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Vol. 26 No. 2 March 2019

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Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany ($30, PB)

A Lot to Look Forward To

I get a lot of books, all the time, from publishers eager to share their upcoming publications. It’s quite hard, you know there’s no way you can do them all justice. Fiction and nonfiction, memoirs, poetry, established and fresh writers, deserving attention and respect—and, in most cases, endorsement. The familiar phrase of the committed reader—too many books, too little time—is multiplied on a monthly basis for the committed bookseller. No pity, I know, from the committed reader. ‘All those lovely, exciting, free, new books, lucky duck’, I hear you say. So check out what’s currently on (or in neat-ish heaps next to) my bedside table. And this isn’t all of it, only accumulated since the new year, and just the ones I’ve fond hopes of getting to. With some abbreviated description, here’s what I’ve read or am hoping to knock over in the next few weeks: Just finished: West by Carys Davies: moral complexity woven into an American 19th century frontier story. Not a wasted word, deep insight and macabre humour. Read it (out now). The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan: This is a strong follow-up to her debut, The Rúin, featuring Galway-based detective, Cormac Reilly. A compelling and cleverly constructed whodunit. She’s great. (Also out now) Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak: I needed a holiday to focus on this. Don’t be daunted by the length—Zusak is a wonderful writer who has fashioned this utterly original tale of five brothers essentially raising themselves. Full of sub-plots and wandering fictional adventure, it’s sometimes difficult to follow—however, it’s nonetheless a profound and beautiful work (out now, of course) Beyond Words by Jacqueline Kent: She’s a splendid biographer (Beatrice Davis, Hephzibah Menuhin) and this memoir of her time with the author of Wake in Fright, Kenneth Cook, doesn’t disappoint. I loved its evocation of time and place and relationship (February). Next—what I’m in the middle of reading (yes, I often read more than one book at once): The Friend by Sigrid Nunez: National Book Award winner for 2018: a lovely, quiet, intelligent novel about a woman saddled with an unwanted dog after the death of a close friend and mentor. The Yield by Tara June Winch: This could be the most exciting novel of the year (only started, so more to say). But we’ve waited more than ten years since Swallow the Air, and in The Yield Tara has given us a stunning and exquisitely written story, reclaiming her indigenous language in the most original way (due in June) Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany: just two slender novels since 2005 (Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living and Mateship with Birds)—I loved both. And I am loving this. (Released this month) Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan: I really think he is getting better with age—certainly he continues adventurous and bold in subject and style. This is a love story set in a an 80s Britain where Britain’s lost the Falklands War and Alan Turing has made an astonishing breakthrough in AI. Audacious and provocative (April) Hare’s Fur by Trevor Shearston: This is a tender and heartfelt novel set in the Blue Mountains, about grief and trust and remaking life, from an astute observer of life and the natural world. (this month) And once I’ve moved the above from the bedside pile to the shelf, I am looking forward to: Underland by Robert MacFarlane: a big, ambitious exploration of our geological history from the best writer I know about landscape and humanity’s relation to it. (May) How to Lose a Country: The Seven Warning Signs of Rising Populism by Ece Temelkuran: Temelkuran, a brilliant Turkish journalist ponders political disconnect and populism in Turkey, Brexiting UK and Trump’s America. (in the shop now) Extraordinary Insects by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson: the subtitle ‘Weird, Wonderful, Indispensable’ says it all. And still, there’s much, much more. To paraphrase the incomparable Roy and HG, when too many books is barely enough. David Gaunt

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A dangerous man moves in with a mother and her two adolescent children. The man runs an unlicensed mechanic’s workshop at the back of their property. The girl resists the man with silence, and finally with sabotage—fighting him at the place where she believes his heart lives—in the engine of the car. Set at the close of the 1970s and traversing thousands of kilometres of inland roads, Stella prizewinner, Carrie Tiffany, conducts a revelatory interrogation of Australian girlhood. Must a girl always be a part—how can she become a whole?

The War Artist by Simon Cleary ($29.95, PB)

When Brigadier James Phelan returns from Afghanistan with the body of a young soldier killed under his command, he is traumatised by the tragedy. An encounter with young Sydney tattoo artist Kira leaves him with a permanent tribute to the soldier, but it is a meeting that will change the course of his life. What he isn’t expecting is a campaign of retribution from the soldiers who blame him for the ambush & threaten his career. With his marriage also on the brink, his life spirals out of control. Years later, Phelan is surprised when Kira re-enters his life seeking refuge from her own troubles, with a young son in tow. She finds a way to help him make peace with his past, but she is still on the run from her own.

Hare’s Fur by Trevor Shearston ($28, PB)

Russell Bass is a potter living on the edge of Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains. His wife has been dead less than a year and, although he has a few close friends, he is living a mostly solitary life. Each month he hikes into the valley below his house to collect rock for glazes from a remote creek bed. One autumn morning, he finds a chocolate wrapper on the path. His curiosity leads him to a cave where three siblings—two young children & a teenage girl—are camped out, hiding from social services & the police. Although they bolt at first, Russell slowly gains their trust, and, little by little, this unlikely group of outsiders begin to form a fragile bond. In prose that captures the feel of hands on clay and the smell of cold rainforest as vividly as it does the minute twists and turns of human relationships, Shearston tells an exquisite story of grief, kindness, art, and the transformation that can grow from the seeds of trust.

The Hollow Bones by Leah Kaminsky ($33, PB)

Berlin, 1936. Ernst Schäfer, a young, ambitious zoologist & keen hunter & collector, has come to the attention of Heinrich Himmler, who invites him to lead a group of SS scientists to the frozen mountains of Tibet. Their secret mission—to search for the origins of the Aryan race. While Ernst prepares for the trip, he marries Herta, his childhood sweetheart. But Herta, a flautist who refuses to play from the songbook of womanhood & marriage under the Reich, grows increasingly suspicious of Ernst & his expedition. When Ernst and his colleagues finally leave Germany in 1938, they realise the world has its eyes fixed on the horror they have left behind in their homeland. The Hollow Bones brings to life one of the Nazi regime’s little-known villains through the eyes of the animals he destroyed & the wife he undermined in the name of science & cold ambition.

The Rip by Mark Brandi ($30, PB)

‘It’s funny how quick it happens & without you really noticing. Anton said once that it’s like walking out into the sea, and you think everything’s fine & the water’s warm, but when you turn back you’re suddenly miles from shore. I’ve never been much of a swimmer, but I get what he means. Like, being caught in a current or something. A rip.’ A young woman living on the street has to keep her wits about her. Or her friends. But when the drugs kick in that can be hard. Anton has been looking out for her. She was safe with him. But then Steve came along. He had something over Anton. Must have. But he had a flat they could crash in. And gear in his pocket. And she can’t stop thinking about it. A good hit makes everything all right. But the flat smells weird. There’s a lock on Steve’s bedroom door. And the guy is intense. The problem is, sometimes you just don’t know you are in too deep, until you are drowning.

Islands by Peggy Frew ($30, PB)

‘There was a house on a hill in the city & it was full of us, our family, but then it began to empty. We fell out. We made a mess. We draped ourselves in blame & disappointment & lurched around, bumping into each other. Some of us wailed & shouted; some of us barely made a sound. None of us was listening, or paying attention. And in the middle of it all you, very quietly, were gone.’ Helen & John are too preoccupied with making a mess of their marriage to notice the quiet ways in which their daughters are suffering. Junie grows up brittle & defensive, Anna difficult & rebellious. When 15 year-old Anna fails to come home one night, her mother’s not too worried; Anna’s taken off before but always returned. Helen waits 3 days to report her disappearance. But this time Anna doesn’t come back.

Now in B Format The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton, $23 The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland, $20 Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton, $20


Australian Literature Star-crossed by Minnie Darke ($33, PB)

When Justine Carmichael (Sagittarius, aspiring journalist & sceptic) bumps into her old friend Nick Jordan (Aquarius, struggling actor & true believer) it could be by chance. Or perhaps it’s written in the stars. Justine works at the Alexandria Park Star—and Nick, she now learns, relies on the magazine’s astrology column to guide him in life. Looking for a way to get Nick’s attention, Justine has the idea of making a few small alterations to ‘Aquarius’ before it goes to print. It’s only a horoscope, after all. What harm could changing it do? Charting the many unforeseen ripple effects of Justine’s astrological meddling—both for herself & others—makes for a smart, funny debut.

The Time is Now, Monica Sparrow by Matt Howard ($30, PB)

Cast adrift by loss, Monica Sparrow is marooned in her semi in Neasden, the so-called ‘loneliest village in London’, her home stuffed with nothing she needs. And while it’s too late for her family to be as they were, can she fashion an entirely new one, from an unlikely set of contenders? Monica’s sister, Diane, is a right piece of work & looking to take it up a notch. And Xavier, a master of minimalism, who discards people as easily as any other clutter, who is suddenly lumbered with wannabe writer Monica. And Jamie, having lived virtually family-free into adulthood, suddenly acquires Monica & Diane as elder sisters, and a job—a proper one. Used to living on the margins and unfamiliar with group dynamics, this proverbial black sheep might just become the most improbable anchor. Four isolated people, thrown together by family & circumstance become a humorous & heart warming story of second chances & new beginnings.

The Contemptuary by David Foster ($29.95, PB)

Monasteries & gaols: David Foster, reflects that during the course of his life the monasteries have emptied while the gaols are doing nicely. Set in Goulburn & its surrounds, where Foster resides, The Contemptuary is a lament for a dying faith, a commentary on prison life and, perhaps unexpectedly from Foster in this, his 16 novel, an unputdownable whodunnit. ‘Attempt to characterise Foster’s writing and eventually one will run out of adjectives. There is simply no one remotely like him in contemporary Australian fiction. He is so far ahead of everyone else that it’s not funny.’—Australian Book Review.

l l i H ’ D n O

I wish I had some Dully gossip for you this month but nobody tells me anything, so I don’t ... But I do have three fabulous books by three fabulous Australian writers to gush about. Local author Debra Adelaide has published Zebra, a collection of stunning short-stories and one novella. The latter is a small tour-de-force written with a dead-pan humour about an imaginary female Prime Minister who is sent a Zebra to live in the extensive gardens of, one assumes, the Lodge—or maybe it’s Kirribilli House, or more probably, a fictional garden. And it’s in this garden that a strange and remarkable friendship is formed. In Festive Food for the Whole Family, a woman has a hideous Christmas Day catering to everyone’s dietary needs and peccadilloes only to realise certain betrayals are going on behind her back. Adelaide’s writing is marvellous—there’s not one bad story in this collection and not a word out of place. She manages to juggle a wry humour with pathos and intellectual rigour. This is a thoroughly enjoyable book and happy to say that Debra came into the shop recently and signed copies for us. I’m not finished, but am enjoying enormously Peggy Frew’s book, Islands, out this month. In it, several generations of women from one family reflect on their lives and relationships lived on an island not far from Melbourne—a place for holiday houses and long, hot summers but also for all the things that can go wrong in a family. I’m falling in love with these prickly, very believable women. March is an embarrassment of riches as also out this month is Carrie Tiffany’s excellent third novel, Exploded View—which takes its title from the car manual a (nameless) young girl studies assiduously, as in ‘Exploded View of Front Disc Brakes Components’. Set in 70s suburbia, the reader is aware this girl is warding off danger and trouble. At 12 years old she takes her stepfather’s Holden at night and drives it far and wide while everyone sleeps. Beautifully written and extremely moving with a terrific ending, this is a book that, like Tiffany’s previous novel, Mateship with Birds, will be on many a prize shortlist. While Peggy Frew was shortlisted for the Stella Prize for her previous book Hope Farm, Carrie Tiffany won the inaugural Stella with her novel, Mateship with Birds. And the Stella longlist has been announced this year with much to recommend it. In fact, there’s so many good books on the list, it’s hard to guess what or who, will win. Good luck to all the authors. See you on D’Hill, Morgan

Faber Writing Academy at Allen & Unwin announces YOUR BRILLIANT WRITING CAREER A new symposium for aspiring writers Led by Fiona Wright with Pip Smith and publishing experts. Discover what it really means to be a writer, what you must give of yourself and what you can expect to receive. 11.00am – 5.30pm, Saturday 22 June 2019 TICKETS SELLING FAST For more information: Talk to us: (02) 8425 0171 Email us: faberwritingacademy@allenandunwin.com.au Visit us: www.faberwritingacademy.com.au Follow us: www.facebook.com/Faberwriting https://twitter.com/faberwriting

The Glad Shout by Alice Robinson ($33, PB)

After a catastrophic storm destroys Melbourne, Isobel flees to higher ground with her husband and young daughter. Food and supplies run low, panic sets in and still no help arrives. To protect her daughter, Isobel must take drastic action. Alice Robinson’s second novel is told in a starkly visual and compelling narrative—a deeply moving homage to motherhood and the struggles faced by women in difficult times.

The Age of Discretion by Virginia Duigan

When the sex in Vivien Quarry’s 32-year marriage dwindles to zero, hubbie Geoff finally gives her a reason: ‘Men are hardwired to not find older women attractive’. This unforgivable statement, uttered by a man long past his Adonis years, prompts Vivien to take drastic action. At 67, she most definitely doesn’t feel ‘past it’, and so enlists the services of the enigmatic Martin Glover from The Discretion Agency. Under the sardonic eye of her oldest friend Jules, a world-famous operatic soprano facing the closing years of a brilliant career, Viv embarks on a series of wildly unpredictable, and sometimes hilariously cringeworthy dates—with wholly unexpected consequences. ($33, PB)

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International Literature

The Snakes by Sadie Jones ($33, PB)

THE DYSASTERS P.C. CAST AND KRISTIN CAST ‘This sci-fi romance offers a diverse cast and an action-packed plot.’ School Library Journal P.C. and Kristin Cast, the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of the House of Night phenomenon, return with an epic paranormal fantasy.

Bea & Dan are recently married. Driving through France they visit Bea’s dropout brother Alex at the hotel he runs in Burgundy. They find him all alone and the ramshackle hotel deserted, apart from the nest of snakes in the attic. When Alex and Bea’s parents make a surprise visit, Dan can’t understand why Bea is so appalled, or why she’s never wanted him to know them; Liv & Griff Adamson are charming, and rich. Maybe Bea’s ashamed of him, or maybe she regrets the secrets she’s been keeping. Tragedy strikes suddenly, brutally, and in its aftermath the family is stripped back to its rotten core, and even Bea with all her strength & goodness can’t escape.

Charlie Savage by Roddy Doyle ($30, PB) WHAT I LIKE ABOUT ME JENNA GUILLAUME ‘Funny and heartfelt. I loved it.’ Melina Marchetta Meet Maisie Martin, a clever, shy, funny, confused 16-year-old. She’s ready for the summer of her life – and to minutely record it in her journal. Until everything starts going wrong...

BRAIN CHANGER PROFESSOR FELICE JACKA ‘Jacka is leading the way.’ Professor John Cryan This is not a diet book. This is a guide to the good habits that will protect your most precious organ, improve your quality of life and optimise mental and brain health across your lifespan.

The Song of Kieu: A New Lament by Nguyen Du ($25, PB)

In 3,254 verses, written in lục bát (‘six–eight’) meter, this classic of Vietnamese literature recounts the life, trials and tribulations of Thúy Kiều, a beautiful and talented young woman, who sacrifices herself to save her father and younger brother from prison—she sells herself into marriage with a middleaged man, not knowing that he is a pimp, and is forced into prostitution. Originally written under a pen-name as the story was quite critical of the basic tenets of Confucian morality, in Vietnam, the poem is so popular & beloved that there are allegedly illiterate peasants who know the whole epic by heart.

Make Me A City: A Novel of Chicago by Jonathan Carr ($33, PB)

It is 1800. On desolate, marshy ground between Lake Michigan & the Illinois River, a man builds a house & a city is born ...Jonathan Carr’s debut novel spans Chicago’s tumultuous first century, showing how a city is made—by a succession of vivid, sometimes villainous individuals & their cumulative invention, energy & vision. We meet the city’s unacknowledged founder, a descendant of colonisers & slaves; witness the dispersal of the indigenous Native Americans; hear stories of an entrepreneur, an engineer, a courageous female reporter, and a corrupt alderman; and track the lives of immigrants from all over the world, as they struggle for acceptance in a country they have built. Chicago, its inhabitants & its history are brought to dazzling, colourful life in this epic tale that speaks of not just one city but America as a whole.

The Runaways by Fatima Bhutto ($33, PB)

Anita lives in Karachi’s biggest slum. Her mother is a maalish wali, paid to massage the tired bones of rich women. Then Anita meets her elderly neighbour, whose shelves of books promise an escape to a different world. On the other side of Karachi lives Monty, whose father owns half the city—but when a beautiful and rebellious girl joins his school, Monty finds his life going in a very different direction. Sunny’s father left India & went to England to give his son the opportunities he never had. Yet Sunny doesn’t fit in anywhere. It’s only when his charismatic cousin comes back into his life that he realises his life could hold more possibilities than he ever imagined. These three lives will cross in the desert—where their closely guarded secrets will force them to make a terrible choice.

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Meet Charlie Savage—a middle-aged Dubliner with an indefatigable wife, an exasperated daughter, a drinking buddy who’s realized that he’s been a woman all along... Compiled here for the first time is a whole year’s worth of Roddy Doyle’s hilariousseries for the Irish Independent. Giving a unique voice to the everyday, he draws a portrait of a man—funny, loyal, somewhat bewildered—trying to keep pace with the modern world (if his knees don’t give out first).

Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad

A missionary begs to be moved from disease-ridden Bangkok. A musician plays a private show for ghosts. A student abandoned by his lover bleeds to death in the street. A plastic surgeon designs a girl a new face. A woman decides whether to cook a final meal for a dying murderer. Lurching through decades, from Bangkok’s rich past to its imagined, uploaded future, witness the city as it changes from a booming capitalist hub to a city engulfed by water, through human tales seeping into one another, held together by delicate threads. A startling and intimate debut by a lyrical new writer. ($33, PB)

The Capital by Robert Menasse ($33, PB)

As the 50th anniversary of the European Commission approaches, Auschwitz is suggested as the centre of jubilee. Inspector Brunfaut’s murder case has been suppressed, but his IT whizz friend at Brussels’ Police HQ gains access to secret files in the public prosecutor’s office. Matek, the Polish hitman know that he shot the wrong guy, and for Matek, who would rather have become a priest, this is serious. And what about the pig farmers who take to the streets of the city to protest about existing trade restrictions blocking the export of pigs’ ears to China . . .? Menasse’s prize-winning novel is a sharp satire, a philosophical essay, a crime story, a comedy of manners, a wild pig chase, which has at its heart the fact that no-one should forget the circumstances that gave rise to the European project in the first place.

Permission by Saskia Vogel ($33, PB)

When Echo’s father gets swept away by a freak current off the Los Angeles coast, she finds herself sinking into a complete state of paralysis. With no true friends and a troubled relationship with her mother, the failed young actress attempts to seek solace in the best way she knows: by losing herself in the lives of strangers. When by chance Echo meets a dominatrix called Orly, it finally feels like she might have found someone who will be nurturing and treasure her for who she is. But Orly’s fifty-something houseboy, Piggy, isn’t quite ready to let someone else share the intimate relationship he’s worked so hard to form with his mistress.

Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken ($33, PB)

From the day she is discovered unconscious in a New England cemetery at the beginning of the 20th century—nothing but a bowling ball, a candlepin and 15 pounds of gold on her person—Bertha Truitt is an enigma to everyone in Salford, Massachusetts. She has no past to speak of, or at least none she is willing to reveal, and her mysterious origin scandalises & intrigues the townspeople, as does her choice to marry & start a family with Leviticus Sprague, the doctor who revived her. But Bertha is plucky, tenacious & entrepreneurial, and the bowling alley she opens quickly becomes Salford’s most defining landmark—with Bertha its most notable resident. She changes the town foreverher singular spirit resonating powerfully through every board and brick and bone.

Death Is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa ($28, PB)

On his death bed, Abdel Latif tells his youngest son Bolbol that his final wish is to be buried in the family plot in their ancestral village of Anabiya in the Aleppo region. Though Abdel Latif was not the ideal father, and though Bolbol is estranged from his siblings, he decides to persuade his older brother Hussein and his sister Fatima to accompany him and their father’s body to Anabiya—only a two-hour drive from Damascus. But the country is a warzone. The landscape of their childhood is now a labyrinth of competing armies, and the trials that confront the family along their journey—while they are captured and recaptured, interrogated, imprisoned, and bombed— proves to have enormous consequences for them all. In a mixture of brutal, front-line reportage and surreal humour evocative of Beckett and Kafka, Khaled Khalifa’s novel is an unforgettable journey into a contemporary heart of darkness.


Altitude

Holy Lands by Amanda Sthers ($35, HB)

ACCIDENTAL FEMINISTS BY

JANE CARO

The Prague Sonata by Bradford Morrow ($20, PB)

Pages of a weathered original sonata manuscript—the gift of a Czech immigrant living in Queens—come into the hands of Meta Taverner, a young musicologist whose concert piano career was cut short by an injury. The gift comes with the request that Meta find the manuscript’s true owner—a Prague friend the old woman has not heard from since the Second World War forced them apart—and to make the three-part sonata whole again. Leaving New York behind for the land of Dvorak and Kafka, Meta sets out on an unforgettable search to locate the remaining movements of the sonata and uncover a story that has influenced the course of many lives, even as it becomes clear that she isn’t the only one seeking the music’s secrets.

How one generation became feminist by accident.

Women over fifty-five are of the generation that changed everything. We didn’t expect to. Or intend to. We weren’t brought up much differently from the women who came before us, and we rarely identified as feminists, although almost all of us do now. Accidental Feminists is a celebration of grit, adaptability, energy and persistence. It is also a plea for future generations to keep agitating for a better, fairer world.

jane WILL Be In COnVeRSaTIOn WITH VaRUna’S DIReCTOR, VeeCHI STUaRT

Now in B Format White Houses by Amy Bloom, $20 Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday, $20 More: A Novel by Hakan Gunday ($28, PB)

Gaza lives on the shores of the Aegean Sea. At the age of nine he becomes a human trafficker, like his father. Together with his father and local boat owners Gaza helps smuggle desperate ‘illegals,’ by giving them shelter, food, and water before they attempt the crossing to Greece. One night everything changes and Gaza is suddenly faced with the challenge of how he himself is going to survive. This is a heartbreaking work that examines the lives of refugees struggling to flee their homeland and the human traffickers who help them reach Europe—for a price.

ith

BOOK EVENTS AT

Boo ks w

Harry Rosenmerck is an aging Jewish cardiologist who leaves his thriving medical practice to raise anti-terrorist pigs in Israel; David, his gay son, is an earnest & successful playwright in New York whose letters to his disapproving father go long unanswered; Annabelle, Harry’s daughter, has fled to New York when her heart is suddenly & unexpectedly broken; and their mother, (and Harry’s ex-wife) Monique, ruminates about their once happy marriage even as she quietly strives to survive an aggressive lethal cancer. As droll as it is deeply moving, Holy Lands chronicles a set of highly charged relationships within an estranged if wonderfully colourful & committed family of eccentrics.

When: Where: Cost:

SATURDAY 23 mARch 2019

2.00pm for 2.30pm start The geoRge boUTiqUe hoTel 194 gwh, blAckheATh

$20 ($17 concession) includes afternoon tea

Bookings essential. Tickets available at Gleebooks Blackheath or phone Gleebooks on 4787 6340 or email victoria@gleebooks.com.au

The Birds by Tarjei Vesaas ($23, PB)

This is the story of Mattis, a mentally handicapped man who lives with and is cared for by his older sister, Hege. Mattis cannot make sense of his tangled thoughts, frightening apparitions, surges of emotion and clever insights. When a travelling lumberjack attracts Hege’s affections, the disruption is too much for Mattis to bear. This Norwegian masterpiece sensitively captures the mystic command of the natural world, the prison of unfulfilled time and the fragility of the human mind. The narrative is sparse, poetic and contemplative but the ending crescendos into heart-breaking misfortune.

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones and the Six sold out arenas from coast to coast. Their music defined an era and every girl in America idolised Daisy. But on July 12 1979, on the night of the final concert of the Aurora tour, they split. This is the whole story, right from the beginning—the sun-bleached streets, the grimy bars on the Sunset Strip, knowing Daisy’s moment was coming. Relive the euphoria of success & experience the terror that nothing will ever be as good again. Take the uppers so you can keep on believing, take the downers so you can sleep, eventually. Wonder who you are without the drugs or the music or the fans or the family that prop you up. The heady haze of the 70s music scene, and a perfectly flawed Daisy, combine to create a fresh, rock n roll read. ($33, PB)

Stubborn Archivist by Yara Rodrigues Fowler

When your mother considers another country home, it’s hard to know where you belong. When the people you live among can’t pronounce your name, it’s hard to know exactly who you are. And when your body no longer feels like your own, it’s hard to understand your place in the world. This is a lyrical novel of growing up between cultures, of finding your space within them & of learning to live in a traumatized body. Our stubborn archivist tells her story through history, through family conversations, through the eyes of her mother, her grandmother & her aunt & slowly she begins to emerge into the world, defining her own sense of identity. ($33, PB)

The Frank Business by Olivia Glazebrook

Ater Frank drops dead in Heathrow Arrivals on Christmas Eve, his estranged daughter Jem is called in to identify the body. When Jem travels back to Frank’s house in France she realises that Frank had a son too. Frank has died of a congenital heart defect, a defect he may have passed on to his daughter—or on to his son. Jem must warn her brother, but in finding herself a family she risks ripping another apart. ($33, PB)

The Gunners by Rebecca Kauffman ($30, PB)

From childhood into adolescence, The Gunners were an inseparable gang of friends, taking their name from the previous occupants of the abandoned house they used to play in. One of their number, Sally, suddenly stops speaking to all of them & never explains why. Years later, her suicide forces the Gunners back together for Sally’s funeral. Mikey, the only one who remained in the town where they grew up, is worried they will have very little in common when they finally meet again. He is also unsure how to tell them he is going blind. But the other Gunners have secrets of their own to share, secrets that might shed some light on Sally’s tragic decision. The Gunners is a humorous but poignant look at growing up and what it really means to be a friend..

Golden Child by Claire Adam ($30, PB)

Rural Trinidad: a brick house on stilts surrounded by bush; a family, quietly surviving, just trying to live a decent life in a society. Father, Clyde, works long, exhausting shifts at the petroleum plant in southern Trinidad; Joy, his wife, looks after the home. Their 2 sons, 13 years old, wake early every morning to travel to the capital, Port of Spain, for school. They are twins but nothing alike: Paul has always been considered odd, while Peter is widely believed to be a genius, destined for greatness. When Paul goes walking in the bush one afternoon & doesn’t come home, Clyde is forced to go looking for him—this child who has caused him endless trouble already, and whom he has never really understood. As the hours turn to days, and Clyde begins to understand Paul’s fate, his world shatters-leaving him faced with a decision no parent should ever have to make.

Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff

Remember your Just-In-Cases. Beware Tall Buildings. Watch Your Six Raised by her mother and Maeve on Slanbeg, an island off the west coast of Ireland, Orpen has a childhood of love and stories by the fireside. But the stories grow darker, and the training begins. Ireland has been devoured by a ravening menace known as the skrake, and though Slanbeg is safe for now, the women must always be ready to run, or to fight. When Maeve is bitten, Orpen is faced with a dilemma: kill Maeve before her transformation is complete, or try to get help. So Orpen sets off, with Maeve in a wheelbarrow and her dog at her side, in the hope of finding other survivors, and a cure. It is a journey that will test Orpen to her limits, on which she will learn who she really is, who she really loves, and how to imagine a future in a world that ended before she was born. ($30, PB)

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THE WILDER AISLES

Last year, one of my favourite books was Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, so when I saw ‘perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant’ on the cover of The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr I knew it was a must-read. While there are some similarities, there also differences. Both Elvira and Eleanor are loners, although Elvira lives with her mother, and some time father, she spends a great deal of her time in her room—often in bed under her doona. She is what you could call a ‘biscuit expert’—she knows everything there is to know about biscuits—who they were made by, when they first appeared—and many other biscuit facts that she loves to share with whoever will listen—which is partly why she doesn’t function too well in the world outside her home. Her mother considers Elvira to be ‘socially-challenged’ so she keeps her at home to avoid incidents—I guess she could seem over-protective—but it’s mainly for her own sake, as she wishes to avoid the embarrassment Elvira’s encounters with strangers causes her. Elvira has no edit button in her dealings with the people she meets—she says exactly what she is thinking, regardless of the consequences. But when her mother has a stroke and enters a nursing home, the 27-year old Elvira, who has never lived on her own is suddenly left to fend for herself. From then on Elvira’s life begins to change. She makes a spreadsheet with her seven rules which she intends to be her guide to independent living—soon learning that rules are not written in stone and can change according to circumstances. It is a hard lesson for her, as she is incapable dissimulation. With the help of Sylvia, her next door neighbour, her visits to the nursing home to see her mother, and her job at the animal sanctuary, Elvira starts to feel her way through her new life. Only to be suddenly faced with a mystery about her father—who she thought had been in the secret service, travelling the world— but new information comes to light, leaving her confused and distressed. How Elvira solves this mystery with the help of a stranger who appears at her door, makes for very thought-provoking reading. While this is a sad book in some ways, there are also many uplifting moments—especially as Elvira gradually finds herself living a life she never knew was possible. Sometime ago I wrote about a book called Drinking the Rain by Alix Kates Shulman. It is one of my favourite books and I have read it at least twice, maybe three times. It tells of the time Shulman spent on an island off the coast of Maine. Living on her own with no electricity or other benefits of modern life, she finds a new independence and a growing sense of oneness with the natural world. Foraging for & planting what she eats—including sea weed and mussels, she learns how to be self-sufficient and minimise waste—building a new life for herself that is richer in so many ways. However, what I really want to talk about is a book I chanced on by accident. It is a novel by Shulman that I had never heard of. The book is called Ménage, and it is great fun— even though perhaps it’s not be meant to be. Heather and Mack McKay are living the good life. He is a very successful developer and she is a writer. Currently she can only manage a weekly column for a environmental magazine after the birth of their children. However, they both feel something is missing from their lives—a vague sense that the despite the high salary, the big house, the BMW in the garage and all the other outward signs of success, they are really not living fulfilled lives. When Mack, who still works in the city, (commuting from the burbs), meets by chance exiled writer Zoltan Barbu he is much taken by Zoltan’s looks—his long hair, his goatee and his habit of wearing a long cloak. He is also mesmerised by Zoltan’s piercing gaze. Mack, who has been looking for a cultural trophy to display, invites him to come and live with he and Heather— thus creating the eponymous ‘ménage’. Heather is as thrilled as Mack, looking forward to long literary chats, discussing authors and their works, and maybe even getting some help with her own writing. At first all goes well—Zoltan is everything they wanted him to be, even though the drinking and talking until all hours becomes difficult for Mack, who is still commuting to the city. Left alone with Zoltan, Heather, who has always suspected Mack of cheating on her, and has often wished she could maybe have herself a piece of that cake—is tempted by this gorgeous, exotic man, right there in her own house. Her attempt at seduction is sad and comic. Of course it all ends in disaster, but Heather and Mack, being the kind of people they are, take it in their stride. Mack writes it off as a bad investment (of which he has had quite a few), and Heather gets down to writing the short stories she left off writing when the children came along—typing furiously with a photo of Zoltan hanging in front of her. What of Zoltan? Last seen in Paris! This was one of those books I didn’t know how much I liked and how funny I found it until it was all over. At one stage I almost gave up, the characters were so unlikeable, but I didn’t—and I came to understand and really like them. There is even a quote from Pierre-Joseph Proudhon about property, of course said to Mack by Zoltan. Well worth a read, very entertaining and a complete contrast to the Drinking the Rain—but then again maybe not. Loved it. Janice Wilder

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Crime Fiction

The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan ($33, PB)

When Dr Emma Sweeney stumbles across the victim of a hit and run outside Galway University late one evening, she calls her partner, Detective Cormac Reilly, bringing him first to the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him. A security card in the dead woman’s pocket identifies her as Carline Darcy, a gifted student and heir apparent to Irish pharmaceutical giant Darcy Therapeutics. As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself—and as his running of the case comes under scrutiny from the department and his colleagues, he is forced to question his own objectivity.

The Border by Don Winslow ($33, PB)

For over forty years, Art Keller has been on the front lines of America’s longest conflict: The War On Drugs. His obsession to defeat the world’s most powerful, wealthy, and lethal kingpin-the godfather of the Sinaloa Cartel, Adán Barrera-has left him bloody and scarred, cost him people he loves, even taken a piece of his soul. Now Keller is elevated to the highest ranks of the DEA, only to find that in destroying one monster he has created thirty more that are wreaking even more chaos and suffering in his beloved Mexico. At war with not only the cartels, but with his own government, Art’s final lesson is that there are no borders.

The Taking of Annie Thorne by C.J. Tudor ($33, PB)

It arrived in my inbox just over a month ago. Surprising really that it didn’t get shunted straight into junk. Sender- MSG@hotmail.com: Subject—Annie. ‘I know what happened to your sister. It’s happening again.’ Because when my sister was eight years old, she disappeared. At the time, I thought it was the worst thing that could ever happen. And then she came back ... in a haunting new thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chalk Man.

Hiding to Nothing by Andy Muir ($25, PB)

Lay low, stay out of trouble & don’t get pulled over. It was probably the best advice I’d ever had. How long until I ignored it? All Lachie Munro wants is a quiet life in sunny Newcastle. But when his estranged dad, Terry, turns up fresh out of prison, he’s packing more than the usual family baggage. Suddenly there are 2 murderous goons on Lachie’s doorstep & the police are paying him special attention. But Terry’s on the hunt for a long-lost fortune, and he won’t be leaving Newcastle—or Lachie— without it. Which is bad news for Lachie who suspects the more time he spends with his dad, the more trouble it causes. And it’ll be Lachie Munro who cops a hiding to nothing.

To The Lions by Holly Watt ($30, PB)

Casey Benedict, star reporter at the Post, has infiltrated the lives & exposed the lies of countless politicians & power players. Using her network of contacts, she is always on the search for the next big story, no matter what danger, no matter what cost emotionally. Tipped off by an overheard conversation at an exclusive London nightclub, she begins to investigate the apparent suicide of a wealthy young British man, whose death has left his fiancée & family devastated. Casey’s determined hunt for the truth will take her from the glitz of St-Tropez to the deserts of Libya and on to the very darkest corners of the human mind.

This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us by Edgar Cantero ($19, PB)

Someone is murdering the sons of the ruthless drug cartel boss known as the Lyon in the biggest baddest town in California: San Carnal. The notorious A.Z. Kimrean (sibling rivals sharing one body) must go to the sin-soaked, palm-tree-lined streets of San Carnal, infiltrate the Lyon’s inner circle, and find out who is targeting his heirs, and while they are at it, rescue an undercover cop who is in too deep, deal with a plucky young stowaway, and stop a major gang war from engulfing California.

The Sect of Angels by Andrea Camilleri ($25, PB)

Lawyer and journalist Matteo Teresi discovers the existence of a secret sect whose members include priests, politicians, and regional VIPs. During the early morning hours, when the town’s churches are closed, the ‘Sect of the Angels’ meets in the sacristy to carry out their holy office: initiating devout virgins into the rites of married life. Preying on their victims’ naivete, the hooded ‘elect’ commit ignominious acts while promising the young women divine grace. In 1901, at a time of immense changes in Sicilian society, the scandal breaks nationwide. But far from being hailed as a hero, Teresi is accused of disrupting the status quo and irrationally blamed for an outbreak of disease and a series of calamities.

After She’s Gone by Camilla Grebe ($30, PB)

Profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön & her partner, investigator Peter Lindgren, have just returned from a dream holiday in Greenland and the symptoms of her early onset dementia seem to be under control. When they are asked to go to the small, sleepy industrial town of Ormberg to investigate a cold case Hanne starts to keep a diary noting down everything she is likely to forget. But when she is found wandering lost & confused on the outskirts of Ormberg, and the body of a woman is found at the cairn with one of Hanne’s shoes nearby—covered in the victim’s blood, Hanne’s diary becomes the key? How does this new murder connect to their old one—and where is Peter?


The Ink Stain by Meg &Tom Keneally ($33, PB)

Gentleman convict Hugh Monsarrat & crack tea-maker Hannah Mulrooney are back. While awaiting trial during one of his many imprisonments for libel, Henry Hallward, editor of the Sydney Chronicle boasts of a story that will destroy several powerful people. But before he can finish it he is killed, and Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney are on the case—sifting through the suspects & unravelling hidden agenda— aware that at any moment the governor’s right hand man, Duchamp, could ignominiously dismiss them—leaving Hallward’s murder unsolved and the independence of the colony’s press in grave jeopardy.

WITNESS. GIRLFRIEND. SUSPECT? From the author of the international bestseller The Rúin.

To Kill the Truth by Sam Bourne ($30, PB)

Someone is trying to destroy the evidence of history’s greatest crimes. Academics & Holocaust survivors dead in mysterious circumstances. Museums & libraries burning. Digital records & irreplaceable proofs, lost for ever. Former White House operative Maggie Costello has sworn off politics. But when the Governor of Virginia seeks her help to stop the lethal spiral of killings, she knows that this is bigger than any political game. As Black Lives Matter protestors clash with slavery deniers, America is on a knife-edge & time is running out— who stands to gain most from the chaos

The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Älexander McCall Smith ($30, PB)

The first in the ‘blanc’ (not noir) series featuring Ulf Varg, a detective in the Sensitive Crimes Department in the Swedish city of Malmo. Ulf is a sympathetic, well-educated & likeable man, with a knowledge of & interest in Nordic art. He is concerned with odd, unthreatening crimes—injuries to the back of the knee caused by an unknown hand, young women who allow their desperation for a boyfriend to get the better of them, and peculiar goings-on in a spa on Sweden’s south coast. His colleagues number Anna, married to an anaesthetist, but very fond of Ulf; Erik, whose sole interest is fishing; Carl, whose father has written a book on Kierkegaard; hypochondriac Blomquist, and Marten, Ulf’s lip-reading dog who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder Palm Beach, Finland by Antti Tuomainen ($20, PB) Jan Nyman, the ace detective of the covert operations unit of the National Central Police, is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate a mysterious death. Nyman arrives in the town dominated by a bizarre holiday village—the ‘hottest beach in Finland’. The suspect: Olivia Koski, who has only recently returned to her old hometown. The mission: find out what happened, by any means necessary. From the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ comes a page-turning thriller & a wicked black comedy about lust for money, fleeing dreams & people struggling at turning points in their lives.

Island Of The Mad by Laurie R. King ($20, PB)

Lady Vivian Beaconsfield, has disappeared following a supervised outing from Bethlem Royal Hospital. After a life in & out of one asylum after another, she had seemed to be adjusting to her confinement at Bethlem. So why did she disappear? And why is there no trace of the nurse who accompanied her? In their search for the missing women, Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes follow the trail from the cold, harsh wards of the hospital through to the ethereal beauty of Venice. Caught up in decadent soirées, the rising tide of fascism & the myth of a haunted madhouse, the pair will discover that there are secrets hidden in the lagoon & nothing is quite as it seems.

Kill [redacted] by Anthony Good ($20, PB)

When a grieving man searches for culpability in the death of his wife, a passenger on trains blown up by terrorists, he settles on a politician. The bombers, to his mind, were only the end point in a long chain of proximate causes - to blame them would be like blaming the trigger mechanisms on the bombs. The ultimate cause, he believes, the person responsible for first setting events into motion, is the politician whose policies and practices have had profound and violent impact abroad. And so it is only right, surely, that that politician is punished.

Beautiful Death by Fiona McIntosh ($33, PB)

DCI Jack Hawksworth is back, working on a high-profile case breaking in London. A calculating serial killer is on the loose, committing the most gruesome of murders as he ‘trophies’ the faces of his victims. With each new atrocity, the public & police force are getting more desperate for results. Hawk pulls together a strong and experienced taskforce, who soon find themselves caught up in a murky world of illegal immigrants & human organ trading. As he struggles to find any sort of link between the victims, Jack identifies something unique about the most recent corpse, and things suddenly get very personal.

City of Sinners by A. A. Dhand ($20, PB)

It is an ordinary Yorkshire morning, cold and miserable. The streets are not yet busy. Police cars hurriedly pull up in the centre of town, but none of their lights are flashing and the sirens are silent. A body has been found, elaborately and painstakingly positioned to send a message. But what message? And to who? It’s DCI Harry Virdee’s job to find out. But Harry doesn’t know that the killer is watching him, that the killer is coming for him.

A d e e ply p e r s on al m e m oir from on e of Aus t r al i a’s m os t s oug h t aft e r a nd r e c o gn is a b l e voic e s.

‘Everyone should read this book.’ Stephen King

True Crime

Murder on Easey Street by Helen Thomas

One summer night in January 19 were savagely murdered in their house on Easey Street, Collingwood—stabbed multiple times while Suzanne’s 16 month-old baby slept in the next room. Although police established a list of 130 ‘persons of interest’, the case became one of the most infamous unsolved crimes in Melbourne. 40 years on, Helen Thomas re-examines this cold case, chasing down new leads & talking to members of the Armstrong & Bartlett families, the women’s neighbours on Easey Street, detectives & journalists. What emerges is a portrait of a crime rife with ambiguities & contradictions, which took place at a fascinating time in the city’s history—when the countercultural bohemia of Helen Garner’s Monkey Grip brushed up against the grit of the underworld in one of Melbourne’s most infamous knockabout suburbs. ($33, PB)

When the Dogs Don’t Bark: A Forensic Scientist’s Search for the Truth by Angela Gallop ($30, PB)

‘The dead keep many secrets. Sometimes they are the only witness to a crime. But ask the right questions, and they will eventually reveal everything.’ Never before has criminal justice rested so heavily on scientific evidence. With ever more sophisticated & powerful techniques at their disposal, forensic scientists have the ability to make or break a case. Angela Gallop has been a forensic scientist for over 40 years. After a brief spell studying sea slugs on the Isle of Wight, she joined the Forensic Science Service. Her first case was the Yorkshire Ripper. She is now the most sought after forensic scientist in the UK and has been involved in numerous high profile cases, including the Cardiff Three, the coastal path murders and the trail of Stephen Lawrence. From the crime scene to the courtroom, this is the remarkable story of a life spent searching for the truth.

Crime Scene Asia by Liz Porter ($30, PB)

The body of a woman is found in a Singapore nature park. Nobody has reported her missing. Nobody knows who she is. The only clue to her identity is a set of tiny numbers etched into a series of implants in her teeth. Police doorknock the dentists of Singapore until they find the one who treated her. Then, following a trail of numbers called from her phone, they unmask her killer. A humble truck driver facing jail for his apparent involvement in a bombing plot allegedly masterminded by two of the former British colony’s most notorious gangsters. Then the evidence of a forensic scientist sets him free. Just to name 2 of the fascinating true stories throughout Asia reported by Liz Porter. 7


Biography

On Father by John Birmingham ($15, PB)

John Birmingham’s father died. And his life fell apart. The next six months were spent grinding through the dark forests of depression until he finally emerged out of the darkness onto sunlit upland. A unique yet universal story, On Father reaches out to everyone who has experienced and survived deep grief.

Diving into Glass by Caro Llewellyn ($33, PB)

Caro Llewellyn’s father Richard contracted polio at the age of 20 and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Dignified, undaunted & ingenious, he was determined to make every day count, not least seducing his nurse while still confined to an iron lung, then marrying her. But when Caro was herself blindsided by illness—multiple sclerosis—cut loose from everything she depended on, she couldn’t summon any of the grace & courage she’d witnessed growing up. She was furious, toxic, humiliated. Only by looking back at her father’s extraordinary example was she able to rediscover her own grit & find a way forward, rebuilding her life shard by shard.

Solitary by Albert Woodfox ($35, PB)

Albert Woodfox was serving a 50 year sentence in Angola for armed robbery when he was inspired to join the Black Panther Party because of its social commitment & code of living. On April 17, 1972, a white guard was killed, and Albert & another member of the Panthers were accused of the crime & immediately put in solitary confinement by the warden. Without a shred of actual evidence against them, their trial was a sham of justice that gave them life sentences in solitary. Decades passed before Albert gained a lawyer of consequence; even so, 16 more years and multiple appeals were needed before he was finally released in February 2016. That Albert Woodfox survived 4 decades in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell, 23 hours a day was, in itself, a feat of extraordinary endurance against the violence & deprivation he faced daily. That he was able to emerge whole from his odyssey within America’s prison & judicial systems is a triumph of the human spirit, and makes his book a clarion call to reform the inhumanity of solitary confinement in the US & around the world.

The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather ($35, PB)

In the Summer of 1940, after the Nazi occupation of Poland, an underground operative called Witold Pilecki accepted a mission to uncover the fate of thousands of people being interred at a new concentration camp on the border of the Reich. His mission was to report on Nazi crimes & raise a secret army to stage an uprising. The name of the detention centre—Auschwitz. It was only after arriving at the camp that he started to discover the Nazi’s terrifying designs. Over the next two & half years, Witold forged an underground army that smuggled evidence of Nazi atrocities to the West. His reports from the camp were to shape the Allies response to the Holocaust—yet his story was all but forgotten for decades. Jack Fairweather draw on exclusive family papers & recently declassified files as well as unpublished accounts from the camp’s fighters to show how Pilecki saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

The Blackburns: Private lives, public ambitions by Carolyn Rasmussen ($45, HB)

When socialist barrister & aspiring member of parliament Maurice Blackburn met Doris Hordern, ardent feminist & campaign secretary to Vida Goldstein, neither had marriage in their imagined futures. But they fell in love—with each other as much as with their individual aspirations to change the world for the better. Theirs would be an exacting partnership as they held one another to the highest ideals. They worked as elected members of parliaments & community activists, influencing conscription laws, benefits for working men & women, atomic bomb tests, civil rights & Indigenous recognition. Together, they shook Australia.

Kindred: A Cradle Mountain Love Story by Kate Legge ($45, HB)

He was an Austrian immigrant; she came from Tasmania. He grew up beside the Carinthian Alps; she climbed mountains when few women dared. Their honeymoon glimpse of Cradle Mountain lit an urge that filled their waking hours. Others might have kept this splendour to themselves, but Gustav Weindorfer & Kate Cowle sensed the significance of a place they sought to share with the world. When they stood on the peak in the heat of January 1910, they imagined a national park for all. Kate Legge tells the story of a love cradled by nature’s greatest architecture, tracing the achievements of these unconventional adventurers & their fight to preserve the wilderness where they pioneered eco-tourism. Neither lived to see their vision fully realised—the World Heritage listed landscape is now visited by 250,000 people each year.

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No Apologies by Joanne Brookfield ($30, PB)

Joanne Brookfield has spent 2 decades working in the world of comedy, as both a journalist & a stand-up comedian. Over coffee, wine, laughter & tears, she’s talked with the women of comedy about every aspect of their lives, from the butterflies of their first gigs to the hell of their worst. From writing, gigging & touring, to the times they almost gave up, these women share the ways they’ve lived the feminist war cry of ‘nevertheless, she persisted’ and the triumphs they’ve enjoyed as a result. Representing a multitude of backgrounds, styles & content, they cover the full spectrum of human experience & this book celebrates them all—from the trailblazers who paved the way to the talented new stars who are actively transforming the landscape of performance.

Talking Sideways by Reg Dodd & Malcolm McKinnon ($32.95, PB)

Reg Dodd grew up at Finniss Springs, on striking desert country bordering South Australia’s Lake Eyre. For the Arabunna & for many other Aboriginal people, Finniss Springs has been a homeland & a refuge. It has also been a cattle station, an Aboriginal mission, a battlefield, a place of learning & a living museum. With his long-time friend & filmmaker Malcolm McKinnon, Dodd reflects on his upbringing in a cross-cultural environment that defied social conventions of the time. They also write candidly about the tensions surrounding power, authority & Indigenous knowledge that have defined the recent decades of this resource-rich area.

Godspeed: A Memoir by Casey Legler ($28, PB)

At 15, Casey Legler is already one of the fastest swimmers in the world. She is also an alcoholic, isolated from her family, and increasingly alone & alienated, living a life of cheap hotels & chlorine-worn skin, anonymous sexual encounters & escalating drug use. Even at what should be a moment of triumph—competing at age 16 in the 1996 Olympics—she is an outsider looking in, procuring drugs for Olympians she hardly knows, and losing her race after setting a new world record in the qualifying heats. After years of numbing training in France & the US, Legler can see no way out of the sinister loneliness that has swelled & festered inside her. Yet wondrously, when it is almost too late, she discovers a small light within herself, and senses a point of calm within the whirlwind of her life.

Going Back by Munjed Al Muderis ($33, PB)

In Munjed Al Muderis’s memoir Walking Free, he described his experience as a refugee fleeing Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, his terrifying sea journey to Australia & the brutal mandatory detention he faced in the remote north of WA. In this book he shares the extraordinary journey that his life-changing new surgical technique has taken him on. Through osseointegration, he implants titanium rods into the human skeleton & attaches robotic limbs, allowing patients genuine, effective & permanent mobility. Munjed has performed this operation on hundreds of Australian civilians, wounded British soldiers who have lost legs in Iraq & Afghanistan, and a survivor of the Christchurch earthquake in NZ. But nothing has been as extraordinary as his return to Iraq after 18 years, at the invitation of the Iraqi government, to operate on soldiers, police & civilian amputees wounded in the horrific war against ISIS.

Now in B Format When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele, $23 My Longest Round by Wally Carr ($20, PB)

‘I’ve been fighting since the day I was born. No, I’ve been fighting from the time I was curled up inside my mother’s belly. The day my father shot himself in the head, that’s when my fight started.’—Wally Carr. This is a powerful biographical story about the journey of a young Wiradjuri boy, Wally Carr, escaping the dreaded Aboriginal Welfare Board—a journey from the heartbreak & crushing loneliness of childhood to the mean streets of Sydney’s Redfern. From hunting goannas, Jimmy Sharman’s boxing tents, rugby league, professional boxing & the first Aboriginal Tent Embassy, to present-day struggles & lifestyles, My Longest Round offers a vital snapshot of Aboriginal and Australian history.

Requiem with Yellow Butterflies: A Memoir by James Halford ($27, PB)

An Australian writer and a Mexican scientist fall in love reading great Latin American books aloud. But it takes a decade of journeys across the region, together & apart, for them to learn to read each other. This is a love story & travel memoir that unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of Latin America in the 2000s. It takes a 1200-kilometre question-mark shaped loop through the newly socialist republics of the ‘pink tide,’ to a requiem mass for Mexico’s disappeared & eventually back to Australia. Through evocative, unexpected pairings of southern hemisphere places & authors—Jose Maria Arguedas’s Andes & Judith Wright’s Cooloola coast, the Argentine pampa & the central QLD brigalow country—James Halford explores distinct but parallel postcolonial literary traditions, the disordering state of love & the strangeness of coming home.


Travel Writing

Kosciuszko by Nick Brodie ($30, PB)

Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, is a dangerous place. Evan Hayes was an ordinary Australian battler. Hardworking, likable. Laurie Seaman was a world-wise American. Adventurous, affluent. When this athletic pair of cross-country skiers disappeared into the wilds of Kosciuszko they left a mystery, and became a sensation. Traversing the globe from New York’s Long Island to Siberia to Sydney and beyond Charlotte Pass, with shipboard romance and industrial strife along the way, this is the story of two very different people growing to manhood in a world of change. Accompanied by a diverse cast including motor car enthusiasts and aviators, bushmen and horsemen, trackers and journalists, this is the true story of a meeting of peoples and nations.

Tired of Winning: A Chronicle of American Decline by Richard Cooke ($28, PB)

Discover your next favourite

From the aesthetics of semi-automatic rifles to the aftermath of a media mass shooting, from #MeToo at the Capitol to the paintings of former president George W. Bush, Cooke’s travels take him from the climate change coast all the way to Silicon Valley. Not another diner-hopping, two-week car journey into Trump country, Cooke’s journey is a radical effort to capture dissonant and varied Americas, more often unreal than ‘real’. The nation has shattered under a barrage of social estrangement, malign politics, dark money, and the pull of the internet and social media. Cooke collects the glittering shards.

Stranger Country by Monica Tan ($33, PB)

What happens when a 32-year-old first-generation Australian woman decides to chuck in a dream job, pack a sleeping bag and tent, and hit the long, dusty road for six months? As a Chinese Australian city slicker, Monica Tan couldn’t have felt more distant from powerful mythologies like the Digger, the Drover’s Wife & Clancy of the Overflow. And more importantly, Monica wondered, how could she ever feel she truly belonged to a land that has been the spiritual domain of Indigenous Australians for over 60,000 years? This is her account of the six months Tan drove & camped her way through some of Australia’s most beautiful & remote landscapes—sharing meals, beers & conversations with miners, grey nomads, artists, farmers, community workers & small business owners from across the nation: some Aboriginal, some white, some Asian, & even a few who managed to be all three.

Around the World in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh

When Monisha Rajesh announced plans to circumnavigate the globe in eighty train journeys, she was met with wide-eyed disbelief. But she carefully plotted a route that would cover 45,000 miles—almost twice the circumference of the earth—coasting along the world’s most remarkable railways, packed up her rucksack & her fiancé, Jem Monisha, and embarked on an unforgettable adventure that took her from London’s St Pancras station to the vast expanses of Russia & Mongolia, North Korea, Canada, Kazakhstan & beyond. Along the way the pair strike up friendships & swap stories with the hilarious, irksome & ultimately endearing travellers they meet on board, all while taking in some of the earth’s most breathtaking views. ($38, HB)

Diving into Glass Caro Llewellyn An emotionally brutal memoir of family, vulnerability and purpose, this is a searing, often funny portrait of the realities of disability and an intimate account of two lives filled with vigour and audacity. Out 5 March

Mouth Full of Blood Toni Morrison A vital new non-fiction collection, Mouth Full of Blood is a powerful, erudite and essential gathering of ideas that speaks to us all. Out 19 February

The Hollow Bones Leah Kaminsky The Hollow Bones brings to life one of the Nazi regime’s little-known villains through the eyes of the animals he destroyed and the wife he undermined in the name of science and cold ambition. Out 5 March

The Shepherd’s Hut Tim Winton A rifle-shot of a novel – crisp, fast, shocking – The Shepherd’s Hut is an urgent masterpiece about solitude, unlikely friendship, and the raw business of survival. Out 5 March

In A Time Of Monsters: Travels Through a Middle East in Revolt by Emma Sky ($45, HB)

Returning to the UK in September 2010 after serving in Iraq as the political adviser to the top American general, Emma Sky felt no sense of homecoming. She soon found herself back in the Middle East travelling through a region in revolt. Her book bears witness to the demands of young people for dignity & justice during the Arab Spring; the inability of sclerotic regimes to reform; the descent of Syria into civil war; the rise of the Islamic State; and the flight of refugees to Europe. With deep empathy for its people & an extensive understanding of the Middle East, Sky makes a complex region more comprehensible. A great storyteller & observational writer, she also reveals the ties that bind the Middle East to the West & how blowback from our interventions in the region contributed to Brexit, & to the election of Donald Trump.

Curiosities and Splendour: An Anthology of Classic Travel Literature (ed) Mark Mackenzie ($30, HB)

Journey back in time with Robert Falcon Scott’s doomed Antarctic expedition of 1910-13; Robert Byron’s ten-month journey through Persia to Afghanistan in the early 30s; Jack London’s 1907 sailing adventure across the south Pacific; and Teddy Roosevelt’s scientific exploration of the Brazilian jungle’s exotic flora and fauna. The book also features extracts from: The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard; Sea and Sardinia by DH Lawrence; Cruise of the Snark by Jack London; American Notes by Charles Dickens; Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain; Letters Written During a Short Residence in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark by Mary Wollstonecraft; In Morocco by Edith Wharton; Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa by David Livingstone; The Histories by Herodotus; South: The Story of Shackleton’s Last Expedition 1914-1917 by Ernest Shackleton.

Now in B Format Hello, Shadowlands: Inside the Meth Fiefdoms, Rebel Hideouts and Bomb-Scarred Party Towns of SEAsia by Patrick Winn, $23

Read more at penguin.com.au

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for kids to young adults

compiled by Lynndy Bennett, our children's correspondent

non fiction

Congratulations to Australian-born illustrator Sophie Blackall for winning the 2019 Caldecott Medal for Hello Lighthouse. A tall thin book, much like a lighthouse, with glorious illustrations and touching story of a way of life now vanished, that of a lighthouse keeper. The stories and pictures are perfectly combined to create a memorable book.

Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail

As much an activity book as a nature book, On the Nature Trail has lots of information about flora and fauna, and plenty of activities to do in the great outdoors. Really nicely illustrated with photography and illustrations, spiral bound and with an accompanying magnifying glass, this would be the perfect companion for anyone who likes a ramble or a nature table. For 5-10 year olds. Louise ($18, HB)

Grow, Baby, Grow! Watch Baby Grow Month by Month by Mertixell Marti (ill) Xavier Salomo

Although we saw only a few pages of this pop-up book, Tania and I were very impressed by both concept and presentation. Nine actual life-sized pop-ups by Spanish paper engineer Salomo show the development of an embryo in an accessible picture book format, with each stage of growth compared with relatable objects such as a pearl, a cherry... Ideal for families awaiting a new baby, this gives real perspective to the new little one’s development. Lynndy ($30, HB)

When the Stars Come Out by Nicola Edwards (ill) Lucy Rose Cartwright

Gorgeously illustrated, and with text equally suitable for younger readers or adults, this explores many aspects of night: through history, nature, animal behaviour and habitats, as well as astronomical phenomena such as the aurora borealis and shooting stars. Readers of 8+ will find plenty to absorb them as they pore over the wide-ranging information within. Lynndy ($35, HB)

Wee Hee Hee: A Collection of Pretty Funny Jokes & Pictures, by the Wee Society

This is a very handsome volume of punning jokes, and nice pictures. There’s a joke to a page, with the answer, and a really attractive, colourful picture behind it. The book is reminiscent of 60s and 70s modernist graphic design, and has a really high impact, extending the humour of the jokes. Simple enough as an introduction to the art of punning, but sophisticated enough for (young) old hands at joking. This would be excellent for reading to a class, as it is large format, or a nice gift for a young family. Louise ($35, HB)

classics

for early readers

Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf by Catherine Storr (ill) Marjorie Ann Watts ($17, PB)

Boris series by Andrew Joyner ($9, PB)

With the start of a new school year it seems apposite to promote one of my favourite series of chapter books for readers of up to 8 years old who are gaining reading competency. Originally published locally, Australian author Joyner’s Boris books are now available from the US in a slightly different style, but none of the charm has been altered. Boris is... ‘a lot like you. He lives with his mom and dad. He goes to school. He likes to spend time with his friends. And he likes to dream.’ Unlike you, Boris is a warthog, but any situation he navigates is easy for youngsters to identify with—eg a sleepover, sports carnival day, getting a pet. In a mix of text, dialogue in speech balloons, and full-colour illustrations Joyner has created an oh-soendearing and relatable character in these humorous stories. At the end of each book there is a bonus activity incorporating elements of the story. Lynndy

Teen fiction Love Lie Repeat by Catherine Greer

The Lotterys More or Less by Emma Donoghue ($15, PB)

Lynndy and I both enjoyed Emma Donoghue’s first book, The Lotterys, so we were awaiting the sequel with some anticipation. It hasn’t disappointed. In the first book there was quite a bit of explanation needed to set up the characters and their relationships in this very intentional, politically correct, blended family. In The Lotterys More or Less, there is less emphasis on the complicated family structure and more action within it. It’s winter and a huge ice storm has affected the family as well as the wider community; some of the family can’t get home, and the power is out. Hilarity does not ensue, these books are not humorous, but they’re not overly dramatic either, they are quite realistic, and completely believable, despite the modern Cheaper by the Dozen domestic set up. Highly recommended for 8-12 year olds. Louise

A friendship triangle, betrayal, secrets, privilege, manipulation... When loyalties within the supposedly unshakable triad of friends Annie, Ruby and Ash shatter, insecurities are exposed and power plays are revealed. This is utterly gripping, at times almost voyeuristic, and rightly described as ‘Intoxicating and intense, lush and chilling’. An outstanding Australian debut, highly recommended for teens who love realistic contemporary fiction. Lynndy ($20, PB)

Internment by Samira Ahmed ($17, PB)

A powerful novel of xenophobia and social injustice, Internment plays on fears and intolerance, reflecting a society that is perilously close to that in the world right now. Borrowing from the Booklist review: ‘In a xenophobic America led by the hateful rhetoric of a populist leader, 17-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are rounded up and transported to an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. While most people quietly comply, Layla is determined to fight back for the freedom that is rightfully hers. She finds allies both inside and outside the camp, and before long, she herself is at the centre of a rebellion. Emphasizing that the oppressed have a voice and the power to speak up and fight back, the book also remind us that all citizens have the obligation, responsibility, and power to raise their voices and defend their fellow citizens.’ Symptomatic of the novel, and the toxicity of prejudice, is the camp director’s pronouncement that people are more than happy to do what they’re told. Give them an Other to hate, and they will do what they’re told. That’s what keeps our nation safe. Unsettlingly realistic and—one hopes—a stimulus to action. Lynndy

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fiction

One day Polly answers the doorbell and finds a large, black wolf standing there. ‘I’m going to eat you up’ he says. ‘But first tell me, what is that delicious smell?’ Polly leads him to the kitchen and offers the wolf a large slice of freshly baked pie: The wolf’s mouth watered…When he had eaten it, the wolf asked for another, and then for another. ‘Now’, said Polly after the third helping, ‘what about me?’ ‘Sorry’ said the wolf, ‘I’m too full of pie. I’ll come back another day to deal with you.’ The wolf does come back… several times, but each time is tempted by either chocolate cake or slices of hot toffee (which burn his mouth). He always leaves the house too full of food to devour Polly. The opening story of this collection sets the tone—Polly escaping the wolf by calmness and distraction. All the following stories show the wolf’s elaborate schemes comically foiled by Polly’s common sense. In one, the wolf plants a grape seed and settles down to wait for a giant grape vine to grow, so he can climb it to reach Polly’s room. When told by Polly a grapevine will take ‘years and years’ to grow, the wolf trots off and returns with a ladder rung which he plants, hoping to grow a ladder overnight. In another the wolf uses the original tale of Red Riding Hood as a how-to guide to capture Polly. He is thwarted at each turn by Polly and her equally quickwitted Grandmother. The wolf finds Polly at the post box and threatens to bite off her arm—until she tells him she is posting a letter to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and that they will ‘fetch you away and lock you up forever’. The wolf is ever changing—often in the space of a sentence—from a threatening beast to sounding like a rather annoying sibling, to finally an (almost) grateful wolf who often needs Polly’s help, especially when Polly finds the wolf captured in a cage at the zoo. Even though it was published in 1955, this slyly funny classic, with Marjorie Ann Watts’ delightful illustrations, does not feel dated at all. Stephen

Vale Tomi Ungerer Winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for lasting contribution to children’s literature, French-born JeanThomas ‘Tomi’ Ungerer was also known for his satirical adult literature, and as a sculptor, printmaker, painter and caricaturist. Rarely have his children’s classics been out of print, and many of us count among childhood favourites books such as The Three Robbers and The Mellops series which are distinguished by his absurdist bent. Maurice Sendak’s tribute ‘Tomi influenced everybody’ was an apt testament to Ungerer’s creations.


Food, Health & Garden

Tell Me The Planets: Stories Of Brain Injury And What It Means To Survive by Ben Platts-Mills

Ben Platts-Mills shares stories about his remarkable work with survivors of brain injury, offering a rare glimpse into the world as seen through their eyes. We meet charismatic Danny, whose criminal past has left him paralysed down one side, but who now helps others worse off than himself; Sid, whose memory for the present lasts only moments; and Liah, who is caught in a battle with the care system threatening to make her homeless. But above all this is the story of the extraordinary friendship between Ben and Matthew, who suffered neurological damage during an operation to remove a cerebral cyst. This journey takes them to the frontiers of science & to the limits of human resilience—when they discover that the cyst is growing again & Matthew is left with an impossible decision to make. ($23, PB)

Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls by Lisa Damour ($30, PB)

Though anxiety has risen among young people overall, recent research studies confirm that it has skyrocketed in girls since the turn of the century. So what’s to blame? And how can we help these girls? Clinical psychologist Lisa Damour starts by examining the science of stress & anxiety, then turns to the many facets of girls’ lives where stress hits them hard: the parental expectations they face at home, pressures at school, social anxiety among their peers, and on social media. Exploring the multiple layers of girls’ lives, Damour shows the steps we can take to shield them from the toxic stress to which both our culture & also we, as their caregivers, subject them.

What the Health by Kip Andersen & Keegan Kuhn

We know there’s something terribly broken about our industrial food, medical, and pharmaceutical systems—even as medicine continues to advance, people in the Western world are getting sicker than ever. What’s going wrong, and what do we need to know to stop it? Can we avoid the leading causes of death, just by changing our diet? Kip Andersen & Keegan Kuhn, creators of the revolutionary documentary What the Health & the award-winning documentary Cowspiracy, take readers on a science-based tour of the hazards of eating animal products—and what happens when we stop. They crisscross the country, talking to doctors, dietitians, public health advocates, whistle-blowers & world class athletes, to uncover the truth behind the food we eat, and its stunning implications for our health— with 50 plant-based recipes with full-colour photos to help you start changing your health for the better. ($33, PB)

The Flexible Pescatarian by Jo Pratt ($40, HB) From a curried Buddha bowl to Cornish crab pasties, aromatic cured salmon with pea blinis to a wholesome & hearty smoky mac ‘n’ cheese, this range of recipes spans the globe & are all simple, well-balanced & packed with flavour. As well as easy approaches on how to cook your fish & hacks for vegetarian options, Jo Pratt shows you how to prepare the perfect fish fillet & handle whole fish & seafood. With a wide variety of health benefits, there has never been a better time to join the growing pescatarian movement and expand your culinary skills. The Modern Cheesemaker: Making and cooking with cheeses at home by Morgan McGlynn

Morgan McGlynn shows you how to make approximately 12 delicious cheeses such as halloumi, pecorino, mozzarella & Indian paneer at home. With easy-to-follow instructions & McGlynn’s expert tips, you’ll learn how to become your own artisan cheesemaker. Included are profiles of cheesemakers from around the world including India’s Imran Saleh, Italy’s Rosa Pidello Rosso, French creamery Beillevaire & Old Chatham in the US, plus recipes for breakfast, lunch & dinner using the cheeses you’ve created. ($45, HB)

A Beginner’s Guide to Succulent Gardening by Taku Furuya ($23, HB)

This beginner’s guide to over 100 popular succulent varieties, walks novices through all the basics, like: Choosing your succulents—from Hens & Chicks (Echeveria) to bristly flowering cactus varieties; Mixing the right soils for your succulents & preparing your growing environment; Easy potting & transplanting techniques; Watering, fertilizing & providing the right amount of sun for each variety; Understanding peak periods as well as seasonal traits & needs, so you can have a beautiful succulent garden year-round

Oil & Vinegar by Ursula Ferrigno ($23, HB) The oil & vinegar aficionado will discover which types (and flavours) to use to make classic appetisers like Beef Carpaccio with Gorgonzola & Walnuts, refreshing salads, such as ‘Dama Bianca’, & pasta dishes, like Orecchiette with Chickpeas; Refined fish dishes, such as Poached Turbot with Watercress Oil & aromatic meat dishes, including Pork Roast Braised with Milk & Fresh Herbs; Potato & Gorgonzola Focaccia, Olive Oil Ice Cream, and finally, you’ll discover the secrets of divine dressings, magnificent marinades & classic cocktails, which you could always make with your wonderful new homemade vinegar.

Ketotarian by Will Cole ($33, PB) The ketogenic diet kick-starts your body’s metabolism, by burning fat & ketones, instead of sugar, as its primary fuel— however, most keto diets are packed with meat & dairy— which often creates a whole host of other issues, especially for those trying to get more plants & green onto their plates. Dr Will Cole’s programme offers a fresh twist on keto by harnessing the same fat-burning power, but with the nutritious, delicious benefits of a mostly plant-based plate. It includes 75 recipes that are veggie, vegan & pescatarian, a 4-week meal plan & lots of practical tips that will help you on your journey to optimum health, renewed energy & improved brain function. Salt & Time: Recipes from a Russian kitchen by Alissa Timoshkina ($45, HB)

Try the restorative Solyanka fish soup (a famous Russian hangover cure), savour the fragrant Chicken with prunes or treat yourself to some Napoleon cake. Alissa Timoshkina feature recipes that are authentic to Siberia, classic Russian flavour combinations & her modern interpretations—with dishes from the pre-revolutionary era & the Soviet days, as well as contemporary approaches—revealing a cuisine that is vibrant and nourishing.

The Garden Chef Phaidon Editors ($59.95, HB) For many chefs, their gardens are a direct extension of their kitchens. Whether a small rooftop in the city for growing herbs & spices, or a larger plot with fruit trees & vegetables, these fertile spots provide the ingredients & inspiration for countless seasonal dishes. The Garden Chef presents fascinating stories & signature recipes from the kitchen gardens of more than 35 of the world’s best chefs, both established & emerging talents, with a wealth of beautiful images to provide visual inspiration.

Tortellini at Midnight and other heirloom family recipes from Taranto to Turin to Tuscany by Emiko Davies ($52, HB)

Sometime in the 1950s, Emiko Davies’ nonno-in-law began the tradition of ringing in the new year with tortellini al sugo. He served it along with spumante & a round of tombola, and sparked a trend on New Year’s Eve in the bars around the Tuscan town of Fucecchio. Davies has gathered some of her favourite family recipes—spanning the length of Italy, from the Mediterranean port city of Taranto in the southern heel of Puglia to elegant Turin, the city of aperitif & Italian cafe culture in the far north and, finally, back home to Tuscany.

New Kitchen Basics by Claire Thomson

Claire Thomson takes our 10 favourite supermarket ingredients & reinvents them as modern classics. With sections on chicken, tomatoes, eggs, cheese, minced meat, pasta, potatoes, salad, lemon & chocolate, each chapter covers the basics about that ingredient, then offers 12 recipes using each in ways that will brighten up mealtimes. Claire’s cooking is simple yet imaginative, and her kitchen expertise & knowledge of flavour combinations mean that these dishes will become your new standby meals. ($40, HB)

Cocoa: An exploration of chocolate, with recipes by Sue Quinn ($40, HB)

From the spiced drinks sipped by the elite in ancient Mesoamerica to the artisan bars of today, chocolate has always had a magical pull on our senses. Sue Quinn offers a wealth of cultural, historical & culinary information about the story of chocolate through the ages & across the world, accompanied by 80 sweet & savoury recipes, such as Salted Caramel & Lime Chocolate Sauce; Triple Chocolate & Liquorice Cake with Treacle Syrup; and Sticky Slow-Roasted Beef Short Ribs with Cocoa & Maple.

Tel Aviv by Haya Molcho ($50, HB)

Tel Aviv is a city full of contrasts, fragrances, stories & flavours. It is a vibrant melting pot of cultures, religions & delicious culinary traditions. Haya Molcho & her 4 sons take a journey to meet Tel Aviv’s local chefs & story-tellers—from the epicures & the urban forager, to the magician & the survivor—capturing the special spirit of the city’s many cuisines & inhabitants. Haya revisits the recipes of her home town, re-creating the flavours of her childhood: knafeh, green shakshuka, sarma, Israeli paella, pickled lemons & much more.

Weekend BBQ by Ross Dobson ($20, HB)

Drawing on culinary influences from around the globe, including South East Asia, India, The Middle East & Europe, plus old school Aussie favourites, this book features easy-to-do recipes that seasoned barbecue aficionados will love. With chapters devoted to the coop (chicken), the sea (fish), the paddock (meat) & the garden (vegetables), Dobson offers great grill & hot-plate fare for meat lovers and vegetarians too.

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events

Events r Calenda

MONDAY

TUESDAY

Remember! Join the Gleeclub and get free entry to events held at our shops, 10%credit accrued with every purchase, and the Gleaner delivered to your door.

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Andy Muir

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Event—6 for 6.30 Caro Llewellyn

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Event—6 for 6.30

Choice Words Panel

Diving Into Glass In conv. with Nikki Gemmell Growing up, Caro watched her father embrace life, undaunted and ingenious in the face of his severe paralysis, and when she was diagnosed with MS she needed to look back at her father’s exemplary fortitude and grace to find a way forward.

Caroline de Costa, Gina Rushton, Rosie Waterland Chaired by Louise Swinn Choice Words is a timely collection of stories, essays, rants and raves from high profile women that seeks to demystify abortion and its surrounding stigma.

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12 Event—6 for 6.30

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The Age of Discretion Launcher: Robyn Nevin AM When the sex in Vivien Quarry’s 32-year marriage dwindles to nothing, her husband Geoff (long past his Adonis years) says: ‘Men are hardwired to not find older women attractive’—prompting the 67-year old Vivien to take drastic action.

The Thinking Woman In a journey that is intellectual & deeply personal, political & intimate Julienne van Loon engages with the work of Rosi Braidotti, Nancy Holmstrom, Siri Hustvedt, Laura Kipnis, Julia Kristeva & Marina Warner—interrogating and enlivening their ideas on love, play, fear, work, wonder & friendship.

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Virginia Duigan

19 Event—6 for 6.30

Munjed Al-Muderis

Going Back Author of the bestselling memoir Walking Free Munjed Al-Muderis now shares the extraordinary journey that his life-changing new surgical technique has taken him on, including return to Iraq after 18 years, to operate on soldiers, police & civilian amputees wounded in the horrific war against ISIS Event—6 for 6.30

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THUR

Don’t mis s out! Sign up fo r gleemail ! The gleeb ooks week ly email even asims@gle ts update. ebooks.co m.au

Hiding to Nothing All Lachie Munro wants is a quiet life in sunny Newcastle. But Lachie and quiet don’t seem to get along. When his estranged dad, Terry, turns up fresh out of prison, he’s packing more than the usual family baggage—plus two murderous goons on the doorstep & special attention from the police.

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Launch—6 for 6.30

WEDNESDAY

Dominic Kelly

Political Troglodytes and Economic Lunatics in conv. with David Marr This is the story of how Ray Evans and his boss at Western Mining Corporation, Hugh Morgan, became the pioneers of a new form of right-wing politics whose forceful reshaping of public debates transformed Australian politics.

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Event—6 for 6.30

Julienne Van Loon

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Event—

Sam Geor

Witc Covens. Girl band Convents. In all t girls and women h in communities of cessity, of support. celebration of the ure of working wi

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Event— Rebecca

QE 73: On Prog in conv. with B Recent attention h angry, reactionar is there a progres does it see Australi essay, Rebecca Hu state of the nation does social-demo want, an

28 Launch—

Richard

Tired of W Launcher: Cr Polarised, unequa spiritually bereft, periment, under looks to be on the Richard Cooke ex before, during and most high-stakes m in his


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

March 2019

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

RSDAY

—6 for 6.30 rge-Allen

ches ds. Ballet troupes. times and places, have come together f vocation, of ne. is a long-overdue power and pleasith other women.

—6 for 6.30 Huntley

gress and Politics Bridie Jabour has focused on the ry minority. But ssive centre? How ia’s future? In this untley looks at the n and asks: what ocratic Australia nd why?

—6 for 6.30 d Cooke

Winning raig Reucassel al, enraged and the American exDonald Trump, e brink of failure. xplores US society d after one of the midterm elections story.

FRIDAY 1

Launch—6 for 6.30 Bianca de Reus

SATURDAY 2

SUNDAY 3

Hello? Can you hear me? Launcher: Clare Mann Imagine being able to talk with your dog, cat, bird, or horse? Bianca de Reus takes you on an explorative journey of animal language, connection, relationships, and spiritual abilities—sharing her personal journey and experiences.

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Launch—6 for 6.30 Raewyn Connell

The Good University This book explores the nature of research, engaged teaching, the workforce, the social role of universities, the global economy of knowledge, the managerial turn, and the hidden history of alternative and radical universities, before proposing a vision of the good university for today.

15 Event—6 for 6.30

Catherine Wilkins

Launch—3.30 for 4

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Leslie Stein

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Working with Mystical Experiences in Psychoanalysis Leslie Stein interviewed twenty-nine mystics in order to understand the origin, progression, phasing, emotions, and individual variations of a mystical experience in order to make sense of how it should be addressed in the psychoanalytic consulting room

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The Soul’s Brain Catherine Wilkins offers a 9-step process to conscious intuition. Learn how tuning into your intuition is a skill like any other—all it takes is knowledge & practice. Science & spirituality have a common language—you don’t need to choose between them—use both together to achieve your full potential.

22 Launch—6 for 6.30 Andrew Laurie

Sustainable Success When your business depends on your management to survive, it often means compromising your lifestyle in favour of success. Ex-CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, Andrew Laurie, explains how you can release yourself from day-to-day management, so as to reap the benefits of business ownership.

29 Launch—6 for 6.30 Gill Shaddick

The Hong Kong Letters In the late sixties when the Beatles are top of the charts and Twiggy is hitting the catwalk, Gill Stevenson embarks on a life-changing journey to Hong Kong. Mao’s revolution is at its height. Mad Men meets Han Suyin’s A Many Splendored Thing, as Gill recreates a Hong Kong of the imagination.

Coming in April

Event: Tue 2.4—Sally Young, Paper Emperors: The Rise of

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Australia’s Newspaper Empires Launch: Fri 5.4—Angela Wales, Barefoot in the Bindis Launcher: Tony Llewellyn-Jones Launch: Sat 6.4—Caroline De Costa, Missing Pieces/Blood Sisters 31 Triple Launch: Mon 15.4— Michel Feher, Martijn Konings, Lisa Adkins Rated Agency, Capital & Time, The Time of Money Event: Tue 24.4—Michael Duffy & Nick Hordern, World War Noir for more events go to: http://www.gleebooks.com.au/bookings

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Granny’s Good Reads with Sonia Lee Napoleon: Passion, Death and Resurrection 1815-1840 is Philip Dwyer’s final book in his brilliant study of Napoleon. After Waterloo Napoleon hoped to be given an estate in England but instead he was sent to Saint Helena, a small island in the middle of the Atlantic, used as a staging post by the East India Company. Once heavily forested, it was then almost denuded of trees and Napoleon and his small retinue were housed in a jerry-built and rat- infested dwelling at Longwood in the most exposed part of the island. Hudson Lowe the Governor imposed petty and humiliating restrictions on his prisoner which Napoleon resisted as much as possible. For the first few years he dictated his memoirs, and tried to develop a garden and plant a few trees. After that he filled the time with walks and rides, reading new books and papers when they arrived, and having lengthy baths which annoyed Lowe because water and fuel were scarce resources. When he became gravely ill, Lowe insisted that he was a hypochondriac and expelled the surgeon O’Meara. This was a mistake because once the surgeon got to England he wrote a best-selling account of life on the island with the Governor coming off second best. Only 46 when he came to the island, Napoleon had his life cut sadly short and he died, with Lowe in denial until the last moment. The Resurrection part of the book is about the Bonapartists and their attempts to keep Napoleon’s name alive until his remains were brought to Paris in 1840 and buried with unprecedented scenes of mourning in Les Invalides. I was so impressed by this book that I read the earlier volumes: Napoleon: The Path to Power and Citizen Emperor. In the process I lost some of my reverence for this charismatic figure. He had a genius for self-promotion and manipulating news in his own favour which makes Trump look positively self-effacing. All three books are scholarly, engagingly written, copiously illustrated and a pleasure to read. Now here’s a charmer: The Ravenmaster by ex-soldier Christopher Skaife— the man in charge of the welfare of the famous ravens at the Tower of London. This is no sinecure as the ravens are formidably intelligent, they hate any deviation from their routine and there are problems like foxes and scaffolding and 4 million tourists a year to accommodate. Skaife rises at 5.30 to let the ravens out of their enclosure, to feed them and bid them good morning in what he calls Ravenish. He buys meat at nearby Smithfield Market, cleans and fills their water bowls and as a treat gives them dog biscuits soaked in blood. Legend has it that if the ravens leave the Tower the kingdom will fall so if one escapes Skaife hurries to find it and bring it back. There are seven only, all with names like Hardey, Thor & Odin, one called Jubilee for the Queen. Skaife is devoted to his charges, even when they land him in humiliating positions. He and his wife live in the Tower with arrow slits for windows, walls 400 feet high and they get locked in at night. He has written a delightful account of his life with the ravens and includes photographs so you can see what they all look like. A new suspense novel from Dublin author Tana French is always a treat and The Wych Elm shows French at her tantalising best. This isn’t a Dublin Murder Squad mystery like her first six, but there are enough good cop/bad cop cross examinations to satisfy all French groupies. Toby Hennessy, the narrator, is one of those rather insouciant young men who have always been fortunate and perhaps lack empathy as a result. An only child, he had the companionship of cousins Susanna and Leon when they spent their holidays at the Ivy House with kindly Uncle Hugo. He has a good PR job at a minor art gallery but his luck runs out when after a night out with the boys he is burgled and bashed to within an inch of his life. He is left with permanent disabilities and holes in his memory. Uncle Hugo is dying from a brain tumour and cousin Susanna suggests he recuperate at the Ivy House and keep Hugo company in his last few months. Toby’s girl- friend Melissa agrees to go too and for a time all goes swimmingly. Then Susanna’s small son finds a skull in a hole in the old elm in the garden and investigations uncover many inconvenient truths. They all come under pressure from the deceptively easy-going detectives and Toby begins to doubt everything that he remembers from the past. He always thought of himself as lucky—but what is he when his luck runs out? Drugged to the eyeballs on Xanax and alcohol, Toby comes unstuck. French is brilliant at delineating characters under intolerable pressure so don’t expect a happy ending. Sonia

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Australian Studies

From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting by Judith Brett

Australia is one of a handful of countries in the world that enforce compulsory voting at election time, and the only English-speaking country that makes its citizens vote. Not only that, we embrace it. We celebrate compulsory voting with barbecues & cake stalls at polling stations, and election parties that spill over into Sunday morning. But how did this come to be? When and why did we begin making Australians vote? What effect has it had on our political parties, our voting systems, our participation in elections? And how else is the way we vote different from other English-speaking democracies? Judith Brett, offers a landmark account of the character of Australian democracy. ($30, PB)

QE 73: Australia’s new progressive centre by Rebecca Huntley ($23, PB)

For some time, a majority of Australians have been saying they want change—on climate & energy, on housing & inequality, on corporate donations & their corrupting effect on democracy, to name just a few. Recent attention has focused on the angry, reactionary minority. But is there a progressive centre? How does it see Australia’s future? And what is to be learned from the failures of previous governments? Was marriage reform just the beginning, or will the shock-jocks & their paymasters hold their ground? Rebecca Huntley looks at the state of the nation, asking what does social-democratic Australia want, and why?

Political Troglodytes and Economic Lunatics: The Hard Right in Australia by Dominic Kelly ($33, PB)

In the mid-1980s, Ray Evans & his boss at Western Mining Corporation, Hugh Morgan, became the pioneers of a new form of political activism. Morgan & Evans set up 4 small but potent organisations, intending to transform public thinking on industrial relations, the Constitution, Indigenous affairs & climate change. Together they had an energy that bordered on fanaticism. They lobbied politicians & wrote opinion articles. They were born intriguers & colourful speakers. It was Bob Hawke who called them ‘political troglodytes & economic lunatics’, yet in their dogged pursuit of influence these hard right conservatives had an impact on mainstream public policy that continues today. Calmly, forensically & with a dry wit, Dominic Kelly shows how they did it.

The Seventies: The personal, the political and the making of modern Australia by Michelle Arrow

In 1970 homosexuality was illegal, God Save the Queen was our national anthem and women pretended to be married to access the pill. By the end of the decade conscription was scrapped, tertiary education was free, access to abortion had improved, the White Australia policy was abolished and a woman read the news on the ABC for the first time. It was the decade of ‘It’s Time’, stagflation & the Dismissal, a tumultuous period of economic & political upheaval, and also the era when the personal became political, when we had a Royal Commission into Human Relationships & when social movements tore down the boundary between public & private life. Michelle Arrow has written a new history of this transformative decade; one that is more urgent, and more resonant, than ever. ($35, PB)

Paper Emperors: The rise of Australia’s newspaper empires by Sally Young ($40, PB)

In a corporate & political history of Australian newspapers spanning 140 years, Sally Young explains how Australia’s media system came to be dominated by a handful of empires & powerful family dynasties—Murdoch, Fairfax, Syme, Packer. Young shows how newspaper owners influenced policy-making, lobbied & bullied politicians, and shaped internal party politics. The book begins in 1803 with Australia’s first newspaper owner—a convict who became a wealthy bank owner—giving the industry a blend of notoriety, power & wealth from the start. Throughout the 20th century, Australians were reading newspapers owned by secret bankrupts & failed land boomers, powerful mining magnates, Underbelly-style gangsters, bankers & corporate titans. Young ends with the downfall of Menzies in 1941 & his conviction that a handful of press barons brought him down.

Stranded Nation: White Australia in an Asian Region by David Walker ($40, PB)

Stranded Nation is a searching examination of how a ‘white’ nation, harbouring deep anxieties about rising Asia, sought to convince both itself & its neighbours that it belonged within the Asian region. This is the strange story of Australia’s momentous turn to the East. David Walker introduces a surprisingly varied cast of historical actors with opinions on Australia’s place in Asia—writers, journalists, politicians, policy-makers, students & diplomats from within Australia & across the region in a history of race, white prestige and belonging in a world shaken and transformed by decolonisation. ‘Stranded Nation is a recommended read for anyone, politicians & students alike, seeking to know the history of Australia’s agonising over Asia; how it began, how it evolved & the passionate & colourful characters involved...told with authority, insight and wit, and the satisfying readability of a good novel, and that makes it great history.’—Stephen Fitzgerald


Songs from the Stations ($40, PB)

The Gurindji people of the NT are perhaps best-known for their walkoff of Wave Hill Station in 1966, protesting against mistreatment by the station managers. The strike would become the first major victory of the Indigenous land rights movement. Many discussions of station life are focused on the harsh treatment of Aboriginal workers—but amongst the harsh conditions & decades of mistreatment, an eclectic ceremonial life flourished during the first half of the 20th century. Constant travel between cattle stations by Indigenous workers across north-western & central Australia meant that Wave Hill Station became a cross-road of desert & Top End musical styles. As a result, the Gurindji people learnt songs from the Mudburra who came further east, the Bilinarra from the north, the Nyininy from the west, and the Warlpiri from the south. This book is the first detailed documentation of wajarra, public songs performed by the Gurindji people in response to contemporary events in their community.

The Front Runner by Matt Bai ($20, PB)

Politics

In May 1987, Colorado Senator Gary Hart—a dashing, reform-minded Democrat—seemed a lock for the party’s presidential nomination and led George H. W. Bush by double digits in the polls. Then, in one tumultuous week, rumours of marital infidelity and a newspaper’s stakeout of Hart’s home resulted in a media frenzy the likes of which had never been seen before. Through the magnificently reported story of the Senator’s fall from grace, Matt Bai, Yahoo News columnist and former chief political correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, shows the Hart affair to be far more than one man’s tragedy—rather, it marked a crucial turning point in the ethos of political media & the new norms of life in the public eye.

Maoism: A Global History by Julia Lovell ($35, PB)

Since the 1980s, China seems to have abandoned the utopian turmoil of Mao’s revolution in favour of authoritarian capitalism. But Mao and his ideas remain central to the People’s Republic and the legitimacy of its Communist government. With disagreements and conflicts between China and the West on the rise, the need to understand the political legacy of Mao is urgent and growing. Maoism was a crucial motor of the Cold War—it shaped the course of the Vietnam War (and the international youth rebellions that conflict triggered) and brought to power the murderous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; it aided, and sometimes handed victory to, anti-colonial resistance movements in Africa; it inspired terrorism in Germany & Italy, and wars & insurgencies in Peru, India & Nepal. In a story that takes us from the tea plantations of north India to the sierras of the Andes, from Paris’s fifth arrondissement to the fields of Tanzania, from the rice paddies of Cambodia to the terraces of Brixton, Julia Lovell re-evaluates Maoism as both a Chinese & an international force, linking its evolution in China with its global legacy.

We Need to Talk About Putin by Mark Galeotti

Despite the millions of words written on Putin’s Russia, the West still fails to truly understand one of the world’s most powerful politicians, whose influence spans the globe & whose networks of power reach into the very heart of our daily lives. In this essential primer, Mark Galeotti uncovers the man behind the myth, addressing the key misperceptions of Putin and explaining how we can decipher his motivations & next moves. From Putin’s early life in the KGB & his real relationship with the USA to his vision for the future of Russia—and the world—Galeotti draws on new Russian sources & explosive unpublished accounts to give unparalleled insight into the man at the heart of global politics. ($20, PB)

The Future Is Asian by Parag Khanna ($35, PB)

Five billion people, two-thirds of the world’s mega-cities, one-third of the global economy, two-thirds of global economic growth, 30 of the Fortune 100, 6 of the 10 largest banks, 8 of the 10 largest armies, 5 nuclear powers, massive technological innovation, the newest crop of top-ranked universities. Asia is also the world’s most ethnically, linguistically & culturally diverse region of the planet, eluding any remotely meaningful generalization beyond the geographic label itself. Even for Asians, Asia is dizzying to navigate. Whether you gauge by demography, geography, economy or any other metric, Asia is already the present—and it is certainly the future. It is for this reason that we cannot afford to continue to get Asia so wrong. Parag Khanna shows Asia from the inside-out, telling the story of how this mega-region is coming together & reshaping the entire planet in the process.

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff ($50, HB)

Society is at a turning point. The heady optimism that accompanied the advent of the Internet has gone, replaced with a deep unease as technology, capitalism and an unequal society combine to create the perfect storm. Tech companies are gathering our information online and selling it to the highest bidder, whether government or retailer. In this world of surveillance capitalism, profit depends not only on predicting but modifying our online behaviour. How will this fusion of capitalism and the digital shape the values that define our future? Shoshana Zuboff shows that at this critical juncture we have a choice, the power to decide what kind of world we want to live in.

Only the Good Die Young: The Verdict Against Henry Kissinger ($23, PB)

If the American foreign policy establishment is a grand citadel, then Henry Kissinger is the ghoul haunting its hallways. For half a century, he was an omnipresent figure in war rooms and at press briefings, dutifully shepherding the American empire through successive rounds of growing pains. The world Kissinger wrought is the world we live in, where ideal investment conditions are generated from the barrel of a gun. In this book, Jacobin follows Kissinger’s fiery trajectory around the world not because he was evil incarnate, but because he, more than any other public figure, illustrates the links between capitalism, empire, and the feedback loop of endless war-making that plagues us today.

History

Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England by Amanda Vickery ($35, PB)

Amanda Vickery unlocks the homes of Georgian England to examine the lives of the people who lived there. She introduces the reader to men & women from all walks of life: gentlewoman Anne Dormer in her stately Oxfordshire mansion, bachelor clerk & future novelist Anthony Trollope in his dreary London lodgings, genteel spinsters keeping up appearances in two rooms with yellow wallpaper, servants with only a locking box to call their own. Vickery makes ingenious use of upholsterer’s ledgers, burglary trials & other unusual sources to reveal the roles of house & home in economic survival, social success & political representation during the long 18th century.

A History of Britain in 12 Maps by Philip Parker ($45, HB)

Philip Parker conducts a fascinating analysis of a dozen maps from critical points in British history over the last 2000 years, from the Celtic period when ‘Britain’ was just a patchwork of tribal kingdoms, to a century ago when the whole of Ireland, India, Australia, much of Africa, Asia and the Americas were marked as British. Charting the assembling & disassembling of regions under British rule, this book features maps that teach us about the political, cultural evolution of the nation, and much of our past that we often forget. With current borders being disputed and identities challenged, this book provides insight into how Britain’s borders have always been, and always will be, in a state of flux.

King & Emperor: A New Life of Charlemagne by Janet L. Nelson ($55, HB)

Charles, king of the Franks, is one of the most remarkable figures ever to rule a European super-state. That is why he is so often called by the French ‘Charlemagne’, and by the Germans ‘Karl der Grosse’. His strength of character was felt to be remarkable from early in his long reign—above all, his legacy lies in his deeds & their continuing resonance, as he shaped duchies & counties, rebuilt & founded towns & monasteries, and consciously set himself up not just as King of the Franks, but as the new ‘Emperor governing the Roman Empire’. His successors—in some ways to the present day—have struggled to interpret, misinterpret, copy or subvert Charlemagne’s legacy. Janet L. Nelson brings together everything we know about Charlemagne & sifts through the evidence to come as close as we can to understanding the man & his motives.

How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr ($35, PB)

America has always prided itself on being a champion of sovereignty & independence. It has spread its money, language & culture across the world—but is still considered as a contained territory, framed by Canada above, Mexico below, & oceans either side. Daniel Immerwahr tells the story of the United States outside the United States—from 19th century conquests like Alaska, Hawai’i, the Philippines & Puerto Rico, to the catalogue of islands, archipelagos & military bases dotted around the globe over which the Stars & Stripes flies. Many are thousands of miles from the mainland; all are central to its history. But the populations of these territories, despite being subject to America’s government, cannot vote for it; they have often fought America’s wars, but they do not enjoy the rights of full citizens. These forgotten episodes cast American history, and its present, in a revealing new light. The birth control pill, chemotherapy, plastic, Godzilla, the Beatles, the name America itself—you can’t understand the histories of any of these without understanding territorial empire.

Now in B Format Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, $23

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Science & Nature

The Wisdom of Wolves by Elli H. Radinger ($30, PB)

Love your family, care for your those around you, never give up and always find time to have fun—these are the golden rules of wolves. These remarkably intelligent animals take empathetic care of their old and injured, bring up their young lovingly and are able to forget everything when playing. They think, dream, make plans, communicate intelligently with one another—and behave more like humans than any other animal. Elli H. Radinger, a world-leading expert on wolves, tells readers of astonishing and hitherto unknown facts about the lives of wolves and demonstrates the many ways in which we can improve our own lives by learning from them.

How to Be Human: The Ultimate Guide to Your Amazing Existence by New Scientist ($30, PB)

‘... a fascinating book that will have us all thinking, whether or not we are women.’ – Anne Summers

T

he concerns of philosophy are important to us all, yet

the voices and thoughts of women have often been missing from the conversation. In this extraordinary new book, award-winning Australian writer Julienne van

Loon addresses the work of leading international women thinkers, including Julia Kristeva, Rosi Braidotti, Marina Warner, Siri Hustvedt, Laura Kipnis, Nancy Holmstrom, Helen Caldicott, and Rosie Batty.

‘At last, personal politics as national history. In lucid and nimble prose, Michelle Arrow demonstrates that – in the 1970s at least – it was about the relationships, stupid. A revelation.’ – Clare Wright

T

he seventies was the decade that shaped modern Australia.

It was the decade of ‘It’s Time’, stagflation and the Dismissal, a

tumultuous period of economic and political upheaval. But the seventies was also the era when the personal became political, when the women’s movement and gay and lesbian rights activists tore down the boundary between public and private life and reshaped Australia’s culture. The Seventies offers a new history of this transformative decade.

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

If you thought you knew who you were, think again. Did you know that half your DNA isn’t human? That somebody, somewhere has exactly the same face? Or that most of your memories are fiction? What about the fact that you are as hairy as a chimpanzee, various parts of your body don’t belong to you, or that you can read other people’s minds? Do you really know why you blush, yawn and cry? Why 90 per cent of laughter has nothing to do with humour? Or what will happen to your mind after you die? You belong to a unique, fascinating and often misunderstood species. New Scientist offers a to making the most of it.

Your Backyard Birds by Gráinne Cleary ($30, PB)

Observing & interacting with all the different birds who visit Australian backyards leads naturally to questions about their behaviours, habits & needs. Why are they visiting? What do they want from us? For a bird, life in Australia means having mates: others who you can trust & work with to locate food & water, which can disappear as suddenly as it appears. As the humans who plant the gardens they live in & visit, what can we learn from Australia’s often-cheeky birds? With a foreword by science journalist and broadcaster Robyn Williams AM, real stories from bird-loving citizen scientists and chapters dedicated to discovering extraordinary information about Australia’s innovative birds, Your Backyard Birds is a delightful read.

The Making of You: A Journey from Cell to Human by Katharina Vestre ($25, PB)

Did you know that sperm have a sense of smell? That your body has three goes at making kidneys before it gets it right? That the groove on your lip is a seam where the sheets of skin that form your face fused together? This short book is written in language so simple an intelligent child could read it, but it crams a lot of science into a very small space. It’s not only a wonder-inducing account of our own individual origins; it also finds time to tell the story of how we discovered how pregnancy works, from Aristotle’s experiments on chicken eggs to molecular biology. And it brings you to the cutting edge of research. No matter who you are, your life is an amazing achievement.

Professor Maxwell’s Duplicitous Demon by Brian Clegg ($33, PB)

Asked to name a great physicist, most people would mention Newton or Einstein, Feynman or Hawking. But ask a physicist & there’s no doubt that James Clerk Maxwell will be near the top of the list. Maxwell, an unassuming Victorian Scotsman, explained how we perceive colour. He uncovered the way gases behave. And, most significantly, he transformed the way physics was undertaken in his explanation of the interaction of electricity & magnetism, revealing the nature of light & laying the groundwork for everything from Einstein’s special relativity to modern electronics. Along the way, he set up one of the most enduring challenges in physics—one that has taxed the best minds ever since. ‘Maxwell’s demon’ is a tiny but thoroughly disruptive thought experiment that suggests the second law of thermodynamics, the law that governs the flow of time itself, can be broken. This is the story of a groundbreaking scientist, a great contributor to our understanding of the way the world works, and his duplicitous demon.

When the Rivers Run Dry: The Global Water Crisis and How to Solve It by Fred Pearce ($25, PB)

We cannot live without water. But with 7.5 billion people competing for this single unevenly-distributed resource, the planet is drying up. Fred Pearce explores the growing world water crisis, from Kent to Kenya—journeying to places where waterways are turning to sand before they reach the ocean; where fields are parched & crops no longer grow; where once fertile ground has turned to desert; where wars are fought over access to water & cultures are dying out. His hope is that we will transform the way we view the water in our reservoirs & rivers, and change the way we treat the water in our taps.

The Goodness Paradox by Richard Wrangham

16

Day-to-day interactions between individual humans are extraordinarily peaceful—we are far less violent than most animals, especially our closest relatives, the chimpanzee & their legendarily docile cousins, the Bonobo. However, it seems, we are the only animal that goes to war. Richard Wrangham wrestles with this paradox at the heart of human behaviour. Drawing on new research by geneticists, neuroscientists, primatologists & archaeologists, he shows that what domesticated our species was nothing less than the invention of capital punishment which eliminated the least cooperative and most aggressive among us. But that development is exactly what laid the groundwork for the worst of our atrocities. ($50, HB)


Philosophy & Religion

Seduction of Unreason by Richard Wolin ($49, PB)

Ever since the shocking revelations of the fascist ties of Martin Heidegger and Paul de Man, postmodernism has been haunted by the spectre of a compromised past. In this intellectual genealogy of the postmodern spirit, Richard Wolin shows that postmodernism’s infatuation with fascism has been extensive and widespread. He questions postmodernism’s claim to have inherited the mantle of the Left, suggesting instead that it has long been enamoured with the opposite end of the political spectrum. Wolin reveals how, during in the 1930s, C. G. Jung, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Georges Bataille, and Maurice Blanchot were seduced by fascism’s promise of political regeneration and how this misapprehension affected the intellectual core of their work. The result is a compelling and unsettling reinterpretation of the history of modern thought.

Enlivenment: Toward a Poetics for the Anthropocene by Andreas Weber ($35, PB)

We have been told that we are living in the Anthropocene, a geological era shaped by humans rather than by nature. In Enlivenment, German philosopher Andreas Weber presents an alternative understanding of our relationship with nature, arguing not that humans control nature but that humans and nature exist in a commons of mutual transformation. There is no nature/human dualism, he contends, because the fundamental dimension of existence is shared: aliveness. All subjectivity is intersubjectivity. Self is self-through-other. This perspective allows us to move beyond Enlightenment-style thinking that strips material reality of any subjectivity. The self is always a function of the whole; the whole is equally a function of the individual. Only this integrated freedom allows humanity to reconcile with the natural world.

How to Think about War: An Ancient Guide to Foreign Policy by Thucydides ($33, HB)

For nearly 2,500 years, students, politicians, political thinkers, and military leaders have read the eloquent and shrewd speeches in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War for profound insights into military conflict, diplomacy, and the behaviour of people and countries in times of crisis. How to Think about War presents the most influential and compelling of these speeches in an elegant new translation by classicist Johanna Hanink, accompanied by an enlightening introduction, informative headnotes, and the original Greek on facing pages. The result is an ideally accessible introduction to Thucydides’ long and challenging History.

How to Keep Your Cool: An Ancient Guide to Anger Management by Seneca ($33, HB)

In his essay On Anger (De Ira), the Roman Stoic thinker Seneca (c. 4 BC–65 AD) argues that anger is the most destructive passion: ‘No plague has cost the human race more dear’. This was proved by his own life—a life he barely preserved under one wrathful emperor, Caligula, and lost under a second, Nero. Drawing on his great arsenal of rhetoric, including historical examples (especially from Caligula’s horrific reign), anecdotes, quips & soaring flights of eloquence, Seneca builds his case against anger with mounting intensity. Like a fire-and-brimstone preacher, he paints a grim picture of the moral perils to which anger exposes us, tracing nearly all the world’s evils to this one toxic source. But he then uplifts us with a beatific vision of the alternate path, a path of forgiveness & compassion that resonates with Christian and Buddhist ethics.

Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread by Cailin O`Connor & James Owen Weatherall

Why should we care about having true beliefs? And why do demonstrably false beliefs persist & spread despite consequences for the people who hold them? Philosophers of science Cailin O’Connor & James Weatherall argue that social factors, rather than individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the spread & persistence of false belief. It might seem that there’s an obvious reason that true beliefs matter: false beliefs will hurt you. But if that’s right, then why is it (apparently) irrelevant to many people whether they believe true things or not? In an age riven by factual disputes over everything from climate change to the size of inauguration crowds, the authors argue that social factors, not individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the persistence of false belief & that we must know how those social forces work in order to fight misinformation effectively. ($45, HB)

Power & Corruption: Inside the Vatican by Frederic Martel ($35, PB)

The celibacy of priests, the condemnation of the use of contraceptives, the cover up of countless cases of sexual abuse, the resignation of Benedict XVI, misogyny among the clergy, the dramatic fall in Europe of the number of vocations to the priesthood, the plotting against Pope Francis all these issues are clouded in mystery and secrecy. This enigma derives from a system founded on a clerical culture of secrecy which starts in junior seminaries & continues right up to the Vatican itself. No one can claim to really understand the Catholic Church today until they have read this book. It reveals a truth that is extraordinary & disturbing.

The Thinking Woman by Julienne Van Loon

What does it mean to live a good life? In this extraordinary book, scholar and writer, Julienne van Loon, applies a range of philosophical ideas to her own experience. Van Loon engages with the work of six leading contemporary thinkers and writers—Rosi Braidotti, Nancy Holmstrom, Siri Hustvedt, Laura Kipnis, Julia Kristeva and Marina Warner—through interrogating and enlivening their ideas on love, play, fear, work, wonder and friendship. Her journey is intellectual and deeply personal, political and intimate at once. It introduces readers to six extraordinary women whose own deeply thoughtful work has much to offer all of us. They may transform our own views of what it means to live a good life. ($35, PB)

Psychology No! The Power of Disagreement in a World that Wants to Get Along by Charlan Nemeth

We like to get along, at home or in the workplace. We don’t want to hurt people or offend. Therefore, it is no surprise that numerous famous psychological experiments have proven that we don’t tend to go against authority or the majority view. Famous management gurus share the view that harmony, cohesiveness & agreement are the building blocks for effective decision-making & creativity, but Charlan Nemeth uses her 35 years of research to show why we need rebels—and how fostering more disagreement can dramatically improve decisions & the production of good ideas. Using examples from Twelve Angry Men to brainstorming, she explains how people with minority opinions need the space to express themselves uncompromisingly, even if it causes discomfort. Explaining why the devil’s advocate technique doesn’t work & why authentic disagreement is necessary to open our perspectives, this book has the power to revolutionise business, creative organisations, and society. ($25, PB)

Making Evil: The Science Behind Humanity’s Dark Side by Julia Shaw ($30, PB)

Why do we think and do evil? What can science teach us about why humans do bad things? And what do our reactions to deviance teach us about ourselves? Drawing together science, psychology & philosophy, Dr Julia Shaw unlocks the intricacies of the world of criminal psychology. Grappling with thorny dilemmas from ‘Would I kill baby Hitler?’ to ‘Why do I want to murder my spouse?’, she offers a better understanding of the world, yourself, and your Google search history. Original, fresh & rigorous, Making Evil shines a searching light into the darker corners of the human psyche, illuminating a modern science of evil.

Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide 3ed by David J Miklowitz ($50, PB)

David J. Miklowitz explains the nature and causes of bipolar illness and provides science-based strategies for coping with mood episodes, reducing recurrences, avoiding misdiagnosis, getting the most out of medications and psychotherapy, and making lifestyle changes to stay well. Updated throughout, the third edition has a new chapter on kids and teens; the latest facts on medications and therapy, including important advances in personalized care; boxes on the pros and cons of complementary and alternative treatments; expanded coverage of the bipolar II subtype; and downloadable practical tools.

The Gendered Brain by Gina Rippon ($35, PB)

Reading maps or reading emotions? Barbie or Lego? Drawing on her work as a professor of cognitive neuroimaging, Gina Rippon unpacks the stereotypes that bombard us from our earliest moments and shows how these messages mould our ideas of ourselves and even shape our brains. Taking us back through centuries of sexism, The Gendered Brain reveals how science has been misinterpreted or misused to ask the wrong questions. Instead of challenging the status quo, we are still bound by outdated stereotypes and assumptions. However, by exploring new, cutting-edge neuroscience, Rippon urges us to move beyond a binary view of our brains and instead to see these complex organs as highly individualised, profoundly adaptable and full of unbounded potential.

Pill by Robert Bennett ($20, PB)

Meditating on how modern medicine increasingly measures out human identity not in T. S. Eliot’s proverbial coffee spoons but in 1mg-, 5mg-, or 300mg-doses, Robert Bennett traces the uncanny presence of psychiatric pills through science, medicine, autobiography, television, cinema, literature, and popular music. He reveals modern psychopharmacology to be a brave new world in which human identities thoughts, emotions, personalities, and selves themselves are increasingly determined by the extraordinary powers of seemingly ordinary pills.

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Short and very sharp

There’s nothing like a short, sharp book to wake one up from a stupor induced by wordy, overlong books. I’ve recently read two wonderfully succinct books, and so engaging were they that I was able to finish each in one sitting. The first was Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss—an extraordinary book. Set in an inhospitable camp site in Northumberland, Silvie, the narrator, is there with her mother and father, as part of an archaeological, pre-Roman life re-enactment. The family are there with a group of university students and their professor. From the very beginning a sense of dread pervades the story, although how that dread will manifest is kept just out of sight by the author. Silvie’s father is a piece of work—an extremely abusive man who has managed to persuade his family to submit to his bizarre wishes, but someone with enough credibility to team up with professional archaeologists who actually listen to him. The expression ‘the banality of evil’ came to mind the whole time I was reading this, but Sarah Moss created enough suspense to keep me reading—her spare but vivid descriptions making the story come alive in a really compelling way. My next short sharp book, Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, was a world apart from Ghost Wall. Or was it? Ostensibly it seems so, with the narrator Keiko working in an apparently soulless convenience store in Japan. Keiko is not ‘normal’—she relishes her mundane job, she has found a rhythm and a reason in her work, and a way to present herself to the world, with some help from the worker’s manual she is given when she first starts her job. Where Silvie from Ghost Wall has been isolated from her peers and contemporary life by her manipulative father and spineless mother, Keiko is apart, and genuinely ‘other’ by her own nature. She is considerably odd, and is vulnerable because of this. Into her sterile world steps a really unsatisfactory man, and it seems his very presence in her life makes her more acceptable to both her fellow workers and her family. Translated from Japanese, and written in a rhythmic almost pulsing way, you get taken into another world that seems to be mainly devoid of time or place. This is a disconcerting, but very endearing book, and Keiko is a most unlikely hero. Louise

Now in paperback Dear Fahrenheit 451: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Break-Up Notes to Her Books by Annie Spence, $23 This Young Monster by Charlie Fox

This is a hallucinatory celebration of artists who raise hell, transform their bodies, anger their elders & show their audience dark, disturbing things. What does it mean to be a freak? Why might we be wise to think of the present as a time of monstrosity? And how does the concept of the monster irradiate our thinking about queerness, disability, children & adolescents? From Twin Peaks to Leigh Bowery, Harmony Korine to Alice in Wonderland, Charlie Fox gets high on a whole range of riotous art as its voice & form shape-shift, all in the name of dealing with the strange wonders of what Nabokov once called ‘monsterhood’. Ready or not, here they come. ($30, PB)

Zealot: A book about cults by Jo Thornely

Why would anyone join a cult? Maybe they’re unhappy with their current religion, or they want to change the world, or they’re disappointed with their lives and want to find something bigger or holier that makes sense of this confusing, chaotic and dangerous world. Or maybe they just want to give themselves the best possible chance of having sex with aliens. re within the cult’s embrace, with an added bonus of being utterly terrified of the outside world. From the Jonestown Kool-Aid drinkers to Australian cult The Family to the fiery Waco climax of The Branch Davidians, this book is a widesweeping look at cults around the world. ($33, PB)

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Cultural Studies & Criticism

Practice by Guy Rundle ($33, PB)

Known for his wild wit and irreverent commentary, Guy Rundle is one of Australia’s most virtuosic minds. Practice distils his best writing on politics, culture, class and more. In it, Rundle roves the campaign trails of Obama, Palin and Trump; rides the Amtrak around a desolate America; bails up Bob Katter and Pauline Hanson; and excavates the deeper meanings of True Detective and Joy Division. Insightful and hilarious, this collection shows Rundle to be among Australia’s sharpest and most entertaining minds, with a genuinely awe-inducing range and an utterly inimitable voice.

Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez

Caroline Criado Perez exposes the gender data gap—a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives. She brings together an impressive range of case studies, stories & new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are excluded from the very building blocks of the world we live in, and the impact this has on their health & wellbeing. From government policy & medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning & the media Perez shows how we are systematically ignoring half the population. ($35, PB)

On Aunty by Jonathan Holmes ($15, PB)

Jonathan Holmes joined the ABC as Four Corners’ executive producer in 1982 and retired in 2013 after five years of presenting Media Watch. Australia’s public broadcaster, ‘Aunty’, is about to turn 90, yet your ABC has seldom been in this much trouble—budget cuts, ferocious political pressure, sagging staff morale, leadership chaos and hostile commercial rivals. Meanwhile audiences are deserting broadcast TV and radio. Holmes asks what is the ABC’s place in the era of media disruption, and whether it can it reach a younger audience on new platforms while still satisfying its loyal fans?

On Hate by Tim Soutphommasane ($15, PB)

Political theorist and human rights advocate Tim Soutphommasane looks at how hate is shaping our society—with the troubling rise of nationalist populism and the return of race politics, it’s time to question the powers at play. On Hate is an urgent call for citizens to defend democracy against extremism.

The Good Immigrant USA (eds) Nikesh Shukla & Chimene Suleyman ($33, PB)

In an urgent collection of essays by first and second-generation immigrants, exploring what it’s like to be othered in an increasingly divided America, editors Nikesh Shukla & Chimene Suleyman hand the microphone to an incredible range of writers whose humanity & right to be in the US is under attack. Chigozie Obioma unpacks an Igbo proverb that helped him navigate his journey to America from Nigeria. Jenny Zhang analyses cultural appropriation in nineties fashion, recalling her own pain and confusion as a teenager trying to fit in. Fatimah Asghar describes the flood of memory & emotion triggered by an encounter with an Uber driver from Kashmir. Alexander Chee writes of a visit to Korea that changed his relationship to his heritage.

The Battle for Sky by Christopher Williams ($30, PB)

From perilous early years through clashes with the BBC & BT, not to mention the News Corporation bid for full control that failed in the wake of 2010’s phone hacking scandal, there has been no shortage of drama in Sky ‘s history—nor in its likely future. The organization is now the target of bids from two true titans of the global media industry—Disney & Comcast—who are fighting it out for ultimate ownership. Throw in an industry already shaken by the arrival of newer media players such as Netflix, the declining circulation of Murdoch newspapers such as The Sun and The Times, as well as the UK government’s scrutiny of the Murdoch family’s influence on UK media, and the scene is set for a major corporate battle. Featuring interviews with key individuals & stakeholders from around the world, Christopher Williams offers a timely glimpse into the workings of media empires.

All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf by Katharine Smyth ($33, PB)

Following her father’s death, Katharine Smyth turned to her favourite novel, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, as a way of making sense of her bereavement. Written out of a lifelong admiration for Woolf and her work, Katharine’s story moves between the New England of her childhood and Woolf’s Cornish coasts & Bloomsbury squares, addressing universal questions about family, loss & homecoming. But Smyth’s book, which braids memoir, biography, and literary criticism, is also an intimate reading of one woman’s talismanic text. Through her thoughtful engagement with To the Lighthouse, and her adaptation of its groundbreaking structure, Katharine guides the reader toward a deeper understanding of Woolf’s most demanding and rewarding novel—and crafts an elegant reminder of literature’s ability to clarify & console.


New Year’s Day at the Hotel Australia by Lindsay Barrett ($25, PB)

In the late 1930s an apprentice potter made a solemn pledge with some of his young work mates to meet up on New Year’s Day, in the year 2000, in the famous Long Bar of the Hotel Australia. But the reunion never took place because, while 60 years later the young man in question, the Lindsay Barrett’s father, was still going strong, the venue was longer standing. The Hotel Australia, Sydney’s premier hotel throughout much of the 20th century, had been demolished in 1972 to make way for the MLC Centre, a concrete skyscraper which was at the cutting edge of the city’s redevelopment as a global business hub. Charting a course through modernist literature, popular fiction, rugby league, shopping centres, suburban kitsch & prefab concrete, Barrett looks at the impact of the ethic of progress on Australia in the middle of the 20th century, and at the heyday of the self-made man, and the world he was busy building, even as forces much more powerful than he could muster were in the process of redeveloping it into something much bigger, blander & more corporate.

How a Poem Moves: A Field Guide for Readers Afraid of Poetry by Adam Sol ($25, PB)

A collection of playfully elucidating essays, to help reluctant poetry readers become well-versed in verse, Adam Sol demonstrates poetry’s range and pleasures through encounters with individual poems that span traditions, techniques, and ambitions. With an eye to poets of diverse backgrounds and aesthetic modes, and featuring impromptu asides on rhythm and meter, Sol is just as at home in the university classroom as the doctor’s waiting room. ‘the perfect antidote to the condition commonly known as Fear of Poetry. And Adam Sol is the perfect companion on this tour of the sounds, sights, and emotional delights of poetry’—Tracy K. Smith (US Poet Laureate)

Witches: What Women Do Together by Sam George-Allen ($33, PB)

Covens. Girl bands. Ballet troupes. Convents. In all times & places, girls & women have come together in communities of vocation, of necessity, of support. Female farmers change the way we grow our food. Online beauty communities democratise the intricacies of skin care. Teen girls invent phrases that enter the urban lexicon, and choose our next pop superstars. Patriarchal societies have long been content to uphold men’s & boys’ clubs, while viewing groups that exclude men as sites of rivalry & suspicion. Sam GeorgeAllen delves into workplaces, industries & social groups to dismantle the cultural myth of female isolation & uncover evidence that these groups are formidable.

Last Days at Hot Slit: The Radical Feminism of Andrea Dworkin ($45, PB)

Radical feminist author Andrea Dworkin was a caricature of misandrist extremism in the popular imagination and a polarizing figure within the women’s movement, infamous for her antipornography stance and her role in the feminist sex wars of the 1980s. She still looms large in feminist demands for sexual freedom, evoked as a censorial demagogue, more than a decade after her death. This volume brings together selections from Dworkin’s work, both fiction & nonfiction, with the aim of putting the contentious positions she’s best known for in dialogue with her literary oeuvre. The collection charts her path from the militant primer Woman Hating (1974), to the formally complex polemics of Pornography (1979) and Intercourse (1987) and the raw experimentalism of her final novel Mercy (1990). It also includes Goodbye to All This (1983), a scathing chapter from an unpublished manuscript that calls out her feminist adversaries, and My Suicide (1999), a despairing long-form essay found on her hard drive after her death in 2005.

Now in B Format Building and Dwelling by Richard Sennett, $23 What are We Doing Here? by Marilynne Robinson, $23

Language & Writing

How to Craft a Great Story by Chris Sykes

Playwright, writer and poet, Chris Sykes, takes you step by step through the process of creating a compelling and coherent plot and structure. He covers such basics as the traditional story arcs, and such advanced information as finding balance and marrying structure and form. Each chapter contains a diagnostic test, case studies, practical exercises and Aide Memoire boxes. Covering some of the most commonly raised questions in creative writing courses, this is perfect for anyone who needs the next step on from the basic ‘how to write a novel’. Also new from Chris Sykes—The Writer’s Source Book: Inspirational ideas for your creative writing (Both $30, PB)

2nd Hand Rows

History of Friedrich II of Prussia, Called Frederick the Great by Thomas Carlyle – Chapman and Hall, London. 1873. People’s Edition. 10 volumes. Terracotta decorative cloth with gilt and black lettering. Pages rough cut. Some light foxing and age stains to book edges and some endpapers. Mild shelf wear with light rubbing and bumped corner edges. Internally, about Near Fine condition. Foldout maps. Publishers insert in Vol I. $150.00. I wonder if the Scottish historian, philosopher and essayist Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) is much read these days. Although astonishingly popular in his day, he is indeed an acquired taste. He may be most widely known for his famous statement that ‘the history of the world is but the biography of great men’. In a collection of lectures published as On Heroes, HeroWorship, and The Heroic in History (1841), Carlyle sought heroes as his subjects and found them in such world figures as Muhammad (the hero as Prophet); Dante, Shakespeare (as Poet); Luther (as Priest); Rousseau (as Man of Letters) and Napoleon and Oliver Cromwell (as Kings). Having completed a biography of Oliver Cromwell in 1845, Carlyle sought another hero to worship and chose Frederick the Great (1712–1786), King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786—colloquially known as ‘Old Fritz’. This history was originally published in six volumes between 1858 and 1865 and was Carlyle’s last major work. Thirteen years were spent were spent on writing and research. Trips were made to Germany to visit the scenes of Frederick’s military triumphs. Carlyle struggled to complete the work, naming his biography ‘the Nightmare’. He admired the Soldier-King, the determined administrator and the masterful leader of the Germans. Yet Frederick was also an accomplished poet, musician, philosopher (pupil of Voltaire), builder of baroque palaces (Sanssouci in Potsdam) and whose court was a centre of 18th Century European Enlightenment culture. These were aspects of Frederick that Carlyle found ‘uncongenial’ and less to his taste. The biographer was however, too honest to ignore them. Carlyle wrote his biographical works in a unique, distinctly ‘unhistorical’ style. Instead of calm detachment and observation and reflection, he often wrote in the first-person plural, present tense—the reader is an observer and participant in the maelstrom of historical events being described. This was especially so in his acclaimed work The French Revolution (1837), with dramatically rendered scenes of the storming of the Bastille and the execution of King Louis XVI. This work was a direct influence on Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities (1859). In 1945, almost two centuries after Frederick’s reign, another German leader immersed himself in Carlyle’s dramatic portrait of the masterful military ruler. As the Nazi Third Reich crumbled into ruin, Adolf Hitler, the beleaguered Führer, drew inspiration from Frederick’s military struggles – and ultimate miraculous salvation when all seemed lost - against an overwhelming coalition of enemies arrayed against Prussia in the Seven Years War (1756-63). In March 1945, less than six weeks before his end, Hitler, who had fused and distorted Prussia’s past glories to provide ‘historical’ legitimacy for his Nazi regime was presented with a gift by his most loyal acolyte, Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels who recorded the occasion in his diary: I pay a visit of several hours to the Führer in the evening…I hand him a copy of Carlyle’s Frederick the Great, which gives him great pleasure. The Führer knows the book…He says that of the great men on whom we must model ourselves today, Frederick the Great was the most exceptional…What an example and what comfort and consolation in these dark days! One’s heart lifts as one reads this account. It must be our ambition to set an example on which later generations can model themselves in similar crises. Of all the bizarre scenes recorded of the Hitler’s last days, this may be the most surreal. I wonder if Hitler feverishly read (and re-read) Book XIX: Friedrich Like to Be Overwhelmed in the Seven-Years War (1759–1760) and Book XX: Friedrich is Not to Be Overwhelmed: The Seven-Years War Gradually Ends (25 April 1760–15 February 1763). Unlike Frederick, no miraculous political event came to Hitler’s rescue, and in Hitler we see Carlyle’s ‘great man of history’ theory carried to its ultimate ghastly conclusion. Stephen

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The Lid is Off!

Confidential Confidential: The Inside Story of Hollywood’s Notorious Scandal Magazine by Samantha Barbas ($50, HB)

‘Some gals go for the gold, but it’s bronze that ‘sends’ sultry Ava Gardner.’ A 1955 issue of Confidential magazine hit the newsstands with one of its favourite themes—interracial sex in Hollywood. Confidential informed readers of a liaison between actress Ava Gardner (married at the time to Frank Sinatra) and African-American entertainer, Sammy Davis, Jr. More salacious yet, Sammy, it seemed, was just one in a long line of ‘dark-skinned gents that have been proving their powerful fascination for Ava for years.’ The story was a complete lie, using public photos of Gardner (and other celebrities) with Davis and altering a quote from Gardner that originally read: ‘Sammy really sends me as a performer.’ Before Buzzfeed, TMZ, Access Hollywood, E! and the Trump-supporting National Enquirer (thank you publisher David Pecker), there was Confidential—the father of them all. Journalist and founder, Robert Harrison (1904–1978) had got his start in Beauty Parade—a ‘daring cheesecake’ magazine—in the late 1930s. Throughout the 1940s and early 1950s Harrison founded a slew of his own girlie-photo magazines: Whisper, Flirt, Titter, Wink, and Eyeful. Each title moved towards increasingly explicit ‘photo stories’ featuring wholesome ‘American Girls’—usually suffering the fetishist and sadomasochistic torments of wife spanking and white slave bondage. An especially notorious photo essay depicted popular pin-up model Bettie Page (1923–2008) enduring torture at the hands of Ku Klux Klanrobed thugs. Confidential was launched as a quarterly racy gossip magazine in November 1952 with the headline: ‘The Lid is Off’. It featured an eye-catching cover of lurid red (later augmented by either yellow, blue or green), and exclamation marks aplenty. Harrison stated the magazine’s purpose: ‘The bunk is going to be debunked… Giving facts, naming names, revealing what the front pages try to conceal. Here you will read about the famous who are infamous, the mugs and mobs…you may be shocked but at least you’ll get the truth without trimmings…uncensored and off the record!’ The inaugural issue exposés included The World’s Queerest Wedding—a gay wedding supposedly set in Paris (which was staged and photographed in Harrison’s New York City apartment); a photographic portfolio of women in their underwear (taken from Harrison’s stable of earlier girlie mags); an (entirely fictional) account entitled I Was Tortured on a Chain Gang which described a Georgia prison camp. A “science’ story, They Pass for White, declared, ‘five million negroes passing as Caucasian have turned their backs on their own race and been living a big white lie. The most pathetic trick ever played upon the white race.’ The tone was set: screaming, sensational, headlines, sex, misogyny, homophobia and racism—all enduring themes—which made for an irresistible reading brew. Within six months the (now bi-monthly) magazine had an official readership of at least 800,000—and possibly up to ten times that many, who read ‘passed on’ copies. The tipping point was the notorious ‘exposé’—Why Joe DiMaggio is Striking Out with Marilyn Monroe detailing of the collapse of film star Marilyn Monroe’s marriage to baseball titan, Joe DiMaggio. As historian and law professor, Samantha Barbas notes in this detailed—and extremely entertaining—history, the appearance of Confidential was a clear signal to film studios that this new arrival was more than willing to break the unwritten rules that had previously governed the ‘wholesome Hollywood film star image’ presented by bland fan magazines—Film Pictorial and Silver Screen or timid trade titles such as Hollywood Reporter and Variety, who were financially dependent on studio goodwill. Harrison—a workaholic and micromanager—established a vast network of tipsters and informers consisting of local Hollywood detective agencies, hotel employees, restaurant workers, bartenders, callgirls, (ex) lovers, relatives—both close and distant, disgruntled actors, vengeful celebrities, film crews, Hollywood columnists and even studio bosses such as Columbia Pictures mogul, Harry Cohn. The information obtained from these sources was collated at Hollywood Research Inc. an intelligence-gathering front for Confidential, run by Marjorie Meade, Robert Harrison’s niece. Money, publicity, blackmail greased the gossip fodder wheels that drove Confidential to spectacular heights. Among the most notorious stories were: The Nude Who Came to Dinner—described actor Robert Mitchum’s drunken, naked, antics at an exclusive Hollywood soirée. Is It True What They Say About Johnnie Ray?—in the second issue, Confidential outed closet homosexual pop singer Ray, declared him a ‘Drag Queen’ and wondered if ‘a skilled psychiatrist could revamp his personality to contain these outbursts of femininity?’ There’s Plenty of Red in the Harvard Crimson—alleged that Communists were infiltrating one of America’s most prestigious Universities.

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By 1955, scandal magazines—Confidential by this time has plenty of rivals—sold over 15 million copies per month in the United States. Confidential led the pack, boasting a circulation of over 5,000,000 copies, surpassing both TIME and Newsweek magazines. Harrison was making $500,000 ($4.5 million in today’s value) per issue. Yet the magazine’s decline was almost as rapid as its rise. In May 1957, a Los Angeles grand jury investigation into the magazine, indicted Harrison and ten other Confidential employees—including his niece, his two sisters, his nephew and a brother-in-law. Frenzied news coverage of the following two-month trial saw now emboldened film stars and entertainers step up. Dorothy Dandridge, Errol Flynn, Liberace and Maureen O’Hara were among witnesses for the prosecution. A two-week jury deliberation of a verdict—while ensconced in a five-star Hollywood hotel—ended in a mistrial. To avoid further legal action, Harrison settled out of court to all the plaintiffs and promised to tone down his stories. However, the lengthy legal shenanigans had ruined his prized information network. With the magazine now unable to produce scandalous stories, circulation rapidly collapsed. Confidential was sold off in 1958, surviving as a tame shadow of its former self. It closed down completely upon its founder’s death in 1978. Confidential was beaten but not conquered. The floodgates had been opened. It’s legacy of cynicism, scepticism and stripping away layers of Hollywood myth and bunkum survives into our now all-embracing, relentless, social media reportage of the 21st Century. Stephen Reid

Poetry

Girlhood by Julia Copus ($33, HB)

Julia Copus’ deft & seductive poems reanimate lost figures & places from private moments & recast them in the open arena of the page. Censored or disparaged voices speak out from the secluded spaces of a professor’s office, a deserted department store; from kitchens, bedrooms, hallways and upstairs windows; the witching hour & the psychiatric ward. The book concludes with a series of meetings between a female patient, Marguerite, and her bullying psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. But Lacan’s domination of his patient is illusory: like other victims in this collection, she may appear vanquished but a closer look reveals how little of herself she has really surrendered.

British Museum by Daljit Nagra ($25, PB)

Daljit Nagra’s political edge has been honed in a series of meditations & reflections upon Britain’s heritage, legacy, & the institutions that define them: the BBC, Hadrian’s Wall, the Sikh gurdwaras of British towns, the British Museum of the title poem. Nagra explores the impact of the first wave of mass migration to Britain, the Arab Spring, the allure of extremism along with a series of personal poems about the pressures of growing up in a traditional community— asking profound questions of ethics & responsibility at a time of challenge to Britain’s sense of national identity.

Crow College: New and Selected poems by Emma Lew ($26.95, PB)

The dark aura of Emma Lew’s poetry has made her a compelling and mysterious presence for successive generations of Australian poets. This selection brings together poems from her previous collections The Wild Reply, Anything the Landlord Touches and Luminous Alias, as well as 23 new poems not previously collected in book form.

Looking for Bullin Bullin by Brenda Saunders ($20, PB)

Brenda Saunders is an artist & writer of Wiradjuri and British descent. She was born in Sydney where she trained as a visual artist. Her work is collected in public & private institutions in Australia & overseas She began writing poetry in 2001 because, she says, she has a lot to say about the urban Aboriginal experience. She has read at several poetry events with the Sydney Writer’s Festival and on Awaye and Poetica ABCRN. Brenda was awarded the Varuna Dorothy Hewitt Poetry Fellowship for 2012 and her poems have won several awards.

Suns by Tim Wright ($25, PB)

This volume draws from poems written over roughly 10 years: prose sequences, sonnets or thereabouts, parodyhomages, a metro poem, psychical collaborations, and drawn from small-print chapbooks. Combining a condensed lyricism, collage, and durational procedures, the collection works its way through days and the everyday (near accidents, a working salad, the assumptions of architecture).


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Days Without End Sebastian Barry, HB

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The Silkworm Robert Galbraith, PB

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Now $12.95 Shakespeare In America: An Anthology from the Revolution to Now (ed) James Shapiro, PB

Pachinko Min Jin Lee, HB

Homesick for Another World : Stories Ottessa Moshfegh HB

The Schooldays of Jesus J M Coetzee, HB

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John Ashbery: Collected Poems 1991-2000, HB

The Age of Movies: Selected Writings of Pauline Kael, PB

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God: A Human History Reza Aslan, HB

Television: A Biography David Thomson, HB

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The Bell of Treason: The 1938 Munich Agreement in Czechoslovakia, P. E. Caquet, HB

Conan Doyle for the Defence Margalit Fox, HB

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The Lies That Bind: The Equations of Life: The Hidden Rethinking Identity Rules Shaping Evolution Kwame Anthony Appiah, PB Charles Cockell, PB

Red Card: FIFA & the Fall of the Most Powerful Men in Sports Ken Bensinger, PB

How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain Newberg & Waldman, HB

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Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Hidden Treasures, HB

Vegetarian Flavor Bible Karen Page, HB

Sirocco: Fabulous Flavors from the Middle East Sabrina Ghayour, HB

Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel Heidi Swanson, HB

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The Arts The Central Collecting Point in Munich: A New Beginning for the Restitution and Protection of Art by Iris Lauterbach ($119, HB)

At the end of WWII, the US Office of Military Government for Germany & Bavaria, through its Monuments, Fine Arts, & Archives division, was responsible for the repatriation of most of the tens of thousands of artworks looted by the Nazis in the countries they had occupied. Iris Lauterbach’s fascinating history documents the story of the Allies’ Central Collecting Point (CCP), set up in the former Nazi Party headquarters at Koenigsplatz in Munich. This book presents her archival research on the events, people, new facts & intrigue, with meticulous attention to the official systems, frameworks & logistical & bureaucratic enterprise of the Munich CCP in the years from 1945 to 1949. She uncovers the stories of the people who worked there at a time of lingering political suspicions; narrates the research, conservation & restitution process; and investigates how the works of art were managed & returned to their owners.

The Hollywood Jim Crow: The Racial Politics of the Movie Industry by Maryann Erigha ($49, PB)

The superhero blockbuster Black Panther is the most recent exception to Hollywood’s ‘golden rule’: the only colour that matters is green, and in the name of green, one should downplay Black. Maryann Erigha confronts the implications of this rule in The Hollywood Jim Crow, which traces how the conflation of race and economics works, in the minds of the white men who dominate the industry, to marginalize Black stories and Black talent at the movies. Through a careful analysis of more than a decade of box office data, film budgets, and incriminating insider statements about the role race plays in shaping industry decision-making, Erigha exposes the centrality of ghettoization processes in a key American cultural forum.

Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction

Hans Hofmann’s singular artistic achievement drew on artistic influences & innovations that spanned 2 world wars & transatlantic avant-gardes. Over the last 50 years Hofmann has come to be understood primarily from the vantage of his late colour-plane abstractions. This book expands & reinvigorates our understanding and appreciation of Hofmann through an inclusive presentation of his artistic arc, showing the vibrant interconnectedness & continuity in his work of European & American influences from the early 20th century through the advent of abstract expressionism. The book includes 70 paintings & works on paper from 1930 through the end of his life in 1966. (97, HB)

Vanguardia: Socially Engaged Art and Theory by Marc James Leger (53, HB)

Rejecting ‘end of ideology’ post-politics, Marc James Leger delves into the changing praxis of socially engaged art & theory in the age of the Capitalocene. Covering the major events of the last decade, from anti-globalisation protests, Occupy Wall Street, the Maple Spring, Strike Debt and the Anthropocene, to the Black Lives Matter and MeToo campaigns, he puts forward a radical leftist commitment to the revolutionary consciousness of avantgarde art & politics.

Colour: A Visual History by Alexandra Loske

In 1704, the scientist Isaac Newton published Opticks, the result of many years of researching light & colour. By splitting white light, Newton identified the visible range of colours, or the rainbow spectrum. In Opticks, he built a colour system around his findings, and he visualised this system in a circular shape, making it one of the first printed colour wheels. From Newton’s investigations through to Olafur Eliasson’s experiential creations, this book documents the fascinating story of colour with an extraordinary collection of original colour material that includes charts, wheels, artists’ palettes, swatches & schemes. (55, HB)

Art and Queer Culture by Catherine Lord

This is a comprehensive and definitive survey of artworks that have constructed, contested, or otherwise responded to alternative forms of sexuality. Rather than focusing exclusively on artists who self-identify as gay or lesbian, this volume instead traces the shifting possibilities and constraints of sexual identity that have provided visual artists with a rich creative resource over the last 130 years—doing so in an accessible voice, and with a wealth of rarely-seen imagery. (59.95, HB)

Japanese Paper Flowers by Hiromi Yamazaki

Japanese kirigami (cut paper) flowers are among the most delicate and beautiful examples of paper art in the world. 5 different romantic roses, frilly carnations, sensuous tulips, dramatic anemones, flashy dahlias, 3 types of cheerful daisies, 3 types of bold sunflowers, 3 types of graceful lilies— and many more! Simple instructions & step-by-step photos show novice paper crafters how to make each flower, as well as how to gather them into jaw dropping bouquets. (25, PB)

Cute Needle Felted Animal Friends by Sachiko Susa ($23, PB)

Sachiko Susa shows you how to create lifelike felted figures that remind you of the pets you love—using a little wool roving and a few basic tools and techniques. Detailed step-bystep instructions and photos show you how easy it is to make the basic shapes and components and then to add details like long or curly hair, spines and stripes as well as little faces that are utterly irresistible. Soon you’ll be ready to portray the unique poses & expressions of your own pets.

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Faber Social Greatest Hits, $17 each Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music by Rob Young Rip it Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 by Simon Reynolds The Dark Stuff by Nick Kent Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits by Barney Hoskyns Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. by Viv Albertine Something Wonderful: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution by Todd S. Purdum ($45, HB)

Even before they joined forces, Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II had written dozens of Broadway shows, but together they pioneered a new art form: the serious musical play. Their songs & dance numbers served to advance the drama & reveal character, a sharp break from the past & the template on which all future musicals would be built. They were cultural powerhouses whose work came to define postwar America on stage, screen, television & radio. But they also had their failures and flops, and more than once they feared they had lost their touch. Todd S. Purdum’s portrait of these two men, their creative process & their groundbreaking innovations is a must for lovers of musical theatre and of the classic American songbook.

Emil Pirchan : Universal artist ($113, HB) It is the proverbial fairy tale about the discovery in the attic. The Setting: a detached house in Zurich. Object: a large number of old boxes. Content: the estate of a man—Emil Prichan (1884–1957)—who was a universal artist: first an architect, then interior designer, commercial artist, poster artist, production designer, as well as of course, an illustrator, painter, author. The discovery in the attic gave Beat Steffan, Emil Pirchan’s grandchild, reason to explore Pirchan’s creative world—sketchbooks, graphics, drafts of stage decorations, biographical material, and a considerable library. Canaletto 1697–1768 ($100, HB) The perspective representation of urban landscapes and views, which became a painting genre in 17th century Holland as exemplified by the works of Gerrit Berckheyde and Jan van der Heyden, found in Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto, a more creative & complete artistic interpretation. In 18th century Venice, Canaletto combined brilliant stage preparation with a deep understanding of perspective. He had a rare pictorial talent for the use of scientific discoveries in the field of optics—whether drawing with the aid of the optical camera, or sketching freehand in a notebook, Canaletto was a modern artist. Balthus ($130, HB)

‘Painting is the passage from the chaos of the emotions to the order of the possible.—Balthus. One of the last great 20th century masters, Balthus pursued a path that ran exactly contrary to that of the modernist avant-gardes with which he was contemporary. At once quiet & intriguing, his paintings unite colliding contrasts, combining reality & dream, eroticism & innocence, practicality & mystery, the familiar & the uncanny in unique ways. This volume gathers around 50 key paintings from all phases of this legendary artist’s career.


what we're reading

Stef: The Aunts’ House by Elizabeth Stead— Set in Sydney, 1942. Angel Martin, just 11 years old and recently orphaned, is settling in at Missus Potts’ boarding house. Angel is an unusual child, who perceives the world around her through music and colour, and is often thought of as a strange child—not quite right in the head. She may be a little unusual but there is nothing wrong with her ability to read those around her and find her way in the world, and she is determined to have a different life than the one fate has handed her. Angel’s only known family—her grandfather and two aunts—live in a large house on the bay. They blame Angel’s mother for the death of her father and don’t want anything to do with her Angel has other plans—so she travels by tram to the bay each Sunday and slowly over time works her way into her aunts’ lives. Poverty and hard times won’t stop Angel from trying to have a better life! Elizabeth Stead (niece of acclaimed author Christina Stead) has created a world of eccentric characters and captured the time, place and unsophisticated society with both naivety and charm. (due out in April). Also I found John Boyne’s A Ladder to the Sky to be perfect summer reading. He has created a wonderful malevolent tale of one man’s ambition to achieve his long held desire to be a prize winning author of international acclaim— no matter the cost to others. The book had me squirming uncomfortably from start to finish, as the story unfolded with aspiring author, Maurice Swift trying any manipulation or manoeuvre to get his story published. A deliciously dark exploration of ambition and greed.

Andrew: The Friend by Sigrid Nunez—The premise of The Friend was (for me) immediately captivating—a New York writer living in a small apartment is obliged out-of-the-blue to adopt the mature Great Dane of a suddenly deceased friend. The blurb suggests it is a meditation on loss and loneliness and so of course, my heart all aflutter, I began it thinking the book was going to be some sort of heart warming tear-jerker. A sort of highbrow literary Marley and Me. I think my false expectations put me on the wrong footing with the book for a while; it is well worth the read but it a spiky, discursive, measured and contemplative little affair, and it spends as much time wryly examining the art of writing, literature and academia as it does dwelling on canine companionship and animal intelligence. There is a bit of the autofictive about it, and it reminded me a bit of the Rachel Cusk trilogy in its clever, playful, voice. And, yeah, whilst the book is much much more than this, there is a bit of cute dog observation in it too. Sophie: Right Amount of Panic: How women trade freedom for safety by Fiona Vera-Gray—Based on Vera-Gray’s research and women’s real experiences, this book details the largely unnoticed “safety work” and energy women put in to avoid sexual violence everyday. Written in an accessible and thought provoking manner, a book to be read by all genders to understand how rape culture and the threat of sexual violence effects women’s everyday enjoyment of the world. Gaysia by Benjamin Law—Law’s humour and wit makes this often sad and troubling journalistic style exploration of Asian queer culture a fun ride the whole way through. From the ladyboys of Thailand to the fake marriages of China, this book gives an insight into how queer cultures are resisting, thriving and surviving in countries that aren’t always forthcoming in their acceptance. An insightful read.

Viki: I’ve been on a beginning of the year re-read palate cleanser bender. First I went to Jane Smiley and her 1992 Pulitzer winner A Thousand Acres. I’ve read this book more than thrice, and it never fails to remind me what a good thing a good read is. I always feel slightly trepidatious on opening (or recommending) an old favourite—but good writing sweeps you away, and there’s absolutely no struggle settling in to Smiley’s rewrite of King Lear. With direct language and no florid over-adjectivising that suits the sprawling (over) farmed lands of Iowa in which it’s set, it is a story of male possession and ownership versus a fractured sisterhood. From the first line, to the last page turned it is deeply satisfying. I think Smiley is underrated in Australia—judging by the choice of covers for her books, relegated to ‘chic lit’, which is a shame. If you’ve never read A Thousand Acres—please give it a go, I promise you won’t be disappointed. The other book I’ve reread is Good Times/Bad Times by James Kirkwood. It’s been long out of print, and I finally managed to pick up a copy through our 2nd hand bookshop. I read this book (more than once) as a teenager, and it’s stuck with me ever since—so much so that on this reread the 30 year gap seemed like only yesterday—the characters, and even some passages, seemed so familiar. Originally published in 1968 it reads like a 60s update on Catcher in the Rye. The book opens with Peter Kilburn, in jail for the murder of his headmaster, instructed by his lawyer to set down the events that led to his incarceration. This retelling covers Peter’s first year in a failing prep school. It is both a beautiful portrait of teenage friendship and an at times terrifying description of institutional sexual abuse (and various forms of familial abuse—from casual neglect to outright cruelty). Kirkwood manages to tread a fine line that describes the powerlessness and horror of being the unwanted object of an unhinged sexual fixation without becoming homophobic. Given the current climate, it’s a shame they haven’t reprinted. Kirkwood was a playwright, and co-wrote the book for A Chorus Line. Winner of the 2018 It seems the only one of his novels still available is P.S. Your Cat is Dead—and I’m so happy Summer Reading Guide Competition my reread of Good Times/Bad Times stood up to the passage of time, I’ve got a copy on order.

Helen Hyatt-Johnston

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Bestsellers—Non-Fiction 1. On Fairness

2. No Friend But the Mountains 3. Simple

Sally McManus Behrouz Boochani Yotam Ottolenghi

4. Dark Emu: Black Seeds, Agriculture or Accident

Bruce Pascoe

5. On Hate

Tim Soutphommasane

6. Becoming

Michelle Obama

7. Accidental Feminists

Jane Caro

8. Obaysch: A Hippopotamus in Victorian London

John Simons

9. Leading Lines: How to Make Speeches

Lucinda Holdforth

10. The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire

Chloe Hooper

Bestsellers—Fiction 1. Normal People 2. Birthday Girl

Sally Rooney Haruki Murakami

3. Boy Swallows Universe

Trent Dalton

4. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine 5. The Rosie Result 6. Milkman 7. The Friend

Gail Honeyman Graeme Simsion Anna Burns Sigrid Nunez

8. Bridge of Clay

Markus Zusak

9. The Overstory

Richard Powers

10. The Lost Man

24

Jane Harper

and another thing..... Welcome to the first printed Gleaner of the year. Please don’t forget to read it online— I put just as much effort and content into the online-only months. Today the new Janet Malcolm collection, Nobody’s Looking at You, finally landed in the shop and I’ve been having a dip (holding back a complete read for my American hardcover when it arrives). As a reborn pianist I was drawn immediately to the article on Yuja Wang (she of the cover photo)—and have only just managed to pull myself out of chasing her performances through Youtube. Thank goodness we don’t have audio on our computers here at Gleebooks or I’d be completely lost to Yuja—although even without sound her virtuosity is dazzling. Back to my dip in Malcolm, and an essay with the comfortable title of Socks—which turns out to be about the ‘Pevearsion’ of Russian literature by new translators of Tolstoy and the like (specifically in this essay, Anna Karenina), Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. It seems that Constance Garnett and her 1901 translation (that many feel has never been bettered) is accused of (among other things) writing in an outdated language—but, as Malcolm says, tongue firmly in cheek: ...we find the same sprinkling of outdated words and phrases in the novels of Trollope and Dickens and George Eliot. Should they, too, be rewritten for modern sensibilities? (Would u really want that?). As always, Malcolm is a pleasure to read. Another book I’m looking forward to getting is Rebecca West’s A Train of Powder—written between 1946 and 1954, these are her accounts of four controversial trials—the centrepiece being a three-part essay on the Nuremberg trials, also a trial for a lynching in North Carolina, and one for a ‘torso murder’ in England—all apparently ‘exploring the nature of crime and punishment, innocence and guilt, retribution and forgiveness’. West has a huge reputation, and I’ve often been tempted to try her classic, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia—but its length, at 1100 pages, is somewhat daunting. I look forward to a shorter example of her reportedly ‘approaches great literature’ reportage. Many thanks to the customer who ordered this book and brought it to my attention. Viki

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Gleaner March 2019  

Gleaner March 2019  

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