gleaner Vol. 28 No. 3 June/July 2021
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Upstairs at 49 Glebe Pt Rd Sydney’s Finest Literary Events Programme 1
What I've been reading
George Saunders A Swim in the Pond in the Rain is on face value about as far removed from the idiosyncratic brilliance of that tour de force Lincolnasinyou theread Bardo could be imagined. It'srecuperating full of ficI’m on holidays this,astravelling, relaxing and tion, not his, ratherWriters’ short stories of 19th century Russian Masters, after but a hectic Sydney Festival. The outstanding memory most Chekhov, Tolstoy, andaccount, Gogol. And Saunders withfor us compelling in everyTurgenev aspect of her especially in hershares sympathy the joy bereaved family.the There’s question thatdecades this is yet another death of teaching art of little fiction from his of teaching writof mentally ill person whichstories didn’t to have to happen, Wild so inga at Syracuse, using these show how it'sbut done bycovers the best. much, care and sensitivity, that webest are left in no doubtwritthat Apart with fromsuch a chance to deep re-read some of the short fiction everyone, us included, is a victim a anisimperfect health and policing ten, the wonder of A Swim in the of Pond the forensic intelligence on system. show in Saunders' exquisitely close reading of 'the Masters' at work. David An intriguing look at how great works of literature might have been written. I have been a big fan of Jhumpa Lahiiri since her brilliant Interpreter of Maladies, which won the Pulitzer about twenty years ago. Her newest fiction, Whereabouts is a curious beast—an almost novella length series of vignettes through the eyes of an intensely internally focused narrator. We know little about her, other than that she is a University teacher in her 40s—not a lot of facts about her, or the people who pass through her life in these brief chapters. Lahiri is an exceptionally perceptive writer, and a background which has Indian heritage and a couple of decades in New England before her recent 'settling' in Italy gives her a deft and sure sense of outsider perspective. It gives her writing an originality, here sharpened by the startling fact that she has written in Italian, her third language, and then translated herself into English. That of itself doesn’t make it any more worth reading; in fact her rather abstract conjectures about the characters her narrator confronts in Whereabouts are what I found intensely interesting. On a different tack entirely, I'd recommend the latest offering of the brilliantly eclectic Gideon Haigh: The Brilliant Boy: Doc Evatt and the Great Australian Dissent. There have been plenty of biographies of Evatt, but Haigh's approach is a new one. He gives us a fascinating perspective on how our High Court, indeed how our legal system, operated in its first half century, through the activities of Evatt, its youngest ever appointee. He was a remarkable jurist, and Haigh's attention to his 'dissenting' judgements give us a rich insight into Evatt's extraordinary legal intelligence and breadth of understanding, The significance of his contribution to a genuine humanising of laws around negligence, for instance, can't be overstated. The Brilliant Boy was a fascinating discovery for me. David Gaunt
Australian Literature Literature Now That I See You by Emma Batchelor ($30, PB) The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award winner
Something was wrong, she knew it, but she was entirely unprepared for what he would tell her. Viewed through the lens of a relationship breakdown after one partner discloses to the other that they are transgender, this autofiction spans eighteen months: from the moments of first discovery, through the eventual disintegration of their partnership, to the new beginnings of independence. In diaries and letters, Now That I See You unfolds a love story that, while often messy and uncomfortable, is a poignant and personal exploration of identity, gender, love and grief.
The Other Half of You by Michael Mohammed Ahmad ($33, PB)
Bani Adam has known all his life what was expected of him. To marry the right kind of girl. To make the House of Adam proud. But Bani wanted more than this—he wanted to make his own choices. Being the first in his Australian Muslim family to go to university, he could see a different way. Years later, Bani will write his story to his son, Kahlil. Telling him of the choices that were made on Bani’s behalf and those that he made for himself. Of the hurt he caused and the heartache he carries. Of the mistakes he made and the lessons he learned. In this moving novel, Michael Mohammed Ahmad balances the complexities of modern love with the demands of family, tradition & faith.
The Tulip Tree by Suzanne McCourt ($33, PB)
Brothers Henryk & Adam Radecki's relationship is one of fraught love & jealously. Henryk, unhappily married, becomes a rich & successful industrialist, while Adi, a devoted vet, finds & loses love. Their bond is tested throughout their lives, from the 1920s, against the background of Poland's tragic & tumultuous relationship with Russia, through war, revolution & invasion, until 1954 in the Snowy Mountains of Australia. Adi's wife & son are at the heart of this riveting tale, in which family secrets threaten to tear lives apart.
Secrets My Father Kept by Rachel Givney ($33, PB)
It’s February 1939. As the Führer edges towards an invasion of Poland, total war looms in Europe. However in Krakow, 17-year-old Marie Karska’s primary concern is the unexplained disappearance of her mother 15 years ago, and her father Dominik’s unbreakable silence on the matter. Dominik, a well-respected doctor at the local hospital, has devoted his life to caring for his only daughter. Yet a black fear haunts him—and with German troops now marching to the border, he needs to find her a husband. One who will protect her when he no longer can. But Marie has already met the man she wants to marry—her childhood friend Ben. She’s determined that his Jewish faith won’t stand in the way of their future together. And nor will her father’s refusal to explain the past stop her from unpicking his darkest secret.
After Story by Larissa Behrendt ($33, PB)
Two Steps Onward by Graeme Simsion & Anne Buist ($33, PB)
3 years after life got in the way of their long-distance relationship, Californian illustrator Zoe & English engineer Martin reunite to follow in the footsteps of pilgrims in Europe—this time, on the less-travelled Chemin d'Assise & Via Francigena to Rome, the mountainous path down from rural France. And rather than each setting off solo, they will accompany Zoe's old friend Camille-who, despite her terminal illness, insists she will walk the whole 1600 kilometres to seek an audience with the Pope, and her not-so-ex-husband, Gilbert, who sees the trip as a gourmet tour. Then Bernhard, Martin's young nemesis Bernhard, shows up, along with Martin's daughter, Sarah, who doesn't exactly hit it off with Zoe.
She Is Haunted by Paige Clark ($30, PB)
A mother cuts her daughter's hair because her own starts falling out. A woman leaves her boyfriend because he reminds her of a corpse; another undergoes brain surgery to try to live more comfortably in higher temperatures. A widow physically transforms into her husband so that she does not have to grieve. With piercing insights into transnational Asian identity, intergenerational trauma and grief, the dynamics of mother-daughter relationships, the inexplicable oddities of female friendship, and the love of a good dog, Paige Clark has crafted an exquisite, moving and sophisticated debut work of fiction.
When Indigenous lawyer Jasmine decides to take her mother Della on a tour of England's most revered literary sites, Jasmine hopes it will bring them closer together & help them reconcile the past. 25 years earlier the disappearance of Jasmine's older sister devastated their tight-knit community. This tragedy returns to haunt Jasmine & Della when another child mysteriously goes missing on Hampstead Heath. As Jasmine immerses herself in the world of her literary idols—including Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters & Virginia Woolf—Della is inspired to rediscover the wisdom of her own culture & storytelling. But sometimes the stories that are not told can become too great to bear.
The Rabbits by Sophie Overett ($33, PB)
How do you make sense of the loss of those you love most? Delia Rabbit has asked herself this question over and over again since the disappearance of her older sister, Bo. Crippled by grief, Delia & her mother became dysfunctional, parting ways not long after Delia turned 18. Now an art teacher at a QLD college, Delia has managed to build a new life for herself & to create a family of her own. But her partner, Ed, has gone, her daughter, Olive, is distancing herself, and, all of a sudden, in the middle of a blinding heatwave, her 16-year-old son, Charlie, disappears too. Suddenly what was buried feels close to the surface, and the Rabbits are faced not only with each other, but also with themselves.
Dear Ibis by Kate Liston-Mills ($25, PB)
Dear Ibis is a tender yet unflinching meditation on what it means to feel at home, and what it means to have this taken away. Set in New South Wales’ lush South Coast against the backdrop of the 2019–20 bushfires come stories of birth and death, disability and resilience, colonial greed and moral reckonings. Infused with lyrical prose, vast coastal backdrop and a vividly realised cast of characters, Dear Ibis is a letter for anyone feeling unmoored trying to find their way back to shore.
One Hundred Days by Alice Pung ($33, PB)
In a heady whirlwind of independence, lust & defiance, 16-old Karuna falls pregnant. Not on purpose, but not entirely by accident, either. Incensed, Karuna's mother, already over-protective, confines her to their 14th-storey housing-commission flat, to keep her safe from the outside world—and make sure she can't get into any more trouble. Stuck inside for endless hours, Karuna battles her mother & herself for a sense of power in her own life, as a new life forms & grows within her. As the due date draws ever closer, the question of who will get to raise the baby—who it will call Mum—festers between them.
All That I Remember About Dean Cola by Tania Chandler ($33, PB)
Sidney is happily married to her firefighter husband & thinking about having a child, but her life has been marred by psychotic breakdowns. Haunted by memories of Dean Cola—the teenage crush who is an essential piece of the puzzle that is her past—she returns to the town where she grew up. Something unthinkable happened there, but is she strong enough to face it? A compelling portrait of mental illness, memory & the ways that the years when we 'come of age' can be twisted into trauma.
We Were Not Men by Campbell Mattinson ($33, PB)
Love for nine-year-old twin brothers Jon and Eden Hardacre is simple. Their mum, the creek that they swim in, each other—this is the love that they trust, love as clear and pure as sunlight, as honey, as water. But then there's a terrible accident. And in its wake, they develop a desperation—a yearning—to outgrow tragedy. They get older, compete with each other, fall in love with the same girl, and begin to realise that their lives—and who they love—demand something more. Something deeper. A powerhouse novel about how sometimes, distracted by life, ambition or attraction, we take love for granted until it's too late—or almost too late.
The Covered Wife by Lisa Emanuel ($30, PB)
Sarah is a smart, young lawyer working endless hours when she falls head over heels for Daniel. When Daniel introduces her to a charismatic young couple, Rabbi Menachem Lev & his wife, Chani, despite herself, Sarah is drawn in by their progressive beachside synagogue and the song, feasting and friendship that come with it. By the time she and Daniel move to the Jamison Valley with the other believers, Sarah can't imagine life without the joy, meaning and love they've discovered. 4 years on, as the community celebrates the wedding of a beautiful young convert & a much older divorcee, a series of terrifying truths emerges that tear Sarah's world apart, and cause her to question everything her faith, her marriage and her future.
Small Acts of Defiance by Michelle Wright ($30, PB)
May, 1940: After a bitter tragedy, young Australian woman Lucie & her French mother Yvonne are forced to leave home & seek help from the only family they have left-Lucie's Uncle Gerard. As WW2 engulfs Europe, the 2 women find themselves trapped in Germanoccupied Paris, sharing a cramped apartment with the authoritarian Gerard & his extremist views. Drawing upon her artistic talents, Lucie risks her own safety to engage in small acts of defiance against the occupying forces & the collaborationist French regime, where the authorities reward French citizens for denouncing socalled 'traitors' in their community. Faced with the escalating brutality of anti-Jewish measures, and the indifference of so many of her fellow Parisians, Lucie must decide how far she will go to defend the rights of others.
l l i H ’ D On
In a meeting with a sales rep recently, he gave me a letter to read from a debut author. It's not an uncommon marketing tool for authors to address booksellers in this way. The author wrote that she had been working in an advertising agency and was dating the boss. He offered her a promotion which she rejected as she wanted to write her book, so he 'kindly' fired her, meaning she could get unemployment benefits for 12 months. Presumably if she had resigned she would get nothing. I found this bald admission of cheating her (US) government refreshingly honest. The same rep also showed me a photographic book of the Black Summer fires, a book I suggested, was basically arsonist's porn. I didn't order it in. I read two gorgeous books this month, one after the other, by two of my favourite writers. What a treat. Second Place by Rachel Cusk is a short, simple story about a women who invites a famous painter to come and stay in the 'second place' she and her husband have on their property somewhere on the coast of England. Cusk's writing is superb and her insights into the human condition I find uncannily deep. She writes of one of the characters, 'She was like one of those climbing plants that has to grow over things and be held up by them, rather than possessing an integral support of her own.' Jhumpa Lahiri originally wrote her novel Whereabouts in Italian, then translated it into English herself. In her memoir, In Other Words, which appeared a few years ago, Lahiri recounted how she learnt Italian, then took her family (from America) to live in Italy for a year where she only spoke and wrote in Italian. Then this Bengali-American wrote a novel in Italian. It is a beautiful book told in small vignettes, about a prickly middle-aged, single woman academic. Nothing much happens and though we know the setting is a town in Italy, we are never told where exactly, and this sense of being neither here nor there, is what makes this book utterly beguiling. I have started reading Fault Lines, a debut novel by a Emily Itami, a Japanese writer who lives in England. It's a contemporary novel about a Tokyo housewife who embarks on an affair. It seems Itami has written this book in English as no translator is credited. I mention this because the very modern, colloquial style Itami uses is oddly jarring in the Japanese setting, but it kind of works as well and I'm enjoying this short, funny book very much. Having heard so many people raving about it, I finally got around to reading Apeirogon by Colum McCann—an Irishman writing about the Middle East. It's so outstandingly brilliant I won't even attempt to review it. As I write, the Israelis and Palestinians are killing each other again. It seems so far away, so abstract, until you read this book—and weep. See you on D’Hill, Morgan
The Shut Ins by Katherine Brabon ($30, PB)
Mai & Hikaru went to school together in the city of Nagoya, until Hikaru disappeared when they were 18. 10 years later Mai runs into Hikaru's mother & learns he has been a hikikomori, a recluse unable to leave his bedroom for years. His mother hires Mai as a 'rental sister', to write letters to Hikaru & encourage him to leave his room. Mai is recently married to J, a conservative, devoted salaryman. The renewed contact with Hikaru stirs Mai's feelings of invisibility within her marriage. She knows she will never fulfill J's obsession with the perfect wife & mother. What else is there for Mai to do but to disappear herself?
Pietà by Michael Fitzgerald ($30, PB)
These are the last days of 1999. At St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Lucy, a young Australian woman looks up at Michelangelo’s Pietà behind its pane of bullet-proof glass—she bears a parcel her recently deceased mother asked her to bring to the box marked POSTE VATICANE. Before Rome Lucy was working as an au pair on the outskirts of Paris for Jean-Claude Mathilde. When Mathilde leaves for Central Australia to research the Aboriginal artist Kumanjayi, Lucy’s circle of contacts contracts to Jean-Claude, the baby Felix & the couple’s charismatic friend Sébastien, a marble restorer. Lucy’s homesickness for Australia & its vastness surfaces in the memories of her mother & Mathilde’s letters from Alice Springs. Lucy’s mother, Jude, who was a nun in the 1970s, once warned her daughter ‘to be careful what she wished for’. It is a caution that marks but rarely alters the choices these characters make.
The Bride of Almond Tree by Robert Hillman
WW II is over & Hiroshima lies in a heap of poisoned rubble when young Quaker Wesley Cunningham returns home to Almond Tree intending to build beautiful houses & to marry his neighbour's daughter Beth Hardy. But Beth has other plans. An ardent socialist, she is convinced the Party & Stalin's Soviet Union hold the answers to all the world's evils. She doesn't believe in marriage, and in any case she is devoted to the cause. But Wes will not stop loving her. This is the story of their journey through the catastrophic mid-20th century— from summer in Almond Tree to Moscow's bitter winter & back again—to find a way of being together. ($33, PB)
Locust Summer by David Allan-Petale ($30, PB)
On the cusp of summer, 1986, Rowan Brockman's mother asks if he can come home to Septimus in the Western Australian Wheatbelt to help with the harvest. Rowan's brother Albert, the natural heir to the farm, has died & Rowan's dad's health is failing. Although he longs to, there is no way that Rowan can refuse his mother's request as she prepares the farm for sale. This is the story of the final harvest—the story of a young man in a place he doesn't want to be, being given one last chance to make peace before the past, and those he has loved, disappear.
International Inte rnational Literature Still Life by Sarah Winman ($33, PB)
1944, in the ruined wine cellar of a Tuscan villa, as bombs fall around them, two strangers meet & share an extraordinary evening. Ulysses Temper is a young British soldier, Evelyn Skinner is a sexagenarian art historian & possible spy. She has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the wreckage & relive memories of the time she encountered EM Forster & had her heart stolen by an Italian maid in a particular Florentine room with a view. Evelyn's talk of truth & beauty plants a seed in Ulysses' mind that will shape the trajectory of his life—and of those who love him—for the next four decades.
Should We Stay Or Should We Go by Lionel Shriver
When her father dies, Kay Wilkinson can't cry. Over ten years, Alzheimer's had steadily eroded this erudite man. Both healthy & vital medical professionals in their early 50s, Kay & her husband Cyril are determined to die with dignity. Cyril proposes they should agree to commit suicide together once they've both turned 80. That's in 1991, when the spouses are blithely looking forward to another 3 decades together. But then they turn 80. By turns playful & grave, Shrivers new novel portrays 12 parallel universes, each exploring a possible future for Kay & Cyril—from a purgatorial Cuckoo's-Nest-style retirement home to the discovery of a cure for ageing, from cryogenic preservation to the unexpected pleasures of dementia. ($30, PB)
Animal by Lisa Taddeo ($33, PB)
At 36, Joan knows more than most of the price of pleasure, the quotidian horror of being a woman at the mercy of a man. She knows men, too their penchant for cruelty, the violence she has absorbed over decades that now threatens to burst from her own hands. Reeling from the public suicide of a former lover, Joan abandons her apartment in New York & drives west for California, in search of the one person who might help her unravel the past. It's here, consumed by a familial trauma that slips through the generations, that she finds herself part of a disparate LA community, while coyotes roam the sweltering hills above the city, poised for the scent of fresh blood.
Mrs England by Stacey Halls ($30, PB)
With Teeth by Kristen Arnett ($30, PB)
Sammie Lucas is scared of her son. Working from home in the close quarters of their Florida house, she lives with one wary eye peeled on Samson, a sullen, unknowable boy who resists her every attempt to bond with him. Uncertain in her own feelings about motherhood, she tries her best—driving, cleaning, cooking, prodding him to finish projects for school—while growing increasingly resentful of Monika, her absent wife. As Samson grows from feral toddler to surly teenager, Sammie's life begins to deteriorate into a mess of unruly behaviour, and her struggle to create a picture-perfect queer family unravels. When her son's hostility finally spills over into physical aggression, Sammie must confront her role in the mess—and the possibility that it will never be clean again. A candid take on queer family dynamics, With Teeth is a thought-provoking portrait of the delicate fabric of family
Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo ($33, PB)
Anna grew up in England with her white mother & knowing very little about her African father. In middle age, after separating from her husband & with her daughter all grown up, she finds herself alone & wondering who she really is. Her mother's death leads her to find her father's student diaries, chronicling his involvement in radical politics in 1970s London. She discovers that he eventually became the president—some would say the dictator—of Bamana in West Africa. It also turns out that he is still alive. She decides to track him down and so begins a funny, painful, fascinating journey, and an exploration of race, identity & what we pass on to our children.
Las Biuty Queens by Ivan Monalisa Ojeda ($33, PB)
Las Biuty Queens: a group of trans Latinx immigrant friends who walk the streets of New York, smoke crystal meth, compete in beauty contests, look for clients on their impossibly high heels & fall prey to increasingly cruel immigration policies. In these stories Chilean writer Ivan Monalisa Ojeda draws from his/her own perspective as a trans performer, sex worker & undocumented immigrant, to shine a light on a group of friends trying to survive the dark side of the American Dream.
Brood by Jackie Polzin ($33, PB)
Meet Gloria, Gam Gam, Darkness, Miss Hennepin County, and their unlikely owner. Over the course of a single year, our grieving, nameless narrator heroically tries to keep her small brood of four chickens alive despite the seemingly endless challenges that caring for another creature entails. From the freezing nights of a brutal winter to a sweltering summer which brings a surprise tornado, she battles predators, bad luck, and the uncertainty of a future that may not look anything like the one she always imagined.
West Yorkshire, 1904. Newly graduated nurse Ruby May takes a position looking after the children of Charles & Lilian England, a wealthy couple from a powerful dynasty of mill owners. But as she adapts to life at the isolated Hardcastle House, it becomes clear there's something not quite right about the beautiful, mysterious Mrs England.Ostracised by the servants & feeling increasingly uneasy, Ruby is forced to confront her own demons in order to prevent history from repeating itself. After all, there's no such thing as the perfect family—and she should know. Simmering with slow-burning menace, Mrs England is a portrait of an Edwardian marriage, weaving an enthralling story of men & women, power and control, and the very darkest deception.
The High House by Jessie Greengrass ($28, PB)
Francesca is Caro's stepmother, and Pauly's mother. A scientist, she can see what is going to happen. The high house was once her holiday home; she has turned it into an ark, for when the time comes. The mill powers the generator; the orchard is carefully pruned; the greenhouse has all its glass intact. Almost a family, but not quite, they plant, store seed, and watch the weather carefully. Jessie Greengrass explores how we get used to change that once seemed unthinkable, how we place the needs of our families against the needs of others—and it asks who, if we had to, we would save.
Heaven by Mieko Kawakami ($33, PB) Mieko Kawakami's new novel is told in the voice of a 14-year-old student subjected to relentless torment for having a lazy eye. Instead of resisting, the boy suffers in complete resignation. The only person who understands what he is going through is a female classmate who suffers similar treatment at the hands of her tormenters. The young friends meet in secret in the hopes of avoiding any further attention and take solace in each other's company, completely unaware that their relationship has not gone unnoticed by their bullies. In this profound new work Kawakami asks us to question the fate of the meek in a society that favours the strong, and the lengths that even children will go in their learned cruelty. The Memory Monster by Yishai Sarid ($35, HB)
Written as a report to the chairman Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, our unnamed narrator recounts his own undoing. A diligent historian, he soon becomes a leading expert on Nazi methods of extermination at concentration camps in Poland during World War II, and guides tours through the sites for students and visiting dignitaries. Spending so much time immersed in death, his connections with the living begin to deteriorate. He resents the students lost in their iPhones, singing sentimental songs, not expressing sufficient outrage at the mass murder committed by the Nazis. In fact, he even begins to detect, in the students as well as himself, a hint of admiration for the murderers. How do we process human brutality? What makes us choose sides in conflict? And how do we honor the memory of horror without becoming consumed by it?
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid ($33, PB)
From the author of Daisy Jones & The Six. Malibu. August, 1983. It's the day of Nina Riva's annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas—Nina, the talented surfer & supermodel; brothers Jay & Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together, the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu & the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva. By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves & secrets that shaped this family's generations will all come bubbling to the surface.
The Promise by Damon Galgut ($33, PB)
With razor sharp characterisation this is a taut and menacing novel that charts the crash and burn of an Afrikaans family, the Swarts. The book is punctuated by funerals that bring the ever-diminishing family together, each of its four parts opening with a death and a new decade. As these decades are traversed, Damon Galgut interweaves the story of a disappointed nation from apartheid to Jacob Zuma.
Hard Like Water by Yan Lianke ($33, PB)
On his return to his hometown—and his wife—to aid the Cultural Revolution, soldier Aijun sees a young woman wandering barefoot along the railway tracks in the late-afternoon sun. Her name is Hongmei. Aijun & Hongmei hurl themselves into the town's revolutionary struggle, spending their days & nights stamping out feudalism, writing pamphlets & attending rallies. The party bosses are impressed by the pair's work. But soon their sexual & revolutionary fervour begin to merge, and the couple build a 'tunnel of love'—to further the revolution, of course, but also to connect their homes & create a 'nuptial chamber' for their secret rendezvous. But when Hongmei's husband finds them there one evening the couple are arrested for framing a comrade, and their dreams of a life together begin to fall apart.
We Are All Birds of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan
1960s UGANDA. Hasan struggles to keep his family business afloat following the sudden death of his wife. As he begins to put his shattered life back together, a new regime seizes power, and a wave of rising prejudice threatens to sweep away everything he has built. Present-day LONDON. Sameer, a young high-flying lawyer, senses an emptiness in what he thought was the life of his dreams. Called back to his family home by an unexpected tragedy, Sameer begins to find the missing pieces of himself not in his future plans, but in a heritage he never knew. Moving between two continents over a troubled century, this is an immensely resonant novel that explores racial tensions, generational divides and what it means to belong. ($33, PB)
Come Join Our Disease by Sam Byers ($35, HB)
Maya is homeless. When her site is razed by ruthless authorities, she's detained. But a tech company—angling to raise its philanthropic profile—offers her a job & a flat. With one caveat: Maya must document her inspiring progress on Instagram to show that anyone can be productive; perfect. Yet Maya realises that sickness is a kind of revolution. With other outcasts, she starts a movement: billboards promoting wellness are defaced all over London & her media feed is flooded with obscene, filthy images. Suddenly, questions arise about the forces unleashed: liberation & madness, protest & anarchy, rebellion & chaos.
Everyone Knows Your Mother Is A Witch by Rivka Galchen ($33, PB)
1618, in the German duchy of Württemberg. Plague is spreading. The Thirty Years' War has begun, and fear and suspicion are in the air throughout the Holy Roman Empire. In the small town of Leonberg, Katharina Kepler is accused of being a witch. Katharina is an illiterate widow, known by her neighbours for her herbal remedies and the success of her children, including her eldest, Johannes, who is the Imperial Mathematician and renowned author of the laws of planetary motion. It's enough to make anyone jealous, and Katharina has done herself no favors by being out and about and in everyone's business. So when the deranged and insipid Ursula Reinbold (or as Katharina calls her, the Werewolf) accuses Katharina of offering her a bitter, witchy drink that has made her ill, Katharina is in trouble.
Silence of the Chagos by Shenaz Patel ($28, PB)
With no explanation, no forewarning, and only an hour to pack their belongings, the entire population of Diego Garcia was forced on a boat headed to Mauritius. Government officials told Charlesia that the island was 'closed'; there was no going back for any of them. Charlesia longs for life on Diego Garcia, where she spent her days harvesting coconuts and her nights dancing to sega music. As she struggles to come to terms with the injustice of her new reality, Charlesia crosses paths with Desire, a young man born on the one-way journey to Mauritius. Desire has never set foot on Diego Garcia, but as Charlesia unfolds the dramatic story of their people, he learns of the home he never knew and of the life he might have had. With the Chagos' sovereignty currently being adjudicated by the UN this is an important exploration of the rights of individuals and a reckoning with displacement on a global scale.
Widespread Panic: Freddy Otash Confesses by James Ellroy ($33, PB)
Freddy Otash is the man in the know & the man to know in '0s L.A. A ex-L.A. cop on the skids, Freddy is now a sleazoid private eye, a shakedown artist, a pimp—and, most notably, the head strongarm goon for Confidential magazine. Confidential presaged the idiot internet—and delivered the dirt, the dish, the insidious ink and the scurrilous skank on the feckless foibles of misanthropic movie stars, sex-soiled socialites and potzo politicians. Freaky Freddy outs them all!
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
Between looking after her brother, working two low-paid jobs, and trying to take part-time college classes, Lynette is dangerously tired. Every penny she's earned for years, she's put into savings, trying to scrape together enough to take out a mortgage on the house she rents with her mother. Finally becoming a homeowner in their rapidly gentrifying Portland neighbourhood could offer Lynette the kind of freedoms she's never had. But, when the plan is derailed, Lynette must embark on a desperate odyssey of hope and anguish. ($28, PB)
Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge ($30, PB)
Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Brooklyn after the Civil War, Libertie Sampson was all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, planned for her go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie, drawn more to music than science, is hungry for something else—and she is constantly reminded that, unlike her mother who can pass, Libertie has skin that is too dark. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie & promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is subordinate to him & all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it—for herself & for generations to come.
The Walls Of Jericho by Rudolph Fisher
First published in 1928, this is the first novel by Harlem Renaissance man, Rudolph Fisher. When Black lawyer Fred Merrit purchases a house in the most exclusive white neighbourhood bordering Harlem, he has to hire the toughest removal firm in the area to help him get his belongings past the hostile neighbours. The removal men are Jinx Jenkins & Bubber Brown, who make the move anything but straightforward. This hilarious satire of jazz-age Harlem derides the walls people build around themselves—colour & class being chief among them. In their reactions to Merrit & to one another, the characters provide an unforgettable view of the social & philosophical scene of the times. This new edition includes Fisher's short story ‘One Month's Wages', which revisits Jinx and Bubber during the Depression when, down on their luck, one seeks to win money by gambling, the other by taking a job in a mortuary. ($23, PB)
The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade
It's Holy Week in the town of Las Penas, New Mexico, and 33-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla is to play Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his 15-year-old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep. Quade's book spans the baby's first year as 5 generations of the Padilla family converge: Amadeo's mother, Yolanda, reeling from a recent discovery; Angel's mother, whom Angel isn't speaking to; and Tio Tive, keeper of the family's history— bringing to life the struggles of her characters to parent children they may not be equipped to save. ($30, PB)
Medusa's Ankles: Selected Stories by A S Byatt
Mirrors shatter at the hairdressers when a middle-aged client explodes in rage. Snow dusts the warm body of a princess honing it into something sharp & frosted. Summer sunshine flickers on the face of a smiling child who may or may not be real. This volume celebrates the very best of A. S. Byatt's short fiction—peopled by artists, poets & fabulous creatures, from Ancient myth to an English sweet factory, a Chinese restaurant to a Mediterranean swimming pool, a Turkish bazaar to a fairytale palace. ($43, HB)
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
Before anyone else is awake, on a perfect August morning, Elle Bishop goes for a swim in the fresh water pond below 'The Paper Palace'—the gently decaying summer camp in the back woods of Cape Cod where her family has spent every summer for generations. She plunges into the freezing water to the shocking memory of the sudden passionate encounter she had the night before, up against the wall outside the house, as her husband and mother chatted to the dinner guests inside. So begins a story that unfolds over 24 hours and across 50 years, as decades of family legacies, love, lies, secrets, and one unspeakable incident in her childhood lead Elle to the precipice of a life-changing decision. ($33, PB)
The Spy who was left out in the Cold by Tim Tate ($35, PB)
Spring 1958—a mysterious individual believed to be high up in the Polish secret service began passing Soviet secrets to the West. His name was Michal Goleniewski & he remains one of the most important, least known & most misunderstood spies of the Cold War. His death is shrouded in mystery & he has been written out of the history of Cold War espionage. Tim Tate draws on a wealth of previouslyunpublished primary source documents to tell the dramatic true story of the best spy the west ever lost & how Goleniewski exposed hundreds of KGB agents operating undercover in the West; from George Blake & the 'Portland Spy Ring', to a senior Swedish Air Force & NATO officer & a traitor inside the Israeli government. The information he produced devastated intelligence services on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
The Mystery of the Parsee Lawyer by Shrabani Basu ($30, PB)
In the village of Great Wyrley near Birmingham, someone is mutilating horses. Someone is also sending threatening letters to the vicarage, where the vicar, Shahpur Edalji, is a Parsi convert to Christianity & the first Indian to have a parish in England. His son George has been a successful barrister, till he is improbably linked to & then prosecuted for the above crimes in a case that left many convinced that justice hadn't been served. When he is released early, his conviction still hanging over him, he turns to the one man he believes can clear his name—creator of the world's greatest detective. When he writes to Arthur Conan Doyle asking him to meet, Conan Doyle agrees. Basu's account of how Arthur Conan Doyle set about trying to get a pardon for Edalji is in itself a fine piece of detective work.
Gun to the Head by Keith Banks ($30, PB)
Keith Banks was a member of the QLD Police Force when not everyone with a badge could be trusted. After serving as an undercover cop & declining an opportunity to participate in a lucrative & totally corrupt enterprise, he found himself sidelined from the Drug Squad. In 1984 he was transferred to the Taringa Criminal Investigation Branch as a Detective Senior Constable. But he missed the adrenaline charge of his days as an undercover cop. He discovered that rush again when, ultimately, he became one of the first full-time members of the Tactical Response Group. This was challenging & dangerous work. Not only did Keith find himself facing off against some of Australia's most brutal criminals, but he also had to confront the demons of constantly living on the edge, of finding that fine line between good & bad where violence was normal.
The Devil You Know by Gwen Adshead
Gwen Adshead is a forensic psychiatrist & psychotherapist, you could say a student of evil. She has spent decades working with people who have caused horror and grief to others. In this book she tells horror stories, but also stories of change & recovery. Adshead reminds us that before destroying another life, those reviled as 'monsters' at Broadmoor were ordinary people with whom we shared, and continue to share, common ground. Through threedimensional case studies she restores humanity to these patients and in each story she shows how she and her patient try to gain some understanding of how their violence came to pass, what was going on in their mind at the time, and what might help them live more safely in the future. As well as exploring her patients' minds, Adshead examines her own learning curve & psychology—how she deals with revulsion & hopelessness, boundaries & personal risk—reveals the ethical dilemmas at the heart of her work. ($33, PB)
Blood in the Water by Silver D. Cameron
In June 2013, 3 upstanding citizens of a small town in Nova Scotia cold bloodedly murdered their neighbour, Phillip Boudreau. While out checking their lobster traps, two Landry cousins & skipper Dwayne Samson saw Boudreau yet again about to vandalize their lobster traps—costing them thousands of dollars out of their seasonal livelihood. One man took out a rifle & fired four shots at Boudreau, his body was never found. Boudreau was a small-time criminal who had terrorized & entertained Petit de Grat for two decades. He had been in prison for nearly half his adult life. The police & the Fisheries officers were frustrated, cowed, and hobbled by shrinking budgets, it seemed Boudreau would plague the village forever. Blood in the Water is a gripping story in a brilliantly drawn setting, about power and law, security and self-respect, and the nature of community. And at its heart is a disturbing question: are there times when taking the law into your own hands is not only understandable but the responsible thing to do? ($30, PB)
Island Reich by Jack Grimwood ($33, PB)
July 1940. Spurned by his government & fearing for his life, the Duke of Windsor flees to Portugal with the woman for whom he abdicated the throne, Wallis Simpson. A job goes wrong for ex-Tommy & safecracker Bill O'Hagan and he is forced to serve his country once more. Dropped on an occupied Channel Island without backup, Bill must crack an enemy safe and get its contents to safety. Failure will devastate any hope Britain has of winning the war. But with the layers of deception and intrigue drawing ever more tightly around them, Bill and the Duke both learn they aren't the only players in this game. And Berlin—which has the Duke in its own sights—is plotting its greatest move yet
American Sherlocks: Stories from the Golden Age of the American Detective (ed) Nick Rennison ($23, PB)
Between 1890 & 1920, American writers created dozens & dozens of crime-solvers. In this anthology, editor Nick Rennison gathers together 15 oft neglected tales to highlight American crime fiction's early years— featuring detectives including Professor Augustus SFX Van Dusen, 'The Thinking Machine', even more cerebral than Holmes; Craig Kennedy, the so-called 'scientific detective'; Uncle Abner, a shrewd backwoodsman in pre-Civil War Virginia; Violet Strange, New York debutante turned criminologist; and Nick Carter, the original pulp private eye..
Castle in the Air by Donald E. Westlake ($19, PB)
When 4 groups of international heist artists team up to pull off the theft of the century—stealing an entire castle, and the treasure secreted in its walls—what could possibly go wrong? Well, consider this: none of the master thieves speak each other's languages ... and no one knows precisely where the loot is stashed ... and every one of them wants to steal it all for him or herself. It's Westlake at his wildest, a breathless slapstick chase through the streets of France with the law in hot pursuit.
Sixteen Horses by Greg Buchanan ($33, PB)
Near the dying English seaside town of Ilmarsh, local police detective Alec Nichols discovers 16 horses’ heads on a farm, each buried with a single eye facing the low winter sun. After forensic veterinarian Cooper Allen travels to the scene, the investigators soon uncover evidence of a chain of disappearances, arson & mutilations—all culminating in the reveal of something deadly lurking in the ground itself. The town slips into panic & paranoia. Anyone could be a suspect. And as Cooper finds herself unable to leave town, Alec is stalked by an unseen threat. The two investigators race to uncover the truth behind these frightening and insidious mysteries—no matter the cost.
The Bombay Prince by Sujata Massey ($30, PB)
November, 1921. Edward VIII, Prince of Wales & future ruler of India, is arriving in Bombay to begin a 4-month tour. The Indian subcontinent is chafing under British rule, and India's only female lawyer, Perveen Mistry, isn't surprised when local unrest spirals into riots. But she's horrified by the death of Freny Cuttingmaster, an 18-year-old student who falls from a second-floor gallery just as the prince's grand procession is passing by her college. Freny had come for a legal consultation just days before her death, and what she confided makes Perveen suspect that her death was not an accident. When Freny's death is indeed ruled a murder, Perveen knows she can't rest until she sees justice done.
Nancy Business by R.W. R. McDonald ($30, PB)
It's been four months since Tippy, Uncle Pike and Devon were together for Christmas. Now back for the first anniversary of Tippy's father's death, the Nancys are reformed when Riverstone is rocked by an early morning explosion that kills three people and destroys the town hall. Is the accused bomber really guilty? Is there a second bomber? And if so, does that mean a threat to destroy Riverstone Bridge is real? And is asparagus a colour? Once again, it is up to the Nancys to go against the flow and ignore police orders to get to the truth.
The Newcomer by Laura Elizabeth Woollett ($33, PB)
In a hotel room on a sleepy Pacific island, Judy Novak waits. Her 29-year-old problem child Paulina is missing & when Paulina's body is discovered, Judy's worst fears seem confirmed. Only, Paulina didn't kill herself. She was murdered. So begins a thorny investigation, wherein every man on the island is a suspect yet none are as maligned as Paulinathe captivating newcomer known for her hard drinking, disastrous relationships, and habit of walking alone. Death won't stop Judy Novak from fighting for Paulina's life.
The Deep by Kyle Perry ($33, PB)
On the Tasman Peninsula, nestled amidst the largest sea-cliffs in the southern hemisphere, is Shacktown. Here the Dempsey family have run a drug ring for generations, using the fishing industry & the deadly Black Wind as cover. But when 13-year-old Forest Dempsey walks out of the ocean, bruised & branded, everything is at risk—because Forest has been presumed dead for the last 7 years. What happened to the boy all those years ago? And does it have anything to do with the infamous drug kingpin Blackbeard, who is rumoured to be moving in on Shacktown? With long-buried secrets washing up on shore, generations of Dempseys must stand up for what they believe in, even if it means sacrificing everything.
Still by Matt Nable ($33, PB)
Darwin, Summer, 1963. A body is dragged from the shallow marshland. Senior Constable Ned Potter doesn't know that this is only the first. Charlotte Clark drives the long way home—a 23-year-old housewife, married to a cowboy who wasn't who she thought he was. Stopping the car, she steps out to breathe, looking out over the water to the tangled mangroves. She never hears a sound before the hand was around her mouth. Both Charlotte & Ned are about to learn that the world they live in is full of secrets and that it takes courage to fight for what is right.
Digging Up Dirt by Pamela Hart ($30, PB)
When your builder finds bones under the floor of your heritage home, what do you do? For TV researcher Poppy McGowan, the first step is to find out if the bones are human. Dr Julieanne Weaver, archaeologist & political hopeful declares the bones evidence of a rare breed of fat-tailed sheep, and slaps a heritage order on the site. Enter handsome archaeologist, Tol Lang—Julieanne's boyfriend. When Julieanne is found murdered in Poppy's house, she & Tol are considered suspects—so Poppy investigates. Did Julieanne have enemies in the right-wing Australian Family Party or in the affiliated Radiant Joy Church? Or at the Museum of NSW? And who was her secret lover?
The Untameable by Guillermo Arriaga ($33, PB)
In Mexico City, Juan Guillermo has pledged vengeance. For his murdered brother, Carlos. For his parents, sentenced to death by their grief. But in 1960s Mexico justice is sold to the highest bidder, and the Catholic fanatics who killed Carlos are allied to Zunita, a corrupt and influential police commander. If he is to quench his thirst for revenge Juan Guillermo will have to answer his inner call of the wild and discover what links his destiny to a hunter on the other side of America.
The Plague Letters by V. L. Valentine ($30, PB)
London, 1665. Symon Patrick, rector of St. Paul's Covent Garden, joins a group of medical men who have gathered to find a cure for the plague, each man more peculiar & splenetic than the next. But there is another—unknown to The Society for the Prevention & Cure of Plague—who is performing his own terrible experiments upon unwilling plague-ridden subjects. It is Penelope, an unwanted addition to Symon's household, who may shed light on the matter. More than what she appears, she is on the hunt. But the dark presence that enters the houses of the sick will not stop, and has no mercy.
True Crime Story by Joseph Knox ($33, PB)
In the early hours of Saturday, December 17th, 2011, Zoe Nolan, a 19-year-old Manchester University student, walked out of a party taking place in the shared accommodation where she had been living for three months. She was never seen again. 'What happens to those girls who go missing? What happens to the Zoe Nolans of the world?' Blending fact and fiction in his first stand-alone novel, Joseph Knox delivers a thrilling true crime story like no other.
The Inside Man by James Phelps ($33, PB)
Riley Jax, convicted murderer. Once a promising engineer in the army, he lost everything in a single night when he killed a man an act he cannot remember. It's a devastating gap in an otherwise perfect memory. Now he's facing a new life, one behind bars, where he has to learn a whole different set of rules and only the toughest survive. And as a series of deadly bombings rocks the outside world, the only man who might be able to find the truth behind the conspiracy ... is on the inside.
The Dying Diplomats' Club by Matthew Benns
Wise-cracking, cocktail-swilling detective duo Nick Moore & his glamorous Italian wife, La Contessa, receive a last minute invitation from the PM to a dinner party at Kirribilli House on New Year's Eve. The guestlist includes several top diplomats, a casino billionaire, a dodgy bookie, a controversial doctor, a social media influencer and, of course, Nick & La Contessa's trusty beagle, Baxter. But a dramatic revelation from the PM sets off more fireworks inside than outside—and that's before the bodies start to pile up. As suspicion falls on some of the most powerful people in the country, the race is on. Can Nick & La Contessa solve the case before anyone else joins the dying diplomats' club? ($30, PB)
Street Cop by Robert Coover (ill) Art Spiegelman ($23, PB)
Robert Coover's detective novelette is set in a dystopian world of infectious 'living dead,' murderous robocops, aging street walkers, and walking streets. With drawings by Spiegelman, this short tale scrutinizes the arc of the American myth, exploring agency and the working of memory in a digital world. This is Spiegelman’s first release in over a decade and Coover’s only story to ever be illustrated. All in all, it is a shared meditation on the year that has passed, the state of the American psyche and the trajectory of contemporary experience.
Mirror Man by Fiona McIntosh ($33, PB)
Police are baffled by several bizarre deaths & Scotland Yard has sent the enigmatic DCI Jack Hawksworth to investigate & dismiss any plausibility of a serial killer before the media gets on the trail. Jack resorts to some unconventional methods— one involves a notorious serial killer from his past, and the other, a smart young journalist who'll do anything to catch her big break. Hawksworth discovers he's following the footsteps of a vigilante and in a race against time, Jack will do everything it takes to stop another killing—but at what personal cost for those he holds nearest & dearest?
While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams
When legendary Washington judge Justice Wynn falls into a coma and puts his law clerk, Avery, in control, Avery's world is turned upside down. Because Justice Wynn had a secret. One that nobody wants to come out… A life in the balance. As Wynn lies in hospital, Avery begins to unravel a sequence of clues, and realizes the puzzle will lead her directly into danger. A showdown that will change everything But how high a price can you put on the truth? And is Avery brave enough to expose the White House itself? ($30, PB)
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides ($33, PB)
St Christopher's College, Cambridge, is a closed world to most. For Mariana Andros—a group therapist struggling through her private grief—it's where she met her late husband. For her niece, Zoe, it's the tragic scene of her best friend's murder. Because behind the school's idyllic beauty is a web of jealousy & rage which emanates from an exclusive set of students known only as The Maidens—under the sinister influence of the enigmatic professor Edward Fosca. The man who will become the prime suspect in Mariana's investigation—an obsession which will unravel everything.
Scorpion by Christian Cantrell ($33, PB)
Around the world, people have been murdered. The victims are all branded with a number. With police around the globe floundering, CIA Analyst Quinn Mitchell is called in to investigate. As she races against time to find out who the killer is, she is prepared to catch this ice-hearted assassin with limitless resources—what she isn't prepared for is the person pulling the strings
I Am the Tiger by John Ajvide Lindqvist
In the autumn of 2016 a wave of suicides swept through Stockholm's underworld. Investigative journalist Tommy T's star has faded but his deep dive into these mysterious suicides—and the role of the elusive 'X' who seems to be behind everything—will be his ticket back. The trail leads him first to a murdered friend & then to a huge batch of cocaine. Meanwhile, his 17-year-old nephew Linus has turned from selling his ADHD medication to a bigger opportunity—in the form of a huge batch of cocaine. The larger plan behind the suicides & drugs turns out to be both stranger & more dangerous than either of them could have imagined. ($33, PB)
The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indridason
A frozen body is discovered in the icy depths of Langj kull glacier, apparently that of a businessman who disappeared 30 years before. At the time, the missing man's business associates was briefly held in custody, but there wasn't enough evidence to charge him. Now the associate is arrested again and Konrad, the retired policeman who originally investigated the disappearance, is called back. When a woman approaches him with new information that she obtained from her deceased brother, progress can finally be made in solving this long-cold case. ($33, PB)
Dream Girl by Laura Lippman ($30, PB)
Gerry Anderson has been having trouble sleeping. Bedbound he has only his night nurse & his PA for company. But what's really troubling him are the phone calls. Phone calls from a woman claiming to be the 'real' Aubrey. But that can't be. Aubrey's just a character Gerry made up in a book, years ago. Can Gerry see past the ever-blurring lines of fact & fiction & figure out who is threatening him, or has his long-overdue moment of reckoning finally arrived?
False Witness by Karin Slaughter ($33, PB)
Leigh & her sister Callie are not bad people—but one night, more than 2 decades ago, they did something terrible. And the result was a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, devastated by violence. Years later, Leigh become a successful lawyer—when it turns out a new client knows the truth about what happened 23 years ago. And unless they stop him, he's going to tear their lives apart—Just because you didn't see the witness—doesn't mean he wasn't there.
THE WILDER AISLES
A few weeks ago, while browsing the crime aisle I was tempted by The Cabin by Jorn Lier Horst, a Norwegian writer. But when I picked it up I found that it was the second in a series—The Cold Case Series—and as I always like to start with number one if I can, I sourced the first—Dregs (great title!). Dregs is followed by The Cabin and then The Katharina Code, which won two awards and was long-listed for CWA International Dagger Award. I loved these books. They feature the wonderful Chief Inspector William Wisting, his terrific team and his journalist daughter Line, who cannot help getting involved in the cases her father takes on. The stories are complex and interesting—they keep you guessing, me at least. In Dregs, it all starts with a severed left foot, in a trainer, found washed up on the shore. Then another three feet wash up. Perhaps there has been a terrible accident at sea, or have dismembered bodies been thrown into the sea? There has been a spate of mysterious disappearances in the Larvik area—could these missing people have a connection to the severed feet mystery. This is a really clever, crime story that gets you in from the very beginning. Number 2, The Cabin sees Wisting and his team investigating the death of politician, Bernhard Clausen, whose death coincides with the anniversary of the disappearance of Simon Meier, who walked out of his house fifteen years ago—never seen again. Clausen's death has revealed something that may shed light on the Meier cold casea—there appears to be a connection between the two cases. Another clever, well-written story by Jorn Horst. The third in the series, The Katharina Code, delves into another cold case—one close to Wisting's heart. He has kept all the case files about Katharina's disappearance for twenty-four years, and every year on the anniversary of her going missing, Wisting visits her husband, Martin Haugen, the man he felt he was unable to help. In the case files is a code that Wisting, to his dismay, could never solve. When another woman goes missing, and so does Martin Haugen, Katharina's husband. Over the years, Wisting has become a friend to Martin, but now he wonders if behind the face Haugen has presented to Wisting, is a cold heartless killer? Gradually a picture builds up of what happened to Katharina and the other missing woman. Again, Wisting is totally involved, as is his daughter, who actually helps solve the mystery. There are more written in this series than have been translated, but I there are plenty more for me to look forward to: The Inner Darkness, Closed for Winter, Ordeal and The Caveman—plus a new release in November, A Question of Guilt. I will chase them up. I don't really know why I read crime, it is basically very sad, stupid people doing stupid things to other people, deserving or not! And now a book that I am just finishing. A world away from the above, it is a first book by a young Western Australian writer, Emma Young. The title, The Last Bookshop, was irresistible for a fellow bookseller. Young's book follows the fortunes and misfortunes of Cait, short for Caitlyn, and her bookshop in Hay Street Perth—the most sought after address in the city. Her dream of owning her own shop in the middle of the city, starts off very well. Cait has a passion for books and reading, and at first everything seems to go her way. She starts new services, including a delivery service for shutins—one of whom, is her stand-in grandmother, June, an avid reader, and also, a great baker—to Cait's delight when delivering books. And there are plenty of other characters that inhabit the world of Book Fiend, who become friends as well as customers. One lunchtime Cait notices a rather good-looking man looking around self-help—and can't help wondering why a man with those fabulous green eyes needs a self-help book. He returns each day, goes to the same section—and he seems to keeping an eye on her. His name is James, and when he asks her to dinner, Cait is reluctant at first. The shop takes up most of her time and energy, does she have time for love? And then there is Sebastian, known as Seb, her casual worker, maybe waiting in the wings. Sadly, things don't stay happy for Cait. The lease management increases her rent by a large amount, and it turns out James works for the leasing company. He urges Cait to give in, and find herself a nice little shop in the suburbs. Of course, Cait refuses. I haven't finished yet, so I don't know if Cait's David beats the huge Goliath, but I am enjoying Emma Young's tale, not only because of my love books and bookshops, but because Young has created a good, strong character in Cait, and the story she tells of working in a bookshop rings true. Also, I commend her on taking the plunge and getting published, something I have never been game enough to do. Good for her. Janice Wilder
The School by Brendan James Murray ($35, PB)
Brendan James Murray has been a high school teacher for more than 10 years. In that time he has seen hundreds of kids move through the same hallways & classrooms—boisterous, angry, shy, big-hearted, awkward—all of them on the journey to adulthood. In his memoir he paints a vivid portrait of a single school year, capturing the highs and lows of being a teenager, as well as the fire, passion and occasional heartbreak of being their teacher. Hilarious, heartfelt and true this is a must-read for any parent, and a tribute to the art of teaching.
The Nine by Gwen Strauss ($30, PB)
The nine were ordinary women, some still in their teens, who joined the French and Dutch Resistance in the face of Nazi horror and oppression. Caught out in heroic acts against the brutal regime, they were each tortured and sent East to a forced labour camp, where they formed a powerful friendship, determined to survive, together. This harrowing interlude was only the beginning. In 1945, as the war turned against Germany, they were forced on a Death March, facing starvation and almost certain death. They saw a chance, fled, and so began one the most breath-taking tales of escape and resilience of WWII. Written by the great-niece of one of the nine, their gripping flight across war-torn Europe is interwoven with Strauss's own detective work
Monica Jones, Philip Larkin & Me: Her Life & Long Loves by John Sutherland ($33, PB)
Cressida Connolly Monica Jones was Philip Larkin's partner for more than 4 decades. She was cruelly immortalised as Margaret Peel in Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim & widely vilified for destroying Larkin's diaries & works in progress after his death. She was opinionated & outspoken, widely disliked by his friends & Philip himself was routinely unfaithful to her. But she was also a brilliant academic & an inspiring teacher. She wrote more than 2,000 letters to Larkin, and he in turn poured out his heart to her. John Sutherland explores the question: who was the real Monica? The calm & collected friend & teacher? The witty conversationalist & inspirational lecturer? Or the private Monica, writing desperate, sometimes furious, occasionally libellous, drunken letters to the only man, to the absent man, whom she could love?
The Broken House: Growing up under Hitler by Horst Krüger ($33, PB)
In 1965 the German journalist Horst Krüger attended the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, where 22 former camp guards were put on trial for the systematic murder of over 1 million men, women and children. The trial sent Krüger back to his childhood in the 1930s. He had grown up in a Berlin suburb, among a community of decent, lower-middle-class homeowners where, people lived ordinary, non-political lives, believed in God & obeyed the law, but were gradually seduced & intoxicated by the promises of Nazism. He had been, Krüger realised, 'the typical child of innocuous Germans who were never Nazis, and without whom the Nazis would never have been able to do their work'. As a teenager his desire to escape the stifling conformity of family life, led him to join an anti-Nazi resistance group. He narrowly escaped imprisonment only to be sent to war as Hitler embarked on the conquest of Europe. Step by step, a family that had fallen under the spell of Nazism was being destroyed by it. Krüger's themes chime with our own times—how the promise of an 'era of greatness' by a populist leader intoxicates an entire nation, how thin is the veneer of civilisation, and what makes one person a collaborator & another a resister.
Philip Roth: The Biography by Blake Bailey ($65, HB)
Appointed by Philip Roth & granted complete access & independence, Blake Bailey spent years poring over Philip Roth's personal archive, interviewing his friends, lovers & colleagues, and engaging Roth himself in candid conversations. Bailey details how Roth emerged from a lower-middle-class Jewish milieu to achieve the heights of literary fame, how his career was nearly derailed by his catastrophic first marriage, and how he championed the work of dissident novelists behind the Iron Curtain. He examines Roth's rivalrous friendships with Saul Bellow, John Updike & William Styron, and reveals the truths of his florid love life, culminating in his almost-20-year relationship with actress Claire Bloom, who pilloried Roth in her 1996 memoir, Leaving a Doll's House. Tracing Roth's path from realism to farce to metafiction to the tragic masterpieces of the American Trilogy, Bailey explores Roth's engagement with nearly every aspect of post-war American culture.
Varying Degrees of Success: A Memoir 1992-2020 by David Lodge ($50, HB)
In a career spanning 6 decades, David Lodge has been one of Britain's best-loved & most versatile writers. With this volume he completes a trilogy of memoirs which describe his life from birth in 1935 to the present day. Varying Degrees of Success covers 1992 to 2010 when he was developing his literary career & also making forays into television & stage work both at home & abroad. Each of the 3 memoirs has its own thematic focus. In this latest one it is the hope & desire of writers to make a significant & positive impression on their readers & audiences. The elation of success, and the depression that follows disappointment, are familiar emotions to most writers in varying degrees, and Lodge describes these feelings with rare candour.
In the Wars by Waheed Arian ($35, PB)
Born in war-torn Afghanistan, Waheed Arian's fled the conflict with his family, he spent much of his childhood in refugee camps in Pakistan. After he contracted tuberculosis, his first-hand experience of the power of medicine inspired Waheed to dedicate his life to healing others—he taught himself, from textbooks bought from street-sellers & learned English from the BBC World Service. Smuggled to the UK at fifteen with just $100 in his pocket he was advised to set his sights on becoming a taxi driver. But he studied all hours & was accepted to read medicine at Cambridge University, Imperial College & Harvard, and went on to become a doctor in the NHS. In 2015 he founded Arian Teleheal, a global charity that connects doctors in war zones & low-resource countries with their counterparts in the US, UK, Europe & Australia. Learning from each other, they save and change lives—the lives of millions of people just like Waheed.
Good Indian Daughter by Ruhi Lee ($33, PB)
Long before Ruhi Lee fell pregnant, she knew she was never going to be the 'good Indian daughter' her parents demanded. But when the discovery that she is having a girl sends her into a slump of disappointment, she needs to quickly unpack her emotional baggage. So Lee sets herself a mission to deal with the potholes in her past before her baby is born. Delving into her youth in suburban Melbourne, she draws a heartrending yet often hilarious picture of a family in crisis, struggling to connect across generational, cultural & personal divides. Sifting through her own shattered self-esteem, Lee confronts the abuse threaded through her childhood. How can she hold on to the family & culture she has known & loved her whole life, when they are the reason for her scars? This is a brutally honest yet brilliantly funny memoir for anyone who's ever felt like a let-down.
The Mother Wound by Amani Haydar ($35, PB)
Amani Haydar suffered the unimaginable when she lost her mother in a brutal act of domestic violence perpetrated by her father. 5 months pregnant at the time, her own perception of how she wanted to mother (and how she had been mothered) was shaped by this devastating murder. The product of an arranged marriage (her mother 13 years her father's junior), her parents had been unhappy for so long—should she have known that it would end like this? A lawyer by profession, she saw the holes in the justice system for addressing & combating emotional abuse & coercive control—and also had to reckon with the weight of familial & cultural context. Adding to the complex layers of intergenerational trauma, her grandmother had been brutally killed in the 2006 war in Lebanon. Amani draws from this a story of female resilience and the role of motherhood in the home and in the world.
Many Different Kinds of Love: A story of life, death and the NHS by Michael Rosen ($35, HB) Michael Rosen wasn't feeling well. Soon he was struggling to breathe, and then he was admitted to hospital, suffering from coronavirus as the nation teetered on the edge of a global pandemic. What followed was months on the wards—6 weeks in an induced coma, and many more weeks of rehab & recovery as the NHS saved Michael's life, and then got him back on his feet. Throughout Michael's stay in intensive care, a notebook lay at the end of his bed, where the nurses who cared for him wrote letters of hope & support. Combining new prose poems and the moving coronavirus diaries of his nurses, doctors & wife, this is a beautiful book about love, life & the NHS.
A Paper Inheritance by Dymphna Stella Rees
When Dymphna Stella Rees finds bundles of love letters buried in her parents' archive, she is intrigued. Leslie Rees & Coralie Clarke Rees took their shared dream of being writers from Perth to London where they interviewed some of the century's literary greats, including James Joyce, AA Milne & George Bernard Shaw. After settling in Sydney in the 1930s, Leslie became an award-winning children's book author & the ABC's national drama editor, while Coralie was one of the country's first female broadcasters. They influenced the development of an authentically Australian arts culture & included among their friends Mary Gilmore, Ruth Park, D'Arcy Niland, Mary Durack & Vance & Nettie Palmer. In her book Rees examines their partnership & legacy. ($33, PB)
The Coffin Confessor by William Edgar ($35, PB)
Bill Edgar has been many things in this life—son of one of Australia's most notorious gangsters, homeless street-kid, maximum-security prisoner, hard man, family man, car thief, professional punching bag, philosopher, inventor, private investigator, victim of horrific childhood sexual abuse and an activist fighting to bring down the institutions that let it happen. As a little boy, he learned the hard way that society is full of people who fall through the cracks—who die without their stories being told. Now, as 'The Coffin Confessor' his life's work is to make sure his clients' voices are heard, and their last wishes delivered: the small-town grandfather who needs his tastefully decorated sex dungeon destroyed before the kids find it; The woman who endured an abusive marriage for decades before finding freedom; The outlaw biker who is afraid of nothing—except telling the world he is in love with another man. The dad who desperately needs to track down his estranged daughter so he can find a way to say he's sorry, with one final gift. a compelling story of survival and redemption, of a life lived on the fringes of society, on both sides of the law - and what that can teach you about living your best life—and death.
Happy Endings BELLA GREEN
Bella Green is a Sunday-afternoon sex worker. Taking us on a funny, candid, can’t-look-away journey through brothels, strip clubs, peep shows and dominatrix dungeons, this is a hilarious memoir from a bright and bold new Australian voice. ‘Authentic, hilarious, and uplifting.’ WeekendNotes
D R R E B E C C A R AY
Accessible, inspiring and deeply practical, Setting Boundaries ignites us to rethink our relationships, reclaim our lives and protect our mental health and wellbeing. ‘I will return to this book over and over again when I’m feeling lost and need a comforting voice of support.’ Alison Daddo
A M A N I HA Y D A R
Amani Haydar suffered the unimaginable when she lost her mother in a brutal act of domestic violence perpetrated by her father. Writing with grace and beauty, she draws from this a story of female resilience. ‘A magnificent and devastating work of art. There is a raging anger here, and a deep sorrow, but at the core Haydar gives us truths about love. This is one of the most important books I've ever read.’ Bri Lee
Brain Reset DAV I D G I L L E S P I E
Anxiety, depression and addiction are the scourge of modern-day living. How are they linked? How do we beat them? Packed with cutting-edge research and practical advice, David Gillespie’s latest book arms us with the tools we need to break our addictions, conquer uncertainty and reset our brains.
Love talking about books? Find us online at Pan Macmillan Australia
Life as Art: The Biographical Writing of Hazel Rowley ($35, PB)
Before her untimely death in 2011, Rowley wrote four acclaimed biographies- about Christina Stead, Richard Wright, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. This collection of short pieces-journal articles, essays, talks, diary entries—provides a wonderful insight into her craft. In these pages she talks honestly about the joys, the challenges, the highs and the lows of writing biography, her passionate pursuit of stories and her search for new biographical subjects.
Clive Bell and the Making of Modernism by Mark Hussey ($50, HB)
Clive Bell is perhaps better known today for being a Bloomsbury socialite & the husband of artist Vanessa Bell, sister to Virginia Woolf. Yet Bell was also an internationally renowned art critic who defended daring new forms of expression at a time when Britain was closed off to all things foreign. His groundbreaking book Art brazenly subverted the narratives of art history & cemented his status as the great interpreter of modern art. He was also an ardent pacifist & a touchstone for the Wildean values of individual freedoms, and his is a story that leads us into an extraordinary world of intertwined lives, loves and sexualities. Drawing on personal letters, archives & Bell's own extensive writing Mark Hussey paints a fascinating portrait of a man who became one of the pioneering voices in art of his era.
Daughter of The River Country by Dianne O'Brien ($33, PB)
Born in country NSW in the 1940s, baby Dianne was immediately taken from her Aboriginal mother, and grew up believing her adoptive Irish mother, Val, was her birth mother. Val promised Dianne that one day they would take a trip & she would 'tell her a secret'. But Val tragically died. Abandoned by her adoptive father, Dianne was raped at the age of 15, sentenced to Parramatta Girls Home & later forced to marry her rapist in order to keep her baby. She west on to endure horrific domestic violence at the hands of different partners, alcohol addiction & cruel betrayal by those closest to her. Then, at the age of 36, while raising six kids on her own, Dianne learned she was Aboriginal & that her greatgrandfather was William Cooper, a famous Aboriginal activist. Miraculously she found a way to forgive her traumatic past & becomes a leader in her own right, vowing to help other stolen people just like her.
Where We Swim by Ingrid Horrocks ($33, PB)
‘A vitally important book written for all Australians who have accepted the Uluru invitation and are walking with us.’ Patricia Anderson AO
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‘Upheaval puts readers in the newsroom as the rivers of gold dried up.’ Katharine Murphy
Beachcombing: A Guide to Seashores of the Southern Hempishere by Ceridwen Fraser
'Required reading for any academic hoping to engage with audiences beyond the academy.'
Wildlife documentary producer, John Ruthven worked on both Blue Planet & Blue Planet II. This book follows the adventures that have helped the undersea world flow into countless living rooms to reveal many of our ocean's mysteries. Through each remarkable adventure, Ruthven gives insight into what we currently know about the ocean, and our whole blue planet, revealing that the sea really is the 'saltwater country' the Yolngu people of Australia know it to be—a place with as many unique destinations in water as on land. Ruthven also explores why we have remained largely blind to the pollution in our oceans until recently & charts how plastic 'went wild' in the sea, to understand how we might begin to clear up the mess. ($33, PB)
The tiny 1 sq km precinct of Potts Point & Elizabeth Bay is a national treasure containing the best collection of some 100 Art Deco (1930s & 40s) & Modernist (1960s) apartment blocks in Australia. It still retains remnants of its 19th century glory with some 9 colonial mansions, but is even more distinctive because of its 20th century Art Deco & Modernist built heritage. Important Australian architects are represented with five beautiful Art Deco buildings by Emil Sodersten and five Modernist gems by Harry Seidler. Peter Sheridan's guide book provides a selfguided 2–3 hour tour of this landmark area.
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The Whale in the Living Room by John Ruthven
Sydney Art Deco & Modernist Walks: Potts Point & Elizabeth Bay by Peter Sheridan ($30, PB)
‘A new, important way to tell our migration history, and a fascinating read.’
Ingrid Horrocks had few aspirations to swimming mastery, but she had always loved being in the water. She set out on a solo swimming journey, then abandoned it for a different kind of immersion altogether— one which led her to more deeply examine relationships, our ecological crisis, and responsibilities to those around us. Part memoir, part travel and nature writing her book ranges from solitary swims in polluted rivers in Aotearoa New Zealand, to dips in pools in Arizona & the Peruvian Amazon, and in the ocean off Western Australia & the south coast of England.
Funny, lively and constructive, this is your hands-on guidebook to excelling in academia.
Beaches are our windows to the ocean, and the objects we find on them tell stories about life, death & dynamic processes in the sea. Learn about how waves, currents, tides & storms affect beaches. Find out about the many different sorts of plants, animals & algae we find living & dying on beaches, and where human-made flotsam & jetsam might come from. Discover the processes that connect coastal ecosystems around the Southern Hemisphere, and why there are so many similarities between far-distant shores. Rather than identifying living things to species level, this book will help you to understand what sorts of organisms & other objects you find on beaches, and the intriguing reasons they have come to be there. ($28, PB)
Uprising: Walking the Southern Alps of New Zealand by Nic Low ($35, PB)
Raised in the shadow of New Zealand's Southern Alps, Nic Low grew up on stories of mountain exploration from his family's European side. Years later, a vision of the alps in a bank of storm clouds sparked his return home, and a decade-long obsession with understanding how his Maori ancestors knew that same terrain. Ka Tiritiri o te Moana, the alps, form the backbone of the Ngai Tahu tribe's territory—500 km of mountains & glaciers, rivers & forests. Far from being virgin wilderness, the area was named & owned long before Europeans arrived & the struggle for control of the land began. Low talked with tribal leaders, dived into the archives & an astonishing family memoir, and took what he learned for a walk. Part adventure story, part meditation on history & place, Uprising recounts his alpine expeditions to unlock the stories living in the land.
Madhouse at the End of the Earth by Julian Sancton
August 1897—The Belgica set sail, eager to become the first scientific expedition to reach the white wilderness of the South Pole. But the ship soon became stuck fast in the ice of the Bellinghausen sea, condemning the ship's crew to overwintering in Antarctica and months of endless polar night. In the darkness, plagued by a mysterious illness, their minds ravaged by the sound of dozens of rats teeming in the hold, they descended into madness. In this epic tale, Julian Sancton unfolds a story of adventure gone horribly awry. ($35, PB)
Touring Atlas of Australia 29th ed ($25, PB)
The UBD Touring Atlas of Australia is the best large-format road atlas in the country. This 29th edition has been completely revised, incorporating many more touring-related features than ever before. There are now over 1700 recommended rest areas highlighted on the maps, an increase of over 200 sites from the last edition. All rest areas have been categorised to show the reader where there are toilet facilities & free camping, as well as recommended low-cost camping areas. The maps also show fuel availability locations & visitor information centres. Public toilet locations are on capital city maps.
Food, Health & Garden Burn: The Misunderstood Science of Metabolism by Herman Pontzer ($50, HB)
Why do so many diets lead to more weight gain? Do more active people have faster metabolisms? Is exercise essential for weight loss? Over the past 20 years, evolutionary biologist Herman Pontzer has conducted studies across a range of settings, including pioneering fieldwork with Hadza hunter-gatherers in northern Tanzania. This book draws on his research to show how, contrary to received wisdom, exercise does not increase our metabolism. Instead, we burn calories within a very narrow range—nearly 3,000 calories per day, no matter our activity level. By taking a closer look at what happens to the energy we consume, Pontzer explores the ways in which metabolism controls every aspect of our health—from fertility to immune function—revealing the truth about the dynamic system that sustains us.
The Menopause Manifesto by Jennifer Gunter
The only thing predictable about menopause is its unpredictability. Factor in widespread misinformation, a lack of research, and the culture of shame around women's bodies, and it's no wonder women are unsure what to expect during the menopause transition and beyond. Dr Jennifer Gunter debunks misogynistic attitudes & challenges the over-mystification of menopause to reveal everything you really need to know about perimenopause, hot flashes, sleep disruption, sex & libido, depression & mood changes, skin & hair issues, outdated therapies, breast health, weight & muscle mass, health maintenance screening & much more. ($35, PB)
Overloaded: How Life is Influenced by Your Brain Chemicals by Ginny Smith ($30, PB)
From adrenaline to dopamine, our lives are shaped by the chemicals that control us. Ginny Smith explores what these tiny molecules do. What roles do cortisol & adrenaline play in memory formation? How do hormones & neurotransmitters affect the trajectory of our romantic relationships? Ginny meets scientists at the cutting-edge of brain chemistry research who are uncovering unexpected connections between these crucial chemicals—unveiling the chemicals that touch every facet of our lives.
Now in B Format Lifespan: Why We Age - and Why We Don't Have To by David Sinclair, $25 Weeds: 50 untamed & beautiful vagabond plants by Gareth Richards ($35, HB)
This book highlights the delicate charms of some of the most fascinating vagabond plants around. Beautiful botanical illustrations from the Royal Horticultural Society's collections & captivating profiles by RHS author Gareth Richards provide key information for the modern gardener on the characteristics, usefulness & cultivation of 50 unsung heroes of the plant world.
It's Not All Roses: Memories of People, a Restaurant and a Garden by Jenny Ferguson ($35, HB)
Jenny Ferguson is best known for her popular restaurant ‘You and Me’, in Sydney’s CBD from 1978 to 1985. The purchase of Torryburn in 1988, a country property in the Hunter Valley of NSW, inspired a new passion for Jenny—gardening. The large garden she established there attracted thousands of visitors throughout the 90s. In her memoir she takes a journey from being born in the NSW countryside in the 1940s through to professional life as a teacher, asserting her independence as a feminist, wife & mother & travelling the world in search of inspiration.
Cooking for Your Kids: Recipes and Stories from Chefs' Home Kitchens Around the World
Looking for meals that will appeal to everyone around the table? 100 recipes—breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, treats— from the repertoires of world-famous chefs who cook for their children at home. First-person stories offer a glimpse into their private lives as they strive to raise adventurous (and healthy) eaters. The chefs explain why each dish is much-loved, highlight how ingredients can expand palates, reveal insider tips, and share their work-life balance challenges. ($59.95, HB) Makan by Elizabeth Haigh ($50, HB) Elizabeth Haigh draws together recipes that have been handed down through many generations of her family, from Nonya to Nonya, creating a time-capsule of a cuisine. Recipes include: Nonya-spiced braised duck stew, pickled watermelon and radish salad, beef rendang, Singapore chilli crab, fried tofu with spicy peanut sauce, spicy noodle soup, nasi goreng (spicy fried rice), Miso apple pie. Adapting these traditional recipes to ensure ingredients are easily sourced in the West, Elizabeth brings a taste of Singapore to your own kitchen.
The Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the Tart, Tender & Unruly by Kate Lebo
Inspired by 26 fruits, essayist, poet & pie lady Kate Lebo expertly blends the culinary, medical & personal. A is for Aronia, berry member of the apple family, clothes-stainer, superfruit with reputed healing power. D is for Durian, endowed with a dramatic rind and a shifty odour—peaches, old garlic. M is for Medlar, name-checked by Shakespeare for its crude shape, beloved by gardeners for its flowers. Q is for Quince, which, fresh, gives off the scent of ‘roses and citrus and rich women’s perfume’ but if eaten raw is so astringent it wicks the juice from one’s mouth. In this work of unique invention, these and other difficult fruits serve as the central ingredients of 26 lyrical essays (and recipes!) that range from deeply personal to botanical, from culinary to medical, from humorous to philosophical. ($35, HB)
Sicilia by Ben Tish ($53, HB)
Sitting at the heart of the Mediterranean, between east & west, Europe & North Africa, the food of Sicily is full of citrus, almonds and a plethora of spices, mixing harmoniously with the simple indigenous olives, vines & wheat. This beautiful collection offers ecipes including: Saffron arancini, Smoky artichokes with lemon & garlic, Whole roasted squid, Sicilian octopus & chickpea stew, Aubergines stuffed with pork, Roasted pork belly with fennel & sticky quinces, Bitter chocolate torte & Limoncello semifredo.
Amber & Rye by Zuza Zak ($50, HB)
In the Baltics, 2 worlds meet: the Baltic Sea joins Eastern Europe & Scandinavia, bringing with it culinary influences & cultural exchange. The recipes in this book explore new culinary horizons—grounded in Baltic tradition, yet inspired by contemporary trends, making them modern & easy to recreate at home. In addition to the recipes & travel stories, there are snippets of poetry, literature, songs & proverbs, adding a rich layer that makes this book a cultural reference point for travellers as well showcasing the vibrant new cuisine of the Baltic States.
Homebrewed Vinegar: How to Ferment 60 Delicious Varieties by Kirsten Shockey
Apple cider vinegar has a long history as a folk remedy for a variety of health conditions & has achieved something akin to cult status among natural health enthusiasts. But there is a whole world of options beyond store-bought ACV or distilled white vinegar. In fact, vinegar can be made from anything with fermentable sugar, whether leftover juicing pulp or brown bananas, wildflowers or beer. Kirsten Shockey takes readers on a deep dive into the wide-ranging possibilities alive in this ancient condiment, health tonic & kitchen staple. ($35, PB)
Pizza Czar by Anthony Falco ($50, HB)
In every climate, in every region, in every kind of kitchen, there's pizza to be had, infused with local flavour. In this definitive book, filled with hacks, tips & secret techniques never before shared, International Pizza Consultant Anthony Falco has travelled through Brazil, Colombia, Kuwait, Panama, Canada, Japan, India, Thailand, and all across the US to bring the world of pizza to your kitchen.
Oishii: The History of Sushi by Eric Rath
Sushi & sashimi have become perhaps the best known of Japanese foods but they are also the most widely misunderstood. Eric Rath reveals that sushi began as a fermented food with a sour taste, used as a means to preserve fish. This history of sushi traces sushi's development from China to Japan & then internationally—from street food to high-class cuisine. Included are 2 dozen historical & original recipes that show the diversity of sushi & how to prepare it. A great read for understanding sushi's past, its variety & sustainability & how it became one of the world's greatest anonymous cuisines. ($40, HB)
Vegetarian Dishes from the Middle East by Arto der Haroutunian ($40, PB)
Arto der Haroutunian's thoughtful, erudite writing helped to explain to westerners the subtlety, complexity & diversity of Middle Eastern & North African cooking. In this book, he collected a treasury of recipes. The cooking of vegetables is treated with reverence in the in the lands that make up the rich and varied tapestry of the Middle East. The people depend on the grains and pulses, nuts, vegetables and fruits of the region for their daily food. Here are warm and spicy stuffed vegetables, cool and fragrant soups, delicate preserves, pilafs, breads, pickles, relishes and pastries.
books for kids to young adults
A Pair of Pears and an Orange by Anna McGregor
Big Pear and Little Pear love playing together. But when Orange joins in, their games don't work and Big Pear feels left out. From the CBCA-shortlisted Anemone is not the Enemy author comes an hilarious, and kind-hearted tale about navigating friendship when three definitely starts to feel like a crowd! ($25, HB)
Milo Imagines The World by Matt de la Peña & Christian Robinson ($27, HB)
Milo is on a train journey through the city with his older sister, looking at the faces of the other passengers and drawing pictures of what he imagines their lives to be. The little boy in bright white trainers he imagines living in a castle with a moat and a butler. But when the little boy gets off at the same stop and joins the same queue as him, Milo realises that you can't judge by appearances—in a touching reveal both boys are visiting their mothers in prison.
selected by Elissa & Rachel
picture books The Dodos Did It! by Alice McKinley ($25, HB)
Jack doesn’t just like dodos, he LOVES them. So when his dearest wish for a pet dodo comes true, he's so happy he wishes for some more— and more, and when his new pets cause complete chaos, and no one believes that the dodos did it because dodos don’t exist. Too bad his next pet wish might be even more trouble than the dodos!
Common Wealth by Gregg Dreise ($25, HB)
From multi award-winning author & artist, Gregg Dreise, a proud descendant of the Kamilaroi and Euahlayi people, comes this valuable resource for discussion about the importance of moving forward together as a nation, with truth and respect for our history and Traditional Custodians.
A Human for Kingsley by Gabriel Evans ($25, HB)
A tender funny tale as Kingsley goes on a hunt for his perfect human. Not as easy a task as he first thinks—after all owning a human is a big responsibility.
Dancing with Memories by Sally Yule (ill) Cheryl Orsini
Lucy lives with dementia. She wishes she didn't, but she does. Her brain has changed but she is still Lucy. Thank goodness she has a brain & an heart. Follow her as she makes her way, with the odd misstep, to dance at her granddaughter's wedding. A beautiful story to help young people & their families better understand dementia. $1 from the sale of each book is donated to the Maggie Beer Foundation & the Lions Alzheimer's Foundation. ($17.95, PB)
Kunyi by Kunyi June Anne McInerney ($28, HB)
Kunyi June Anne McInerney was just four years old when she and three of her siblings were taken from their family to the Oodnadatta Children’s Home in South Australia in the 1960s. Through this deeply moving collection of over 60 paintings, accompanied by stories—from bible lessons to sucking bone marrow and collecting bush fruits—Kunyi shares what life was like for her and the other Children’s Home kids who became her family.
Walking in Gagudju Country: Exploring the Monsoon Forest by Diane Lucas and Ben Tyler
Ben Tyler is a Bininj entrepreneur and founder of bush food brand Kakadu Kitchen, Diane Lucas moved to Kakadu in her late 20s, working as a schoolteacher on an Aboriginal outstation, and in turn being taught many things about the bush. Beautiful illustrations accompany a walking talking tour of the monsoon forest, bringing together First Nations Australian knowledge & history with Western science. ($30, HB)
Me, Microbes and I by Philip Bunting ($25, HB)
Full of fascinating information about microbes, this book provides young readers with a simple & fun guide to how things like bacteria & viruses work in the body. I t is packed with handy tips on how to stay healthy, from enjoying fermented foods to taking care of your immune system, and also provides information on how to stop the spread of nasty viruses—including how to cough like a vampire, and the best way to wash your hands.
When the Sky Falls by Phil Earle
Feast Your Eyes on Food: A Food Encyclopedia of More Than 1,000 Delicious Things to Eat by Laura Gladwin (ill) Zoe Barker ($45, HB)
For aspiring Junior Master Chefs. Learn how flour and water were revolutionized as you pore over different pasta and noodle shapes, discover how cheese is made, find out why onions make you cry and marvel at nature’s ingenuity as you take a bite from eighteen varieties of apples and pears. Split into digestible chapters, this fabulously illustrated visual guide explores the journey from farm to table, letting your kids taste their way around the world from the comfort of home.
8 to 12
1940—Joseph has been packed off to stay with Mrs F, a gruff woman with no great fondness for children. She owns the rundown city zoo where Joseph meets Adonis, a huge silverback gorilla. Despite him being ferociously strong & dangerous, Joseph finds he has an affinity with the lonely Adonis. But when the bombs begin to fall, it is up to Joseph to guard Adonis’s cage should it be damaged by a blast. Will Joseph be ready to pull the trigger if it comes to it? ($15, PB)
The Ballad of Melodie Rose by Kate Gordon
When Melodie Rose is abandoned on the doorstep of Direleafe Hall, she realises she must be a ghost. Strangely, she is not sad. With the three other ghostly girls who haunt the school and a gloomy crow on her shoulder, Melodie feels she finally has a place to call home. So when a lady in white arrives with plans to flatten her beloved school, Melodie Rose must act fast to save all she holds dear. But what can one powerless ghost do? ($15, PB)
The Right Way to Rock by Nat Amoore ($15, PB)
Without music, the world is just blah. That's my take on life, anyway. Mum says rock is the only music worth listening to, but I think everyone should find their own beat. When I hear that Principal Keiren plans to cut all of the arts classes at Watterson Primary, there's no way me & my new mate Flynn are gonna let that happen. We're dragging our secret Broadway appreciation society into the spotlight. It's time for Watterson—The Musical!
Elsewhere Girls by Emily Gale and Nova Weetman ($17, PB)
Cat has recently started at a new school on a sports scholarship—she's feeling the pressure of early morning training sessions & the need for total commitment. Fanny loves to swim & she lives for racing, but family chores & low expectations for girls make it very hard for her to fit in even the occasional training session. Cat and Fanny both live in the same Sydney suburb, but in different worlds, or at least different times—Cat in current-day Sydney, and Fanny in 1908. One day, time slips & they swap places. As each girl lives the other's life, with all the challenges & confusion it presents, she comes to appreciate & understand herself & the role of swimming in her own life.
Little Gem and the Mysterious Letters by Anna Zobel ($15, PB)
Little Gem is settling into her life at Ellsworth Pining with the help of Ghost Henry & her other friends. Little Gem is in charge of the special effects for the Midsummer Festival Play. But her magic starts to go wrong & she receives several mysterious letters. Will Little Gem be able to work out who is sending the letters and regain her confidence before opening night?
Flummox: How to Make a Pet Monster 2 by Lili Wilkinson (ill) Dustin Spence ($15, PB)
Willow & I found an ancient spell book called the Bigge Boke of Fetching Monsters, which shows you how to make real monsters. We made Hodgepodge, who's a bit furry and a bit stinky. He's my best friend. Now Willow wants to make a best friend—but I'm a bit worried—what if this new one is REALLY dangerous?
Eliza Vanda's Button Box by Emily Rodda ($23, HB)
Buttons three, attend to me! Take me where I want to be! Life hasn't been much fun for Milly Dynes lately. There seem to be problems everywhere she looks. She's always loved her home in Tidgy Bay, but at the moment she wishes she was somewhere—anywhere— else. Then Eliza Vanda turns up-and magic comes with her
Ginger Meggs by Tristan Bancks (ill) Jason Chatfield ($25, HB)
Celebrating 100 years of the iconic character and Aussie legend Ginger Meggs, these 4 brand new original stories are written by Tristan Bancks, the great-great nephew of creator Jimmy Bancks. Illustrated in full colour by the current Ginger Meggs comic-strip toonist, Jason Chatfield.
Two Terrible Vikings by Francesca Simon (ill) Steve May ($15, PB)
Set in the snowy fjords of a Viking kingdom, the terrible twins, Hack & Whack, are proud to be the best worst vikings. Nothing stops the marauding pair as they steal boats, loot a birthday party, track a troll & sail off to raid Bad Island with their friends Twisty Pants & Dirty Ulf. Well, almost nothing.
bookclub & kids events with Rachel Robson
We have had a huge few months with amazing author events for the children! Some highlights have included Nat Amoore and her celebration of the arts in her new book, The Right Way To Rock. This event included choreographed musical numbers, a song and appearance from Josh Pyke based on the book, and 100s of excited children dancing and busting to read Nat's books. If you are not on the Nat Amoore train, you had better get on it as she writes truly brilliant and engaging stories for all ages and abilities. We also had a very funny visit from local comedian, writer and general superstar, Matt Okine, talking to our Teens about writing great stories. And we had a wild and wonderful event with Kate and Jol Temple for the launch of their new series, The Underdogs with much dog-themed shenanigans, and some crime solving throughout the bookshop looking for the stolen cupcakes. July is a quieter month with school holidays, but we still have a few fun events for kids of all ages. We are thrilled to have the very funny R. A. Spratt joining us for a morning of school holiday mischief on Thursday the 8th of July at 10am. We will have a morning tea with some writing activities and a whole load of giggles as we crack open her new book Shockingly Good Stories. Free and open to all ages as R. A. Spratt is a real hoot! Susanne Gervey will be talking to our year 5/6 book club kids on July the 10th at 3:30pm about her time slip historical novel Heroes Of The Secret Underground. This is based on her own family's escape from Budapest during the Holocaust. And our year 7/8 bookclubbers are super lucky to have Clayton Zane Comber joining us to talk about his new book 100 Remarkable Feats of Xander Maze. This has been an absolute stand out young adult read and we can't wait to chat to him about it on Saturday, July 17th at 3:30pm. To keep updated on what our book clubbers are reading you can join our mailing list by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @madhatters_gleeparty on Instagram. Happy reading, Rachel
July events (so far) July 8th, 10am R.A Spratt Shockingly Good Stories Morning Tea—open to all July 10th, 3.30 Year 5/6 Bookclub Susanne Gervey Heroes Of The Secret Underground July 17th, 3.30 Year 7/8 Bookclub Clayton Zane Comber 100 Remarkable Feats of Xander Maze Rhymetime & Storytime 10am Mondays & Fridays
Environment Award for children's literature 2021 short list
The Kids' Book of Paper Love ($30, PB) Pages & pages of beautiful paper that begs to be cut up, crafted with, doodled on, & shared, plus Flow's signature pull-out goodies: paper banners, postcards, stickers, paper dolls & posters too. There are beautiful bookmarks to snip out. Trading cards to write on, brightly patterned strips of paper make a festive paper chain, and DIY photo booth props—like a funny moustache or a crown. Big Book of Detective Games by Arianna Bellucci
This book contains 8 incredible logic & strategy board games playing out the challenge between the witty, highly intelligent detective and his historic enemy, the astute criminal mind. Through the different fun scenarios, kids can play games that can enhance their mathematical, strategical and logical skills. The book becomes a series of big game boards for hours of fun—with more than 70 pull-out markers. (8 plus) ($40, BD)
Pawcasso by Remy Lai ($17, PB)
100 Remarkable Feats of Xander Maze by Clayton Zane Comber
Can a list save a life? Xander Maze loves lists, and his grandmother is #1 on his list of People I Love Most in the World. But now that Nanna has stage 4 cancer, can a new list of 100 Remarkable Feats really save her? Particularly when his list contains difficult things like #2 Make a Friend and #3 Make a Best Friend—plus #10 Kiss a Girl (preferably Ally Collins, the girl of Xander's dreams). ($20, PB) Princess Delia must choose a prince to marry in order to secure an alliance & save her failing planet. Yet she secretly dreams of true love, and determined to chart her own course, she steals a spaceship to avoid the marriage, only to discover a handsome stowaway. All Aidan wanted was to 'borrow' a few palace trinkets to help him get off the planet—he never expected to be kidnapped by a runaway princess! Sparks fly as this headstrong princess & clever thief battle wits, but everything changes when they uncover a rebel conspiracy that could destroy their planet forever. The Dark Lady by Akala ($20, PB) Henry is an orphan, an outsider, a thief. He is also a 15-year-old invested with magical powers. This brilliant, at times brutal, debut novel from BAFTA / MOBO award-winning hip hop artist & writer Akala, will glue you to your seat as you are hurled into a time when London stank and boys like Henry were forced to find their own route through the tangled streets and out the other side.
The Ones We're Meant to Find by Joan He
Cee woke up on the shores of an abandoned island three years ago with no idea how she got there. Now eighteen, she lives in a shack with an ageing android, and a single memory—she has a sister, and she has to escape to find her. From the safety of the eco-city floating above Earth, now decimated by natural disasters, sixteen-year-old Kasey mourns Cee whom she's sure is dead. She too wants to escape—the eco-city is meant to be a sanctuary for people who want to save the planet, but its inhabitants are willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Is Kasey ready to use technology to help Earth, even though it failed her sister? ($20, PB)
Kids and adults can go crazy trying to finish this mindbending 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle which features a collection of LEGO® minifigure expressions. Raina's Day Jigsaw Puzzle ($28, BX) This colourful 450-piece jigsaw puzzle features a brightly coloured original piece of art by Raina Telgemeier. The box doubles as storage for treasures!
Rogue Princess by B. R. Myers ($20, PB)
LEGO Minifigure Faces Puzzle ($35, BX)
Every Saturday, Pawcasso trots into town with a basket, a shopping list and cash in paw to buy groceries for his family. One day, he passes by the bored & lonely Jo's house—when she sets out to follow him, a group of kids from school mistake her for Pawcasso's owner and, excited to make new friends, she hides the truth. But what starts as a Chihuahua-sized lie quickly grows into a Great Dane-sized problem when Pawcasso gets his own internet fan club. Will Jo risk her new friendships by telling the truth? (8-12)
The Underdogs Catch a Cat Burglar by Kate & Jol Temple (ill) Shiloh Gordon
The Underdog Detective Agency has a proud tradition of sniffing out trouble (plus sniffing each other’s butts). They’re on a mission to catch Dogtown’s elusive cat burglar … but if they want to crack this case, they’re going to need help!Enter Fang. Letting a scruffy street cat join the Underdogs is a bold move, but sometimes you’ve got to risk it to get the (dog) biscuit.#1 in a new series from the fabulous Bin Chicken authors. (under 8's) ($13, PB)
Lightfall: The Girl & the Galdurian by Tim Probert
Deep in the heart of the planet Irpa stands the Salty Pig's House of Tonics & Tinctures, home of the wise Pig Wizard and his adopted granddaughter, Bea. As keepers of the Endless Flame, they live a quiet & peaceful life, crafting medicines and potions for the people of their once-prosperous world. All that changes one day when Bea meets Cad, a member of the Galdurians, an ancient race thought to be long-extinct. Cad believes that if anyone can help him find his missing people, it's the Pig Wizard. But when the two arrive home, the Pig Wizard is nowhere to be found-all that's left is the Jar of Endless Flame and a mysterious note. (8–12)($20, PB)
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki (ill) Jillian Tamaki
Every summer, Rose goes with her mom & dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose & Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It's a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other. A Caldecott honor book. (Y/A)($37, PB)
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Tuesday 29th June, 6 for 6.30 Sisters in Crime NSW present: True Crime, what is it, why write it, why read it? Tanya Bretherton & Nina Young in conversation with Catherine du Peloux Menagé Wednesday 30th June, 6 for 6.30 Peter Hartcher—Red Zone Thursday 1st July, 6 for 6.30pm Jo Frasca & Jo Silbert Animals as the Third in Relational Psychotherapy Friday 2nd July, 6 for 6.30pm Susannah Hardy— Loving Lizzie March Launcher Valerie Khoo, Emcee Diana Glenn Tuesday 6th July, 6 for 6.30pm Dianne O'Brien—Daughter of the River Country Launcher Linda Burney, in conv. with Sue Williams ***At Harold Park Community Hall*** Friday 9th July, 6 for 6.30pm Marty Branagan—Locked On Launcher David Shoebridge Sunday 11th Jul, 2.30 for 3pm Sarah Hawthorn—A Voice in the Night Launcher Caroline Beecham Friday 16th July, 6 for 6.30pm Amber Petty—This is not a Love Song Tuesday 20th July, 6 for 6.30pm Joyce Morgan—The Countess of Kirribilli Launcher Jenna Price For the collector The Shadowcatchers: A History of cinematography in Australia by Martha Ansara, $200.00
288pp., b/w and colour illus., index. Faint scratches to cover. Lightly creased spine. Otherwise excellent tight clean copy. This book begins with the first Australian filmmakers (1896–1913), early silent film cameramen & the Salvation Army limelight department and ends with the Anifex cinematographers; Dione Beebe ACS; the revolution in technology and the Australian Cinematographers Society list of members. Ilustrated with rare behind the scenes stills of Australian DOPs at work. Selected from thousands of pictures sent to the Australian Cinematographers Society by members & colleagues or found in archives, these beautifully reporduces photographs colour and blakc and white, as Ansara says in her introduction, 'reward close attention to faces, fashions, gestures, relationships, moods, machines, places, and changes ... the histories they tell us come with a smile, or a quiet murmur, and we have to be quick to catch the meaning.
Beeswing: Fairport, Folk Rock and Finding My Voice, 1967–75 by Richard Thompson ($40, HB)
It was 1967 & popular music was reflecting a great cultural awakening. In the midst of this, 18-year-old Richard Thompson co-founded Fairport Convention. From the pivotal years of 1967 to 1975, he matured into a major musician, survived a devastating car crash & departed Fairport Convention for a duo act with his wife, Linda, at the height of the band's popularity. His discovery & ultimate embrace of Sufism profoundly reshaped his approach to everything in his life and, of course, the music he wrote thereafter. Thompson goes back to his childhood, recreates the spirit of the 60s & takes us inside life on the road in the UK & the US, crossing paths—and occasionally sharing the stage—with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Nick Drake, Jimi Hendrix & more.
Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of a Troubadour by Rickie Lee Jones ($33, PB)
One weekend night on prime time television, a then-unknown singer & vital part of the burgeoning Los Angeles jazz pop scene skyrocketed to fame overnight after a now iconic performance on Saturday Night Live. The year was 1979, the song Chuck E's in Love, and the singer, donning her trademark red beret, was the soon to be pronounced 'Duchess of Coolsville' Rickie Lee Jones. From her nomadic childhood as the granddaughter of vaudevillian performers to her father's abandonment of the family & her years as a teenage runaway, from her beginnings at LA's Troubadour club to her tumultuous relationship with Tom Waits, her battle with drugs, motherhood as a touring artist & longevity as a woman in rock & roll—Jones shares these never-before-told stories of the girl in the raspberry beret.
Getting Carter: Ted Lewis and the Birth of Brit Noir by Nick Triplow ($40, PB) Born in Manchester in 1940, Ted Lewis grew up in the tough environs of post-war Humberside, attending Hull College of Arts & Crafts before heading for London. His life described a cycle of obscurity to glamour & back to obscurity, followed by death at only 42. He sampled the bright temptations of 60s London, frequenting Soho drinking dens, rubbing shoulders with the 'East End boys' in gangland haunts, while working in advertising, TV & films. Unable to repeat the commercial success of Get Carter, Lewis's life fell apart & he returned to Humberside & an all too early demise. Longtime admirer Nick Triplow has fashioned an unsparing narrative of the old cocktail of rags to riches to rags.
The Musical Human by Michael Spitzer ($30, PB)
How we have created, performed & listened to music throughout history has defined what our species is & how we understand who we are. Musicologist, Michael Spitzer, takes an exhilarating journey across the ages from Bach to BTS & back to explore the vibrant relationship between music & the human species. With insights from a wealth of disciplines, Spitzer renders a global history of music on the widest possible canvas, looking at music in our everyday lives; music in world history; and music in evolution, from insects to apes, humans to AI.
A Little Devil in America: In Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib ($37, HB)
In a profound meditation on Black performance in the modern age, in which culture, history & his own lived experience collide, poet & essayist, Hanif Abdurraqib, explores a sequence of iconic & intimate performances from mid-century Paris to the moon—and back down again, to a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio. Each moment in each performance he examines has layers of resonance in Black & white cultures, the politics of American empire, and his own personal history of love & grief—whether it's the 27 seconds of 'Gimme Shelter' in which Merry Clayton sings, or the magnificent hours of Aretha Franklin's homegoing; Beyonce's Super Bowl half-time show or a schoolyard fistfight; Dave Chapelle's skits or a game of spades among friends.
Staging Shakespeare's Violence: My Cue to Fight by Seth Duerr ($85, HB)
The plays of William Shakespeare seek to engage audiences with all of the characters' blood, tears, sweat & guts. They are not flowery poems meant to be declaimed in frilly costumes. There is nothing light & fluffy about 'rape' & 'murder's rages', or 'carving' someone as a dish fit for the gods, or fighting till from one's bones one's 'flesh be hacked'. Making matters more complicated is the ambiguity & sometimes even complete lack of stage directions. The potential violence in Shakespeare is not appropriate for all productions or scene partners. This book offers questions & inspiration to actors, directors, fight directors to work together to find the most effective way for their production to communicate Shakespeare's story.
More from 33 1/3, $20 each Roxy Music's Avalon by Simon A. Morrison Duran Duran's Rio by Annie Zaleski Donna Summer's Once Upon a Time by Alex Jeffery
Vociferate by Emily Sun ($30, PB)
Vociferate is a collection of poems inspired by Asian-American feminist writers. Like these writers, Emily resists interpellation into both Eurocentric & patriarchal tropes, as she explores the idea of national & transnational identities and the concept of belonging. Underpinning the poems is a resistance to Orientalism, and an untangling of what it means to be an Asian-Australian moving through many different geopolitical & social contexts.
Poems that Do Not Sleep by Hassan al Nawwab
Hassan Al Nawwab is a former Iraqi soldier who came to Australia with his family after the war 20 years ago. With devastating simplicity, these imagistic poems speak of war and terror, of homesickness in exile, the blessings of peace and the pain of belonging. The collection is in two parts, 'Tree Flying' and 'Diaspora', and each poem is presented with its counterpart in Arabic on the opposite page, as translated from English by the poet himself. ($30, PB)
Whisper Songs by Tony Birch ($25, PB)
Tony Birch invites the reader into a tender conversation with those he loves—and has loved—the most. He also challenges the past to speak up by interrogating the archive, including documents from his own family history, highlighting forcefully the ways in which the personal is also intensely political. Divided into three sections—Blood, Skin and Water—the poems in Whisper Songs address themes of loss (of people and place), the legacies of colonial history and violence, and the relationships between Country and memory. Whisper Songs reveals Birch at his lyrical and intimate best.
The Wind Was Rising by Na Ye ($25, PB)
Na Ye’s poetry shows her as a woman relaxed at her work, smoking while staring inwardly at the outside world, focusing on her own inner world, seeking peace and tranquillity from night as much as from the storm or desert out there in her peripheral vision. For her, brevity is a beauty as brief as the word, a poetic art that she’s constantly honing in on. Translated by Ouyang Yu.
Sydney Spleen by Toby Fitch ($24, PB) Toby Fitch takes Charles Baudelaire’s concept of spleen as melancholy with no apparent cause, characterised by a disgust with everything – and combines it with a contemporary sense of irony so as to articulate the causes of our doom and gloom: corporate rapacity, climate change, disaster capitalism, the plague, neo-colonialism, fake news, fascism, and how to raise kids in a world fast becoming obsolete. Fitch's backdrop is sparkling Sydney and its screens, through which he mainlines global angst. Dog Songs: Poems by Mary Oliver ($30, HB) Mary Oliver celebrates the special bond between human & dog, through her connection to the dogs who across the years accompanied her on her daily walks, warmed her home & inspired her work. The poems begin in the small everyday moments familiar to all dog lovers & become meditations on the world and our place in it. The collection includes visits with old friends, like Oliver's most beloved dog Percy, and introduces others in poems of love & laughter, heartbreak & grief. Throughout, the many dogs of Oliver's life merge as fellow travellers & as guides, uniquely able to open our eyes to the lessons of the moment & the joys of nature & connection. Intimate, low-voiced, delicate things by Esther Ottaway ($25, PB)
From the award-winning author of Blood Universe: poems on pregnancy comes a full-length collection of new poems: beautiful, poignant meditations on family and its origins, parenthood, love and the loss of love.
Trigger Warning by Maria Takolander ($25, PB)
In the first of 3 sections, Maria Takolander summons a difficult personal history by conversing with poets—from Sylvia Plath to Anne Carson—whose dramatised confessions trigger Takolander's own. In the second part she remains focused on the domestic, while redeeming that scene of trauma through a reinventing wit. And in the final section Takolander turns her attention outside, playing with poetry itself in order to confront the Anthropocene and the final frontier of death.
The Gleaner Song: Selected Poems by Song Lin and Dong Li ($24, PB)
When the Tiananmen protest exploded in Beijing in June 1989, Song led student demonstrations in Shanghai and was imprisoned for almost a year. He left China soon afterwards. This selection of poems, made by the translator Dong Li and the poet himself, spans four decades of poetic exploration, with a focus on poems written during the poet’s long stay in France, Singapore, Argentina, and more recently, his return to China. Though informed by the classics and a thorough study of the Chinese language, his poetry weaves through American, French, and Latin American traditions.
Granny’s Good Reads with Sonia Lee How do I love Francis Spufford? Let me count the ways….. I first fell under his spell with The Child that Books Built where he writes about his academic parents, his disabled sister, and the books that fed his imagination. I admired the nimbleness and subtlety of his prose in True Stories and Other Essays and Unapologetic where he defends the ‘God-deluded’ against Richard Dawkins. I was blown away by his first novel Golden Hill which is written with such energy that it fizzes off the page. Now there is his second novel Light Perpetual, a brilliant experiment in fiction where, by authorial sleight of hand, he resurrects five children killed by a V2 rocket in 1944 in a Woolworths in South London, giving them names and personalities and ‘what if’ lives. Jo and Val, sisters, Vernon, called ‘Vermin’ at school, Alec, smart and mouthy, and Ben, small and timid— we meet them at intervals until 2009. Jo is musically gifted, but as girlfriend of a rock star she can’t get her songs performed. Val falls for a skinhead, with predictable consequences. Vern becomes a crooked developer, with a surprising passion for opera. Alec is a Fleet Street compositor whose craft is blown away like a dandelion flower-head and replaced by new technology. Ben is a bus conductor whom we see having a schizophrenic episode, oblivious of the danger from skinheads on the top deck. Spufford, like Graham Swift, inhabits his characters completely, and knows them so intimately that I’m sure that he, like Swift, expects to see them walking down the High Street. After the superb opening chapter, I wondered how he could possibly end the novel. I needn’t have worried; the ending is perfect and completely satisfying. I have a card featuring a man in a patched coat coming out of a bookshop with an armful of books and a beatific smile on his face, under the legend ‘Wear the old coat, Buy the new book’. This is a sentiment of which I heartily approve, as does Martin Latham, manager of Waterstone’s bookstore in Canterbury, who has written The Bookseller’s Tale, a hugely enjoyable book about book lovers, book collectors, comfort books, incunabula fanatics, chapbooks, book pedlars and more. Latham is one of eight children whose Dad, on a working man’s wage, was a passionate book collector, so the whole family wore patched coats, though his Mum didn’t often wear a beatific smile. He tells stories about the cherishing and even kissing of books, doodling in margins and the handling of rare books— a good thing, he says. A favourite comfort book with his customers is I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, a book I too like to read when I’m sick or miserable, along with Nerve by Dick Francis and a few others that I’m too ashamed to admit to. In a chapter called Dubious Dewey Latham pulls the rug out from under the inventor of the Dewey decimal system by recounting how he banned Jews, African Americans and Cubans from his Lake Placid resort while the sanctimonious old wretch was a confirmed groper of women. Latham proudly says that he filed the biggest petty cash claim in the history of Waterstone’s to pay for the excavation of a Roman bath house full of mosaics under his store. His book is full of stories, such as one about Wang Jei the first named printer in history and Marie Pellechet, a collector of incunabula, who was originally shunned by Curators because she was a woman. His last chapter is filled with all the interesting people who have visited his shop, like Manolo Blahnik, whose posh dog got mauled by the bookstore cat, and how when he first started at the store, he employed a graduate to manage the fiction section—David Mitchell. Yes, that David Mitchell. One of my favourite lockdown reads was Augustine: Confessions and Conversions by Robin Lane Fox, which so impressed me that I treated myself to his latest tome The Invention of Medicine from Hippocrates to Homer. Greek doctors had bronze scalpels, needles, probes and dilators and they were able to perform delicate operations like trepanning. They used medicinal plants, and some had gardens for the cultivation of plants in frequent use. Bandages were used, and olive oil and honey for enemas etc. They may not have known about contagion, but they recommended healthy food and exercise. Hippocrates is credited with the dictum ‘First do no harm’, as well as the Hippocratic Oath, and the Hippocratic manoeuvre is still used to fix a dislocated collar bone. This is a very learned work in which Fox examines vocabulary, types of diseases, weather, inscriptions, archaeological remains & botany, (as well as being an ancient historian he is gardening correspondent of the Financial Times.) There are five books called the Epidemics attributed to Hippocrates, and Lane Fox takes us on a vivid ride through the island-city of Thasos, while arguing his case for the date of the books, around 470BC, which would make Hippocrates a pioneer in observations and case histories of real-life patients over an extensive period. If you can’t get too worked up about dating controversies and the influence on Aeschylus, Sophocles, Thucydides and so on, you will love Fox’s dry wit and you will be fascinated by the illnesses. The ancients didn’t get measles or venereal diseases, but they suffered from the plague, malaria, mumps and arthritis. Maternal and child mortality don’t get a rating in the index but a few of the women patients died of what could be puerperal fever, but Lane Fox thinks malaria is more likely. In the ancient world girls were married at the age of 12-14, poor things. Sonia
China Panic: Australia's Alternative to Paranoia and Pandering by David Brophy ($33, PB)
In 2014, Chinese president Xi Jinping said there was an 'ocean of goodwill' between our country & his. Since then, that ocean has shown dramatic signs of freezing over. David Brophy takes apart Australia's China debate—its strange alliances & diplomatic failures. Justified criticism of China has too often given way to paranoia & exaggeration. While the xenophobic right hovers in the wings, some of the loudest voices decrying Chinese subversion come, unexpectedly, from the left. They call for new security laws, increased scrutiny of Chinese Australians and, if necessary, military force—a prescription for a sharp rightward turn in Australian politics. Brophy offers a progressive alternative. Instead of punitive moves & chest-beating that will only make Australia more like China, we need solutions & strategies that strengthen Australian democracy.
Everything You Need to Know About the Uluru Statement from the Heart by Megan Davis & George Williams ($28, PB)
On 26 May 2017, after a historic process of consultation, the Uluru Statement from the Heart was read out. This clear & urgent call for reform to the community from Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples asked for the establishment of a First Nations Voice to Parliament protected in the constitution & a process of agreement-making & truth-telling. Voice. Treaty. Truth. What was the journey to this point? What do Australians need to know about this statement? And how can these reforms be achieved? Constitutional experts Megan Davis & George Williams write about how our Constitution was drafted, what the 1967 referendum achieved, and the lead-up & response to the Uluru Statement. And they explain how the Uluru Statement offers change that will benefit the whole nation.
Yornadaiyn Woolagoodja ($35, HB)
This book is a biography & a generous sharing of Yorna's Culture & traditional beliefs. Explore the meaning of Country, Lalai ('Creation'), Wandjina, Woongudd (the 'Snake'), in the author's Country in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Full of extraordinary images of the landscape, rock art, stone arrangements & the artist's paintings, Yornadaiyn Woolagoodja is a feast for anyone interested in this rich Cultural heritage. Special feature boxes on Joonba ('Corroborree'), Native Title, Permisson and Respect, Sugarbag, Ancestors' Bones, Collecting Turtle and many more.
The Last Correspondent: Dispatches from the frontline of Xi's new China by Michael Smith
A late-night visit to his Shanghai laneway house by China’s notorious secret police triggered a diplomatic storm which abruptly ended Michael Smith’s stint as one of Australia’s last foreign correspondents in China. After 5 days under consular protection, Smith was evacuated from a very different China to the country he first visited 25 years earlier. The visit marked a new twist in Australia’s 50-year diplomatic relationship with China which was now coming apart at the seams. But it also symbolised the authoritarianism creeping into every aspect of society under President Xi Jinping over the last three years. Through first-person accounts of life on the ground & interviews with friends as well as key players in Chinese society right up to the country’s richest man, Smith explores what China’s rise to become the world’s newest superpower means for Australia & the rest of the world. ($35, PB)
French Connection by Alexis Bergantz ($35, PB)
The French have been integral to the Australian story since European colonisation. Escaped convicts from New Caledonia, wool buyers from Lille, Roubaix & Tourcoing, gold-diggers, artisans, teachers & café owners, they were not always the crème de la crème. In the late 1800s, for Australians, France was the land of haute cuisine, haute couture and high culture, but also a country of dangerous revolutionaries and menacing colonialists. Alexis Bergantz’s well-researched and very engagingly written history of the French in Australia offers revealing portraits of individual lives, deftly assesses the way the two societies saw each other, and explains how the French helped create modern Australia.
True Tracks by Terri Janke ($45, PB)
Indigenous cultures are not terra nullius—nobody’s land, free to be taken. True Tracks is a ground-breaking work that paves the way for the respectful and ethical engagement with Indigenous knowledges and cultures. Combining real-world cases and personal stories, award-winning Meriam/Wuthathi lawyer Dr Terri Janke draws on twenty years of professional experience to inform and inspire leaders across many industries—from art and architecture, to film and publishing, dance, science and tourism. How will your project affect and involve Indigenous communities? What Indigenous materials and knowledge are you using? Who owns Indigenous languages? True Tracks helps answer these questions and many more, and provides invaluable guidelines that enable Indigenous peoples to actively practise, manage and strengthen their cultural life and empower future generations.
QE 82: Care and fear—the new politics by George Megalogenis ($25, PB)
Australia faces recession. In the wake of the pandemic, will we see a new politics of care & fear, of social security & concern for the future? George Megalogenis explains what we know about recessions & unemployment & how governments should respond. He explores the gender & generational aspects of job losses, and the fate of higher education—what happened to the clever country? He considers the state of the federation and asks what future for a divided nation?
Upheaval: Disrupted lives in journalism ($40, PB) by Andrew Dodd & Matthew Ricketson (eds)
Too Migrant, Too Muslim, Too Loud by Mehreen Faruqi ($33, PB)
In a no-holds-barred memoir & manifesto outspoken senator, trouble-maker & multicultural icon Mehreen Faruqi, the first Muslim woman in any Australian parliament, offers a unique & crucial perspective on our politics & democracy—the tale of a political outsider fighting for her right & the rights of others like her to be let inside on their terms. From her beginnings in Pakistan & remaking in Australia, Faruqi recounts her struggle to navigate 2 vastly different, changing worlds — sharing shattering insights learned as a migrant, an engineer, an activist, a feminist & a politician.
Newsrooms, the engine rooms of reporting, have shrunk. A generation of journalists has borne witness to seismic changes in the media. Sharing stories from more than 50 Australian journalists— including Amanda Meade, David Marr & Flip Prior—Upheaval reveals the highs & the lows of those who were there to see it all. They show us life inside frenetic & vibrant newsrooms at the peak of their influence, and the difficulties of adapting to ever-accelerating news cycles with fewer resources. Some left journalism altogether while others stayed in the media—or sought to reinvent it. Journalists share the rawness of losing their own job or watching others lose theirs. They reveal their anxieties & hopes for the industry’s future & their commitment to reporting news that matters.
Fatal Contact by Peter Dowling ($34.95, PB)
The Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975 led to a prolonged conflict, severe human rights abuses & a large loss of life. The Australian governments of Gough Whitlam & Malcolm Fraser presented themselves as advocates for human rights & the international rule of law, while viewing relations with Indonesia as key to their foreign policy objectives. These positions came into conflict due to the Indonesian invasion of East Timor. Based upon an extensive study of Australian foreign affairs archives, as well as interviews, Peter Job demonstrates how the Australian government responded to the conflict by propagating a version of events that denied the reality of the catastrophe occurring in East Timor—working to protect the Suharto regime internationally, thereby allowing it to continue its repression relatively unhindered.
chuted into the remote jungled heart of the Japanese-occupied island of Borneo, there to recruit the island's indigenous Dayak peoples to fight the Japanese. So begins the story of Operation Semut, codenamed Services Reconnaisance Department, in the final months of WWII. Anthropologist Christine Helliwell has called on her years of first-hand knowledge of Borneo, interviewed more than 100 Dayak people & all the remaining Semut operatives, and consulted thousands of military & other documents to piece together this astonishing story. Focusing on the operation's activities along two of Borneo's great rivers—the Baram & Rejang—the book provides a detailed military history of Semut II's & Semut III's brutal guerrilla campaign against the Japanese, and reveals the decisive but longoverlooked Dayak role in the operation.
Epidemics of smallpox, tuberculosis, influenza, measles & sexually transmitted diseases swept through the Indigenous populations of the continent well into the 20th century. The consequences still echo today in Aboriginal health & life expectancy. Peter Dowling examines the major epidemics & explains the complexities of disease infection & immunology. He considers the individual medical history of Truganini, the Tasmanian Aboriginal woman erroneously known as ‘the Last Tasmanian’. By focusing on the disease burden she faced during her life, he creates a deeper & personal understanding of how First Nation Australians suffered & yet survived.
A Narrative of Denial: Australia and the Indone- Semut by Christine Helliwell ($35, PB) sian Violation of East Timor by Peter Job ($40, PB) March 1945. A handful of young Allied operatives are para-
Convict-era Port Arthur: Misery of the deepest dye AFA 12: Feeling the Heat—Australia Under by David W. Cameron ($35, PB) Port Arthur was one of the most remote & feared convict locations Climate Pressure (ed) Jonathan Pearlman
in Australia. David Cameron details the development of the prison & its outlying stations, including its dreaded coal mines & provides an account of the changing views to convict rehabilitation by focussing in on a number of individuals, telling the story through their eyes. Charles O'Hara Booth, a significant commandant of Port Arthur; Mark Jeffrey, a convict who became the grave digger on the Island of the Dead; and William Thompson, who arrived just as the new probation system started & who was forced to work in the treacherous coal mines. Cameron brings Port Arthur to life—its horrors & its changing role over a 50-year period—using the experiences & words of the convicts, soldiers and administrators who spent time there.
This issue looks at the consequences of splitting from the international consensus, and at how a climate pivot by Canberra could unlock new diplomatic & economic opportunities. Chris Wallace on Australia's military-industrial complex & what it means for our stance on climate. Wesley Morgan on how Australia's climate policy affects our relationships in the Pacific. Richard Dennis & Allan Behm on Australia's efforts to block international climate action. Amanda McKenzie on how & why Australia's climate policy impedes its diplomacy. Andrew Bergen & Jeffrey Wall on how Australia can boost business ties in the Pacific. Richard Cooke on foreign policy jargon & how to decode it. ($23, PB)
David Price offers a window into an evolving history of Western Australia that is still struggling into the light. From searches for serial killers and missing persons to the persecution of migrants and Aboriginal people, Price goes back to a time when the line between lawmakers and criminals was lightly drawn. Based on a wide array of contemporaneous accounts of life in the Gascoyne, these sometimes shocking, sometimes disturbing true crime stories depict an era when Australia's laws served to maintain order rather than to secure justice. ($33, PB)
From boardrooms to blockade camps, from the lush East Gippsland forests to the golden Ningaloo Reef, the fight against environmental destruction takes place in many spaces. The Advocates tells the inside story of 9 extraordinary women within the Australian environmental movement. Over the past 50 years these advocates have held corporations to account, cleaned up toxic waste in their own backyards, and returned biodiversity to our forests. In often unseen & unacknowledged ways these women have educated, agitated & pioneered new approaches to the many crises in the Australian environment. Told through richly detailed interviews, these stories get to the heart of why these women have dedicated their lives to environmental causes & the different ways they have persevered.
Dark Tales from the Long River: A Bloody History The Advocates of Australia's North-West Frontier by David Price by Robyn Gulliver & Jill L Ferguson ($35, PB)
New 'In the National Interest' ($19.95 each, PB) Our National Shame: Violence against Women by Kate Fitz-gibbon
Transformative national leadership must drive the tackling of gender The Nordic Edge: Policy Possibilities for Ausinequality. But do our political masters have either the will or the tralia (eds) Andrew Scott & Rod Campbell Climate & energy. Work/life balance. Mining taxes. Progress integrity to meet this challenge? on policy issues like these is essential, and yet they have beEnough is Enough come subject to the most rancorous partisanship, the precipiby Kate Thwaites & Jenny Macklin tation of culture wars, and have brought down governments. What is it about the culture and structure of Parliament House that has allowed sexual It is impossible to make any progress without major political violence and harassment to flourish? Enough is enough! upheaval. This collection explores policies adopted by SweBlood Lust, Trust & Blame by Samantha Crompvoets den, Finland, Denmark, Norway & Iceland & the exciting Crompvoets tells the story of what went wrong in the ADF. It is a chronicle of the conse- possibilities they provide to overcome Australia's seemingly intractable problems. Leading Australian & Nordic thinkers & policy quences of pursuing the truth, the politics of accountability, and the cost of action. practitioners, including Sweden's recent Foreign Minister, outline proven approachRespect by Jill Hennessy Should the government of the day legislate respect? Should it lead the community or es to help Australia become a fairer, happier, wealthier & more environmentally follow it? Victorian MP Jill Hennessey, exhorts us to reclaim the empathy that respect responsible country. Re-enter Australia's policy debates with optimism, new ideas and a Nordic edge. ($33, PB) depends on.
Escape from Manus by Jaivet Ealom ($35, PB)
In 2013 Jaivet Ealom fled Myanmar's brutal regime & boarded a boat of asylum seekers bound for Australia. Instead of receiving refuge, he was transported to Manus Regional Processing Centre. Blistering hot days on the island turned into weeks, then years until, finally, facing either jail in PNG or being returned to almost certain death in Myanmar, he drew inspiration from the hit show Prison Break, and meticulously planned an escape. Having made it out alive—stateless, with no ID or passport—his true escape to freedom had only just begun. How Jaivet made it to sanctuary in Canada in a 6-month-long odyssey by foot, boat, car & plane is miraculous. His story will astonish, anger and inspire you— and make you reassess what it means to give refuge.
Great Stories Uncovered
Democracy Rules by Jan-Werner Müller ($45, HB)
Political philosopher Jan-Werner Müller lucidly argues that in order for us to understand the true risks of our current moment, we must first establish an understanding of first principles. What is essential for democracy to flourish? How can we defend it without forever distorting its DNA? He explains how democracy is founded not just on liberty & equality, but also on uncertainty. Drawing on history, art & examples from around the globe, he shows that we need to re-invigorate political parties & free media, the institutions that have been essential for democracy's success ever since the 19th century. Taking on many of the most difficult political questions we face, Müller offers a vital rethinking of what democracy can mean in an age of big data, curated news feeds, collapsing parties & social alienation—and how we can reinvent our democratic social contract.
The Plague Year: America in the Time of Covid by Lawrence Wright ($45, HB)
The story starts with the initial moments of Covid's appearance in Wuhan and ends with Joseph Biden's inauguration in an America ravaged by well over 400,000 deaths—a mortality already some ten times worse than US combat deaths in the entire Vietnam War. Author of the definitive 9/11 book, The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright has written an anguished, furious memorial to a year in which all of America's great strengths—its scientific knowledge, its great civic & intellectual institutions, its spirit of voluntarism & community—were brought low, not by a terrifying new illness alone, but by political incompetence & cynicism on a scale for which there has been no precedent. He unfolds this great tragedy by talking with individuals on the front line, bringing together many moving & surprising stories & painting a devastating picture of a country literally & fatally misled.
The Premonition: A Pandemic Story by Michael Lewis ($50, HB)
In January 2020, as people started dying from a new virus in Wuhan, China, few really understood the magnitude of what was happening. Except, that is, a small group of scientific misfits who in their different ways had been obsessed all their lives with how viruses spread & replicated—and with why the governments & the institutions that were supposed to look after us, kept making the same mistakes time and again. This group saw what nobody else did. A pandemic was coming. We weren't prepared. In a story of how we got to now, Michael Lewis talks to this group who anticipated, traced & hunted the coronavirus; who understood the need to think differently, to learn from history, to question everything; and to do all of this fast, in order to act, to save lives, communities, society itself.
American Kompromat by Craig Unger
Was Donald Trump a Russian asset? Just how compromised was he? And how could such an audacious feat have been accomplished? Based on extended & exclusive interviews with high-level sources in the KGB, CIA & FBI, as well as lawyers at white-shoe Washington firms, associates of Jeffrey Epstein & thousands of pages of FBI reports, police investigations & news articles in English, Russian & Ukrainian, Craig Unger's jaw-dropping narrative, set in Upper East Side mansions & private Caribbean islands, gigantic yachts & private jets, shows that from Donald Trump to Jeffrey Epstein, Russian operations transformed the darkest secrets of the most powerful people in the world into potent weapons that served its interests. ($35, PB)
Hard Choices: What Britain Does Next by Peter Ricketts ($35, HB)
After decades of peace & prosperity, the international order put in place after WWII is rapidly coming to an end. Disastrous foreign wars, global recession, the meteoric rise of China & India & the COVID pandemic have undermined the power of the West's international institutions & unleashed the forces of nationalism and protectionism. In this analysis, one of Britain's most experienced senior diplomats highlights the key dilemmas Britain faces, from trade to security, arguing that international co-operation and solidarity are the surest ways to prosper in a world more dangerous than ever.
From critically acclaimed comedian Becky Lucas comes a funny, consoling and very candid collection of stories and essays about growing up and figuring it out that establishes her as one of today’s most original comedy writers.
An unforgettable novel about the difference between getting older and growing up, from an astonishing new and original voice, pulsing with grief, hope and love.
From the author of When God was a Rabbit and Tin Man, Still Life is a big-hearted story of people brought together by love, war, art and the ghost of E.M. Forster.
Out now from The Grey Men: Pursuing the Stasi into the Present by Ralph Hope ($30, PB)
After the fall of the Berlin wall, overnight, almost 100 thousand Stasi employees, many of them experienced officers with access to highly personal information, found themselves unemployed. Former FBI Agent Ralph Hope uses critical insider knowledge & access to Stasi records to track & expose ex-officers working everywhere from the Russian energy sector to the police & even the government department tasked with prosecuting Stasi crimes. He examines why the key players have never been called to account and, in doing so, asks whether we have really learned from the past at all.
America on Fire by Elizabeth Hinton ($33, PB)
Between 1964 & 1972, the United States endured domestic violence on a scale not seen since the Civil War. Ever since, Americans have been living in a nation & national culture created, in part, by the extreme violence of this period. Elizabeth Hinton draws on previously untapped sources to unravel this extraordinary history for the first time, arguing that the civil rights struggle cannot be understood without coming to terms with the astonishing violence, and hugely expanded policing regime, that followed it. Hinton underlines a crucial lesson—that police violence precipitates community violence—and shows how it continues to escape policy makers, who respond by further criminalizing entire groups instead of addressing underlying socioeconomic causes.
The Profit Paradox by Jan Eeckhout ($33, PB)
In an era of technological progress & easy communication, it might seem reasonable to assume that the world’s working people have never had it so good. But wages are stagnant & prices are rising, so that everything from a bottle of beer to a prosthetic hip costs more. Jan Eeckhout shows how this is due to a small number of companies exploiting an unbridled rise in market power—the ability to set prices higher than they could in a properly functioning competitive marketplace. Drawing on his own research & telling the stories of common workers throughout, he demonstrates how market power has suffocated the world of work, and how, without better mechanisms to ensure competition, it could lead to disastrous market corrections & political turmoil. Traveling Black by Mia Bay (59.95, HB) African Americans have fought for over a century to move freely around the US. Curious as to why so many cases contesting the doctrine of 'separate but equal' involved trains & buses, Mia Bay asks: How did travel segregation begin? Why were so many of those who challenged it in court women? How did it move from one form of transport to another? What was it like to be caught up in this web of contradictory rules? Bay explores when, how, and why racial restrictions took shape and brilliantly portrays what it was like to live with them.
Day of the Assassins: A History of Political Assassination by Michael Burleigh ($35, PB)
Michael Burleigh explores the many facets of political assassination, explaining the role of historical precedent, why it is more frequent in certain types of society than others & asking if assassination can either bring about change, or prevent it, and whether, like a contagious disease, political murder can be catching. Focusing chiefly on the last century & a half, Burleigh takes readers to the Congo, India, Iran, Laos, Rwanda & South Africa and revisits notable assassinations in Europe, Russia, Israel & the US. Throughout, the assassins themselves are at the centre of the narrative, whether they were professional killers, or men motivated by the politicization of their private miseries. Combining human drama, questions of political morality and the sheer randomness of events, Burleigh gives a riveting insight into the politics of violence.
The Bomber Mafia: A Story Set in War by Malcolm Gladwell ($35, PB)
Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small band of idealistic strategists had a different view. This 'Bomber Mafia' asked: What if precision bombing could, just by taking out critical choke points—industrial or transportation hubs—cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal? Malcolm Gladwell delves deep into questions of how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war.
The Partition: Ireland Divided, 1885–1925 by Charles Townshend ($50, HB)
In the aftermath of the horrors of the Irish Famine, the grim, distrustful relationship between Ireland & the rest of the UK deteriorated into a generations-long argument about 'Home Rule'. The unprecedented nature of the Irish problem—with most Irish people wanting to break away from the world's largest Empire—made it extraordinarily difficult for either side to come up with a compromise. For many years actual independence seemed inconceivable. The Partition is a clearsighted account of how two unthinkable events—full Irish independence & the creation of the state of Northern Ireland—came to pass. The settlement of the Irish question drew in every major politician, conjured up heroes & villains, led to civil war and finally to Ulster's catastrophic Troubles. The hard border has always been seen as a failure of both British & Irish statecraft, but has endured now for a century. Charles Townshend brings to life the contingency & uncertainty that created it.
The Pathfinders: The Elite RAF Force that Turned the Tide of WWII by Will Iredale ($35, PB)
The pathfinders elevated Bomber Command—initially the only part of the Allied war effort capable of attacking the heart of Nazi Germany—from an impotent force on the cusp of disintegration in 1942 to one capable of razing whole German cities to the ground in a single night, striking with devastating accuracy, inspiring fear & loathing in Hitler's senior command. With exclusive interviews with remaining survivors, personal diaries, previously classified records & never-before seen photographs, Will Iredale brings to life the characters of the airmen & women—many barely out of their teens—who took to the skies in legendary British aircraft such as the Lancaster & the Mosquito, facing almost unimaginable levels of violence from enemy fighter planes to strike at the heart of the Nazi war machine.
Dancing on Ropes: Translators and the Balance of History by Anna Aslanyan ($35, HB)
The course of diplomacy rarely runs smooth; without an invisible army of translators & interpreters, it's hard to see how it could run at all. But though such go-betweens tend to be overlooked, even despised, the subtlest of them have achieved a remarkable degree of influence. Join veteran translator Anna Aslanyan to explore hidden histories of cunning and ambition, heroism & incompetence. Meet the figures behind the notable events of history, from the Great Game to Brexit, and discover just how far a simple misunderstanding can go.
Europe Against the Jews, 1880-1945 by Götz Aly
If we are to fully understand how and why the Holocaust happened, Götz Aly argues in this groundbreaking study, we must examine its prehistory throughout Europe. We must look at countries as far-flung as Romania and France, Russia and Greece, where, decades before the Nazis came to power, a deadly combination of envy, competition, nationalism, and social upheaval fuelled a surge of anti-Semitism, creating the preconditions for the deportations and murder to come. In the late nineteenth century, new opportunities for education and social advancement were opening up, and Jewish minorities took particular advantage of them, leading to widespread resentment. At the same time, newly created nation-states, especially in the east, were striving for ethnic homogeneity and national renewal, goals which they saw as inextricably linked. Ultimately, the German architects of genocide found support for the Final Solution in nearly all the countries they occupied or were allied with. Drawing upon a wide range of previously unpublished sources, Aly traces the sequence of events that made persecution of Jews an increasingly acceptable European practice. ($37, PB)
Men Without Country by Harrison Christian
A mission to collect breadfruit from Tahiti becomes the most famous mutiny in history when the crew rise up against Captain William Bligh, with accusations of food restrictions & unfair punishments. Bligh’s journey back to safety is well documented, but the fates of the mutinous men remain shrouded in mystery. Some settled in Tahiti only to face capture & court martial, others sailed on to form a secret colony on Pitcairn Island, the most remote inhabited island on earth, avoiding detection for 20 years. When an American captain stumbled across the island in 1808, only one of the Bounty mutineers was left alive. Told by a direct descendant of Fletcher Christian, this book provides a comprehensive & compelling account of the whole story—from the history of trade & exploration in the South Seas to Pitcairn Island, which provided the mutineers’ salvation, and then became their grave. ($35, PB)
Unwell Women by Elinor Cleghorn ($33, PB)
Elinor Cleghorn unpacks the roots of the perpetual misunderstanding, mystification & misdiagnosis of women's bodies, tracing the journey from the 'wandering womb' of ancient Greece, the rise of witch trials in Medieval Europe, through the dawn of Hysteria, to modern day understandings of autoimmune diseases, the menopause & conditions like endometriosis. Packed with character studies of women who have suffered, challenged & rewritten medical orthodoxy—and drawing on her own experience of un-diagnosed Lupus disease—Cleghorn's is a timely exposé of the medical world & woman's place within it.
The Western Front: A History of the First World War by Nick Lloyd ($50, HB)
In the annals of military history, the Western Front stands as a symbol of the folly of war. However, historian Nick Lloyd reveals that the story is not one of pointlessness & stupidity, of generals being unthinking 'donkeys'. Drawing upon the latest scholarship, wrongly overlooked accounts & archival material, Lloyd explains the achievements that have been obscured by legends of mud, blood & futility. He recreates the decisionmaking & experiences of the war as it was & redefines our understanding of this monumental tragedy.
Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City by Edmund Richardson ($30, PB)
For centuries the city of Alexandria Beneath the Mountains was a meeting point of East & West. Then it vanished. In 1833 it was discovered in Afghanistan by the unlikeliest person imaginable—Charles Masson, deserter, traveller, pilgrim, doctor, archaeologist, spy, and eventually one of the most respected scholars in Asia, and the greatest of 19th-century travellers. This is a wild journey through 19th-century India & Afghanistan, showing a world of espionage & dreamers, ne'er-do-wells & opportunists, extreme violence both personal & military, and boundless hope. At the edge of empire, amid the deserts & the mountains, it is the story of an obsession passed down the centuries.
Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity by Walter Scheidel
Ranging across the entire premodern world, Walter Scheidel offers new answers to some of the biggest questions in history: Why did the Roman Empire appear? Why did nothing like it ever return to Europe? And, above all, why did Europeans come to dominate the world? In an absorbing narrative that begins with ancient Rome but stretches far beyond it, from Byzantium to China & from Genghis Khan to Napoleon, Scheidel shows how the demise of Rome & the enduring failure of empire-building on European soil launched an economic transformation that changed the continent & ultimately the world. ($40, PB)
Checkmate in Berlin by Giles Milton ($35, PB)
Berlin was in ruins when Soviet forces fought their way towards the Reichstag in the spring of 1945, but its fate had been sealed 4 months earlier at the Yalta Conference when it was decided that the city, along with the rest of Germany, was to be carved up between the victorious power—British, American, French & Soviet. But as soon as the four powers were no longer united by the common purpose of defeating Germany rival systems, rival ideologies & rival personalities ensured that Berlin became an explosive battleground. The ruins of this once-great city were soon awash with spies, gangsters & black-marketeers, all of whom sought to profit from the disarray. For the next 4 years, a handful of charismatic but flawed individuals British, American and Soviet—fought an intensely personal battle over the future of Germany, Europe & the entire free world. From the high politics of Yalta to the desperate scramble to break the Soviet stranglehold of Berlin with the greatest aerial operation in history, this is the epic story of the first battle of the Cold War and how it shaped the modern world.
Science & Nature
Latitude: The Astonishing Adventure that Shaped the World by Nick Crane ($33, HB)
This is a page-turning account of the first major expedition by data gatherers & qualified observers to interior Peru, to discover the shape & magnitude of the earth. Until humanity discovered this it would be impossible to produce accurate maps & sea charts, without which thousands of lives would be lost, and exact locations of cities, roads & rivers would never be known. This fascinating & dramatic story weaves scientific rigour, egos, funding crises & betrayal with sea voyages, jungles and volcanoes.
‘Debate done with absolute verve, with eloquence and generosity.’
Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Absolutely Everything by Jordan Ellenberg ($35, PB)
How should a democracy choose its representatives? How does Covid-19 spread? How do computers teach themselves chess, and why is chess easier for them than analysing a sentence? What should your kids study in school if they really want to learn to think? All of these are questions about geometry. Seriously! Jordan Ellenberg reveals the mathematics behind some of the most important scientific, political and philosophical conundrums we face. The word 'geometry', from the Greek, means 'measuring the world'. If anything, geometry doesn't just measure the world, it explains it. Shape shows us how.
‘Utterly refreshing, deliciously funny, an absolute delight.’
Birdsong in a Time of Silence by Steven Lovatt
As the world went silent in lockdown, something else happened; for the first time, many of us started becoming more aware of the spring sounds of the birds around us. From a portrait of the blackbird— most prominent & articulate of the early spring singers—to explorations of how birds sing, the science behind their choice of song & nest-sites, and the varied meanings that people have brought to & taken from birdsong, birder, Simon Lovatt, shows that natural history & human history cannot be separated. It is the story of a collective reawakening brought on by the strangest of springs. ($33, PB)
The Ghost In The Garden: In search of Darwin's lost garden by Jude Piesse ($35, PB)
It was in the garden at his childhood home, under the tutelage of his green-fingered mother & sisters, that Darwin first examined the reproductive life of flowers, collected birds' eggs, and began the experiments that would lead to his theory of evolution. A century & a half later, Jude Piesse finds herself living next door to this secret garden. Two acres of the original site remain, now resplendent with overgrown ashes, sycamores, and hollies. The carefully tended beds & circular flower garden are buried under suburban housing; the hothouses where the Darwins & their skilful gardeners grew pineapples are long gone. Walking the pathways with her new baby, Piesse starts to discover what impact the garden and the people who tended it had on Darwin's work—tracing the origins of the theory of evolution & uncovers the lost histories that inspired it.
The Heartbeat of Trees by Peter Wohlleben ($30, PB)
Whether we observe it or not, our blood pressure stabilises near trees, the colour green calms us & being in the forest sharpens our senses. Drawing on new scientific discoveries, Peter Wohlleben reveals the profound interactions humans can have with nature, exploring the language of the forest, the consciousness of plants & the eroding boundary between flora & fauna. Wohlleben shares how to see, feel, smell, hear & even taste your journey into the woods. Above all, he reveals a wondrous cosmos where humans are part of nature, and where conservation is not just about saving trees—it's about saving ourselves, too.
Wasps: The Astonishing Diversity of a Misunderstood Insect by Eric R. Eaton ($50, HB)
Wasps are far more diverse than the familiar yellowjackets & hornets that harass picnickers & build nests under the eaves of our homes. Wasps are subjects of study in medicine, engineering, and other important fields. They pollinate flowers, engage in symbiotic relationships with other organisms, and create architectural masterpieces in the form of their nests. This richly illustrated book (packed with more than 150 incredible colour photos) introduces you to some of the most spectacular members of the wasp realm, colourful in both appearance & lifestyle. From minute fairyflies to gargantuan tarantula hawks, wasps exploit almost every niche on the planet.
Soil by Matthew Evans ($33, PB)
Soil is the unlikely story of our most maligned resource as swashbuckling hero. A saga of bombs, ice ages & civilisations falling. Of ancient hunger, modern sicknesses & gastronomic delight. It features poison gas, climate collapse & a mind-blowing explanation of how rain is formed. For too long, we've not only neglected the land beneath us, we've squandered and debased it, by over-clearing, over-grazing and over-ploughing. But if we want our food to nourish us, and to ensure our planet's long-term health, we need to understand how soil works - how it's made, how it's lost, and how it can be repaired.
‘Clark is the best new writer in Australia and this book is like nothing else.’
Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics & Philosophy by Matt Cook ($40, PB)
Paradox is a sophisticated kind of magic trick. A magician's purpose is to create the appearance of impossibility, to pull a rabbit from an empty hat. Yet paradox doesn't require tangibles, like rabbits or hats. Paradox works in the abstract, with words and concepts and symbols, to create the illusion of contradiction. There are no contradictions in reality, but there can appear to be. Matt Cook & a few collaborators dive deeply into more than 75 paradoxes in mathematics, physics, philosophy, & the social sciences. As each paradox is discussed & resolved, Cook helps readers discover the meaning of knowledge and the proper formation of concepts—and how reason can dispel the illusion of contradiction.
The Dinosaur Hunters by Lowell Dingus
Dinosaur bones had been found centuries before scientists understood what they were and what creatures they came from; ancient Chinese writings spoke of 'dragon' bones, and large fossils discovered in the UK were thought to belong to human giants. It was only with the exploration and meticulous research of generations of intrepid palaeontologists that the truth about dinosaurs was discovered. Palaeontologist, Lowell Dingus, tells the story of these discoverers of prehistoric life, and the revelations found through their research. Illustrated with 30 rare documents, photographs and hand-drawn maps, it explores the unearthing of Iguanodon teeth, the discovery of the first flying dinosaur, the infamous Bone Wars and consultant editor Dr Mark Norell's radical study of feathered dinosaurs. ($40, HB)
Why Trust Science? by Naomi Oreskes
Are doctors right when they tell us vaccines are safe? Should we take climate experts at their word when they warn us about the perils of global warming? Why should we trust science when so many of our political leaders don’t? Naomi Oreskes offers a bold and compelling defense of science, revealing why the social character of scientific knowledge is its greatest strength—and the greatest reason we can trust it. Tracing the history and philosophy of science from the late nineteenth century to today, this timely and provocative book features a new preface by Oreskes and critical responses by climate experts Ottmar Edenhofer and Martin Kowarsch, political scientist Jon Krosnick, philosopher of science Marc Lange, and science historian Susan Lindee, as well as a foreword by political theorist Stephen Macedo. ($33, PB)
Philosophy & Religion
Reopening Muslim Minds by Mustafa Akyol
Diving deeply into Islamic theology, and also sharing lessons from his own life story, Mustafa Akyol reveals how Muslims lost the universalism that made them a great civilization in their earlier centuries. He demonstrates how values often associated with Western Enlightenment—freedom, reason, tolerance, and an appreciation of science—had Islamic counterparts, which sadly were cast aside in favour of more dogmatic views, often for political ends. Elucidating complex ideas with engaging prose and storytelling, Akyol borrows lost visions from medieval Muslim thinkers such as Ibn Rushd (aka Averroes), to offer a new Muslim worldview on a range of issues: human rights, equality for women, freedom of religion, or freedom from religion. While frankly acknowledging the problems in the world of Islam today, Akyol offers a clear & hopeful vision for its future. ($55, HB)
The Great Guide: What David Hume Can Teach Us by Julian Baggini ($33, PB)
David Hume (1711–1776) is perhaps best known for his ideas about cause & effect & his criticisms of religion, but he is rarely thought of as a philosopher with practical wisdom to offer. Julian Baggini interweaves biography with intellectual history & philosophy to give a complete vision of Hume's guide to life. Baggini takes readers to the places that inspired Hume the most, from his family estate near the Scottish border to Paris, where, as an older man, he was warmly embraced by French society. The Great Guide includes 145 Humean maxims for living well, on topics ranging from the meaning of success & the value of travel to friendship, facing death, identity, and the importance of leisure.
How to Tell a Joke: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Humor by Marcus Tullius Cicero
After he was elected commander-in-chief and head of state, his enemies even started calling him 'the stand-up Consul'. This book provides a lively new translation by Michael Fontaine of Cicero's essential writing on humour alongside that of the later Roman orator & educator Quintilian. The result is a timeless practical guide to how a well-timed joke can win over any audience. As powerful as jokes can be, they are also hugely risky. The line between a witty joke & an offensive one isn't always clear. Cross it & you'll look like a clown, or worse. Here, Cicero & Quintilian explore every aspect of telling jokes—while avoiding costly mistakes. ($30, HB)
How to Keep an Open Mind: An Ancient Guide to Thinking Like a Skeptic ($30, HB) This book provides an introduction to skepticism by presenting a fresh, modern translation by Richard Bett of key passages from the writings of Sextus Empiricus, the only Greek skeptic whose works have survived. While content in daily life to go along with things as they appear to be, Sextus advocated—and provided a set of techniques to achieve—a radical suspension of judgment about the way things really are, believing that such nonjudging can be useful for challenging the unfounded dogmatism of others and may help one achieve a state of calm and tranquility.
Now in B Format Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman, $23 COVID-19 & the Philosopher by Vittorio Bufacchi ($30, HB)
The philosopher Michel de Montaigne said that facing our mortality is the only way to learn the 'art of living'. This book asks what we can learn from COVID-19, both as individuals & collectively as a society. Written during the first & second lockdowns, Bufacchi argues that the pandemic is not a misfortune but an injustice; that it has exposed our society's inadequate treatment of its most vulnerable members; that populist ideologies of post-truth are dangerous & potentially disastrous. In considering these issues & more, he draws on a diverse range of philosophers, from Cicero, Hobbes & Arendt to prominent contemporary thinkers.
Meditations: The Annotated Edition by Marcus Aurelius ($40, HB)
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was the 16th emperor of Rome. An intensely private person, with a rich interior life & deep reservoirs of personal insight, he collected his thoughts in notebooks—which have come to be called his Meditations. Never intended for publication, the work survived his death & has proved an inexhaustible source of wisdom & one of the most important Stoic texts of all time. This edition, translated and annotated by classical scholar,Robin Waterfield, illuminate one of the greatest works of popular philosophy for readers new & old.
Psychology & Personal Development This Is Your Mind On Plants: Opium-CaffeineMescaline by Michael Pollan (35, PB)
Of all the many things humans rely on plants for, surely the most curious is our use of them to change consciousness—to stimulate, calm, or completely alter, the qualities of our mental experience. Michael Pollan explores 3 very different drugs—opium, caffeine & mescaline—and throws the fundamental strangeness of our thinking about them into sharp relief. Exploring & participating in the cultures that have grown up around these drugs, while consuming (or in the case of caffeine, trying not to consume) them, Pollan reckons with the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants, and the equally powerful taboos. Shining a fresh light on a subject that is all too often treated reductively, he proves that there is much more to say about these plants than simply debating their regulation, for when we take them into our bodies & let them change our minds, we are engaging with nature in one of the most profound ways we can.
So Tell Me About the Last Time You Had Sex by Ian Kerner ($35, PB)
Psychotherapist, Ian Kerner, has perfected the art of the 'sex script analysis'—a way of looking at your sex life in action, moment by moment. In this book, he shows you how to conceptualise & create a sex life that works for you. He helps you figure out what's working, what's not, where you might be missing some elements, and how to construct a sex script that is mutually satisfying. He also discusses many common sexual problems—such as low desire, mismatched libido, and erectile unpredictability—that may be interfering with your sex life. Combining clinical insight, the latest sexual science and research, case studies, homework assignments, and more, Kerner's book does more than just talk about sex—it's a book that will get you to do something about sex.
On Wanting to Change by Adam Phillips ($17, PB)
We live in a world in which we are invited to change—to become our best selves, through politics, or fitness, or diet, or therapy. We change all the time—growing older & older—and how we think about change changes over time too. We want to think of our lives as progress myths—as narratives of positive personal growth—at the same time as we inevitably age & suffer setbacks. So there are the stories we tell about change, and there are the changes we actually make—and they don't always go, or come, together. This book is about that fact.
Burnout by Gordon Parker et al ($33, PB)
Often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed—most commonly as depression—burnout is widespread among high achievers in the workplace, in business & in caring professions like health & teaching. Parents with new babies & those caring for the elderly & people with disabilities are also at risk. Drawing on groundbreaking new research, this book hands you the tools to work out whether you have burnout, and how to recover from even severe burnout. The authors show you how to recognise your own burnout pattern, how far you have travelled into burnout territory, and provide a broadbased management approach to help you regain your spark & build your resilience.
Brain Reset by David Gillespie ($35, PB)
Gillespie reveals a large and robust body of research that shows how addictive activities, such as screen use, sugar consumption, drinking, gambling, shopping and smoking, spike our dopamine levels. This, in turn, affects our brain's ability to regulate our mood. The good news is that we can break the cycle to make things better. There are myriad root causes of mental illness, many of which are beyond our control; David argues that it makes sense to tackle the thing that is within our control—our see-sawing dopamine levels.
A Walk from the Wild Edge by Jake Tyler ($35, HB)
After coming terrifyingly close to suicide, Jake Tyler was determined to take back control of his life from the clutches of depression. With only his running gear & a backpack, he stepped out of his house in Brighton & began a 3,000-mile journey around the UK. Documenting every step of his journey, Tyler shares the ways in which his mission was enhanced by the kindness of strangers who took him in for the night, or let him talk when the darkness engulfed him.
Everything Harder Than Everyone Else by Jenny Valentish ($33, PB)
In writing a memoir about addiction, Jenny Valentish noticed that people who treated drug-taking like an Olympic sport would often hurl themselves into a pursuit such as marathon running upon getting sober. The neuroscientist violating his brain to override his disgust response. The athlete using childhood adversity as grist for the mill. The designer who hangs from hooks in her flesh to get out of her head. Their insights lead Valentish on a compulsive, sometimes reckless journey through psychology, endurance & the power of obsession.
Gentle and Fierce by Vanessa Berry ($26.95, PB)
In this collection Vanessa Berry focuses on the world of animals, and the way their presence has shaped her attitudes & her sense of self. Having spent her life in city environments, her experiences with animals have largely been through encounters with urban creatures, representations of animals in art and the media & as decorative ornaments or kitsch—a singular bestiary that includes butterflies, a glass fish, a stuffed Kodiak bear, the rabbits on a Japanese island, the sinking horse from The NeverEnding Story, snails and flies & a porcelain otter. Despite seeming removed from nature, these encounters provide Berry with meaningful connections with the animal world, at a time in which it is threatened by climate change and environmental destruction.
12 Bytes: How We Got Here. Where We Might Go Next. by Jeanette Winterson ($33, PB)
When we create non-biological life-forms, will we do so in our image? Or will we accept the once-in-a-species opportunity to remake ourselves in their image? What do love, caring, sex & attachment look like when humans form connections with non-human helpers teachers, sex-workers & companions? And what will happen to our deep-rooted assumptions about gender? Will the physical body that is our home soon be enhanced by biological & neural implants, keeping us fitter, younger, and connected? Jeanette Winterson looks to history, religion, myth, literature, the politics of race & gender & computing science to tackle AI's most interesting talking points, from the algorithms that data-dossier your whole life, to the weirdness of backing up your brain.
special price $29.95
Those Who Can, Teach: What It Takes To Make The Next Generation by Andria Zafirakou
At her inner-city London school where more than 80 languages are spoken, arts teacher Andria Zafirakou would sense urgent needs; mending uniforms, calling social services, shielding vulnerable teens from gangs. And she would tailor each class to its pupils, fiercely believing in the power of art to unlock trauma, or give a mute child the confidence to speak. When she won the million-dollar Global Teacher Prize in 2018, she put the money back into arts education for all. Government cuts & curriculum changes are destroying the arts, while their refusal to tackle the most dangerous threats faced by children cyber-bullying, gang violence, hunger & deprivation puts teachers on the safeguarding frontline. A rallying wakeup call that shows what life is really like for schoolchildren today, and a moving insight into the extraordinary people shaping the next generation. ($38, HB)
My Life as a Villainess: Essays by Laura Lippman ($33, PB)
Cultural Studies & Criticism Who Gets to Be Smart: Privilege, Power & Knowledge by Bri Lee ($30, PB)
In 2018 Bri Lee's brilliant young friend Damian is named a Rhodes Scholar, an apex of academic achievement. When she goes to visit him & takes a tour of Oxford & Rhodes House, she begins questioning her belief in a system she has previously revered, as she learns the truth behind what Virginia Woolf described as the 'stream of gold & silver' that flows through elite institutions & dictates decisions about who deserves to be educated there. Who gets to be smart? Interrogating the adage, 'knowledge is power', and calling institutional prejudice to account, Lee dives into her own privilege & presumptions to offer stark & confronting results. Far from offering any 'equality of opportunity', Australia's education system exacerbates social stratification.
Languages of Truth: Essays 2003–2020 by Salman Rushdie ($35, PB)
This volume chronicles Salman Rushdie's intellectual engagement with a period of momentous cultural shifts. He explores what the work of authors from Shakespeare & Cervantes to Samuel Beckett, Eudora Welty & Toni Morrison mean to him, often by telling vivid, sometimes humorous stories of his own personal encounters with them, whether on the page or in person. He delves deep into the nature of 'truth', revels in the vibrant malleability of language, and the creative lines that can join art & life, and he looks anew at migration, multiculturalism & censorship. Revelatory, funny, and eye-opening, enlivened on every page by Rushdie's signature wit, these essays are a genuine pleasure to read.
You Are What You Read: A Practical Guide to Reading Well by Robert DiYanni ($40, HB)
Reading may delight us or move us; we may read for instruction or inspiration. But more than this, in reading we discover ourselves. Robert DiYanni provides a practical guide that shows how we can increase the benefits and pleasures of reading literature by becoming more skillful and engaged readers. DiYanni suggests that we attend first to what authors say and the way in which they say it, rather than rushing to decide what they mean. He considers the various forms of literature, from the essay to the novel, the short story to the poem, demonstrating rewarding approaches to each in sample readings of classic works. He explores the paradoxical pleasures of reading through a series of illuminating oppositions: solitary versus social reading, submitting to or resisting the author, reading inwardly or outwardly, and more. DiYanni closes with eight recommended reading practices, thoughts on the different experiences of print and digital reading, and advice on what to read and why.
Lolita in the Afterlife by Jenny M. Quigley ($28, PB)
Laura Lippman's first job in journalism was a rookie reporter in Waco, Texas. 2 decades later she left her first husband, quit the newspaper business & became a full time novelist. Her fiction has always centred on complicated women, paying unique attention to the intricacies of their flaws, their vulnerability & their empowerment. In her first collection of essays, Lippman gives us a candid portrait of an unapologetically flawed life. Childhood, friendships, influences, becoming a mother in later life—Lippman's inspiring life stories are both specific & universal.
In 1958, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita was published in the United States to immediate controversy & bestsellerdom. More than 60 years later, this phenomenal novel generates as much buzz as it did when originally published. Central to countless issues at the forefront of national discourse—art and politics, race & whiteness, gender & power, sexual trauma—Lolita lives on, in an afterlife as blinding as a supernova. With original contributions from a stellar cast of prominent 21st century writers and edited by the daughter of Lolita's original publisher in America, this is a vibrant collection of sharp modern pieces on this perennially provocative book.
For nearly 50 years, Vivian Gornick's essays have explored feminism & writing, literature & culture, politics & personal experience. In these essays, Gornick explores the lives & literature of Alfred Kazin, Mary McCarthy, Diana Trilling, Philip Roth, Joan Didion & Herman Melville; the cultural impact of Silent Spring and Uncle Tom's Cabin; and the characters you might only find in a New York barber shop or midtown bus terminal. Taking a Long Look also brings back into print her incendiary essays, first published in the Village Voice, championing the emergence of the women's liberation movement of the 1970s.
The Penguin Book of Feminist Writing (ed) Hannah Dawson ($55, HB)
In this crucial moment of renewed attention to violence & power, Katherine Angel urges that we remake our thinking about sex, pleasure & autonomy without any illusions of perfect self-knowledge. Only then will we bring about Michel Foucault's sardonic promise, in 1976, that 'tomorrow sex will be good again'. Angel surveys medical & psychoanalytic understandings of female desire, from Freud to Kinsey to present-day science; MeToo-era debates over consent, assault & feminism; and popular culture, TV & film to challenge our assumptions about female desire. Why, she asks, do we expect desire to be easily understood? Why is there not space for the unsure, the tentative, the maybe, the let's just see? In contrast to the endless exhortation to know what we want, Angel proposes that sex can be a conversation, requiring insight, interaction, and mutual vulnerability a shared collaboration into the unknown.
Trivial Grievances: On the contradictions, myths and misery of your 30s by Bridie Jabour ($35, PB)
Taking A Long Look by Vivian Gornick ($40, HB)
Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again by Katherine Angel ($30, HB)
Beginning in the 15th century with Christine de Pizan, who imagined a City of Ladies that would serve as a refuge from the harassment of men, this collection reaches around the world & through history to the present. It goes beyond the usual white, Western story, attentive also to class, capitalism & colonialism, and to the other axes of oppression that intersect with sexism. Alongside Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who declared in Seneca Falls in 1848 the self-evident truth 'that all men & women are created equal', is Sojourner Truth, born into slavery in New York in 1797, who asked 'and ain't I a woman?' Drawing on poems, novels & memoirs, as well roaring manifestos, The Penguin Book of Feminist Writing parts the clouds on a vast constellation of feminist classics.
In 2019, Bridie Jabour wrote a piece for the Guardian about the malaise of millennials and how the painful, protracted end of their adolescence is finally hitting home. They're looking at their lives and thinking: 'Is this it? Have I chosen the right place to live, the right job, the right partner? Am I, perhaps, not as special as I thought?'. In this book she digs deeper into those much-maligned millennials. After all, she reasons, this generation is coming of age in a unique set of social and economic circumstances, including precarious work, delayed baby-making, rising singledom, a heating planet, loss of religion, increased unstable housing and, now, a pandemic. But despite her assumption that this generation of 31-year-olds is the most miserable ever, she discovers that wasn't the whole truth.
Second Nature: Scenes from a World Remade by Nathaniel Rich ($53, HB)
We live at a time in which scientists race to reanimate extinct beasts, our most essential ecosystems require monumental engineering projects to survive, chicken breasts grow in test tubes, and multinational corporations conspire to poison the blood of every living creature. No rock, leaf, or cubic foot of air on Earth has escaped humanity's clumsy signature. The old distinctions—between natural & artificial, dystopia & utopia, science fiction & science fact—have blurred, losing all meaning. We inhabit an uncanny landscape of our own creation. From Odds Against Tomorrow to Losing Earth to the film Dark Waters (adapted from the first chapter of this book), Nathaniel Rich’s stories have come to define the way we think of contemporary ecological narrative. In Second Nature, he asks what it means to live in an era of terrible responsibility. The question is no longer, How do we return to the world that we’ve lost? It is, What world do we want to create in its place?
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We Are Not Born Submissive: How Patriarchy Shapes Women's Lives by Manon Garcia
Around the World on a Wheel by John Foster Fraser ($25, HB) On Friday morning, 17 July 1896, John Foster Fraser (1868–1936) a Scottish journalist & travel writer set out from St Pancras Church, London with two companions—Edward Lunn and F.H. Lowe—on a cycling journey around the World. They returned safely to their starting point on Monday evening, 29 August 1898. Completing the (then) longest bicycle ride ever attempted. Their adventure had lasted 774 days, covered 19,237 miles (30,900kms) through 17 countries and three continents. Take that, Michael Palin. This is an abridgement of the original 500-page work first published in 1899. I suspect it gains in readability by this shortening. More than a touch of the “superior colonist abroad” certainly surfaces from time to time. It is, however, impossible to dislike a book that begins: This is a book of travel. But unlike other books of travel, it is not clever or wise or scientific. There is nothing about anthropology or biology or archaeology…Our adventures therefore were of a humdrum sort. If only one of us had been killed, or if we had ridden back to London minus a limb, some excitement would have been caused. As it was we came home quietly.
Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World by Lisa Wells ($35, PB)
The Cruise of the Alerte by E. F. Knight ($25, PB) In December 1881, Edward Frederick Knight (1852–1925) barrister, renowned sailor, adventurer and future war correspondent was driven by intense Atlantic storms to the island of Trinidad (now Trinidade so as not to be confused with the West Indian island)—some 1,200 km off the coast of Brazil, in his yacht the Falcon. Almost a decade later he returned in search of a fabled buried treasure. The details of which would rival anything written by Robert Louis Stevenson. In 1821, pirates supposedly buried an immense treasure, consisting of gold and silver plate and ornaments on Trinidade, under the mountain known as the Sugarloaf. In 1889, Knight returned to Trinidade, with four crew and nine 'gentleman adventurers' who each risked £100 a head. The result was much exploring, battling nature and the elements, hard digging, numerous quarrels among the group and this entertaining narrative—a real-life Treasure Island story—without the treasure. Treasure-less though he was, Edward Knight lives on in literary fame as the model for Erskine Childer's hero Davies in The Riddle of The Sands (1903). And in Arthur Ransome’s novel, Peter Duck (1932) the crew of Swallows and Amazons also sail to Crab Island (Trinidade) in search of buried treasure.
What role do women play in the perpetuation of patriarchy? On the one hand, popular media urges women to be independent, outspoken, and career-minded. Yet, this same media glorifies a specific, sometimes voluntary, female submissiveness as a source of satisfaction. Is there a way to explore female submission in all of its complexity—not denying its appeal in certain instances, and not buying into an antifeminist, sexist, or misogynistic perspective? Focusing on the thinking of Simone de Beauvoir, and more recent work in feminist philosophy, epistemology & political theory, Manon Garcia argues that to comprehend female submission, we must invert how we examine power and see it from the woman's point of view—showing that only through the lens of women's lived experiences—their economic, social & political situations—and how they adapt their preferences to maintain their own well-being, can we understand the ways in which gender hierarchies in society shape women's experiences. ($45, HB)
Poet & essayist Lisa Wells has spent years overwhelmed by news of apocalyptic-scale climate change & a coming 6th extinction. Asking what can be done? she embarked on a pilgrimage, seeking answers in dedicated communities—outcasts and visionaries—on the margins of society. She meets Finisia Medrano, a misanthrope leading a group of nomadic activists to rewild the American desert. She finds a group of environmentalist Christians practising 'watershed discipleship' in New Mexico, and another group in Philadelphia turning tools of violence into tools of farming—guns into ploughshares. She watches the world's greatest tracker teach how to read a trail, and visits botanists who are restoring land overrun by invasive species & destructive humans. Blending reportage, memoir, history & philosophy, Wells opens up seemingly intractable questions about the damage we have done & how we might reckon with our inheritance.
Language & Writing
Beyond the Hero’s Journey by Anthony Mullins
BAFTA award–winning screenwriter Anthony Mullins presents an accessible, versatile and highly visual alternative to writing that dramatically expands the range of narratives open to writers, both emerging and experienced. Fun and easyto-use, this book looks at much-loved films from around the world, including Moonlight, Lady Bird, The Social Network, The Godfather, A Fantastic Woman, Mulholland Drive, Shoplifters, Amour, Inside Llewyn Davis and Call Me By Your Name, to teach you the ins and outs of writing for the screen through identifying and taking control of character arcs. Beyond the Hero’s Journey is for every writer who has felt frustrated by the neat confines of writing guides. It will teach you to explore and excel in telling more complex, intricate and authentic stories — and show you how to share your own distinctive, original voice with the world. ($33, PB)
Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter by John McWhorter ($40, HB)
Profanity has always been a deliciously vibrant part of our lexicon, an integral part of being human. In fact, our ability to curse comes from a different part of the brain than other parts of speech—the urgency with which we say 'f&*k!' is instead related to the instinct that tells us to flee from danger. Language evolves with time, and so does what we consider profane or unspeakable. Host of Slate's Lexicon Valley podcast, John McWhorter, offers a rollicking examination of profanity, explored from every angle—historical, sociological, political, linguistic. In a particularly coarse moment, when the public discourse is shaped in part by once-shocking words, nothing could be timelier.
Pleasure of Ruins by Rose Macaulay ($20, HB) Janice's favourite (author of The Towers of Trebizond) Dame Emilie Rose Macaulay surveys the ruins of history and contemplates their pleasures. What are the strands of this enjoyment: Admiration for the building in its prime, or aesthetic pleasure in its present appearance? Its historical & literary associations? Egotistical satisfaction in surviving or masochistic enjoyment of common destruction? Her purely 'pleasurist' survey includes Ampurias on the Gulf of Rozas—a city dead for a thousand years; Vilcapampas, the lost city of the Incas; Sybaris, the opulent capital of Magna Graecia, whose glories toll like drowned bells round the Tarentum Gulf; Amber, ancient Rajput capital—possibly the most beautiful of ruined cities. Broken abbeys of England, hidden palaces of the Khmers at Angkor, the Lusignan castles and dozens of others. Illustrated with over 70 black & white plates. So Came They South by Robert Clancy & Alan Richardson ($30, HB) From the introduction: This book presents the story of the discovery & subsequent mapping by Europeans of the Australian continent and New Zealand. It is a story, told mainly through the maps they drew, of adventurous sailors who travelled in small ships across vast oceans. Plagued by ignorance & fear but driven by greed, curiosity & the crusading spirit, they explored & gradually filled in the emptiness. These were the people who discovered, mapped & finally settled in Australia, making it an outpost of European culture. Part of the 'Library Reference Series' this is fantastic collection of illustration, maps both black & white & colour with accompanying text—perfect for historians, young or old. The Catalogue of Shipwrecked books by Edward Wilson-Lee ($15, HB) At the peak of the Age of Exploration, Hernando Colon (Christopher Columbus' illegitimate son) travelled with Columbus on his final voyage to the New World - a journey that ended in disaster, bloody mutiny & shipwreck. After Columbus' death in 1506, the 18-year-old Hernando sought to continue—and surpass—his father's campaign to explore the boundaries of the know world by building a library that could collect everything ever printed: a vast holding organized by summaries & catalogues, the first-ever search engine for the exploding diversity of written matter as the printing press proliferated across Europe. His collection was based on the conviction that a library of universal knowledge should include 'ephemeral trash'— ballads, erotica, newsletters, romances, fables. He documented the loss of part of his collection to another maritime disaster in 1522 in his poignant Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books. Edward Wilson-Lee tells the story of this singular visionary of the printing-press age.
The Cold Vanish: Seeking the Missing in North America's Wildlands by Jon Billman ($40, HB)
“If You Go Down to The Woods Today…” The North American Woods, that is. Where, according to former wildland firefighter & journalist Jon Billman, a disturbing number of people have simply vanished without trace in the US National Parks in the last three decades. No one keeps any official figures of those missing within the 2.5 million hectares (640 million acres) of federal lands. Not the Park Rangers. Not the National Parks Service. Not the Bureau of Land Management. Not the Department of the Interior which oversees them. Nor do their Canadian counterparts. That leaves estimating the total to civilian investigators, journalists, aficionados of the vanished or—wait for it—conspiracy theorists. Billman claims that some 1,600 disappearances have occurred on public lands. Actually, he concedes that total may be a very conservative estimate. This book centres on the April 2017 disappearance of Santa Cruz cyclist Jacob Gray a troubled young man, who planned a bike and trailer journey coast-to-coast across the USA to serve as a way of self-discovery. He had left his bike parked on the roadside in Olympic National Park, Washington State. The author joins Jacob’s father, Randy as he embarks upon 'A Father’s Mission'—the relentless quest to find his son. Billman’s focus widens when he examines a number of other mysterious disappearances throughout North America—many that remain baffling in circumstances that defy a simple explanation. 1997: Amy Wroe Bechtel, an Olympic hopeful marathon runner who vanished on a planned 10km run in The Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming. 2013: Dale Stehling who in 2013, disappeared in broad daylight from a short petroglyph-viewing trail at Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park. Says Cliff Spencer, a 32-year Park Service veteran: “In all my years… I don’t recall five cases like this.” 2017: Kara Moore, who vanished on a clear tourist trail at Pictured Rocks, Lake Superior, Michigan. A week later, after searches covering 30,000 ha. (73,000 acres), she was found alive and well on the very same trail – that had been searched repeatedly. She had no memory of what had happened. Billman's scope then widens further. Other cases are examined in Hawaii, Canada, Israel, Australia. The second half of this beautifully written, patchwork narrative, introduces individuals that continue to investigate those cases that defy ordinary logic. It also touches, respectfully, on such topics as psychics, Bigfoot, UFOs, time portals and parallel universes, and introduces: Dr. Robert Koester (a.k.a. Professor Rescue), author of the standard search and rescue textbook Lost Person Behavior (2008); Terry Randles, 'The Sasquatch Man', who believes that “a large, ape-like creature purported to inhabit the North American forests” is responsible for many of these disappearances. He has spent over 35 years on its trail.; David Paulides, a former police detective turned investigator & author of 9 self-published volumes who has produced painstakingly thorough research on disappearances in National Parks. Billman’s book concludes when the search for 22-year-old Jacob Gray reaches a bitter-sweet conclusion some 491 days later. One that merely invites more speculation. Jacob’s remains were found near a ridge top above Hoh Lake, some 1,600 metres (5,300 ft) above sea level and at least 24kms (15 miles) from his bike. His body wasn’t found near a trail. The cause of death was inconclusive. Lost person behaviour dictates that most adults will head downwards when lost on mountains. Jacob went up. Dr. Koester says: “Children will often go up. So will people on a vision quest. Depending on what message they get from God, I have seen people climb mountains.' The Master of Go by Yasunari Kawabata—$19.99, PB In the world of competitive games, it seems to be the way of the spectator to build up heroes beyond their actual powers. The grand figure of ‘the invincible Master’ towered over the Go board. There had been numerous battles upon which the Master had staked his destinies, and he had not lost one of them. After he became the Master, the world believed he could not lose, and he had to believe it himself. Therein was the tragedy. Invented in China over 2,500 years ago, Go is an abstract board game, using black and white stones, for two players. The aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. In 1938, the Japanese author Kawabata (1899–1972) reported on a Championship Go match for two major Japanese newspapers. Thirteen years later he rewrote of the events in what he called a 'faithful chroniclenovel'. This is an elegant, spare recounting of the eight-month contest between frail and solitary Master Shūsai (1874–1940) and of his ebullient, aggressive challenger Minoru Kitani (1909–1975)—here given a fictitious name. It is also an elegy to the skill and distinction of a great player, the conflict of generations and also between old and new Japan. Yasunari Kawabata was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968. Part of the citation reads: 'Kawabata’s writing is reminiscent of Japanese painting; he is a worshipper of the fragile beauty and melancholy picture language of existence in the life of nature and in man’s destiny. If the transience of all outward action can be likened to drifting tufts of grass on the surface of the water, then it is the genuinely Japanese miniature art of haiku poetry which is reflected in Kawabata’s prose style.' Stephen Reid
The Invisible Emperor: Napoleon on Elba from Exile to Escape Mark Braude, HB
Francis I: The Maker of Modern France Leonie Frieda, HB
English Voices: The Work of the Dead: A Cultural Lives, Landscapes, Laments History of Mortal Remains Ferdinand Mount, HB Thomas W. Laqueur, HB
A Theory of the Aphorism: From Confucius to Twitter Andrew Hui, HB
This Way Madness Lies: The Asylum and Beyond Mike Jay, HB
Michelangelo, God's Architect: The Story of His Final Years & Greatest Masterpiece William E. Wallace, HB
Now $34.95 Caravanserai: Traces, Places, Dialogue in the Middle East Reza Bar'am-ben Aslan, HB
Afterwards: Contemporary Architecture and Surrealism: Photography Confronting the Past A Blistering Romance Nathalie Herschdorfer, HB Neil Spiller, HB
Feel Free: Essays Zadie Smith, PB
Chaucer: A European Life Marion Turner, HB
In Their Lives: Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs Andrew Blauner, HB
Ibn Khaldun: An Intellectual Biography Robert Irwin, HB
Midnight in Peking : How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China Paul French, PB
David Bowie: A Life Dylan Jones, HB
1941: The Year Germany Lost the War Andrew Nagorski, HB
The Book of Kells: Five-Year Journal, HB
Chicago: A Comix Memoir Glenn Head, HB
Unfabling the East: The Enlighten- Making the Arab World: Nasser, A Thirst for Empire: How Tea Qutb, and the Clash That Shaped Shaped the Modern World ment's Encounter with Asia the Middle East Erika Rappaport, HB Jürgen Osterhammel, PB Fawaz A. Gerges, HB
Beyond the Known: How ExploraFifty Inventions That tion Created the Modern World Shaped the Modern Economy and Will Take Us to the Stars Tim Harford, HB Andrew Rader, HB
In Praise of Simple Physics Paul J. Nahin, PB
Tales of Impossibility: The 2000Year Quest to Solve the Mathematical Problems of Antiquity David S. Richeson, HB
Clarice Cliff for Collectors Greg Slater, PB
MOTO: The Cookbook Homaro Cantu, HB
The Blossom Cookbook: Ronen Seri & Pamela Elizabeth, HB
The Moosewood Restaurant Table, HB
A Cornucopia of Fruit & Vegetables: Illustrations from an 18th-century botanical treasury
In the 1730s a prosperous Bavarian apothecary, Johann Wilhelm Weinmann, produced the first volume of a comprehensive index of all available plants, meticulously documented & lavishly illustrated by botanical artists. This book is a glimpse into Weinmann's world. It features exquisite illustrations of the edible plants in his historic treasury—swan-necked gourds & horned lemons, silkworms hovering over mulberries, and the quirky 'strawberry spinach.'—delicious medley of garden produce & exotics for gardeners & art-lovers alike. ($30, HB)
Jean Dubuffet: Brutal Beauty by Eleanor Nairne ($105, HB)
In 1940s occupied Paris, Jean Dubuffet began to champion a progressive vision for art; one that rejected classical notions of beauty in favour of a more visceral aesthetic. Taking a pioneering approach to materiality & technique, the artist variously blended paint with sand, glass, tar, coal dust & string. At the same time, he began to assemble a collection of Art Brut—work made outside the academic tradition of fine art—even visiting psychiatric wards from 1945 to collect work by patients. Featuring newly commissioned essays & photography of rarely exhibited works, this book highlights Dubuffet's radicalism—a provocative voice of the postwar avant-garde.
Saito Kiyoshi: Graphic Awakening ($70, PB)
Saito was a central member of Japan's creative print (sosaku hanga) movement, and one of the best known and most popular modern Japanese artists in the United States. His work is appreciated for his refined sense of design and active use of woodgrain. This fully-illustrated book includes thematic essays, illustrations demonstrating Saito's technique, discussion of seals and signatures, chronology and bibliography.
Hugh Ramsay by Deborah Hart ($45, HB)
This beautifully illustrated catalogue is the first publication on Hugh Ramsay in more than 25 years, and sheds light on the remarkable body of work he created in his tragically short life. Featuring new research, Ramsay’s insights as a portraitist are revealed through his paintings, works on paper & sketchbooks, while personal letters highlight his close bonds with family & friends as well as his charisma and humour. Though Ramsay’s brilliant career was cut short at 28 years of age, his story is one of great courage, tenacity & artistic achievement.
Australia at the Venice Biennale: A Century of Contemporary Art ($80, HB)
Before the winds of WWI blew Europe apart, a rowdy & radical group of Australian artists would gather in the salons of Paris & London to embrace new ways of painting & seeing the world. By 1914 12 of them had shown their works at the Venice International Exhibition, now known as the Venice Biennale. Bundled in with the British, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton & Thea Proctor were represented alongside legendary artists Corot, Rodin, Klimt & Renoir. 4 decades later Australia sent its first official delegation of artists—Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale & William Dobell; the works of Rover Thomas, Howard Arkley, Patricia Piccinini & Shaun Gladwell continued the story of bold Australian art in Venice. The Venice Biennale is still an aspiration & career highlight for contemporary artists—Kerry Gardner tells the untold stories of the Biennale through 100 years of Australian modern art.
Lovers and Others by Tom Lowenstein
Tom Lowenstein OAM is one of Australia's most respected tax accountants & financial advisors. This candidly written memoir tells how, by chance & circumstance, he placed his career at the service of the Australian art world. He describes his many David & Goliath battles with the Australian Government & the ATO for a greater understanding & fairer treatment of the unique set of circumstances & challenges faced by the country's creative sectors. Lowenstein's interactions with his colourful clients often took him out of the comfort of the corporate environment into the artists' homes & studios—and he vividly portrays his interactions with Charles Blackman, Colin Lanceley, Margaret Olley, John Olsen, Garry Shead, Tim Storrier & many other luminaries of the art world. ($49.95, HB)
See/Saw: Looking at Photographs by Geoff Dyer
See/Saw follows Dyer's previous books on photography, The Ongoing Moment & The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand, combining visual scrutiny & stylistic flair to show how a photograph can simultaneously record & invent the world, revealing the world around us, and within us, afresh. In the spirit of the intellectual curiosity of Berger, Sontag & Didion, Dyer starts with single images by the world's most important photographers—from Eugene Atget to Alex Webb—and taking the reader through a series of close readings that are by turns moving, funny, prescient & surprising. ($50, HB)
Indian Textiles: 1,000 Years of Art and Design
This book offers a unique approach to understanding Indian textile culture through reference to 3 distinct traditions: abstract, floral & figurative design. The essays by 3 leading international Indian textile curators, focus on textile ornament rather than date, region, usage, or technique, providing new perspective & scholarship on this ancient artistic tradition. The book highlights the tradition's remarkable diversity, with objects ranging from folk embroideries to Mughal courtly weavings, and from early textiles traded to Egypt & Southeast Asia to 18th century chintzes exported to Europe. 350 colour, 8 b/w illustrations. ($135, HB)
Barbara Ellmerer: Sense of Science—Paintings
When an apple falls to the ground, we see the effect of gravity. Yet not all laws of nature are as apparent. Swiss artist Barbara Ellmerer uses invisible principles of physics, biology & cosmology as her starting point & translates them into paintings. She sends us into the realm of colours & shapes in which forces, movements & processes from nature are synonymously realised & palpable. This selection of oil paintings & works on paper created by the artist between 2010 & 2020 are shown both in full as well as in enlarged details to show the intricacies of her brush stroke, colour qualities, surfaces, depths, movements, & emphases. In an accompanying essay, quantum physicist, Laura Corman, explains how Ellmerer's art relates to natural science. ($99, HB)
Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency by Jonathan Glancey ($40, HB)
Discover the beautiful details, principal elements & decorative features of every architectural style, from the Great Pyramid of Giza, Machu Picchu & the Colosseum to the Sydney Opera House, the Gherkin & Burj Khalifa. Jonathan Glancey offers a worldwide look at historical & contemporary buildings, with breathtaking photography and intriguing cross-sections to enhance your view. See how and why certain features were common in specific time periods and how these amazing buildings have stood the test of time. Specially-commissioned CGI artworks throughout the book showcase more than 10 specific buildings, including The Pantheon & the US Capitol, giving you an unspoiled view of their features.
Fairweather and China by Claire Roberts ($60, PB)
Ian Fairweather lived & worked in China for extended periods, learnt Chinese & published a book-length translation of the popular Chinese novel The Drunken Buddha (1965). From an early age he sought alternatives to art based on verisimilitude & singlepoint perspective. This led to a lifelong engagement with the principles of Chinese art & thought that profoundly shaped his own creative process. Drawing on letters, interviews & other archival materials to shed new light on Fairweather's artistic practice, Claire Roberts brings her own extensive knowledge of Chinese language and art to this absorbing re-examination
Sew Your Own Bags and Accessories by Kazuko Taneichi ($38, PB)
Kazuko Taneichi is a popular fabric accessory writer as a blogger and YouTuber. This book has many useful and fun bags and accessories to make, and is packed with various ideas and tricks. You can sew your own bags or accessories by following easy stepby-step images—and there are real size pattern sheets in the book for all projects.
The Well-Dressed Dog: 26 Stylish Outfits & Accessories for Your Pet by Toshio Kaneko ($25, PB)
Long & short-sleeved sweaters, T-shirts, Tank tops (hooded & sailor style), Easy-on-and-off shirts, Outerwear like a vest, rain cape, quilted coat or pea coat, Dresses that are both warm & stylish Capes, bow ties & collars. The included pull-out patterns can be adjusted to suit dogs of every size & shape—with simple instructions for measuring your pup & options to create pieces in fabrics that work for your pet & climate.
JIGSAWS Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night Over the Rhone (500-piece)$30 Utagawa Hiroshige, The Sea at Satta (500-piece), $30 Utagawa Hiroshige, Plum Garden (1000-piece), $40
what we're reading
Stephen: Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journey by Michael CollinsThe passing in April, of Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins at age 90, severed another (now dwindling) link with the 1960s 'Space Age' that those of a certain vintage can recall with sheer wonder and astonishment. In July 1969, Collins flew Columbia, the Lunar Command Module, thirty times around the Moon while his fellow astronauts, Neil Armstrong (1930–2012) and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin (b.1930–) walked upon its surface. Michael Collins had the consolation of writing the best astronaut's memoir. Originally published in 1974, it contains an intriguing Foreword by famed aviator Charles A. Lindbergh. This book has been reissued with New Prefaces by Collins for both the 40th (2009) and 50th (2019) Apollo 11 Anniversaries. As Collins has described it: 'Although undeniably autobiographical, it is an insider's factual and simple explanation of what it was like ‘up there’…of how the machines operated, who operated them and what it was like living in an artificial, high-pressure environment. Being an astronaut was as exciting a job as anyone could ever have, and I hope I have conveyed that excitement.' Mission accomplished, Command Module Pilot Collins. Thank You. Ange: The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris: Harris draws on her own experience working at a publishing house in this genre-defying debut. Our protagonist Nella is anticipating Victoria: Lean, Fall, Stand by Jon McGregor: Jon McGregor is a solidarity when newcomer Hazel joins her office—finally Nella is not the only Black person there. master at taking you to a place, often a cold one, and immersing you Instead, a nightmarish sequence of events unfolds leaving Nella questioning Hazel’s true intenin that moment. This is the story of a man who is an experienced tions. This is a chilling and deeply unsettling examination of being Black in white spaces. field worker in Antarctica, but something goes horribly wrong. The consequence leaves him unable to communicate and vulnerable. Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor: I once heard the process of editing a book described This is also a story of courage and we learn a lot about what it feels as trimming away the tendon and sinew to get to the “muscle” of the story. Inspired by true events, like to be trapped in a body that no longer does what it used to and Hurricane Season is a strong beating heart concerning the townspeople of a remote village in cannot communicate. It can be a hard read in places ... but also Mexico. Melchor’s writing is intoxicating, taking you on a brutal journey and barely giving you uplifting and hopeful. Loved it. time to breathe. On this book Ben Lerner has said 'most recent fiction seems anemic by comparison' and I wholeheartedly agree.
Jonathon: The Employees by Olga Ravn: Nominated for the International Booker Prize 2021. This philosophical novel makes the reader piece its strange story together from a series of anonymous interview statements given by the titular employees—sometimes giving more and sometimes less information, but always evoking some yearning that is subtly destabilising them. Ravn presents the familiar juxtaposition of androids and humans, but adds organic objects that sit in a third position—somehow both inanimate and sentient, like a rock that is an animal—to talk about the fluidity of bodies, a certain transhuman horizon, and the ways bodies merge emotion, memory and place. Sonia: People of the River by Grace Karskens: This book is a lively account of the ex-convicts who were given land grants on Dyarubbin, the banks of the HawkesburyNepean, to grow maize, a little wheat, luscious peaches and other vegetables and fruit. They ran some stock but didn’t fence their plots, letting the cows graze in the nearby bush. They built bark huts which were easy and cheap to replace after the frequent floods. The enlightened gentlemen in London had ordered that convicts be given a chance to become yeoman farmers and redeem themselves after their sentences were completed, thus forming the basis of a free colony. The only thing they didn’t take into account was that Darug women had been digging up yams on the river-banks for 50,000 years, and yams were their staple food. The displaced Darug tribe made annual 'maize raids' to replace their yams and there were massacres and reprisals and kidnappings of aboriginal children, until they adapted to the presence of the settlers, while still doing as far as possible what they had always done. Governors King and Macquarie tried to be fair to the first nation people but were overwhelmed. Whereupon Governor Darling decreed that convicts should no longer get land grants, which would henceforth be reserved for free settlers running sheep, with convicts providing unpaid labour. I can’t praise this sparkling history and its precursor The Colony enough. Karskens seems to know about all the families and many of the Darug people, and she refers several times to Mark Dunn’s history of the Hunter Valley, The Convict Valley, because relations with the native people in the Hunter seemed to follow a similar trajectory. I read this book with keen interest because my ancestor Ann Forbes Huxley was one of the People of the River. Ann died aged eighty and is buried there. She stole ten yards of printed cotton when she was 15 and was sentenced to be hanged. Instead, she came to Botany Bay with the First Fleet, and left nine Huxleys, many of whom drifted to the North Coast to become pioneers there. Her six-times great- granddaughter, Granny, of Granny’s Good Reads, was born in Casino in 1935. Isn’t life interesting?
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Bestsellers—Non-Fiction 1. Some Achieve Greatness: Lessons on Leadership
& Character from Shakespeare & One of his Great
2. Who Gets to Be Smart: Privilege, Power and Knowledge
3. Toxic: The Rotting Underbelly of the Tasmanian
4. With the Falling of the Dusk: A Chronicle of a
World in Crisis
5. Full Circle: Power, Hope & the Return of Nature
6. Radicals: Remembering the Sixties
Meredith Burgmann & Nadia Wheatley
7. The Shortest History of China
8. Turns Out, I’m Fine
9. The Beijing Bureau: 25 Correspondents Reporting
(ed) Melissa Roberts & Trevor Watson
10. The Believer: Encounters with Love, Death & Faith
Bestsellers—Fiction 1. Klara & the Sun
2. Second Place
3. The Truth About Her
4. Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray: River of Dreams
5. Flock: First Nations Stories Now & Then
(ed) Ellen Van Neerven
6. Love Objects
7. The Ripping Tree
8. First Person Singular: Stories 9. Whereabouts 10. Before You Knew My Name
and another thing.....
First, apologies for the Gleaner getting to your mailboxes so late, and as another double issue—I was stricken with a non-COVID virus which knocked me down for a couple of weeks. August to November Gleaners will be released monthly. Steven gazumped me last issue with his reviews of the re-released Irmgard Keun novels. Gilgi, One of Us, The Artificial Silk Girl, and particularly After Midnight are fantastic reads. Keun's irreverent depiction the Nazis, and her portraits of the working girl—trying to get ahead at the same time as fending off the unwanted attentions of creepy bosses—have sadly not dated at all. The next of her books to be released is Ferdinand, the Man with the Kind Heart. Set in the post war rubble of Cologne, 'de-Nazification parties are all the rage' as Ferdinand drifts about, strenuously avoiding his fiancée and drinking brandy with his fabulous cousin. One step on in the Nazi timeline from my favourite book of 2019—another Penguin Modern Classic release—Heinz Rein's Berlin Finale. Meanwhile, thanks to a customer's recommendation, as I wait for Ferdinand I'm reading The Radetsky March—Joseph Roth's charting of three generations of the Trotta family spanning the rise and fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire into the catastrophe of World War 1. Roth was involved with Keun for a couple of years in the 1930s, and his satirical style is a perfect match for Keun. It's great to be on a reading trail—I guess after Roth, it's time for Stefan Zweig, Erich-Maria Remarque and Alfred Doblin—at which point I'll be ready for Ferdinand. While I'm on reprints and spending time in the 1930s, I definitely want to read the reprint of Rudolph Fisher's jazz-age, Harlem renaissance novel, The Walls of Jericho. The publisher's description of characters, removal men Jinx Jenkins and Bubber Brown, put me in mind of detectives Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed and the screwball Harlem of Chester Himes. I'm currently also reading Kompromat by Craig Unger which details a pretty convincing story of the long game KGB cultivation of Donald Trump as an (possibly) unwitting 'asset' from the greed is good 80s to the extraordinary good luck of his achieving the Presidency. Further on the spy front, my end of magazine relaxation thriller will be The Frenchman. Written by a real French spy, I'm looking forward to comparing 'tradecraft' with Kompromat. Viki
For more June new releases go to:
Jhumpa Lahiri Jacqueline Bublitz
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