Vol. 27 No. 2 March 2020
Off with his head!
news views reviews
Thomas Cromwell is back but not for long..... This month Hilary Mantelâ€™s Tudor trilogy concludes with The Mirror & the Light (at a special Gleebooks price) 1
Coming Soon ...
I’ve enough books by the bedside table at the moment to dispense with the rickety little bit of Balinese cane-ry and construct a solid edifice out of my reading matter. The summer hiatus in communication between publishers and booksellers accounts for the size of the pile, but there’s now the rush to let us know what goodies await. And I’ve noticed some changes in the process whereby advance copies of books find their way to us. It’s too many decades for me to remember, but I’m quite sure we spent at least the first twenty years in bookselling not seeing any new books before we unpacked them for sale. Likewise, unless we knew an author personally, or via newspaper, literary journal or (occasionally) radio, we knew as much or little as anybody about writers. All vastly different now, of course. Not only are we inundated with proofs, advance chapters and sneak previews, but frequently we have personalised notes from writers, from enthusiastic staff at publishing houses, and from ‘readers’ recommendations’ spruiking the worth of the offerings. We also know way more about the writers themselves—especially as so many more drop in to say hello, or sign copies. And only last week I went to a gorgeous ‘literary bites’ evening put on by one of our major publishers, where no fewer than five of our best young writers spoke with exceptional ease and conviction to their upcoming books. We booksellers were suitably enthused, and I couldn’t help but think that we’ve come a long way from Lawrence’s famous ‘Never trust the artist, trust the tale’ adage. We’ll find out, of course, for ourselves, in the reading. What am I reading then? For what it’s worth, and in summary, as I understand some of these are being reviewed by keen colleagues, I’ve these to look forward to: Tom Keneally The Dickens Boy (April) which reimagines the extraordinary (and little-known) episode in the life of one (Plorn) of the two sons whom Dickens sent to an outback station in NSW, fearing he would ‘waste’ a life in London. Familiar and rewarding terrain for a much-loved novelist Julia Baird’s Phosphorescence (March) is a moving, personal exploration of what sustains us when ‘our world goes dark’—beautifully written Leah Swann Sheerwater (April). This is a first novel, set around the south western Victorian coast. It is a real gut-wrenching page-turner, as woman searches desperately for her missing sons. I found it grippingly tense, especially those parts written through the boy’s experience. And my goodness, you’re holding your breath hoping for a happy ending. Trent Dalton All our Shimmering Skies (June) will undoubtedly be the ‘second book’ of 2020, after the phenomenon that was Boy Swallows Universe. I’ll let you know, once I’ve read it. Steven Conte The Tolstoy Estate (August) is set during the doomed German invasion of Russia, in 1941. Looks great, but again, the pleasure awaits. Conte was the author of the award-winning The Zookeeper’s War in 2007 And three EXCELLENT novels from writers of the first order, out just now: Sebastian Barry A Thousand Moons (he’s writing more audaciously than ever, with such lyrical flair —and the subject matter is likewise wonderfully original; he’s a rare talent). Graham Swift’s new offering is Here We Are (a quiet, understated triumph of a novel in the landscape of Last Orders, set in a Brighton of 1959, as remembered personal history) and the stunningly good Actress by Anne Enright (a first-person narrative of the daughter of legend of the Irish Theatre, searching for what truth might mean.
Now in B Format The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta, $20 The Fragments by Toni Jordan, $23
Australian Literature Literature The Coconut Children by Vivian Pham ($33, PB)
Watching the world and her troubled neighbourhood from her bedroom window, Sonny exists only in second-hand romance novels & falls for any fast-food employee who happens to spare her a glance. Everything changes with the return of Vince, a boy who became a legend after he was hauled away in handcuffs at 14. Sonny & Vince used to be childhood friends. But with all that happened in-between, childhood seems so long ago. It will take two years of juvie, an inebriated grandmother and a porn stash for them to meet again.
The Origin of Me by Bernard Gallate ($33, PB)
Lincoln Locke’s 15 year-old life is turned upside down when he’s thrust into bachelor-pad living with his father an exclusive new school, after his parents’ marriage breaks up. Crestfield Academy offers Lincoln the crème de la crème of gifted & financially loaded individuals, and a place on the swim relay team with a bunch of thugs in Speedos. Homunculus, the little voice inside his head, doesn’t make life any easier; nor does Lincoln’s growing awareness of a genetic anomaly that threatens to humiliate him at every turn. He turns to the school library, where he spies a 19th century memoir, My One Redeeming Affliction by Edwin Stroud, a one-time star of Melinkoff’s Astonishing Assembly of Freaks. As Lincoln slowly reads this peculiar, life-changing book, the past reaches into his present in fascinating and alarming ways.
Elephants with Headlights by Bem Le Hunte
In a collision between east & west, modernity & tradition, driverless cars & ancient lore—in a world that needs revolutionary reappraisal—Savitri, named after a Goddess, refuses outright to marry anyone. Her brother, Neel is intent on marrying an Australian girl called Mae, much to the displeasure of their mother, Tota, and father, Siddarth. But do they have the power to command love or destiny? Only the family astrologer, Arunji, knows, yet his truth is tempered by obligations to the family that transformed his life. What is the generative legacy of tradition? Can spiritual values survive amidst personal challenges, the tragedy of a death foretold, and the momentous changes of our times? ‘Bem Le Hunte is quite simply, a wonderful novelist.’ —Geraldine Brooks. ($30, PB)
Diversity: The University of Sydney Student Anthology 2019 ($25, PB)
There is beauty in diversity. Whether it’s something that everyone can see, or something invisible, we walk around with it every day, and it informs all of our experiences. Diversity has challenged & transformed our societies & cultures, making us all better people. By exploring numerous experiences, from partying at Mardi Gras to being unapologetically Arabic, this collection shows that diversity unites & enriches our lives.
Sweetness and Light by Liam Pieper ($33, PB)
India, monsoon season. Connor, an Australian expat with a brutal past, spends his time running low-stakes scams on tourists in a sleepy beachside town. Sasha, an American in search of spiritual guidance, heads to an isolated ashram in the hope of mending a broken heart. When one of Connor’s grifts goes horribly wrong, it sets in motion a chain of events that brings the two lost souls together—and as they try to navigate a world of gangsters, gurus & secret agendas, they begin to realise that within the ashram’s utopian community, something is deeply, deeply wrong. Racing from the beaches of Goa to the streets of Delhi to the jungles of Tamil Nadu this is an nsettling story of the battle between light & dark, love & lust, morality & corruption.
This Person is Not That Person by Susan McCreery
Who are we when we are with someone else? The characters in Susan McCreery’s collection of stories include mismatched flatmates, long married couples, and mothers and daughters—all dealing with the fallout, fractures and misunderstandings of human relationships. They are ordinary people—flawed, slightly off-kilter—trying to work out what’s real. ($29.95, PB)
Desire Lines by Felicity Volk ($33, PB)
Arctic Circle, 2012. On a lightless day at the end of the polar winter, landscape architect Evie Waddell finds herself exhuming the past as she buries Australian seeds in a frozen mountain vault—insurance against catastrophe. Molong, 1953. Catastrophe is all 7 yearold Paddy O’Connor has known. Shipped from institutional care in London to an Australian farm school, his world is a shadowy place where lies scaffold fragile truths & painful memories. To Paddy’s south in Canberra, young Evie is safe in her family’s embrace, yet soon learns there are some paths from which you can’t turn back; impulses & threats that she only half understands but seems to have known forever. Blue Mountains, 1962. From their first meeting as teenagers at a country market, Paddy & Evie grow a compulsive, unconventional love that spans decades, taking them in directions neither could have foreseen.
The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke ($33, PB)
In Australia, Arie Johnson waits impatiently for classical pianist Diana Clare to return from a world tour, hopeful that after 7 years together she’ll finally agree to marry him. On her travels, Diana composes a song for Arie, knowing they’ll spend their lives together—won’t they? Then late one night, her love song is overheard, and begins its own journey across the world. In Scotland, Evie Greenlees is drifting. It’s been years since she left Australia with a backpack, a one-way ticket & a dream of becoming a poet. Now she spends her days making coffee & her nights serving beer. And she’s not even sure whether the guy she lives with is really her boyfriend or just a flatmate. Then one day she hears an exquisite love song. One that will connect her to a man with a broken heart. Minnie Darke is the pen-name of Tasmanian writer Danielle Wood.
The Watermill by Arnold Zable ($33, PB)
Ranging from remote provinces in China & Cambodia to pre- and post-war Yiddish Poland, Kurdish Iraq & Iran, and Indigenous and present-day Melbourne, Arnold Zable’s quartet of stories depicts the ebbs and flows of trauma and healing, memory and forgetting, the ancient and the contemporary. And ever-recurring journeys in search of belonging.
Melting Moments by Anna Goldsworthy ($30, PB)
Sometimes events occur as one might wish but sometimes they do not. So says the ever-practical Ruby, always striving for what is right & proper, from the time we meet her as a soldier’s fiancée through to the rather less steady years of her old age. With an eyebrow pencil in one hand & gardening shears in the other, Ruby navigates the intervening years doing her duty as a woman, allowing marriage & motherhood to fill her with purpose & pleasure—and only occasionally wondering, Is this all there is? Anna Goldsworthy’s charming & sharply observed first novel recreates Adelaide & Melbourne of half a century ago, bringing a family to life as they move through the decades.
Lioness Wakes by Blanche d’Alpuget ($30, PB) England, 1171. Thomas Becket is dead, beheaded at the altar of Canterbury Cathedral. As news of his assassination spreads across the country and into Europe, Henry’s reputation as a just and mighty king begins to disintegrate. Eleanor, no longer loyal, nor in awe of her husband, instigates the revolt she has craved for years. With Henry’s 3 eldest sons as her allies she begins to stir trouble at court. But when Henry discovers the plot—the punishment for treason is death, and can the empire they have built together survive when the royal family are at each other’s throats? The 4th book in D’Alpuget’s Birth of the Plantagenets series delves into the feud between the spouses Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II, painting the portrait of an empire steeped in conflict, treachery, and wild gambling for power. The Inland Sea by Madeleine Watts ($30, PB)
In the early 19th century, British explorer John Oxley traversed the then-unknown wilderness of central Australia in search of water. Although he never found it, the myth of the inland sea was taken up by other men, and over the years search parties walked out into the desert, dying as they tried to find it. Two centuries later, his great-great-great-great granddaughter spends a final year in Sydney reeling from her own self-destructive obsessions. She’s working part-time as an emergency dispatch operator, drinking heavily, sleeping with strangers, wandering Sydney’s streets late at night, and navigating an affair with an ex-lover. Reckless and adrift, she prepares to leave. In this debut novel Madeleine Watts explores feminine fear, apathy and danger that builds to a tightly controlled bush fire of ecological & personal crisis.
Southerly 80! Volume 79.1 ($26.95, PB)
Founded in 1939, Southerly has been published continuously for fully four score years. Southerly has provided many writers with their ﬁrst foray into publication, and in this issue, these writers recall the signiﬁcance of these ﬁrst works, some dating from 50 & 60 years ago. Alongside literary stalwarts, and in keeping with Southerly’s committed practice, the issue includes new writers reﬂecting the matrices of contemporary Australia’s peoples & literatures—spanning the spectrum of writing across creative & critical modes, and saluting the generations of readers who have engaged with this enterprise.
We Were Never Friends by Margaret Bearman
Lotti lives under the shadow of a genius: her father George Coates is a brilliant and celebrated Australian painter. When Lotti meets the outcast waif Kyla at a suburban Canberra school, two worlds are set to collide. Slowly Kyla is drawn into the orbit of the Coates family. Or is it the other way around? ‘A compelling and laceratingly authentic journey into the cowardice and narcissism at the heart of a suburban Australian family. What is art? What’s true courage? I could not put it down.’ Melissa Ashley ($30, PB)
On D’Hill Those of you who’ve been paying attention will have noted that I rarely write about nonfiction, because I rarely read non-fiction. It feels like a terrible failure on my part, but hey, at my age, it seems too late to change. One of my passions in non-fiction though, is art history and biography, especially books about women artists. Since the 1980 publication of Janine Burke’s seminal Australian Women Artists 1840–1940 (unfortunately out of print), I’ve been fascinated with the lives and work of women artists. ( I also loved Burke’s The Heart Garden and named my dog ‘Sunday’ afer the arts benefactor, Sunday Reed). Which brings me to a new publication, Odd Roads to Be Walking: 156 Women who Shaped Australian Art. This very handsome book by two Wagga Wagga Doctors (go figure), Paul Finucane and Catherine Stuart, is pretty much the most professional self-published book I have ever seen. The colour plates are excellent, and the accompanying biographies of the women, well-written. This is not a history per se but a biographical listing of the artists, which the authors have limited to those who have not lived through to the 21st Century. They had to draw the line somewhere! I was pleased and surprised to recognise the name Phyl Waterhouse—a Melbourne artist and regular finalist in the Archibald, Sulman and Wynne Prizes. I inherited a beautiful small oil landscape by Waterhouse, which I have always loved. The small note about her (the authors couldn’t do long pieces on all 156 artists) mentions she exhibited in Adelaide which is where my parents would have bought the painting, and that her life-long partner, the more well-known Charles Bush (whom she married at 62!) was a war artist in Papua New Guinea. My father was there as a writer and became friends with many war artists such as Ivor Hele, and my siblings and I have several paintings by them. Yet another book about Australian women artists will be released in April, Intrépide by Clem and Therese Gorman. (It’ll look like name-dropping if I tell you Clem Gorman was also a friend of the Smith family—so I won’t.) I’m looking forward to it immensely. Back in my fiction comfort zone, my best read this month was Improvement by the American author Joan Silber. In spare but evocative writing, Silber weaves the lives of inter-connected, marginalised New Yorkers and the lives they inhabit, moving from the wonderful Reyna and spreading out to all those affected by the central inciting incident—a car crash in which one of their number dies. It’s hard to explain how Silber manages to be both simple and complex, romantic and pragmatic, emotional and intelligent. It’s a short book—with not a superfluous word or word out of place. Beautiful. See you on D’Hill, Morgan
Dental Tourism by Mark O’Flynn
A young girl flies alone to Antarctica. A man goes on holiday & meets the politician he thinks has ruined his life. Here are ordinary characters in unusual circumstances, trying to cope with the vagaries that life throws at them. The unexpected repercussions of going to Thailand for dental work or floundering on the high seas in a sinking yacht. Meet Ned Kelly as you’ve never seen him. Listen to an articulate budgie ruminating on his destiny. From the domestic to the sublime & the sublimely absurd, O’Flynn’s characters blunder through life adapting to the pitfalls they dig for themselves, and coming to grips with their tenuous place in a world slightly off balance. ($29.95, PB)
International Inte rnational Literature The Mirror And The Light by Hilary Mantel
As Anne Boleyn’s remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him? At last, at last the final book in her multi-award winning trilogy is here! ($45, HB)
Gleebooks’ special price $34.95 The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich ($33, PB)
It is 1953. Thomas Wazhushk is the night watchman at the first factory to open near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a prominent Chippewa Council member, trying to understand a new bill that is soon to be put before Congress. The US Government calls it an ‘emancipation’ bill; but it isn’t about freedom— it threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land, their very identity. How can he fight this betrayal? Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Pixie—‘Patrice’—Paranteau has no desire to wear herself down on a husband & kids. She works at the factory, earning barely enough to support her mother & brother, let alone her alcoholic father who sometimes returns home to bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to get if she’s ever going to get to Minnesota to find her missing sister Vera.
Writers & Lovers by Lily King ($30, PB)
The Bell in the Lake by Lars Mytting ($33, PB)
Norway, 1880. In the secluded village of Butangen at the end of the valley, headstrong Astrid dreams of a life beyond marriage, hard work and children. And then Pastor Kai Schweigaard comes into her life, taking over the 700-year-old stave church with its carvings of pagan deities. The 2 church bells were forged by her forefather in the 16th century, in memory of conjoined sisters Halfrid & Gunhild Hekne, and are said to have supernatural powers. The pastor wants to tear it down, to replace it with a modern, larger church. Architecture student Gerhard Schonauer arrives from Dresden to oversee the removal of the church & its reconstruction in the German city. Everything about elegant Schonauer is so different, so cosmopolitan. Astrid must make a choice: for her homeland & the pastor, or for a daunting & uncertain future in Germany. Then the bells begin to toll. This is the first in a rich historical trilogy.
The Operator by Gretchen Berg ($33, PB)
It’s 1952. The switchboard operators in Wooster, Ohio, love nothing more than to eavesdrop on their neighbours’ conversations, and gossip about what they learn. Vivian Dalton is no different (despite her teenage daughter’s disapproval). But on the night of December 15th the secret that’s shared by a stranger on the line threatens to rip the rug of Vivian’s life from under her. The mortified Vivian isn’t going to take this lying down, but one secret tends to lead to another in this irresistible portrayal of a town buzzing with scandal, and an unforgettable story of marriage, motherhood & family ties.
Casey has ended up back in Massachusetts after a devastating love affair. Her mother has just died and she is knocked sideways by grief and loneliness, moving between the restaurant where she waitresses for the Harvard elite and the rented shed she calls home. Her one constant is the novel she has been writing for six years, but at thirty-one she is in debt and directionless, and feels too old to be that way - it’s strange, not be the youngest kind of adult anymore. And then, one evening, she meets Silas. He is kind, handsome, interested. But only a few weeks later, Oscar walks into her restaurant, his two boys in tow. He is older, grieving the loss of his wife, and wrapped up in his own creativity. Suddenly Casey finds herself at the point of a love triangle, stuck between two very different relationships that promise two very different futures.
Summer Light, and Then Comes the Night by Jon Kalman Stefansson ($33, PB)
In a village of four hundred souls, the infinite light of an Icelandic summer makes its inhabitants want to explore, and the eternal night of winter lights up the magic of the stars. The village becomes a microcosm of the age-old conflict between human desire and destiny, between the limits of reality and the wings of the imagination. With humour, with poetry, and with a tenderness for human weaknesses, Stefansson explores the question of why we live at all. Winner of the Icelandic Literature Prize.
Low by Jeet Thayil ($30, PB)
Following the death of his wife, Dominic Ullis escapes to Bombay in search of oblivion & a dangerous new drug, Meow Meow. So begins a glorious weekend of misadventure as he tours the teeming, kaleidoscopic city from its sleek eyries of high-capital to the piss-stained streets, encountering a cast with their own stories to tell, but none of whom Ulli—his faculties ever distorted—is quite sure he can trust. Heady, heartbroken & heartfelt, Low is a blazing joyride through the darklands of grief towards obliteration—and, perhaps, epiphany.
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo ($28, PB)
Kim Jiyoung is a girl born to a mother whose in-laws wanted a boy. Kim Jiyoung is a sister made to share a room while her brother gets Poland, 1980. Anxious, disillusioned Ludwik Glowacki, soon to one of his own. Kim Jiyoung is a female preyed upon by male teachgraduate university, has been sent along with the rest of his class ers at school. Kim Jiyoung is a daughter whose father blames her to an agricultural camp. Here he meets Janusz—and together, they when she is harassed late at night. Kim Jiyoung is a good student spend a dreamlike summer swimming in secluded lakes, reading who doesn’t get put forward for internships. Kim Jiyoung is a model forbidden books—and falling in love. But with summer over, the employee but gets overlooked for promotion. Kim Jiyoung is a wife two are sent back to Warsaw, and to the harsh realities of life who gives up her career and independence for a life of domesticity. under the Party. Exiled from paradise, Ludwik and Janusz must Kim Jiyoung has started acting strangely. Kim Jiyoung is depressed. decide how they will survive; and in their different choices, find Kim Jiyoung is mad. Kim Jiyoung is her own woman. Kim Jiyoung themselves torn apart. Swimming in the Dark is an unforgettable debut about youth, is every woman. Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is the South Korean senlove, and loss—and the sacrifices we make to live lives with meaning. ($30, PB) sation that has got the whole world talking. The life story of one young woman born at the end of the twentieth century raises questions about endemic misogyny and institutional oppression that are relevant to us all. ‘This book possesses the urgency Now in B Format and immediacy of the scariest horror thriller—except that this is not technically horror, but Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan, $20 something closer to reportage. I broke out in a sweat reading this book’—Ling Ma.
Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski
Spring by Ali Smith, $20
Amnesty by Aravind Adiga ($30, PB)
Danny—Dhananjaya Rajaratnam—is an illegal immigrant in Sydney, denied refugee status after he has fled from his native Sri Lanka. Working as a cleaner, living out of a grocery storeroom, for 3 years he’s been trying to create a new identity for himself—with his girlfriend, Sonja, his hidden accent & highlights in his hair, he is as close as he has ever come to living a normal Australian life. But one morning, he learns a female client of his has been murdered—and recognizes a jacket left at the murder scene that belongs to another of his clients—a doctor with whom he knows the woman was having an affair. Suddenly Danny is confronted with a choice: come forward with his knowledge about the crime & risk being deported, or say nothing, and let justice go undone?.
The Frightened Ones by Dima Wannous ($30, PB)
Suleima & Nassim first meet in their therapist’s tiny waiting room in Damascus. In the city’s atmosphere of surveillance & anxiety, they begin a tenuous relationship. Some years later, after civil war breaks out, Nassim leaves Syria for Germany. He doesn’t ask Suleima to come with him; instead, he sends her a novel he has written about a woman whose experiences are very close to her own. As Suleima reads, her past overwhelms her. Time begins to fold in on itself, her sense of identity unravels, does she trust Naseem’s pages, her own memory? As she attempts to solve the mystery of her lover’s manuscript, she must confront what has happened to her family, to her country, and start to make sense of who she is & what she has become. The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner ($30, PB) Poland, 1941. After the Jews in their town are rounded up, Róza & her 5 year-old daughter, Shira, spend day & night hidden in a farmer’s barn. Forbidden from making a sound, only the yellow bird from her mother’s stories can sing the melodies Shira composes in her head. Róza does all she can to take care of Shira & shield her from the horrors of the outside world. They play silent games & invent their own sign language. But then the day comes when their haven is no longer safe, and Róza must face an impossible choice: whether to keep her daughter close by her side, or give her a chance to survive & let her go.
Sweetness and Light Liam Pieper An intoxicating, unsettling story of the battle between light and dark, love and lust, morality and corruption from the award-winning author of The Toymaker.
The Coconut Children Vivian Pham Set in 1990’s Cabramatta and touching on the universal themes of longing and the angst of youth, this is an urgent, moving and wise debut from a gifted young storyteller.
Out 3 March
Out 3 March
The Origin of Me Bernard Gallate Audacious, funny and wonderfully inventive, this beguilingly original debut novel is a song to friendship, young love, the joy of imagination, and celebrating differences.
After the Count Stephanie Convery With sharp prose and willingness to tangle with the complexities of violence, Stephanie Convery presents a thorough, unflinching investigation that will change the way you think about sport.
Out 17 March
Out 3 March
The Good, the Bad and the Little Bit Stupid Marina Lewycka A laugh-out-loud novel about family, bank fraud and Britain from the bestselling author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.
Party Animals Samantha Maiden Secrets, lies, lawyers and covert recordings. If you thought the 2019 election was just about a death tax that didn’t exist, you’re in for a surprise.
Out 17 March
Out 3 March
The Good, the Bad and the Little Bit Stupid by Marina Lewycka ($33, PB)
George Pantis is in a pickle. After walking out on his wife Rosie on Referendum night 2016 to shack up with hairdresser ‘Brexit Brenda’ next door, he thinks he’s got it made—especially when he wins millions on a Kosovan lottery he only vaguely remembers entering. Unfortunately, he’s forgotten his password & can’t get at his money—a problem because he suddenly has to contend with lots of forceful new friends desperate to know his mother’s maiden name. As things quickly get out of hand, George must make a mad dash from Sheffield to the Adriatic—and into the arms of organized crime gangs who specialize in illegal kidney transplants & heroin smuggling.
Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor ($30, PB)
The Witch is dead. After a group of children playing in the murky waters of the irrigation canals discover her decomposing corpse, the village is rife with rumours and suspicions about the murder of this feared and respected woman, who had carried out the community’s ritual shamanic customs. In dazzling, visceral language, Melchor extracts humanity from otherwise irredeemably brutal characters, and spins a terrifying and heartrending tale of dark suspense in a Mexican village that seems damned. Inspired by a real event of the murder of a woman in rural Mexico, Hurricane Season takes place in a world filled with superstitions & violence that poisons everything around.
The Blessed Rita by Tommy Wieringa ($33, PB)
Paul Krüzen lives with his father in an old farmhouse, not far from the German border. Where once his father took care of him, now he takes care of his father. It has been a long time since his beautiful, worldly-wise mother left them for the arms of a Russian pilot, never once looking back. Paul’s small Dutch village is now home to Chinese restaurateurs, Polish plumbers & Russian thugs. Saint Rita, the patron saint of lost causes, watches over Paul & his best friend Hedwiges, two misfits at odds with the modern world, while Paul takes comfort in his own Blessed Rita, a prostitute from Quezon. But even she cannot protect them from the tragedy that is about to unfold.
Aria by Nazanine Hozar ($33, PB)
In Iran, 1953, a driver named Behrouz discovers an abandoned baby in an alleyway. Behrouz adopts her and as she grows, Aria is torn between the 3 women fated to mother her—Behrouz’s wife, who beats her; the wealthy widow Fereshteh, who offers her refuge but cannot offer her love, and the impoverished Mehri, whose secrets will shatter everything Aria thought she knew about her life. Meanwhile, the winds of change are stirring in Tehran. Rumours are spreading of a passionate religious exile in Paris called Khomeini, who seems to offer a new future for the country. In the midst of this tumult, Aria falls in love with an Armenian boy caught on the wrong side of the revolution. Margaret Atwood calls this novel ‘the Dr Zhivago of Iran.’
New this month: Keep Scrolling Till You Feel Something: 21 Years of Humor from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency (eds) Chris Monks & Sam Riley ($50, HB)
Trace Elements by Donna Leon ($33, PB)
A poetic and haunting novel about the vagaries of consent, about who has the space to speak and who is believed.
A powerful and compelling memoir about the single life and the courage to live alone in a world made for couples and families.
When Dottoressa Donato calls the Questura to report that a dying patient at the hospice Fatebenefratelli wants to speak to the police, Commissario Guido Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, waste no time in responding. ‘They killed him. It was bad money. I told him no’, Benedetta Toso gasps the words about her recently-deceased husband, Vittorio Fadalto. Fadalto worked in the field collecting samples of contamination for a company that measures the cleanliness of Venice’s water supply had died in mysterious circumstances—and in time Brunetti comes to realize the perilous meaning in the woman’s accusation and the threat it reveals to the health of the entire region.
Victim 2117 by Jussi Adler-Olsen ($33, PB)
The newspaper refers to the dead body only as Victim 2117—the 2117th refugee to die in the Mediterranean Sea. But for a troubled Danish teen, the death of Victim 2117 becomes a symbol of everything he resents & is the perfect excuse to unleash his murderous impulses. For Ghallib, a brutal tormentor from the notorious prison Abu Ghraib, the death of 2117 was the first step in a terrorist plot, years in the making. And for Copenhagen’s cold case division, Department Q’s Assad, 2117 is a link to the family he assumed was long dead. So a chain of events is set off that throws Department Q into a deeply dangerous & personal case.
Where the Truth Lies by Karina Kilmore ($30, PB)
When investigative journalist Chrissie O’Brian lands a senior job at The Argus, she is desperate to escape the nightmares of her past. Her life has become a daily battle to numb the pain. A face-off on the waterfront between the unions and big business is just the kind of story to get her career back on track. But after a dockworker who confided in her turns up dead, Chrissie becomes obsessed with unravelling the truth. When a gruesome threat lands on her desk, it’s clear someone is prepared to do anything to stop her.
Fifty-Fifty by Steve Cavanagh ($33, PB)
Sydney, Sisters in Crime has arrived!
The 1980s: crime writing is coming out of the closet. On local shores, Clare McNab publishes Lessons in Murder and Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher splashes on stage. Across the waters, US crime writer Sara Paretsky—creator of tough, sassy private detective, V I Warshawski—kick-starts Sisters in Crime. Today, more than 50 ‘sisters’ chapters world-wide are dedicated to nurturing women crime writers, engaging readers, encouraging diversity—and convinced of the importance of a fine read and a fabulous time. Sisters in Crime, Australia, runs the highly sought-after Davitt and Scarlet Stiletto awards annually, and has a packed events calendar in Melbourne. Now it’s Sydney’s turn to shine (sure, we’re lag(gard)s but in the end we’re a city—and state—that likes to sparkle). The newly revived Sisters in Crime, Sydney, already has several events planned for 2020—and we’re starting right here on Thursday 23rd April, upstairs at Gleebooks with:
Dazzling, Deadly— The Allure of South African Crime Fiction L A Larkin (Genesis Flaw & Thirst) and Natalie Conyer (Present Tense) will be in conversation with Malla Nunn. So, check the Gleebooks calendar and come along. And if you’re a woman writing, reading, publishing, advocating for women’s crime writing, join the chapter. For info contact: Catherine du Peloux Menagé: email@example.com
Alexandra Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body, and needs the police right away. She believes her sister killed him, and that she is still in the house with a knife. Sofia Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body and needs the police right away. She believes her sister, Alexandra did it, and that she is still in the house, locked in the bathroom. Both women are to go on trial at the same time. A joint trial in front of one jury. But one of these women is lying. One of them is a murderer.
The Cobra Queen by Tara Moss ($30, PB)
In the months since Pandora English left the small town of Gretchenville to live with her mysterious great aunt in a supernatural Manhattan suburb, her whole world has been turned upside down. Pandora has discovered she is the chosen one, the Seventh Daughter of a Seventh Daughter, and during the impending Revolution of the Dead, she alone will have the power to save all life as we know it. The Agitation is unfolding, building towards the Revolution, and Pandora can no longer deny the truth in these incredible prophecies.
Death Set to Music (An Inspector Pel Mystery 1) by Mark Hebden ($20, PB)
A murder has been committed in a quiet corner of provincial France. Madame Chenandier’s body has been severely battered, as if by a lunatic. There are some obvious suspects, yet the clothes of none of them show any signs of blood. And what were the tensions that must have torn at this family? Moody, irascible, sharp-tongued, worrying constantly about his health, Inspector Evariste Clovis Desire Pel knows there is something about the case he ought to understand but it constantly eludes him, until another murder & a small boy suddenly change everything. ‘Pel and his procedurals are some of the best things since Maigret.’ Also Available: Pel is Puzzled; Pel Under Pressure & Pel & the Faceless Corpse.
Death Deserved by Thomas Enger & Jørn Horst
Oslo, 2018. Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrom doesn’t show for the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. Celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrom’s home & finds the door unlocked & signs of a struggle. A bib with the number ‘one’ has been pinned to the TV. Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missing persons investigation. Traces of Nordstrom soon show up at different locations, but these clues appear to be carefully calculated, evidence of a bigger picture. Blix and Ramm join forces, determined to find and stop a merciless killer with a flare for the dramatic, and thirst for attention. ($20, PB)
The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben ($33, PB)
30 years ago, a child was found in the New Jersey backwoods. He had been living a feral existence, with no memory of how he got there or even who he is. Everyone just calls him Wilde. Now a former soldier & security expert, he lives off the grid, shunned by the community—until they need him. A child has gone missing. & criminal attorney Hester Crimstein contacts Wilde, asking him to use his unique skills to find the girl. But even he can find no trace of her, and it becomes a race against time to save the girl’s life—and expose the town’s dark trove of secrets.
The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan ($33, PB)
While Detective Cormac Reilly faces enemies at work & trouble in his personal life, Garda Peter Fisher is relocated out of Galway with the threat of prosecution hanging over his head. But even that is not as terrible as having to work for his overbearing father, the local copper for the pretty seaside town of Roundstone. For some, like Anna & her young daughter Tilly, Roundstone is a refuge from trauma. But even this village on the edge of the sea isn’t far enough to escape from evil men.
The Yellow Bird Sings JENNIFER ROSNER
‘Desperately moving and exquisitely written. If you only read one book this year, make it The Yellow Bird Sings. A beautiful story with achingly memorable characters...’ AJ Pearce
Gleebooks’ special price $29.95 Death in the Ladies’ Goddess Club by Julian Leatherdale ($30, PB)
In the murky world of Kings Cross in 1932, aspiring crime writer Joan Linderman & her friend & flatmate Bernice Becker live in a carnival of parties & fancy-dress artists’ balls. One Saturday night, Joan is finds Ellie, her neighbour, murdered. To prove her worth as a crime writer & bring Ellie’s killer to justice, Joan secretly investigates the case in the footsteps of Sergeant Lillian Armfield. But as Joan digs deeper, her list of suspects grows from the luxury apartment blocks of Sydney’s rich to the brothels & nightclubs of the Cross’s underclass.
The Inugami Curse by Seishi Yokomizo ($20, PB)
In 1940s Japan, the wealthy head of the Inugami Clan dies, setting off a chain of bizarre, gruesome murders. Detective Kindaichi must unravel the clan’s terrible secrets of forbidden liaisons, monstrous cruelty, and hidden identities to find the murderer. The Inugami Curse is a bloody, intricately plotted classic mystery from a giant of Japanese crime writing.
Stasi Winter by David Young ($20, PB)
In the depths of the Republic’s catastrophic winter, Major Karin Muller is called upon to stop a group of ‘escapers’ from crossing the frozen Ostee. Ahead, her partner, Hauptmann Werner Tilsner has caught up with the group but is he arresting them, or assisting them... When a flash of red hair against the expanse of white stops Muller in her tracks, she’s in shock. A familiar young girl is on the Ostee. Codename; Wildcat. As tensions grow with her deputy, Tilsner, and a woman’s murder to solve, Muller must work to uncover the secrets of the state under the difficulties of the worst winter in history.
Torched by Kimberley Starr ($30, PB)
A small Yarra Valley town has been devastated by a bushfire, and Reefton Primary School principal Phoebe Warton can’t sleep. She’s the single mother of eighteen-year-old Caleb who is accused of starting the fire on purpose. Twelve people are dead, students from her school among them; only a monster would cause such carnage. But where was her son was that day? No one knows but Caleb, and he’s not talking. Against mounting community rage, Phoebe sets out to clear her son. But every avenue leads back to Caleb. Why did he vanish from his Country Fire Authority shift? Who else was at the abandoned goldmine that day? Why is Caleb refusing to speak?.
A Testament of Character by Sulari Gentill ($30, PB)
When his friend Daniel Cartwright dies and names Rowland Sinclair as his executor, Rowland must divert his plans to return home to Australia from Shanghai and travel to America. Daniel was vastly wealthy but appears to have disinherited his family in favour of a man called James Meredith, whom no one can find. In the aftermath of Daniel’s death, the Cartwrights challenge Daniel’s will, alleging that he was not of sound mind. After Rowland and his troupe of friends take suites at the Copley Plaza in Boston, they then embark on a journey that takes them through New York, Warwick and Baltimore as they track down answers to the questions that surround Daniel’s death and the mysterious disappearance of James Meredith.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley ($30, PB)
On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year—the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater. Old friends. Past grudges. Happy families.Hidden jealousies. Thirteen guests. One body. The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped. All have a secret. All have a motive. One guest won’t leave this wedding alive.
The Coldest Warrior by Paul Vidich ($20, PB)
A government scientist, Hank Wilson, dies after falling from the 9th floor of a Washington hotel. 1975: The release of the Rockefeller Commission report on illegal CIA activities suddenly brings the Wilson case back into the headlines; did he fall or was he pushed? But the White House will do anything to make sure the truth doesn’t get out. Jake Newman, soon to retire from the CIA, is tasked with uncovering the truth behind Wilson’s death, but the investigation rapidly turns dangerous. The closer Newman gets to discovering what really happened that night, the more he risks the lives of those he loves. How many lives is the truth worth? ‘An unputdownable mole hunt written in terse, noirish prose, driving us inexorably forward’ — Olen Steinhauer
A R AV I N D A D I G A Riveting and suspenseful. From the bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning author of The White Tiger comes a story about a young illegal immigrant who must decide whether to report crucial information about a murder – and risk deportation.
CATHERINE NOSKE ‘Tense, original and lyrically told; this is a gripping story of a community spellbound by collective mania and the search for what cannot be found...’ Gail Jones
ALE XIS SCHAITKIN ‘This killer debut is both a thriller with a vivid setting and an insightful study of race, class, and obsession.’ Kirkus, starred review
Love talking about books? Find us online at Pan Macmillan Australia
The Killing Streets: Uncovering Australia’s first serial murderer by Tanya Bretherton
In December 1932, as the Depression tightened its grip, the body of a woman was found in Queens Park, Sydney. It was a popular park. There were houses in plain view. Yet this woman had been violently murdered without anyone noticing. Other equally brutal and shocking murders of women in public places were to follow. Police failed to notice the similarities between the victims until the death of one young woman—an aspiring Olympic swimmer—made the whole city take notice. On scant evidence, the unassuming Eric Craig was arrested. But the killings didn’t stop. This compelling story of a city crippled by fear & a failing economy, of a killer at large as panic abounds, is also the story of what happens when victims aren’t perfect & neither are suspects, and when a rush to judgement replaces the call of reason. ($33, PB)
Cops, Drugs, Lawyer X and Me by Paul Dale
After almost 15 years as a cop, working in Homicide & rising to the rank of Detective Sergeant in the Victorian Drug Squad, he saw the worst of what people can do. Dale dealt with crims like Carl Williams, Terry Hodson & Tommy Ivanovic on the Melbourne streets. But when a burglary ended in Hodson’s arrest, Dale’s life started to unravel. He turned to Nicola Gobbo, a lawyer & friend he thought could help: the lawyer who became known as Lawyer X. Eventually exonerated of any crimes, Paul Dale’s story reveals the shocking deals done at the highest levels of the Victorian Police Force & the damage wrought by Victoria Police’s use of Lawyer X. ($33, PB)
Crime in Progress by Glenn Simpson & Peter Fritsch ($40, HB)
In the autumn of 2015, the founders of the US political research firm Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, were hired by a Republican presidential candidate to look into the records of Donald Trump. What began as a march through a mind-boggling trove of lawsuits and sketchy overseas projects soon took a darker turn, as they became the first to uncover Trump’s disturbing ties to the Kremlin and the crimes that since have plagued his presidency. When the dossier finally exploded onto the world stage, a ten-person research firm above a Starbucks in Washington was thrust into the centre of a story that would lead to the Mueller report & disrupt Trump’s secret planned rapprochement with Putin’s Russia that could have re-ordered the western alliance. This A real-life political thriller’s inescapable conclusion is that Trump is an asset of the Russian government, whether he knows it or not.
Rust by Eliese Goldbach ($33, PB)
READ Sometimes to fix the law ... you have to break it
The stunning conclusion to the Wolf Hall trilogy
When Eliese Goldbach was 9, she decided to become a Catholic nun. 20 years later, with a Master’s degree, she found herself making steel in the Rust Belt during the 2016 US election season. Trump was supposed to be golfing in Florida, not vying for the presidency. She was supposed to be saving souls, not stirring a vat of molten metal. Former Republican turned Democrat; a feminist with Christian roots. Antiabortion—until she herself was subjected to sexual violence—a supporter of the right to choose. Goldbach doesn’t fit neatly into any one box, and her memoir explores her transformation from far-right to left-of-centre, detailing her first year as a steelworker, and the path that brought her to the mill in the first place— her life connecting the identities that seem to be driving the USA apart.
She I Dare Not Name: A spinster’s meditations on life by Donna Ward ($30, PB) Both manifesto and confession, this moving memoir explores the meaning and purpose Donna Ward discovered in a life lived entirely without a partner and children. The book describes what it is like to live on the edge of a world built in the shape of couples & families. Rippling through these pages is the way a spinster—or a bachelor, or any of us for that matter—contends with the prejudice & stigma of being different. With astounding honesty Donna uncovers the challenge of living with more solitude than anticipated & what it is like to walk the road through midlife & beyond alone. And she reveals how she found home & discovered herself within it..
Displaced: A rural life by John Kinsella ($30, PB) Dispatches from an age of impunity by the ABCTV award-winning investigative reporter and former foreign correspondent
John Kinsella’s memoir of his rural life takes us deep into the heart of what it means to belong & unbelong. He captures the joys & travails of childhood, adult addictions, missteps & changing directions in poignant & poetic detail. While centred on Jam Tree Gully in rural Western Australia, Kinsella’s memoir also moves between Ohio, Schull & Cambridge, mixing regionalism with an international sense of responsibility. Full of detailed observations of daily life, the engagement with topography and flora and fauna embody Kinsella’s conviction that ‘all is in everything and that every leaf of grass is vital’.
Three Brothers: Memories of My Family by Yan Lianke ($33, PB) Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story by Jacob Tobia ($30, PB)
As a young child in North Carolina, Jacob Tobia wasn’t the wrong gender, they just had too much of the stuff. Barbies? Yes. Playing with bugs? Absolutely. Getting muddy? Please. Princess dresses? You betcha. Jacob wanted it all, but because they were ‘a boy’, they were told they could only have the masculine half. Acting feminine labelled them ‘a sissy’ & brought social isolation. It took Jacob years to discover that being ‘a sissy’ isn’t something to be ashamed of. It’s a source of pride. Tobia’s book moves through bullying & beauty contests, from Duke University to the UN to the podiums of the Methodist church—not to mention the parlors of the White House.
The School of Restoration by Alice Achan
From 13 Alice Achan spent 5 years on the run from Uganda’s brutal Lord’s Resistance Army. She then cared for her nieces after their mother died of AIDs, losing them one by one to the disease. Her depression after their deaths began to life when she took in a pregnant teenage girl, kidnapped & assaulted by the LRA, who had escaped captivity with her toddler. Spurred on by her young friend’s plight, Alice began to house & nurture survivors of the sexual violence that was a trademark of the LRA’s 20 year campaign. Out of this rose the Pader Girls Academy, which Alice saw as a ‘School of Restoration’. It has helped hundreds of girls, many left with babies & HIV as a result of their enslavement. Journalist Philippa Tyndale has brought Alice’s voice to life. ($33, PB)
After the Count: The death of Davey Browne by Stephanie Convery ($35, PB)
When Sydney boxer Davey Browne died in 2015 after being knocked out in the final round of a title fight that he was about to win, boxing once again came under intense public scrutiny. For journalist Stephanie Convery, the story of that fatal fight raised questions she became determined to answer—who should be held accountable when someone dies in the ring? Did the actions of the referee, the ringside doctor, the combat sports inspectors & the trainer affect what happened that night? Is death inevitable in a sport in which the only sure way to win is to knock your opponent out? And why aren’t boxers, professional & amateur, told more about the dangers of concussion & head trauma? These questions were especially compelling for one reason—at the time of Davey’s death, Stephanie had been training to fight in a boxing match of her own.
Yan Lianke’s intimate memoir about childhood, family and politics during the Cultural Revolution brings the reader into his home of the 1960s and early 70s in rural Henan Province. Lianke’s is a loving but hard childhood—his father cultivates a stony plot to grow sweet potatoes, only to have them requisitioned by the government. Yan longs to become a writer after reading on the back of a novel that the writer was allowed to remain in the city after publishing her book. But before escaping the village, he has to join the army in order to earn money for his family. Chronicling the lives of his father & uncles, as well as his own, this is both a portrait of a singular period & a heartfelt celebration of the power of the family under the harshest circumstances.
Growing Pineapples in the Outback by Tony Kelly & Rebecca Lister ($30, PB)
When Rebecca Lister & Tony Kelly move from Melbourne to Mount Isa to care for Rebecca’s elderly mother, Diana, they have no idea what they’ve signed up for. The isolation, sweltering heat & limited employment opportunities make settling into the mining town a challenge. While Rebecca deals with her mother’s declining health & delves into her own past, Tony takes on a new role in native title law. However, caring for Diana—a witty, crossword-loving 92-year-old—proves to be a more enriching experience than either Tony or Rebecca thought possible. As they make deeper connections to the land & community, they find themselves flourishing in a most unexpected place.
Calamity: The Many Lives of Calamity Jane by Karen Jones ($49, HB)
Martha Jane Canary, popularly known as Calamity Jane, was the pistolpacking, rootin’ tootin’ lady wildcat of the American West. She became a celebrity both in her own right & through her association with the likes of Wild Bill Hickok & Buffalo Bill Cody. Karen Jones takes a fresh look at the story of this iconic frontierswoman, piecing together what is known of Canary’s life to show how a rough & itinerant lifestyle paved the way for the scattergun, alcohol-fueled heroics that dominated Canary’s career. Spanning her rise from humble origins to her role as heroine of the plains & the embellishment of her image over subsequent decades, Jones shows her to be feisty, eccentric & very much complicit in the making of the myth that was Calamity Jane.
Victory in the Kitchen: The Life of Churchill’s Cook by Annie Gray ($35, HB)
Born 1882 Georgina Landemare started her career as a nursemaid, and ended it cooking for Winston Churchill, a man to whom food was central, not only as a pleasure by itself, but as a diplomatic tool in a time when the world was embroiled in a worldwide war. This is a culinary biography: a life lived through food ranging from rural Berkshire to wartime London, via Belle Epoque Paris & prohibition-era New York. Recipes include Georgina’s German Kougelhof, Mousse de Maple and ‘Chocolat Cake Good’.
A Love Letter to Europe: An outpouring of sadness and hope Mary Beard, Sandi Toksvig et al
As Britain pulls away from Europe British novelists, artists, comedians, historians, biographers, nature writers, film writers & travel writers say what Europe means to them. Love of a particular place, hilarious, sad, nostalgic, devastating, contributors include: Mary Beard, Jeffrey Boakye, Melvyn Bragg, Simon Callow, B. Catling, Shami Chakrabarti, Chris Cleave, Frank Cottrell Boyce, William Dalrymple, Lindsey Davis, Margaret Drabble, Tracey Emin, Michel Faber, Sebastian Faulks, Neil Gaiman, Evelyn Glennie, Alan Hollinghurst, Will Hutton, Holly Johnson, Ruth Jones, A.L. Kennedy, Hermione Lee, Prue Leith, Roger Lewis, Penelope Lively, Richard Mabey, Jonathan Meades, Andrew Miller, Deborah Moggach, Alan Moore, Paul Morley, Jackie Morris, Charles Nicholl, Irenosen Okojie, Onjali Q. Rauf, Chris Riddell, Tony Robinson, J.K. Rowling, Rhik Samadder, Isy Suttie, Sandi Toksvig, Pete Townshend, Kate Williams and Michael Wood. ($40, HB)
Slam Your Poetry Miles Merrill
Things I Learned From Falling by Claire Nelson
Claire Nelson took a trip to Joshua Tree Park in California to escape her frantic, anxiety-ridden London life. However, while hiking, Nelson fell 30 feet, gravely injuring herself and, having wandered miles off any trail , she lay alone in the desert without a cell phone signal, fighting for her life. She lay there for four days until she was miraculously rescued—the doctors saying she had only hours to live when she was eventually found. This is her incredible story and what it taught her about loneliness, anxiety, transformation and survival. ($30, PB)
Ultimate Road Trips: Australia by Lee Atkinson
Lee Atkinson highlights 40 of the best driving holidays around the country. Each chapter includes information on things to see & do, detailed route maps & a handy list of distances to help you plan your trip, as well as lots of useful advice on family-friendly attractions, where to eat & the best hotels, guesthouses, caravan parks and camping spots. You’ll also find details on the best time of year to visit, driving tips & a guide to surviving a road trip with a back seat full of kids. Keep this book in the car for when you’re out on the road, or curl up with it at home and dream about your next journey. ($40, PB)
‘Here is an exciting, engaging, instructive poetic playbook to usher in a new Australian slam generation.’ — Maxine Beneba Clarke
Wayfinding by Michael Bond ($33, PB)
Children are instinctive explorers, developing a spatial understanding as they roam. The way humans think about physical space has been crucial to our evolution: the ability to navigate over large distances in prehistoric times gave Homo sapiens an advantage over the rest of the human family. And yet today few of us make use of the wayfaring skills that we inherited from our peripatetic ancestors. Michael Bond explores how our brains make the ‘cognitive maps’ that keep us orientated, even in places that we don’t know. He considers how we relate to places, and asks how our understanding of the world around us affects our psychology & behaviour. Bond seeks an answer to the question of why some of us are so much better at finding our way than others. He also tackles the controversial subject of sex differences in navigation, and finally tries to understand why being lost can be such a devastating psychological experience.
The Only Gaijin in the Village by Iain Maloney
In 2016 Scottish writer Iain Maloney & his Japanese wife Minori moved to a village in rural Japan. Even after more than a decade living in Japan & learning the language, life in the countryside was a culture shock. Due to increasing numbers of young people moving to the cities in search of work, there are fewer rural residents under the retirement age—and they have two things in abundance: time & curiosity. Iain’s attempts at amateur farming, basic gardening & DIY are conducted under the watchful eye of his neighbours & wife. But curtain twitching is the least of his problems. The threat of potential missile strikes & earthquakes is nothing compared to the venomous snakes, terrifying centipedes & bees the size of small birds that stalk Iain’s garden. ($30, PB)
The Camping Cookbook ($20, PB)
Chef Nico Stanitzok and lifelong camper Viola Lex have teamed up to create more than 80 sweet & savoury camping recipes. Traditional campfire favourites such as barbecue chicken, grilled corn on the cob & kebab skewers, plud recipes for campfire breads, grilled camembert, quick pancakes & even chocolate cakes baked inside oranges. This mix of recipes will satisfy the more adventurous outdoor cook, while the stepby-step instructions & mouth-watering photography make the recipes easy to follow for those new to cooking outdoors.
Around the World in 80 Trees by Jonathan Drori
‘Pathfinders charts an important though largely overlooked area of the country’s history. Michael Bennett weaves back into the nation’s historical narrative these Aboriginal heroes and heroines.’ — Professor John Maynard
A N I M P R I N T O F U N SW P R E SS
From India’s sacred banyan tree to the fragrant cedar of Lebanon, they offer us sanctuary & inspiration—not to mention the raw materials for everything from aspirin to maple syrup. Jonathan Drori uses plant science to illuminate how trees play a role in every part of human life, from the romantic to the regrettable. Stops on his trip include the lime trees of Berlin’s Unter den Linden boulevard, which intoxicate amorous Germans & hungry bees alike, the swankiest streets in 19th-century London, which were paved with Australian eucalyptus wood, and the redwood forests of California, where the secret to the trees’ soaring heights can be found in the properties of the tiniest drops of water. Each of these strange & true tales—populated by self-mummifying monks, tree-climbing goats and ever-so-slightly radioactive nuts—is illustrated by Lucille Clerc ($30, PB) 9
picture books for kids to young adults
Poems Aloud by Joseph Coelho (ill) Daniel Gray-Barnett
chosen by Liz & Elissa Everybody Counts: A counting story from 0 to 7.5 billion by Kristin Roskifte ($25, HB) Kristin Roskifte is a Norwegian illustrator and author. She has made seven picture books with topics like dream homes, queueing and animals with body issues. In this fun outing she teaches you to count from 0 to 7.5 billion while following the characters’ stories through the book, seeing how their lives collide with those of others. There are a lot of secrets to be discovered for the sharp-eyed! You’ll see that everyone is different, everyone has their own life, and that—most importantly—everybody counts.
20 poems by the award winning Joseph Coelho will arm children with techniques for lifting poetry off the page and performing with confidence. Perfect for confident and shy readers alike, this book teaches all sorts of clever ways to perform poetry. Award winning performance poet, Joseph Coelho, shares 20 techniques for reading aloud with 20 funny and thoughtful original poems. There are tongue twisters, poems to project, poems to whisper, poems to make you laugh. There are poems to perform to a whole class and others to whisper in somebody’s ear. Richly textured, warm and stylish illustration by Daniel Gray-Barnett bring each page to life. ($25, HB)
Humanimal: Incredible Ways Animals are Just Like Us! by Christopher Lloyd & Mark Ruffle
So you think you’re special? You think that just because people have built giant cities, invented pop-up toasters and put a person on the Moon that they are somehow different from other living things? Well it’s time to think again! Discover how slime moulds can solve how to navigate through a maze; how rats tickle and laugh out loud; how elephants have funerals for their lost loved ones; how bees vote in elections to decide where to locate their nests; how crows use cars to crack nuts and a whole lot more! ($28, HB)
Lola Dutch I Love you So Much by Kenneth and Sarah Jane Wright
This is Lola Dutch, a delightfully creative girl who loves her friends SO much. When they’ re having a bad day, Lola knows just what to do to make each of them feel better—she sews cozy pajamas for Gator, constructs the perfect reading nook for Crane, and takes Pig to the park! Lola loves showing her friends how much she loves them! But there’s one special friend she’s forgotten—Bear! Can Lola decide on the perfect way to express how much he means to her? ($25, HB)
Queer Heroes ($28, HB) by Arabelle Sicardi (ill) Sarah Tanat-Jones
This is a dog by Ross Collins ($23, HB)
Alternately titled My First Animal Book this is a beautifully illustrated and hilarious picture book that follows the eponymous dog as he discovers and makes mischief with the cat, monkey, rabbit etc. A perfect example of how simplicity in language, colour and humour can really make a story pop. It introduces babies and toddlers to the world of animals but can also be shared with 4-5 year olds with a sense of humour. An absolute delight! Morgan
Discover the stories of 52 LGBT artists, writers, innovators, athletes & activists who have made great contributions to culture, from ancient times to present day: Leonardo to Freddie Mercury, Sappho to Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Tove Jansson, Alan Turing, Michelangelo, Martina Navratilova, Tchaikovsky, Vikram Seth, Yotam Ottolenghi, Johanna Sigurðardóttir, Ellen DeGeneres & 38 more!
Narwhal’s Otter Friend by Ben Clanton ($15, HB)
There’s nothing like a series to get kids on the reading trail! This is the first in a wonderfully silly, full-colour, early graphic novel series that stars Narwhal, a happy-go-lucky narwhal, and Jelly, a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. These three short stories and a super fun ocean fact page—and joke page too is the perfect first book for young readers, just moving on from picture books, discovering the joys of friendship, working together & the power of imagination.
fiction 8 & under
Geronimo Stilton Reporter #4 The Mummy With No Name ($15, HB)
When reports of a mummy terrorizing the New Mouse City Museum flood the phone lines, Geronimo Stilton, editor-in-chief of the Rodent’s Gazette, is on the job! Geronimo is certain there is a logical explanation to all this, seeks to debunk the theory and prove that there’s no mummy. Will Geronimo get wrapped up in more than he can handle? Is he about to become ancient history? Is there something, or someone, really lurking in the shadows of the New Mouse City Museum?
Dog Man #8: Fetch 22 by Dav Pilkey ($17, HB)
From the hilarious Dav Pilkey comes Dog Man 8, which sees Petey the Cat out of jail with a brand-new lease on life. While Petey’s reevaluated what matters most, Li’l Petey is struggling to find the good in the world. Can Petey and Dog Man stop fighting like cats and dogs long enough to put their paws together and work as a team? They need each other now more than everLi’l Petey (and the world) is counting on them!
The Great Escape: Wolf Girl 2 by Anh Do (ill) Jeremy Ley ($15, PB)
fiction 8 to 12 teen fiction
I held onto the bars of the truck and howled to my dogs as they fell further and further behind. Sunrise, Brutus, Zip, Nosey and Tiny all ran as hard as they could, but there was no way they could keep up. After four years alone in the wild, Gwen is overjoyed to see another person. But when she is thrown into the back of a van and stolen away to a prison camp, things don’t look good. How will her pack find her? Where is her human family? Will the other kids in the camp be friends or enemies? Luckily, Eagle is fast, the dogs are brave, and bars and fences are no match for the one and only Wolf Girl!
Monster Nanny by Tuutikki Tolonen (ill) Pasi Pitkanen ($17, PB)
Halley, Koby & Mimi have been sent a nanny to look after them while their parents are away. But their nanny is a monster! Grah is enormous, hairy, dusty & doesn’t talk. As the 3 siblings search for answers, they discover that other neighbourhood kids have also been left with similar creatures. So where did they all come from? With no parents around and the fate of their new nanny at stake, the Hellman kids must depend on each other as they solve the mystery of the monsters— and maybe even help them get back to their home. Finnish author Tuutikki Tolonen received the Arvid Lydecken prize for this ‘Mary Poppins meets Where the Wild Things Are’ outing.
Boy Who Made the World Disappear by Ben Miller (ill) Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini ($20, HB)
New from Ben Miller—comedian, actor and author of the popular The Night I Met Father Christmas. Harrison tries his best to be good. He doesn’t steal, he always shares with his sister and he never cheats at board games, but Harrison also has a BIG flaw—he can’t control his temper! So when he’s given a black hole instead of a balloon at a party, Harrison jumps at the chance to get rid of everything that makes him cross. But when it’s not just things he hates that are disappearing into the black hole but things he loves, too, Harrison starts to realise that sometimes you should be careful what you wish for. An out-of-this-world adventure about twists of fate, time travel and troublesome black holes.
19 Love Songs by David Levithan ($20, PB)
A resentful member of a high school Quiz Bowl team with an unrequited crush. A Valentine’s Day in the life of Every Day’s protagonist ‘A’. A return to the characters of Two Boys Kissing. Born from David Levithan’s tradition of writing a story for his friends each Valentine’s Day, this exciting new collection brings all of them to his readers for the first time. With fiction, nonfiction, and a story in verse.
The Shadowglass: Bone Witch #3 by Rin Chupeco ($18, PB)
Tea is a bone witch who possesses the dark magic needed to raise the dead. She has used this magic to breathe life into those she has loved & lost—those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass—to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world—threatens to consume her heart. And when she is left with new blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a power greater than the elder asha, or even her conscience. A very exciting conclusion to this series. Awesome & dark YA fantasy. (Elissa)
Infinity Son by Adam Silvera ($20, PB)
Growing up in New York, brothers Emil & Brighton have always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day. Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be. This is a promising beginning to a new series. (Elissa)
Food, Health & Garden
The XX Brain by Lisa Mosconi ($33, PB)
Until now, medical research has focused on ‘bikini medicine’, assuming that women are essentially men with breasts and tubes. The XX Brain reveals how the two powerful X chromosomes that distinguish women from men affect women’s brains. Taking on all aspects of women’s health, including brain fog, memory lapses, depression, stress, insomnia, hormonal imbalances & the increased risk of dementia, Dr Lisa Mosconi introduces cutting-edge, evidence-based approaches to protect the female brain, including diet & lifestyle strategies proven to work for women. She also examines the controversies about hormonal replacement therapy & soy, the perils of environmental toxins, and gut health.
Man Raises Boy by Rob Sturrock ($30, PB)
Through extensive research & interviews with dads doing it differently—including Tony Sheldon, Adam Liaw & Bernie Shakeshaft— Rob Sturrock explores a new era of fathering that balances strength & vulnerability, allowing men to voice their insecurities & uncertainties, and encouraging them to truly cherish their families. His book is at once an insightful & necessary call to arms for all new fathers, a guiding hand in the maze of love, guilt, anxiety & joy in fatherhood—and an ordinary dad’s beautifully moving love letter to his son.
Heavily Meditated by Caitlin Cady ($30, HB)
This down-to-earth guide to meditation shows you: What meditation is; 5 fundamental meditation techniques (and which one is right for you); Where, when and how to sit; How to deal with thoughts; Why meditation is so damn good for you; How to measure your meditation practice; How to set goals and get hooked on meditation; How to upgrade your practice from habit to ritual. Filled with exercises, worksheets, cheat sheets and other practical tools, as well as relatable personal stories to light your way.
Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World by Carolyn Steel ($35, PB)
How can we lead healthy & ethical lives in a world where cheap, poorly produced food is the norm? How do we reform the production and distribution of food to avoid irrevocable climate change? What role will mind-blowing technological advances play in the future? From our foraging hunter-gatherer ancestors to the enormous appetites of modern cities, food has shaped our bodies & homes, our politics & trade, and our climate. Whether it’s the daily decision of what to eat, or the monopoly of industrial food production, food touches every part of our world. But by forgetting its value, we have drifted into a way of life that threatens our planet & ourselves. Drawing on insights from philosophy, history, architecture, literature, politics & science, as well as stories of the farmers, designers & economists who are remaking our relationship with food, Carolyn Steel offers a vision for change.
We Need to Talk About Mum & Dad by Jean Kittson
This warm & witty practical guide is a one-stop shop for information on how to support your ageing loved ones: Navigate the bureaucratic maze while remaining sane; Understand what is needed for your elder’s health & wellbeing & how to get it, especially in a medical emergency; Survive the avalanche of legal papers & official forms; Choose the best place for them to live—home, retirement village, residential aged care, or granny & grandpa flat—and help your elders relocate with love & respect. Jean Kittson shares heartfelt stories & clear facts alongside wonderful cartoons from Patrick Cook. ($35, PB)
Plants for the People by Erin Lovell Verinder
An exploration of the plant world through the eyes of a master herbalist, this book weaves ancient wisdom with a modern approach to plant medicine. This is a beginner’s guide to using plants to restore vitality & a general sense of wellbeing, with recipes for easy-to-make teas, tinctures, syrups, balms & baths. Throughout there are golden tips & tonics for addressing common ailments such as bloating, bad skin, lack of energy, winter coughs & colds, jangling nerves & many other present-day complaints. ($40, HB)
Grow Your Soil! by Diane Miessler
It is possible to create & maintain rich, dark, crumbly soil that’s teeming with life, using very few inputs & a no-till, no-fertiliser approach. Certified permaculture designer & lifelong gardener Diane Miessler presents the science of soil health in an engaging, entertaining voice geared for the backyard grower. She shares techniques including cover crops, constant mulching, & a simple-but-supercharged recipe for compost tea—to transform her own landscape from a roadside dump for broken asphalt to a garden that stops traffic, starting from the ground up. ($28, PB)
Modern Container Gardening by Isabelle Palmer
Learn how to make the most of every little space—Isabelle Palmer shows how to make a garden in a day, weekend projects, one-pot wonders, window boxes & finishing touches. Her book features 20 projects with a mix of small gardens, singular containers and window boxes, all of which are stylish and easy to manage. ($30 , PB)
Japanese in 7 by Kimiko Barber ($35, PB)
Kimiko Barber uses just 7 ingredients or fewer to make deliciously fragrant dishes like Yellowtail Sashimi, Hand-rolled Sushi & Japanese-style Duck Orange, Dashi-rolled Omelette & Tuna Hotpot, Japanese Onion Soup & Savoury Egg Tofu, Grilled Aubergine in Miso Soup & Mushroom Rice, Moon Udon, Chicken & Miso Porridge or Sea Bream Rice, and desserts such as Matcha Jelly, Kyoto Tiramisu & Black Sesame Ice Cream, plus basics like Dashi & flavoursome dressings.
The Irish Cookbook by Jp McMahon ($65, HB) Jp McMahon dispels the myths surrounding Irish cuisine, delving into the country’s culinary history & its varied influences, from Viking settlers to French conquerors. Ireland enjoys a rich food heritage dating back thousands of years, and as McMahon says, its food is the summation of what the land & sea gives, and nothing more. Through 450 recipes, he celebrates the heritage & quality of Ireland’s ingredients, from oysters & seaweed on its West Coast to beef & lamb from its pastures, and mushrooms, elderflowers & rose hips foraged from the hedgerows. New Feast: Modern Middle Eastern Vegetarian by Greg & Lucy Malouf ($40, HB)
While vegetables are the stars in this compact hardcover, the Malouf’s recipes have variety with a selection of grains, legumes, couscous and rice, plus breads, butters, dips & preserves, and an enticing assortment of fruit-focused ice creams, puddings, pastries and cakes. Think Winter tabbouleh; Eggplant pilaf with yoghurt & zhoug; Charred corncobs with almondsaffron butter; Spicy red hummus & Orange baklava cigars.
Vegan JapanEasy by Tim Anderson ($40, HB)
Tim Anderson taps into Japan’s rich culture of cookery that’s already vegan or very nearly vegan, so there are no sad substitutes & zero shortcomings on taste. From classics like Vegetable Tempura, Onigiri, Mushroom Gyoza & Agedashi Tofu, to clever vegan conversions including Cauliflower Katsu Curry, French Onion Ramen & Mapo Tofu with Ancient Grains. Add to that some outrageously good drinks & desserts, like the Watermelon Mojito & Soy Sauce Butterscotch Brownies, and you’ll be spoilt for choice!
The Curry Guy Light by Dan Toombs ($25, HB)
Dan Toombs has developed a new, lighter version of his classic base sauce, and created lower-cal versions of curry house classics, including starters like onion bhajis & spicy hot chicken wings, indulgent Goan prawn curry, chicken tikka masala & saag paneer, your favourite sides such as tarkaa dhal & coconut rice, plus chutneys & snacks. All lower in carbs & calories, fat & salt than most other Indian recipes without lacking flavour.
James Martin’s Islands to Highlands ($50, HB)
James Martin travels from Islands to Highlands, cooking and eating everywhere from Cornwall to Scilly, Jersey and Guernsey, Isle of Man to Shetland, the Peak District, Lake District and Yorkshire Moors, and from Wales to Skye. He takes advantage of the best ingredients Britain has to offer in these 80 recipes, making Poached Turbot with a Creamy Herb Sauce on a boat in Guernsey, BBQ Pork Burgers on the Isle of Man, traditional Singing Hinnies in Northumberland—and dishes like Hoisin Duck on beautiful St Martin’s in the Isles of Scilly.
Easy Keto Dinners by Pete Evans ($27, PB)
With an easy-to-understand explanation of how & why to go keto & more than 60 family-friendly recipes—whether you are just starting out on a ketogenic diet or looking to add more delicious keto dinners to your menu, these are great tasting simple recipes that will help you reap the many benefits of ketosis. Recipes include: The ultimate keto bolognese; Pork and bacon burger patties; Meatzza (pizza with a meat base); Chicken kiev; Lamb backstrap with gremolata; Mexican chicken with roasted pumpkin and guac; Wild salmon curry; Southern fried chicken; Pulled pork lettuce tacos & many more.
Beatrix Bakes by Natalie Paull ($45, HB)
While Natalie Paull’s creations are inspired by classics the world over, but in Beatrix Bakes she delights in showing readers that once they get the foundations right the truest magic will come from a willingness to play. The recipes are divided across eight chapters: Doughs, pastries & crusts; Tarts, pies, a crostata & a galette; The cake list; One in the hand; Yeasted bakes; Fruit-full; Creams, custards, fillings, glazes and buttercreams; and Finishing touches. The book includes ‘Adaptrix’ suggestions (offering ways you might do things differently, including short cuts) & is peppered with infographics to help you follow your baking heart. Try The Cheesecake (That You Will Love The Most) with a crumb base, or a bought biscuit base, or no base, or a sponge base, or even a failed cookie base!
Events r Calenda
out! Don’t miss gleemail! Sign up for ks weekly The gleeboo pdate. u email events u books.com.a asims@glee
Launch—3.30 for 4 Cameron Archer
The Magic Valley Launcher: Prof. Phillip Cox AO This is a detailed study compiled over 40 years living & working in the Paterson Valley. It analyses the relationship between humans & their environment, starting with the impacts of Aboriginal land management & how this unwittingly benefitted the Europeans & their herds & flocks.
Launch—3.30 for 4
She I Dare in conv. with Su Donna Ward descr to live in a world b couples & families. her pages is the w bachelor, or any o ter, contends with stigma of bei
Event—6 for 6.30
Oil Under Troubled Water in conv with Kerry O’Brien Bernard Collaery relates the sordid history of Australian government dealings with East Timor, and how the actions of both major political parties have enriched Australia & its corporate allies at the expense of its tiny neighbour & wartime ally, one of the poorest nations in the world.
We Can’t Say W in conv. with R Sophie McNeill some of the mos oppressive places o these stories & exa pens when evidenc subjective & deb and why disinfor & hypocrisy now
The Woman Who C in con with Am
This updated edit new chapter that e research demonstr impact of cognitive dents’ brains, plus that show how the gram has transfo offers a list of sc that have embrac
Party A in conv with A How did Labor lo election? From the dirt units to the r Clive Palmer, Sam covers the secret h fiasco, the untold s Morrison’s
The Colour of Things Unseen Launcher: Gail Jones The Colour of Things Unseen by Annee Lawrence is a deeply felt love story between people—of different nations, cultures and religions—and about the spaces where love & recognition may fail, yet still be recovered.
31 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.
All events listed are $12/$9 concession. Book Launches are free. Gleeclub members free entry to events at 49 Glebe Pt Rd
Events are held upstairs at #49 Glebe Point Road unless otherwise noted. Bookings—Phone: (02) 9660 2333, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Online: www.gleebooks.com.au/events
—6 for 6.30 a Ward
Event—6 for 6.30 Andrew Wear
Launch—6 for 6.30 Robin Grille
Launch—3.30 for 4 Vrasidas Karalis
e Not Name usan Wyndham ribes what it is like built in the shape of . Rippling through way a spinster, or a of us for that math the prejudice & ing different.
Solved! in conv with Jonathan Pearlman Policy adviser Andrew Wear examines what has worked around the world & how we can apply the lessons at home, introducing community leaders, renowned authorities and visionary policymakers transforming the globe.
Inner Child Journeys In conversation with Jessica Perini Deep inside us all there is a source of answers to our most troubling parenting issues. Inner Child Journeys is a user-friendly handbook to help you locate this inner wellspring of natural wisdom.
Glebe Point Road Blues Launcher: David Brooks Vrasidas Karalis depicts the quirky microcosm of social outcasts & eccentric individuals with a metaphysical twist. This is the imaginative recreation of the experience of living on Glebe Point Road, in Sydney for over thirty years in prose and verse.
—6 for 6.30 McNeill
13 Launch—6 for 6.30
We Didn’t Know Rawan Arraf has reported on st war-ravaged & on earth. She tells amines what hapce & facts become batable, and how rmation, impunity w reign supreme.
—6 for 6.30 wsmith-Young
Changed Her Brain manda Hooton
tion of includes a examines the latest rating the positive e exercises on stus new case studies e Arrowsmith Proormed lives—and chools worldwide ced the program.
—6 for 6.30 a Maiden
Animals Annabel Crabb ose the unlosable e dark arts of the role of billionaire mantha Maiden unhistory of a Labor story behind Scott s ‘miracle’.
Freedom Lost: A history of newspapers, journalism and press censorship In conv. with Quentin Dempster In this epic collection of essays, Robert Pullan tells the lives of the poets, preachers, drunks, gunmen and genius-editors who shaped Australian press history and battled the censorship ogre.
Event—6 for 6.30
Truganini in conv with Tim Rowse Cassandra Pybus’s ancestors told a story of an old Aboriginal woman who would wander across their farm on Bruny Island, in south-east Tasmania, in the 1850s and 1860s. This woman was Truganini, and that Truganini was walking over the country of her clan, the Nuenonne.
21 Launch—6 for 6.30
27 Event—6 for 6.30 Julia Baird
Phosphorescence in conv. with Annabel Crabb
At: Harold Park Community Hall - Tramsheds
A beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find and nurture within ourselves that essential quality of internal happiness—the ‘light within’.
Behind My Smile: A true story of an author, a broken spirit, and a healer Launcher: Dr Mark Cross This is a candid account of Beryl Seger’s healing journey overcoming the stigma of mental breakdown. She shares details of the intensive work of clinical psychologist and energy medicine practitioner, Dr Geoffrey Lyons.
28 Launch—3.30 for 4
Dr Vassilis Adrahtas
20 Years with Nikos Panel with contributors The Sydney Branch of the International Society of Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis is 20 years old & is celebrating its achievements in promoting the work & thought of the most internationally well-known Greek writer.
Coming in April Event: Wed 1.4—David Kilcullen, The Dragons & the Snakes
Event: Wed 2.4—Margaret Simons, QE77: On Water, Drought, Food & Politics Launch: Wed 8.4—Michael Farrell, Family Trees Launch: Fri 17.4—John Percy, Dr Sam King, Keeping the Red Flag Flying Event: Thur 23.4—$15 event: L.A Larkin, Natalie Conyer & Mala Nunn Dazzling, Deadly – the allure of South African crime fiction for more events go to: http://www.gleebooks.com.au/bookings
Granny’s Good Reads with Sonia Lee This month I read The Anarchy by William Dalrymple and Richard III: The Self-Made King by Michael Hicks, but first, one for the locals. The Glebe Point Road Blues by Vrasidas Karalis is a celebration in prose and verse of the street and some of its most colourful identities. Gleebooks and Stephen are mentioned several times. Read the book and you might see yourself. Dalrymple’s The Anarchy charts the rise of the East India Company from a small trading venture to a huge joint-stock company with its own army. In the Battle of Plassey (1757) the Company defeated the French and gained control of Bengal, which it then plundered with consummate rapacity. The sainted Clive of India first appears as a delinquent thug in a small security outfit, while Warren Hastings, though personally fonder of India, was no less predatory. The deaths of three million Bengalis in the famine of 1770 forced the government to scrutinise the Company more closely and, after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, to take complete control of it. Dalrymple references documents in Persian and Urdu to describe the brilliant Mughal general Najaf Khan and the canny Maratha Confederacy statesman Mahadji Scindia, over whom the future Duke of Wellington won a decisive victory in 1803. All of these come alive in Dalrymple’s pages, as does the French soldier who held shares in the Company even as he fought against it. My favourite among all of these is the tragic Mughal emperor Shah Alam, who saw the Persians sack Delhi, then survived an assassination plot and blinding, only to live out his few remaining years in the Red Fort as the Company’s pensioner. Dalrymple uses historic Indian paintings as some of his sources and these are beautifully reproduced. A must-read, especially for anyone wondering whether, post-Brexit, Britain might end up in its own Red Fort. I’ve been prejudiced in favour of Richard III (1452–1485) ever since reading, many years ago, Josephine Tey’s novel Daughter of Time. So I thought it might be as well to see what a professional historian such as Michael Hicks now says about England’s last medieval king. Richard was the younger brother of Edward IV and from the age of sixteen was employed in subduing the Scots and keeping the North onside. When Edward IV died in 1483 he left a 12 year-old heir Edward V, who was allowed to be king for just 78 days before disappearing, after which his uncle Richard proclaimed himself king. Though it would obviously have been in Richard’s interest to get rid of Edward V and his younger brother (the ‘princes in the Tower’), his guilt has never been conclusively shown. On becoming king in 1483 Richard had modest success in carrying out some reforms, including tax relief, but was defeated in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth by Henry Tudor (subsequently Henry VII), who had come over from France for the purpose with a mercenary army. Though Richard was a poor tactician, he was not helped by his supporters, some of whom remained on the edge of the battlefield until they saw which way things were going. In the end he staked everything on the last desperate stand which saw him killed—and the crown, which he had worn into battle, taken from his head and given to Henry. Hicks’s Richard III is a well -researched biography which nicely illuminates the final years of medieval England. And since they discovered his skeleton under a car park in Leicester in 2012, they have finally given Richard respectful burial. I grew up in Lismore, a town built on a flood plain, where frequent floods are exacerbated by the destruction of surrounding forests, so I was drawn to Margaret Cook’s A River with a City Problem—a history of Brisbane’s floods. Local aboriginal tribes were ignored when they warned the early inhabitants of Brisbane not to build too close to the river. At one stage there was a proposal to have wide boulevards along the river frontage to act as a flood buffer but Governor Gipps said not to bother as the place would never be more than a small village. A series of devastating floods resulted in the construction of the dams and flood walls which were supposed to fix the problem but ultimately failed. A recent class action has awarded compensation to victims of the 2011 Brisbane flood, which has concentrated everyone’s minds wonderfully. Local and state governments are at last starting to think hard about zonings, while insurance companies are baulking at giving cover in some places. Watch this space. Finally, a few words in praise of The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson. A genial guide, he reveals all the marvels of the human body. We are a walking, talking catalogue of wonders and Bryson urges us to look after ourselves by eating a bit less and moving a bit more. And, he adds, don’t be an American because their mortality figures are so poor: they eat too much and eat the wrong things, they love guns, and their expensive health system leaves too many people without adequate health care. The book is full of fascinating and surprising information, and readers will love his concluding sentence. Sonia
QE77: Margaret Simons on water, drought, food and politics ($23, PB)
The Murray-Darling Basin is the food bowl of Australia, and it’s in trouble. What does this mean for the future—for water & food, and for the people & towns that depend on it? Margaret Simons takes a trip through the basin, all the way from Queensland to South Australia. She shows that its plight is environmental but also economic, and enmeshed in ideology & identity, in an essay that is both a portrait of the Murray-Darling Basin & an explanation of its woes. It looks at rural Australia & the failure of political processes over the last few generations to meet the needs of communities forced to bear the heaviest burden of change. It considers corruption & resource politics, drought & climate change.
Truganini: Journey through the apocalypse by Cassandra Pybus ($33, PB)
Cassandra Pybus’s ancestors told a story of an old Aboriginal woman who would wander across their farm on Bruny Island, in SE Tasmania, in the 1850s & 1860s. This woman was Truganini— walking over the country of her clan, the Nuenonne. For nearly 7 decades, Truganini lived through an extreme psychological & cultural shift—but her life was much more than a regrettable tragedy. Pybus has examined the original eyewitness accounts to write her story in full. Hardly more than a child, Truganini managed to survive the devastation of the 1820s, when the clans of SE Tasmania were all but extinguished. She spent 5 years on a journey around Tasmania with George Augustus Robinson, the self-styled missionary who was collecting the survivors to send them into exile on Flinders Island—Truganini becoming an international icon for the so-called extinction of the original people of Tasmania.
Bone and Beauty: The Ribbon Boys’ Rebellion of 1830 by J. M. Thompson ($33, PB)
October 1830. Rebelling from years of maltreatment & starvation, a band of Ribbon Boys liberate 80 convicts from Bathurst farms & lead them inland towards freedom. Governor Darling, fearing that others would also rise up, sends the 39th Regiment in pursuit. 3 bloody battles follow, but to whom will justice be served? J. M. Thompson fuses archival evidence & narrative technique to tell the gripping story of the Ribbon Boys and their reputed leader Ralph Entwistle revealing the influence of Irish secret societies, the scale of oppression & corruption, and the complex web of criminal & family relationships behind these events.
Solved! How other countries have cracked the world’s biggest problems & we can too by Andrew Wear ($30, PB)
Denmark will reach 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030. Iceland has topped gender equality rankings for a decade & counting. Singaporean students beat almost all others in maths & reading. South Koreans will soon live longer than anyone else on Earth. The US city of Boston, global epicentre of biotech, has the most innovative square mile on the planet. Policy adviser Andrew Wear examines what has worked around the world and how we can apply the lessons in Australia, introducing inspiring community leaders, renowned authorities & visionary policymakers transforming the globe. This is a much-needed dose of optimism in an atmosphere of doom and gloom, a toolkit for those seeking social change. Informative & accessible Wear shows the solutions exist—we just need to know where to find them.
Party Animals: The secret history of a Labor fiasco by Samantha Maiden ($35, PB)
Secrets, lies, lawyers & covert recordings. If you thought the 2019 election was just about a death tax that didn’t exist, you’re in for a surprise. From the dark arts of the dirt units to the role of billionaire Clive Palmer, this is the untold story of an election debacle. The Labor Party was the unbeatable favourite to win the 2019 election right up until the polls closed & voters delivered the surprise verdict. If the results staggered pundits, they also shocked Bill Shorten & his front bench, who had spent the final weeks of the campaign carefully planning for their first days in office. Samantha Maiden uncovers the secret history of a Labor fiasco, the untold story behind Scott Morrison’s miracle.
‘I Wonder’: The Life and Work of Ken Inglis Peter Browne & Seumas Sparke (eds) ($39.95, PB)
During a scholarly career spanning nearly seven decades, Ken Inglis’ humane, questioning approach was summed up by the recurring query, ‘I wonder…’ Whether he was writing about religion, the media, nationalism, the ‘civil religion’ of Anzac, a subject he made his own, or collaborating on monumental histories of Australia or the remarkable men aboard the Dunera, Inglis brought wit, erudition & originality to the study of Australian history. Alongside his history writing, he pioneered press criticism in Australia, contributed journalism to magazines and newspapers, and served as vice-chancellor of the fledgling University of PNG. This collection of essays traces the life & work of this much-loved historian and observer of Australia life.
Our Right to Take Responsibility by Noel Pearson
Noel Pearson’s seminal book is a searing, clear-eyed analysis of the disastrous effects of long-term welfare dependency on Aboriginal society. Both original and deeply contentious, it fundamentally changed the discourse as well as the direction of Indigenous affairs policy, and has joined the canon of Australian social & political writing. This 20th anniversary edition contains an incisive new introduction from Pearson, that highlights how little has changed and how far we still have to go. ($25, PB)
British India, White Australia by Dr Kama Maclean ($40, PB)
‘Commonwealth, curry and cricket’ has become the belaboured phrase by which Australia seeks to emphasise its shared colonial heritage with India and improve bilateral relations in the process. Yet it is misleading because the legacy of empire differs in profound ways in both countries. The White Australia Policy was firmly in place while both countries were part of the British Empire. Australia was nominally self-governing while India was driven by the desire for independence. The racist immigration policies of dominions like Australia, and Britain’s inability to reform them, further animated nationalist sentiments in India. Kama Maclean calls for more meaningful dialogue about & acknowledgment of the constraints placed upon Indians in Australia & those attempting to immigrate. Indians are now the fastest-growing group of migrants in Australia, yet their presence has a long history, as told in this book.
The Colonial Kangaroo Hunt by Ken Gelder & Rachael Weaver ($40, PB)
The kangaroo hunt worked as a rite of passage & an expression of settler domination over native species & land. But it also enabled settlers to begin to comprehend the complexity of bush ecology, raising early concerns about species extinction and the need for conservation and the preservation of habitat. From the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1770 to classic children’s tale Dot and the Kangaroo, Ken Gelder & Rachael Weaver examine hunting narratives in novels, visual art & memoirs to discover how the kangaroo became a favourite quarry, a relished food source, an object of scientific fascination, and a source of violent conflict between settlers & Aboriginal people.
Law, Politics and Intelligence: A life of Robert Hope by Peter Edwards ($50, HB)
NSW Supreme Court Judge, Robert Marsden Hope (1919–99), shaped the structures, operations & doctrines of Australia’s intelligence agencies more than any other individual. Commissioned by 3 Prime Ministers to conduct major inquiries, including two royal commissions, Justice Hope prescribed the structures, legislation, operational doctrines, and national & international arrangements that would ensure Australia had agencies that were effective in countering threats to its security, while also being fully accountable to the government, the law & the parliament. This biography is also a history of Australia’s environmental policies, adds significantly to the debate on judges acting as Royal Commissioners, and contains new insights into the appointment of High Court and Supreme Court judges, as well as the dismissal of the Whitlam Government.
Pathfinders: A history of Aboriginal trackers in NSW by Michael Bennett ($35, PB)
With skills passed down over millennia, trackers could trace the movements of people across vast swathes of country. Celebrated as saviours of lost children & disoriented adults, and finders of missing livestock, they were also cursed by robbers on the run. Trackers live in the collective memory as one of the few examples of Aboriginal people’s skills being sought after in colonial society. In New South Wales alone, more than a thousand Aboriginal men & a smaller number of women toiled for authorities across the state after 1862. This book tells the often unlikely stories of trackers including Billy Bogan, Jimmy Governor, Tommy Gordon, Frank Williams and Alec Riley. Michael Bennett’s book brings the skilled & diverse work of trackers not only to the forefront of law enforcement history but to the general shared histories of black and white Australia.
Does the media fail Aboriginal political aspirations? by Thomas, Jakubowicz & Norman
For too long Australia’s media has failed to communicate Aboriginal political aspirations. This study of key Aboriginal initiatives seeking self-determination & justice reveals a history of media procrastination & denial. A team of Aboriginal & non-Aboriginal researchers examine 45 years of media responses to these initiatives, from the 1972 Larrakia petition to the Queen seeking land rights & treaties, to the desire for recognition expressed in the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart. This analysis exposes how the media frames stories, develops discourses & supports deeper historical narratives that corrode & undermine the intent & urgency of Aboriginal aspirations, through approaches ranging from sympathetic stalling to patronising parodies. This book will be of value to media professionals, Aboriginal communities testing media truth-telling & anyone seeking to understand how Aboriginal desires & hopes have been expressed, and represented, in recent Australian political history. ($39.95, PB)
Contest for the Indo-Pacific: Why China Won’t Map the Future by Rory Medcalf ($33, PB)
The Indo-Pacific is both a place & an idea. It is the region central to global prosperity & security. It is also a metaphor for collective action. If diplomacy fails, it will be the theatre of the first general war since 1945. But if its future can be secured, the Indo-Pacific will flourish as a shared space, the centre of gravity in a connected world. The name of a region is a mental map that guides the decisions of leaders & the story of international order, war & peace. In recent years, the label ‘Indo-Pacific’ has gained wide use among the leaders of the US, India, Japan, Australia, Indonesia & France. But what does it really mean? Rory Metcalf offers the definitive guide to tensions in the region—deftly weaving together history, geopolitics, cartography, military strategy, economics, games & propaganda to address the question—how can China’s dominance be prevented without war?
Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty
The epic successor to Capital in the Twenty-First Century Thomas Piketty exposes the ideas that have sustained inequality for the past millennium, reveals why the shallow politics of right & left are failing us today, and outlines the structure of a fairer economic system. Our economy, Piketty observes, is not a natural fact. He explores the material & ideological interactions of conflicting social groups that have given us slavery, serfdom, colonialism, communism & hypercapitalism—concluding that the great driver of human progress over the centuries has been the struggle for equality & education & not, as often argued, the assertion of property rights or the pursuit of stability. The new era of extreme inequality that has derailed that progress since the 1980s, he shows, is partly a reaction against communism, but it is also the fruit of ignorance, intellectual specialization & our drift toward the dead-end politics of identity. ($79.99, HB) special price $69.99
The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Figueres & Rivett-Carnac ($28, PB)
In a passionate call to arms former UN Secretary for Climate Christiana Figures & Tom Rivett-Carnac, her UN political strategist outline two scenarios for our future: how life on Earth will be by 2050 if we fail to meet the Paris Agreement climate targets; or how it will look & feel to live in a carbon neutral, regenerative world. Each of us must confront the crisis head on, with determination & optimism. This practical & empowering book features ten things we can do today to make a difference.
How to be a Fascist by Michela Murgia ($15, PB)
Democracy is difficult, flawed & unstable. It involves barely distinguishable political parties engaging in lengthy, overcomplicated & expensive decision-making processes. Engaging so many people with political issues seems to lead only to complexity & disagreement. So why bother? Doesn’t fascism guarantee a more effective & efficient management of the state? In this short, ironic book Michela Murgia explores the logic that is attracting increasing numbers of voters to right-wing populism. Ending with a ‘fascistometer’ to measure the reader’s own authoritarian inclinations, she offers a refreshingly direct, polemical book that asks us to confront the fascist in our governments, in our societies & in our own minds.
City on Fire: The fight for Hong Kong by Antony Dapiran ($35, PB)
Through the long, hot summer of 2019, Hong Kong burned. Anti-government protests, sparked by a government proposal to introduce a controversial extradition law, grew into a pro-democracy movement that engulfed the city for months. Protesters fought street battles with police, and the unrest brought the PLA to the very doorstep of Hong Kong. Driven primarily by students & youth protesters with Bruce Lee’s ‘Be Water!’ philosophy, this leaderless, technology-driven protest movement defied a global superpower challenging China’s global standing. Antony Dapiran provides the first detailed account of the protests & looks at what the protests will mean for the future of Hong Kong, China & China’s place in the world.
New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism by Jeffrey D. Sachs ($34, PB)
The current turn toward nationalism & America first unilateralism in foreign policy will not make America great ‘again’. Jeffrey D. Sachs provides the blueprint for a new foreign policy that embraces global cooperation, international law & aspirations for worldwide prosperity—not nationalism & gauzy dreams of past glory. He argues that America’s approach to the world must shift from military might & wars of choice to a commitment to shared objectives of sustainable development. Sachs explores both the danger of the America first mindset & the possibilities for a new way forward, proposing timely & achievable plans to foster global economic growth, reconfigure the United Nations for the 21st century, and build a multipolar world that is prosperous, peaceful, fair & resilient.
How to Be a Bad Emperor: An Ancient Guide to Truly Terrible Leaders by Suetonius ($36, HB)
Nearly 2,000 years ago, Suetonius wrote Lives of the Caesars, perhaps the greatest negative leadership book of all time. In How to Be a Bad Emperor, Josiah Osgood provides crisp new translations of Suetonius’s darkly comic biographies of the Roman emperors Julius Caesar, Tiberius, Caligula & Nero. The stories of these ancient anti-role models show how power inflames leaders’ worst tendencies, causing almost incalculable damage. Complete with an introduction and the original Latin on facing pages, this is a both a gleeful romp through some of the nastiest bits of Roman history & a perceptive account of leadership gone monstrously awry.
The Beauty and the Terror: An Alternative History of the Italian Renaissance by Catherine Fletcher ($35, PB)
Many of the most celebrated artists & thinkers that have come to define the Renaissance—Leonardo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli & Castiglione—emerged not during the celebrated ‘rebirth’ of the 15th century but amidst the death & destruction of the 16th century. For decades, a series of savage wars dominated Italy’s political, economic & daily life, generating fortunes & new technologies, but also ravaging populations with famine, disease & slaughter. In this same short time, the birth of Protestantism, Spain’s colonisation of the Americas & the rise of the Ottoman Empire all posed grave threats to Italian power, while sparking debates about the ethics of government & enslavement, religious belief & sexual morality. Catherine Fletcher provides an enrapturing narrative history that brings all of this and more into view. Brimming with life, it takes us closer than ever before to the lived reality of this astonishing era and its meaning for today.
The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine by Rashid I. Khalidi ($50, HB)
The Balfour Declaration of 1917 promised the Jews a homeland where the Palestinians already lived. The 1917 capture of Jerusalem by British forces & the formalisation of British colonial power over what became Mandatory Palestine under the terms of the treaty of Versailles. That impossible arrangement continued until 1948 when it was ended by what Israelis call the War of Independence & the Palestinians the Nakba, or Tragedy. Following the Six Day War in 1967 & Israeli occupation of the West Bank & Gaza, the Palestinian story has been one of occupation & resistance. In this intensely personal history, Professor Khalidi interweaves voices like the 19th century Arab mayor of Jerusalem who predicted the coming conflict, nationalist writer & educator Muhammad ‘Izzat Darwaza, and leaders of the PLO including Faysal Husayni, Hanan Ashrawi & Yasser Arafat with his own account as a child of a UN official & a resident of Beirut during its 1982 siege.
The Stonemason: A History of Building Britain by Andrew Ziminski ($35, PB)
Andrew Ziminski is a stonemason living & working in what was ancient Wessex. He has 3 decades of hands-on experience with Britain’s tangible history—including raising stones at Stonehenge, the restoration of roman ruins in the City of Bath & work to save some of Britain’s most important medieval churches & cathedrals. The book begins with Ziminski 300 feet up Salisbury Cathedral, where he & his workmates are heaving new stone panels into place, taunted by the hoppy notes rising from the nearby brewery, and bombarded with debris by the nimbyish resident jackdaws. His work gives him a fascinating perspective on British history, nature & architecture, his book offers a unique account of life as a craftsman & of working on some of this Britain’s great monuments.
The Story of Greece & Rome by Tony Spawforth
Narratives about the ‘civilized’ Greek & Roman empires resisting the barbarians at the gate are far from accurate. Tony Spawforth follows the thread of civilization through more than 6 millennia of history— From the rise of the Mycenaean world of the sixteenth century BC, Spawforth traces a path through the ancient Aegean to the zenith of the Hellenic state & the rise of the Roman empire, the coming of Christianity & the consequences of the first caliphate. His story reveals that Greek & Roman civilization, to varying degrees, was supremely & surprisingly receptive to external influences, particularly from the East. ($30, PB)
Military Strategy: A Global History by Jeremy Black ($65, HB)
Jeremy Black takes a ‘total’ view of strategy, looking at leading powers—notably the United States, China, Britain and Russia —in the wider context of their competition and their domestic and international strengths. Ranging from France’s Ancien Régime and Britain’s empire building to present day conflicts in the Middle East, Black devotes particular attention to the strategic practice and decisions of the Kangxi Emperor, Clausewitz, Napoleon and Hitler.
Science & Nature
The Story of More by Hope Jahren ($23, PB)
Award-winning geobiologist Hope Jahren illuminates the link between human consumption habits & our imperilled planet. In short, highly readable chapters, she works through the science behind the key inventions—from electric power to large-scale farming & automobiles—showing that, even as they help us, release untenable amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. She explains the current & projected consequences of greenhouse gases—from superstorms to rising sea levels—and the actions that all of us can take to fight back. At once an explainer on the mechanisms of warming and a lively, personal narrative this is the essential pocket primer on climate change.
The Mathematics of the Gods and the Algorithms of Men: A Cultural History by Paolo Zellini Is mathematics a discovery or an invention? Have we invented numbers or do they truly exist? What sort of reality could we attribute to them? Mathematics has always been a way of understanding & ordering the world—from sacred ancient texts & preSocratic philosophers to 20th century logicians such as Russell & Frege & beyond. Mathematician & philosopher Paolo Zellini offers a brief cultural & intellectual history of mathematics, from ancient Greece to India to our contemporary obsession with algorithms, showing how mathematical thinking is inextricably linked with philosophical, existential & religious questions—and indeed with our cosmic understanding of the world. ($40, HB)
World According to Physics by Jim Al-Khalili
Shining a light on the most profound insights revealed by modern physics, Jim Al-Khalili invites us all to understand what this crucially important science tells us about the universe & the nature of reality itself. He begins by introducing the fundamental concepts of space, time, energy & matter, and then describes the 3 pillars of modern physics’ quantum theory, relativity & thermodynamics, showing how all three must come together if we are ever to have a full understanding of reality. Al-Khalili makes even the most enigmatic scientific ideas accessible and captivating. This breezy yet deeply insightful book illuminates why physics matters to everyone and calls one and all to share in the profound adventure of seeking truth in the world around us. ($37, HB)
Spacefarers: How Humans Will Settle the Moon, Mars & Beyond by Christopher Wanjek ($54, HB)
Christopher Wanjek delves into the practical challenges or plausible motives for leaving the safe confines of our home planet—arguing that there is little doubt we will be returning to the Moon & exploring Mars in the coming decades, given the potential scientific & commercial bonanza. Private industry is already taking a leading role and earning profits from human space activity. This can be, Wanjek suggests, a sustainable venture and a natural extension of earthbound science, business & leisure. He envisions hoteling in low-earth orbit & mining, tourism &science on the Moon. He also proposes the slow, steady development of science bases on Mars, to be followed by settlements if Martian gravity will permit reproduction & healthy child development. Wanjek introduces the planners—engineers, scientists & entrepreneurs—who are striving right now to make life in space a reality.
How to Walk on Water and Climb up Walls : Animal Movement and the Robots of the Future by David Hu ($30, PB)
Insects walk on water, snakes slither & fish swim. Animals move with astounding grace, speed & versatility: how do they do it, and what can we learn from them? David Hu takes a journey into the world of animal motion. From basement labs at MIT to the rain forests of Panama, he shows how animals have adapted & evolved to traverse their environments, taking advantage of physical laws with results that are startling & ingenious. In turn, the latest discoveries about animal mechanics are inspiring scientists to invent robots & devices that move with similar elegance & efficiency. Integrating biology, engineering, physics & robotics, Hu’s book demystifies the remarkable secrets behind animal locomotion.
The Last Giants: The Rise and Fall of the African Elephant by Levison Wood ($33, PB) Thirty years ago, Africa was home to a million elephants, today the figure stands at only half that. Meanwhile in the span of a lifetime, the human population has more than doubled. Explorer & photographer, Levison Wood explores the rapid decline of one of the world’s favourite animals. Filled with stories from his own time spent travelling with elephants in Africa, the book is a passionate wake-up call for this endangered species we take for granted. Levison wrote this book to inspire us all to act—to learn more and help save the species from permanent extinction.
Now in B Format & paperback Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking, $23 Siege of Acre, 1189-1191: Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, and the Battle That Decided the Third Crusade by John D. Hosler, $35
Philosophy & Religion
Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times by Jonathan Sacks ($33, PB)
In today’s world of cultural climate change, argues Jonathan Sacks, we have outsourced morality to the markets on the one hand, and to government on the other. Yet while the markets have brought wealth to many and the state has done much to contain the worst excesses of inequality, neither is capable of bearing the moral weight of showing us how to live. Talking to key modern influences & thinkers—including Jordan Peterson, Melinda Gates & David Brooks—and drawing inspiration from the Bible & the historical experience of the Jewish people, Sacks argues that there are 8 key factors in establishing, maintaining & passing on resilient moral values within a broad group, among them attitudes of lifelong learning & of thanksgiving, the importance of family life & community, and a culture of positive argument in place of destructive conflict.
Life: A User’s Manual — Philosophy for (Almost) Any Eventuality by Baggini & Macaro ($35, PB)
Ever felt as though life would be simpler if it came with an instruction manual? There are no easy answers to the big questions. And life does not follow a straight path from A to B. Since the beginning of time, people have asked questions about how they should live and, from Ancient Greece to Japan, philosophers have attempted to solve these questions for us. The timeless wisdom that they offer can help us to find our own path. Existential psychotherapist & philosophical counsellor Antonia Macaro & philosopher Julian Baggini cover topics such as bereavement, luck, free will & relationships, to guide you through what the greatest thinkers to ever walk the earth have to say on these subjects, from the Stoics to Sartre.
Blood Rush: The Dark History of a Vital Fluid by Jan Verplaetse ($35, HB)
As a young man Jan Verplaetse saw a hare suspended from a meat hook, skinned & gutted. What struck him so forcefully at the time was not the animal but the blood gently dripping from its mouth. His reaction prompted the start of a quest he undertakes in this book—to investigate our fascination with blood, the most vital of fluids. In his deeply researched and provocative narrative, Verplaetse moves from antiquity to the present, from magic to experimental psychology, from philosophy to religion & scientific discoveries, to demonstrate why blood both repels and attracts us.
Philosophies of India by Heinrich R. Zimmer
Since its first publication in 1951, Philosophies of India has been considered a monumental exploration of the foundations of Indian philosophy. This work examines such areas as the Buddhist Tantras, Buddhist Genesis, the Tantric presentation of divinity, the preparation of disciples & the meaning of initiation, and the symbolism of the mandala-palace Tantric ritual & twilight language. Zimmer also delves into the Tantric teachings of the inner Zodiac & the fivefold ritual symbolism of passion. Appendices, a bibliography, and general & Sanskrit indexes are included. Edited by Joseph Campbell. ($45, PB)
The Force of Nonviolence: An Ethico-Political Bind by Judith Butler ($30, HB)
Judith Butler argues that nonviolence is often misunderstood as a passive practice that emanates from a calm region of the soul, or as an individualist ethical relation to existing forms of power. But she considers nonviolence as an ethical problem within a political philosophy that requires a critique of individualism as well as an understanding of the psychosocial dimensions of violence. Butler draws on Foucault, Fanon, Freud & Benjamin to consider how the interdiction against violence fails to include lives regarded as ungrievable. She considers how ‘racial phantasms’ inform justifications of state & administrative violence, and tracks how violence is often attributed to those who are most severely exposed to its lethal effects. The struggle for nonviolence is found in movements for social transformation that reframe the grievability of lives in light of social equality & whose ethical claims follow from an insight into the interdependency of life as the basis of social & political equality.
Expanded Painting by Mark Titmarsh ($63, PB)
The relevance of painting has been questioned many times over the last century, by the arrival of photography, installation art & digital technologies. But rather than accept the death of painting, Mark Titmarsh traces a paradoxical interface between this art form & its opposing forces to define a new practice known as ‘expanded painting’. As the formal boundaries tumble, the being of painting expands to become a kind of total art incorporating all other media including sculpture, video and performance. Ethnologically painting is one of any number of activities that takes place within a culture. Art theory sees it as producing objects of interest for humanities disciplines. Ontologically, painting is understood as an object of aesthetic discourse that in turn reflects historical states of being. Thus, Expanded Painting delivers a new kind of saying, a post-aesthetic discourse that is attuned to an uncanny tension between the presence and absence of painting.
Psychology Think Tank: Forty Neuroscientists Explore the Biological Roots of Human Experience (ed) David J. Linden ($35, PB)
Neuroscientist David J. Linden approached leading brain researchers and asked each the same question: ‘What idea about brain function would you most like to explain to the world?’ Their responses make up this one-of-a-kind collection of essays that seeks to expand our knowledge of the human mind & its possibilities. The contributors, whose areas of expertise include human behaviour, molecular genetics, evolutionary biology & comparative anatomy, address a host of fascinating topics ranging from personality to perception, to learning, to beauty, to love & sex. The manner in which individual experiences can dramatically change our brains’ makeup is also explored.
Explaining Humans by Camilla Pang ($33, HB)
Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 8, Dr Camilla Pang struggled to understand the world around her. Desperate for a solution, Camilla asked her mother if there was an instruction manual for humans that she could consult. But, without the blueprint to life she was hoping for, Camilla began to create her own. Now armed with a PhD in Bioinformatics, Camilla dismantles our obscure social customs & identifies what it really means to be human using her unique expertise & a language she knows best—science. Through a set of scientific principles, her book examines life’s everyday interactions including: Decisions & the route we take to make them; Conflict & how we can avoid it; Relationships & how we establish them; Etiquette & how we conform to it.
The Power Of Suffering by David Roland
When our world is turned upside down, what does it do to us, how do we survive it, and, most importantly, how can we grow as a result? Psychologist David Roland takes the lived experience of 11 incredible people & follows them along each step of their journey from crisis through to acceptance & triumph. An executive tragically loses his family in a car crash & finds healing in the rehabilitation of wildlife, a teenage victim of domestic violence becomes a fierce advocate for abused women & brain-injured youth, a football superstar overcomes bigotry & dyslexia to forge a career in acting, a mother experiences the aching depth of love lost after her teenage child’s life is tragically cut short. Within each story, Roland draws on his own experience of life-altering trauma & clinical research to offer insights we all can gain from. ($33, PB)
Fighting Sleep: The War for the Mind and the US Military by Franny Nudelman ($33, HB)
During and after WWII, military psychiatrists used sleep therapies to treat an epidemic of traumatised soldiers who suffered from ‘combat fatigue’. Inducing deep & twilight sleep in clinical settings, they studied the effects of war violence on the mind & developed the techniques of brainwashing that would weaponise both memory & sleep. In the Vietnam era, radical veterans reclaimed the authority to interpret their own traumatic symptoms nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia & pioneered new methods of protest. Franny Nudelman recounts the struggle over sleep in the decades following WWII, arguing that the sleep of soldiers was instrumental to the development of military science, professional psychiatry, & anti-war activism.
Heart of Violence: Why People Harm Each Other by Paul Valent ($44, HB)
Violence is a plague that threatens us daily through domestic violence, criminal violence, sexual abuse, terrorism, state violence, revolution, war & genocide. Traumatology has described commonalities in the consequences of violence, but there has been no corresponding discipline of violentology, to explain why violence occurred in the first place. Paul Valent unpicks the minds of perpetrators in each field of violence, developing a lens by which to understand violence from individual to international, and from primitive to spiritual dimensions. From a child who survived the Holocaust, Valent ferrets out the minds of his perpetrators in his quest to prevent future violence. Violence, for Valent, is not an isolated feature of the human condition. Surprisingly close to violence are struggles for love.
The Power of Bad: And How to Overcome It by John Tierney & Roy F. Baumeister ($35, PB)
We are wired to react to bad over good. Negative bias makes sense in evolutionary terms, in the modern world it governs people’s moods, drives marketing & dominates our news. It can explain everything from why wars start or couples divorce, to why we mess up job interviews or feud with neighbours. Using smart strategies from new science, train your brain to get better at spotting negativity bias, fighting back with our rational minds to manage the bad in our lives.
Cultural Studies & Criticism
Our Bodies, Their Battlefield: A Woman’s View of War by Christina Lamb ($35, PB)
Though rape was formalised as an international war crime in 1919, the International Criminal Court has convicted no one. Christina Lamb has worked in war & combat zones for over 30 years. Her book tells the unheard stories of women in conflict, exposing how in modern warfare rape is used by armies, terrorists & militias as a weapon to humiliate, terrify and carry out ethnic cleansing. From SE Asia, where ‘comfort women’ were enslaved by the Japanese during WWII to the Rohingyas tied to banana trees and gang-raped by Burmese soldiers in 2017. From 1970s Bangladesh where hundreds of thousands of women were raped by Pakistani troops to boost the Punjabi population to 1990s Bosnia, where 20,000 women were forced into camps & sexual slavery by Serbian soldiers. The rapes of an estimated quarter of a million Tutsi women during the Rwandan genocide; the devastating wake of an Argentinian junta; Yazidi women & children enslaved by ISIS, the 219 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014. Bearing witness does not guarantee it won’t happen again, but it can eliminate any excuse that the world simply didn’t know.
The Bilingual Brain: And What it Tells Us about the Science of Language by Albert Costa ($45, HB)
What exactly does it mean for 2 languages to coexist in the same brain? How do babies exposed to different languages differentiate between them? And how does cognitive decline affect the two languages? Bilingualism is quickly becoming the rule rather than the exception as more than half of the world’s population is able to communicate in more than one language. Albert Costa guides you through the latest research exploring the many fascinating questions raised by bilingualism—from how children exposed to two different languages determine between them, to how bilingualism influences our decisions. Filled with memorable examples from cutting-edge studies, Costa shows that bilingualism can help us better understand how language works.
Cold Warriors by Duncan White ($55, HB)
Destruction may have been merely the press of a button away, but the real Cold War battle between East & West was over the minds & hearts of their people. In this arena the pen really was mightier than the sword. This is the story of how literature changed the course of the Cold War just as much as how Cold War would change the course of literature. Duncan White explores the ways in which authors were harnessed by both East & West to impose maximum damage on the opposition; how writers played a pivotal role (sometimes consciously, often not) in the conflict; and how literature became something that was worth fighting & dying for. With a cast that includes George Orwell, Arthur Koestler, Graham Greene, Boris Pasternak, Andrei Sinyavsky, Mary McCarthy and John le Carre, & taking the reader from Spain to America to England and to Russia, this is narrative history most pertinent—because even if on the face of it there is a huge difference between 140 characters & 100,000 words, at the heart of both is the power of stories to change the fate of nations.
White Flights : Race, Fiction & the American Imagination by Jess Row ($29, PB)
In a meditation on whiteness in American fiction & culture from the end of the civil rights movement to the present, Jess Row ties ‘white flight’—the movement of white Americans into segregated communities, whether in suburbs or newly gentrified downtowns— to white writers setting their stories in isolated or emotionally insulated landscapes, from the mountains of Idaho in Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping to the claustrophobic households in Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections. Row uses close readings of work from well-known writers such as Don DeLillo, Annie Dillard, Richard Ford & David Foster Wallace to examine the ways these & other writers have sought imaginative space for themselves at the expense of engaging with race. Row looks beyond criticism to consider writing as a reparative act. What would it mean, he asks, if writers used fiction ‘to approach each other again’? He turns to the work of James Baldwin, Dorothy Allison & James Alan McPherson to discuss interracial love in fiction, and examines his own family heritage as a way to interrogate his position.
Now in B Format Mouth Full of Blood: Essays, Speeches, Meditations by Toni Morrison, $23 Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez, $20
All Our Relations: Indigenous trauma in the shadow of colonialism by Tanya Talaga ($28, PB)
From Northern Ontario to Nunavut, Norway, Brazil, Australia & the US, the Indigenous experience in colonised nations is startlingly similar—an experience marked by the violent separation of Peoples from the land, the separation of families, and the separation of individuals from traditional ways of life, culminating in a spiritual separation that has had an enduring impact on generations of Indigenous children. Too many communities today lack access to the basic determinants of health—income, employment, education, a safe environment, health services—leading to a mental health & youth suicide crisis on a global scale. But, Talaga reminds us, First Peoples also share a history of resistance, resilience & civil rights activism, from the Occupation of Alcatraz led by the Indians of All Tribes, to the Northern Ontario Stirland Lake Quiet Riot, to the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline—her book is a powerful call for action, justice & a better, more equitable world for all Indigenous Peoples.
We Can’t Say We Didn’t Know by Sophie McNeill
For more than 15 years, journalist Sophie McNeill has reported on some of the most war-ravaged & oppressive places on earth, including Syria, Gaza, Yemen, West Bank & Iraq. In this book McNeill tells the human stories behind the headlines—of children, families & refugees, of valiant doctors, steadfast dissidents & Saudi women seeking asylum. These innocent civilians bear the brunt of the lawlessness of the current age of impunity, where war crimes go unpunished & human rights are abused. Many risk everything they know to stand up for what they believe in & to be on the right side of history, and their courage is extraordinary & inspiring, McNeill also examines what happens when evidence & facts become subjective & debatable, and how & why disinformation, impunity & hypocrisy now reign supreme. We can’t say we didn’t know—the question now is, what are you going to do about it? ($35, PB)
Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists by Julia Ebner ($30, PB)
By day, Julia Ebner works at a counter-extremism think tank, monitoring radical groups from the outside. But 2 years ago, feeling she was only seeing half the picture, she decided to go undercover in her spare hours—adopting 5 different identities, and joining a dozen extremist groups from across the ideological spectrum. Her journey would take her from a Generation Identity global strategy meeting in a pub in Mayfair, to a Neo-Nazi Music Festival on the border of Germany & Poland. She would get relationship advice from ‘Trad Wives’ & Jihadi Brides & hacking lessons from ISIS. She was in the channels when the altright began planning the lethal Charlottesville rally, and spent time in the networks that would radicalise the Christchurch terrorist. Ebner takes the reader on a deeply compulsive journey into the darkest recesses of extremist thinking, exposing how closely we are surrounded by their fanatical ideology every day, the changing nature & practice of these groups, and what is being done to counter them.
Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights by Helen Lewis ($35, PB)
Helen Lewis argues that feminism’s success is down to complicated, contradictory, imperfect women, who fought each other as well as fighting for equal rights—well-behaved women don’t make historydifficult women do. In this book she introduces the working-class suffragettes who advocated bombings & arson; the princess who discovered why so many women were having bad sex; the pioneer of the refuge movement who became a men’s rights activist; the ‘striker in a sari’ who terrified Margaret Thatcher; the wronged Victorian wife who definitely wasn’t sleeping with the prime minister; and the lesbian politician who outraged the country—revealing the unvarnished & unfinished—history of women’s rights.
Blueberries by Ellena Savage ($33, PB)
Blueberries could be described as a collection of essays—the closest term available for a book that resists classification; a blend of personal essay, polemic, prose poetry, true-crime journalism & confession that considers a fragmented life, reflecting on what it means to be a woman, a body, an artist. It is both a memoir & an interrogation of memoir. It is a new horizon in storytelling. Savage explores the essential questions of the examined life—what is it to desire? What is it to accommodate oneself to the world? And at what cost?
Gerald Murnane: Another World in This One by Tristan Foster et al ($45, PB) Gerald Murnane is one of Australia’s most important contemporary authors, but for years was neglected by critics. In 2018 the New York Times described him as ‘the greatest living English-language writer most people have never heard of’ & tipped him as a future Nobel Prize winner. This collection coincides with a renewed interest in his work. It includes an important new essay by Murnane himself, alongside chapters by established & emerging literary critics from Australia & internationally—providing a stimulating reassessment of Murnane’s diverse body of work.
Phosphorescence: On awe, wonder and things that sustain you when the world goes dark by Julia Baird ($33, HB)
In the muck and grit of a daily existence full of disappointments and a disturbing lack of control over many of the things that matter most—finite relationships, fragile health, fraying economies, a planet in peril—how do we find, nurture and carry our own inner, living light—a light to ward off the darkness? Julia Baird has written a beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find & nurture within ourselves that essential ‘light within’ that Julia Baird calls ‘phosphorescence’— which will sustain us even through the darkest times.
Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work by Robert H. Frank ($53, HB)
Social environments profoundly shape our behavior, sometimes for the better, but often for the worse. Less widely noted is that social influence is a two-way street: Our environments are in large part themselves a product of the choices we make. Society embraces regulations that limit physical harm to others, as when smoking restrictions are defended as protecting bystanders from secondhand smoke. But we have been slower to endorse parallel steps that discourage harmful social environments, as when regulators fail to note that the far greater harm caused when someone becomes a smoker is to make others more likely to smoke. Robert Frank attributes this regulatory asymmetry to the laudable belief that individuals should accept responsibility for their own behaviour. Most parents hope, for example, that their children won’t grow up to become smokers, bullies, tax cheats, sexual predators, or problem drinkers. But each of these hopes is less likely to be realized whenever such behaviors become more common. Such injuries are hard to measure, Frank acknowledges, but that’s no reason for policymakers to ignore them. The good news is that a variety of simple policy measures could foster more supportive social environments without ushering in the dreaded nanny state or demanding painful sacrifices from anyone.
Stop Reading the News by Rolf Dobelli
News is to the mind what sugar is to the body. In 2013 Rolf Dobelli stood in front of a roomful of journalists and proclaimed that he did not read the news. It caused a riot. Now he finally sets down his philosophy in detail. And he practises what he preaches: he hasn’t read the news for a decade. This is Dobelli’s manifesto about the dangers of the most toxic form of information—news. He shows the damage it does to our concentration and wellbeing, and how a misplaced sense of duty can misdirect our behaviour. ($28, HB)
The Music of Time: Poetry in the Twentieth Century by John Burnside ($55, HB)
Our collective memory of the 20h century was defined by the poets who lived & wrote in it. At every significant turning point we find them, pen in hand, fingers poised at the typewriter, ready to distil the essence of the moment, from the muddy wastes of the Western front to the vast reckoning that came with the end of empire. Poet, author & academic, John Burnside, brings together poets from times & places as diverse as Tsarist Russia, 1960’s America & Ireland at the height of the Troubles, revealing how poets engaged with & shaped the most important issues of their times—and were in their turn affected by their context & dialogue with each other. This is a major work of scholarship, that on every page bears witness to the transformative beauty & power of poetry.
Notes Made While Falling by Jenn Ashworth ($45, HB)
Jenn Ashworth’s book is both a genre-bending memoir and a cultural study of traumatized & sickened selves in fiction & film. She offers a fresh, visceral & idiosyncratic perspective on creativity, spirituality, illness & the limits of fiction itself. At Ashworth’s book’s heart is a story of a disastrously traumatic childbirth, its long aftermath, and the out-of-time roots of both trauma and creativity in an extraordinary childhood. Moving from fairgrounds to Agatha Christie, from literary festivals to neuroscience & the Bible, from Chernobyl to King Lear, Ashworth takes us on a fantastic journey through familiar landscapes transformed through unexpected encounters and comic combinations. The everyday provides the ground for the macabre and the absurd, as the narration twists and stretches time. Hovering on the edge of madness, writing, it seems, might keep us sane or might just allow us to keep on living—Ashworth calls for a redefinition of the creative work of thinking, writing, teaching & being, and she underlines the necessity of a fearlessly compassionate and empathic attention to vulnerability & fragility.
2nd Hand Rows
We have recently acquired a large collection of WW2 military titles. They are predominately books describing major air and naval battles. As the generation that fought this conflict now pass from living memory, these accounts—many are paperback editions from the 1970s and 1980s of titles published 15 or 20 years earlier and many long out of print—assume greater importance as an historical record. Here are two. These paperbacks are in Very Good condition considering they are over 40 years old. The edges are browned but the spines are uncreased. They are intact and readable. Part of a library cared for over a lifetime. The Mighty Hood by Ernle Bradford The Hood fired first. She was followed a second later by The Bismarck, and then by The Prince of Wales at a range of 25,000 yards (24 kms) …Now all about the ships, the sea broke into high shouting pillars of foam. The roar and thunder of the guns, the scream of approaching shells, the harsh clang as steel splinters struck home, the smell of burnt cordite, all these combined in the blinding moment of battle. 5.52 am, 24 May 1941. The opening moments of the Battle of the Denmark Strait. Some eight minutes later, at a range of 16,500 yards (15 kms), The Hood exploded in a pillar of fire a thousand feet high. A shell from The Bismarck had stuck the ship’s magazine. She sank in two minutes. Of her crew of 1,418 only three survived. Naval officer, yachtsman, and prolific author Ernle Bradford (1922–1986) recounts the twenty-year life (and death) of The British Navy’s flagship and last battlecruiser, in this moving and dramatic book. $20 Abandon Ship! The Death of the USS Indianapolis by Richard F. Newcomb, $15 The story told here is not a happy one and no official navy imprimatur will be found upon it. Nevertheless, the events related did occur, and I have tried to tell them with accuracy and equity. If this account is unworthy, the responsibility is mine. Just after midnight on 30 July 1945, in the Philippine Sea en route to Guam, the heavy cruiser USS. Indianapolis—fresh from delivering components of the atomic bomb ‘Little Boy’ to Tinian Island, in the most highly classified naval mission of the war—was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in waters that the Captain, Charles McVay III, was assured by his superiors were safe. The ship sank in 12 minutes. Of the crew of 1,196 men, 300 drowned. Some 916 men abandoned ship. Over the next four days and five nights, they faced a horrifying ordeal for survival against a merciless sun and packs of sharks. Eventually, 317 were finally rescued after they were accidentally discovered by a Navy Patrol plane. Capt McVay was controversially court-martialed for ‘hazarding his ship’—the only US Captain to be so charged in wartime. The sentence was later remitted. In 1968 McVay died by his own hand. In 2000 he was posthumously exonerated by President Clinton. War correspondent Richard Newcomb (1914–2004) was the first author to interview Indianapolis survivors. He later recounted: Some people knew one part of the story and some knew another but the myth and mystery that had grown up around the case was amazing. The lack of authentic knowledge extended even into official quarters and was most affecting where it was most unexpected- among those who had suffered through it. His book—part narrative, part investigation—was also the first to cast an unsparing eye over this most notorious and tragic of US wartime naval disasters and rescue it from obscurity. The wreck of the USS Indianapolis was discovered in August 2017. As of January 2020, there are 10 living survivors of the crew. John Masefiled’s Letters From the Front 1915–1917 (20, HB) Nothing else in the world matters but to stop this atrocious thing. Blood & intellect & life are simply notheing. Let them go like water to end this crime. You’ve no idea of it, you can’t even guess the stink of it, from the bloody old reeking stretchers to the fragments hopping on crutches, and half heads, & a leg gone at the thigh, & young boys blinded & grey headed old men with their backs broken. I never kew I loved men so much. They are a fine lot, a noble lot, I love them all. At the outbreak of WW1 John Masefield volunteered as a medical orderly for the British Red Cross.Shocked by his experiences & the apparent official unconcern he planned to create a mobile field hospital much closer to the Front. After a propaganda tour of the US to drum up medical aid he returned to France in August 1916 and was asked to write an account of the Somme campaign. These 167 letters written to his wife Constance unfold in graphic detail and with great power the march of total desecration wrought by the Great War.
TERRY JONES 1942–2020) ~ MEDIEVALIST ~
The death of Monty Python member Terry Jones in January, not only robbed us of a comic genius, but also a screenplay writer, director, children’s author (he won the 1984 Children’s Book Award for The Saga of Erik the Viking) and—some may be surprised to learn—an accomplished historian of The Middle Ages. A gifted communicator, Terry Jones wrote history books to accompany the television documentaries that he scripted and produced. These volumes were not simply reproductions of the screenplay, they were extended, substantial studies in their own right. These are (with snippets from each): Chaucer’s Knight: Portrait of a Medieval Mercenary (1980). Revised Paperback Edition (1985). Planned reissue in May 2020. Pb. $37.95. ‘I hope to show that the Knight’s career, instead of conforming to a pattern of Christian chivalry has more in common with the mercenaries who swarmed across Europe in the so-called Free Companies and who brought the concept of chivalry into disrepute and eventual disuse. The campaigns in which the Knight took part—far from being ‘a great roll call of crusades against the infidels’—were more often appalling massacres, scenes of sadism and pillage and, on one occasion (the siege of Alexandria) notorious for the disgrace that English knights, in particular, brought upon themselves…A new reading of The Knight’s Tale emerges as a darker, more disturbing piece—a hymn to tyranny, dressed up in the rags of a chivalric romance.’ Medieval Lives (written in collaboration with historian and documentary film maker, Alan Ereira) (2005) (20, PB) ‘Having established for the sake of convenience that our ‘Middle Ages’ (which never existed as an entity) was the period between 1066 and 1536 we have to recognise that we are talking of 470 years. This is about as long as the time between The Middle Ages and today. Obviously in such a long period things change. People in the mid eleventh century inhabited a very different world from the sixteenth. So the very idea of telling stories of ‘Medieval Lives’ needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. But, given the right amount of salt we should find that we can strip away the mythology of medievalism and enter a world in which people’s lives seem remarkably familiar…Stripping away the mythology will also allow us to glimpse how much we have lost by dumping centuries of art, argument, thought, literature and discovery into the catch-all ‘medieval’ dustbin. Some wonderful things have been truly lost and we would be better off recovering them.’ Barbarians: An Alternative Roman History (with Alan Ereira). (2008) ($23, PB) ‘... Is all about all those peoples whom the Romans wrote off as uncivilized, but it’s also a chance to take a look at the Romans themselves from an alternative point of view—from the point of view of the people they trashed. That thesis is that we have all been sold a false history of Rome that has twisted our entire understanding of our own history—glorifying (and glossing over) a long period of ruthless imperial power, celebrating it for the benefit of Renaissance tyrants and more modern empires and wildly distorting our view of the peoples Rome crushed and who were then blamed for its fall. Oh yes, and it includes a few measured comments on the Church while we’re at it.’ Who Murdered Chaucer? —A Medieval Mystery (with Robert Yeager, Terry Dolan, Alan Fletcher and Juliette Dor) (2003). Planned reissue in December 2020. Pb. $37.95. ‘Let’s be quite clear who we are dealing with. Not a minor poet living in obscurity. We are talking about Geoffrey Chaucer—the Geoffrey Chaucer! Chaucer was a public man of affairs. He had held important offices: Justice of the peace, Knight of the Shire (a member of the House of Commons), Clerk of Works at Westminster, Controller of the wool Custom and Subsidy (one of the king’s main sources of income), he was a spy and diplomat for both Edward III and Richard II. He was celebrated by his contemporaries as their greatest living poet and scholar. Sometime in 1400 Chaucer’s name disappears from the record. We don’t know how he died, where he died or when he died. There is no official documentation of his death. No chronicle mentions it. Chaucer left no will. There is nothing to tell us what happened to his estate. Total silence. For such a famous man, isn’t that a bit odd? But perhaps the oddest thing of all is that no one seems to have asked the obvious question: what really happened to Chaucer?’ Crusades (with Alan Ereira) (1994). His best documentary. Sadly, the accompanying book is now Out of Print with no sign of a reissue. Stephen Reid
Element: the atomic weight and radius of love by Jordie Albiston ($25, PB)
Using chemistry as an indexing trope, Jordie Albiston tabulates the human predicament of love: its foundations & fundamentals, its configuration of emotions, its recurring properties & its inherent assumption of many as yet unknown elements to occur. Ranging across space & time while adhering to the formal constraints of atomic theory the poems scrutinise the states & structures of being according to love’s capacity for passion & fissure, blessing & debt, a compound body of 2 is progressively mapped onto the page.
Family Trees by Michael Farrell ($24, PB)
Michael Farrell continues to question how humans relate— to each other, and to the nonhuman, the worlds of animals, plants and objects—with the return of familiar characters such as Pope Pinocchio, alongside new figures Lord Marmalade, Cherry the ‘Kiama Scammer’ & Adam, a paranoid country English teacher. This collection includes a number of South Coast poems that take a poking interest in how language blooms off-track. It’s about memory, fantasy & the possibilities of living in conceptual space. Anything that has roots can be a family tree.
Amoroso: 50 Polish Love Poems (tr) Marcel Weyland ($24.95, PB)
If the first poetry was of love, then this collection of verse digs deep into the psyche of the Polish people in all their passionate, flirty, irrepressible, seductive, nostalgic, romantic and self-delusional diversity. Marcel Weyland, in exploring the wide fields of his native country’s language, and conveying it so eloquently in that of his adopted country, reveals both the specifics of a national culture and the universals that tie humanity together across the world.
Furioso: Five Poems by Three Angry Poets (tr) Marcel Weyland ($29.95, PB)
Poland underwent a dismemberment by the Russian, German & Austrian empires at the end of the 18th century, and after a brief rebirth, a fourth bloody partition between Nazi Germany & Stalin’s Russia. No surprise then that in reaction it produced some great writing & that its finest writers used considerable spleen, anguish & fury directed at their targets: Adam Mickiewicz at the Tsar & his hired henchmen, Juliusz Słowacki at a pope who turned a blind eye to the suffering of his most loyal people, and 100 years later by Julian Tuwim aimed at the leaders of Europe pushing it into the bloodiest conflict ever.
Joy: 100 Poems by Christian Wiman ($36, PB)
Why is joy so resistant to language? How has it become so suspect in our times? Manipulated by advertisers, religious leaders & politicians, joy can seem disquieting, even offensive. How does one speak of joy amid such ubiquitous injustice & suffering in the world? Rather than define joy for readers, in this anthology Christian Wiman wants the reader to experience it. Ranging from Emily Dickinson to Mahmoud Darwish & from Sylvia Plath to Wendell Berry, he brings together diverse & provocative works as a kind of counter to the old, modernist maxim ‘light writes white’—no agony, no art. His selections awaken us to the essential role joy plays in human life.
101 Quads by Chris Mansell ($25, PB)
A lickety split trip through Australian life with slippery language, puns, sleight of lip and playful sharp-eyed observation. From the sudden sharks waiting under the water in Sydney Harbour to rainbow lorikeets, and too too sleekly cheeky bower birds conducting affairs in the back yard, to how the boomers will misbehave in the nursing homes of the future, the language pops from the page. The poems look sharp, and sing.
Frolic and Detour by Paul Muldoon ($33, HB)
Woven with subtle threads of history & geography that represent not only our profound interconnectedness but the fragility of those very connections, these poems take as their subject matter the Native American leaders Joseph Brant & Mangas Coloradas, through the Great War, the Irish Rising, hunting with eagles, the house wren, to the day-to-day assault of 21st century America—reminding us that the sidelong glance is the sweetest, the tangential approach the most telling. It also reminds us why, in his review for the New York Times of Muldoon’s Selected Poems 1968–2014, Dwight Garner described it as ‘a compact, powerful book, filled with catharses you didn’t know you needed’.
New Boy Tracy Chevalier, HB
Plume Will Wiles, HB
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Ill) Camilla Rosa Garcia, HB
Vanity Fair’s Writers on Writers (ed) Graydon Carter, PB
The Battle of Arnhem: The Deadliest Airborne Operation of World War II Antony Beevor, HB
Now $18.95 The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters Laura Thompson, HB
The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela, HB
Unto Us a Son Is Given Donna Leon, HB
The Last Love Song Tracy Daugherty, PB
Churchill And Orwell: The Fight for Freedom Thomas Ricks, HB
Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life Alison Weir, PB
Transatlantic Marriage Bureau: How to Find a Husband in the Gilded Age Julie Ferry, PB
The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection Thomas De Wesselow, HB
Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble Marilyn Johnson, HB
China’s First Emperor & His Terracotta Warriors Frances Wood, PB
The Porcelain Thief: Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried China Huan Hsu, HB
Organum: Nature exture Intensity Purity Peter Gilmore, HB
A History of France John Julius Norwich, HB
The Story of Sex : A Graphic History Through the Ages Philippe Brenot, HB
Pilgrimage Annie Leibovitz, HB
The Arts Art is a Tyrant: The Unconventional Life of Rosa Bonheur by Catherine Hewitt ($40, HB)
Rosa Bonheur was the very antithesis of the feminine ideal of 19th century society. She was educated, she shunned traditional ‘womanly’ pursuits, she rejected marriage—and she wore trousers. But the society whose rules she spurned accepted her as one of their own, because of her genius for painting animals. She shared an intimate relationship with the eccentric, self-styled inventor Nathalie Micas, who nurtured the artist like a wife. Together Rosa, Nathalie & Nathalie’s mother bought a chateau & with Rosa’s menagerie of animals the trio became one of the most extraordinary households of the day. Catherine Hewitt’s new biography is an inspiring evocation of a life lived against the rules.
Warhol: A Life as Art by Blake Gopnik ($70, HB)
Andy Warhol presented himself as being as shallow as critics accused his famous Campbell’s Soup can paintings of being. But behind the glamorous Factory setting of superstars, drag queens, musicians & high-society drop-outs, there was a complex man who lived with his mother until the day he died; whose asexual persona obscured a man who was openly gay during a time of great prejudice; who rubbed shoulders with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lou Reed & Susan Sontag but grappled with crippling lifelong insecurity. The result of 6 years research this book reveals a life of contrasts & deliberate artifice hiding great depths. Filled with new insights into the development & impact of Warhol’s art & his personality, Gopnik asks—was he a joke or a genius, a radical or a social climber? As Warhol would have answered—Yes.
Eileen Gray, Designer & Architect ($124, HB)
Born in Ireland & educated in London, Eileen Gray proceeded to Paris where she opened a textile studio, studied the Japanese craft of lacquer that would become a primary technique in her design work, and owned & directed the influential gallery & store known as Jean Désert. She struggled for acceptance as a largely self-taught woman in male-dominated professions. Although she is now best known for her furniture, lighting & carpets, she dedicated herself to many architectural & interior projects that were both personal & socially driven, including the Villa E 1027—the iconic modern house designed with Jean Badovici, as well as economical & demountable projects, such as the Camping Tent.
Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945 ($130, HB)
The first half of the 20th century saw prolific cultural exchange between the US & Mexico, as artists & intellectuals traversed the countries’ shared border in both directions. For US artists, Mexico’s monumental public murals portraying social & political subject matter offered an alternative aesthetic at a time when artists were seeking to connect with a public deeply affected by the Great Depression. The Mexican influence grew as the artists José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera & David Alfaro Siqueiros travelled to the US to exhibit, sell their work & make large-scale murals, working side-by-side with local artists, who often served as their assistants. This book examines the impact of their work on more than 70 artists, including Marion Greenwood, Philip Guston, Isamu Noguchi, Jackson Pollock & Charles White.
Russian Times: 1988–2018 by Frank Gaudlitz
For three decades German photographer, Frank Gaudlitz, has occupied himself with the transformation of Russian society. The first pictures were taken in the former Soviet Union of 1988/89. During the ‘Wild 90s,’ Gaudlitz created works that provide deep insights into the social chaos in Russia & reveal the new freedoms that were promised to actually turn out to be a lack of rights & poverty. His photos of recent years, which span a spectrum between staging & reality, provide a contrast to this—ultimately giving a comprehensive look into the inner turmoil & upheavals in Russian society. ($99, HB)
Fernand Khnopff by Michel Draguet
Fernand Khnopff (1858–1921) achieved widespread acclaim during his lifetime for his moody, dreamlike paintings, as well as his numerous commissioned portraits, designs for costumes and sets for the theatre and opera, photography, sculpture, book illustrations and writings. Khnopff was a reclusive personality, and in 1900 he focused his attention on the design and construction of a lavish, secluded home and studio in Brussels—a structure that became deeply entwined with the artist’s work and sense of self. Although the house was demolished in 1936, in this comprehensive look at an important member of the artistic vanguard of late 19th and early 20th century Europe, Michel Draguet uses new archival research to reconstruct its spaces and explore the home as emblematic of the artist, guiding the reader through Khnopff’s very personal world and analysing his art in the context of its generative surroundings. ($120, HB)
Mavis Ngallametta: Show Me the Way to Go Home ($44.95, HB)
Mavis Ngallametta was a senior Cape York artist renowned for her large-scale paintings—artworks in which she mastered figurative scenes combined with meandering dotted patterns over bold ochre fields, and where she wove together a multitude of perspectives and stories in a glimmering fabric. This book illustrates her richly detailed, large-scale paintings from a selection of major public and private collections from around Australia, featuring photographs of Ngallametta & her country.
The Whole Picture: The colonial story of the art in our museums & why we need to talk about it by Alice Procter ($40, HB)
Should museums be made to give back their marbles? Is it even possible to ‘decolonize’ our galleries? Must Rhodes fall? How to deal with the colonial history of art in museums & monuments in the public realm is a thorny issue that we are only just beginning to address. Alice Procter, creator of the Uncomfortable Art Tours, provides a manual for deconstructing everything you thought you knew about art history & tells the stories that have been left out of the canon. Her book is divided into 4 chronological sections, named after 4 different kinds of art space: The Palace, The Classroom, The Memorial & The Playground. Each section tackles the fascinating & often shocking stories of a selection of art pieces, including the propaganda painting the East India Company used to justify its rule in India; the tattooed Maori skulls collected as ‘art objects’ by Europeans; and works by contemporary artists who are taking on colonial history in their work & activism today.
How to Read Buddhist Art by Kurt A. Behrendt
For more than 2,000 years, sublime works of art have been created to embody essential aspects of Buddhist thought, which developed & evolved as its practice spread from India to East Asia and beyond. Kurt Behrendt introduces this complex visual tradition by examining 60 seminal works. Beginning with the origins of representations of the Buddha in India, and moving on to address the development of Buddhist art as the religion spread across Asia, Behrendt shows how Buddhist philosophy affected artistic works & practice across cultural boundaries. Reliquaries, sculptures & paintings produced in China, the Himalayas, Japan, Korea & South & SE Asia provide insight into the rich iconography of Buddhism, the technical virtuosity of their makers & the social & political climate in which they were created. ($50, PB)
Signac and the Independants ($117, HB)
In Paris at the turn of the 20th century, an artistic revolution was underway. The Salon des Indépendants was organised in 1884 by a group of artists & thinkers that included Albert Dubois-Pillet, Odilon Redon, Georges Seurat & Paul Signac, who was the organisation’s president from 1908 to his death in 1935. They chose as their slogan neither jury nor reward (ni jury ni récompenses), and for the following 3 decades their annual exhibitions set new trends that profoundly changed the course of Western art. This beautifully illustrated volume features paintings & graphic works by an impressive range of artists who exhibited at these avant-garde gatherings where Impressionists (Monet & Morisot), Fauves (Dury, Freisz & Marquet), Symbolists (Gauguin, Mucha & Redon), Nabis (Bonnard, Denis & Lacombe) & NeoImpressionists (Cross, Pisarro & Seurat) all came together.
Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art by Susan Napier
A 30th century toxic jungle, a bathhouse for tired gods, a redhaired fish girl & a furry woodland spirit—all sprung from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki, animator known worldwide for films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle & The Wind Rises. Susan Napier explores the life & art of this extraordinary Japanese filmmaker to provide a definitive account of his oeuvre—illuminating the multiple themes crisscrossing his work, from empowered women to environmental nightmares to utopian dreams, creating a portrait of a man whose art challenged Hollywood dominance & ushered in a new chapter of global pop culture. ($40, PB)
Walls of Change: The Wynwood Walls Story by Hal Rubenstein ($110, HB)
These days the Wynwood Walls has become one of the highest profile street art destinations in the world, welcoming over three million visitors annually. Back in 2009 when Tony Goldman stumbled upon the expanse of stock warehouse buildings in Miami’s Wynwood neighbourhood, he saw a blank canvas—and the celebrated visionary set out to transform the area into a centre for cultural exploration—with the help of the world’s most innovative and recognised street artists. In just ten years, The Wynwood Walls has grown into a phenomenon in its own right, known as a milestone in artists’ careers, with an ability to catapult unknowns and veterans alike. Featuring never-before-seen photography of The Walls’ development, and special commentary from street art’s most iconic figures, including Shepard Fairey, Maya Hayuk, Kenny Scharf, Ron English, and current curators Jessica Goldman Srebnick and the Goldman family, among others, this book is a rediscovery of a decade of art, inspiration and innovation.
what we're reading
Andrew: I’ve just finished Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel—her dark-as-pitch suburban comedy of a medium and her assistant/manager as they traverse the outer suburbs of London and the home counties, playing dingy pubs, clubs, and community halls. A slow burn corker of a book; deft prose and ultimately a staggeringly awful, sad, and vicious inspection of what lies hidden beneath the surface of suburban life. I am also mightily enjoying Actress by Anne Enright; on the glimmering surface (Enright’s prose is as perfect as ever) this novel is an attempted biography of a very famous Irish actress by her only daughter, carefully chronicled from the fifties to the late seventies; but delicate fissures in the narrative slowly reveal disquieting complexities of the mother-daughter relationship.
Scott V: The School of Life: An Emotional Education—Despite all our years of institutional learning, we are never really taught how to live a fulfilled life. Enter: The School of Life—a collective of psychologists, philosophers and writers who want to rectify that situation. This is an anthology of their best advice, and the kind of book I wish I had read ten years ago. It’s wonderfully and terrifyingly insightful. You will come away understanding everyone else a lot better—as well as yourself and thus, in theory, you may be more forgiving. The book delves into art, relationships, capitalism, childhood and much more. One constant theme is how dominant Romantic philosophy has been in modern times, and how this is often not the best way of thinking. It does delve a lot deeper than your average self-improvement book but is still an easy and accessible read. With an introduction by Alain de Botton.
Victoria: I read the wonderful Here We Are by Graham Swift in two sittings. I couldn’t put it down and I didn’t want it to finish. Set in a theatre on Brighton Pier in summer of 1959, a drama begins to unfold between three characters - Ronnie, Evie and Jack. Each have their own story to tell which Swift does so eloquently and subtly. Loved it. Then onto Sebastian Barry’s new book A Thousand Moons. It’s probably best to read Sebastian Barry’s previous novel Days Without End before you read this, as it is the continuation of the story of Winona, a young Lakota orphan adopted by Thomas McNulty and John Cole, and it will give it more meaning. Set in a small town in Tennessee in 1870 after the civil war, this is a moving story of a woman’s journey through love and trauma. It is clever and subtle and told in Barry’s wonderful lyrical prose. And finally—This is Happiness by Niall Williams—‘It had stopped raining…’ is the first line of this wonderful book by Irish writer, Niall Williams. If you have read his previous novel, History of the Rain, you’ll get why I was hooked straight away. All Williams’ novels are set on the west coast of Ireland where it nearly always rains. The narrator is a 78 year old man looking back at his younger days when he was twenty and had left the seminary knowing it was not where he was meant to be. Having nowhere else to go, he ends up staying with his grandparents who have lived in the same bog brick house without electricity all their lives. Here he meets Christie—a man who has been sent to survey the area for the coming of electricity. Williams language is poetic—you will find yourself wanting to read it out loud, and it will definitely make you smile.
John: Under Occupaqtion by Alan Furst—Paris 1940. Ricard is a writer of detective fiction, who despite the horror of the Occupation, has made pragmatic choices and managed to avoid attracting the attention of the Vichy controlled police or the Gestapo. This may change when a dying man thrusts a diagram for the fuse of a torpedo into Ricard’s pocket. At this moment Ricard’s decision will change his future and there is no going back. Again Alan Furst delighted me with a great WWII thriller beginning on the streets of wartime Paris. Another beautifully crafted tale from a master of the genre. Fabulous.
Viki: Thanks to a customer special order I filled recently I’ve discovered a new author, Pierre Frei. When I say new ... German-born, 90 year old, sometime freelance foreign correspondent, Frei has been producing novels for a while—which is great there’s a lot still available and I’m planning a Frei binge. I’ve just finished Berlin. Set in post WW2 Berlin (a salutary follow up to my favourite book of last year Berlin Finale), there’s a serial killer on the loose in the rubble of a literally divided city. He’s killing German women working for the Americans, women who have beaten the odds and lived through the horrors of the Nazis, the war and the occupation, only to meet this rather anticlimactic end (as one woman thinks with her dying breath ‘how banal’). Rather than bother with the killer, Frei spends most of the book telling the full story of each of the victims—and through their lives creating a picture of how individuals (women in particular) survived the years of fascist rule and its consequences. Collaborators, resisters, fence-sitters—each mini-biography was incredibly involving, and a page-turning exploration of the question: ‘What would you do?’ Next on my Frei list is The Ugly German, in which a German spy assumes the identity of a dead American soldier to escape to America, only to find that his new identity is wanted for murder. Frei seems to range widely—apart from his interest in Germany and the war years, one novel, Black, set in 2170 sees a black female US President battling the arms lobby and white nationalists who are preparing to attack the ‘Black House’, another delves into conspiracy around the death of Princess Diana.
ABN 87 000 357 317
PO Box 486, Glebe NSW 2037 Ph: (02) 9660 2333 Fax (02) 9660 3597 Email: email@example.com
Prices in the gleaner are GST inclusive
Please note that publication dates of new releases may vary. We will notify you regarding any delays.
and enjoy all the benefits:
10% redeemable credit on all purchases, free attendance at events held at in our shops, the gleaner sent free of charge, free postage within Australia, invitations to special shopping evenings, & gleeclub special offers. Annual membership is $40.00, 3-year membership is $100.00. Membership to the gleeclub is also a great gift; contact us & we’ll arrange it for you.
Please supply the following books:
Total (inc. freight) $
Payment type attached
Or charge my:
Card No. Expiry Date Name
Signature Gleeclub Number
City/Suburb Gleeclub membership: 3 years
$100.00 1 year
Postage (for rates see below) $ TOTAL $
PostCode Fax: ( )
Thankyou for your order
Delivery charges: Gleeclub members: Free postage within Australia. Non-Gleeclub members: Greater Sydney $8.50 (1–4 books). Rest of Australia $10. DVD or a small book, $7. For larger orders post office charges apply. For express, courier & international rates please apply.
Editor & desktop publisher Viki Dun firstname.lastname@example.org Printed by Access Print Solutions
is a publication of Gleebooks Pty. Ltd. 49 Glebe Point Rd, (P.O. Box 486) Glebe NSW 2037 Ph: (02) 9660 2333 Fax: (02) 9660 3597 email@example.com
Print Post Approved 100002224
POSTAGE PAID AUSTRALIA
The gleebooks gleaner is published monthly from February to November with contributions by staff, invited readers & writers. ISSSN: 1325 - 9288 Feedback & book reviews are welcome
Registered by Australia Post Print Post Approved
Bestsellers—Non-Fiction 1. Dark Emu
2. No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
3. Ten Doors Down: The story of an extraordinary
4. The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East
5. The White Album
6. Superpower: Australia’s Low-Carbon Opportunity
7. The Hockneys: Never Worry What the Neighbours Think
8. Dear Parents: Letters from the Teacher-your
children, their education, and how you can help
9. Catch & Kill: Lies, Spies & a Conspiracy to Protect Predators
10. A Very Stable Genius: Donald Trump & the Testing
Carol Leonnig & Philip Rucker
Bestsellers—Fiction 1. Where the Crawdads Sing 2. Boy Swallows Universe 3. The Overstory 4. The Weekend 5. Fleishman is in Trouble 6. Bruny 7. Damascus 8. Dragon’s Gate 9. Too Much Lip 10. The Mothers
Delia Owens Trent Dalton Richard Powers Charlotte Wood Taffy Brodesser-Akner Heather Rose Christos Tsiolkas Vivian Bi Melissa Lucashenko
and another thing.....
It’s been an eight year wait for The Mirror and the Light, unlike the mere three years between Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies—so, no! Henry, you can’t have a rewrite. Many speculated (myself included) that Mantel was dragging her feet because she didn’t want to kill off her ‘hero’—but, says Mantel: ‘No, why would I?—It is 10 years’ worth of effort and it is lovely to have the encouragement of people who are waiting for it, but that’s why I want to deliver them something that is the very best.’ And ‘the best’ from double Mann/Booker winner Mantel will be something. However, I approach this month’s long awaited release with mixed feelings—and not just because it’s the last in the trilogy, and what will I have to look forward to with such passionate impatience after it lands. Mantel has done a magnificent job of turning someone who had always seemed to me in previous tellings of Henry the Eighth’s reign to be a shady, slightly villainous, over-zealous (at best) bureaucrat into a deeply complex and utterly modern and relatable character— it’s me who doesn’t want to see him headless. And she does a good job of teasing out the agony—Ann Boleyn’s demise in the second volume was excruciating. Just to rub salt into the wound, I’m planning a side-read of more ill-fated politicking—in this case by headless chooks—with Party Animals, Samantha Maiden’s dig into the Labor ‘election that couldn’t be lost’. Maiden is at Gleebooks talking to Annabel Crabb this month—hope to see you there. Viki
For more March new releases go to:
Main shop—49 Glebe Pt Rd; Ph: (02) 9660 2333, Fax: (02) 9660 3597. Open 7 days, 9am to 9m Thur–Sat; 9am to 7pm Sun–Wed Sydney Theatre Shop—22 Hickson Rd Walsh Bay; Open two hours before and until after every performance Blackheath—Shop 1 Collier’s Arcade, Govetts Leap Rd; Ph: (02) 4787 6340. Open 7 days, 9am to 6pm Blackheath Oldbooks—Collier’s Arcade, Govetts Leap Rd: Open 7 days 10am to 5pm Dulwich Hill—536 Marrickville Rd Dulwich Hill; Ph: (02) 9560 0660. Open 7 days, Tue–Sat 9am to 7pm; Sun–Mon 9 to 5 www.gleebooks.com.au. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com