news views reviews
Vol. 25 No. 10 November 2018
xmas gift ideas
2019 angkitja calendars and diaries out now! 1
The Butcherbird Stories by A.S. Patrić ($30, PB)
HEAVEN SENT ALAN CARTER Detective Sergeant Philip ‘Cato’ Kwong is light on sleep but high on happiness with his new wife and their baby girl. But contentment is not compatible with life in the Job, and soon a series of murders of homeless people gets in the way of Cato’s newfound bliss. This is the fourth book in the Cato Kwong series from Alan Carter, the winner of the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Award.
These 11 stories range from a Bangla jungle to the deep, blue Danube to a winter beach in Melbourne, drawing the reader into the unexpected landscapes of people’s lives. A lonely St Kilda chef invites a beautiful busker to use his spare room. A father sings a lullaby to comfort his young daughter who has woken from a nightmare. A taxi driver picks up an old-world gentleman who is reluctant to disclose his destination. A young immigrant boy growing up in the western suburbs of Melbourne daydreams of infinite possibility. Death, loneliness, passion & belief: A. S. Patrić takes on the big questions in life & writes about the small people of the world with stylistic verve and deep humanity.
Farewell, My Orange by Kei Iwaki ($23, PB)
Far from her native country of Nigeria & now living as a single mother of two, Salimah works the night shift at a supermarket in small-town Australia. She is shy & barely speaks English, but pushes herself to sign up for an ESL class offered at the local university. There she meets Sayuri, who has come to Australia from Japan with her husband, a resident research associate at the local college. Sayuri has put her own education on hold to take care of her infant daughter & she is plagued by worries about financial instabilities & her general precariousness. When Sayuri’s daughter dies in daycare & one of Salimah’s boys leaves to live with his father, the two women look to one another for comfort & sustenance, as they slowly master their new language.
Lucida Intervalla by John Kinsella ($25, PB)
A lucida intervalla is a Latin phrase describing one of those startling ‘lucid intervals’ experienced by the insane. Lucida Intervalla, as imagined by John Kinsella is an art journalist, artist & social media sensation whose brilliant presence beguiles every one around her. Set in a postapocalyptic world scarcely distinguishable from our own, Kinsella’s new novel follows her exploits & thoughts about art, political protest, eternity & the absolute. At once a bildungsroman & a novel of ideas whose prose echoes everything from Thomas Browne to Twitter.
The Pearl Thief by Fiona McIntosh ($33, PB)
When Severine Kassel is asked by the Louvre in 1963 to aid the British Museum with curating its antique jewellery, her specialty, no one could imagine that she is a desperately damaged woman, hiding her trauma behind her chic, French image. It is only when some dramatic Byzantine pearls are loaned to the Museum that Severine’s poise is dashed and the tightly controlled life she’s built around herself is shattered. Her shocking revelation of their provenance sets off a frenzied hunt for Nazi Ruda Mayek. Mossad’s interest is triggered and one of its most skilled agents comes out of retirement to join the hunt, while the one person who can help Severine—the solicitor handling the pearls—is bound by client confidentiality. As she follows Mayek’s trail, there is still one lifelong secret for her to reveal—and one for her to discover.
The Queen’s Colonial by Peter Watt ($30, PB)
When Dancer falls foul of a local bikie gang, he escapes into the Kimberley’s maze of rugged ranges. There he begins to unravel the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of his mother, Milly Rider. But the valley hides many secrets, and as Dancer learns the ways of his mother’s country, he uncovers a precious inheritance.
1845, a village outside Sydney Town. Humble blacksmith Ian Steele struggles to support his widowed mother. All the while he dreams of a life in uniform, serving in Queen Victoria’s army. 1845, Puketutu, New Zealand. Second Lieutenant Samuel Forbes, a young poet from an aristocratic English family, wants nothing more than to run from the advancing Maori warriors & discard the officer’s uniform he never sought. When the two men cross paths in the colony of NSW, they are struck by their brotherly resemblance & quickly hatch a plan for Ian to take Samuel’s place in the British army. Ian must travel to England, fool the treacherous Forbes family & accept a commission into their regiment as a company commander. Once in London, he finds love with an enigmatic woman, but must part with her to face battle in the bloody Crimean war. In this first instalment of Peter Watt’s new series, Captain Ian Steele stares down the relentless Russian military—but he will soon learn that there are even deadlier enemies close to home.
The Fragments by Toni Jordan ($30, PB)
Inga Karlson died in a fire in New York in the 1930s, leaving behind three things—a phenomenally successful first novel, the scorched fragments of a 2nd book—and a literary mystery that has captivated generations of readers. Nearly 50 years later, Brisbane bookseller Caddie Walker is waiting in line to see a Karlson exhibition featuring the famous fragments when she meets a charismatic older woman. The woman quotes a phrase from the Karlson fragments that Caddie knows does not exist—and yet to Caddie, who knows Inga Karlson’s work like she knows her name, it feels genuine. Electrified, she is jolted her from her sleepy, no-worries life in torpid 1980s Brisbane and driven to find the clues that will unlock the greatest literary mystery of the 20th century.
Classic Helen Garners in hardcover Monkey Grip & The Children’s Bach $29.99 each or $50 for the two bought together
Two Old Men Dying by Tom Keneally ($33, PB) Learned Man is the child of humankind as we know it; of those who are thought to have travelled from the Rift Valley in Africa & to ancient Australia. Shelby Apple is an acclaimed documentary-maker. After making films about Learned Man’s discovery, in Vietnam & back home in the Northern Territory, Shelby turns his sights on Eritrea. He thinks this embattled society might represent a new cognitive leap, one that will reconcile our tenderness & our savagery, our reason & our emotions. Shelby sees the world through the lens of his camera; Learned Man through the lens of his responsibility under law. Both men are well aware that their landscape comes to them from elders & ancestors. They are each willing to die and, in a sense, kill for their secret crafts.
Gleebooks’ special price $29.95
The writing school in Australia’s leading independent publishing house Get started writing, stay the distance and learn from publishing experts REGISTER NOW FOR True Stories – February – May 2019 Writing a Novel Stage 1 – March – May 2019 Writing a Novel Stage 2 – July – October 2019 2019 FABER WRITING ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP Apply now for the opportunity to study for free. Talk to us: (02) 8425 0171 Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit us: www.faberwritingacademy.com.au
PRIME MINISTERS LITERARY AWARDS SHORTLISTS Literature Life To Come by Michelle de Kretser A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey First Person by Richard Flanagan Border Districts by Gerald Murnane Taboo by Kim Scott Young Adult Literature My Lovely Frankie by Judith Clarke Living on Hope Street by Demet Divaroren The Ones that Disappeared by Zana Fraillon Ruben by Bruce Whatley This is My Song by Richard Yaxley
On D’Hill Readers of this column will be well aware of my passion for literature and especially Australian literature as it is pretty much all I talk and write about. In this last column of the year I’d like to indulge another of my passions you may not know about—domestic architecture and interior design. I sometimes think it’s because I spend so much time with my nose buried in a book that I so appreciate colour and form and beautifully designed spaces. I’ve never owned a place of my own and unlike most people, have always enjoyed moving, just so I could decorate a new space. Luckily, I’ve lived in my current flat for 13 years and can only satisfy my interior décor lust by occasionally moving the furniture, changing the curtains or cushions or repainting the walls. Or indeed, poring over books such as the following… Like a few other gleebooks staffers I’m enamoured of mid-century modern houses and interiors. You’ll find no better examples than in the gorgeous new book, Hollywood Modern: Houses of the Stars by Michael Stern and Alan Hess. Before you sneer at the thought of Hollywood stars houses, these people had the money and the foresight to pay some of the great architects of the time to build houses that would become synonymous with southern Californian style. Using local stone and wood and incorporating walls made entirely of glass to maximise the views was a very new idea. Hitherto, Hollywood stars favoured European styles like faux Tudor mansions, so these new streamlined houses made a statement about modernity and the actors and architects place in it. From Dolores del Rey who was married to the incredibly influential MGM art director, Cedric Gibbons, to the homes of Lucille Ball, Gary Cooper, Frank Sinatra and even Tina Turner, the houses in this book are an endless joy to behold. The editors have thoughtfully chosen stunning images of the relevant stars taken by the top photographers of the day. Worth every cent of the $99 price tag. For a more contemporary look at interior design, go no further than Maison: Parisian Chic at Home ($55) by the poster woman of Parisian chic, Ines de la Fressange and Marin Montagut. The authors (compilers might be a better word—there’s not much text) take us into the houses of eclectic Parisians in what is a delightful feast for the eyes and the senses…if like, me, you love this kind of thing. These houses and apartments are brim full of interesting and enviable ideas. A lot of people don’t have a unique style of their own and don’t find it easy decorating a lovely home, so a book like this can be a great inspiration. Another feast for the visual senses is Bohemian Living: Creative Homes Around the World ($65) in which Robyn Lea takes us inside the homes of artists and designers. There’s some truly beautiful pages in this book—I love the entire wall of gorgeous small animal paintings in the house of artist and photographer Jeffrey Jenkins. I’d love to replicate that, if only I was able to paint! So, that’s my very non-literary farewell to 2018. I hope to see you On D’Hill in the next two months, but if not, have a fab festive season one and all. See you on D’Hill, Morgan
Poetry Archipelago by Adam Aitken Chatelaine by Bonny Cassidy Blindness and Rage by Brian Castro Transparencies by Stephen Edgar Domestic Interior by Fiona Wright Australian History The Enigmatic Mr Deakin by Judith Brett John Curtin’s War V 1 by John Edwards Hidden in Plain View by Paul Irish Beautiful Balts by Jayne Persion Indigenous and Other Australians Since 1901 by Tim Rowse Non Fiction Unbreakable by Jelena Dokic Mischka’s War by Sheila Fitzpatrick The Library by Stuart Kells No Front Line by Chris Masters Asia’s Reckoning by Richard McGregor
Children’s Literature Storm Whale by Sarah Brennan, ill. by Jane Tanner Feathers by Phil Cummings ill. Phil Lesnie Figgy Takes the City by Tamsin Janu Pea Pod Lullaby by Glenda Millard ill. Stephen Michael King Hark, It’s Me, Ruby Lee! by Lisa Shanahan ill. Binny Talib
China Dream by Ma Jian ($33, HB)
BRIDGE OF CLAY MARKUS ZUSAK
The most anticipated novel of the decade from the author of the global phenomenon, The Book Thief. ‘Zusak is a writer of extraordinary empathy...a story so vibrant and so real that the reader feels enveloped by it’ The Australian
In seven dream-like episodes, Ma Jian charts the psychological disintegration of a Chinese provincial leader who is haunted by nightmares of his violent past. From exile, Ma Jian shoots an arrow at President Xi Jinping’s ‘China Dream’ propaganda, creating a biting satire of totalitarianism that reveals what happens to a nation when it is blinded by materialism and governed by violence and lies. Blending tragic and absurd reality with myth and fantasy, this dystopian novel is a portrait not of an imagined future, but of China today. THE LOST MAN JANE HARPER
For readers who loved The Dry, Jane Harper has once again created a powerful story of suspense, set against a dazzling landscape. ‘What an extraordinary novel: part family drama, part indelible ode to the Outback’ A.J. Finn
Insurrecto by Gina Apostol ($25, PB)
Two women, a Filipino translator & an American filmmaker, go on a road trip in Duterte’s Philippines, collaborating & clashing in the writing of a film script about a massacre during the PhilippineAmerican War. Chiara is working on a film about an incident in Balangiga, Samar, in 1901, when Filipino revolutionaries attacked an American garrison, and in retaliation American soldiers created ‘a howling wilderness’ of the surrounding countryside. Magsalin reads Chiara’s film script & writes her own version. Insurrecto contains within its dramatic action two rival scripts from the filmmaker and the translator—one about a white photographer, the other about a Filipino schoolteacher. Within the spiralling voices & narrative layers are stories of women-artists, lovers, revolutionaries, daughters—finding their way to their own truths and histories.
The Waiter by Matias Faldbakken ($30, HB) THE PM YEARS
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS
After years of silence, the 26th Prime Minister of Australia is finally on the record about his time in government. This is the memoir of a prime minister full of energy and ideals, while battling the greatest trials of the modern age.
From the no.1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies.
‘One of the few writers I’ll drop anything for. Her books are wise, honest, beautifully observed’ Jojo Moyes
Welcome to The Hills, Oslo’s most esteemed restaurant—an institution stewed in tradition & clinging to the faded grandeur of old Europe. A neurotic waiter tends to the desires of his regular—and irregular—clientele. Aristocrats & artistes, wealthy widows & roguish entrepreneurs, he observes all their dramas with a wit as sharp as a filleting knife. At table ten sits the impeccable Mr Graham, the most demanding of them all, impatiently awaiting a special guest. When at last she arrives—young, beautiful, mysterious —she will prove a challenging new flavour, throwing into disarray our waiter’s nerves, and the delicately balanced ingredients of the room.
Middle England by Jonathan Coe ($33, PB) A Well-Behaved Woman: A novel of the Vanderbilts by Therese Anne Fowler ($33, PB)
Alva Smith, her Southern family destitute after the Civil War, married into one of America’s great Gilded Age dynasties: the newly wealthy but socially shunned Vanderbilts. Ignored by New York’s old-money circles & determined to win respect, she designed & built 9 mansions, hosted grand balls, and arranged for her daughter to marry a duke. Defying convention she asserted power within her marriage & became a leader in the women’s suffrage movement. With a nod to Jane Austen & Edith Wharton, Therese Anne Fowler paints a glittering world of enormous wealth, desperate poverty, ambition, scorn, friendship & betrayal in the story of a remarkable woman.
Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
In this collection of stories, Adjei-Brenyah tackles urgent instances of racism & cultural unrest, and explores the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In The Finkelstein Five he gives us an unstinting reckoning of the brutal prejudice of the US justice system. In Zimmer Land we see a far-tooeasy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And Friday Black and How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King shows the horrors of consumerism & the toll it takes on us all. ‘An excitement and a wonder’—George Saunders ($27, PB)
My Name is Adam: Children of the Ghetto VI by Elias Khoury ($33, PB)
Who is Adam Dannoun? Until a few months before his death in a fire in his New York apartment—a consequence of smoking in bed—he thought he knew. But an encounter with Blind Mahmoud, a father figure from his childhood, changed all that. From Mahmoud he learned the terrible truth behind his birth, a truth withheld from him for fifty-seven years by the woman he thought was his mother. This discovery leads Adam to investigate what exactly happened in 1948 in Palestine in the city of Lydda where he was born: the massacre, the forced march into the wilderness & the corralling of those citizens who did not flee into what the Israeli soldiers & their Palestinian captives came to refer to as the Ghetto. The stories he collects speak of bravery, ingenuity & resolve in the face of unimaginable hardship. Saved from the flames that claimed him, they are his lasting & crucial testament.
New this month: Granta 145 (ed) Sigrid Rausing, $25
Beginning 8 years ago on the outskirts of Birmingham, where car factories have been replaced by Poundland, and London, where frenzied riots give way to Olympic fever, Jonathan Coe follows a vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change. Newlyweds Ian & Sophie, disagree about the future of the country and, possibly, the future of their relationship; Doug, the political commentator writes impassioned columns about austerity from his Chelsea townhouse, and his radical teenage daughter who will stop at nothing in her quest for social justice; Benjamin Trotter, who embarks on an apparently doomed new career in middle age, and his father Colin, whose last wish is to vote in the European referendum. And within all these lives is the story of modern England: a story of nostalgia & delusion; of bewilderment & barelysuppressed rage.
Evening in Paradise: More Stories by Lucia Berlin The publication of A Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin’s dazzling collection of short stories, marked the rediscovery of a writer whose talent had gone unremarked by many. Her ability to capture the beauty & ugliness that coexist in everyday lives, the extraordinary honesty with which she draws on her own history to breathe life into her characters brought about calls for her contribution to American literature to be as celebrated as that of Raymond Carver. Evening in Paradise is a careful selection from the remaining Berlin stories—a jewel box follow-up for Lucia Berlin’s hungry fans. ($35, HB)
Four Soldiers by Hubert Mingarelli ($28, PB)
1919. The Russian Civil War. It is the harsh dead of winter, as four soldiers set up camp in a forest somewhere near the Romanian front line. There is a lull in the fighting, so their days are filled with precious hours of freedom, enjoying the tranquillity of a nearby pond & trying to forget their terrifying nightmares, all the while talking, smoking & waiting. Waiting for spring to come, waiting for their battalion to move on, waiting for the inevitable resumption of violence. ‘a classic of writing about the human condition... A small miracle.’ —Hilary Mantel
Godsend by John Wray ($47, HB)
Like many other 18 year-olds, Aden Sawyer is intently focused on a goal: escape from her hometown. Her plan will take her far from her mother’s claustrophobic house, and her domineering father— a professor of Islamic studies—and his new wife. Aden is determined to travel to Peshawar, Pakistan, to study Islam at a madrasa. She disguises herself as a young man named Suleyman, even burning her passport to protect her secret. But once she is on the ground, she finds herself in greater danger than she could possibly have imagined. A coming-of-age novel like no other.
Few mere mortals have ever embarked on such bold and heartstirring adventures, overcome myriad monstrous perils, or outwitted scheming vengeful gods, quite as stylishly and triumphantly as Greek heroes. In a companion to Mythos, Stephen Fry retells Jason aboard the Argo as he quests for the Golden Fleece; Atlanta, who was raised by bears & outran any man before being tricked with golden apples. Witness wily Oedipus solve the riddle of the Sphinx & discover how Bellerophon captures the winged horse Pegasus to help him slay the monster Chimera. Heroes is mortals at our worst and our very best..
The Deal Of A Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
It is Christmas Eve and a father & son are meeting for the first time in years. The father has a story he needs to share before it’s too late. As he tells his son about a courageous little girl lying in a hospital bed a few miles away, he reveals even more about himself; his past regrets, his hopes for the future. Now, on Christmas Eve, he has been given the chance to do something remarkable that could change the destiny of the little girl he hardly knows. But before he can make the deal of a lifetime, he must find out what his own life has actually been worth, and only his son can reveal the answer. ($20, PB)
Andreas Ban failed in his suicide attempt. Even as his body falters & his lungs constrict, he taps on the glass of history—an impenetrable case filled with silent figures—and tries to summon those imprisoned within. Mercilessly he continues to dissect society & his environment, shunning all favours as he goes after the evils & hidden secrets of others. History remembers the names of perpetrators, not of the victims. Ban travels from Rijeka to Rovinj in nearby Istria, from Belgrade to Toronto to Tirana, from Parisian avenues to Italian palazzi. Ghosts follow him wherever he goes: chess grandmasters who disappeared during WWII; the lost inhabitants of Latvia; war criminals who found work in the CIA and died peacefully in their beds. Ban’s family is with him too: those he has lost & those with one foot in the grave. In Drndić’s final work, her combative, probing voice reaches new heights.
BOOK EVENTS AT
UnFeTTeReD AnD Alive: A memoiR by
Soul of the Border by Matteo Righetto ($20, PB)
Jole is 15 the first time she accompanies her father, Augusto, as he smuggles tobacco across the Italian border into Austria. She knows the dangers of the treacherous high mountain passes—border guards, brigands, wild animals, ferocious weather—but she is proud that her father asks her. Life is hard, and without the extra money Augusto’s smuggling brings in, the family would starve. Then Augusto disappears during one of his trips. In a ferocious tale of violence & corruption, and a journey into the wild, Jole must retrace the route he took, seeking a buyer for her family’s tobacco— and the truth behind her father’s disappearance.
Found In Translation (ed) Frank Wynne ($50, HB) Frank Wynne brings together 100 glittering diamonds of world literature, celebrating not only the original texts themselves but also the art of translation. From Azerbijan to Uzbekistan, by way of China & Bengal, Suriname & Slovenia, this thunderous chorus of authors include Nobel Prize winners, some equally famous translators—Saul Bellow translates Isaac Beshevis Singer, D. H. Lawrence & Edith Wharton translate classic Italian short stories, & Victoria Hislop takes her first venture into translation with the only short story written by Constantine P. Cavafy. A brilliantly varied collection of stories from around the globe. Red Birds by Mohammed Hanif ($30, PB)
An American pilot crash lands in the desert & takes refuge in the very camp he was supposed to bomb. Hallucinating palm trees & worrying about dehydrating to death isn’t what Major Ellie expected from this mission. Still, it’s an improvement on the constant squabbles with his wife back home. In the camp, teenager Momo’s money-making schemes are failing. His brother left for his first day at work & never returned, his parents are at each other’s throats, his dog is having a very bad day, and an aid worker has shown up wanting to research him for her book on the Teenage Muslim Mind. Hanif has a keen eye for absurdity in the world today.
The Turn of Midnight by Minette Walters ($33, PB)
As the year 1349 approaches, the Black Death continues its devastating course across England, the quarantined people of Develish question whether they are the only survivors. Guided by their beloved young mistress, Lady Anne, they wait, knowing that when their dwindling stores are finally gone they will have no choice but to leave. But where will they find safety in the desolate wasteland outside? Thaddeus Thurkell, a free-thinking, educated serf, strikes out in search of supplies & news. He & his companions quickly throw off the shackles of serfdom—but what use is freedom that cannot be gained lawfully?
Heroes by Stephen Fry ($35, PB)
E.E.G. by Daša Drndić ($30, PB)
special price $29.99
René Descartes, a recently released ex-con, is living in a ramshackle trailer only a short distance from Hidden Cove, a secluded paradise where the country’s rich & famous relax in opulent gated summer retreats. A savage attack against René by the son of the 4th richest man in the country spurns a brutal act of revenge that will ignite this paradise into a fiery vision of hell on earth. As the flames threaten to engulf both rich and poor alike, only Deacon Riis, a small-town reporter haunted by his own past, suspects it wasn’t René who set Hidden Cove ablaze but someone with a far more sinister agenda: to write into life the apocalyptic world imagined by the late George Cleary, a local novelist who was convinced that end of times is now.
2016 Vineland Meet Willa Knox, a woman who stands braced against an upended world that seems to hold no mercy for her shattered life & family—or the crumbling house that contains her. 1871 Vineland Thatcher Greenwood, the new science teacher, is a fervent advocate of the work of Charles Darwin, and he is keen to communicate his ideas to his students. But those in power in Thatcher’s small town have no desire for a new world order. Thatcher & his teachings are not welcome. Both Willa & Thatcher resist the prevailing logic. Both are asked to pay a high price for their courage. But both also find inspiration—and an unlikely kindred spirit—in Mary Treat, a scientist, adventurer & anachronism. In a testament to both the resilience & persistent myopia of the human condition, Barbara Kingsolver explores the foundations we build in life, spanning time & place to give us all a clearer look at those around us, and perhaps ourselves.
No Quarter by John Jantunen ($20, PB)
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver ($33, PB)
Anne Summers PhD AO is an Australian writer and columnist, best known as a leading feminist, editor and publisher. Anne has influenced and often shaped the political, cultural and social fabric of Australia, from whatever role she was occupying at the time. In this new memoir she shares wicked anecdotes about the famous and powerful people she has worked with or reported on and is refreshingly frank about her own anxieties and mistakes. This is a provocative and inspiring memoir by a woman who broke through many boundaries to show what women can do.
Anne will be in conveRSATion wiTh vARUnA’S cReATive DiRecToR, AmY SAmbRooke When: Where: Cost:
SATURDAY 3 novembeR 2018 2.00pm for 2.30pm start The geoRge boUTiqUe hoTel 194 gwh, blAckheATh
$20 ($17 concession) includes afternoon tea
Bookings essential. Tickets available at Gleebooks Blackheath or phone Gleebooks on 4787 6340 or email email@example.com
Cassandra Darke by Posy Simmonds ($40, HB)
Cassandra Darke is an art dealer—mean, selfish, solitary by nature—living in Chelsea in a house worth e7 million, Between one Christmas and the next, she has sullied the reputation of a West End gallery and has acquired a conviction for fraud, a suspended sentence & a bank balance drained by lawsuits. On the scale of villainy, fraud seems to Cassandra a rather paltry offence—but in Cassandra’s basement, her young ex-lodger, Nicki, has left a surprise—something which forces Cassandra out of her rich enclave & onto the streets. Not those local streets paved with gold and lit with festive glitter, but grimmer, darker places, where she must make the choice between selfsacrifice & running for her life.
THE WILDER AISLES
Some time ago, I wrote about a book called Love, Nina, which was Nina Stibbe’s account of her time nanny-ing for Mary-Kay Wilmers, the editor of The London Review of Books and her hubbie Stephen Frears. Rural Leicestershire lass, Nina, knew nothing of literary London, and the picture she paints of the people and the neighbourhood of Gloucester Cresent is delightful. Now I have another story of the inhabitants of Gloucester Crescent—called simply Gloucester Crescent—written by William Miller, the son of opera producer (among other things) Jonathan Miller. Residents of Gloucester Cres and environs—Alan Bennett, Claire Tomalin and Michael Frayn, David Gentleman, the artist, Alice Thomas Ellis—too many names to mention, all make appearances. In the warm weather, the windows of the houses on the Crescent are open, and William grows up to the tap tap of typewriters up and down the street. There are lots of great stories in this book. They are at times very funny, like when he’s bitten by Alice Ellis’ dog, but also tender and moving when he attempts to have a close relationship with his distant father. Don’t be put off by the famous names—to William they were just people he knew. This would make a great present for any literary-minded person. It is an attractive hardcover at a very reasonable price ($30). Hugely enjoyable & highly recommended. Charlotte Higgins’ book Red Thread is hard to define. In a handsome hardcover, full of paintings and pictures, she wanders the labyrinths found in the writings of Homer, Catullus, Virgil and Ovid, Dante, Borges and George Elliott, and the artists Titian, Velázquez and Picasso. I picked it up and found myself reading about George Elliott’s Middlemarch and Dorothea and her new husband’s honeymoon in Rome—and was immediately lost in the Dorothea/Casaubon story and in Higgins’ interpretation. I can’t do justice to Red Thread in a few lines. It’s about being lost and finding one’s way, of travelling through the difficult terrain of living one’s life—a strange journey that leads to all sorts of unexpected places and delightful pleasures. It’s the sort of book you can devour cover to cover, or have on your bookshelf to take down now and again to be immediately immersed in its wonderful lusciousness. Another great book for our discerning readers. Again, Highly recommended. While on the subject of people and places, I am looking forward to reading Half the Perfect World: Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra 1955 to 1964 by Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell. The Greek island of Hydra was one time home to a colony of writers and artists—perhaps the most well known being Leonard Cohen, who was there with his partner Marianne Ihlen. Among the group were the Australian expat writers George Johnston and Charmian Clift—they became the ex officio foster parents of the colony, and Charmian chronicled their life there in Mermaid Singing, written when they were on Kalymos, and Peel me a Lotus on Hydra. They are wonderful books—her description of island life, the squabbles, petty jealousies, but also the good times when things—meaning the writing—is going well. This promises to be a very interesting read. Murder on Millionaires’ Row is a crime novel set in 1986, in the upper echelons of Manhattan. Erin Lindsey is new to me—the cover appealed, and on reading a few pages I was hooked. Rose Gallagher is a housemaid in a big brownstone on Fifth Avenue. The household is ruled by housekeeper, Mrs Sellers, with the proverbial rod of iron. When her employer, Mr Thomas Wiltshire disappears, a concerned Rose is convinced something is amuck, and she enlists the help of Clara the cook to investigate. This is great fun— ghosts, murder, magic and a smart heroine who likes to take risks. Readers of Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series and the Josephine Tey novels by Nicola Upton will enjoy this. ($24) The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village by Joanna Bell is what you might call a romp. 79-year-old widow Peggy Smart is living a quiet life—her days revolving around aqua aerobics, and visits to the doctor. Her son David sees her as an unpaid babysitter—and Peggy has always done her duty. Enter old school friend—the glamorous, life of the party, Angie Valentine—and Joanna’s ‘beige’ tinted life is suddenly new and exciting. The myriad adventures of Peggy and Angie, are too many to mention here—but the fashion parade, the karaoke party, and the mysterious brownies at the committee meeting were highlights. I fell in love with these two old friends and their life at Jacaranda Retirement Village. I cheered for Peggy when at last she stood up to her children, with the help of the lovely Dr Stephen. It is never too late for life to throw surprises at you, and how Peggy seeks and finds love is a joy to read. This is a book to relish. My sisters, my niece, my great-niece, all gave it the seal of approval. A lovely, uplifting holiday read. Janice Wilder
Past Tense by Lee Child ($33, PB)
On a road trip across America Jack Reacher sees a sign to a place he has never been—the New England town where his father was born—and takes the detour. Close by 2 young Canadians are trying to get to NYC to sell a treasure. They’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. In the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home, and is told no one named Reacher ever lived in that town. So begins another nailbiting, adrenaline-fuelled adventure for Reacher. The present can be tense, but the past can be worse. That’s for damn sure.
The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup ($33, PB)
In a playground just outside Copenhagen a woman is found dead with one hand cut off. A small chestnut figure hangs over her. Naia Thulin and Mark Hess are sent to investigate but they soon discover another woman has been brutally murdered. This time both her hands have been cut off. And the chestnut figure is back. Thulin and Hess soon suspect that these murdered women are connected to the missing daughter of Rosa Hartung, the Minister for Social Affairs, and work against the clock to stop the killer from striking again.
The Wych Elm by Tana French ($33, PB)
One night changes everything for Toby. A brutal attack leaves him traumatised, unsure even of the person he used to be. He seeks refuge at the family’s ancestral home, the Ivy House, filled with cherished memories of wild-strawberry summers and teenage parties with his cousins. But not long after Toby’s arrival, a discovery is made. A skull, tucked neatly inside the old wych elm in the garden. As detectives begin to close in, Toby is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about his family, his past, and himself.
Heaven Sent by Alan Carter ($30, PB)
Detective Sergeant Philip ‘Cato’ Kwong is light on sleep but high on happiness with his new wife Sharon Wang and their baby girl. But contentment is not compatible with life in the Job, and soon a series of murders of Fremantle’s homeless people gets in the way of Cato’s newfound bliss. As New Wave journalist Norman Lip flirts online with the killer, it becomes apparent that these murders are personal—and every death is bringing the killer one step closer to Cato.
The Widows Of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
Perveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected Zoroastrian family, has just joined her father’s law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India. In the execution of wealthy Muslim mill owner, Omar Farid’s will Perveen notices that his 3 of the wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity. She is especially suspicious since one of the widows has signed her form with an X—meaning she probably couldn’t even read the document. The Farid widows live in full purdah—are they being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous guardian? When Perveen tries to investigate tensions escalate to murder, it becomes her responsibility ensure that no innocent women or children are in further danger. ($30, PB)
Tombland: Shardlake 7 by C. J. Sansom ($30, PB)
Spring, 1549. Two years after the death of Henry VIII, England is sliding into chaos. Matthew Shardlake has been working as a lawyer in the service of Henry’s younger daughter, the Lady Elizabeth. The gruesome murder of the wife of a distant Norfolk relation of Elizabeth’s mother, John Boleyn brings Shardlake & his assistant Nicholas Overton to the summer assizes at Norwich. There they are reunited with Shardlake’s former assistant Jack Barak. The 3 find layers of mystery & danger surrounding the death of Edith Boleyn, as a second murder is committed. And then East Anglia explodes, as peasant rebellion breaks out across the country. Barak throws in his lot with the rebels; Nicholas, opposed to them, becomes a prisoner in Norwich Castle; and Shardlake discovers that the murder of Edith Boleyn may have connections reaching into both the heart of the rebel camp & of the Norfolk gentry.
The Root of Evil by Håkan Nesser ($30, PB)
July 2007. A letter arrives on Inspector Barbarotti’s doorstep detailing a murder that is about to take place in his own quiet Swedish town. By the time the police track down the subject of the letter, he is already dead. So when a 2nd letter arrives, then a 3rd, and a 4th, it’s a game of cat & mouse to stop the killer before he can make good on all of his promises. Meanwhile, an anonymous diary is unearthed depicting the incidents of a 2 week holiday in France 5 years earlier, and it doesn’t take Barbarotti long to realize the people populating the diary are the ones whose lives are now in the balance.
The Corset by Laura Purcell ($30, PB)
Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy & beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor & awaiting trial for murder. When Dorothea is asked to visit Ruth as part of her charitable works, she could not be more delighted. She hopes her first encounter with a murderer will provide an opportunity to her explore her fascination with phrenology, and test her theories that the shape of a person’s skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But the story Ruth has to tell of bitterness and betrayal, of death and destruction will shake Dorothea’s belief in rationality, and the power of redemption. Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?
Missing Pieces by Caroline De Costa ($24.95, PB)
In 1992, toddler Yasmin Munoz disappears without a trace from a rainforest picnic spot near Cairns. 2012 former mayor of Cairns, Andrew Todd, leaves directions in his will to search for Yasmin, who if she is still alive must now be a young woman. Cairns detective Cass Diamond discovers another unsolved crime from 1990, when student Chloe Campion went missing, from a party celebrating her engagement to the son of Andrew Todd. Cass delves deeper into a tangled story of race, ethnicity & environmental politics, and her curiosity gets her kidnapped with two other women, and into a hostage drama with an unpredictable assailant. Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly ($33, PB) Detective Renee Ballard returns to Hollywood Station from the graveyard shift to find a stranger rifling through old files. The intruder is retired LAPD detective Harry Bosch, hunting for leads in an unsolved case that has got under his skin. Ballard escorts him out but—curious to know what he was searching for—soon becomes obsessed by the murder of Daisy Clayton. Was she the first victim of a serial killer who still stalks the streets? For Bosch, the case is more than personal: it may be all he has left. But in a city where crime never sleeps, even detectives have a dark side.
The new book from the bestselling author of
Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales by P. D. James
6 more short stories from the Queen of Crime, published together for the first time. Bullying schoolmasters receive their comeuppance, unhappy marriages and childhoods are avenged, a murder in the small hours of Christmas Day puts an end to the vicious new lord of the manor, and, from the safety of his nursing home, an octogenarian exerts exquisite retribution. ($18, PB)
Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch ($30, PB)
Martin Chorley, aka the Faceless Man, wanted for multiple counts of murder, fraud and crimes against humanity, has been unmasked & is on the run. DC Peter Grant (apprentice wizard), now plays a key role in an unprecedented joint operation to bring Chorley to justice. But Peter uncovers clues that Chorley, far from being finished, is executing the final stages of a long term plan. A plan that has its roots in London’s 2000 bloody years of history, and could literally bring the city to its knees. To save his beloved city Peter’s going to need help from his former best friend and colleague, Lesley May. And, far worse, he might even have to come to terms with the malevolent supernatural killer & agent of chaos known as Mr Punch.
The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths ($30, PB)
Clare Cassidy is no stranger to tales of murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer R.M. Holland, she teaches a short course on them every year. Then Clare’s life & work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an R.M. Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer’s works somehow hold the key to the case. Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions & fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers
Shell Game by Sara Paretsky ($30, PB)
PI V.I. Warshawski returns to the Windy City to save an old friend’s nephew from a murder arrest. The case involves a stolen artifact that could implicate a shadowy network of international criminals. As V.I. investigates, she soon finds herself tangling with the Russian mob, ISIS backers, and a shady network of stock scams and stolen art that stretches from Chicago to the East Indies and the Middle East. Nothing and no one are what they seem, except for V.I. who, as usual, loses sleep, money, and blood, but remains indomitable in her quest for justice.
The Drop: Slough House Novella by Mick Herron
When retired spy Solomon Dortmund sees an envelope being passed from one pair of hands to another in a Marylebone cafe, he knows it’s more than an innocent encounter. But in relaying his suspicions to John Bachelor, who babysits retired spies like Solly, he sets in train events which will alter lives. Bachelor is a hair’s breadth away from sleeping in his car; double agent Hannah Weiss is starting to enjoy the secrets & lies her role demands; and intelligence analyst Lech Wicinski finds that a simple favour for an old acquaintance might derail his career; Lady Di Taverner in keeping the Service on an even keel, finds throwing the odd crew member overboard is her speciality. ($23, PB)
Look Alive 25 by Janet Evanovich
There’s nothing like a good deli, and the Red River Deli in Trenton is one of the best. World-famous for its pastrami, coleslaw, and for its disappearing managers. Over the last month, three have vanished from the face of the earth, and the only clue in each case is one shoe that’s been left behind. The police are baffled. Lula is convinced that it’s a case of alien abduction. Whatever it is, they’d better figure out what’s going on before they lose their new manager, Ms Stephanie Plum. ($30, PB)
In Gilded Age New York, money buys everything. What is your price?
The remarkable life of Australia’s greatest storyteller
Murder by the Book: The Crime Scandal that Shocked Literary London by Claire Harman
In a spring morning in 1840, on an ultra-respectable Mayfair street, a household of servants awoke to discover that their gentle, unobtrusive master, Lord William Russell, was lying in bed with his throat cut so deeply that the head was almost severed. The whole of London, from monarch to maidservants, was scandalized by the unfolding drama of such a shocking murder, but behind it was another story—a work of fiction. For when the culprit, the 23-year-old French valet, eventually confessed, he claimed his actions were the direct result of reading the bestselling crime novel of the day. This announcement spun a web which entangled the entirety of literary London, from Thackeray to Dickens, and posed the question—can a work of fiction do real harm? ($35, HB)
The Night Dragon by Matthew Condon
In 2017 Vincent O’Dempsey, along with his accomplice Garry Dubois, were sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murders of Barbara McCulkin & her 2 young daughters. It took over 40 years to bring them to justice. Feared for decades by criminals & police alike, O’Dempsey associated with convicted underworld figures behind major crimes such as the deadly Whiskey au Go Go nightclub firebombing & was also linked to a string of haunting cold cases. Investigative journalist Matthew Condon has interviewed dozens of ex-cons, police & witnesses to put together a compelling picture of the calculating killer who spent his life evading the law before he was finally brought to justice. ($32.95, PB)
Hitler’s British Traitors by Tim Tate
Tim Tate uncovers the largely unknown history of more than 70 British traitors who were convicted, mostly in secret trials, of working to help Nazi Germany win the war, and several hundred British Fascists who were interned without trial on evidence that they were working on behalf of the enemy. Four were condemned to death; two were executed. He reveals the extraordinary methods adopted by MI5 to uncover British traitors & their German spymasters, as well as 2 serious wartime plots by well-connected British fascists to mount a coup d’état which would replace the government with an authoritarian pro-Nazi regime. Tate also shows how archaic attitudes to social status & gender in Whitehall & the courts meant that aristocratic British pro-Nazi sympathizers & collaborators were frequently protected while the less-privileged foot soldiers of the Fifth Column were interned, jailed or even executed for identical crimes. ($40, HB)
Henry VIII and the men who made him The secret history behind the Tudor throne by Tracy Borman ($33, PB)
Henry VIII is well known for his tumultuous relationships with women, but Henry’s relationships with the men who surrounded him reveal much about his beliefs, behaviour & character. They show him to be capable of fierce, but seldom abiding loyalty; of raising men only to destroy them later. He loved to be attended & entertained by boisterous young men who shared his passion for sport, but at other times he was more diverted by men of intellect, culture & wit. Often trusting & easily led by his male attendants & advisers during the early years of his reign, he matured into a profoundly suspicious & paranoid king whose favour could be suddenly withdrawn—his cruelty & ruthlessness becoming ever more apparent as his reign progressed. However the tenderness that he displayed towards those he trusted suggests he was never the one-dimensional monster that he is often portrayed as—and Tracy Borman reveals Henry’s personality in all its multi-faceted, contradictory glory.
In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum ($50, HB)
Marie Colvin was glamorous, hard-drinking, braver than the boys, with a troubled & rackety personal life. She reported from the most dangerous places in the world, fractured by conflict & genocide, going in further & staying longer than anyone else. In Sri Lanka in 2001, Marie was hit by a grenade & lost the sight in her left eye, and in 2012 she was killed in Syria. Like her hero, the legendary reporter Martha Gellhorn, she sought to bear witness to the horrifying truths of war, to write ‘the first draft of history’, and to shine a light on the suffering of ordinary people. Fellow foreign correspondent Lindsey Hilsum, draws on unpublished diaries & notebooks, and interviews with Marie’s friends, family & colleagues, to tell the story of our turbulent age, and the life of a woman who defied convention.
Insomnia by Marina Benjamin ($28, HB)
With her new memoir Insomnia, Marina Benjamin has produced an unsettling account of an unsettling condition that treats our inability to sleep not as a disorder, but as an existential experience that can electrify our understanding of ourselves, and of creativity & love. At once philosophical & poetical, Benjamin ranges widely over history & culture, literature & art, exploring a threshold experience that is intimately involved with trespass & contamination—the illicit importing of day into night—aiming to light up the workings of our inner minds, delivering a startlingly fresh look at what it means to be wakeful in the dark.
Banjo by Grantlee Kieza ($40, HB)
Born in the bush, as a boy A. B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson rode his pony to a one-room school along a trail frequented by outlaw Ben Hall. As a young man he befriended Breaker Morant, and covered the 2nd Boer War as a reporter. He fudged his age to enlist during WWI, ultimately driving an ambulance before commanding a horse training unit during that conflict. Newspaper editor, columnist, foreign correspondent & ABC broadcaster, he knew countless luminaries of his time, including Rudyard Kipling, Winston Churchill, Field Marshal Haig & Henry Lawson. Tennis ace, notorious ladies’ man, brilliant jockey & celebrated polo player, he was an eye-witness to countless key moments in Australian history, and saw Carbine & Phar Lap race. This is a lively and captivating portrait of this truly great Australian.
Stages: A Memoir by Reg Livermore ($33, PB)
The Man on the Mantlepiece: A Memoir by Marion May Campbell ($25, PB)
During a 1952 electric storm off Wattamolla NSW a waterspout drew in the CSIRO Cloud Physics Dakota, atomising all those aboard, including Marion Campbell’s father. Or did it? When his living body has disappeared, what to make of the uniformed man on the mantelpiece? Just as the waterspout gathers up living creatures and broken things to transport them elsewhere, Campbell’s memoir dreams its way into the fragments of her father’s life, along with the queer fall-out in its wake. When her grief-stricken mother deifies the disappeared, she strives to become him. Sometimes it seems that fateful scenarios, including Cold War conspiracies and ill-conceived scientific projects, converge on the man on the mantelpiece; but at times of grace he steps down joyfully to resume the dance with the living.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life by Robert Dallek ($30, PB)
Franklin D. Roosevelt is a towering figure in twentieth-century history. A masterful politician who would win an unprecedented four presidential terms, initiate landmark reforms that changed the American industrial system and transformed an isolationist country into an international superpower, he ranks among the country’s greatest presidents, and his ability to unite a divided nation and generate consensus remains unsurpassed. Robert Dallek’s biography is a remarkable portrait of a man dedicated entirely to public affairs - a statesman who found politics a far more interesting and fulfilling pursuit than the management of family fortunes or the indulgence of personal pleasure, and who skilfully used his office to advance an extraordinary agenda.
Germaine by Elizabeth Kleinhenz ($39.99, HB)
As one of the first researchers permitted to trawl through the Germaine Greer Archive housed at the University of Melbourne, Elizabeth Kleinhenz found evidence of a brilliant teacher, serious scholar, flamboyantly attired hippie TV presenter, provocative magazine columnist & editor, real estate investor, domestic goddess, creator of extravagant gardens & preserves, shelterer of strays & waifs, libertarian, bohemian, anarchist, working journalist, correspondent, traveller & adventurer, international celebrity & performer, wag & ratbag, mentor & icon. Germaine Greer has said that her archive is a representation of the times in which she has lived—for Elizabeth, two things are certain: women’s lives today are very different from how they were when Greer & she left school; and much of the change that has occurred over the past half-century can be directly attributed to the lifetime of intense scholarship, unremitting hard work & influence of Germaine Greer.
Gleebooks’ special price $35
Welcome Home: A Memoir with Selected Photographs and Letters by Lucia Berlin ($35, HB)
Before Lucia Berlin died, she was working on a book of previously unpublished autobiographical sketches called Welcome Home. The work consisted of more than 20 chapters that started in 1936 in Alaska & ended (prematurely) in 1966 in southern Mexico. From Alaska to Argentina, Kentucky to Mexico, New York City to Chile, Berlin’s world was wide—and in her customary dazzling style she describes the places she lived and the people she knew. In this book her son, Jeff Berlin, fills in the gaps with photos & letters from her eventful, romantic & tragic life.
Heavy by Kiese Laymon ($30, PB)
He revolutionised the Australian theatre industry in a pair of high-heels in the original Rocky Horror Show production; he sang with Julie Andrews, watched the curtain call from backstage at the Covent Garden opera, and starred in Wicked & The Producers. He grew up in conservative 1950s Sydney, when boys who danced or acted were ‘not like other boys’. He’s had a restaurant—and relationship—with a volatile French chef in rural NSW, experienced an epiphany on an Italian mountainside, and felt the unrivalled heartbreak of watching a parent decline. On the eve of his 80th birthday, Reg Livermore looks back on some of the relationships, triumphs & tragedies that have defined both the person & performer he has become.
Kiese Laymon grew up a hard-headed black son to a complicated & brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his career as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, abuse, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing & ultimately gambling. By attempting to name secrets & lies that he & his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation & the reader to confront the terrifying possibility that few know how to love responsibly, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free. A defiant yet vulnerable memoir that Laymon started writing when he was 11, Heavy is an insightful exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship and family.
A leading historian of the period, David Bates is notable for having worked extensively in the archives of northern France and discovered many 11th and 12th century charters largely unnoticed by English-language scholars. Fifteen years in the making, this is a landmark reinterpretation of the life of a pivotal figure in British and European history. Bates combines biography and a multidisciplinary approach to examine the life of a major figure in British and European history. Using a framework derived from studies of early medieval kingship, he assesses each phase of William’s life to establish why so many trusted William to invade England in 1066 and the consequences of this on the history of the so-called Norman Conquest after the Battle of Hastings and for generations to come.
Robert Graves by Jean Moorcroft Wilson($50, HB) Robert Graves suppressed virtually all the poems he had published during and just after the WW1. Until his son, William Graves, reprinted almost all the Poems About War in 1988, Graves’s status as a war poet seems to have depended mainly on his prose memoir (and bestseller), Goodbye to All That. Jean Moorcroft Wilson, biographer of Siegfried Sassoon and Edward Thomas, relates Graves’s fascinating life during the period from his birth up until the early 1930s—his experiences in the war, his being left for dead at the Battle of the Somme, his leap from a first-floor window after his lover Laura Riding, his move to Spain and his final ‘goodbye’ to Sassoon in 1933. Using archival material never previously revealed, Moorcroft Wilson traces not only Graves’s compelling life, but also the development of his poetry during the First World War, his thinking about the conflict and his shifting attitude towards it.
William the Conqueror by David Bates ($45, PB)
Kerry O’Brien, A Memoir ($44.99, HB)
Born the day after the first American occupying troops landed near Tokyo in August 1945, Kerry O’Brien’s life has spanned the postwar era through the maelstrom of the nuclear & digital age. He has witnessed life changing events & interviewed the great & good, Whether strolling the history-laden corridors of the White House unhindered while waiting to interview Barack Obama, or talking with Nelson Mandela on his first day in the presidential residence, or receiving a haughty rebuke from an indignantly regal Margaret Thatcher, O’Brien has sought to unearth the truth behind the news. In Australia, he has watched 13 prime ministers come & go & has called the powerful to account without fear or favour. In this intimate account he reflects on the big events, the lessons learned & lessons ignored, along with the foibles & strengths of public figures who construct our world. special price $39.99
Kathleen O’Connor of Paris by Amanda Curtin
In 1906, Kathleen O’Connor left conservative Perth, where her famous father’s life had ended in tragedy. She had her sights set on a career in thrilling, bohemian Paris. More than a century later, novelist Amanda Curtin faces her own questions, of life and of art, as she embarks on a journey in Kate’s footsteps. Part biography, part travel narrative, this is the story of an artist in a foreign land who, with limited resources & despite the impacts of war & loss, worked & exhibited in Paris for over 40 years—with O’Connor’s distinctive figure paintings, portraits and still lifes, highly prized today, forming an inseparable part of the telling. ($35, PB)
Unfettered and Alive by Anne Summers ($40, HB)
‘I was born into a world that expected very little of women like me. We were meant to tread lightly on the earth, influencing events through our husbands and children, if at all. We were meant to fade into invisibility as we aged. I defied all of these expectations and so have millions of women like me.’ Anne Summers has travelled around the world working in newspapers & magazines, advising prime ministers, leading feminist debates, writing memorable & influential books. In this memoir she hares revealing stories about the famous & powerful people she has worked with or reported—refreshingly frank about her own anxieties & mistakes. She shares a heart-breaking story of family violence & tells of her ultimate reconciliation with the father who had rejected her. This is a provocative & inspiring memoir from someone who broke through so many boundaries to show what women can do.
Becoming by Michelle Obama ($49.99, HB)
As the first African-American First Lady of the USA Michele Obama helped create the most welcoming & inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women & girls in the US & around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier & more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In a work of deep reflection she chronicles the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.
Gleebooks’ special price $39.99 Thanks A Lot Mr Kibblewhite by Roger Daltrey
Roger Daltrey’s memoir starts with birth at the height of the London Blitz, and winds through tempestuous school days to his expulsion, age 15, for various crimes and misdemeanours within a strict school system. Thanks to Mr Kibblewhite, his authoritarian headmaster, it could all have ended there. The life of a factory worker beckoned. But then came rock and roll. He made his first guitar from factory offcuts. He formed a band. The band became The Who. not just his own hilarious and frank account of more than 50 wild years on the road, it’s is also the story of how that post-war generation redefined the rules of youth. ($35, PB)
Johnathan Thurston: The Autobiography with James Phelps ($50, HB)
The autobiography of rugby league legend, Johnathan Thurston, follows his journey from a Brisbane kid who was written off as too skinny, too slow and too wild to play professionally, to his debut with the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2003, to State of Origin star, to Dally M and Clive Churchill Medal winner, and the fairytale premierships.
Thumbing It by Barbara Noske ($30, PB)
Dutch anthropologist & philosopher, Barbara Noske, lives in the Dutch countryside with a horse & a bike. She has no driver’s licence & no smartphone. She has 40 years experience of hitchhiking in Europe, Algeria, The Sahara, as well as the vast expanse of Canada & the Australian outback. Real hitchhiking—no smartphones, apps or Airbnb, nothing arranged in advance, nothing googled ahead of time—a step into the uncertain with everything a matter of chance: who you ride with, how far you might get or where you spend the night—in a house, a cave or a ditch. Noske calls this kind of hitchhiking ‘the anarchist among modern modes of travel’. She writes about strange & funny adventures, surprising encounters & once or twice, also about the unpleasant & even shocking events she has experienced.
Race Across the World by John Smailes ($33, PB)
In 1968, 98 competitors stormed out of London the most ambitious and epic car race ever staged—the London to Sydney Marathon. 4 weeks later they arrived in Sydney—or at least half of them did. The others lay in ruin along its 10,000-mile route. Unimaginable now in either concept or execution, it was more than a car race, more than a rally, more than the trials that opened up outback Australia only a decade before. For Australians, the race became a focal point of the rivalry between local car-manufacturing giants Holden and Ford, as the Monaro Coupe & the iconic Falcon GT went head to head. John Smailes covered the race for the Sydney Daily Telegraph, and 50 years later he draws on his own first-hand, eyewitness account, accompanied by in-depth interviews over the intervening years with all the race’s key participants to bring the marathon vividly to life.
Hillary’s Antarctica by Nigel Watson ($45, HB)
Sir Edmund Hillary & the NZ team were primarily a support act to the British Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic crossing party—but by heading on to the South Pole & reaching it before the crossing party, Hillary created tensions, unleashed a media storm & achieved an historic first overland to the South Pole. He even had the audacity to succeed using 3 farm tractors. Written by Nigel Watson of the Antarctic Heritage Trust, illustrated with Jane Ussher’s stunning photographs, historic images & never-before-seen ephemera, this is the first book to fully document the contribution Hillary & the NZ team made to Antarctic history.
Places We Swim: Exploring Australia’s Best Beaches, Pools, Waterfalls, Lakes, Hot Springs and Gorges ($40, PB)
From lap pools to ocean pools, rockpools to hot springs, this book covers the breadth of Australia, bringing you the 60 best places to swim, dive, jump, paddle & float around the country. Discover what makes each swimming spot unique, learn the best time to go, gain some useful local knowledge & find out the best things to see & do in the area. Destinations range from the neighbourhood city pool to remote outback waterfalls, the book also covers the diverse landscapes & communities that make up Australia.
Arabia: A Journey Through The Heart of the Middle East by Levison Wood ($33, PB) Levison Wood’s work has taken him around the world leading expeditions on five continents. This time he follows in the footsteps of great explorers such as Lawrence of Arabia and Wilfred Thesiger to give an account of his most complex expedition yet: circumnavigating the Arabian Peninsula. Travelling through some of the harshest & most beautiful environments on earth, he seeks to challenge perceptions of an often misunderstood part of the world, seeing how the region has changed & examining the stories not often heard in the media.
Underwater Australia by Darren Jew ($40, HB)
Discover the hidden depths of Australia’s oceans through these stunning images full of sparkling coral reefs, diverse plant life and spectacular creatures both large and small. Aerial Australia by Nick Rains ($40, HB) The stunning photographs in this book offer sweeping views of Australia’s cities; dramatic glimpses of its outback sand dunes and epic waterfalls; a new perspective on Australia’s coral reefs and coastal fringes, and a new way of looking at Australia’s countryside.
Gleebooks’ special price $39.99
WIN A FOOTBALL SIGNED BY JONATHAN THURSTON !! Buy the book and go in the draw
books for kids to young adults
compiled by children’s correspondent, Lynndy Be
By the time this issue is out the children’s section here in Glebe will have a new look, opening into what we hope you will agree is a more lull before one of the busiest times of our bookselling year I want to thank those loyal customers who support us, their local independent sh easy to click your way through shopping lists; why not click onto Gleebooks and let your money boost Australia’s economy instead? In thi one month, with books for all ages from the very young to teens. Wishing you all a very happy and book-filled Christmas holiday!
Kookaburra Kookaburra by Bridget Farmer ($25, HB)
Bridget Farmer’s linocut pictures of Australian birds are a delight. Accurate and beautiful, and full of character, with a simple and informative text written in rhyme. There is a more detailed glossary at the back of the book, with interesting facts and descriptions of the birds. Bridget Farmer’s style, while being adult and realistic, really lends itself to this non-fiction picture book format. Lovely endpapers too, ages 4 to adult. Louise
The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid: 47 Countries, 100 Extraordinary Places to Visit by Dylan Thuras & Rosemary Mosco (ill) Joy Ang ($30, HB)
Lifesize by Sophy Henn ($20, PB)
Describing many animals from different terrains, Sophy Henn has been very ingenious including many life size features of the animals. We see the real life size hummingbird, and of a tiger centipede, and a leaf insect and other creatures; and then the true size of a squid’s eye, a kangaroo’s ears, a giraffe’s tongue etc. This is such a good way for the reader to interact with the book, and the animals within. There’s a double page spread at the back of the book with a chart comparing each animal, using the Lifesize book as measurement. Great fun. Louise
The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Wars by Jaclyn Moriarty (ill) Kelly Canby ($23, HB)
With a title like that little more need be said! This vibrantly presented expedition to some of the world’s most fascinating sites is just right for those aged 8 or over with a spark of curiosity about the world around them. If you aren’t familiar with the Atlas Obscura website www.atlasobscura.com, check it out too for a galaxy of intriguing facts. Lynndy
The Daredevil’s Guide to Dangerous Places by Anna Brett & Lonely Planet (ill) Mike Jacobsen ($20, PB)
Simpler than the Atlas Obscura trek, this visit to 35 of the world’s most dangerous natural places is no less interesting. Readers of 7+ can travel prepared, with this guide combining photos and lively illustrations with facts and statistics relating to extremes from volcanoes to the Antarctic ice shelf. Lynndy
In a strange way I envy readers about to discover Moriarty’s latest tale as they still have the unalloyed delight of this unpredictable and wondrous saga ahead of them. From the very first sentence I was enraptured: ‘I was taken by Whisperers at 2pm, so I never pulled the lever for the laundry chute.’ At the centre of the story is the rivalry between Spindrift’s Orphanage School and the frightfully upper class Brathelwaite Boarding School nearby. Students engage in ever-increasing competitions and sabotage through practical jokes, but their antipathy dissipates when the children unite against the mysterious forces that change the town. Disappearing children, magical flu and invading witches will change your perspective like that. Set fifteen years before The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone this novel shares many of the same adventurous elements, and is even funnier. Officially recommended for readers 10–14, but I’d say anyone 10 to adult—why deny yourself the joy? Lynndy
The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters series by Kara Lareau (ill) Jen Hill ($12-$14, PB/$20, HB))
The Bland sisters, Kale and Jaundice, have lived alone since their parents failed to return from an errand, however they’ve plenty to fill their time. Eating porridge, drinking tepid tea, darning other people’s socks, and staring at the wallpaper are just some of their daily occupations—enlivened by reading to each other from Dr Snoote’s Illustrated Children’s Dictionary. All this changes the day they answer a knock at their door… So far just two volumes of the Bland sisters’ absolutely and utterly unintentional adventures are available, with the third coming in January. If you love humour, irony, adventure, unpredictability, or even very tame pursuits such as extending your vocabulary, I highly recommend this series. Lareau’s drily witty stories are sure to garner her fans amongst the targeted range of children 9+, but I urge you to read these books as a family as the adults will appreciate the parodies of classical literature and popular culture. For example V1, The Jolly Regina, features an atypical pirate captain and references to Naomi Wolf and Moby-Dick, while in V2, The Uncanny Express, Agatha Christie’s creations featuring Poirot are satirised. Sheer good fun! Lynndy
Morgan from Dulwich Hill:
Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee
It isn’t at all surprising that Lenny’s Book of Everything elicited so much acquisitive passion amongst vying publishers. I was completely captivated by it. There are so many elements of this book that I wholeheartedly love: the characters, the subscription to periodical encyclopedias and their effects on the children... oh, Everything! I defy you not to be moved by Lenny and her fiercely protective love for her brother Davy, who has gigantism and is still growing. Or by their mother, managing single parenthood with defiance and misrepresentation by correspondence, or kindly neighbour Mrs Gaspar. Set in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the story loses none of its impact through the remoteness of time; it develops at the pace of Davy’s growth and equally embeds itself in the reader’s heart. This is the sort of story that lingers ever after in your mind; the sort of book that in 30 years’ time bookshop customers will open their enquiry with ‘I want a copy of a book I read when I was a kid; can’t recall the exact title but I absolutely adored it and read it over and over again...’ For young readers I strongly believe Lenny’s Book of Everything will have a similar effect. As our rep commented ‘Anyone who has a heart would love it, and anyone without a heart will grow one’. Just like Jaclyn Moriarty’s new novel, this is one for readers 10 to adult, and (I predict) a future award winner. ($20, PB/$28, HB) Lynndy
some 2018 favourites Morgan & Victoria weigh in . . .
The Rabbit, the Dark & the Biscuit Tin by Nicola O’Byrne ($25, HB) Never be afraid of the dark again. (3+) Claris: The Chicest Mouse in Paris by Megan Hess ($25, HB) Adorable! (3+) Good Rosie! by Kate DiCamillo (ill) Harry Bliss ($25, HB) For dog lovers everywhere— gorgeous illustrations. (2+) The Girl, the Dog & the Writer in Rome by Katrina Nannestad ($17, PB) Charming and quirky. Provence sequel due November. (9+) Amelia Westlake by Erin Gough ($20, PB) Great teen fiction by an inner-west author. (15+)
Victoria from Blackheath:
Room on Our Rock by Kate & Jol Temple (ill) Terri Rose Baynton A beautiful and clever picture book that introduces young children to the concept of refugees and migration. As you read from front to back, it is a simple story of turning away those who don’t belong...but when you get to the end...start reading it backwards and you will see another side to the story. A book to read out loud to both young and old. ($25, HB) (3+)
welcoming space. Do join us here! In this comparative hop, rather than the international online businesses. It’s is Gleaner there’s a whole year’s worth of splendour in
The Babar books by Jean de Brunhoff
A Whisper from Grey by Louise Greig (ill) Lo Cole ($17, PB)
Assigning lyrical attributes to colours, Greig compares Grey and other hues in this picture book with die-cuts that draw you through the spectrum. Grey ‘does not… squawk like Green, or roar like Yellow’ however it’s her shy whisper that makes the other colours glow. Paired with printmaker Cole’s bold interpretations, Greig’s passion for nature shines through in this unusual concepts book for 3–5 year-olds. It’s a vivid celebration of colour and form. Lynndy
The Little Barbarian by Renato Moriconi
Brazilian artist Moriconi’s watercolour illustrations set against white space demand attention to the young barbarian hero, clad for battle against the succession of myriad fantastic foes he encounters. Unconventional throughout, from the physical format—a narrow hardcover—to the surprise twist in the ending, this wordless picture book is bound to engross the imagination of anyone aged 3+. ($31, HB) Lynndy
Door by Jiehyon Lee ($30, HB)
One of many talented Korean illustrators in contemporary children’s literature, Lee follows her awardwinner Pool with another wordless picture book, depicting curiosity, an alien in a foreign land, openness and inclusion. Subtly textured grey pencil illustrations show a child venturing through a doorway into a world where every encounter is more colourful as the hesitant child is welcomed into various scenes and celebrations. While their respective languages are incomprehensible to one another, the overarching message is not. Here the child is unquestioningly accepted; all differences warmly eclipsed by that acceptance. (A topical message for today’s world.) The child’s return to the dreary grey world contains hope, the door left open. If this seems a lot to pay for a book without words, consider this: it is art with wonderful textures to immerse yourself in, plus a completely different story every time it’s ‘read’. Lynndy
First written nearly 90 years ago, these French masterpieces are still fresh and appealing. They have more than stood the test of time, and have been much imitated, but never matched. There is something about Jean de Brunhoff’s confident, unbroken outlines, his use of colour, and the wonderful handwritten text (not always represented in all editions) that transport us into the world of these elephants, as well as the actual narrative. Like all the best classics, Babar has been seen as controversial. It’s definitely possible to assess these as post-colonial books, with the Old Lady being a ‘civilising’ influence on the wild Babar. Personally I see these books as being anti wild animal hunting, and I remember my children read them as that too. The first seven Babar books were written by Jean (after an idea from his wife Cecile), over ten years, then after his death their son Laurent wrote and illustrated many more. My favourite is the second one, The Travels of Babar. These are also available in French, and are excellent practice for those learning that language ($11.95–$45) Louise
The Little House: 75th Anniversary Edition by Virginia Lee Burton ($27, HB)
I absolutely adore The Little House. I remember in primary school running to the library at lunchtimes, to get my hands on the single copy and reading it over and over. Virginia Lee Burton (1909–1968) both wrote and illustrated this enchanting story. First published in 1942, it tells the story of a Little House, built by its owner in the middle of the countryside. For many years the Little House is happy and content watching the Seasons pass. Yet, Time passing also sees the countryside gradually altered by ever more development and change. Country lanes turn into highways, cars and trams make their appearance. Farmhouses gradually transform into apartments and tall skyscrapers. A large city— full of hustle and bustle—eventually surrounds the now increasingly neglected Little House. However, thanks to the great-great-granddaughter of the original owner, there is a happy ending for the Little House. Equally delightful are the vivid and eye-catching illustrations. Burton gives the Little House life by using the windows as her ‘eyes’ and the front steps as her ‘mouth’. I especially love the section showing the passing of the Seasons. Like the entire book, it’s full of endless, fascinating detail. Upon publication, one reviewer remarked that ‘The Little House wins its way into the very centre of our heart’. Including mine. Steve (We also have a standard paperback at $14. LB)
Beyond the Sixth Extinction: A PostApocalyptic Pop-Up by Shawn Sheehy (ill) Jordi Solano ($90, HB)
With the sixth evolutionary extinction reputedly already in progress thanks to human negligence, Sheehy has blended science with science fiction, presenting a credible future world. Picture it: the year 4847, and Earth is dominated by non-human creatures that have adapted for survival. Pop-ups, flaps, and biological explanations explore this future ecosystem; a field guide indicates the relationship between each creature and a time line of the global extinctions adds an unsettling verisimilitude. Superbly imagined and presented, this is a book of startling possibilities and details to absorb the reader for hours. ‘Perfect for fans who have outgrown Dragonology—this could be considered a sort of Evolutionology’. The text, concepts and paper engineering are best suited for ages 10 to adult. Lynndy
Mix-a-Mutt by Sara Ball ($27, BD)
Like her preceding saurian books Flip-o-saurus and Flip-o-storic, this split-page novelty book allows you to flip parts of the book, here creating your own improbable doggy breeds. More than 1,000 permutations will keep readers of 2+ occupied mixing and matching for hours (maybe into the dog days…) Lynndy
Inside the Villains by Clotilde Perrin ($30, HB)
Three stereotypical fairy tale baddies: a wolf, a witch and a giant, are dissected through layers of flaps and fold-outs, personal profiles and stories. Perrin’s oversize book is original and fun, allowing us to delve right into each character. With the wolf you can fold away his fur to reveal Grandma’s embroidered nightgown beneath it, ‘pockets filled with octogenarian notions’, and keep peeling back layers until you reach his last meal inside his belly. These villains enjoy no privacy as the reader discovers every last physical, mental and literary detail via multilayered papercraft. Fairy tales will never be the same again after these icons have been laid bare. With someone older reading the text, children from 4 upwards will delight in every wickedness exposed. Lynndy
French Moulin Roty toys are very special, they are destined to become family ‘heirlooms rather than landfill’*, and we stock a lot of their range. There are families of toy mice, rabbits and cats, La Famille Mirabelle (all beautifully dressed), and beautiful fabric dolls, Les Parisiennes, all elegantly dressed. There are toys for the great outdoors, compasses and story torches, and old fashioned favourites like fabulous flip books, marbles and cartons of chalk, and French skipping elastics. (*Mossy Store in Moss Vale wrote this phrase on a blackboard outside their shop, and I find it a very apt credo). We are eagerly awaiting our Christmas delivery of distinctive spinning tops from Austria. Handmade and hand painted, each one a little masterpiece of design and balance, these spinning tops sell out fast, and range from $10-$25. We also have some special spinning plates, available in an assortment of woods; at $60 these fall into the above mentioned heirloom category, but will last forever. Memory games, jigsaw puzzles, matching games, dominos, magnetic chess, snap cards, the list goes on. We have so many really fabulous puzzles and games, I see hours of pleasure ahead of us, when the weather turns bad, and the beady eyes tire of looking at screens. Louise
Food, Health & Garden
Shame: Free Yourself, Find Joy, and Build True Self-Esteem by Dr Joseph Burgo ($33, PB)
Encounters with embarrassment, guilt, self-consciousness & remorse are an unavoidable part of everyday life, and sometimes they can teach us about our goals & values, about the person we expect ourselves to be. Richly illustrated with clinical stories from Burgo’s 35 years in private practice, Shame suggests that this often excruciating emotion tells us a lot about our own self-awareness, and should not always be considered a toxic influence in our lives. Burgo takes an intimate look at the full spectrum of shame—often masked by addiction, promiscuity, perfectionism, self-loathing, or narcissism—and offers a new, positive route forward on the road to authentic self-esteem.
Meat: The ultimate companion by Anthony Puharich & Libby Travers ($80, HB)
Designed to walk you through meat from the eyes of the farmer, the butcher & the best cooks, Anthony Puharich, legendary butcher & supplier to Australia’s leading restaurants, together with Libby Travers, cover the history of every major animal we raise for meat, international breed maps, cut diagrams & descriptions, as well as illustrated butchery techniques & expert tips on selecting, storing & cooking all kinds of meat. Over 110 recipes showcase the major cuts & draw on cuisines & chefs from around the world.
The Seven Culinary Wonders of the World by Jenny Linford ($35, HB)
Jenny Linford takes an extraordinary culinary journey, exploring the origins & cultural history of 7 familiar ingredients. Rice is a staple. Salt is essential to our bodies. Honey satisfies our craving for sweetness. Pork, the most widely eaten meat worldwide, yet taboo in some cultures, is a major source of protein. The tomato, used in cuisine’s around the world, is extremely versatile. Chile offers a unique kick, & cacao is used to make chocolate. The ‘magnificent seven’ have rich & diverse cultural stories to tell, from the magical, aphrodisiac powers associated with cacao in the Mesoamerican culture, to the introduction of tomatoes to Europe by the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, and the earliest cultivation of rice in the Pearl Valley in China. With a number of traditional & innovative recipes—starring one of the ‘seven’, of course.
Out this month Australian Wine Vintages 2019 by Robert Geddes ($35, HB) The Diggers Club Gardening Diary 2019 ($24.95, SP) The Quit Smoking Colouring Book ($20, PB)
Keep your hands busy while quitting smoking with this colouring-in book! Why smoke when you can while-away the time colouring in these beautiful zen-style doodles by artist Yjulia Gramotneva. Delightful illustrations to colour in; like tongue cancer or a beautifully detailed hole in the throat. Along with humourously impolite prose & poetry, the book is also littered with confronting facts, like how smoking can waste 7200 hours in five years.
Making Up Your Own Mind: Thinking Effectively through Creative Puzzle-Solving by Edward Burger ($38, HB)
We solve countless problems—big & small—every day. With so much practice, why do we often have trouble making simple decisions—much less arriving at optimal solutions to important questions? Are we doomed to this muddle—or is there a practical way to learn to think more effectively & creatively? Edward Burger shows how we can become far better at solving real-world problems by learning creative puzzle-solving skills using simple, effective thinking techniques.
Korean Home Cooking by Sohui Kim ($50, HB)
The 100 recipes in this book make for a comprehensive look at Korean cuisine—including recipes for kimchee, crisp mung bean pancakes, seaweed soup, spicy chicken stew, and japchae noodles & more traditional fare of soondae (blood sausage) & yuk hwe (beef tartare). With Sohui Kim’s guidance, stories from her family, and photographs of her travels in Korea.
SuperNatural by Tobie Puttock ($40, PB)
Tobie Puttock turns to plant-based cooking to bring you 100 recipes for a reliable repertoire of weekday & weekend meals that are free of meat, fish, dairy & eggs. Easy & satisfying, this is naturally healthy food that just happens to be vegan—from adaptations of classic favourites such as banana bread, shepherd’s pie & chocolate brownies, to recipes inspired by Tobie’s travels and clever new ways of using everyday ingredients.
Everything Happens for a Riesling by Grace De Morgan ($30, PB)
This ultimate guide to hacking the world of vino is a toolkit, not a textbook—a cheat sheet for all the vino-related questions you didn’t realise you had. I mean, where do you store wine if you don’t have a cellar? Who (or what) is Gewurztraminer? Are decanters a thing? Whether you can’t tell your rosé from your Riesling or are busy studying to be a Master Sommelier, Grace de Morgan has got something to make you go ‘Mmm, more please.’
A Slice of Organic Life: Projects for Your Garden, Home & Community by Sheherazade Goldsmith
This is the perfect guide to a more organic & simple life, with projects for your garden, home, community and life, including a foreword by Matt & Lentil Purbrick (of Grown & Gathered). From growing and preserving your own food, to raising your own animals, making natural body products, reducing your household waste or joining a community garden, this book will help you enjoy the pleasures of organic, sustainable living. No matter where you live, you can always start making small changes towards a more sustainable life. ($40, PB)
Modern Baking by Donna Hay ($55, HB)
This book is what I like to think of as my modern baking bible. From the way ingredients change as they’re whisked and whipped, to the joy that a warm slice of cake can bring, inside are more than 250 recipes—my all-time favourite essentials, plus some super-smart shortcuts for when life gets crazy busy. I’ve also included plenty of better-for-you treats, made with wholesome raw ingredients, for a touch of balance. Be it chewy cookies, the fudgiest brownies, dreamy meringue or creamy iced desserts.
Mock Meat Revolution: Vegan recipes for plantbased alternatives by Jackie Kearney ($40, HB)
‘Vegetarian butchers’ are creating food that mimics meat & offering convincing substitutes that look, feel & even taste like the real thing. These days vegetables, nuts, pulses & grains are taking mock meat to a whole new level. Prepare to be wowed by Jackie Kearney’s Paprika Seitan Vegan ‘Dog’ with Cashew Cheese; Crispy Jackfruit Wings & Chickpea Tuna Quesadillas. From Tofish & Chips to Sea-loving Sushi there’s a plant-based alternative to all your favourite meals.
Eat Your Way to Managing Diabetes by Dale Pinnock ($25, HB)
Type-1 & type-2 diabetics use nutrition alongside conventional medicine, but Dale Pinnock believes diet alone can heal type-2 diabetes. In the first half of this book, he unpicks the physiology & anatomy of diabetes, showing how the modern diet causes insulin resistance and, ultimately, type-2 diabetes. The 2nd part contains a chart of low-GI foods to help you to get ‘carb-smart’, with recipes like an Avocado & cheddar omelette with spicy salsa; speedy Chicken & lentil curry; Tilapia fillets with pea, mint & feta mash & tomato salad; low-GI Cheesecake for pudding.
Edibles: Small Bites for the Modern Cannabis Kitchen by Stephanie Hua ($40, HB)
29 states in the US currently have laws broadly legalising marijuana in some form. Edibles inspires home cooks to make low dose, bitesized, delicious, THC-infused treats. Arranged from easy to difficult, these 30 recipes are mostly sweet, with some savoury thrown in for kicks. Learn the essentials of cooking with marijuana, from creating & infusing canna butters & oils to useful tips on portions & dosage.
The Nordic Baking Book by Magnus Nilsson
Nordic culture is renowned for its love of baking & baked goods: hot coffee is paired with cinnamon buns laced with cardamom, and cold winter nights are made cozier with the warmth of the oven. No one is better equipped to explore this subject than acclaimed chef Magnus Nilsson, and this book he delves into all aspects of Nordic home baking—modern & traditional, sweet & savoury—with recipes for everything from breads & pastries to cakes, cookies, & holiday treats. ($59.95, HB)
Out this month, featured in our Summer Reading Guide Suqar: Desserts & Sweets from the Modern Middle East by Greg & Lucy Malouf Special Price, $49.95 Special Guest: Recipes for the happily imperfect host by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe, $40 Habitat: A practical guide to creating a wildlifefriendly Australian garden by A.B. Bishop, $40 Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery: A New Way of Choosing Where to Eat in Australia by Jill Dupleix, $35
This Xmas, say no to plastic, and yes to style with these reusable market shopping bag 40cm x 40cm. Made from sturdy woven polypropylene with reinforced handles which can carry an average of 2 standard grocery bag loads or a stack of books. $16.95 Cockatoos of Australia; Tropical Birds; Jungle Kingdom Wild Fur You; Moroccan Dreams
In this spectacular volume, acclaimed landscape photographer Richard Woldendorp, AM, explores Australian trees of all shapes and sizes. From abstract close-ups to aerials, Woldendorp’s images reveal their beauty and wonder. ‘A potent reminder that we need trees – and that they need us.’ Piers Verstegen, Australian Conservation Foundation Help your friends & relatives give up the paper cup — stuff their stockings with a Keepcup. We have many styles, with prices ranging from $14 to $26
Get everyone doodling with Bristol based illustrator Rob Hodgson’s fabulous Sharp & Blunt pencil sets — x 6 pencils in set $14.95
Gift an organised 2019! We have HEAPS of calendars including: The ever popular 2019 Moleskine Diaries starting at $29.95 Angkitja Diary $29.95 & Angkitja Calendar $24.95 Wilderness Diary $24.95 & Wilderness Calendar $24.95 Learn all about ‘leadership’ — sack a PM or two Or ... do some governing for a change!
A Place in the Country is essential reading for anyone who has, or plans to have, a rural property. Whether your goal is food, profit or enjoyment, this book offers the ‘eyes wide open’ approach to creating your own beautiful, productive and sustainable rural landscape.
Play Question Time! A game of Australian Politics Great Fun! And you learn about Australian government on the way. $65
Events r Calenda
t! Don’t miss ou email! Sign up for gle weekly The gleebooks pdate. email events u oks.com.au asims@gleebo
Event—6 for 6.30
AFA Book Club 3
Chaired by: Jonathan Pearlman & James Brown This issue of Australian Foreign Affairs explores the nation’s main vulnerabilities and the capabilities needed to secure against them, including the consequences of a nuclear arms race in Asia.
Event—6 for 6.30 Annabel Crabb
Richard Flanagan in conv. with S Written by twelv from Australia, E America, these ric offer new ways Flanagan’s contrib an, Australian and
Event—6 for 6.30
Michelle Grattan and Peter Martin
Event—6 for 6.30 Grantlee Kieza
The Conversation Yearbook 2018 Immerse yourself in the insights of experts and navigate the key questions of our times. Book + Ticket Deal = $25/ $20 gleeclubbers: Includes copy of The Conversation Yearbook 2018, Hinch vs Canberra & a Gleebooks tote bag.
Banjo SOLO TALK Extensively researched and written with Grantlee Kieza’s trademark verve, Banjo is a lively and captivating portrait of this truly great Australian—A. B. Paterson.
My Co in conv. with J This collection Marr’s reflections censorship & the leaders, moralists gers; ruminations lives of artists. Wt cluding the story o
13 Event—6.15 for 6.45
Special Guest: Recipes for the happily imperfect host in conv. with Jacqueline Maley $30 ticket—with CANAPÉS The fraternal twin of Special Delivery—Annabel Crabb’s new cookbook is for anyone who ever felt like punching a wall before their guests arrive.
On Mutiny Why was Malcolm Turnbull removed and how did Scott Morrison emerge as Australia’s 30th PM? This is a blow-by-blow exposé of the plotting, double dealing and numbers game by politicians in the most brutal period in Australian politics since the Dismissal.
20 External Event
21 Event—6 for 6.30
A Memoir In conv. with Fran Kelly Walkley award winning ABC journalist, Kerry O’Brien, reflects on social and political upheavals he has witnessed and the personalities who have made history. Harold Park Community Hall
Seven Deadly Sins in conv. with Paul McDermott From the Ancient Egyptians through the medieval monarchs to the first celebrity chefs, in this irreverent romp through the history of food via the Seven Deadly Sins, Mikey Robins uncovers the most bizarre foodrelated stories of all time.
Sue Morris, Jacq Peter Baldwin, Annette Kr The Rubb 5 leading psycho show you simple to rything from pos goal setting, mindf tional regulation to to optimise yo
28 Event—6 for 6.30
—6 for 6.30 Kerry O’Brien
New Jer SOLO Ham tells of the s first violent revolt tion, which, togeth ants’ War of 1524 nite 110 years of that ended with th phalia i
On Patriotism How has militarisation come to define Australian valour? Why has commemorating the centenary of World War I dominated our sense of patriotism? On Patriotism explores what it really means to love and serve your country.
John Curtin’ John Edwards’ 2n fascinating story o the fall of Singapor Australia in meeti its new friend, the by the charismatic eral Douglas
All events listed are $12/$9 concession. Book Launches are free.
Gleeclub members free entry to events at 49 Glebe Pt Rd November 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 2018
—6 for 6.30 t Dixon
n: Critical Essays Stephen Romei ve leading critics Europe and North chly varied essays of understanding bution to Tasmanid world literature.
FRIDAY 2 Glebe Music Festival 7pm
Glebe Music Festival Anna Salleh & Guy Strazz $10 Tickets on the door This fast-emerging and synergetic duo will uplift and enchant - with classics such as Berimbau and Chega de Saudade, 19th Century Rio chorinho, beautiful samba and bossa nova ballads, as well as virtuosic instrumentals and originals.
—6 for 6.30 Marr
—6 for 6.30 Ham
16 Glebe Music Festival
Launch—6 for 6.30
4 Join up to the GLEECLUB for free postage in Austr alia and free entry to events held at Gleebooks
11 Launch—3.30 for 4
L. M. Ardor The Practice Baby Launcher: Helen Ferry & Fabian Loschiavo Dr Dee Flanary knows her favorite patient didn’t die of natural causes but when police ignore her expertise she is driven into a dangerous investigation of her own. Set in Pyrmont and Glebe, a tense new medical thriller from Sydney GP L M Ardor.
ountry Diego Bubbio Jenny Brockie Intellectual Sacrifice and Other contains DavidMimetic Paradoxes s on religion, sex, Launcher: Chris Fleming law; accounts of This is an account of Paolo Diego s & scandalmonBubbio’s twenty-year intellectual on the arts & the journey through the twists and turns tih new pieces, inof Rene Girard’s mimetic theory. of his wedding day.
rusalem TALK story of one of the ts of the Reformaher with the Peas4–25, helped to igreligious conflict he Treaty of Westin 1648.
—6 for 6.30
quelyn Cranney, Leigh Mellish, rochmalik ber Brain ological educators ools, covering evesitive psychology, fulness, CBT, emoo moral reasoning, our thinking.
—6 for 6.30 dwards
7pm Andrew Blanch & Ariel Nurhadi $10 Tickets on the door Andrew Blanch and Ariel Nurhadi’s current project, Alchemy, is something of a ‘world-tour’, featuring some of the finest music written/arranged for guitar duet, with masterpieces from France, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, USA, and Australia.
18 Launch—3.30 for 4
Amanda J. Scott Create Success From Stress This book guides you through easy to follow steps to identify the key areas of unhealthy stress. Learn the tools and techniques to release unhealthy stress. Learn how to use stress effectively as a positive force that brings in SUCCESS.
24 Launch—6 for 6.30
Launcher: Joan Phillip Booranga Writers’ Centre celebrates almost three decades of publishing new writing that links the Wagga Wagga region with the world—with panache and verve—stretching the boundaries of writing in multi-layered, allusive writing that engages, challenges, seduces … Meet and hear writers read from their work.
Launch—6 for 6.30 David North
’s War: Vol. 2 The Heritage We Defend: A Contrind volume tells the bution to the History of the Fourth of the 4 years after International re, as Curtin leads In conv. with Nick Beams ing its enemy and World Socialist Website Internatione latter personified al Editor, David North, to speak at c, self-certain GenGleebooks. MacArthur.
Coming in December
Thur 11th: David Stratton— 101 Marvellous Movies That You May Have Missed For more events go to: http://www.gleebooks.com.au/bookings
Granny’s Good Reads
with Sonia Lee
Harry Saddler is the author of The Eastern Curlew, in which he lovingly describes the extraordinary life of a migratory bird which spends half its life in Australia eating and growing fat in preparation for a 10,000 km journey to its breeding grounds in the Kamchatka Peninsula. There it hatches out its chicks before beginning the return journey across the Pacific Ocean. Being a shorebird, indeed the largest shorebird in the world, it has a perilous journey and if overcome by exhaustion or bad weather it drowns. It is the survival of the fittest. For thousands of years migratory birds have used the Saemangeum Estuary in the Yellow Sea as a stopover but in 2010 a South Korean seawall denied them access. (Michael McCarthy’s The Moth Snowstorm devotes a chapter to the controversy surrounding the building of this seawall.) Apart from this setback, the curlew’s feeding grounds in Australia are far from secure. Saddler first encountered the curlew on French Island near Melbourne, a protected area, but another favoured feeding place in Moreton Bay is scheduled for commercial development. Though Saddler managed in 2016 to track the Eastern Curlew to Donggang, China, and thence to the Yellow Sea and Kamchatka, he fears that by 2050 a combination of habitat loss and global warming will have pushed it, like the Eskimo Curlew, to extinction. The picture on the cover of this beautifully produced book shows a handsome bird with a long, curved beak suitable for digging out crabs. I sincerely hope that we can allow the Eastern Curlew to survive. I never thought I would become excited by dinosaurs but after hearing Steve Brusatte enthuse about them to Robyn Williams on the ABC Science Show and devouring Brusatte’s book The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, I quite understand how this book has been one of the Sunday Times’s top 10 for so long. Brusatte is a palaeontologist, originally from Illinois and now at Edinburgh University. He spends his time visiting sites of dinosaur fossils. Dinosaurs appeared in the Triassic period after a catastrophic extinction of almost every other creature, and for millions of years inhabited all parts of the world: small ones, great lumbering ones as big as a 737, tall ones which had a permanent buffet in the tops of trees, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and some smaller ones with feathers. He takes us first to the north-east of China, where a perfect feathered specimen has turned up. The scientists think that this animal was one of a group killed suddenly by a volcanic eruption, and that its feathers were for insulation rather than flight. The world of these creatures was a single land mass with a hot, humid climate and mega-monsoons which washed herds of its inhabitants into ravines, leaving rich pickings for today’s palaeontologists. Brusatte has attended excavations in Portugal, Argentina’s Valley of the Moon, Poland, the Isle of Skye and many places in the United States. He and his colleagues call this a golden age of dinosaur research, leading to remarkable findings such as primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs, monstrous carnivores even bigger than T Rex, and winged dinosaurs that are the ancestors of our birds. Their reign suddenly ended when, at the peak of the Cretaceous period, a giant asteroid slammed into the earth, wiping out nearly every dinosaur species. Recommended for curious readers of all ages. In Dictator Literature Daniel Kalder, brave man, surveys the dictators of the 20th century through their published writings. He’s read everything by Lenin and Stalin and by many of those who influenced them. While Lenin kept his eye on the main game of the proletarian revolution, the youthful Stalin read Shakespeare and wrote passable lyric verse which is still recited in Georgia today. Kalder calls Hitler’s Mein Kampf ungrammatical drivel that did incalculable harm and still sells by the shed-load. Benito Mussolini, who invented fascism and fatally teamed up with Hitler, also wrote a novel titled The Cardinal’s Mistress, which still has its readers. Saddam Hussein also wrote a novel—Zabiba and the King—which Kalder says is interesting, but of no literary merit. While Mao Zedong outsourced most of his literary labours to loyal henchmen, António Salazar was a prolific stylist dedicated to keeping crucifixes in schools, women in the home, bread on the table and everyone in church on Sundays. Among many others, Kalder discusses Franco and Kim Jong-il. A timely book, if only because of the dictatorial inclinations of so many world leaders today, even when their medium is the tweet rather than the printed word. Finally, everyone’s Christmas stocking should contain a copy of Scrublands by Chris Hammer—a superior crime novel set in the Riverina. It has everything: a drought-stricken outback town, well-rounded characters, and a plot which had me hooked until the very last page. Sonia
John Curtin’s War Volume II: Triumph & Decline by John Edwards ($50, HB)
Volume 1 of John Edwards John Curtin’s War ended with the fall of Singapore. Now the Americans were coming, and so were the Japanese. Volume 2 tells the fascinating story of the next 4 years, as Curtin leads Australia in meeting its enemy & its new friend, the latter personified by the charismatic, self-certain General Douglas MacArthur. As Churchill abandons Australia & pursues a ‘Hitler first’ strategy, Curtin & MacArthur fight to ensure that the War in the Pacific is an American priority. As the critical battles of the Coral Sea & Midway decide Australia’s fate—and Kakoda creates a new legend—Curtin’s resolute calm & implacable determination lift him beyond party conflicts to become ‘Australia’s leader’. But the outward strength disguises deteriorating health, and increasing doubt about the American alliance. Curtin determined Australia’s future—but what would it have been had he lived?
Best Australian Political Cartoons 2018 (ed) Russ Radcliffe ($30, PB)
With Dean Alston, Peter Broelman, Pat Campbell, Andrew Dyson, John Farmer, First Dog on the Moon, Matt Golding, Fiona Katauskas, Mark Knight, Jon Kudelka, Alan Moir, David Pope, David Rowe, Andrew Weldon, Cathy Wilcox, Paul Zanetti, and many more.
The PM Years by Kevin Rudd ($45, HB)
No prime minister including Rudd has since seen out a full term before being dethroned by their own caucus. But how did party games in Canberra spiral so catastrophically out of control? Kevin Rudd defeated John Howard on a platform of fresh ideas, progressive innovation and new leadership. He inherited two wars and the legacy of eleven years of conservative economic mismanagement. And within months of taking office, his new government would face the greatest economic cataclysm since the Great Depression—the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Kevin Rudd breaks his silence on his time as Prime Minister.
For Valour: Australians Awarded the Victoria Cross by Aaron Pegram & Craig Blanch ($80, HB) For Valour tells the remarkable stories of the 100 Australians who have been awarded the Victoria Cross for exceptional acts of bravery and self-sacrifice in battle. From Captain Neville Howse of the NSW Army Medical Corps in 1900 to Corporal Cameron Baird of the 2nd Commando Regiment in 2013, heroic actions in the Boer War appear alongside those from the WW1, North Russia, the WW2 Vietnam & Afghanistan. Vivid descriptions of events on the battlefield are matched with biographical profiles of each of the recipients to provide insights into their lives outside wartime service.
Tiberius with a Telephone by Patrick Mullins
William McMahon was a significant, if widely derided and disliked, figure in Australian politics in the second half of the twentieth century. This biography tells the story of his life, his career, and his doomed attempts to recast views of his much-maligned time as Australia’s prime minister. A man whose life was coloured by tragedy, comedy, persistence, courage, farce & failure, this biography uses deep archival research & extensive interviews with McMahon’s contemporaries & colleagues to offer an authoritative, compelling, and colourful account of a unique politician and a vital period in Australia’s history. ($60, HB)
Steam Australia: Locomotives that Galvanised the Nation by Tim Fischer ($40, PB)
Tim Fischer takes readers into the fascinating & grand story of steam transportation over 10 vital decades of transformation in Australia’s history. For a century, from 1850 to 1950, steam locomotive haulage dominated Australia’s various rail systems and, during that period, rail networks expanded from a few short routes in the big capital cities to huge networks reaching every corner of each state. Fischer also covers the great named express trains hauled by steam locomotives over the decades: Puffing Billy, Robert Gordon Menzies, The Ghan plus Albury’s ‘break of gauge’ platform, the Amiens branch line (running through Pozieres and Passchendaele stations in QLD) & the ‘garnishee’ order against the Spirit of Progress.
Yes Yes Yes: Australia’s Journey to Marriage Equality by Shirleene Robinson & Alex Greenwich Changing hearts, minds & the law is never easy, even in a progressive democracy like Australia. By sharing the ins and outs and behind the scene stories from Australia‘s long and dramatic journey to marriage equality, Alex Greenwich and Shirleene Robinson offer valuable inspiration and instruction to all those heroes working tirelessly across the world to gain much-needed human rights wins and turn NOs into overwhelming and vitally important declarations of YES YES YES in support of equality! ($30, PB)
A New History of the Irish in Australia by Diane Hall & Elizabeth Malcolm ($35, PB)
Irish immigrants—although despised as inferior on racial and religious grounds & feared as a threat to national security—were one of modern Australia’s most influential founding peoples. Diane Hall & Elizabeth Malcolm draw on source materials not used until now to focus on topics previously neglected, such as race, stereotypes, gender, popular culture, employment discrimination, immigration restriction, eugenics, crime and mental health to offer a new view of the Irish in Austrlia. They consider the Irish in Australia within the worldwide Irish diaspora to reveal what Irish Australians shared with Irish communities elsewhere, while reminding us that the Irish–Australian experience was—and is—unique.
The Conversation Yearbook 2018: 50 standout articles from Australia’s top thinkers (ed) John Watson ($20, PB) In an era when everyone has an opinion, we rely on facts more than ever. Australia’s leading thinkers give their robust opinion on the arguments and issues that fuelled public debate in 2018. This collection of essays brings you the best of the authoritative journalism for which The Conversation is renowned. Immerse yourself in the insights of experts and navigate the key questions of our times.
The Nameless Names: Recovering the Missing Anzacs by Scott Bennett ($50, HB)
Of the 62,000 Anzac soldiers who died in the Great War, over onethird are still listed as ‘missing’. With no marked graves, the only reminders of their sacrifice are the many names inscribed on ageing war memorials around the world. Scott Bennett tells the story of such missing Anzacs through the personal experience of three sets of brothers—the Reids, Pflaums & Allens—whose names he selected from the Memorials to the Missing. Bennett traces their paths from small, peaceful towns to three devastating battlefields of the Great War—Gallipoli, Fromelles & Ypres. He reveals the carnage that led to their disappearance, and their family’s subsequent grief and endless search for elusive facts.
Nurses of Australia: The Illustrated Story by Deborah Burrows ($35, PB)
From the First Nation caregivers who healed, birthed and nursed for millennia to the untrained and ill-equipped convict men and women who cared for the sick in the fledgling colony of NSW, nursing has been practised in Australia since the beginning. It would take the arrival of a group of dedicated Irish nuns, followed by Florence Nightingale-trained nurses—and decades of constant & continuing campaigning—to transform nursing into what it is today. This history is illustrated throughout—uniforms changing from veils and capes to scrubs, offering portraits of nursing’s trailblazers & leaders show formidable women who took on archbishops, the medical fraternity, institutionalised racism & sexism—and won.
Back from the Brink, 1997-2001: The Howard Govt, Vol II (ed) Tom Frame ($40, PB)
The years 1997–2001 were eventful ones for the Howard Government. This 2nd volume of the Howard Government series explores these tumultuous years. Politicians, commentators & scholars including Michael Wesley, Hugh White, Peter Costello, Phillipa McGuinness & Tom Frame take a critical look at the Howard Government’s performance, and analyse landmark events—Wik and native title, a succession of ministerial resignations, the Patrick Corporation waterfront dispute, the Coalition’s near defeat at the 1998 election, the response to post-independence violence in East Timor, and the introduction of the GST.
Consuming ANZAC: The History of Australia’s Most Powerful Brand by Jo Hawkins ($30, PB)
In the years after the Great War, Australian memorials were often engraved with a simple request, ‘Let silent contemplation be your offering’. Today, remembrance is fuelled by a booming Anzac industry. Luxury cruises to far-flung battlegrounds, commemorative sporting contests, blockbuster books, newspaper liftouts, souvenirs, mass-produced Anzac biscuits & VC winners spruiking beer brands. Australians have been consuming Anzac for a century. How does the Anzac Industry shape the way we remember war? And why do marketers seek to align their brands with a failed military campaign? In probing the ways in which war memory has been produced, marketed and sold since 1915, Jo Hawkins offers new insights into the dynamic commercial world and mutually beneficial relationships that underpin the commemoration of war in the 21st century.
On Patriotism by Paul Daley ($15, PB)
How has militarisation come to define Australian valour? Why has commemorating the centenary of World War I dominated our sense of patriotism? On Patriotism explores what it really means to love and serve your country. Paul Daley contemplates ways to escape the cultural binds that tie us to Anzac, British settlement and flagwaving.
Capitalism in America: A History by Alan Greenspan & Adrian Wooldridge ($55, HB)
In partnership with journalist & historian Adrian Wooldridge, Alan Greenspan unfolds the story of America’s evolution from a small patchwork of colonies to an unsurpassed engine of wealth & innovation. In a tale spanning vast landscapes, titanic figures, triumphant breakthroughs, enlightenment ideals as well as profound moral failings, every crucial debate is addressed—from the role of slavery in the antebellum Southern economy to the real impact of Roosevelt’s New Deal & America’s violent mood swings in its openness to global trade. At heart, the authors argue, America’s genius has been its tolerance for the effects of creative destruction, the ceaseless churn of the old giving way to the new, driven by new people & new ideas..
From Russia with Blood: Putin’s Ruthless Killing Campaign and Secret War on the West by Heidi Blake ($35, PB)
Russia’s resurgent encroachment into the West is the defining geopolitical story of our time – and a topic of insatiable public fascination. Putin’s use of targeted killing is designed to crush opponents, frighten critics into silence, exterminate traitors, and wipe out the Western financial facilitators who make flight from Russia possible. Drawing on the expertise of Russian experts, intelligence insiders, academics and government sources in the US and Europe, Heidi Blake tells the full story of how Russia refined the art and science of assassination as a form of statecraft. She also offers insights into its formidable cyber powers, sprawling international propaganda machine & fearsome security, espionage & organised crime complex to create a frighteningly effective strategy for growing global dominance.
Available this month 2019 Verso Radical Diary: Week to a view ($28, HB) The Xenofeminism Manifesto by Laboria Cuboniks ($16, PB)
Xenofeminism is not a bid for revolution, but a wager on the long game of history, demanding imagination, dexterity & persistence. Xenofeminism seeks to construct a coalitional politics, a politics without the infection of purity. Is xenofeminism a programme? Not if this means anything so crude as a recipe, or a single-purpose tool by which a determinate problem is solved. Xenofeminism is a platform, an incipient ambition to construct a new language for sexual politics a language that seizes its own methods as materials to be reworked, and incrementally bootstraps itself into existence. Xenofeminism is a politics for alienation.
Syria’s Secret Library by Mike Thomson ($33, PB)
Darayya lies on the fringe of Damascus, just south west of the Syrian Capital. Besieged by Syrian government forces since 2011, its people were deprived of food, bombarded by bombs & missiles, & shot at by snipers. But deep beneath its devastation lies a secret library—a haven of peace & tranquillity. Books, long rows of them, line almost every wall—all supplied by people who had risked their lives to save books from the devastation of war. Because to them, the secret library was a symbol of hope—of their determination to lead a meaningful existence & to rebuild their fractured society. This is the story of an extraordinary place and the people who made it happen
Reading Machiavelli by John P. McCormick
To what extent was Machiavelli a Machiavellian? Was he an amoral adviser of tyranny or a stalwart partisan of liberty? A neutral technician of power politics or a devout Italian patriot? A reviver of pagan virtue or initiator of modern nihilism? Interrogating the established reception of Machiavelli’s work by such readers as Rousseau, Leo Strauss, Quentin Skinner & J.G.A. Pocock, McCormick uses unacknowledged elements of a vibrant Machiavellian politics: the utility of vigorous class conflict between elites & common citizens for virtuous democratic republics, the necessity of political & economic equality for genuine civic liberty, and the indispensability of religious tropes for the exercise of effective popular judgment exposes what was effectively an elite conspiracy to suppress the Florentine’s contentious, egalitarian politics. ($58, HB)
The Women’s Atlas by Joni Seager ($30, PB)
Joni Seager’s book illustrates the status of women worldwide today. Through cutting-edge infographics, the atlas portrays how women are living across continents and cultures: Gender Equality; LGBTQIA+ Rights: Literacy and Information Technology: Feminism; Domestic Violence; Work and the Global Economy; Changing Households; Motherhood; Government and Power; The Culture of Beauty, and much more. The result is the most comprehensive and accessible global analysis of key issues facing women: the advances that have been made and the distances still to be travelled.
Seashaken Houses: A Lighthouse History from Eddystone to Fastnet by Tom Nancollas ($40, HB)
Lighthouses are striking totems of our relationship to the sea. For many, they encapsulate a romantic vision of solitary homes amongst the waves, but their original purpose was much more utilitarian than that. Today we still depend upon their guiding lights for the safe passage of ships. Nowhere is this truer than in the rock lighthouses of Great Britain and Ireland which form a ring of 19 towers built between 1811 and 1905, so-called because they were constructed on desolate rock formations in the middle of the sea, and made of granite to withstand the power of its waves. Seashaken Houses is a lyrical exploration of these singular towers, the people who risked their lives building & rebuilding them, those that inhabited their circular rooms, and the ways in which we value emblems of our history in a changing world.
A Short History of Europe: From Pericles to Putin by Simon Jenkins ($35, PB)
Simon Jenkins tells the story of Europe’s evolution from warring peoples to peace, wealth & freedom—a story that twists & turns from Greece & Rome, through the Dark Ages, the Reformation & the French Revolution, to the WW2 and up to the present day. Jenkins takes in leaders from Julius Caesar and Joan of Arc, to Wellington and Angela Merkel, as well as cultural figures from Aristotle to Shakespeare and Picasso—bringing together the transformative forces & dominant eras into one concise, chronological and timely tale.
New Jerusalem by Paul Ham ($45, HB)
In February 1534 a radical religious sect whose disciples were being persecuted throughout Europe seized the city of Münster, in the German-speaking land of Westphalia. The ‘Melchiorites’ believed they were God’s Elect, chosen by the Almighty to be the first to ascend to Paradise on Judgement Day, as told in the Book of Revelation. And it would all happen here, in ‘New Jerusalem’, during Easter 1535. Paul Ham’s new history is a story of religious obsession & persecution, of noble ideals trampled to dust, of slavish sexual surrender—all in the name of Christ. This was one of the first violent revolts of the Reformation, which, together with the Peasants’ War of 1524–25, helped to ignite 110 years of religious conflict that ended with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. On the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Ham’s book holds a mirror up to today’s world, again scarred by the return of religious wars, of hatred and slaughter, all in the name of a god or a faith.
Gleebooks special price $39.99
Mutiny on the Bounty by Peter FitzSimons
Commissioned by the Royal Navy to collect breadfruit plants from Tahiti and take them to the West Indies, the Bounty’s crew found themselves in a tropical paradise. Five months later, they did not want to leave. Under the leadership of Fletcher Christian most of the crew mutinied soon after sailing from Tahiti, setting Captain William Bligh and 18 loyal crewmen adrift in a small open boat. In one of history’s great feats of seamanship, Bligh navigated this tiny vessel for 3618 nautical miles to Timor. Peter FitzSimons brings to life a tale of human drama, intrigue & adventure of the highest order. ($50, HB)
Walls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick by David Frye ($40, HB)
Rome: Eternal City by Ferdinand Addis ($60, HB)
In 22 scenes from its 2500-year history Ferdinand Addis brings the myth of Rome alive by concentrating on vivid episodes from its long & unimaginably rich history. Each of his beautifully composed chapters is an evocative, self-contained narrative, whether it is the murder of Caesar; the near-destruction of the city by the Gauls in 387 BC; the construction of the Colosseum & the fate of the gladiators; Bernini’s creation of the Baroque masterpiece that is St Peter’s Basilica; the brutal crushing of republican dreams in 1849; the sinister degeneration of Mussolini’s first state, or the magical, corrupt Rome of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. This is an epic, kaleidoscopic history of a city indelibly associated with republicanism & dictatorship, Christian orthodoxy & its rivals, high art & low life in all its forms.
On This Day in History by Dan Snow ($33, PB)
In a short, vivid, personal history of the world, Dan Snow assigns the story of an important event that happened on each day of the year. From the signing of the Armistice treaty at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat on 1 December 1955; from the most important battle fought on British soil that you’ve never heard of on 20 May 685 to the first meeting of John Lennon & Paul McCartney on 6 July 1957, and from the first instance of choreomania—an affliction that caused its victims to dance uncontrollably—on 24 July 1374, to the day Napolean Bonaparte was attacked by hundreds of wild rabbits on 12 July 1807, our past is full of all kinds of fascinating turning points.
A World on Edge: The End of the Great War and the Dawn of a New Age by Daniel Schönpflug
The sculptor Käthe Kollwitz, whose son died in the war, was translating sorrow & loss into art. Ho Chi Minh was working as a dishwasher in Paris & dreaming of liberating Vietnam. Captain Harry S. Truman was running a men’s haberdashery in Kansas City, hardly expecting that he was about to go bankrupt—and later become president of the United States. Professor Moina Michael was about to invent the ‘remembrance poppy’, a symbol of sacrifice that will stand for generations to come. Meanwhile Virginia Woolf had just published her first book & was questioning whether that sacrifice was worth it, while the artist George Grosz was so revolted by the violence on the streets of Berlin that he decides everything is meaningless. For rulers & revolutionaries, a world of power & privilege was dying—while for others, a dream of overthrowing democracy was being born. With novelistic virtuosity, historian Daniel Schönpflug describes this watershed year as it was experienced on the ground—open ended, unfathomable, its outcome unclear. ($50, HB)
Story of Greece and Rome by Tony Spawforth
The magnificent civilization created by the ancient Greeks and Romans is the greatest legacy of the classical world. However, 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 six millennia of history. His story reveals that Greek and Roman civilization, to varying degrees, was supremely and surprisingly receptive to external influences, particularly from the East. From the rise of the Mycenaean world of the 16th century BC, Spawforth traces a path through the ancient Aegean to the zenith of the Hellenic state and the rise of the Roman empire, the coming of Christianity and the consequences of the first caliphate. Deeply informed, provocative & entirely fresh, this accessible work tells the extraordinary story of the classical world in its entirety. ($50, HB)
Rebel Women: All You Wanted to Know about
At the dawn of humanity’s ascent, there was only bloody conWomen’s History from 1800 to the present day flict: nomadic tribes slashing at each other, and each man bred to by Rosalind Miles ($33, HB) a life of struggle & pillage. But then came the invention of the This is history as made by women: famous, infamous and little wall, dividing populations into two opposing groups. On one known, whose actions changed the course of the world. We begin side were those who gained enough of a respite from the clash with the French Revolution when one woman took on the Fraternite of arms to think, create, preserve, trade. On the other were the of man, then it’s off to America to round up the other rebels who unwalled, warriors driven by the search for plunder. The stars of paved the way, fighting side by side for freedom with their men. each of David Frye’s chapters are the walls themselves—rising up in places as anIn Australia we celebrate a mass mooning by female convicts of cient & exotic as Mesopotamia, Babylon, Greece, China, Rome, Mongolia, Turkey, Queen Victoria’s Vice-Regent and his lady wife, and the dogged, Afghanistan, Western Europe, and even Central and North America—as he charts the often desperate courage of all the women who dared to think that they could centuries-long uneasy tension between the walled & unwalled, showing how walls change the world. Women in space, women in jail, women in-skirts, women in burkas, have profoundly shaped the human psyche. women in power—ending in the current day—breathless but thrilled with what women can and have and will do. The Holy Roman Empire: A Short History by Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger ($47, HB) The Holy Roman Empire emerged in the Middle Ages as a loosely integrated union of German states and city-states under the supreme rule of an emperor. Around 1500, it took on a more formal structure with the establishment of powerful institutions—such as the Reichstag and Imperial Chamber Court—that would endure more or less intact until the empire’s dissolution by Napoleon in 1806. Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger provides a concise history of the Holy Roman Empire, presenting an entirely new interpretation of the empire’s political culture and remarkably durable institutions. Rather than comparing the empire to modern states or associations like the European Union, Stollberg-Rilinger shows how it was a political body unlike any other—it had no standing army, no clear boundaries, no general taxation or bureaucracy. She describes a heterogeneous association based on tradition and shared purpose, bound together by personal loyalty and reciprocity, and constantly reenacted by solemn rituals. In a narrative spanning three turbulent centuries, she takes readers from the reform era at the dawn of the 16th century to the crisis of the Reformation, from the consolidation of the Peace of Augsburg to the destructive fury of the Thirty Years’ War, from the conflict between Austria and Prussia to the empire’s downfall in the age of the French Revolution.
Science & Nature
Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology by Adrienne Mayor ($60, HB)
As early as Homer, Greeks were imagining robotic servants, animated statues, and even ancient versions of Artificial Intelligence, while in Indian legend, Buddha’s precious relics were defended by robot warriors copied from Greco-Roman designs for real automata. Mythic automata appear in tales about Jason and the Argonauts, Medea, Daedalus, Prometheus, and Pandora, and many of these machines are described as being built with the same materials and methods that human artisans used to make tools and statues. Adrienne Mayor gives an account of the earliest expressions of the timeless impulse to create artificial life, revealing how some of today’s most advanced innovations in robotics and AI were anticipated in ancient myth and how science has always been driven by imagination.
The Best Australian Science Writing 2018 (ed) John Pickrell ($30, PB)
Now in its eighth year, The Best Australian Science Writing 2018 draws on the knowledge and insight of Australia’s brightest authors, journalists and scientists to challenge perceptions of the world we think we know. This year’s selection includes the best of Australia’s science writing talent: Jo Chandler, Andrew Leigh, Michael Slezak, Elizabeth Finkel, Bianca Nogrady, Ashley Hay, Joel Werner, Margaret Wertheim and many more.
Honeysuckle Creek: The Story of Tom Reid, a Little Dish and Neil Armstrong’s First Step by Andrew Tink ($35, PB) Honeysuckle Creek reveals the pivotal role that the tracking station at Honeysuckle Creek, near Canberra, played in the first moon landing. Andrew Tink gives a gripping account of the role of its director Tom Reid and his colleagues in transmitting some of the most-watched images in human history as Neil Armstrong took his first step. Part biography and part personal history, this book makes a significant contribution to Australia’s role in space exploration and reveals a story little known until now.
Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth’s Ultimate Trophy by Paige Williams ($33, PB)
In 2012, a New York auction catalogue boasted ‘a superb Tyrannosaurus skeleton’—a nearly complete T. bataar—a close cousin to the more-famous T. rex—that had been unearthed in Mongolia. The winning bid was over $1 million. 38-year-old Floridian, Eric Prokopi, had brought this extraordinary skeleton to market. His singular obsession with fossils fuelled a thriving business, hunting for, preparing & selling specimens to clients ranging from natural-history museums to avid private collectors like Leonardo DiCaprio. But as the T. bataar went to auction, a network of paleontologists alerted the government of Mongolia to the eye-catching lot, and an international custody battle ensued. The Dinosaur Artist is a stunning work of narrative journalism about humans’ relationship with natural history, and about a seemingly intractable conflict between science & commerce.
New this month: 2019 Australasian Sky Guide by Nick Lomb, $16.95 Complete Guide to Australian Birds by George Adams ($45, PB)
This most up-to-date guide to Australian birds is written in everyday language, with crisp, brilliant digital images taken in the wild(1400 photographs by some of Australia’s best wildlife photographers, including Colin Cock, Michael Schmid, Eric Sohn Joo Tan, Duade Patton, John Anderson, Alwyn Simple, Peter Jacobs, Andrew Bell, Tony Ashton, Nolan Caldwell, Chris Wiley, Maureen Goninan, Marlene Lyelle and George Adams to name but a few). The easily accessible information on each bird includes- common and scientific names, size, description, behaviour, preferred habitat, feeding habits, voice, status and breeding. Distribution maps are arranged next to the photographic illustrations of the bird, with binocular icons that indicate ‘hot spots’ to find particular birds.
Humble Pi: A Comedy of Maths Errors by Matt Parker ($35, PB)
We would all be better off if everyone saw mathematics as a practical ally. Sadly, most of us fear maths and seek to avoid it. This is because mathematics doesn’t have good ‘people skills’—it never hesitates to bluntly point out when we are wrong. But it is only trying to help! Mathematics is a friend which can fill the gaps in what our brains can do naturally. Luckily, even though we don’t like sharing our own mistakes, we love to read about what happens when maths errors make the everyday go horribly wrong. Matt Parker explores & explains near misses & mishaps with planes, bridges, the internet & big data as a way of showing us not only how important maths is, but how we can use it to our advantage. This comedy of errors is a brilliantly told series of disaster stories with a happy ending.
The Secret Language of Cats by Susanne Schötz
Cats do not meow randomly, nor do they growl or hiss because they have nothing better to do. Cat sounds have a purpose, and they can carry important messages, whether for us or other cats. In a longstanding research program at Lund University, Sweden, Susanne Schötz is proving that cats do actually use vocal communication—with each other & with their human caretakers. Understanding the vocal strategies used in human– cat communication will have profound implications for how we communicate with our pets, and has the potential to improve the relationship between animals & humans within several fields, including animal therapy, veterinary medicine & animal sheltering. In this book Schötz introduces the full range of feline vocalisations, explains what they can mean in different situations & gives practical tips to help us understand our cats better. ($23, PB)
The Unexpected Genius of Pigs by Matt Whyman ($23, PB)
Pigs are highly social & smart. They like to play. They’re inventive, crafty & belligerent—and incredibly singleminded. Matt Whyman embarks on a journey to uncover the heart & soul the pig, and in his bid to understand what makes a pig tick, having climbed a steep learning curve as a keeper himself, Whyman meets a veterinary professor and expert in pig emotion, as well as a spirited hill farmer whose world revolves around hogs & sows. This entertaining and informative celebration of all things porcine covers everything from evolution, behaviour & communication to friendship, loyalty & broken hearts—uncovering a surprising notion of family along the way.
Adam Spencer’s Top 100 by Adam Spencer
Australia’s funniest mathematician returns in 2018 with more rollicking romps through the world of science, technology, numbers and all things nerdy with this terrific new fully illustrated title packed full of fascinating facts, tantalising trivia, brain-busting number puzzles, & much much more ($35, PB)
Vital Science by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki ($35, HB)
Discover why people tell lies, why some planets are hotter than stars & how humans are terraforming the Earth. Is cockroach milk really the next Superfood? Why are birds so smart? Why do trees need each other to grow & how do they communicate? Why did a group of scientists voluntarily starve to death while surrounded by tonnes of food? How long does a decapitated head stay ‘alive’? What human artefacts can be seen with the naked eye from the International Space Station? Who is Bertha Benz & how did her first car trip revolutionise how we use petrol today? Finally, monitor your breathing & learn why whales are so big, why oral histories are surprisingly accurate & try the 5 tried-and-tested steps to becoming a wellness guru.
CERN & the Higgs Boson by James Gillies
In the late 1940s, a handful of visionaries were working to steer Europe towards a more peaceful future through science, and CERN, the European particle physics laboratory, was duly born. James Gillies tells the gripping story of particle physics, from the original atomists of ancient Greece, through the people who made the crucial breakthroughs, to CERN itself, one of the most ambitious scientific undertakings of our time, and its eventual confirmation of the Higgs boson. Weaving together the scientific and political stories of CERN’s development, Gillies reveals how particle physics has evolved from being the realm of solitary genius to a global field of human endeavour, with CERN’s Large Hadron Collider as its frontier research tool. ($20, PB)
Tales Teeth Tell: Development, Evolution, Behavior by Tanya M. Smith ($60, HB)
Our teeth have intriguing stories to tell. These sophisticated time machines record growth, diet & evolutionary history as clearly as tree rings map a redwood’s lifespan. The study of ancient, fossilized teeth sheds light on how our ancestors grew up, how we evolved, and how prehistoric cultural transitions continue to affect humans today. Biological anthropologist Tanya Smith offers an engaging and surprising look at what teeth tell us about the evolution of primates—including our own uniqueness. Fossil teeth, highly resilient because of their substantial mineral content, are all that is left of some long-extinct species. Smith explains how researchers employ painstaking techniques to coax microscopic secrets from these enigmatic remains. Counting tiny daily lines provides a way to estimate age that is more powerful than any other forensic technique. Dental plaque—so carefully removed by dental hygienists today—records our ancestral behaviour and health in the form of fossilized food particles and bacteria, including their DNA. Along the way Smith also traces the grisly origins of dentistry.
Now in B Format: Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society (ed) Bill Bryson, $20
Philosophy & Religion Cultural Studies & Criticism
I Think, Therefore I Draw: Understanding Philosophy through Cartoons by Daniel Klein
What’s the best way to answer some of the biggest questions in life—questions like—Does God exist? What is the meaning of life? Is there a basic principle for all moral decisions? What is the best way to organise society? How do we know what is true? Are there limits to what we can know? Why do things exist? Is there life after death? Is there a design to the Universe? What is a ‘self?? What is beauty? This is both an hilarious new exploration of philosophy through cartoons—and a thorough introduction to all the major debates in philosophy through history to the present day. ($30, HB)
Music as an Art by Roger Scruton ($50, HB)
We live at a critical time for classical music—in earlier times, Western musical culture had secure foundations in the church, the concert hall & the home; in the ceremonies & celebrations of ordinary life, religion & manners. Fewer people now play instruments & music is, for many, a form of largely solitary enjoyment. Roger Scruton begins this book by examining music through a philosophical lens, engaging in discussions about tonality, music & the moral life, music & cognitive science & German idealism, as well as recalling his struggle to encourage his students to distinguish the qualities of good music. He then explains via chapters on Schubert, Britten, Rameau, opera & film how we can develop greater judgement in music, recognising both good taste & bad, establishing musical values, as well as musical pleasures.
I am Dynamite! A Life of Friedrich Nietzsche by Sue Prideaux ($55, HB)
Friedrich Nietzsche’s work forms the bedrock of our contemporary thought, and yet a shroud of misunderstanding surrounds the philosopher behind these proclamations like ‘God is dead’ and ‘That which does not kill us makes us stronger’. His importance as a thinker rivals that of Freud or Marx. Award-winning biographer (Edvard Munch:Behind the Scream) Sue Prideaux’s new biography contains unrivalled insight into Nietzsche & charges of anti-Semitism, his relationship with Wagner, Nietzsche & music, Nietzsche’s familial relationships, mental illness, women and Nietzsche’s position in the grand tiers of 20th century thought and ideas. Prideaux’s fluent, transparent writing does justice to the complexity of the subject-matter—both Nietzsche’s ideas and his life sing on every page.
How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy by Julian Baggini ($33, PB)
Julian Baggini travels the globe to provide a hugely wide-ranging map of human thought. He shows us how distinct branches of philosophy flowered simultaneously in China, India & Ancient Greece, growing from local myths & stories—and how contemporary cultural attitudes, with particular attention to the West, East Asia, the Muslim World & Africa, have developed out of the philosophical histories of their regions. Interviewing thinkers from all around the world, he asks why, for instance, do our European systems of governments & justice differ so widely from the East? Why can Islam not easily incorporate secular knowledge? How do we understand China? By gaining greater knowledge of how others think, we can become less certain of the knowledge we think we have, the first step to greater understanding.
Living with Buildings: Walking with Ghosts— On Health & Architecture by Iain Sinclair
Buildings shape our lives & our health. They affect how we sleep, work, socialise and even breathe. They can isolate us, make us sick or put us in danger, but they can also heal. We, in turn, make our buildings an extension of ourselves: our hopes, fears and vanities. The structures we choose to inhabit absorb our histories and leave traces for future generations to read. Iain Sinclair embarks on a series of journeys through London, Marseilles, the Outer Hebrides & Sweden to explore the conflicted relationship between sickness & structure. Part travelogue, part polemic, part poem, he investigates the connection between art, architecture, social planning & health—considering the notion that we refine our own pathologies until we locate the buildings in which to place them. ($30, HB)
Essential Essays: Culture, Politics, and the Art of Poetry by Adrienne Rich ($39.95, HB) This volume gathers twenty-five of Adrienne Rich’s most renowned essays, demonstrating the lasting brilliance of her voice and her prophetic vision. Her thoughts on feminism, poetry, race, homosexuality and identity are still powerful and relevant today. Included are Rich’s landmark essays Motherhood as Experience and Institution; Why I Refused the National Medal for the Arts & Compulsory Heterosexuality and the Lesbian Existence.
Close to Home: Selected Writings by Alice Pung
This collection brings together Alice Pung’s essays on topics such as migration, family, art, belonging & identity. In 2006, Pung published Unpolished Gem, her award-winning memoir of growing up ChineseAustralian in Melbourne’s western suburbs. Since then, she has written on everything from the role of grandparents, to the corrosive effects of racism; from the importance of literature to the legacy of her parents’ migration from Cambodia as asylum seekers. In all of this, Pung’s central idea is home—how the places we live and the connections we form shape who we become, and what homecoming can mean to those who build their lives in Australia. ($33, PB)
What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape by Sohaila Abdulali ($20, PB)
Sohaila Abdulali was gang-raped as a teenager in Mumbai. Indignant at the silence on the issue in India, she wrote an article for a woman’s magazine challenging the way in which rape and rape victims were perceived. Thirty years later, in the wake of the 2012 fatal gang rape in Delhi, that story went viral. Whilst a host of books have been written about sexual violence since the #MeToo movement, Abdulali approaches the topic with warmth and wisdom gained from her wealth of knowledge as a survivor, counsellor and researcher. She uses not just rage, but humanity to talk about such a difficult topic, and these are the nuanced conversations we need to be having. Read it, and while you are at it get a copy for everyone you know. Sophie
Books that Saved My Life: Reading for Wisdom, Solace and Pleasure by Michael McGirr ($35, HB)
Here are forty texts to read at some stage in your life—forty texts that can enrich you in all manner of ways. Some are recent, like Harry Potter; some ancient, like Homer and Lao Tzu. There are memoirs (Nelson Mandela), poetry (Les Murray) and many of the world’s great novels, from George Eliot’s Middlemarch to Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Michael McGirr, schoolteacher and former priest, reviewer of hundreds of novels and lifelong lover of literature offers humour and insight in stories that connect the texts he has selected with each other, and connect us to them. Never prescriptive, and often very funny, this book is an invitation to reflect on—and share with others—the extraordinary gift of reading.
Now in B Format Chronicles of a Liquid Society by Umberto Eco, $25 The Patch by John McPhee ($30, PB) Ranging across a variety of genres and styles, subjects and moods, John McPhee’s ‘patches’ are collected from writings that have not previously appeared in any book. This collection is divided into Part I The Sporting Scene and Part II An Album Quilt. It includes vignettes of his childhood hunting golf balls in the woods, the career and choices of a famous lacrosse coach, Joan Baez’s journey into a musical career, his daughter’s response to a high-school vocabulary test and his travels across the United States. McPhee’s singular style keeps each patch fitting comfortably with the next; each text falls seamlessly within the rhyme and rhythm of a larger work. Fit to be consumed all at once, or savoured piecemeal, The Patch gives a full taste of his impeccable power over language. The Penguin Classics Book: In Search of the Best Books Ever Written by Henry Eliot ($70, HB)
From The Epic of Gilgamesh to the poetry of the First World War, and covering all the greatest works of fiction, poetry, drama, history and philosophy in between, this Penguin Classics reader’s companion encompasses 500 authors, 1,200 books and 4,000 years of world literature. Stuffed full of stories, author biographies, book summaries and recommendations, and illustrated with thousands of historic Penguin Classic covers, this is an exhilarating and comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to explore and discover the best books ever written.
Barking with the Big Dogs: On Writing and Reading Books for Children by Natalie Babbitt ($37, HB)
Artist and writer Natalie Babbitt (1932–2016) was the award-winning author of the modern classic Tuck Everlasting, The Eyes of the Amaryllis, Kneeknock Rise, and many other brilliantly original books for young people. She began her career in 1966 as the illustrator of The Forty-ninth Magician, written by her husband. When he became a college president & no longer had time to collaborate, Babbitt tried her hand at writing. In this collection of essays & speeches written over the course of four decades, she explores what it was like to be a ‘little dog’ in the literary world, continually being forced to justify her choice to write books for children—instead of doing something more serious. Filled with incisive commentary on classic children’s books as well as contemporary works, Barking with the Big Dogs offers colourful insight into the creative life of a writer who was a true literary giant of her day. The book includes an introduction by Newbery Medalist Katherine Applegate, photographs, and other illustrations.
My Country: Stories, Essays & Speeches by David Marr ($40, HB)
‘My country is the subject that interests me most and I have spent my career trying to untangle it’s mysteries.’ David Marr is one of Australia’s most unflinching, forensic reporters of political controversy, and one of its most subtle and eloquent biographers. In Marr’s hands, those things we call reportage and commentary are elevated to artful and illuminating chronicles of our time. My Country collects his powerful reflections on religion, sex, censorship and the law; striking accounts of leaders, moralists and scandalmongers; elegant ruminations on the arts and the lives of artists. And some memorable new pieces.
Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce by Colm Tóibín ($30, HB)
‘A father...is a necessary evil.’ Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses William Butler Yeats’ father was an impoverished artist, an inveterate letter writer, and a man crippled by his inability to ever finish a painting. Oscar Wilde’s father was a doctor, a brilliant statistician & amateur archaeologist who was taken to court by an obsessed lover in a strange foreshadowing of events that would later befall his son. The father of James Joyce was a garrulous, hard-drinking man with a violent temper, unable or unwilling to provide for his large family, who eventually drove his son from Ireland. Colm Tóibín presents an illuminating, intimate study of Irish culture, history & literature told through the lives & works of Ireland’s most famous sons, and the complicated, influential relationships they each maintained with their fathers.
The Land Before Avocado by Richard Glover
‘It was simpler time’. We had more fun back then’. ‘Everyone could afford a house’.There’s plenty of nostalgia right now for the Australia of the past, but what was it really like? In The Land Before Avocado, Richard Glover takes a journey to an almost unrecognisable Australia. It’s a vivid portrait of a quite peculiar land: a place that is scary and weird, dangerous & incomprehensible—a place of funny clothing and food that was appalling. It is also the land of staggeringly awful attitudes—often enshrined in law—towards anybody who didn’t fit in. ($30, PB)
a couple of books for the holidays Anne Tyler’s latest novel Clock Dance is a very quiet, inoffensive book, whose central character, Willa Drake, is as mild and equable as the book itself. It would be easy to dismiss both Willa and Clock Dance, but I find myself thinking about it months after I read it. In fact some catastrophic things happen in Willa’s life—when the narrative starts, she is a school child, and her histrionic mother has just gone missing. However she remains like a duck calmly floating on the surface while its legs paddle furiously underneath. We follow Willa through some rather alarming key moments to her early 60s, when she finds herself summoned to Baltimore, to look after Cheryl, a child she has never met, after her mother is shot in the leg. From here the novel changes, and as Willa becomes more submerged in the community around Cheryl and her mother, she also rises from the flatness her own life, and becomes her own person, not just a reflection of other people’s needs and wishes. Anne Tyler’s characters have a common thread, they are not necessarily likeable, but always recognisable and memorable, and Willa Drake is no exception—she is quite irritating in her passivity, but ultimately, and reassuringly, it’s never to late to change. The mother and son in Patrick de Witt’s French Exit, could not be more different from Willa Drake. Frances and Malcolm are on their uppers, and find themselves forced to make a ‘French exit’ (making a hasty retreat without advising anyone) from New York to sail to Paris where they stay in a borrowed apartment. Mystery surrounds Frances, she is a famous beauty who has been tainted by scandal. Her son Malcolm has an alarming case of arrested development, and with their strange little cat Small Frank, they make an odd trio. The facetious tone of the book masks the drama—Frances is really quite outrageous, and Malcolm is frustrating, and as the small apartment fills up with people, the situation becomes more absurd. There is a very arch, macabre undertow in the narrative—particularly on the ship they make their exit on. The ship’s doctor cheerfully tells Malcolm ‘You get a body a day. That’s the industry standard for an Atlantic crossing’. There is a timeless quality about French Exit, and it’s very cinematic to read—it was easy imagine Katharine Hepburn playing Frances, and Jimmy Stewart playing Malcolm, but I don’t know who would be Small Frank. Louise
The Sky is Falling: How Vampires, Zombies, Androids and Superheroes Made America Great for Extremism by Peter Biskind ($40, PB)
Peter Biskind takes a dizzying ride across 2 decades of pop culture to show how the TV & movies we love have taught us to love political extremism. Welcome to a darkly pessimistic, apocalyptic world where winter has come, the dead are walking, and ultra violence, revenge & torture are all in a day’s work. Welcome to the new normal. (Anybody with an addiction to dystopian TV downloads and the Hollywood outpouring of Marvel and DC superhero franchises should find this interesting. I read it in a couple of sittings and immediately felt like I needed to start again. Biskind (of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls—also a good read) leaps from topic to topic, from show to show, in a stream of consciousness flow of connections that he suggests all lead the viewing public to be lulled through extremes of right and left away from centrist politics and straight to divisive populism and the T word. At times I think Biskind loses his place (and I don’t think I will ever be convinced Avatar is a good movie or its politics anything more than a simplistic environmentalism that is utterly overwhelmed by James Cameron’s love of SFX ordnance), but I enjoyed the breathless and then and then and then cascade of Biskind’s ideas. Ed)
Going Postal: More Than ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ (eds) Quinn Eades & Son Vivienne ($33, PB)
Throughout 2017 the queer & gender-diverse community of Australia undertook an incredible campaign of everyday activism around Marriage Equality. Individuals & collectives shared personal stories with their networks—often documented as poems, photos, short stories, status updates, tweets, blog posts, political cartoons & short videos. Many were shocked at the vitriol directed at ‘Yes’ voters, and although the legislation went through, many were left wondering whether it was worth it—living with the ongoing grief of having their lives and those of their loved ones up for public debate. Going Postal is both a celebration of the ‘Yes’ result, and a protest book responding to the grief caused by the public debate.
Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities by Eric Kaufmann ($55, HB)
Across the West, anti-immigration populists are tearing a path through the usual politics of left & right. Immigration is remaking Europe & North America—over half of American babies are nonwhite, and by the end of the century, minorities & those of mixed race are projected to form the majority in many countries. Drawing on an extraordinary range of surveys, Eric Kaufmann explores the majority response to ethnic change in Western Europe, North America & Australasia. A leading expert on immigration, Kaufmann calls for a move beyond empty talk about national identity and an open debate about the future of white majorities. He argues that we must ditch the ‘diversity myth’ that whites will dwindle, replacing it with whiteshift—a new story of majority transformation that can help lift anxieties & heal today’s widening political divisions.
Language & Writing
Words That Go Ping by Barbara Lasserre
If it goes ‘moo’ then every child knows it’s a cow. If it goes ‘Wham! Bam! Crash!’ we’re in a fast-paced comic. But what goes ‘krknout’? Barbara Lasserre takes a playful journey through the delightful world of words that mimic sounds. Normally relegated to children’s books, cartoons and comedians, she shows how these often ancient words reveal unexpected things about the way we think, speak and act. ($25, HB)
It’s All Greek: Borrowed Words and their Histories by Alexander Tulloch ($35, HB)
You may be aware that words such as geometry, mathematics, phobia & hypochondria derive from ancient Greek, but did you know that marmalade, pirate, sketch & purse can also trace their linguistic origins back to the Athens of 500 bce? This book offers a word-by-word look at the influence of Greek on everyday words in English, telling the stories behind the etymological developments of each example & tracing their routes into modern English via Latin and European languages. It also explains connections with ancient Greek culture, in particular mythology, politics & warfare, and includes proverbs & quotations from Greek literature. Taken together, these words show how we are deeply indebted to the language spoken in Athens 2,500 years ago for our everyday vocab.
The Real McCoy and 149 other Eponyms by Claire Cock-Starkey ($25, HB)
Eponyms can be are named in honour of a style icon, inventor or explorer, such as pompadour, Kalashnikov & Cadillac. Others have their roots in Greek or Roman mythology, such as panic & tantalise. Claire Cock-Starkey shows how these often ancient words reveal unexpected things about the way we think, speak and act with 150 of the most interesting & enlightening specimens, delving into the origins of the words & describing the fascinating people after whom they were named. 21
The Arts The Tree by Richard Woldendorp ($45, HB)
In this spectacular volume, acclaimed landscape photographer Richard Woldendorp AM, best known for his book Down to Earth with Tim Winton, explores Australian trees of all shapes and sizes. From abstract close-ups to aerials, Woldendorp’s images reveal the beauty and wonder of trees.
In Miniature: How Small Things Illuminate The World by Simon Garfield ($30, HB) Simon Garfield takes a big look the obsessive, eccentric and meticulous, and welcomes us into the world of collectors, modellers & fans. Discover flea circuses, 1,000 tiny Hitlers, miniature crime scenes, model villages & railways, minuscule food and a dozen more intricately examined pursuits. Each object considered plots the course of a new miniature byway, and in unexpected ways puts the world in a whole new light. Garfield ranges widely in the history, psychology & fanaticism attached to working & playing in tiny worlds of our own making. We bring things down to size to understand and appreciate them.
Savage Messiah by Laura Oldfield Ford ($30, PB)
Savage Messiah collects the entire set of Laura Oldfield Ford’s fanzine to date. Part graphic novel, part artwork, the book is both an angry polemic against the marginalization of the city’s working class and an exploration of the cracks that open up in urban space. These psychogeographical drifts around London’s grimy underbelly, have achieved cult status in art circles since their first issue in 2005—be warned: this is a city you won’t find in any guidebook.
Fewer, Better Things by Glenn Adamson ($35, HB)
Curator & scholar Glenn Adamson opens this book by contrasting his beloved childhood teddy bear to the smartphones & digital tablets children have today. He laments that many children & adults are losing touch with the material objects that have nurtured human development for thousands of years. The objects are still here, but we seem to care less & know less about them. He then explores the history of craft in its many forms, explaining how raw materials, tools, design & technique come together to produce beauty & utility in handmade or manufactured items. Whether describing the implements used in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, the use of woodworking tools, or the use of new fabrication technologies, Adamson writes expertly & lovingly about the aesthetics of objects, and the care & attention that goes into producing them. Reading this wise and elegant book is a truly transformative experience.
250 Japanese Knitting Stitch Patterns ($30, PB) The Original Pattern Bible by Hitomi Shida
250 Japanese Knitting Stitches contains the original collection of knitting stitches first published by Hitomi Shida in 1996. Copies of the original Japanese edition have been jealously coveted by knitters around the world—translated and introduced by veteran knitting instructor Gayle Roehm, the best-known teacher of Japanese knitting in America. Roehm guides knitters through the particulars of the patterns and explains how to execute the stitches.
Wabi Sabi Sewing: 20 Sewing Patterns for Perfectly Imperfect Projects by Karen Lewis
This collection of 20 sewing projects for home decor and accessories is based on the popular Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi which celebrates the beauty in the ordinary and imperfect. The projects are grouped according to how we live, for example: living; sleeping; eating and exploring. Try out some simple wabi-sabi style sewing techniques such as hand piecing, sashiko embroidery, big stitch quilting, and visible mending to create unique items for your home whether it’s a full sized bed quilt, simple coasters a stunning. Karen Lewis, has used a limited palette of earthy tones and the best quality natural fabrics including linen, cotton, denim and wool to create a stunning collection of simple, sewn projects. ($36, PB)
365 Days of Drawing: Sketch and paint your way through the creative year by Lorna Scobie Divided into twelve-monthly themes, such as nature, portraiture, using colour, calligraphy writing, plus much more, Lorna Scobie offers tasks designed to expand your creative skills and spark the artist within. With helpful prompts and inspiring tutorials that show you how to draw using different materials such as pen, pencils, chalk, paints, gel pens and collage. ($23, PB)
Also available for your creative 2019: 365 Days of Art: A creative exercise for every day of the year by Lorna Scobie ($23, PB)
Picturing the Pacific by James Taylor ($50, HB) For over 50 years between the 1760s and the early 19th century, the pioneers who sailed from Europe to explore the Pacific brought back glimpses of this new world in the form of oil paintings, watercolours and drawings—a sensational view of a part of the world few would ever see. Drawing on both private and public collections from around the world, this lavish book collects together oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints & other documents from those voyages, and presents a unique glimpse into an age where science & art became irrevocably entwined. Craftfulness: Mend Yourself by Making Things by Rosemary Davidson & Arzu Tahsin ($30, HB)
Drawing on the first-hand accounts from everyday crafters, Craftfulness considers the vital well-being effects to be gained from the simple expression of your creativity, and investigates the soul cleansing & stress-relieving benefits of making things by hand. The book also features simple but immensely satisfying craft projects to still the mind & soothe the soul, complete with beautifully illustrated step-by-step instructions.
Annie Leibovitz at Work ($69.95, HB)
Leibovitz addresses young photographers & readers interested in what photographers do, but any reader interested in contemporary history will be fascinated by her account of one of the richest bodies of work in the photographic canon. Her subjects include photojournalism, studio work, photographing dancers & athletes, working with writers, and making the transition from shooting with film to working with digital cameras. Originally published in 2008, this edition has been revised and updated.
A Painted Landscape: Across Australia from Bush to Coast by Amber Creswell Bell ($60, HB)
Just as in I Love a Sunburnt Country Dorothea Mackellar zeroed in on the particular nuances of Australia that make our country so unique, this book forms an aesthetic study of the Australian landscape as seen, experienced & expressed by the Australian artists who choose to paint it. Surveying 50 artists working in various mediums & depicting varied terrains, this volume showcases an incredible diversity of landscapes—dispelling the myth that Australia is all ‘beach and bush’. Focusing on contemporary landscape painters, this is Australia in the 21st century through a creative lens.
Giovanni Bellini: The Art of Contemplation
Following the arc of Bellini’s career, from his early devotional paintings to his later, occasionally secular works, this book offers an in-depth appreciation of the Venetian master who dominated the Early Renaissance. Featuring nearly every extant Bellini work, as well as those of his contemporaries, this book brims with gorgeous Renaissance art. Author Johannes Grave focuses on some of the artist’s greatest works including Allegoria Sacra, the Brera Pietà, and the altarpiece of San Giobbe—to explore how Bellini excelled in tempera before mastering oil painting. The book considers the original contexts of Bellini’s works, and elucidates the ways in which these paintings were meant to be perceived. Grave also examines Bellini’s life, including his complex relationships with his father Jacopo, his brother Gentile, and his brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna. ($215, HB)
Last Painting: Final Works of the Great Masters by Bernard Chambez ($70, HB)
Signorelli fell from scaffolding, the diabetic Cezanne, wrote ‘I am old, sick, and I swore to die while painting’. In a sensitive exploration of the relationship between art & death Bernard Chambez collects 100 terminal paintings from 100 artists, including Dalí, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Goya, Pollock, Rembrandt, Dix, Bonnard, Titien, and many more. Each picture gives us a glimpse into the painter’s mind. Did they know death was coming? Did they paint with denial, or acceptance? Did they return to a favourite subject, or decide to embark on a new, original project while they still had time?
Stones to Stains: The Drawings of Victor Hugo
Remarkably spontaneous and receptive to the myriad possibilities of medium and materials, Hugo produced experimental and enigmatic compositions, from haunting renditions of castles and ruins to ethereal and abstract forms and stains. Bringing together around 120 of the most significant examples of Victor Hugo’s works on paper, this lavishly illustrated volume includes essays which place Hugo’s drawings within the context of artistic movements in 19th century France, closely examine his cosmic landscapes and visions of the night, delve into Hugo’s processing of ideas and imagination, and analyse a central pair of opposing forces in his work—stones and stains. ($90, HB)
2nd2nd2ndHand Hand HandRows Rows Rows Collectables
The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov ($120, HB) Collins and Harvill Press, London, 1967. First UK Edition. Condition: Good. Original hard cloth in the dust-jacket which has a short tear and minor chipping to the bottom edge. Light spotting to endpapers, boards and DJ. Previous owner’s name in pen to front endpaper. Translated by Michael Glenny, jacket design by Alex Jawdokimov. The devil makes a personal appearance in Moscow; his retinue includes two demons, a naked girl & a huge black cat which talks, walks upright, smokes cigars and is a dead shot with a Mauser automatic ... Mikhail Bulgakov gave up the practice of medicine in 1920 to devote himself to literature. As censorship became stricter in Stalin’s Russia, his work ceased to be produced and he had to earn his living as an assistant producer and literary adviser at the Moscow Arts Theatre. Depressed by this stifling of his creativity, Bulgakov appealed to Stalin to be allowed to emigrate. Stalin answered him by telephone—denying him the right to leave Russia, but that the ban on some of his work would be lifted. He worked for ten years The Master and Margarita, applying the finishing touches in 1938. In 1939 he went blind, and he died in 1940. Master waited a further thirty years for publication, and when it appeared it caused so great a stir in Moscow that public readings had to be held because the magazine issues in which it was printed were instantly snapped up.
Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer ($100, PB) Visual Editions, 2010. Soft cover. Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. Light crease to front endpaper and title page. One light mark to bottom edge. Jonathan Safran Foer decides to exhume a new story from an existing text—his ‘favourite’ book, The Street of Crocodiles by Polish-Jewish writer Bruno Schulz. He uses Schulz’s story quite literally as a canvas—cutting into and out of the pages, to arrive at an original new story. I’ve never been quite able to piece together the story, but as an object this book is unput-downable. And utterly one of a kind—physically a cross between a book that’s been attacked by an inventive child with a pair of scissors, and a censor’s redactions carried out with a razor instead of a black pen.
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E Lawrence ($75, HB) Jonathan Cape, 1935. Hardcover. Condition: Good. 1st Trade Edition. Large Thick Quarto. 672pp. Original brown buckram, gilt titles. Illustrated. Sporadic mild foxing. ‘Mr Geoffrey Dawson persuaded All Souls College to give me leisure, in 1919–1920, to write about the Arab Revolt. Sir Herbert Baker let me live & work in his Westminster houses. The book so written passed in 1921 into proof: where it was fortunate in the friends who criticized it. Particularly it owes its thanks to Mr & Mrs Bernard Shaw for countless suggestions of great value & diversity: and for all the present semicolons. It does not pretend to be impartial. I was fighting for my hand, upon my own midden. Please take it as a personal narrative pieced out of memory. I could not make proper notes: indeed it would have been a breach of my duty to the Arabs if I had picked such flowers while they fought.’ So starts Lawrence’s intro to his adventures. As an editor I love his mention of semicolons, and perusing the volume, I love the illustrations—not to mention the process as mentioned on the copyright page— ‘photogravure’—what a lovely word.
The Thousand Nights and a Night—Sir Richard Burton London H. S. Nichols & Co. 1894. 12 volumes. First edition of the Nichols/Smithers ‘Library Edition’, with all passages restored which had been omitted from Lady Burton’s edition of 1886. 8vo, black cloth decorated with elaborate Islamic design filling the top cover, gilt lettered on spine. Gilt bright and attractive. Some bumps to outer corners; some tissue guards creased or loose. Some covers lightly scuffed or worn. Page edges yellowed; nicks and soft creases to spine ends. No owner names, tight in the bindings. Volume 1 contains an inserted Publishers Notice. A Very Good set. PRICE—$950.00. The Thousand Nights and a Night—often called The Arabian Nights—are a collection of Middle Eastern stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic between the 8th and 13th centuries. When Persian King Shahryar is betrayed by his wife, the vengeful ruler believes all women are unfaithful. Thus, every night for three years, he takes a wife and has her put to death the next morning, until he marries his vizier’s daughter, the beautiful and clever Scheherazade. For 1,001 nights she regales the King with enchanting tales of mystical lands, fabulous creatures, magical beings, the adventures of heroines and heroes. Each time Scheherazade stops at dawn, leaving the story incomplete, thus forcing Shahryar to spare her another day so that she can complete the tale the next night. At the end of the stories, King Shahryar has changed into a merciful, wise ruler and Scheherazade has saved her life. Sir Richard Burton (1821–1890) was one of the foremost linguists of his time (he mastered some 29 languages and 11 other dialects). He was an explorer, poet, translator, ethnologist, and archaeologist—and he probably travelled through more of the world than any other of his 19th century contemporaries, publishing over 40 books of his travels. His translation of The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night is his masterpiece. This famous work revealed Burton’s encyclopaedic knowledge of Arabic language, daily life, customs, and sexual practices that were considered too obscene to publish at the time. The original translation of this work was privately published by the Kamashastra Society, in 10 volumes in 1885—‘for private subscribers only’. This edition gave Benares—in Uttar Pradesh, India—as place of publication. In reality, the Society had only two members—Burton and close friend and fellow Orientalist, Foster Arbuthnot—and was a legal device for avoiding prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act of 1857. The work itself was actually published in Britain by Miller and Richard (a Scottish firm) at Stoke Newington, London. The original 10 volumes were followed by a further six, entitled The Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night (1886–88), thus completing, over twenty-five years, what Burton called: ‘A labour of love, an unfailing source of solace and satisfaction’. In 1886, Burton’s wife, Lady Isabel Burton, lent her name to the publication of a six-volume edition which reprinted the first ten volumes only (of the original sixteen) and was ‘prepared for Household readings’ by omitting 215 pages from the 3,215 of the original text. In the 1894 edition, edited by publisher Leonard Smithers, the omitted material has been restored and the sixteen volumes published in twelve. In his Editor’s Note, Smithers stated that this edition upheld Burton’s pledge to subscribers that ‘no cheaper edition of the entire work should be issued. The reader has therefore the most complete edition of the Nights that can ever be published’. Smithers hoped that this edition would permit Burton’s translation of the famous tales to ‘take its proper place on the library shelf alongside Cervantes and Shakespeare’. Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney ($65, BX) Folio Society 2010. Quarter-bound in leather with cloth sides. Condition: Near fine. Light wear to rear of slip-case—otherwise ‘as new’ condition. ‘When I was an undergraduate at Queen’s University, Belfast, I studied Beowulf & other Anglo-Saxon poems & developed not only a feel for the language but a fondness for the melancholy & fortitude that characterised the poetry. Consequently when an invitation to translate the poem arrived I was tempted to try my hand. While I had no great expertise in Old English, I had a strong desire to get back to the first stratum of the language & to ‘assay the hoard’. This was during the middle years of the 1980s when I had begun a regular teaching job at Harvard & was opening my ear to the untethered music of some contemporary American poetry. Saying yes to the Beowulf commission would be (I argued with myself) a kind of aural antidote, a way of ensuring that my linguistic anchor would stay lodged on the Anglo-Saxon sea-floor. So I undertook to do it.’ Whenever Folio Society editions come into my purview the collector in me starts salivating—oh for another wall of empty shelves to fill. This ‘as new’ edition has illustrations by Becca Thorne.
Stephen’s Notables for 2018
Enngonia Road: Death and Deprivation in the Australian Outback by Richard Stanton ($38.50, PB)
Mona and Jacinta Smith, two indigenous teenage cousins, aged 16 and 15, meet gruesome deaths in a car accident 60kms north of Bourke on 5-6 December 1987. The driver, Alexander Grant, a severely intoxicated, white, 40-year-old, farm worker walks away unharmed. Despite admitting to lying about his subsequent actions—and allegations of sexual interference of the two teenagers—he goes free after a flawed police investigation and a trial about which even his defence barrister had ‘misgivings’. A sober reexamination of a 30-year story of warped justice.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism: A Novel by Grady Hendrix ($25, PB)
‘It was the best time ever. The year of Pour Some Sugar on Me and Sweet Child O’ Mine…’ Summer of 1988. Abby Rivers and Gretchen Lang—childhood friends since Fourth Grade and now sophomores—Year 11—attend the far too restrictive Albermarle Academy High School, Charleston, South Carolina. Along with friends Margaret and Glee, they plan a midnight session of beer drinking, skinny dipping session and a first sample of LSD. Not without some doubts: ‘Do you want to end up like Syd Barrett?’ It all goes disastrously wrong and as the school year progresses, Abby comes to the horrific realisation that her best friend is possessed by the Devil. Lots of entertaining 1980s cultural references are seamlessly dropped into the text—each chapter heading is an 80s song title. Darker highlights are high school victim blaming, slut shaming and a Reagan-era values background cacophony. This novel deftly switches tone from the everyday teenage torments of high school and gradually transforms into a genuinely terrifying supernatural thriller. It is also an ode to the power of a lifelong female friendship. An extra star is given for the detail perfect VHS tape box cover design.
When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri ($20, PB)
‘Nobody was sober, nothing was off limits as a keepsake. They raided the display behind the bar—a pair of rainbow handcuffs; an autographed DVD of season four of The L Word; a figurine of Scar, the evil gay lion from The Lion King; a tattered magazine cover of Ellen DeGeneres declaring ‘Yep, I’m Gay’, that had probably been taped to that spot on the wall since 1997’. Katie Daniels is a successful lawyer who gets dumped by her ‘perfect’ fiancée and is having a difficult time overcoming the end of her relationship. She meets Cassidy Price in a business meeting. That same day after work hours, Cassidy bumps into Katie at a wine bar and asks her out for a drink. Katie accepts unenthusiastically and ends up with her in Metropolis a dimly lit lesbian bar and soon… This novel is set in New York City. The story is told from the alternating viewpoints of Katie and Cassidy. The characters were sweet and likeable. It’s short, light, breezy and funny. A perfect summer read.
The Pisces: A Novel by Melissa Broder ($30,PB) ‘As we kissed, I imagined eating his tail with garlic butter…’ Lucy’s life is a mess. Her long-time boyfriend has left for good. Her dissertation on Sappho has stalled after nine years work. She is depressed, drug addled and becoming mildly paranoid. Her sister offers Lucy her Venice Beach house to mind for the summer. Lucy will care for Dominic the diabetic foxhound, attend group therapy and finish her dissertation. However, she soon succumbs to drinking, loneliness and a succession of one-night stands, courtesy of Tinder. One night on the shoreline rocks she meets Theo, a handsome, mysterious midnight swimmer. He’s sensitive, sexy and attracted to her. He’s also a Merman. They begin a (very) unlikely, very sexual relationship. Lucy transports Theo to her house each night in a small covered waggon. He is kept in the bath between bouts. Black humour and edgy, obsessive internal conversations power this book throughout. The scenes of Merman erotica are very explicit indeed. These begin around p.135, but don’t skip ahead. As the relationship becomes ever more intense, Theo asks Lucy to live with him underwater. Is this the solution to all her problems? Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine by Anne Applebaum ($25, PB)
‘Honourable Comrade Stalin, is there a Soviet government law stating that villagers should go hungry? How can we build a socialist people’s economy when we are condemned to starving to death, as the harvest is still four months away?’ Eighty-five years ago, in the vast area of the Ukraine, over four million people— some 10 percent of the population—were dead or dying. The remainder of the populace were surviving in various stages of starvation, often too weak to bury
their dead. The Terror Famine of 1932–33, inflicted by Stalin upon the peasantry of Ukraine, the Volga and Don regions was the climax of a dictatorial tyrant at war with his own people. It saw Party initiated policies to remove what was (wrongly) viewed as a large class of wealthy peasants—Kulaks—opposed to the Soviet economic policy of collectivization, the abolition of private property. In 1928-29, ‘dekulakization’ resulted in the killing or deportation to the Arctic of millions of peasants and their families. There followed the herding of the remainder onto State controlled ‘collective farms’. Three years later, came the policy of setting impossibly high grain quotas upon the collectivized peasantry, resulting in mass starvation with all foodstuffs confiscated by the State. This was accompanied by organised attacks on Ukrainian cultural and intellectual centres—to crush the Ukrainian nation. With more material at her disposal, since the collapse of the Soviet Union—including many Ukrainian ‘famine memoirs’—Anne Applebaum’s book extends and builds upon Robert Conquest’s pioneering work, The Harvest of Sorrow (1986) and provides a vivid and authoritative account of a colossal tragedy that remains too little known. Stephen Reid
A Trillion Tiny Awakenings by Candy Royalle
Candy Royalle was a spoken word poet par excellence, presenting her words and ideas with dynamism and passion. Sadly published after her death, A trillion tiny awakenings is uncompromisingly direct in its language and set of interests about the world and the politics that impact every aspect of our lives. These poems also carry love. ($23, PB)
Collected Poems by Les Murray ($60, HB)
Les Murray’s new and updated Collected Poems displays the full range of his poetic art. This magnificent hardback volume contains all the poems he wants to preserve, apart from the verse novel Fredy Neptune, from his first book The Ilex Tree (1965) to Waiting for the Past (2015). In tracing Murray’s artistic development, it shows an ever-changing power, grace and humour, as well as great versatility and formal mastery.
Sincerity by Carol Ann Duffy ($33, HB)
In her final collection of poems as Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy gazes out from the autumn of life, placing time and its passage at the heart of this reflective work. There are moving elegies here for what has departed; whether that be children who have flown the nest, a way of life, literary luminaries, past loves, lost parents or our own youth. While a deeply personal work, Duffy also looks outwards, taking stock of a world in turmoil, and in some of her most radical work to date, she satirises and unpicks the deception and dishonesty at the heart of our current political situation. A rallying cry builds steadily through the book culminating in a moving closing ode to the virtue of sincerity. A truly fitting culmination to her time as a Poet Laureate
The Lioness Awakens by Lauren Eden ($22, PB) I was always suspicious of those Happily Ever Afters disappearing without a trace with no other pages as evidence. The Lioness Awakens is an illustrated work of short poems with a bite. Melbourne poet, Lauren Eden, writes provocative poetry about love, sexuality, heartbreak, and feminism, combined in a creative expression of female empowerment and confidence.
Old Toffer’s Book of Consequential Dogs by Christopher Reid ($30, HB)
Originally conceived by T. S. Eliot himself, as a companion to his book of Practical Cats, these poems are as witty, varied and exquisitely compiled as Eliot’s cats. Costa winner Christopher Reid has ‘rounded up a rowdy assembly Of my own Consequential Dogs As counterparts to Eliot’s mogs. Mine are a rough and ready bunch: You wouldn’t take them out to lunch . . . But if they strike you as friendly, funny, Full of bounce and fond of a romp, Forgetful of poetic pomp, I trust you’ll take them as you find them And, at the very least, not mind them’. Illustrated by Elliot Elam.
The Flame by Leonard Cohen ($40, HB)
This collection of Leonard Cohen’s last poems and writings, selected and ordered by Cohen in the final months of his life. The book contains an extensive selection from Cohen’s notebooks, featuring lyrics, prose pieces and illustrations, which he kept in poetic form throughout his life, and offers an unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist and thinker.
Cat Poems ($17, PB) Cats raise a mirror up to their beholders; cats endlessly captivate and hypnotise, frustrate and delight. This collection offers a litter of odes to our beloved felines by some of the greatest poets of all time.
Inferno: (A Poet’s Novel) Eileen Myles, PB
Byron’s Women Alexander Larman, HB
Lock in John Scalzi, HB
Only Killers and Thieves Paul Howarth, PB
Dr Bethune’s Children Xue Yiwei, PB
Now $18.95 Elizabeth Bishop: Megan Marshall, HB
The Classics: All You Everything Explained That Is Explainable : On the Creation of the Encyclopae- Need to Know, from Zeus’s dia Britannica’s 11th Edition, 1910-1911 Throne to the Fall of Rome Caroline Taggart, HB Denis Boyles, HB
Chasing Lost Time:The Life Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies of C. K. Scott Moncrieff: Soldier, Spy, and Translator Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients Jean Findlay, HB Ben Goldacre, HB
The Art of Cycling Cadel Evans, HB
Switched on : A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening John Elder Robison, HB
The Infinite Monkey Cage — How to Build a Universe Brian Cox & Robin Ince, HB
Is God Happy? Selected Essays Leszek Kolakowski, HB
The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep : Russia’s Road to Terror and Out of Ashes : A New History Dictatorship under Yeltsin & Putin of Europe in the 20th Century Konrad H. Jarausch, HB David Satter, HB
An Uncommon History of Aphrodite’s Island: Common Courtesy: How Manners Now I Sit Me Down: From Klismos to Vegetarian Cooking The European Discovery of Tahiti Step by Step Plastic Chair: A Natural History Shaped the World Anne Salmond, HB Lena Tritto, PB Witold Rybczynski, HB Bethanne Patrick, HB
David M: For me, it’s The Overstory by Richard Powers. Make
no mistake. This is political literature. It is about trees and humans and the fate of the planet. It is a poetic call to arms. It is brilliant. No matter what theory prevails at any given time, I have always tended to think that good literature is potent in that it can at least influence our moral compass. I would like to believe that great literature will always influence us for the better. We have one decade left to avoid catastrophic climate change, and even the head of Shell has said that we need to plant the equivalent of another Amazon rainforest immediately. I read The Overstory before it was shortlisted for the Booker, and I am writing this on the day before the winner is announced. With luck, millions more will read it now. And do something worthwhile. ($33)
Tamarra: My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen—Lily Allen delves
deep into her personal life in My Thoughts Exactly—she’s frank and brutally honest and doesn’t bother to sugar coat the good or the bad. Allen discusses her music, excess drug and alcohol use, and her mental health. She talks candidly about her chaotic childhood, the breakdown of her marriage, the ugly side of celebrity where men took advantage and of loss and grief. Respect to Lily for being so honest—it’s an engaging insight, and at odds with the woman who is often seen as brash and outspoken. She is smart, witty and wise, talented and beautifully flawed. ($35)
Louise: Warlight by Michael Ondaatje entranced me. Judy: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid—Saeed and Nadia must exit
the life they are living as their city is destroyed around them. They find a door to scramble through and enter upon a new existence—via Greece to England & beyond. Their struggles, their resilience, their relationship engage us completely and yet the perspective afforded by the author is large, poetic. He tells us, through this fantastic novel, that we are all displaced, all lurching through doors to other lives—even the woman who lives her whole life in one place as the neighbourhood transforms utterly around her. To be alive on this planet is to be moved along. ... ‘and we too will be lost by those who come after us and love us, and this loss unites humanity, unites every human being, the temporary nature of our being-ness, & our shared sorrow’.... A moving, intriguing and generous book full of great characters & encounters. ($20)
Its shadowy, extraordinary characters, the crepuscular settings in both the English countryside and London, and the detailed, imaginative plot, all written with grace and clarity. A very literary thriller, a war book, and a love story ($30). The Only Story by Julian Barnes is also a memorable love story, but a heartbreaking one. The author’s exquisite writing is somewhat at odds with the harrowing but compelling story of two people taking a road less travelled. Very affecting. ($30)
Our Favourite Books 2018 Stephen: Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu and How It Changed the World by Laura Spinney—In 1918, a unique, mu-
tating influenza virus, later to be called the Spanish Flu, arrived in France from Kansas. It became a pandemic that in three global waves between 1918 to 1920, infected 500 million people—a third of the world’s population—and killed between 50 to 100 million people worldwide. It surpassed the death toll of both WW1(18 million) and WW2 (60 million) and probably the two combined. Yet how many people today have even heard of it? Laura Spinney’s engrossing book is a scientific detective story of the origins, the course, the human response and the legacy—a century later— of the worst pandemic of modern times. It’s also a moving narrative of individual human tragedy on a worldwide scale.($23)
Morgan: White Houses by Amy Bloom—
A superbly written novel about Eleanor Roosevelt and her long-term companion and lover ‘Hick’, a journalist who covered the Depression and politics in a time when that was unusual. Written in Hick’s compelling voice, this beautiful novel interprets real people in the real world but rises above the ordinary to become all art ($28). I also loved Asymmetry, a debut novel by Lisa Halliday—written in seemingly unrelated sections, the fun is in working out how in the end, they do relate. A book about writing and fame and the modern world. ($28)
James R: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid—
I’ve wanted to read Hamid for a while, and finally got to it with Exit West. The story reads like a modern blend of Graham Greene and Paul Coehlo—weaving magical realism through an otherwise familiar world. As Saeed and Nadia escape the religious conflict that devastates their home, they share moments of fear, anger, and tenderness in the face of the unknown. It was a moving and (surprisingly) sweet journey, told without sanctimony or artifice. ($20)
Andrew: I was gloriously stunned by Rachel Cusk’s
Kudos (the conclusion to her Outline trilogy). Her babushka doll stylistics were an absolute eye-opener ($30). Alan Hollinghurst’s The Sparsholt Affair was published late last year, but I read it over the summer and it is so consummate that it floored me ($19). But if I have to choose one book for the year it is The Only Story by Julian Barnes—this short novel packs a sucker-punch that had me reeling ($33).
Tatjana: All About Saul Leiter—Originally published to ac-
company a retrospective in Tokyo 2017, this book presents the photographer’s work in the best way. Of course it covers his much loved colour photography but also included his b/w photos, fashion magazine spreads, paintings and overpainted photographs. He was a master of composition, managing to layer information into photos that may at first sight look simple. His work is genius in its simplicity. ($40)
Scott V: The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin—
Not only my best read for 2018, but my best non-fiction read for many years. The story of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft, and a group of magazine writers who would become pioneers of investigative journalism. An amazing read for anyone in the least bit interested in US history ($35). As for fiction, Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton was a revelation. Not only a well-written page turner, but a journey back into Australian 1980s suburban culture. Set to become a classic. ($30)
Scott D: British/American historian Bernard Lewis wrote his entertaining and
eventful memoir Notes on a Century at age 95. He reflects on a lifetime of engagement with the Middle East, first as an Orientalist scholar at the University of London and later as an academic in the United States and occasional adviser to Western governments and their allies in the Middle East. He knew personally many of the key players in the region during the last century and relates an endless store of surprising and frequently amusing anecdotes of political gamesmanship, misunderstandings and lost opportunities. While it cannot claim to be great literature Lewis’s memoir succeeds in putting a human face to the region’s years of conflict and to provide a historical framework on which to build a lasting peace. ($30)
David G: Julian Barnes has always been a prodigiously gifted nov-
elist, although I’ve not always loved his work, as it shifted through genre and subject. But, for me, the last four books Sense of an Ending, Levels of Life, The Noise of Time, and now, The Only Story, show us a writer at the peak of his powers, and focused on what truly matters. The Only Story is, put simply, about love (what other story is there, in the end?) and it is bleak and uncompromising tale—but so beautifully, poignantly told that it has stayed with me, all year. As has Tim Winton’s gloriously distinctive and heartfelt The Shepherd’s Hut. I don’t know another writer who can match him for an Australian landscape and the predicament of survival within it. His books should be required reading for all of us. ($34.99)
Jack: There are several books still echoing in rooms at my house: Last Stories, by William Trevor ($30); On Kate Jennings by Erik Jensen ($18); If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin ($27); Endure by Alex Hutchinson ($33); The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner ($33); The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand by Geoff Dyer ($108). One book in particular, to quote Louis MacNeice, left the walls dancing over and over with its shadow: Reading With Patrick, a memoir by Michelle Kuo ($30), a Harvard graduate who volunteers for a temporary job at the Teach for America program based in Helena, Arkansas, in a high school ‘decrepit and accountable to nobody’. Two years after she leaves Helena, a former student, Patrick Browning, is jailed on a murder charge. Kuoabandons her law career, moves back to Arkansas and teaches him to read and write while he awaits trial. She brilliantly examines the effects of race, class, poverty and privilege. And observes of Patrick that ‘he had come so far, but what struck me then and for many years afterward was how little I had done for him. I don’t mean this in the way of false modesty. I mean that it frightens me so little was required for him to develop intellectually—a quiet room, a pile of books and some adult guidance’.
Jonathon: Two books particularly stood out this year. First, Lynne
James P: Less by Andrew Sean Greer—
The Pulitzer Prize winner ticked all of the right boxes for me this year. There was something about Arthur Less’ odyssey of avoidance; punctuated with hilarious and profound moments (often simultaneously) that sang to my reader’s heart. I still catch myself daydreaming about certain scenes and the extraordinary cast of supporting characters who are all so vivid in my mind. ($20)
Sally: The Lost Man is another great
Victoria: I have two favourite books that I read this year. I loved The Shepherd’s
crime story from Jane Harper—perfect for summer reading. Like her first, The Dry, it’s redolent of the Outback—this time a huge cattle property in western Queensland. While it does have a murder at its centre—and a bizarre one at that— it’s more a gripping psychological thriller about the extended family who run the station. You can almost feel the heat and dust. ($30)
Hut by Tim Winton. No other writer writes about the Australian landscape or it’s characters, like him in my opinion. It is narrated by fifteen year old Jaxie, which is a powerful drive throughout the novel. He is on the run and alone in the harsh western Australian desert until he meets Finton MacGills who lives in the middle of nowhere in eponymous Shepherd’s Hut. Why is he there? Winton always leaves his reader thinking and this book stayed with me for a long while afterwards ($34.99). The other book I loved was published last year but I only got around to reading it this year—and that is Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie. Set in modern day London with its terrorism and prejudice’s—it was brave and sad and uncomfortable and wonderfully written. ($20)
Lynndy: Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee—
This is the sort of story that lingers ever after in your mind; the sort of book that in 30 years’ time bookshop customers will open their enquiry with ‘I want a copy of a book I read when I was a kid; can’t recall the exact title but I absolutely adored it and read it over and over again...’ The further into this book I read, the more slowly I did so, wanting to stay with and savour the story of Lenny and her younger brother Davy whose gigantism progressively forces him to become isolated from the outside world. The siblings experience much of the world vicariously through the weekly issues of a Build-It-At-Home Encyclopedia, and Lenny, as family chronicler, allows us to engage with everyone who intersects with their single parent family. Set in the 1970s, Foxlee’s novel is populated by slightly offbeat characters and warm humour. What’s to like about this book? Everything! ($20)
Beautifully written, and carefully structured Sally Rooney’s Normal People is a contemporary coming of age love story. Marianne and Connell attend the same school, but come from very different backgrounds and families. The reader gets to know them as they navigate their friendship and relationships through the final year of high school to University in Dublin and beyond. ($30)
Ramsay made Jonathan Ames’ You Were Never Really Here into a startlingly spare film, which pointed me to the book. Ames’ curt thriller draws the psyche of an American veteran bent on purging his emotions, leaving him a hollow hired bludgeon specialising in rescuing children kidnapped into the child sex trade. You can imagine how that goes. But Ames’ asides on American society push this from pure grime to some sort of gravity. Second, Ronen Givony’s celebration of Jawbreaker’s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy provides a wonderful history of the comically pious punk scene of the early 1990s, giving an indispensible orientation for today’s alternative rock music, where hitting the mainstream is celebrated and the mainstream appears more like the do-it-yourself world than ever before. ($20)
I found Michael Lewis’ new outing, The Fifth Risk ($39.99), not only a great read, as are all his books, but, despite the rather bleak picture he paints of a Trump ‘government’, I also found it truly inspiring. His portraits of people who give their lives and talents to the less well remunerated and certainly less celebrated life of public service (only ever noticed when something goes wrong)— working for the common good rather than opting for the outrageously overpaid and generally rapacious corporate sector—are enough to encourage a late life leap into the bureaucracy before it’s all been sold off, or farmed out to high-priced consultants. I encourage parents to give this to their kids in the hope it inspires them likewise. While still on the subject of hoping for the future—I also really enjoyed the new Barbara Kingsolver, Unsheltered ($29.99).
First, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Well, Eleanor is not even remotely fine, rather she is a bit of a mess. With no friends at work or at home, she spends her week days alienated from her colleagues and spends her weekends drinking vodka. She lives a life of endless routine, wearing the same clothes to work every day, eating the same lunch. Then something happens, and Eleanor discovers a new way of living, one that brings friends, hope and happiness ... and a dog. Loved it. ($25) Second, Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata. This is a joy of a book. Keiko is a convenience store worker and she loves her job. She loves having everything in order, looking neat & tidy. She finds peace and purpose in simple daily tasks. But this isn’t right for an educated Japanese woman—her family and friends all think she is weird, and pressure her to find a partner and settle down. How Keiko finds a partner, and how she tries to live a life away from the convenience store, makes a great read. Funny, quirky, absurd, this book is for those, like me, who often find themselves at odds with the world. Wonderful! ($25)
Editor & desktop publisher Viki Dun email@example.com Printed by Access Print Solutions
Print Post Approved 100002224
is a publication of Gleebooks Pty. Ltd. 49 & 191 Glebe Point Rd, (P.O. Box 486 Glebe NSW 2037 Ph: (02) 9660 2333 Fax: (02) 9660 3597 firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Any Ordinary Day: Blindsides, Resilience and
What Happens After the Worst Day of Your Life
2. QE 71: Follow the Leader
3. Speaking Up
5. Dark Emu
6. Boys Will Be Boys: An Exploration of Power,
Patriarchy & the Toxic Bonds of Mateship
7. Wrong Way: How Privatisation & Economic Reform
Damien Cahill & Phillip Toner
8. Rise & Resist: How to Change the World
9. Fear: Trump in the White House 10. No Friend But the Mountains
Bob Woodward Behrooz Boochani
Bestsellers—Fiction 1. Nine Perfect Strangers
4. Normal People 5. Lethal White
Sally Rooney Robert Galbraith
6. Bridge of Clay
7. The Harp in the South Trilogy
8. Boy Swallows Universe
9. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
10. The Life to Come
Michelle de Kretser
and another thing.....
Another year, and another 10 issues—I do hope those of you loyal to this publication seek it out online in the non-print months. I promise you, I put as much care into the download version as I do into its every other month printed sister. As always I look forward to seeing my colleague’s favourites for the year—I have a couple of weeks off preceding the Christmas rush, and hope to read a few of those recommended. Of this years offerings, Ondaatje’s Warlight, Barnes’ The Only Story, and Janice’s two recommends—Eleanor Oliphant and Convenience Store Woman—are top of the list. I’ve been reading a lot of essay collections in 2018—just finished Rebecca Solnit’s latest collection Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and essays) which is as beautifully written and insightful as always. Now I have poet Adrienne Rich’s recently released and very satisfying Essential Essays: Culture, Politics, & the Art of Poetry open. A beauty of reading the essay collection is the literary trails they send you on. Alice Bolin’s Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession led me to all of Maggie Nelson (The Argonauts and much more), and two novelists I hadn’t got to yet—Sherman Alexie and Jess Walters. I’ve since read Alexie’s Indian Killer, which is a fantastic use of the crime genre to explore the many layers of racist America. And Walters’ impressive first novel Over Tumbled Graves does a charming tongue in cheek job of debunking the myth of the charismatic genius serial killer with attendant dark, obsessed profiler in pursuit. His two cops solve the case despite the interference of competing FBI profilers (both more interested in book deals than the case). I now have all of Walters’ novels on order—Land of the Blind slated as first offf the rank, as Spokane cop, Caroline Mabry, makes another appearance. Still on essay collections, I’m very happy to report that there will be a new Janet Malcolm collection, Nobody’s Looking at You, coming in February next year (sadly nothing definite about The Mirror and the Light, Hilary Mantel’s final in the Cromwell series— although the latest promise is 2019). Don’t forget, the Summer Reading Guide will be in your mailboxes and in Sydney Morning Herald in mid-November to aid you with Xmas gift anxiety. Thank you to all the regular contributors to the Gleaner, and many thanks to all our loyal Gleebooks customers, I wish you all a happy end of 2018 with plenty of time to get some reading done. Viki
For more November new releases go to:
Main shop—49 Glebe Pt Rd; Ph: (02) 9660 2333, Fax: (02) 9660 9842. 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: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org