art events & meet the artists. ($40, PB)

Tour De France: Climbs from Above

With more than 220 photographs this book gives you the thrill & intensity of 20 notorious Tour de France Hors Catégorie climbs—ascents that are beyond classification, illustrated using Google Earth’s high-definition satellite imagery. The book features such monumental climbs as the 2,715 metre ascent of Col de la Bonette, the historic Great St Bernard Pass, Col du Galibier’s incredibly torturous 15 percent gradient climb & Alpe d’Huez’s famous hairpins. As well as providing expertly annotated high definition maps of these climbs, the book also explores their rich history, and charts the daring Tour exploits of great Tour riders such as Fausto Coppi and Marco Pantani. ($50, HB)

The Saddest Pleasure: A Journey through Brazil by Moritz Thomsen ($33, PB)

Moritz Thomsen threads together a journey to & down the Amazon with a series of crystalline recollections of the events that have shaped him: a privileged childhood presided over by a bullying patriarch, combat missions in WW2 and a life-changing Peace Corps experience in Ecuador, from which he never went back to the US. Unflinchingly honest about his family, his failures, his already broken health at the age of 63 and the loss of the hopes he once had for himself, Thomsen is also sickened by the corruption & rapacity of our societies, the inequality & the economic destitution. What starts as an almost reluctant concatenation of memory & poignant, limpid descriptions of Brazil, grows into a shattering romantic symphony on human misery & life’s small but exquisite transcendent pleasures.

The Book of Puka-Puka by Robert Dean Frisbie

Puka-Puka is a triangular coral reef, some 7 miles in circumference with 3 islands. It frames a lagoon so clear that one can see the coral forests 10 fathoms below. It is the most remote, and probably the most beautiful, of all the Cook Islands. Robert Dean Frisbie was born in Ohio (1896) but his health was crippled after fighting in WW1. In 1920, he sailed for the Southern Pacific with a library of books, a desire to live & an ambition to write. In 1924 he travelled out to Puka-Puka & over the next 4 years he wrote a series of 29 articles for Atlantic Monthly, which were later gathered together to create this book—a book that is not about travel, but about staying still. It is about living as a conspicuous stranger & slowly allowing yourself to become absorbed into the ways of an ancient, indigenous community.. ($33, PB)

Bella Figura by Kamin Mohammadi ($23, PB)

Made redundant from her job, Kamin Mohammadi flees the bleak streets of London for a friend’s sun-dappled apartment in Florence. There, among the cobbled streets, the bustling, vibrant markets and the majestic palazzos, she finds a new lease of life, and a new way to live it.


books for kids to young adults

compiled by children’s correspondent, Lynndy Bennett

picture books

Captain Crabclaw’s Crew by Frances Watts (ill) David Legge

Captain Crabclaw the Pirate has a brand-new ship, The Speedy Squid. He plans to go in search of treasure. First, he needs to find a crew. The captain puts up a sign on the ship asking for: one parrot, one first mate, one lookout, one cook. The only condition is that the crew must be…FEARSOME!! The potential crew arrives. They turn out to be various animals—a duck, a giraffe, an elephant, a cow and a chicken. All demonstrate the very loud, fearsome noise each can make. An impressed Captain Crabclaw hires them all. The Speedy Squid sets sail. Things do not go as Captain Crabclaw expects. However, this unusual crew have a clever plan. By the end of the story they have helped Captain Crabclaw become ‘the happiest Pirate Captain on the Seven Seas’, and VERY rich indeed! This is a charming, funny story perfectly matched by David Legge’s lively and amusing illustrations. ($15, PB) Stephen

novelty & interactive

The Incredible Pop-Up Maze by Andy Mansfield ($33, HB)

Paper engineer Andy Mansfield’s latest innovative book tests your maze and motor skills with seven increasingly difficult 3-D labyrinths. Dexterity is essential to manipulate the tabs through the spirals, swirls and geometric patterns via paths of differing widths, and to negotiate the dead ends and false routes. The final maze features a game element, with a variety of possible endings, meaning you can play it over and over again. Ready to exercise your navigational skills? Just go through the hole in the cover of this unusual book… Suitable for 5-adult. Lynndy

Incredible Journeys: Discovery, Adventure, Danger, Endurance by Levison Wood (ill) Sam Brewster ($30, HB) Renowned contemporary explorer Wood guides the reader on twenty epic international expeditions, from ancient and medieval times up to present-day forays into the ocean depths and out into space. A specialist in documenting remote regions and cultures, Wood reveals his own experiences as he illuminates the voyages of Captain Cook, Nellie Bly, Amelia Earhart and Alexander the Great, among others. Personal insights and inspirational adventures complement detailed maps and discussions of the relevant cultures along the way. History, biographies, discovery, adventure, danger, endurance - all under the aegis of this real-life expert: what more could a budding pioneer ask? Ideal for age 9+. Lynndy

My Little Book of Big Questions by Britta Teckentrup ($35, HB)

non fiction

Is it possible to understand the whole universe? Why do some people turn nasty when they are in a large group? Will I be happy? These are some of life’s big questions children ponder, presented here as an opportunity for discussion and reflection on identity, hopes, fears, and the world in general. Over almost 200 pages Teckentrup explores these questions— supplying no answers but encouraging examination of the ideas and emotions involved, prompting insight and empathy. Striking as ever, her gorgeously textured, layered illustrations are created by scanning and digitally composing art that has been printed and painted by hand, and carefully set against white space. Pitched at 6–10 year-olds, this philosophical picture book will also have older readers examining matters both everyday and existential. A staff favourite here in our Glebe children’s shop, Teckentrup triumphs again with her art and universality. Lynndy

Mike by Andrew Norriss

teen fiction

Mike is the story of a teenage boy and junior tennis champion, prompted by his subconscious to face the dilemma of continuing with a sport he no longer enjoys or disappointing his devoted parents. With themes that will resonate with teenagers and young adults, this is an optimistic story of facing fears, accepting help and embracing opportunity. ($17, PB) Naomi

Mindcull by K H Canobi ($19.95, PB)

Another strong Australian debut novel, this futuristic thriller plays with technology and virtual reality, focussed through the lens of 16-year-old Eila, who is shortlisted for her dream job with an influential global tech company. Suddenly her life becomes complicated: she is forced into espionage by a law enforcement agency; her best friend is involved with illegal activists, and her head is swarming with someone else’s thoughts, thanks to untraceable virtual reality apps. Trust is paramount, but who can Eila truly rely on? Lynndy


for younger readers

Toby and the Tricky Things by Lou Peacock (ill) Christine Pym

Toby and the Tricky Things is ideal for children adjusting to the arrival of a new sibling, and to the increase in independence that comes with getting older. Baby elephant, Toby, finds that whilst some things are easy to do on his own, there are tricky things with which he still requires help, not always forthcoming from a mum busy with a baby. Toby and the Tricky Things is a gentle and humorous story about sharing a parent’s love with a new baby. ($15, PB) Naomi

The Tales of Mr Walker ($25, HB) by Jess Black (ill) Sara Acton

The Tales of Mr Walker is the story of actual dog, Mr Walker, the Guide Dog Ambassador living at the Park Hyatt, Melbourne. With sophisticated language but content appropriate for younger children, it is perfect to read aloud, and for younger, advanced readers to read independently. The Tales of Mr Walker contains four very gentle stories in one book, beautifully illustrated throughout. Mr Walker’s adventures continue in Mr Walker Gets the Inside Scoop ($15, HB), where the staff frantically prepare for a hotel reviewer, and Mr Walker and the Dessert Delight. ($15, HB), in which resident chef Remy vies with an internationally famous chef preparing meals for a special celebration in the hotel. Follow Mr Walker too on Instagram. Naomi

Arcade Claw Game by Klutz Maker Lab ($30, BX)

Aspiring mechanical engineers of 8+ will learn about the physics of force and motion while playing with all the possibilities this kit offers. Assemble and explore the basic claw game; and follow through on the additional activities in the included book to keep experimenting, creating fun twists on this arcade challenge. For those wanting to promote STEAM topics in their youngling’s life, this is an immensely enjoyable way to ensnare their interest. What an enviable job the Klutz teams must have—how could you not revel in conceiving and creating outstanding craft and activity kits like this? Lynndy


Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire by Nat Amoore ($15, PB)

It’s exciting to have yet another new Australian author to promote, and this book is one I highly recommend, as there is so much to like about it. When Tess uncovers a million dollars hidden in her back yard by her ‘undesirable’ neighbour shortly before he was arrested, of course she shares the news with her inseparable best friend Toby, but they have very different ideas about what to do with this fortune. Passionate social activist Toby swells with visions of charitable donations and improving the world. Tess is desperate firstly to help her own family—with only one parent working and a sister with a chronic medical condition, she is very aware they suffer a perpetual scarcity of funds—and after that, spend it all having fun! Steadily the million dollars diminishes until a shock twist adds an element of sinister danger. Relationships between Tess and her family, friends, Toby, and a homeless woman in the park are beautifully crafted and credible; likewise Toby’s family and background, none of it laboured or didactic but revealed naturally within the course of events. Dramatic tension is built with, though not diminished by humour, enhancing the realism. Tess’s dilemma is underlaid by tips throughout the book relating directly to the choices she and Toby make; they are also valid and important Life Tips relevant to the readership. This is an impressive, skilfully wrought debut easy to enthuse about. Lynndy Author Nat Amoore also co-hosts the kidlit podcast One More Page­— (onemorepagepodcast.com), definitely worth checking out.

Food, Health & Garden

The Brain: A User’s Manual by Marco Magrini

This user-friendly manual offers an accessible guide to the machine you use the most, deconstructing the brain into its constituent parts and showing you both how they function and how to maintain them for a longer life. Cutting through the noise of modern pop psychology Marco Magrini offers a refreshingly factual approach to self-help. Writting with a deft style and wry humour, he offers tips on everything from maximising productivity to retaining memory & boosting your mood. ($25, PB)

Memory Craft by Lynne Kelly ($33, PB)

In the last few hundred years, we have stopped training our memories and we have lost the ability to memorise large amounts of information. This book introduces the best memory techniques humans have ever devised, from ancient times & the Middle Ages, to methods used by today’s memory athletes. Lynne Kelly has tested all these methods in experiments which demonstrate the extraordinary capacity of our brains at any age. For anyone who needs to memorise a speech or a play script, learn anatomy or a foreign language, or prepare for an exam, this is a fabulous toolkit. It offers proven techniques for teachers to help their students learn more effectively. There are also simple strategies for anyone who has trouble remembering names or dates, & for older people who want to keep their minds agile.

How Death Becomes Life: Notes from a Transplant Surgeon by Joshua Mezrich ($33, PB)

Leading transplant surgeon Dr Joshua Mezrich creates life from loss, moving organs from one body to another. In this intimate, profoundly moving work, he examines more than 100 years of remarkable medical breakthroughs, connecting this fascinating history with the stories of his own patients. His book enters the operating room & presents the stark dilemmas that transplant surgeons must face daily: How much risk should a healthy person be allowed to take to save someone she loves? Should a patient suffering from alcoholism receive a healthy liver? The human story behind the most exceptional medicine of our time, Mezrich’s riveting book is a reminder that a life lost can also offer the hope of a new beginning.

Happy Money: The Zen path to a happier and more prosperous life by Ken Honda ($30, PB)

For many of us, the subject of money is unavoidably stressful. Managing our personal finances is complicated, time-consuming & often, particularly in the slow countdown to payday, dispiriting. reinvent the way you see your personal finances. You will come to understand that money flows like water & arrives like a guest. You’ll rethink your own attitudes & examine the way they were shaped by beliefs about money you were taught as a child. And you’ll transform your money from a tyrannical master or an unruly slave to a trusted friend. When we heal the fear & anxiety we have about money, we successfully achieve prosperity & peace.

The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World by Amanda Little ($30, PB)

The sustainable food revolution is already under way, and in this book Amanda Little unveils startling innovations from the front lines around the world—farmscrapers, cloned cattle, meatless burgers, edible insects, superbananas & microchipped cows. She meets the most creative & controversial minds changing the face of modern food production, and tackles fears over genetic modification with hard facts. This is a fascinating look at the threats & opportunities that lie ahead as we struggle to feed ever more people in a changing world.

Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic by Matt McCarthy ($33, PB)

Physician, researcher & ethics professor Matt McCarthy is on the front lines of a groundbreaking clinical trial testing a new antibiotic to fight lethal superbugs, bacteria that have built up resistance to the life-saving drugs in our rapidly dwindling arsenal. He explores the history of bacteria & antibiotics, from Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, to obscure sources of innovative new medicines (often found in soil samples), to the cutting-edge DNA manipulation known as CRISPR, bringing to light how we arrived at this juncture of both incredible breakthrough & extreme vulnerability. We also meet the patients whose lives are hanging in the balance, from Remy, a teenager with a dangerous & rare infection, to Donny, a retired New York City firefighter with a compromised immune system.

Plantopia by Camille Soulayrol ($40, HB)

Camille Soulahrol first offers the essentials you need to cultivate 20 home varietals—from calathea to monstera to pilea peperomioides—with practical tips for repotting, watering & sunlight recommendations. Plus step-by-step inspiration for creating terrariums & aquatic plant habitats, geometric frames that allow vines to thrive & nature-inspired table setting ideas incorporating leaves and dried herbs. Tips on how to frame blossoms & leaves & how to create herbal dyes for textiles, round out a rich palette of home decorating projects. Learn to leverage the benefits of specific plants through recipes for natural cosmetics, essential oils & herbal infusions sourced from your houseplant haven.

No Waste Kitchen by Amelia Wasiliev ($20, PB)

Are you looking for ways to save money in the kitchen? Are you conscious of reducing your household waste wherever you can? Along with 140 innovative, easy-to-follow recipes, this beautifully illustrated guide includes inspiring tips & practical tricks to make the most of every meal & let nothing go to waste. Freeze, store, save & reuse your leftovers for future meals—you’ll have a budget- and environment-friendly kitchen in no time.

Saffron in the Souks: Vibrant recipes from the heart of Lebanon by John Gregory-Smith From the vibrant souks of Tripoli & Beirut to the quiet calm of the Chouf Mountains & Qadisha Valley—John Gregory-Smith travelled the length & breadth of Lebanon to bring back the very best of Lebanese cuisine. Classic streetfood, delicate pastries & little known Druze recipes are given John’s signature twist, creating dishes that are bursting with flavour Stunning location photography to bring the country & recipes to life. ($40, HB)

Winter Warm recipes for cold nights by Louise Franc ($40, PB)

From simple & warming traditional comfort foods like classic French onion soup, slow-cooked beef stroganoff, chicken cacciatore, rich osso buco & a moreish tuna pasta bake, to impressive modern cold-weather dishes including Asian-style caramel pork, Panang chicken curry, roasted pumpkin risotto with browned butter & sage & creamy Calvados chicken, decadent desserts like dulche de leche & chocolate peanut butter puddings, slow-baked spiced quinces, chai-spiced slow-baked rice puddings and& winter warming dried fruit compote—140 recipes for every coldweather occasion.

Vegan BBQ by Nadine Horn & Joerg Mayer

The beautifully illustrated recipes in this book include Quinoa & Chickpea Burgers, Portobello Mushroom Paninis, Aubergine Gyros, Grilled Onigiri, Peppered Tofu Steaks, Cauliflower Cutlets, Celeriac Steaks, Zucchini Parcels, Stuffed Peppers, Grilled Onions with Romesco Sauce, Crispy Potato Skins with Guacamole, Braised Radishes in Black Pepper Butter, as well as Dips, Sauces, Salads, Salsas, Pickles & Breads. ($40, PB)

Fromages by Dominique Bouchait ($85, HB)

From farms in the pastoral French countryside & cheese caves in a medieval Alpine monastery to the dairy scientists & affineurs who comprise the world of modern French cheese, French master fromager, Donimique Bouchait shares his expertise on the many cheese varieties—crumbly, creamy, buttery, mouldy—for which France is famous. Bouchaut begins by answering 70 common questions from why there are crusts on some cheese to why is mimolette orange & why cheeses do not all smell alike, then explains the basics of cheese-making & ripening, the nuances of cow, sheep & goat milk & the alchemy of essential probiotics used as starter cultures. Finally he pays tribute to France’s 45 A.O.P. cheeses—like Brie de Meaux, Maroilles, Morbier, Munster & Rocquefort—with each profile featuring a full-page photographic portrait with detailed text about terroir & origin, selection, tasting, presentation, serving & wine pairing.

Slow Cooker Central Family Favourites: 200 new classics by Paulene Christie ($25, PB)

Real food without the fuss—every time. When Paulene Christie started Slow Cooker Central in 2012, she wanted to share her passion for slow-cooking with like-minded people online. Fast forward 7 years, and she has more than half a million followers, 4 bestselling cookbooks, and 30 slow cookers! In this book Christie has brought together 200 of her most-loved recipes—the new classics—that are guaranteed to please the whole family.

Indonesian Cooking: Satays, Sambals and More by Dina Yuen ($20, PB)

Recipes range from the familiar Chicken & Beef Satays, GadoGado, & Nasi Goreng to more exotic dishes like Spicy Lemongrass Beef, Burned Sugar Pork & Grilled Swordfish with Fragrant Yellow Rice. All of the ingredients can be found in any well-stocked supermarket—and Dina Yuen has included substitutes for those more difficult to find, as well as a list of resources for online stores & mail order ingredients.

Simple Nature: 150 New Recipes for Fresh, Healthy Dishes by Alain Ducasse ($45, HB)

this is the latest book in Alain Ducasse’s signature series that focuses on natural, healthy food simply prepared for maximum flavour and nutritional value – a light and refreshing change from French cuisine’s traditional image. This latest volume deemphasizes animal protein in favour of using more vegetables, legumes, and grains that are better for humans and better for the environment.



Events r Calenda




ber! ee Remem and get fr ub ps, Gleecl d at our sho e h t y l n Joi ents he d with ever v e o t rue entry it acc the Gleaner d e r c d 10% oor. ase, an purch ed to your d deliver


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Event—6 for 6.30 Mark Isaacs

Kabul Peace House in conv. with Caro Meldrum-Hanna Refugee advocate, activist and acclaimed author Mark Isaacs takes us inside a remarkable and unlikely peace project established in one of the most war-torn, violent countries in the world, Afghanistan.



Event—6 for 6.30

Eleanor Gordon-Smith


Tue 2: Eric Jensen— Q Wed 3: Ta Thur 4: Don W Wed 10: Jane McA —Refug Tue 16: Hugh White, P for more information go

Event—6 for 6.30 Suzanne Daniel

18 Event—6 for 6.30

Jane Caro & Fiona Wright

Meanjin Winter Edition in conv. with each other The 2019 Winter Edition of Meanjin considers the #MeToo movement, with contributions from Clementine Ford, Anna Spargo-Ryan and many more.




Event— Peter

Allegra in Three Parts 11-year-old Allegra shuttles between her grandmothers—Matilde, a woman of discipline, duty and restraint, and free-spirited Joy—full of colour, possibility & emotion. Plus surfer Rick who lives out the back. She wishes they loved her a little less and liked each other a lot more.

Webt in conv. with Peter Lewis draw pre- and post-tech conversations wit politicians, pastor ers and journalis technology itself is We




Tom Ba

Stop Being Reasonable in conv. with James Valentine What if you’re not who you think you are? What if you don’t really know the people closest to you? And what if your most deeply-held beliefs turn out to be…wrong? Philosopher Eleanor Gordon-Smith tells gripping true stories that show the limits of human reason.



The Risi Using his extensive ence in the Pacifi shows us the peop Nations, their cultu live in these remote challengin


Event—6 for 6.30 Patrice Newell

Who’s Minding the Farm? in conv. with Phillip Adams With glimpses of the individuals who make working the farm so rewarding, Patrice Newell’s book provides a window into the pains, pleasures and politics of life on the land, and promotes new ways of thinking, no matter where you live.




Gill Str Jacqui W

The Talki in conv. with Ly Psychotherapists Jacqui Winship br ing stories of tran book will deepen y it is to be open to your appreciation is to be a litt



John Q

Economics in in conv. with P Quiggin is a fox knows two big thin lessons about the of markets sustain suasive, and even p democracy and th


All events listed are $12/$9 concession. Book Launches are free. Gleeclub members free entry to events at 49 Glebe Pt Rd

June 2019

Events are held upstairs at #49 Glebe Point Road unless otherwise noted. Bookings—Phone: (02) 9660 2333, Email: events@gleebooks.com.au, Online: www.gleebooks.com.au/events




Coming in July


QE74: On the Reckoning—Election 2019 Tara June Winch—The Yield Walker, Richard Glover—Songs Adam, Fiona Chong, Richard Ackland gee Rights & Policy Wrongs Peter Hartcher—How to Defend Australia o to: http://www.gleebooks.com.au/bookings

—6 for 6.30 Lewis

topia h Ariel Bogle ws from his own h experience and th entrepreneurs, rs, parents, teachsts to argue that s not the problem. are.

—6 for 6.30 amforth

ing Tide e personal experific, Tom Bamforth ple of the Pacific ures and how they e and increasingly ng places.

—6 for 6.30 raker & Winship

ing Cure ynnn Malcolm Gill Straker and ring us nine inspirnsformation. Their your sense of what o connection—and that to be human tle bit mad.

—6 for 6.30 Quiggin

n Two Lessons Peter Martin xy hedgehog: He ngs, and these twin virtues and limits a pioneering, perpassionate case for he mixed economy.


Launch—6 for 6.30 Megan Blandford

I’m Fine (and other lies) With her career down the toilet, a husband who was never home, a baby screaming non-stop and her cries for help falling on deaf ears, Megan Blandford spent years saying, ‘I’m fine’. Spoiler alert (not really): she wasn’t fine. A touching true story of motherhood


SUNDAY Launch—3.30 for 4 Vivian Bi

Bright Swallow In conv. with Jane Sydenham Kwie Orphaned at 15, Beijing school girl Bright Swallow learns the art of survival. She travels all over the country, and secretly listens to ‘decadent’ music and reads banned books. Sent to the countryside for re-education, she turns her rural exile into a voyage of discovery.

Launch—3.30 for 4 William Walker


Engagements with Shakespearean Drama Launcher: Beverley Sherry What is so special about Shakespeare’s plays, and how does he achieve it? Specific aspects of their plot, character, thought, language, song, & spectacle are used to answer these questions.

14 Launch—6 for 6.30

15 Launch—3.30 for 4

No One Launcher: George Kouvaros Part crime novel, part road movie, part love story, No One takes its protagonist to the very heart of a nation where non-existence is the true existence, where crimes cannot be resolved and guilt cannot be redeemed, and no one knows what to do with ghosts that are real.

By Violence Unavenged Launcher: Gray Connolly Passionate young violinist Phoebe Raye travels to pre-WW2 Vienna—­ witness to the unbridled hatred unleashed by the Anschluss as her own situation turns perilous, how will she resolve her mother’s death by violence unavenged? First volume of In the Hearts of Kings trilogy.






30 Launch—3.30 for 4

John Hughes

Annette Young


Robyn Ravlich

Skywriting Launcher: Sarah Ferguson The captivating story of contemporary Australian cultural life and a personal biography of an acclaimed `radio poet’, whose signature radio features and documentaries on ABC RN have creatively conveyed ideas, personalities, and places.


Granny’s Good Reads

with Sonia Lee

Lucy Hughes-Hallett, best known for The Pike, her prizewinning biography of Gabriele D’Annunzio, has at the age of 65 written her first novel—an extraordinarily accomplished work called Peculiar Ground. It begins in 1663 when landscape architect John Norris is charged with designing a great park surrounded by an extensive stone wall. Lord Woldingham has returned to Wychwood, his ancient Oxfordshire estate, after being exiled during the Civil War. His sister was chatelaine during the Cromwell era but now she is out of favour and Norris complicates his life by falling in love with her daughter Cecily. Wychwood is full of spies, dissenters and witches, and sorrow strikes the Woldinghams when they lose their young son and heir in a freak drowning. We now shift forward to 1963, when another wall is being built, this time in Berlin, again amid social upheaval. Christopher and Lil Rossiter now own Wychwood, with descendants of the Woldinghams’ servants as gardeners and housekeeper. The Rossiters too are mourning the drowning of their young son. We meet Nell, a daughter of the land agent, and Flossie, who later becomes chatelaine of the estate. We are then propelled forward to 1989 when the Berlin Wall is being demolished, before returning to the 17th Century, where we discover how the estate’s construction ended. When the author started writing the novel she didn’t know how prescient her themes of walls and borders and shutting people out would be. In the 1660s the Woldinghams wanted to shut out people who were fleeing the plague, while keeping religious dissenters under restraint. In 1989 the estate is opened to the public and rented out for a TV show, while a mob of activists wants to reopen an ancient right of way through a significant part of the estate. This is a dense, complicated, sprawling novel with time-shifts and recurring themes and I was completely involved with the characters and the beautifully described landscape. Hughes-Hallett, incidentally, makes intriguing use of the remains of a Roman mosaic under the ruins of the old dissenters’ meeting place. She grew up on just such an estate as Wychwood where her father was land agent, which perhaps explains the immediacy of her descriptions of characters and landscape and her sharp ear for dialogue. Peculiar Ground is a remarkable achievement which I hope will not be her last venture into fiction. I read in tandem a somewhat similar novel—Gregory Blake Smith’s The Maze at Windermere. This too is a brilliant demonstration of time-shifts and narrative dexterity, starting in 2011 with a handsome tennis player who is sleeping with several women connected to a Rhode Island mansion, then moving back to 1692, where an orphaned Quaker girl is negotiating her future at the very time when witches are being hanged at nearby Salem. In between, in 1896, we have a closeted gay dandy scheming to marry the heiress who owns the estate, while earlier in the century Henry James is being attentive to a charming girl who thinks he intends matrimony; and finally, during the American Revolution, a fiendish British officer is scheming to seduce the teenage daughter of a Jewish merchant. It all takes place in Newport, with Smith jumping from story to story and making chameleon shifts in style with each one, so that by the end we are perfectly familiar with the voices and inner complexities of each character. The tennis player is convinced that he is a decent man, while initially behaving like a gold-digging cad. The gay dandy feels that he is owed a rich wife, mainly because he is unable to live openly the sort of life he really wants. The Quaker girl is waiting for the Light to help her decide her future when she is offered marriage by a good man the age of her dead father, even though her heart belongs to John Pettibone, a man too young to support her. She is troubled too by the implications of owning Ashes, a female slave who wants to marry a freeman called Spearmint, at a time when slaves are property and worth a lot of money. Though Henry James pays court to Miss Taylor he really wants not to marry her but to use her as model for a character in a future novel. The Maze at Windermere is indeed the work of a master and richly repays both reading and rereading. Don’t miss Barry Maitland’s latest mystery The Promised Land because it’s a cracker. With two brutal murders on Hampstead Heath, newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Kathy Kolla under pressure to make an arrest, Brock bored with retirement and getting involved, what more can you want? Except perhaps a manuscript of a hitherto unknown novel by George Orwell in the mix and enough surprising twists and turns in the plot to keep your heart rate up. Maitland at his best. Sonia


Australian Studies

QE 74: Erik Jensen on the Reckoning— Election 2019 ($23, PB)

In Quarterly Essay 74, editor-in-chief of The Saturday Paper, Erik Jensen, considers what has gone wrong for the Coalition, and what prospects it has for renewal or collapse. He looks at Labor’s strengths and weaknesses, and what kind of government it might form. Through interviews & close observation, Jensen homes in on the meaning of a transformative election. Are we seeing the last days of the Liberal Party? Is Labor capable of forging a new accord for the nation? Does anyone have an answer to the voters’ disgust with politics as usual?

The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy by Vince Scappatura ($39.95, PB)

Australian society and its leaders generally take for granted the importance & value of this nation’s relationship with the US. The US is commonly thought of as the world’s great purveyor of liberal values & the rule of law, and as a powerful friend indispensable to Australian security. In this book Vince Scappatura demonstrates how these conceptions are underpinned by the work of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue, Australia’s most important, private, pro-US lobby group. As he unveils the inner workings of this lobby, Scappatura also discusses the considerable costs to Australia of its strong military ties to the US, draws into question notions of ‘benign’ US power, and demonstrates that suggestions of the US keeping Australia safe from invasion are flatly wrong. For Australia’s national security elite, other considerations, to do with power & wealth & spreading political influence, are to the fore. Bedlam at Botany Bay by James Dunk ($35, PB) What happened when people went mad in the fledgling colony of NSW? James Dunk uses the correspondence of tireless colonial secretaries, the brazen language of lawyers & judges & firebrand politicians, and heartbreaking letters from siblings, parents & friends, and the words of the mad themselves, to weave a narrative about freedom & possibilities, and collapse & unravelling. Class, gender & race became irrelevant as illness, chaos & delusion afflicted convicts exiled from their homes & living under the weight of imperial justice; ex-convicts & small settlers as they grappled with the country they had taken from its Indigenous inhabitants, as well as officers, officials & wealthy colonists who sought to guide the course of European history in Australia. This is a new story of colonial Australia, cast as neither a grim & fatal shore nor an antipodean paradise, but a place where the full range of humanity wrestled with the challenges of colonisation.

The Original Australians by Josephine Flood

From the wisdom & paintings of the Dreamtime to the first contact between Europeans & Indigenous Australians, through to the Uluru Statement, this book offers an insight into the life & experiences of the world’s oldest surviving culture. In this updated edition Josephine Flood answers the questions like: Where did the Aboriginal people come from & when? How did they survive in Australia’s harsh environment? What was the traditional role of indigenous women? What are land rights? How do Aboriginal people maintain their culture today? And many more. Fascinating reading. ($35, PB)

Botany Bay and the First Fleet: The Real Story by Alan Frost ($40, PB)

In 1787 a convoy of 11 ships, carrying about 1400 people, set out from England for Botany Bay, on the east coast of NSW. In deciding on Botany Bay, British authorities hoped not only to rid Britain of its excess criminals, but also to gain a key strategic outpost & take control of valuable natural resources. According to the conventional account, it was a shambolic affair—underprepared, poorly equipped & ill-disciplined. Alan Frost debunks these myths, and shows that the voyage was in fact meticulously planned—reflecting its importance to Britain’s imperial & commercial ambitions. The culmination of 35 years’ study of previously neglected archives, Frost’s examination of the ships, passengers & preparation reveals the hopes & schemes of those who engineered the voyage, and the experiences of those who made it.

Who’s Minding the Farm? In this climate emergency by Patrice Newell ($35, PB)

Patrice Newell owns a farm in Gundy, NSW, with her partner Phillip Adams. Here she produces biodynamic olive oil, garlic, honey, soap & beef. At the frontline of enormous challenges, from water scarcity & land stewardship to food security & the rural-urban divide she has travelled the world exploring best practice & has invested heavily in organic methods on her farm. She believes we can produce enough good food to feed the world without further environmental wreckage or loss of bio-diversity. Her book provides a window into the pains, pleasures & politics of life on the land, and promotes new ways of thinking, no matter where you live. In an era of rapid climate change, this vital account of how agriculture addresses major issues in Australia, providing a window into the pains, pleasures & politics of life on the land


The Rising Tide: Among the Islands and Atolls of the Pacific Ocean by Tom Bamforth ($30, PB)

Vanuatu. Marshall Islands. Fiji. The names evoke white-sand beaches, swaying palms & lazy holidays. But in reality, these idyllic places are tropical maelstroms of global realpolitik, caught between the world’s superpowers, former colonial masters & tin-pot despots. Collectively the Pacific nations, which form one third of the globe’s surface area, are one of the most strategically important regions in the world—for military might, for energy security & geopolitical borders. Even more importantly, these nations are at the frontline of climate change, as rising sea levels, salinity, cyclones & pollution put their very existence at stake. Using his extensive personal experience in the Pacific, Tom Bamforth shows us the people of the islands, their cultures & how they live in these remote & increasingly challenging places.

Revolution Today by Susan Buck-Morss ($30, PB)

What does revolution look like today? How will the idea of revolution survive the inadequacy of the formula, ‘progress = modernisation through industrialisation,’ to which it has owed its political life? Socialism plus computer technology, citizen resistance plus a global agenda of concerns, revolutionary commitment to practices that are socially experimental and inclusive of difference—these are new forces being mobilised to make another future possible. The 21st century has already witnessed unprecedented popular mobilisations. Unencumbered by old dogmas, mobilisations of opposition are a chain of signifiers, creating solidarity across language, religion, ethnicity, gender & every other difference. Trans-local solidarities exist. They came first. The right-wing authoritarianism & anti-immigrant upsurge that has followed is a reaction against the amazing visual power of millions of citizens occupying public space in defiance of state power. We cannot know how to act politically without seeing others act. This book provides photographic evidence of that fact, while making us aware of how much of the new revolutionary vernacular we already share.

A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism by Adam Gopnik ($35, HB)

Not since the early 20th century has liberalism, and liberals, been under such relentless attack, from both right & left. The crisis of democracy in our era has produced a crisis of faith in liberal institutions and, even worse, in liberal thought. Adam Gopnik offers a manifesto rooted in the lives of people who invented & extended the liberal tradition. Taking us from Montaigne to Mill, and from Middlemarch to the civil rights movement, Gopnik argues that liberalism is not a form of centrism, nor simply another word for free markets, nor merely a term denoting a set of rights. It is something far more ambitious: the search for radical change by humane measures. Gopnik shows us why liberalism is one of the great moral adventures in human history—and why, in an age of autocracy, our lives may depend on its continuation.

Lions’ Den: Zionism and the Left from Hannah Arendt to Noam Chomsky by Susie Linfield

In this lively intellectual history of the political Left, cultural critic Susie Linfield investigates how 8 prominent, mid-century public intellectuals struggled with the philosophy of Zionism and, then, with Israel & its conflicts with the Arab world. Constructed as a series of interrelated portraits that combine the personal & the political, the book includes philosophers, historians, journalists & activists such as Hannah Arendt, Arthur Koestler, I. F. Stone & Noam Chomsky. In their engagement with Zionism, these influential thinkers also wrestled with the 20th century’s most crucial political dilemmas: socialism, nationalism, democracy, colonialism, terrorism & anti-Semitism. In other words, in probing Zionism, they confronted the very nature of modernity & the often catastrophic histories of our time. By examining these leftist intellectuals, Linfield also seeks to understand how the contemporary Left has become focused on anti-Zionism & how Israel itself has moved rightward. ($60, HB)

On the Other Side of Freedom: Race and Justice in a Divided America by DeRay Mckesson

Five years ago, DeRay Mckesson quit his job as a school teacher, moved to Ferguson, Missouri, and spent the next 400 days on the streets as an activist, helping to bring the Black Lives Matter movement into being. Even when the police made it illegal to stand still, they refused to back down. Drawing on his own experiences—of growing up without his mother, with a father in recovery, of having a house burn down and a bully chase him home from school, of pacifying a traffic cop at gunpoint, of determined activism on the streets and in the White House—Mckesson asks us to imagine the best of what is possible. Honouring the voices of a new generation of activists, this is a visionary’s call to take responsibility for imagining, and then building, the world we want to live in. ($23, PB)

Now in B Format How Democracy Ends by David Runciman, $23

Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World by Adam Tooze ($27, PB)

In September 2008 the GFC, triggered by the collapse of Lehman brothers, shook the world. A decade later its spectre still haunts us. As the appalling scope & scale of the crash was revealed, the financial institutions that had symbolised the West’s triumph since the end of the Cold War, seemed—through greed, malice & incompetence—to be about to bring the entire system to its knees. This is a brilliant analysis of what happened and how we were rescued from something even worse—but at a price which continues to undermine democracy across Europe & the US. Gnawing away at our institutions are the many billions of dollars which were conjured up to prevent complete collapse. Over & over again, the end of the crisis has been announced, but it continues to hound us—whether in Greece or Ukraine, whether through Brexit or Trump. Adam Tooze follows the trail in a compelling book compelling that is history, economic analysis & political horror story.

Places and Names: Dispatches of War by Elliot Ackerman ($40, HB)

In a refugee camp in southern Turkey, Elliot Ackerman sits across the table from Abu Hassar, who fought for Al Qaeda in Iraq & whose connections to the Islamic State are murky. At first, Ackerman pretends to have been a journalist during the Iraq War, but after he establishes a rapport with Abu Hassar, he reveals that in fact he was a Marine. Ackerman then draws the shape of the Euphrates River on a large piece of paper, and his one-time adversary joins him, filling in the map with the names & dates of where they saw fighting during the war. They discover they had shadowed each other for some time, a realisation that brings them to a strange kind of intimacy. At once an intensely personal book about the terrible lure of combat & a meditation on the meaning of the past two decades of strife for America, the region and the world, is an extraordinary book about modern war.

Also New: The Three Dimensions of Freedom by Billy Bragg, $15 People, Power & Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent by Joseph Stiglitz

A few corporations have come to dominate entire sectors of the economy, contributing to skyrocketing inequality and slow growth. This is how the financial industry has managed to write its own regulations, tech companies have accumulated reams of personal data with little oversight, and the US government has negotiated trade deals that fail to represent the best interests of workers. Too many have made their wealth through exploitation of others rather than through wealth creation. Nobel prizewinner Joseph Stiglitz suggests the economic solutions are often quite clear, and shows how a middle-class life can once again be attainable by all. An authoritative account shows us an America in crisis, but also lights a path through this challenging time. ($45, HB)

Licence to be Bad: How Economics Corrupted Us by Jonathan Aldred ($45, HB)

Over the past 50 years, the way we value what is ‘good’ & ‘right’ has changed dramatically. Behaviour that to our grandparents’ generation might have seemed stupid, harmful or simply wicked now seems rational, natural, woven into the very logic of things. And, Jonathan Aldred asserts, economics is to blame. From the logic of game theory, developed in the paranoid world of mathematical-military think tanks in the Cold War, which became the economists’ paradigm of rational choice; to the emergence of ‘free riding’—cooperation as irrational, because if you do it, no one else will—and the incentivising social engineering of Nudge, he tells the story of how a group of economics theorists changed our world, and how a handful of key ideas seeped into our decision-making and, indeed, almost all aspects of our lives. If, now, we’re happy to accept that there can be a market in anything, from queue-jumping to health & education, and to prisoners ‘upgrading’ to a better class of cell—though we may still draw the line at a market for babies—we have these theorists to thank.

Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy by Anders Aslund

In this penetrating look into the extreme plutocracy Vladimir Putin has created and its implications for Russia’s future, Anders Aslund explores how the economic system Vladimir Putin has developed in Russia works to consolidate control over the country. By appointing his close associates as heads of state enterprises and by giving control of the FSB and the judiciary to his friends from the KGB, he has enriched his business friends from Saint Petersburg with preferential government deals. Thus, Putin has created a super wealthy and loyal plutocracy that owes its existence to authoritarianism. Much of this wealth has been hidden in offshore havens in the United States and the United Kingdom, where companies with anonymous owners and black money transfers are allowed to thrive. Though beneficial to a select few, this system has left Russia’s economy in untenable stagnation, which Putin has tried to mask through military might. ($55, HB)



The World of the Crusades by Christopher Tyerman ($60, HB)

Throughout the Middle Ages crusading was justified by religious ideology, but the resulting military campaigns were fuelled by concrete objectives: land, resources, power, reputation. Crusaders amassed possessions of all sorts, from castles to reliquaries. Campaigns required material funds & equipment, while conquests produced bureaucracies, taxation, economic exploitation & commercial regulation. Wealth sustained the Crusades while material objects, from weaponry & military technology to carpentry & shipping, conditioned them. This lavishly illustrated volume considers the material trappings of crusading wars & the objects that memorialized them, in architecture, sculpture, jewellery, painting & manuscripts.

The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about Our Future by Robert L. Kelly ($33, PB)

In this book archaeologist Robert L. Kelly explains how the study of our cultural past can predict the future of humanity. He identifies 4 key pivot points in the six-million-year history of human development: the emergence of technology, culture, agriculture & the state—examining the long-term processes that resulted in a definitive, no-turning-back change for the organisation of society. Looking ahead Kelly offers evidence for what he calls a fifth beginning, one that started about AD 1500. Some might call it ‘globalization’, but he places it in its larger context: a 5000-year arms race, capitalism’s global reach & the cultural effects of a worldwide communication network. He predicts that the emergent phenomena of this fifth beginning will include the end of war as a viable way to resolve disputes, the end of capitalism as we know it, the widespread shift toward world citizenship, and the rise of forms of cooperation that will end the nearsacred status of nation-states. Kelly’s vision is cautiously optimistic—dwelling not on the coming chaos, but on humanity’s great potential.

Barbarians at the Wall: The First Nomadic Empire and the Making of China by John Man

The people of the first nomadic empire left no written records, but from 200 BC they dominated the heart of Asia for 400 years. Their rise cemented Chinese unity & inspired the first Great Wall. Their heirs under Attila the Hun helped destroy the Roman Empire. We don’t know what language they spoke, but they became known as Xiongnu, or Hunnu, a term passed down the centuries & across Eurasia, enduring today in shortened form as ‘Hun’. John Man uses new research and archaeological evidence to trace their epic story & show how the nomadic cultures of the steppes gave birth to a ‘barbarian empire’ with the wealth & power to threaten the civilised order of the ancient world. ($35, PB)

A History of the Middle East by Peter Mansfield & Nicolas Pelham ($35, PB)

Over the centuries the Middle East has confounded the dreams of conquerors & peacemakers alike. This now-classic book, fully updated, follows the historic struggles of the region over the last 200 years, from Napoleon’s assault on Egypt, through the slow decline & fall of the Ottoman Empire, to the painful emergence of modern nations, the Palestinian question & Islamic resurgence. For this new edition, Economist journalist & Middle East correspondent Nicolas Pelham has written extensive new material examining recent developments throughout the Middle East, including the aftermaths of the ‘Arab Spring’, the situation in Iran, the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict & the unfolding disasters of the Syrian & Yemeni civil war.

Promise Me You’ll Shoot Yourself by Florian Huber ($33, PB)

In 1945, as the army retreated, the German people were surrendered to the enemy with no means of defence. A wave of suicides rolled across the country as thousands chose death—for themselves and their children—rather than face the defeat of the Third Reich and what they feared might follow. Drawing on eyewitness accounts, historian Florian Huber tells of the largest mass suicide in German history and its suppression by the survivors—a fascinating insight into the feelings of ordinary people caught in the tide of history who saw no other way out.

The Song of Simon de Montfort by Sophie Thérèse Ambler ($40, HB)

In 1258, frustrated by the King’s refusal to take the advice of his nobles & the increasing injustice meted out to his subjects, Simon de Montfort marched on Henry III’s hall at Westminster & seized the reins of power. Montfort & his revolutionary council ruled England for some 15 months, until the enmity between the 2 sides exploded on that August day in 1265. When the fighting was over, Montfort & a host of his followers had been cut down on the battlefield. Sophie Thérèse Ambler tells the story warrior, devoted husband and father, fearless crusader knight & charismatic leader, to reveal all of the excitement, chaos & human tragedy of England’s first revolution.


Science & Nature

Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben ($35, PB)

30 years ago, environmentalist Bill McKibben’s classic The End of Nature was the first book to alert us to global warming. In Falter, he suggests that the human race may have played itself out. Climate change, robotics & artificial intelligence may spell the end of humanity as we know it. Unless we act now. McKibben tells the story of these converging trends & of the ideological fervour that keeps us from bringing them under control, and draws on his experience in building 350.org, the first global citizens movement to combat climate change, offers some possible ways out of the trap. We’re at a bleak moment in human history, and we must confront the reality or watch the civilisation our forebears built slip away.

The Universe Speaks in Numbers: How Modern Maths Reveals Nature’s Deepest Secrets by Graham Farmelo ($40, HB)

One of the great mysteries of science is that its fundamental laws are written in the language of mathematics. Graham Farmelo’s new book shows how modern maths has helped physicists to rethink gravity, space & time. He journeys from the Enlightenment to the present with a vibrant cast of characters, illuminating the most exciting & controversial developments in contemporary thought. Always lively & authoritative, Farmelo navigates the reader through the huge imaginative leaps that are edging us towards a radically new conception of the nature of our universe.

Clearing the Air: The Beginning and the End of Air Pollution by Tim Smedley ($30, PB)

Globally, 19,000 people die each day from air pollution, killing more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria & car accidents combined. What happened to the air we breathe? Sustainability journalist Tim Smedley has travelled the world to try & find the answer, visiting cities at the forefront of the fight against air pollution, including Delhi, Beijing, London & Paris. With insights from the scientists & politicians leading the battle against it, and people whose lives have been affected by it, Smedley tells the full story of air pollution—what it is, which pollutants are harmful, where they come from & most importantly what we can do about them.

Space Shuttle: A Photographic Journey by Luke Wesley Price ($60, HB)

This impressive collection is arranged in thematic chapters ranging from launch pad through the launch sequence, to the missions themselves and the dramatic conclusion of the return flight. It pays tribute to the five extraordinary orbiters built by NASA: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour, telling their story through extraordinary images from the greatest of NASA’s 135 shuttle missions. Beautifully postprocessed photographs capture the drama & danger of the hazardous launch sequences & vividly depict the techniques & challenges of mission tasks including space walks, inflight maintenance work, and docking with the International Space Station. The book also collates the details of every space shuttle mission flown, including launch dates & lists of crew, alongside a gallery of the 135 exquisitely designed mission patches. .

The Secret World of Farm Animals by Jeffrey Masson ($23, PB)

Did you know that pigs frequently throw tantrums? That chickens are capable of complex communication? That sheep know their own names? That cows grieve when their calves are taken away from them? Jeffrey Masson delves deep into the mysterious world of farm animals and reveals just how sophisticated these creatures truly are—capable of joy, sadness, love and friendship—just like us.

Good Enough: The Tolerance for Mediocrity in Nature and Society by Daniel S. Milo ($53, HB)

Why is the genome of a salamander forty times larger than that of a human? Why does the avocado tree produce a million flowers and only a hundred fruits? Why, in short, is there so much waste in nature? Darwinism excels in accounting for the evolution of traits, but it does not explain their excess in size & number. Daniel Milo stands up for the wasteful & inefficient organisms that nevertheless survive & multiply. He also argues provocatively that the theory of evolution through natural selection has acquired the trappings of an ethical system. Optimization, competitiveness & innovation have become the watchwords of Western societies, yet their role in human lives—as in the rest of nature—is dangerously overrated. Imperfection is not just good enough: it may at times be essential to survival.

A Guide to Crickets of Australia by David Rentz & You Ning Su ($50, PB)

Cricket song is a sound of the Australian bush. Even in cities, the rasping calls signify Australia’s remarkable cricket biodiversity. Featuring keys, distribution maps, illustrations and detailed colour photographs from CSIRO’s Australian National Insect Collection, A Guide to Crickets of Australia allows readers to reliably identify all 92 described genera & many species from the Grylloidea (true crickets) & Gryllotalpoidea (mole crickets and ant crickets) superfamilies.

Philosophy & Religion

The Six Secrets of Intelligence: Why modern education doesn’t teach us how to think for ourselves by Craig Adams ($33, PB)

So many books, apps, courses & schools compete for our attention that the problem isn’t a lack of opportunity to sharpen our minds, it’s having to choose between so many options. And yet, more than 2000 years ago, the greatest thinker of Ancient Greece, Aristotle, had already discovered the blueprint of the human mind. Despite the fact that the latest cognitive science shows his blueprint to be exactly what sharpens our reasoning, subtlety of thought & ability to think in different ways & for ourselves, we have meanwhile replaced it with a simplistic & seductive view of intelligence, education & the mind. Condensing that blueprint to six ‘secrets’, Craig Adams uncovers the underlying patterns of every discussion & debate we’ve ever had, and shows how to be both harder to manipulate & more skilful in any conversation or debate—no matter the topic.

A Summer with Montaigne: Notes on a Man Without Prejudice by Antoine Compagnon ($25, PB)

A few years ago, Antoine Compagnon was asked to host a radio broadcast, every day for an entire summer, on the formidable subject of Michel de Montaigne—thus this treatise in 40 chapters. Compagnon breathes life into the musings of Montaigne, approaching his subject not as the recluse many imagine him to have been, but rather a multi-faceted individual of complex thought & astonishing analytical prowess. Once the mayor of Bordeaux, Montaigne was a committed spirit of his time, advising his powerful contemporaries & always in touch with the questions & concerns of the moment, of which many remain pressing today. Composed over a period of 20 years, his Essays deal with timeless themes—from the problems posed by religion, war, power & friendship to the ridiculousness of our weaknesses—and they remain a moving commentary on what it means to be a human being in any age.

Morality: Why we need it and how to find it by Jonathan Sacks ($33, PB)

In today’s world of cultural climate change, argues Jonathan Sacks, we have outsourced morality to the markets on the one hand, and to government on the other. On the one hand, traditional values no longer hold, yet recent political swings show that modern ideals of tolerance have left many feeling rudderless & adrift. In this environment we see things fall apart in unexpected ways—toxic public discourse that makes true societal progress almost unattainable; the rise of religious extremism on the one hand & of aggressive atheism on the other; a drive for respect of all that establishes ‘safe space’ only where true debate is off limits. Jonathan Sacks argues that there are 8 key factors in establishing, maintaining & passing on resilient moral values within a broad group, among them attitudes of lifelong learning & of thanksgiving, the importance of family life & community, and a culture of positive argument in place of destructive conflict.

Martin Buber: A Life of Faith and Dissent by Paul Mendes-Flohr ($45, HB)

Paul Mendes-Flohr offers the first major biography in English in 30 years of seminal modern Jewish thinker, Martin Buber. Organised around several key moments such as his sudden abandonment by his mother when he was a child of 3 Mendes-Flohr shows how this foundational trauma left an enduring mark on Buber’s inner life, attuning him to the fragility of human relations & the need to nurture them with what he would call a dialogical attentiveness’. Buber’s philosophical & theological writings, most famously I and Thou, made significant contributions to religious & Jewish thought, philosophical anthropology, biblical studies, political theory & Zionism. In this accessible new biography, Mendes-Flohr situates Buber’s life & legacy in the intellectual & cultural life of German Jewry as well as in the broader European intellectual life of the first half of the 20th century.

The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts by Karen Armstrong ($35, PB)

Psychology The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World by Jamil Zaki ($33, PB)

Empathy is sometimes an engine for moral progress, and other times for moral failure. Both scientists & non-scientists commonly argue that empathy is something that happens to you, sort of like an emotional knee-jerk reflex. Second, they believe it happens more to some people than others—a spectrum, with deep empaths on one end & psychopaths on the other. Jamil Zaki proposes that empathy is not a reflex; it’s a choice—and therefore can be developed—by choosing it more often, we can flex our capabilities and grow more empathic over time. We can also ‘tune’ empathy, ramping it up in situations where it will help & turning it down when it might backfire. Zaki looks at doctors who train medical students to empathise better, social workers who help each other survive empathising too much, police trainers who help cadets avoid becoming violent cops, and political advocates who ask white Americans to literally walk a (dusty) mile in Mexican immigrants’ shoes—offering a deepened understanding of how empathy works, how to control it & how to become the type of empathiser you want to be.

The Talking Cure: Normal people, their hidden struggles and the life-changing power of therapy by Gillian Straker & Jacqui Winship ($33, PB)

The essence of successful therapy is the relationship between the therapist & the patient, a dance of growing trust & understanding. It is an intimate, messy, often surprising & sometimes confusing business—but when it works, it’s life-changing. Psychotherapists Gill Straker & Jacqui Winship tell 9 inspiring stories of transformation. Fictional amalgams of real-life cases, their clients reveal how the art of talking & listening helps us to understand deep-seated issues that profoundly influence who we are in the world & how we see ourselves in relation to others. And this transformative power of the therapeutic relationship can be replicated in our everyday lives by the simple practice of paying attention & being present with those we love.

Our Psychiatric Future by Nikolas Rose

Our everyday lives are increasingly intertwined with psychiatry and discussions of mental health. Yet the dominant medical discipline of psychiatry remains surrounded by controversy. Is mental distress really an illness like any other, treatable by drugs? Can psychiatrists differentiate between mental disorders normal eccentricities, anxieties or even sadness? Should the power of psychiatrists be challenged by the knowledge of those with lived experience of mental ill health? Nikolas Rose Nikolas Rose critiques the powerful part that psychiatry has come to play in the lives of so many across the world—opening wide the terrain of debate by addressing issues such as advances in brain science, the politics of Western psychiatry’s spread across the globe, and recent evidence of social adversity’s role in producing mental ill health. ($37.95, PB)

Mind-Brain-Gene: Toward Psychotherapy Integration by John B. Arden ($58.95, PB)

Mind-Brain-Gene describes the feedback loops between the multiple systems contributing to the emergence of the mind & the experience of the self. It explains how our mental operating networks ‘self”-organise, drawing from & modifying our memory systems to establish & maintain mental health. Synthesising research in psychoneuroimmunology & epigenetics with interpersonal neurobiology & research on integrated psychotherapeutic approaches, John Arden explores how insecure attachment, deprivation, child abuse & trauma contribute to anxiety disorders & depression to produce epigenetic affects. To help people suffering from anxiety & depression, it is necessary to make sense of the multidirectional feedback loops between the stress systems & the dysregulation of the immune system that lead to those conditions. Arden makes a strong case for healthcare & psychotherapy to be combined-together they can revolutionise the way we conceive of, and attain, optimal health in the 21st Century.

Today we see the Quran being used by some to justify war & terrorism, the Torah to deny Palestinians the right to live in the Land of Israel, & the Bible to condemn homosexuality & contraception. Believed to be divinely ordained, these holy texts are often employed Sex and Belonging : On the Psychology of Sexselectively to underwrite arbitrary & subjective views. But as Karen ual Relationships by Tony Schneider ($34.95, PB) Armstrong shows in this fascinating journey this narrow reading of A sexual relationship, whether fleetingly casual or profoundly scripture is a relatively recent phenomenon. For hundreds of years permanent, involves at its core the establishment of attachment these texts were instead viewed as spiritual tools—scripture was a & an integrative drive to belong. It can include a range of inmeans for the individual to connect with the divine, to transcend their centives, coloured by physiological drives, cultural contexts & physical existence, and to experience a higher level of consciousness. Holy texts were personal histories. It also involves the physiological processes seen as fluid and adaptable, rather than a set of binding archaic rules or a ‘truth’ that of brain & body as they relate to the realm of the mind & subhas to be ‘believed’. Armstrong argues that only by rediscovering an open engagement jective experience. This complexity poses a challenge for cliniwith their holy texts will the world’s religions be able to curtail arrogance, intolerance cians when developing an integrated psychological model during & violence. And if scripture is used to engage with the world in more meaningful and therapy. Tony Schneider outlines a new model of psychological compassionate ways, we will find that it still has a great deal to teach us. drives around sexual behaviour. His model unifies the notions of attachment, belonging, desire, attraction & early sexual experience, to create a firm theoretical basis for psychological intervention in human sexual relationships—taking a middle path between the Now in B Format & paperback How To Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics determinist thinking that frequently underpins scientific psychological research, and the psychodynamic theory often used by clinicians

by Michael Pollan, $23


My June Reads

The characters in Tessa Hadley’s latest book Late in the Day are terribly familiar. An artist, a gallery owner, a teacher & a beautiful muse—four very distinct types— each engaged in the quadrille of their friendship. When Zachary, the gallery owner, and husband of Lydia, the muse, dies suddenly early in the novel, the events that follow are slightly shocking, but predictable, when the quadrille becomes a triangle. Hadley takes you back and forth in time, to the beginning of their friendships. Lydia and Christine, and Alex and Zachary, were friends from (separate) schools. The women went to university together, where they were taught by Alex, and through him, met Zachary. Eventually they all married, and each couple had a daughter. Alex also has a shadowy, charismatic son from his first marriage. Hadley supplies really wonderful, incidental details of their lives, and lots of quiet, sharp insights into the way people live and work as they get older. The small number of characters are clearly drawn, but in a very understated way—there’s not much dialogue, and lots of gaps in the narrative that somehow make you feel involved and invested in the story. The quadrille is changed for ever when Zachary dies, but the dance goes on. ($38, HB) More strange, but equally engulfing, is Guest Book—the latest book by Leanne Shapton. An opening poem by the late Canadian author Adam Gilders, sets the tone for the whole book—and gives you a clue about the book’s themes: there is a link between guests and ghosts, and the whole work is about visitations from the other side. The fact that Gilders died young is also pertinent, in this spectral collection of stories, drawings, poems, diagrams, instagrams, photographs—mostly fictional, but some about real people and incidents. Everything is linked, but in a submerged, opaque way—ghostliness may be the theme, but it’s really about the oddness of being alive, rather than not. Leanne Shapton is a truly original writer and artist. Everything she produces is unlike anything else, and truly ‘other’. Guest Book is an artefact as much as a work of literature, and quite impossible to describe in words, you really have to see it, and read it. I do not believe ghosts, and I don’t enjoy literature about the supernatural, but I love this book, it’s haunted me in a most delightful way. ($45, HB) Another book that I have read this month is A Colorful Life by Louise Sandhaus and Kat Catmur. It’s a very comprehensive look at the work of the great American designer, Gere Kavanaugh, a girl from Tennessee who reached the heights of many areas of design, with her beautiful, vivid designs. Unusually for a woman of her time (she was born in 1929, and is alive today), she forged a brilliant career in what were generally domains dominated by men—for example, she worked for General Motors and Gruen Associates. From designing shopping mall interiors, to tea towels, Christmas decorations, toys, no job too big, no job too small, her work is always colourful, seemingly simple, and very much alive. This book is full of wonderful pictures of her, her creations, her extraordinary collections, and the many articles that have appeared about her. It’s amazing to see how the work of a single woman has contributed so much of the visual landscape—she is an inspiration to anyone who ever picked up a colour pencil. I recommend this book highly to everyone who likes nice things. ($75, HB) Louise

Cultural Studies & Criticism Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini ($33, PB)

Race science is experiencing a revival, fuelled by the misuse of science by certain political groups. Even well-intentioned scientists, through their use of racial categories in genetics & medicine, betray their suspicion that race has some basis in biology. In truth, it is no more real than it was hundreds of years ago, when our racial hierarchies were devised by those in power. Angela Saini explores the concept of race, from its origins to the present day. By engaging with geneticists, anthropologists, historians & social scientists from across the globe, she provides a rigorous, much needed examination of the insidious & destructive nature of race science.

The Age of Consent: Young People, Sexual Abuse and Agency by Kate Gleeson & Catharine Lumby ($30, PB)

This edited collection brings interdisciplinary research to the high profile subject of child sexual abuse & looks closely at why public concern & awareness is often diverted away from the real issues at stake. It challenges the notion that ‘sexting’ & online pornography are playing a key role in grooming young people for abuse. It also looks empirically at the evidence for the cycle-of-abuse theory, why young people so often fail to speak out & the role that legal & media discourses play in framing the way we understand child sexual abuse. It challenges received mainstream & scholarly ideas about how & why child abuse occurs & offers fresh ideas about understanding how we can enhance young people’s agency & ensure they have an opportunity to grow up developing their own voices & identities, free from adult coercion.

Webtopia: The world wide wreck of tech and how to make the net work by Peter Lewis ($33, PB)

The arrival of the internet promised a utopian, creative & democratic future that would break down traditional institutions & replace them with exciting collaborative networks. But 20 years on the world seems more divided & more distracted than ever, and it is this amazing technology that lies at the heart of many of our most pressing problems. Peter Lewis draws from his own pre- and post-tech experience & conversations with entrepreneurs, politicians, pastors, parents, teachers and journalists to argue that technology itself is not the problem. We are. If we can fix our relationship with technology, it will be easier to fix our relationships with each other in an increasingly fragmenting world.

I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter To My Daughter by David Chariandy ($25, PB)

When a moment of quietly ignored bigotry prompted his 3 year-old daughter to ask ‘what happened?’, David Chariandy began wondering how to discuss with his children the politics of race. The son of Black & South Asian migrants from Trinidad, David draws upon his personal & ancestral past, including his experiences growing up as a ‘visible minority’ within the land of his birth, as well as the legacies of slavery, indenture & immigration, in a letter to his now 13 year old daughter his own story of ‘race’. His hope is to cultivate within her a sense of identity that balances the painful truths of the past & present with hopeful possibilities for a better future.

Queer Intentions: A (personal) journey through LGBTQ+ culture by Amelia Abraham ($33, PB) A journey to explore the pros & cons, the myths & realities of life for LGBTQ+ people today. Abraham cries at the first same-sex marriage in Britain, loses herself in the world’s biggest drag convention in LA, marches at Pride parades across Europe, visits both a transgender model agency & the AntiViolence Project in New York, parties in the clubs of Turkey’s underground LGBTQ+ scene, and meets a genderless family in progressive Stockholm.

Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language by Amanda Montell ($33, PB) The word ‘bitch’ originally meant male or female genitalia. ‘Hussy’ was simply a housewife, and ‘slut’ was an untidy man or woman. Feminist linguist Amanda Montell explains why words matter & why it’s imperative that women embrace their unique relationship with language. Drawing on fascinating research, and moving between history & pop culture, Montell deconstructs language—from insults & cursing to grammar & pronunciation—to expose the ways it has been used for centuries against women. Montell gets to the heart of our language, shedding light on the biases that shadow women in our culture & showing how to embrace language to verbally smash the patriarchy.


On Freedom by Tory Shepherd ($15, PB)

They’re labelled as selfish, as ‘deliberately barren’, and sometimes as crazy old cat ladies, but increasingly women are choosing to be childfree. Over the next few decades couples without children are set to outnumber those who have them. Tory Shepherd looks at how women’s freedom to choose motherhood is reshaping their own lives as well as society.

The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s 1984 by Dorian Lynskey ($33, PB)

1984 isn’t just a novel, George Orwell’s final work is a treasure chest of ideas & memes—Big Brother, the Thought Police, Doublethink, Newspeak, 2+2=5—that gain potency with every year. Particularly in 2016, when the election of Donald Trump made it a bestseller (‘Ministry of Alternative Facts’, anyone?). Its influence has morphed endlessly into novels (The Handmaid’s Tale), films (Brazil), television shows (V for Vendetta), rock albums (Diamond Dogs), commercials (Apple), even reality TV (Big Brother). Dorian Lynskey examines the epochal & cultural event that is 1984: its roots in the utopian & dystopian literature that preceded it; the personal experiences in wartime Britain that Orwell drew on as he struggled to finish his masterpiece in his dying days; and the political & cultural phenomena that the novel ignited at once upon publication, that far from subsiding, have only grown over the decades. It explains how fiction history informs fiction & how fiction explains history.

Now in B Format & paperback The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward, $23 Dictator Literature by Daniel Kalder, $25 Tyrant: Shakespeare On Power by Stephen Greenblatt, $23

My Seditious Heart by Arundhati Roy ($65, HB)

This volume collects the work of a two-decade period when Arundhati Roy devoted herself to the political essay as a way of opening up space for justice, rights & freedoms in an increasingly hostile environment. Taken together, the essays speak in a uniquely spirited voice, marked by compassion, clarity & courage. Radical and superbly readable, they speak always in defence of the collective, of the individual & of the land, in the face of the destructive logic of financial, social, religious, military & governmental elites. In constant conversation with the themes & settings of her novels, the essays form a near-unbroken memoir of Arundhati Roy’s journey as both a writer & a citizen, of both India & the world, from The End of Imagination, which begins this book, to My Seditious Heart, with which it ends.

Gleebooks’ special price $59.99

Intimate Antipathies by Luke Carman

The essays in this collection follow the Luke Carman in his oscillations through anxiety, outrage & ecstasy—exploring the connections between writing & dreaming, writing & mental illness, writing & the complications of family life. From his famous jeremiad against arts administrators in Getting Square in a Jerking Circle, through the psychotic attack brought on by the collapse of his marriage, to his surreal account of meeting with Gerald Murnane at a golf club in the remote Victorian village of Goroke, Carman explores the particular challenges faced by writers who grow up in the contested borderlands of the suburbs—always returning to his great obsession, the home on a small mountain in Sydney’s west, where his antipathies with the real world first began to shape his imagination. ($24.95, PB)

Feeding the Ghost 1: Criticism on Contemporary Aust. Poetry (eds) Andy Kissane et al

Australian poetry deserves a criticism that accompanies the astonishing momentum and luminosity that has developed, which both elucidates the scale of poetic achievement and is also not afraid to evaluate that achievement through a rigorous and disinterested critical lens. Australian poets have been feeding the ghost with extraordinary energy and acumen over the last quarter of a century. This book intended to be the first in a series which will grapple with the bewildering diversity of the contemporary poetry scene. ($34.95, PB)

Faber & Faber: The Untold Story of a Great Publishing House by Toby Faber ($40, HB)

T.S.Eliot, William Golding, Ted Hughes & Sylvia Plath are synonymous with the name ‘Faber’, as are the leafy squares of 20th century Bloomsbury. How did a tiny firm set up by 2 men in 1925—weathering obstacles from wartime paper shortages to dramatic financial crashes—survive to this very day? Toby Faber grew up with these stories, and he draws on material from memos to board minutes & unpublished memoirs, to go deep inside the evolution of the company. Along the way he introduces a cast of stranger-than-fiction characters—poets & novelists, managers & editors. Decade by decade, his portrait of one company’s history becomes not only that of an entire century, but a hymn to the role of the arts in public life.

See What You Made Me Do: Power, Control and Domestic Abuse by Jess Hill ($33, PB) Women are abused or killed by their partners at astonishing rates—in Australia, almost 17 per cent of women over the age of 15—one in six—have been abused by an intimate partner. In this confronting & deeply researched account, journalist Jess Hill dismantles the flawed logic of victim-blaming, and uncovers the ways in which abusers exert control in the darkest—and most intimate—ways imaginable. She asks- What do we know about perpetrators? Why is it so hard to leave? What does successful intervention look like? What emerges is not only a searing investigation of the violence so many women experience, but a dissection of how that violence can be enabled & reinforced by the judicial system we trust to protect us.

Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen by Mary Norris ($28, HB)

This witty and wise romp through language and the crystalline Greek coast is a charming account of ‘Comma Queen’, Mary Norris’s lifelong love affair with words and her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo. Along the way, Norris explains how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, goes searching for the fabled Baths of Aphrodite, and reveals the surprising ways Greek helped form English. Filled with Norris’s memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine—and more than a few Greek men—Greek to Me is the Comma Queen’s fresh take on Greece and the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own.

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The History of Magic by Joseph Ennemoser

Two Volumes. Hardcover. Henry G. Bohn, Covent Garden, London. (1888 reprint of the original 1854 edition). Tr. from the German by William Howitt. $350.00. Condition: Two volumes complete; Octavo; Full cloth, 989pp. [471pp. and 518pp.] Red buckram covers. Gilt spine titles and decoration. Blind stamped on front covers with ‘Bohn’s Libraries’ insignia. Both volumes contain an unpaginated (46pp.) catalogue of Bohn’s Libraries titles dated November 1888. This suggests that copies of this original 1854 edition—as dated on the title page—were reprinted and reissued by the publisher with this supplementary material inserted. Slightly shaken; spine extremities softened; hinges tender; spines sunned; covers bumped. Boards rubbed with mild wear to the spine tail. Textblock edges toned and top edges dusted. Both volumes have water stain marks on the covers. Slight damage to endpapers (mainly confined to the gutters). Vol. 2 has a glued fragment of card pasted on the back covers. Previous owner’s inscription on front pastedown of both Vols, thus: ‘Francis Barrett 39 Sussex Gardens January 28th 1891’. Lacks dustjacket. Very Good condition. Joseph Ennemoser (1787–1854) was a Tyrolean doctor and scientist, noted for his use of magnetism and hypnosis. He was well known for his presentations about magic, delusions and apparently supernatural occurrences. Ennemoser suggested that most of these phenomena appeared miraculous only because of a lack of understanding of the laws of nature. His encyclopaedic compendium, The History of Magic, was first published in Leipzig in 1844. This is the scarce first English translation of this work, done by William Howitt (1792–1879), a leading Spiritualist writer, aided by his wife Mary Howitt (1799–1888) who added an Appendix to the original work containing ‘best authenticated Stories of Apparitions, Dreams, Second Sight, Somnambulism, Predictions, Divination, Witchcraft, Vampires, Fairies, Table-turning, and Spirit-Rapping.’ Stephen Visionary Fictions : Apocalyptic Writing from Blake to the Modern Age by Edward J. Ahearn ($25) Yale University Press, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. Light marks to dust jacket. Otherwise excellent tight clean copy. ‘Visionary’ writers, says Edward Ahearn, seek a personal way to explode the normal experience of the ‘real’, using prophetic visions, fantastic tales, insane rantings, surrealistic dreams, and drug- or sex-induced dislocations in their work. Their fiction expresses rebellion against all the values of Western civilization-personal, sexual, familial, religious, moral, societal & political. Yet even though they are anti-realistic, they do react to specific aspects of modern reality, such as the recurring promise & failure of social revolution. Ahearn, who finds this form at once exhilarating, immensely disturbing, vital & subversive, explores the work of a wide variety of authors from the late 18th century to the present day. Beginning with the appearance of visionary writing in the work of William Blake, he traces the development of the form in texts by widely scattered authors writing in French, German, and English—including Novalis, Lautréamont, Bréton, William Burroughs, and contemporary feminists Monique Wittig and Jamaica Kincaid, among others. Venom: The heroic search for Australia’s deadliest snake by Brendan James Murray ($30, PB) In the early years of the 20th century, an awareness was growing among European Australians of an unexpected threat, one that seemed the very embodiment of the dark, ominous power of the Australian bush. To the Indigenous people of the Guugu Yimithirr nation, it was nguman; to the whites it was the taipan, an eight foot, lightning fast venomous snake whose bite meant certain death. Venom is an examination of European settlers’ troubled and often antagonistic relationship with the land, seen through the lens of the desperate scramble for an antivenom, and highlighted by the story of George Rosendale, a taipan bite victim of the Guugu Yimithirr nation. Folk Songs of Australia and the Men & Women Who Sang Them by John Meredith & Hugh Anderson ($20) Ure Smith, 1979. Hardcover. Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. 3rd Edition. Faint spotting to edges. Otherwise excellent tight clean copy. This fascinating volume contains words and melodies of 240 songs, bush dance tunes, and recitations, with accompanying reminiscences of the people who performed them—details of where & when they learned them and other background material. All the entries come direct from tape-recordings made by John Meredith in the field. and they’re not just the favourites—some rarely heard , and some that had never been reported before. The performers are mainly erstwhile shearers, timber-cutters, miners & other old folk from the bush—some of whom contribute only a single song or fragment, and some, like ‘treasure’ Sally Sloane, have a repertoire that ‘seems inexhaustible’.



Flat Earth: History of an Infamous Idea by Christine Garwood ($38, PB) In 1967, at a Science Fair in Whitinsville, Massachusetts, Englishman Samuel Shenton (1903–1971), President of The Flat Earth Society, called for new adherents: ‘It does not matter what you believe…only the Truth counts! Warning! Unlimited questions abound in the subject of the so-called ‘Flat Earth’. If you are passed middle age you will never clear your mind of former indoctrination…Encourage youth to investigate.’ Well, that lets me out. Being well past youth and also as one of the generation who believes that the Apollo space missions of the 1960s—which photographed a round, blue Earth in the dark void of space—were (are) the greatest accomplishment of our species in my lifetime. Eratosthenes of Cyrene (276–194 BCE), Greek mathematician and geographer had accurately calculated the circumference of a global Earth two centuries before Christ. Likewise, the majority of early Church fathers accepted a round Earth. Also, despite what some students (me) were taught in school, most people of his day did not believe that 15th Century Italian navigator, Christopher Columbus would topple off the literal edge of the world as he undertook his explorations to the Americas—nor did he do so to prove the Earth was round. So why does a steadfast belief in a flat earth continue to this day? As Christine Garwood shows in her impressively researched, fascinating book, modern Flat Earthism dates from 1849 and the appearance of a 16-page pamphlet: Zetetic Astronomy: Earth Not a Globe—written by ‘Parallax’—one Samuel Rowbotham (1816–1884) an English inventor. He later expanded his ideas in a book (1864). Rowbotham’s world view saw the Earth as a flat disc, centred on the North Pole and surrounded along the edge by a giant ice wall—Antarctica. The celestial bodies of the universe—Sun, Moon, the stars and planets—circle only several hundred miles above the Earth. As Garwood deftly traces Flat earther history from the Old World to the New where notorious firebrand preacher, Wilbur Voliva (1870–1942) ruled a flat-earth theocracy in Zion, Illinois, in 1906 to 1956 when Shenton revived it as the Flat Earth Society and upon his death, American Charles Johnson (1924–2001) took over the now International Flat Earth Society. Garwood views most of these individuals with a sympathetic eye. Lone heroes on a heroic quest in her valuable and enjoyable read. However, if you prefer your Earth hollow… Hollow Earth: The Long and Curious History of Imagining Strange Lands, Fantastical Creatures, Advanced Civilizations, and Marvellous Machines Below the Earth’s Surface by David Standish ($33, PB) One of my favourite novels as a young teen was Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864). I enjoyed the opening chapter where German Professor Otto Lidenbrock spends days attempting to translate a mysterious runic manuscript, only for his feckless nephew, Axel to discover all it needed was to be read backwards! It claims to show a passage to the Earth’s interior. I was able to revisit all this by reading this handsome volume. It is part history, part science, part cultural survey of various explorers, writers, and believers in utopias, that there are civilizations to be found living inside our earth. David Standish wants to ‘trace the cultural history of an idea that was wrong and changed nothing­but which has nevertheless had an ongoing appeal.’ He presents a kaleidoscope of individuals and groups who believed that eventually an interior civilisation would be discovered. Meet Edmond Halley (1656–1742) of Halley’s Comet fame who conjectured that three spheres lay beneath the earth’s surface—all able to support life. Or, American pioneer and soldier, John Cleve Symmes, Jr. (1780–1829) who announced in an 1818 pamphlet: I declare the earth is hollow, and habitable within; containing a number of solid concentrick spheres, one within the other, and that it is open at the poles 12 or 16 degrees; I pledge my life in support of this truth, and am ready to explore the hollow, if the world will support and aid me in the undertaking. Or, Cyrus Teed (1839–1908) physician, alchemist and religious leader who called himself ‘Koresh’, and believed the Earth and Heavens themselves are enclosed inside a vast, hollow sphere. Standish combines such beliefs with an entertaining survey of the literary output it inspired, specifically by such authors as Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe (Ms. Found in a Bottle) and Edgar Rice Burroughs whose Pellucidar novels, written between 1914 to 1942, describe a fictional Hollow Earth inhabited by various prehistoric tribes such as the Gorbuses—a race of cannibalistic albinos. Lengthy passages from other numerous ‘hollow earth’ narratives are also presented. David Standish’s survey is also simply a lot of fun. It contains numerous striking illustrations and photographs to accompany the text, and it made me re-watch the 1959 Hollywood film Journey to the Centre of the Earth featuring James Mason as the Professor; then pop idol, Pat Boone, Arlene Dahl and Carol Baker who play the love interests. Highlights of the film—the dinosaur fight and our adventurers escaping subterranean doom in a giant alabaster bowl left over from Atlantis, which they use to ride up a lava flow to the surface. Stephen Reid



Malcolm: a story in verse by Leni Shilton

Leni Shilton works in violence prevention programs and has a keen ear for the complexities of living without safety nets & certainty. Set in Melbourne’s underbelly, Shilton’s verse novel tells the story of 17 year-old Malcolm, whose mother is killed at the hand of his father. His childhood has been marred by this violence. After his mother’s death, Malcolm leaves the safety of his grandfather’s home to live on the streets, choosing to make his own family. He lives in a Melbourne squat with a group of friends. Together, they face the daily struggle of life on the streets and the edge of society. ($23, PB)

The Bruise of Knowing by Phyllis Perlstone

Phyllis Perlstone shows a Sir John Monash behind the image on the $100 bank note: the engineer, innovator, man-about-town, husband, father, warrior, tactician; his love affairs & vanities; the prejudice he encounters & regards as ‘strange dislike’. His life and Australia’s times start up from within the lines of Perlstone’s poetry—moving back and forth in time to regard the past and its values with a present perspective. ($25, PB)

God is Waiting in the World’s Yard by MTC Cronin ($25, PB)

A small black cat wakes in the box in which it was carried to a dump & makes its way home through the drains. The only change in the divine realm is that there is no longer anyone or anything guarding the gates of the dead—Downpayment on a Catastrophe’.The simplest of places that at every moment confronts with fresh ambiguities: The world’s yard—is it a tree-lined garden where children are playing? or the yard where a yardarm is erected, the executioner’s noose always dangling? or the boneyard where heretic & believer lie side by side to whisper their shared confidences?

Fish Song by Caitlin Maling ($25, PB)

In her latest, deeply personal, collection Maling travels the coast of Western Australia writing about what the ocean provides—fish, livelihoods, sand & the ever-present sea breeze. In doing so she questions what poetry might offer by way of solace & reconnection in an age of climate change. Poet Judith Beveridge says ‘This book puts her among the top rank of writers for whom WA is an endlessly inspiring place.’

Sergius Seeks Bacchus by Norman E Pasaribu

To say it is hard to be queer in Indonesia is a gross understatement. This is a heart-breaking yet humorous rumination on what it means to be in the minority on multiple levels—in terms of sexuality, but also, ethnicity & religion. Drawing on the experiences of fellow members of the queer community & especially on his life as an openly gay writer of Bataknese descent & Christian background, Norman Erikson Pasaribu’s collection furnishes readers with an alternative gospel—a book of bittersweet and tragicomic good news pieced together from his encounters with ridicule, persecution, loneliness, and also, happiness. ($24, PB)

Empirical by Lisa Gorton ($24, PB)

Lisa Gorton began writing Empirical when the Victorian Government of the time threatened to cut an 8-lane motorway through the heart of Royal Park in Melbourne. She walked repeatedly in the park, seeking to understand how the feeling for place originates, and how memory & landscape fold in & out of each other. These poems are followed by a sequence which recreates the colonial history of Royal Park through the gathering of fragments from newspapers, maps & pictures, a different way of asserting its value, by demonstrating how a landscape can conceal the history of country beneath layers of time.

Lyre by Stuart Cooke ($25, PB)

Stuart Cooke proposes that all kinds of life—animal, plant & otherwise—have their own modes of expression, each of which can each be translated into a different kind of poetry. Ranging across Australasian oceans, coastlines, rainforests, savannahs & deserts, and similarly wide-ranging in its approach to form & lineation, Lyre asks what happens when poems make contact with non-human worlds; in so doing, it welcomes whole new worlds to poetry.

The little book of sunlight and maggots by Michael Aiken ($23, PB)

‘Pathos meets humour in Michael Aiken’s eco-urban world of devastating settler contingencies, commuter ennui & weedy exuberance. Spare and songful, these poems are unsentimentally attentive to the other than humans that share our suburbs. This is both open-eyed & uncannily hopeful in its engagements with the tragic overlay of concrete on Country.’ — Anne Elvey












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The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma Trenton Lee Stewart, HB

The Idiot Elif Batuman, HB

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Freud on Women: A Reader (ed) Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, PB

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Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the That Changed Everything Structure of the Universe for American Women Stephon Alexander, HB Rebecca Traister, PB

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Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity Carlo Rovelli, HB

Black Water Louise Doughty, HB

Vinegar Girl Anne Tyler, HB

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Mozart’s Starling Lyanda Lynn Haupt, HB

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Midnight at the Pera Palace: The Birth of Modern Istanbul Istanbul: City of Majesty Charles King, HB at the Crossroads of the World

One to Nine: The Inner Life of Numbers Andrew Hodges, PB

Thomas F. Madden, HB

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1916: One Hundred Years of Irish Independence Tim Pat Coogan, HB

An Iron Wind: Europe Under Hitler Peter Fritzsche, HB

Living With A Dead Language: My Romance with Latin Ann Patty, HB

The Horologicon: A Day’s Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language Mark Forsyth, HB

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Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow Detmar Blow, HB

Manderley Forever: Stalin’s Daughter A Biography of Daphne Du Maurier Rosemary Sullivan, HB Tatiana De Rosnay, HB

Dungeonology, HB


The Arts Alfred Stieglitz: Taking Pictures, Making Painters by Phyllis Rose ($45, HB)

Alfred Stieglitz was an enormously influential artist & nurturer of artists even though his career is often overshadowed by his role as Georgia O’Keeffe’s husband. Phyllis Rose reconsiders Stieglitz as a revolutionary force in the history of American art. Born in New Jersey, he later studied in Germany, where his father, a wool merchant & painter, insisted he would get a proper education. After returning to America, he became one of the first American photographers to achieve international fame. By the time he was 60, he gave up photography & devoted himself to selling & promoting art. His first gallery, 291, was the first American gallery to show works by Picasso, Rodin, Matisse & other great European modernists. His galleries were not dealerships so much as open universities, where he introduced European modern art to Americans & nurtured an appreciation of American art among American artists.

Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World by Morrison & Grollemond

Brimming with lively animals both real & fantastic, the bestiary was one of the great illuminated manuscript traditions of the Middle Ages. Encompassing imaginary creatures, such as the unicorn, siren & griffin; exotic beasts, including the tiger, elephant & ape; as well as animals native to Europe, like the beaver, dog & hedgehog, the bestiary is a vibrant testimony to the medieval understanding of animals & their role in the world. So iconic were the stories & images of the bestiary that its beasts essentially escaped from the pages, appearing in a wide variety of manuscripts & other objects, including tapestries, ivories, metalwork & sculpture. With over 270 colour illustrations & contributions by 25 leading medieval scholars, this gorgeous volume explores the bestiary & its widespread influence on medieval art & culture as well as on modern & contemporary artists like Pablo Picasso & Damien Hirst. ($89, HB)

Life of Animals in Japanese Art ($117, HB) by Robert T. Singer & Kawai Masatomo

Drawing upon Japan’s unique spiritual heritage, rich literary traditions, and currents in popular culture, Japanese artists have long expressed admiration for animals in sculpture, painting, lacquerwork, ceramics, metalwork, textiles & woodblock prints. Real & fantastic creatures are meticulously & beautifully rendered, often with humour & whimsy. Organized into themes, including the 12 animals of the Japanese zodiac; animals in Shinto & Buddhism; animals & samurai; land animals, winged creatures & creatures of the river & sea; and animals in works of humour & parody, this book offers work, from ancient 5th-century clay sculpture to contemporary pieces.

Fifty Works by Fifty British Women Artists 1900–1950 ($60, PB)

While there were some improvements for women to access an artistic career in the twentieth century in terms of patronage, economics and critical attention all the things that confer professional status women had the least of everything. This collection functions as a corrective to the exclusion of women from the ‘master’ narratives of art. It introduces 50 artworks by known & lesser-known women. 50 commentaries by 50 different writers bring out each artwork’s unique story—sometimes from an objective art historical perspective and sometimes from an entirely personal point of view—creating a rich & colourful diorama.

Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs ($99, HB)

Early in his career, Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) earned acclaimed for his Precisionist paintings of architectural subjects associated with a forward-looking, industrialised America, most famously his Overseas Highway of 1939. But Crawford was a multifaceted artist and continued to evolve throughout his life, with his later, more abstract painting having a remarkable emotional dimension. This new book focuses on two series of works ‘Torn Signs’ and ‘Semana Santa’ that Crawford developed mostly over the course of the last 20 or so years of his life.

Field Notes on the Visual Arts: SeventyFive Short Essays ($73, PB)

What is the relation of art & history? What is art today? Why does art affect us? Organized under 8 major headings—Anthropomorphism, Appropriation, Contingency, Detail, Materiality, Time, and Tradition, 75 scholars, curators & artists from the fields of art, literature, culture, science, archaeology, anthropology & philosophy traverse chronology & geography to reveal the meanings and dilemmas of art.


Space Dogs: The Story of the Soviet’s Celebrated Moon Pups by Martin Parr & Richard Hollingham

In the 1950s the space race between the USA & the USSR was on—for both, a huge matter of pride & propaganda. But before man ventured into the cosmos, his four-legged friends would pave the way for space exploration. The first canine cosmonaut was Laika, meaning `barker’. The little stray could never have anticipated that she would one day float 200 miles above the Moscow streets— canonized as a proletarian hero, appearing on stamps, postcards & souvenirs. Her successors were Belka & Strelka, the first dogs to successfully return safely to Earth, and with them, the cult of the space dog was born. In a regime that eschewed celebrating individual achievement, the space dogs became Soviet superstars, with a vast array of merchandise, books and films in their honour. ($27, PB)

Painting Masterclass: 100 Creative Techniques of Great Artists by Susie Hodge ($40, PB)

Organized into 7 chapters covering important genres: nudes, figures, landscapes, still life, heads, fantasy & abstraction, Susie Hodge selects a cross section of artists & examines their practice in detail, using key paintings. She describes artist through one of 100 selected masterpieces, giving a biographical profile & a practical look at the way the painting was made: she examines the materials & technique, the ideas & inspiration behind its making & how the artist’s life might reflect their concerns. She covers light & shade, rhythm, form, space, contour & composition in detail, traversing a broad historical & geographic sweep.

Mark Rothko: Toward Clarity (eds) Sabine Haag et al ($55, HB)

Mark Rothko had a profound interest in history & art history including Greek & Roman mythology, Egyptian fables, Byzantine & early Italian gold-ground paintings, and masterworks of the Renaissance & Dutch Golden Age. He first travelled to Europe in 1950, starting in Paris & winding through Venice, Arezzo, Siena, Florence & Rome. This book examines the influence of Rothko’s travels on his oeuvre—looking at his engagement with important classical & Old Master works, highlighting older techniques & ideas that he may have sought to emulate. The book contains full-page colour plates, and some of Rothko’s writings selected by his son that document his appreciation of art history.

Leonardo Da Vinci: The Complete Paintings in Detail by Alessandro Vezzosi ($145, HB)

Shedding new light on the renowned Renaissance artist, this book examines all of Leonardo da Vinci’s known paintings using recent advances in technology and the latest art historical research. Beginning with his birth & early maturity in the workshops of the Florentine masters, Alessandro Vezzosi delves into the provenance of disputed works such as Madonna Litta & La Bella Principessa. He demonstrates how recent advances in technology have aided researchers in studying and restoring da Vinci’s art—including uncovering forgeries—and he explores the artist’s scientific achievements in the fields of optics & paint composition. An exquisitely produced plate section looks at the most significant aspects of da Vinci’s work, and offers numerous comparative examples in the form of archival documents, preparatory studies & contemporary paintings.

Early Rubens ($90, HB)

This book explores Rubens’s work from 1608 until 1620 and how, acutely aware of the possibilities for commercial success, he rose to fame by establishing a ‘brand’ & promoting himself. He created multiple versions of paintings with subjects that had proven to be successful, used similar subject matter of famous artists in the past, and sought collaborators to create more ambitious works than he could have done alone. He also created a studio & workshop with numerous students & assistants, the most famous being Anthony van Dyck, who frequently collaborated with Rubens. Through paintings, drawings & prints, this book shows how a desire for commercial success influenced & changed Rubens’s artistic style. Essays delve into Italy’s effect on him, on the narrative aspect of his paintings, and how he managed commissions from famous patrons.

Crocheted Succulents: Cacti and Succulent Projects to Make by Emma Varnam ($30, PB)

If you love houseplants but have an unerring ability to kill everything off, fear not, because these creations don’t require green fingers! There are 25 succulents to make in a variety of shapes & sizes for a touch of indoor greenery that will never need watering, repotting or special plant food. A photograph illustrates each project, with clear patterns & guidance, plus a techniques section that gives clear instructions on all the skills you’ll need to make the projects.

Crewelwork Embroidery Becky Quine ($53, PB)

Crewelwork has a long history but this book brings the technique right up to date. Tutor of the Royal School of Needlework, Becky Quine, clearly explains each step to making a piece, from early planning to stitching and finally to presentation. There’s a guide to framing up & transferring a design onto fabric. There are step-by-step sequences to over 40 different stitches ranging from filling to outlining stitches, and from accent stitches to new creative ideas.

John: The Library Book by Susan Orlean is the story of a devastating fire in the main Public Library in Los Angeles. Orlean, of course, makes it about far more than that. It’s about the role of the library in society, the eccentric early librarians, the fire itself and the devastation it caused when 700,000 books were destroyed. It’s also a true crime story and the story of the person who may have started the fire. As if this wasn’t enough, there is also Orlean’s wonderful prose.... plus Rivers of London Series (Books 1 to 6) by Ben Aaronovitch—These books have been something of a guilty pleasure. Over the past few months I have read the first six novels and thoroughly enjoyed them. Ben Aaronovitch blends police procedural and contemporary fantasy. With a nod to Douglas Adams, Jasper Fforde and J K Rowling these plot driven tales are great entertainment. David M: The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey— A medieval mystery, as the blurbs say. But much more than just that. Cleverly structured and convincingly involved with the lives of the people, the beliefs and the world view of the time, this novel has at its heart crimes and failures which are as profoundly significant today as they were then. Only now it’s not just a single village we’re talking about. Andrew: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo— This book—a work of non-fiction due for publication next month—has a massive buzz about it. From Leigh Sales to Elizabeth Gilbert, it seems it could well prove to be the book one needs to have an opinion on this year. And, well, I don’t quite have an opinion... yet. Basically it is the emotional and sexual lives of three women—broken up and then interwoven chapter by chapter—portrayed by Taddeo with an almost shocking vociferousness. She has no qualms about projecting herself into the point of view of these women; she gets under their skin more readily than one could imagine possible. Whilst it is bound to polarise readers, what lifts the book well above being a sensational pot boiler is that Taddeo writes exceptionally, startlingly, well. I am not far in but I have found myself in equal measure both transfixed and discomforted.

Victoria: Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli is a multilayered story: A family of four on a road trip from New York to Arizona in search of the history of the Apaches. On this road trip, the family pack seven archive boxes with their favourite or important things— which reveal themselves throughout the book. Alongside this story of family dynamics is the story of thousands of Mexican children being smuggled across the US border which is being documented by one of the parents. Fascinating novel and extremely well written. I have not read Luiselli before—and Lost Children makes me want to read more.

Performing Arts

Johnny B. Bad: Chuck Berry and the Making of Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll by Stephanie Bennett

Thirty years ago, Chuck Berry starred in the seminal music documentary Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock ’N’ Roll, which profiled the legend during a star-studded concert celebrating his sixtieth birthday. Now, on the heels of Berry’s death, comes the complete story behind one of America’s most enduring and embattled icons. Compiled as an oral history by the film’s producer, Stephanie Bennett, Johnny B. Bad combines interviews from the film’s participants, including its music director—Keith Richards. These unique interviews and accounts paint a vivid and multifaceted picture of the artist. ($40, PB)

A Seat at the Table: Interviews with Women on the Frontline of Music by Amy Raphael ($33, PB) In 1995’s Never Mind the Bollocks: Women Rewrite Rock writer and critic Amy Raphael interviewed 12 female musicians, from Courtney Love to Kim Gordon, from Bjork to Kristin Hersh. As Debbie Harry wrote in the foreword, each artist’s life was ‘so different and similar and intriguing.’ More than 2 decades on, Raphael asks a group of contemporary female musicians to tell their stories, from Kate Tempest to Maggie Rogers, from Christine and the Queens to Ibeyi.

CSNY: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young by Peter Doggett ($40, HB)

1969 to 1974 were true golden years of rock n’ roll, bookmarking an era of arguably unparalleled musical power and innovation. But even more than any of their eminent peers, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young channelled & broadcast all the radical anger, romantic idealism & generational angst of their time. The vast emotional range of their music, from delicate acoustic confessionals to raucous counter-culture anthems, was mirrored in the turbulence of their personal lives. Their trademark may have been vocal harmony, but few-if any-of their contemporaries could match the recklessness of their hedonistic and often combative lifestyles, when the four tenacious, volatile, and prodigal songwriters pursued chemical and sexual pleasure to life-threatening extremes. Including full colour photographs, CSNY chronicles these four iconic musicians and the movement they came to represent, concentrating on their prime as a collective unit and a cultural force: the years between 1969, when Woodstock telegraphed their arrival to the world, and 1974, when their arch-enemy Richard Nixon was driven from office, and the band (to quote Graham Nash himself) ‘lost it on the highway’.

Now in B Format Chopin’s Piano: A Journey through Romanticism by Paul Kildea, $23

what we're reading

Jonathon: Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead—A book about facing the ghosts in our past; what we want to but cannot forget. Whitehead fictionalises the true story of a Florida juvenile prison during the US civil rights era, showing the brutality inflicted on children there and tracing its consequences decades later. He powerfully contrasts the idealism of those inspired by MLK with the pragmatism of those not yet ready to trust hope. I particularly enjoyed his snapshots of New York City and the way he ends this story—somewhere between sweet and bitter. (due in July) Stef: I Built No Schools in Kenya, A Year of Unmitigated Madness by Kirsten Drysdale—is a surprising and often laugh out loud tale of how Kirsten Drysdale found herself caring for an elderly white man with dementia, in Nairobi, Kenya. At times you wonder who has really lost the plot - Walt, the dementia suffere; Marguerite, Walt’s 2nd wife, who is seen as a threat by her step-daughter; or Fiona, Walt’s daughter, micromanaging Walts’ care from her home in the UK. Not to mention the carers, who have to manage every minute of Walt’s waking day—from arranging his clothes in reverse order to help him get dressed to substituting Ribena in the wine bottle so Walt can still enjoy a glass of wine with his meals. As Walt’s dementia worsens the Symth household more isolated and more crazy. Kirsten finds herself on a crash course on managing dementia and toxic family dynamics; and observing British Colonialism and the social and racial attitudes of the master of the household; and discovering a deep affinity to Africa.

Then It Fell Apart by Moby ($30, PB)

In summer 1999, Moby released the album that defined the millennium, PLAY. Like generation-defining albums before it, PLAY was ubiquitous, and catapulted Moby to superstardom. Suddenly he was hanging out with David Bowie and Lou Reed, Christina Ricci and Madonna, taking ecstasy for breakfast (most days), drinking litres of vodka (every day), and sleeping with super models (infrequently). It was a diet that couldn’t last. And then it fell apart. The second volume of Moby’s memoir is a classic about the banality of fame—shocking, riotously entertaining, extreme, and unforgiving.

The Persuasive Actor: Rhetorical Power on the Contemporary Stage by Milan Dragicevich

‘A must-have for all actors who encounter speeches that are longer than 3 sentences. On the surface, that would be classic works from Sophocles through Shakespeare—with the 17th & 18th centuries thrown in. Dig deeper & the book’s value to actors of modern & contemporary drama is inescapable. Ibsen, Shaw, Williams, Miller, Shepard, Wilson, Kushner & Suzan-Lori Parks all wrote plays that are filled with powerful rhetorical devices that demand lively, thorough & specific consideration. This book is a guide that unfolds the mysteries of classical rhetoric in a clear, concise & effective manner, a book for speakers who want to move their audiences. It is aimed at actors, but also belongs on the shelf of lawyers, advertising copywriters, and, of course, public officials.’­— Leslie Reidel, Department of Theatre, Uni of Delaware ($24.95, PB)

Preston Sturges by Nick Smedley & Tom Sturges

Few directors of the 1930s & 40s were as distinctive & popular as Preston Sturges. This book offers a new critical appreciation of Sturges’ whole oeuvre, closing with a detailed study of his life from 1949 until his death in 1959. Nick Smedley details the many unfinished projects of Sturges’ last decade, including films, plays, TV series & his autobiography by drawing on diaries, sketchbooks, correspondence, unpublished screenplays, Smedley presents Sturges’ final years in great detail, showing a master still at work—even if very little of that work ultimately made it to the screen. ($87, PB)

Wild and Crazy Guys by Nick de Semlyen ($33, PB)

An Easy Riders, Raging Bulls for the 80s comedy scene, Wild & Crazy Guys chronicles the off-screen, larger-than-life antics of Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, John Candy et al. It’s got drugs, sex, punch-ups, webbed toes and Bill Murray being pushed into a swimming pool by Hunter S. Thompson, while tied to a lawn chair. Using candid interviews from the stars themselves, as well as those who entered their orbit, Nick de Semlyen takes a trip through the tumultous 80s—the friendships, feuds, triumphs & disasters experienced by these iconic funnymen.


Editor & desktop publisher Viki Dun vikid@gleebooks.com.au Printed by Access Print Solutions


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is a publication of Gleebooks Pty. Ltd. 49 & 191 Glebe Point Rd, (P.O. Box 486 Glebe NSW 2037 Ph: (02) 9660 2333 Fax: (02) 9660 3597 books@gleebooks.com.au


The gleebooks gleaner is published monthly from February to November with contributions by staff, invited readers & writers. ISSSN: 1325 - 9288 Feedback & book reviews are welcome

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Best at the Fest 2019 1. Boy Swallows Universe

Trent Dalton

2. No Friend But the Mountains

Behrouz Boochani

3. Lanny

Max Porter

4. Less: A Novel

Andrew Sean Greer

5. How to Lose a Country: The 7 Steps from

Democracy to Dictatorship

Ece Temelkuran

6. Grief is the Thing with Feathers

Max Porter

7. The Runaways

Fatima Bhutto

8. The Female Persuasion

Meg Wolitzer

9. Australia Day

Stan Grant

10. Wordy

11. Woo’s Wonderful World of Maths 12. The Beekeeper of Sinjar

Simon Schama Eddie Woo Mikhail Dunya

13. Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire


14. Go, Went, Gone

Jenny Erpenbeck

15. The Mars Room

Rachel Kushner

16. Friday Black

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

17. Godspeed

Casey Legler

18. The Library Book

Susan Orlean

19. My Sister, the Serial Killer

Oyinkan Braithwaite

20. Any Ordinary Day

Leigh Sales

21. Everything Under

Daisy Johnson

22. Orchid & the Wasp

Caoilinn Hughes

23. Bridge of Clay

Markus Zusak

24. Growing Up African in Australia

(ed) Maxine Beneba Clarke

25. Machines Like Me

Ian McEwan

26. Lot: Stories

Bryan Washington

27. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

Alexander Chee

28. Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower 29. Stop Being Reasonable

For more June new releases go to:

Brittney Cooper Eleanor Gordon Smith

30. The Little Girl on the Ice Floe


and another thing.....

I’ve recently moved my ‘desktop’ back to the shop as opposed to beavering away at home alone, as I have done for the last 10 years. It’s been a pleasant change—apart from the wonder of clearly defined weekends, it’s been great to have the occasional conversation with our readership, and to hear the odd rumour running about the shop. For example, just now there was a discussion about the ever-disappearing release date of Hilary Mantel’s final installment of her Thomas Cromwell series, The Mirror and the Light. I’ve been disappointed so often I’ve stopped googling to see if there’s any news. Oh faithless one! According to the exchange down the back at Gleebooks, Harper Collins have given a definite release date of March 2020—the first words are: ‘So now get up’. According to a Guardian article: ... in response to questions about the years between the second and third instalments, Mantel said the expectations of her readers were slowing her down. ‘People ask me if I’m having trouble killing off Thomas Cromwell. No, why would I?’—which puts the kibosh on my theory about the wait. Fingers crossed, the Cromwell drought is nearly over. Not so, it would seem, if you’re waiting for the next in George R R Martin’s Fire and Ice series. Winds of Winter and the projected last of the 7 volumes (which apparently began life as a short story), A Dream of Spring are still on the writer’s block. Says Martin: The show has achieved such popularity around the world, the books have been so popular and so well reviewed, that every time I sit down I’m very conscious I have to do something great, and trying to do something great is a considerable weight to bear ... On the other hand, once I really get rolling, I get into the world. The rest of the world vanishes, and I don’t care what I’m having for dinner, what movies are on, what my email says or who’s mad at me this week because The Winds of Winter isn’t out. Perhaps now the show has been brought to a close he’ll be able to get in the zone. Mantel has similar complaints about the pressure brought to bear by fans, although I think Martin’s fans are less polite. At one point Neil Gaiman came to his defence, pronouncing to an angry Martin reader online: ‘George RR Martin is not your bitch’. After a not so stellar end to the TV series I do hope quietly—no pressure—that­Winds of Winter does eventually surface (and March 2020 for Cromwell isn’t another tease.). Viki

Adelaide Bon

Main shop—49 Glebe Pt Rd; Ph: (02) 9660 2333, Fax: (02) 9660 3597. Open 7 days, 9am to 9m Thur–Sat; 9am to 7pm Sun–Wed Sydney Theatre Shop—22 Hickson Rd Walsh Bay; Open two hours before and until after every performance Blackheath—Shop 1 Collier’s Arcade, Govetts Leap Rd; Ph: (02) 4787 6340. Open 7 days, 9am to 6pm Blackheath Oldbooks—Collier’s Arcade, Govetts Leap Rd: Open 7 days 10am to 5pm Dulwich Hill—536 Marrickville Rd Dulwich Hill; Ph: (02) 9560 0660. Open 7 days, Tue–Sat 9am to 7pm; Sun–Mon 9 to 5 www.gleebooks.com.au. Email: books@gleebooks.com.au; oldbooks@gleebooks.com.au

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Gleaner June 2019  

Gleaner June 2019  

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