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Vol. 26 No. 9 October 2019
OUT THIS MONTH
Australian Literature The Weekend by Charlotte Wood ($30, PB)
Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank & steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining 3—Jude, a once-famous restaurateur, Wendy, an acclaimed public intellectual, and Adele, a renowned actress now mostly out of work. Struggling to recall exactly why they’ve remained close all these years, the grieving women gather for Christmas at Sylvie’s old beach house—not for festivities, but to clean the place out before it is sold. Without Sylvie to maintain the group’s delicate equilibrium, frustrations build & painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests & too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface—threatening to sweep away their friendship for good.
Bruny by Heather Rose ($33, PB)
How far would your government go? A right-wing US president has withdrawn America from the Middle East & the UN. Daesh has a thoroughfare to the sea & China is Australia’s newest ally. When a bomb goes off in remote Tasmania, Astrid Coleman agrees to return home to help her brother before an upcoming election. But this is no simple task. Her brother & sister are on either side of politics, the community is full of conspiracy theories, and her father is quoting Shakespeare. Only on Bruny does the world seem sane. Until Astrid discovers how far the government is willing to go.
Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris ($33, PB) ‘Full of science and wonder, this book will leave you looking upwards.’ — Richard Glover
re we alone in the universe? Where did the moon come
from? How do we know what stars are made of? Could there really be a future in asteroid mining? In Cosmic Chronicles, Fred Watson – Australia’s Astronomer-at-Large and bestselling author – explores the hottest topics in space science and astronomy.
Summer is here. Put your school shoes away, The long, lazy days can begin. Mangoes and magpies, municipal pools… Take a deep breath and dive in.
he bestselling creators of Alphabetical Sydney and
Numerical Street are back with their new picture book, Summer Time – a stunning tribute to an Australian summer.
In the sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, it’s 1942, and 16 year-old Cilka is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival. After liberation, she is charged as a collaborator & sent to a prison camp in Siberia known as Vorkuta, inside the Arctic Circle to face challenges both new & horribly familiar. When she makes an impression on a female doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing & begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under unimaginable conditions—finding endless resources within herself as she confronts death & terror, each day a battle for survival. But when she nurses a man called Aleksandr, she finds that despite everything, there is room in her heart for love.
Khaki Town by Judy Nunn ($33, PB)
March 1942. Singapore has fallen. Darwin has been bombed. Australia is on the brink of being invaded by the Imperial Japanese Forces. And Val Callahan, publican of The Brown’s Hotel in Townsville, could not be happier as she contemplates the fortune she’s making from lonely, thirsty soldiers. Overnight the small Queensland city is transformed into the transport hub for 70,000 American & Australian soldiers destined for combat in the South Pacific. The Australian troops begrudge the confident, well-fed ‘Yanks’ who have taken over their town & their women. There’s growing conflict, too, within the American ranks, because black GIs are enjoying the absence of segregation. And the white GIs don’t like it. As racial violence explodes through the ranks of the military, a young US Congressman, Lyndon Baines Johnson, is sent to Townsville by his president to investigate. ‘Keep a goddamned lid on it, Lyndon,’ he is told, ‘lest it explode in our faces...’
The Sea & Us by Catherine de Saint Phalle ($30, PB)
After many years spent living in Seoul, a young man called Harold drifts back to Australia & rents a room above a fish and chip shop called The Sea & Us. Who he meets & what he experiences there propels him to question his own yearnings & failings, and to fight for meaning & a sense of place that can only be reached by facing what is lost. By turns electric, tender, and hopeful, Catherine de Saint Phalle captures disparate characters and their common human desire for community & connection. Long after the last page closes, ‘we can hear the bell tinkle. Someone wants some fish and chips.’
Turn Left at Venus by Inez Baranay ($30, PB)
In the 1930s, Ada & Leyla meet as children on a boat bringing migrants from Old Europe to the New World. They end up living miles apart from each other in suburban Sydney. Ada (A.L. Ligeti) becomes an author, searching for a Utopian world, exploring aspects of patriarchy & gender in her groundbreaking feminist science fiction novel called Turn Left at Venus. This novel & its sequels are celebrated & much discussed by generations of fans. Memory & imagination fold seamlessly into one another as Ada keeps moving on, from relationships & places— but through this, despite the fact that their separations are often lengthy Ada & Leyla’s friendship endures across continents & decades running a thread through this story of writing, relationships & ageing.
The House of Youssef by Yumna Kassab ($24.95, PB)
w w w. n ews o u t h p u b l i s h i n g .co m
This is a collection of short stories set in Western Sydney that explore the lives of Lebanese migrants who have settled in the area, circling around themes of isolation, family and community, and nostalgia for the home country. The collection is framed by two soliloquies. The first expresses the longing of an old man for the homeland he will never return to. The second is the monologue of a woman, who could be his wife, addressed to her daughter, about life and its disappointments.
Maybe the Horse Will Talk by Elliot Perlman
Stephen Maserov has problems. A onetime teacher, married to fellow teacher Eleanor, he has retrained and is now a second-year lawyer working at mega-firm Freely Savage Carter Blanche. Despite toiling around the clock to make budget, he’s in imminent danger of being downsized. And to make things worse, Eleanor, sick of single-parenting their two young children thanks to Stephen’s relentless work schedule, has asked him to move out. To keep the job he hates, pay the mortgage & salvage his marriage, he will have to do something strikingly daring, something he never thought himself capable of. But if he’s not careful, it might be the last job he ever has. ($33, PB)
Act of Grace by Anna Krien ($33, PB)
Iraqi aspiring pianist Nasim falls from favour with Saddam Hussein and his psychopathic son, triggering a perilous search for safety. In Australia, decades later, Gerry is in fear of his tyrannical father, Toohey, who has returned from the Iraq War bearing the physical and psychological scars of conflict. Meanwhile, Robbie is dealing with her own father’s dementia when the past enters the present. These characters’ worlds intertwine in a brilliant narrative of guilt and reckoning, trauma and survival—Anna Krien’s novel is a meditation on the inheritance of damage from one generation to the next, and the potential for transformation.
The Red Hand: Stories, Reflections and the Last Appearance of Jack Irish by Peter Temple ($33, PB)
When Peter Temple died in March 2018 there was an unfinished Jack Irish novel in his drawer. It is included in The Red Hand, and it reveals the master at the peak of his powers. This collection also includes the screenplay of Valentine’s Day, an improbably delightful story about an ailing country football club, which in 2007 was adapted for television by the ABC. Also included are his short fiction, his reflections on the Australian idiom, a handful of autobiographical fragments, and a selection of book reviews.
There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett ($30, PB)
Prague, 1938: Eva flies down the street from her sister. Suddenly a man in a hat steps out, and Eva hits the pavement hard. His hat is in the gutter—his hate will change everything, as war forces so many lives into small, brown suitcases. Prague, 1980: No one sees Ludek. A young boy can slip right under the heavy blanket that covers this city - the fear cannot touch him. Ludek is free. And he sees everything. The world can do what it likes. The world can go to hell for all he cares because Babi is waiting for him in the warm flat. His whole world. Melbourne, 1980: Mala Lika’s grandma holds her hand as they climb the stairs to their third floor flat. Inside, the smell of warm pipe tobacco and homemade cakes. Here, Mana and Bill have made a life for themselves and their granddaughter. A life imbued with the spirit of Prague and the loved ones left behind.
Being Black ‘n Chicken, and Chips by Matt Okine
All he wants is to fit in. He wants to sit at the cool bench. He wants to be a star athlete. He wants his first kiss. He also wants his mum to survive. When his mum is suddenly diagnosed with advanced breast & brain cancer, Mike knows it’s a long shot, but if he manages to achieve his dreams, maybe it’ll give his mum enough strength to beat an incurable disease. In the meantime, he has to live with his African dad whom he doesn’t really know, a man who has strange foreign ways—and who Mike doesn’t really feel comfortable sharing his teenage desires & deepest fears with. He doesn’t even want to think about what it might mean if his mum never comes home from the hospital. ($30, PB)
Wearing Paper Dresses by Anne Brinsden ($33, PB)
Elise’s urbane 1950s glamour is rudely transplanted to the pragmatic red soil of the Mallee when her husband returns to work the family farm. Her meringues don’t impress the shearers, the locals scoff at her Paris fashions, her husband works all day in the back paddock, and the drought kills everything but the geraniums she despises. As their mother withdraws more & more into herself, her daughters, Marjorie & Ruby, wild as weeds, are left to raise themselves as best they can. Until tragedy strikes, and Marjorie flees to the city determined to leave her family behind—where she stays until the boy she loves draws her back to the land she can’t forget.
The Model Wife by Tricia Stringer ($33, PB)
Natalie King’s life is full. Some might say too full. With her teaching job, a farm to run, three grown daughters who have not quite got a handle on things, a reserved husband & a demanding motherin-law, most days she is too busy to think about whether she is happy. But when an odd gift from her mother-in-law—an old book in the form of stern and outdated advice for young wives—surfaces again, it brings with it memories she thought she had buried deep. Has this insidious little book exerted some kind of hold over her? Could it be that in her attempts to be a loving wife and mother, she no longer knows who she is? On a day when it seems everyone is taking her for granted, and as the ghost of a past betrayal rises, it becomes clear that even this good mother and model wife can be pushed too far.
On D’Hill What great news that Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe has been chosen as the book to be discussed at the inaugural Parliamentary Book Club next February. How often do we wish the pollies would read books we think are important and that could change their minds about things that matter to us. Over the three branches of gleebooks we have sold nearly 1500 copies of the new edition. Just little Dully has sold nearly 500. Imagine how those numbers translate to nation-wide sales. Unbelievable. I don’t remember ever in my bookselling years (of which there are many) having seen an Australian non-fiction title become so popular—especially one by an Indigenous writer! Congratulations to Bruce Pascoe and to Magabala Press who over recent times have really surpassed themselves, publishing terrific, important and beautifully designed Indigenous books (see Baby Business by Jasmine Seymour— gorgeous!) The best thing is that the sales of Pascoe’s books including Young Dark Emu, will enable them to continue the good work. I imagine most locals around Dulwich Hill and Marrickville have now visited the very splendid new Marrickville Library. People are saying it’s the most beautiful library in Sydney and it really is stunning. The day I visited though, I saw many more people in front of a screen than with a book in hand. Still, it was amazing how many people were there on a Friday afternoon, and as one customer remarked, people have settled in so quickly and easily it’s as if it was always there. Now to mention two books I’ve enjoyed this month. The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre is a French crime novel, winner of the European Crime Fiction prize. Patience is a single mother working as an Arabic translator for the police. She uses what she learns from conversations between Arabic drug dealers to inflitrate a drug deal and become ‘The Godmother’. The book presents a side of Parisian and life we rarely read about. It’s a humourous and smart book which can be devoured in one sitting. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize and offers an alternative experience of contemporary England. Each chapter is based on women of different (black) geographical, educational and sexual backgrounds which sometimes feel like a book of short stories, but all the women are interlinked in some way through friendship or through the generations. This is a brazenly feminist book but Evaristo is not afraid to skewer some of the tenets of 2nd wave feminists. A marvellous, generous and very intelligent book by a black woman writer of seven previous novels whom I had never heard of. Says it all really. See you on D’Hill, Morgan
The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Parker by Joanna Nell ($33, PB)
As the wife of retired ship’s doctor Dr Henry Parker, Evelyn is living out her twilight years aboard the Golden Sunset. Every night she dresses for dinner—gown, tiara, runners—and regales her fellow passengers with stories of a glamorous life travelling the world in luxury as well as showing off her superior knowledge of everything from ships’ customs to biographical details of her heroine, Florence Nightingale. The crew treat her with deference. And forbearance. But when Henry goes missing, Evelyn sets off to search every part of the grand ocean liner to find him, casino, nightclub and off-limits areas included. Misadventures are had, new friends are made, scandalous behaviour noted—all news to Evelyn. If only she could remember the events of the night before as clearly as she can recall the first time she met Henry on a passage from England to Australia in 1953 and fell in love, abandoning her dreams to become a midwife to be a wife instead—and the long-ago painful events that left Evelyn all at sea. Why is it so hard to remember some things and so hard to forget others? And where is Henry?
The Cockroach by Ian McEwan ($17, PB)
That morning, Jim Sams, clever but by no means profound, woke from uneasy dreams to find himself transformed into a gigantic creature. Jim Sams has undergone a metamorphosis. In his previous life he was ignored or loathed, but in his new incarnation he is the most powerful man in Britain—and it is his mission to carry out the will of the people. Nothing must get in his way—not the opposition, nor the dissenters within his own party. Not even the rules of parliamentary democracy. Kafka meets The Thick Of It in a bitingly funny new political satire from Ian McEwan.
The Divers’ Game by Jesse Ball ($25, PB)
The old-fashioned struggle for fairness has finally been abandoned. It was a misguided endeavour. The world is divided into two groups, pats & quads. The pats may kill the quads as they like, and do. The quads have no recourse but to continue with their lives. In a thinly veiled description of our society, Jesse Ball offers an extreme case that demonstrates a truth—we must change or our world will collapse. What is the effect of constant fear on a life, or on a culture? Ball shatters the notion of common decency as the binding agent between individuals, forcing us to consider whether compassion is intrinsic to the human experience.
Sword of Kings by Bernard Cornwell
Uhtred of Bebbanburg is a man of his word. An oath bound him to King Alfred. An oath bound him to ÆthelflÆd. And now an oath will wrench him away from the ancestral home he fought so hard to regain. For Uhtred has sworn that on King Edward’s death, he will kill two men. And now Edward is dying. A violent attack drives Uhtred south with a small band of warriors, and headlong into the battle for kingship. Plunged into a world of shifting alliances & uncertain loyalties, he will need all his strength & guile to overcome the fiercest warrior of them all. As two opposing Kings gather their armies, fate drags Uhtred to London, and a struggle for control that must leave one King victorious, and one dead. But fate—as Uhtred has learned to his cost—is inexorable. Wyrd bið ful ãrÆd. And Uhtred’s destiny is to stand at the heart of the shield wall once again. ($33, PB)
Out this month: Freeman’s: California (ed) John Freeman ($33, PB)
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Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi ($19, PB)
In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than 100 years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time. Kawaguchi introduces 4 visitors who are hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer: to confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know. But the journey into the past does not come without risks & they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold. What would you change if you could travel back in time? More importantly, who would you want to meet, maybe for one last time?
World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman ($33, PB)
Berlin, 1941. Hanni Kohn knows she must send her 12-year-old daughter away to save her from the Nazi regime. She finds her way to a renowned rabbi, but it’s his daughter, Ettie, who offers hope of salvation when she creates a mystical Jewish creature, a golem, sworn to protect Lea. Once Ava is brought to life, she & Lea & Ettie become eternally entwined, their paths fated to cross, their fortunes linked. Lea & Ava travel from Paris, where Lea meets her soulmate, to a convent in western France known for its silver roses; from a school in a mountaintop village where 3000 Jews were saved. Meanwhile, Ettie is in hiding, waiting to become the fighter she’s destined to be. In a world where evil can be found at every turn, these characters a journey of loss & resistance, the fantastical & the mortal.
Girl by Edna O’Brien ($30, PB)
Captured, abducted & married into Boko Haram, the narrator of this story witnesses & suffers the horrors of a community of men governed by a brutal code of violence. Barely more than a girl herself, she must soon learn how to survive as a woman with a child of her own. Just as the world around her seems bound for hell, she is offered an escape of sorts—but only into another landscape of trials & terrors amidst the unforgiving wilds of northeastern Nigeria, through the forest & beyond; a place where her traumas are met with the blinkered judgement of a society in denial. How do we love in a world that has lost its moorings, comprehend the barbarism of our enemies, or learn forgiveness for atrocities committed in the name of ideology?
To Calais, In Ordinary Time by James Meek ($30, PB)
Three journeys. One road. England, 1348. A gentlewoman is fleeing an odious arranged marriage, a Scottish proctor is returning to his monastery in Avignon & a handsome young ploughman in search of adventure is on his way to volunteer with a company of archers. All come together on the road to Calais. Coming in their direction from across the Channel is the Black Death, the plague that will wipe out half of the population of Northern Europe. As the journey unfolds, overshadowed by the archers’ past misdeeds & clerical warnings of the imminent end of the world, the wayfarers must confront the nature of their loves & desires. Meek summons a medieval world that is at once uncannily plausible, utterly alien & eerily reflective of our own. The Offing by Benjamin Myers ($30, PB) One summer following WW2, Robert Appleyard sets out on foot from his Durham village. 16 & the son of a coal miner, he makes his way across the northern countryside until he reaches the former smuggling village of Robin Hood’s Bay. There he meets Dulcie, an eccentric, worldly, older woman who lives in a ramshackle cottage facing out to sea. Staying with Dulcie, Robert’s life opens into one of rich food, sea-swimming, sunburn & poetry. The two come from different worlds, yet as the summer months pass, they form an unlikely friendship that will profoundly alter their futures. Night For Day by Patrick Flanery ($33, PB) In LA, 1950, over the course of a single day, 2 friends grapple with the moral & professional uncertainties of the escalating Communist witch-hunt in Hollywood. Director John Marsh races to convince his actress wife not to turn informant for the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities, while leftist screenwriter Desmond Frank confronts the possibility of exile to live & work without fear of being blacklisted. As Marsh & Frank struggle to complete shooting on their film She Turned Away, an updated Orpheus set in the gritty noir underworld of post-war LA, the chaos of their private lives pushes them towards a climactic confrontation with complicity, jealousy & fear.
The Museum of Broken Promises by Elizabeth Buchan ($30, PB)
In the Museum of Broken Promises every object has been donated—a cake tin, a wedding veil, a baby’s shoe—each representing a moment of grief or terrible betrayal. Laure, the owner & curator, has artefacts from her own painful youth amongst the objects on display. In 1985, Laure fled to Prague. But life behind the Iron Curtain is complex— drab & grey, yet charged with danger. She cannot begin to comprehend the dark, political currents that run beneath the surface of this city— until she meets a young dissident musician. Her love for him will have terrible & unforeseen consequences.
Rusty Brown by Chris Ware ($53, HB)
This is a fully interactive, full-colour articulation of the timespace interrelationships of 6 complete consciousnesses on a single Midwestern American day & the tiny piece of human grit about which they involuntarily orbit.’ Rusty Brown is a shy schoolkid obsessed with superheroes, his father ‘Woody’ is an eccentric teacher at Rusty’s school, Chalky White is another schoolboy, Alison White is Chalky’s sister, Jason Lint is an older boy who bullies Rusty & Chalky & fancies Alison, and Joanne Cole is the boys’ teacher. Author of Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware tells each of their stories in minute detail (or as he puts it, ‘From childhood to old age, no frozen plot line is left unthawed’), producing another masterwork of the comics form that is at once achingly beautiful, heartbreakingly sad & painfully funny.
Answer from the Silence by Max Frisch ($28, PB)
Why don’t we live when we know we’re here just this one unrepeatable time in this unutterably magnificent world\?! This outcry against the emptiness of ordinary everyday life uttered by the hero of Frisch’s book is countered by an answer from the silence he meets when face-to-face with death. When the novel begins, the protagonist has just turned 30 and is engaged to be married & about to start work as a teacher. Frightened by the idea of settling down, he journeys to the Alps in a do-or-die effort to climb the unclimbed North Ridge—by doing so prove he is not ordinary. But having reached the top he returns not in triumph, but in frostbitten shock, having come dangerously close to death. This highly personal early novel reflects a crisis in Max Frisch’s life, and he refused to allow it to be included in his Collected Works in the 1970s.
Grand Union by Zadie Smith ($33, PB)
In the summer of 1959, an Antiguan immigrant in north west London lives the last day of his life. A mother looks back on her early forays into matters of the human heart, considering the ways in which desire is always an act of negotiation, destruction & self-invention. A disgraced cop stands amid the broken shards of his life, unable to move forward into a future that holds no place for him. We all take a much-needed break from this mess, on a package holiday where the pool’s electric blue is ceaselessly replenished, while political & environmental collapse happen far away, to someone else. Interleaving 10 completely new & unpublished stories with some pieces from the New Yorker & elsewhere, Zadie Smith presents a sharply alert & slyly prescient collection about the persistent legacies that haunt our present selves and the uncanny futures that rush up to meet us.
The River Capture by Mary Costello ($30, PB)
34-year-old Luke O’Brien has left the city to live a quiet, bookish life on the River Sullane in County Waterford. Alone in his big house, he longs for a return to his family’s heyday & turns to books—especially Ulysses—for solace & sublimation. One morning a young woman arrives at his door & enters his life, with profound consequences. A novel that pays glorious homage to Joyce, Mary Costello tells of a man’s phenomenal descent into near madness when love is lost. It is about humanity’s capacity for good & evil & what happens when Nature is thwarted. More than anything, it is a book about the life of the mind & the redemptive powers of art.
The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust V2 by Philip Pullman ($33, PB)
The 2nd volume of Book of Dust sees Lyra, now 20 years old, and her daemon Pantalaimon, forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, and drawn into the complex & dangerous factions of a world that they had no idea existed. Pulled along on his own journey too is Malcolm; once a boy with a boat & a mission to save a baby from the flood, now a man with a strong sense of duty and a desire to do what is right. They must travel far beyond the edges of Oxford, across Europe & into Asia, in search for what is lost—a city haunted by daemons, a secret at the heart of a desert, and the mystery of the elusive Dust.
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates ($33, PB)
Hiram Walker is a man with a gift & a curse. He was born between worlds—his father a white plantation master, his mother a black slave. And he was born with a secret, special power. Sold to a new mistress as punishment for trying to escape, Hiram discovers her home is a secret hub of the underground railroad—a training ground for its agents. With his special power, Hiram fast becomes a highly skilled agent, retrieving the enslaved from the most dangerous circumstances—but betrayals lurk everywhere. And eventually Hiram must risk everything to return to his father’s plantation & free the friends he left there.
The Death of Jesus by J. M. Coetzee ($30, PB)
David has grown to be a tall 10-year-old. He is a natural at soccer, and loves kicking a ball around with his friends. His father Simon & Bolivar the dog usually watch. His mother Ines works in a fashion boutique. David still asks lots of questions. In dancing class at the Academy of Music he dances as he chooses. He refuses to do sums & will not read any books except Don Quixote. One day Julio Fabricante, the director of a nearby orphanage, invites David & his friends to form a proper soccer team. David decides to live with Julio. Before long he succumbs to a mysterious illness.
Now in B Format The Turn of Midnight by Minette Walters, $20 French Exit by Patrick deWitt, $20 An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, $20 Fly Already: Stories by Etgar Keret ($28, PB)
A man is bribed to step into a courtroom to call an unknown defendant a murderer. A rich, lonely man hits on the idea of buying up people’s birthdays so he’ll always have friends calling. A writer agrees to write a story starring his friend so said friend can get a girl into bed. A father & son spot a stranger standing on the edge of a building, and the son shouts encouragementfly already! In these 22 short stories, wild capers reveal painful emotional truths, and the bizarre is just another name for the familiar—a collage of absurdity, despair & love, from a master of the genre.
Serotonin by Michel Houellebecq ($33, PB)
Dissatisfied & discontent, Florent-Claude Labrouste begrudgingly works as an engineer for the Ministry of Agriculture, and is in a self-imposed dysfunctional relationship with a younger woman. When he discovers her ongoing infidelity, he decides to abandon his life in Paris & return to the Normandy countryside of his youth. There he contemplates lost loves & past happiness as he struggles to embed himself in a world that no longer holds any joy for him. His only relief comes in the form of a pill—Captorix—a new brand of anti-depressant, recently released for public consumption, which works by altering the brain’s release of serotonin. With social unrest intensifying around him, and his own depression deepening, Florent-Claude turns to this new medication in the hope that he will find something to live for.
The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili ($35, PB)
At the start of the 20th century, on the edge of the Russian empire, a family prospers. It owes its success to a delicious chocolate recipe, passed down the generations with great solemnity and caution. A caution which is justified- this is a recipe for ecstasy that carries a very bitter aftertaste. Stasia learns it from her Georgian father & takes it north, following her new husband, Simon, to his posting at the centre of the Russian Revolution in St Petersburg. Stasia’s is only the first of a symphony of grand but all too often doomed romances that swirl from sweet to sour in this epic tale of the red century.
The Night Fire by Michael Connelly ($33, PB)
AFTER THE FLOOD
THE EDUCATION OF AN IDEALIST
Back when Harry Bosch was just a rookie homicide detective he had an inspiring mentor, John Jack Thompson. John Jack is dead & Harry has inherited a murder book that Thompson took with him when he left the LAPD 20 years before—the unsolved killing of a troubled young man in an alley used for drug deals. Bosch brings the murder book to Renée Ballard and asks her to help him find what about the case lit Thompson’s fire all those years ago. But did Thompson steal the murder book to work the case in retirement, or to make sure it never got solved?
Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré ($33, PB)
An intriguing and innovative woman-centered swashbuckling quest narrative
BRAVE, BEAUTIFUL AND BORN
One of our foremost thinkers on foreign policy.
TO BE PUNK
Now in B format The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz, $20 Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
Imagine leaving your house in the middle of the night. Knowing your mother is doing her best, but she’s just as scared as you. Starting a new school, making friends. Seeing how happy it makes your mother. Hearing a voice, calling out to you. Following the signs, into the woods. Going missing for six days. Remembering nothing about what happened. Imagine something that will change everything—and having to save everyone you love. This unputdownable book is the scariest thing I’ve read in a long time—Emma Watson ($33, PB)
The Butterfly Girl by Rene Denfeld ($30, PB)
PI Naomi Cottle finds missing children. But she has never been able to find is her sister. They were abducted when very young but Naomi managed to escape. 20 years later there’s a clue that her sister might be alive. Celia is a street child who goes to the library almost every day to gaze at her favourite book & escape into a world of wheeling, colourful butterflies. But someone is watching Celia. Street children have been going missing & the town has been turning a blind eye. When Naomi turns up, looking for her sister, they find someone who will listen to them.
Laetitia Rodd and the Case of the Wandering Scholar by Kate Saunders ($30, PB)
It is 1851 & Mrs Rodd has received an unusual commission—wealthy businessman Jacob Welland is dying of consumption & implores our redoubtable detective to find his beloved brother, whom he has not seen for 15 years. Oxford scholar, Joshua had taken to wandering the countryside & one day simply failed to return. 10 years ago a friend spotted him in a gypsy camp, where it was rumoured he was learning great secrets that would one day astound the world. Mrs Rodd uses her search as an opportunity to reconnect with a couple from her past, but then a violent murder is committed & Scotland Yard are called to investigate. Mrs Rodd’s old friend Inspector Blackbeard doesn’t want to hear any nonsense about gypsies or secrets. Mrs Rodd, however, is convinced that something very sinister is lurking in this peaceful landscape.
Nat, a 47 year-old veteran of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, believes his years as an agent runner are over. He is back in London with his wife, the long-suffering Prue. But the office has one more job for him—take over The Haven, a defunct substation of London General with a rag-tag band of spies. The only bright light on the team is young Florence, who has her eye on Russia Department & a Ukrainian oligarch with a finger in the Russia pie. Nat is a passionate badminton, and it is his monday evening opponent, the Brexit hating, Trump-hating solitary, Ed, who of all unlikely people, who will take Prue, Florence and Nat himself down the path of political anger that will ensnare them all.
Kopp Sisters on the March by Amy Stewart ($33, PB)
It’s 1917, and the US Army is marching to join its WWI allies. Constance Kopp and her sisters may not be soldiers, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do their bit. All over America, women are banding together to create military-style training camps, and so the Kopp sisters leave their farm in New Jersey to learn some army discipline, joining the women of Camp Chevy Chase and facing down the scepticism of the War Department, the double standards of a scornful public, and the very real perils of war.
The Guardians by John Grisham ($33, PB)
For 22 years Quincy Miller has sat on Death Row—framed for the killing of Keith Russo, a lawyer in a small Florida town. Convicted for being black in an all-white town—the only evidence a blood-splattered torch planted in the back of his car. A torch that conveniently disappeared from evidence just before his trial. Innocence lawyer & minister, Cullen Post, has recently taken his case—but there were powerful & ruthless people behind Russo’s murder, who would prefer that an innocent man goes to his death than one of them. They killed one lawyer 22 years ago, and they’ll kill another one without a second thought.
The Wife and the Widow by Christian White ($33, PB)
Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, Chritian White’s new book is a mystery/thriller told from 2 perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is compounded by what she learns about her dead husband’s secret life; and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside down when she’s forced to confront the evidence that her husband is a murderer. But nothing on this island is quite as it seems, and only when these women come together can they discover the whole story about the men in their lives—how well do we really know the people we love?.
Now You See Them by Elly Griffiths ($33, PB)
Brighton, 1963. Edgar Stephens has been promoted to Superintendent & is married to his former sergeant, Emma Holmes. Edgar’s wartime partner in arms, magician Max Mephisto, is a movie star in Hollywood, while his daughter Ruby has her own TV show. Edgar is struggles with fresh responsibilities & the new swinging Brighton of rioting mods & rockers; Emma chafes against the restrictions of life as a housewife. Bob Willis, meanwhile, is tackling his biggest case since his promotion to DI: a schoolgirl missing from high-class boarding school Roedean. It looks like she’s run away; but there are disturbing similarities to the disappearances of a young local nurse & a tearaway Modette.
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King ($23, PB)
Following a childhood haunted by terrifying events at the Overlook Hotel, Danny Torrance has been drifting for decades. He settles into a job at a nursing home where he draws on his remnant ‘shining’ power to help people pass on. Then he meets Abra Stone, a young girl with the brightest ‘shining’ ever seen. But her gift is attracting a tribe of paranormals. They may look harmless, old & devoted to their Recreational Vehicles, but The True Knot live off the ‘steam’ that children like Abra produce. Dan must confront his old demons as he battles for Abra’s survival.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo ($30, PB)
Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex Sterm dropped out of school early & into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age 20, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her? Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies, well-known to be haunts of the future rich & powerful. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister & more extraordinary than she ever imagined.
Silver by Chris Hammer ($33, PB)
Martin Scarsden vowed never to return to his hometown, Port Silver, and its traumatic memories. But his new partner, Mandy Blonde, has inherited an old house in the seaside town so he’s returned to start a new life—arriving to find his best friend from school days has been brutally murdered, and Mandy is the chief suspect. The police are curiously reluctant to pursue other suspects, so Martin goes searching for the killer. He’s making little progress when a terrible new crime starts to reveal the truth. The media descend on Port Silver & once again, Martin finds himself in the front line of reporting.
The Outlaw Ocean: Crime and Survival in the Last Untamed Frontier by Ian Urbina ($35, PB)
Too big to police, and under no clear international authority, the oceans are immense regions of treacherous water that play host to the unbridled extremes of human behaviour & activity. Traffickers, smugglers, pirates, mercenaries, wreck thieves, repo men, vigilante conservationists, elusive poachers, seabound abortion-providers, clandestine oil-dumpers, shackled Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke ($30, PB) slaves and cast-adrift stowaways. Drawing on 5 years of perilous reporting, Ian When the young son of an Aryan Brotherhood of Texas gang captain Urbina introduces the inhabitants of this hidden world & their risk-fraught lives— goes missing, Ranger Darren Matthews has no choice but to investi- uncovering a globe-spanning network of crime & exploitation that emanates from gate the crime. Following the election of Donald Trump, a new wave the fishing, oil & shipping industries, and on which the world’s economies rely. of racial violence has swept the state. Dark, swampy & filled with skeletal trees, Caddo Lake is so large it crosses into Lousiana. This is The Murder of Harriet Monckton deep country & the rule of law doesn’t mean much to the Brotherhood by Elizabeth Haynes ($30, PB) who are squatting on the land of a former Freedmen’s community, and On 7th November 1843, 23 year-old Harriet Monckton is found one of the last descendants of these former slaves is actually a suspect murdered in the privy behind the dissenting chapel she regularly attended in Bromley, Kent. The townsfolk are appalled by in the possible murder of the missing boy. her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of Bone China by Laura Purcell ($30, PB) prussic acid, and even more so when the autopsy reveals that Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft’s family, leaving her & Harriet was almost six months pregnant. Drawing on the origiher father alone & heartbroken. But Dr Pinecroft is convinced that nal coroner’s reports & witness testimonies, Elizabeth Haynes sea air will prove to be the cure his wife & children needed, so he arbuilds a compelling picture of Harriet Monckton’s final days ranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the same disease through the eyes of those closest to her: her fellow teacher & in the cliffs beneath his new Cornish home. 40 years later, Hester companion, her would-be fiancé, her seducer, and her former landlord & lover. All Why arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the are suspects. Each has a reason to want her dead. Brimming with lust, mistrust & now partially paralysed & almost entirely mute Miss Pinecroft—and guilt, The Murder of Harriet Monckton is a masterclass in suspense. finds herself surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituTalking With Psychopaths and Savages als—her new home may be just as dangerous as her last. by Christopher Berry-Dee ($20, PB) Cold Storage by David Koepp ($30, PB) Christopher Berry-Dee combines sections on killers whom When Pentagon bioterror operative Roberto Diaz is sent to investigate a suspected biochemical attack, he finds something far worse: he has known, interviewed or corresponded with, with studies of psychopathic serial killers from the past, including Peter a highly mutative organism capable of extinction-level destruction. Kürten, the ‘Düsseldorf Monster’, John Christie, responsible After decades of festering in a forgotten sub-basement, the specimen has found its way out & is on a lethal feeding frenzy. And only for the killings at 10 Rillington Place; and Neville Heath, a ladykiller in every sense of the word. The result is a chilling Diaz knows how to stop it. He races across the country to help two unwitting security guards—one an ex-con, the other a single mother. narrative that sets the forensic examination of killers and their Over one harrowing night, the unlikely trio must figure out how to crimes within the context of murder in the 20th and 21st centuries, an examination of the evil mind set against the insoluble quarantine this horror again. problem of identifying psychopaths who kill. Many Rivers to Cross by Peter Robinson ($33, PB) A skinny young boy is found dead, his body stuffed into wheelie The Manson Women & Me: Monsters, Moralbin. DS Alan Banks & his team are called to investigate. The boy ity & Murder by Nikki Meredith ($28, PB) To anyone who knew them growing up, ‘the Manson girls’, looks Middle Eastern, but no one on the East Side Estate has seen were bright, promising girls, seemingly incapable of the murhim before. As the local press then national media seize upon an illegal immigrant angle, the police are called to investigate a less ders they committed for Charles Manson. 20 years ago journalnewsworthy death: a middle-aged heroin addict found dead of an ist Nikki Meredith began visiting Lesley Van Houten & Patricia Krenwinkel in prison to discover how they had changed overdose in another estate, scheduled for redevelopment. To Banks the cases seem to be connected, and to the dark side of organised during their incarceration—her relationship with her subjects crime in Eastvale. Does another thread link to his friend Zelda, who provides a chilling lens through which to gain insight into a particular kind of woman capable of a particular kind of bruis facing her own dark side? tality. A fascinating investigation into what compels ‘normal’ The Mitford Scandal by Jessica Fellowes ($33, PB) The newly married and most beautiful of the Mitford sisters, Diana, people to do unspeakable things, and a second act for those who have seen Mary Harron’s movie, Charlie Says, about the hot-steps around Europe with her husband and fortune heir Bryan Guinness, accompanied by maid Louisa Cannon, as well as some process of digging the Manson Girls out of their indoctrination and into acceptance of the horrors they committed. of the most famous and glamorous luminaries of the era. But murder soon follows, and with it, a darkness grows in Diana’s heart. ‘A must-read series . . . exactly what we all need in these gloomy times. Inventive, glittering, clever, ingenious’ Susan Hill
Cold Fear by Mads Peder Nordbo ($30, PB)
When journalist Matthew Cave’s half-sister disappears he realises that they are both pawns in a game of life & death. As a young US soldier stationed in Greenland, their father, Tom Cave, took part in a secret experiment, and accused of double homicide, he fled. Now his case has been reopened—is the father Matt’s been searching for his entire life a cold-blooded murderer? And can Matt track him down before the US military does? Tupaarnaq Siegstad, a young Inuit woman, returns to Nuuk to help her only friend save his sister’s life—and settle a few scores of her own.
Deadly Camargue by Cay Rademacher ($27, PB)
August: the air over Provence shimmers in suffocating heat. Capitaine Roger Blanc & his colleague Marius Tonon are called to the Camargue. A black fighting bull has escaped from the pasture & has gored a cyclist. A bizarre accident? But Blanc discovers evidence that someone left the gate open intentionally. The deceased is Albert Cohen, political magazine reporter & TV personality from Paris. He was in the Camargue to write a major article on Vincent van Gogh. Blanc comes across Cohen’s incomplete report during his investigation, which is not quite as harmless as it initially appeared.
Now in B Format Tombland: Shardlake 7 by C. J. Sansom, $19 The Spotted Dog by Kerry Greenwood, $20
The Killer across the Table by John E. Douglas
Former Special Agent John Douglas has sat across the table from many of the world’s most notorious killers—including Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, ‘Coed Killer’ Edmund Kemper, ‘Son of Sam Killer’ David Berkowitz and ‘BTK Strangler’ Dennis Rader, and has also been instrumental in the exoneration of Amanda Knox & the West Memphis Three. In this book Douglas spotlights 4 very different criminals he’s confronted over the course of his career, and explains how they helped him to put together the puzzle of how psychopaths & predators think—taking the reader inside the interrogation room & demonstrating the unique techniques he uses to understand the workings of the most terrifying & incomprehensible minds. ($35, PB)
The Secret Agent’s Bedside Reader: A Compendium of Spy Writing (ed) Michael Smith
Espionage fact & fiction collide in this anthology—some of the greatest spy stories ever written alongside genuine agent reports & instructions that changed the course of history. Daring wartime plans devised by Ian Fleming that could have come straight from the pages of a Bond novel are followed by the first appearance of John le Carré’s George Smiley. Reports from Cambridge spies Kim Philby & Guy Burgess to Moscow Centre are seen alongside literary classics by Graham Greene & Somerset Maugham. Genuine instructions to agents on how to tail a suspect or how to stay alive inside wartime Germany are interspersed with tales of derring-do inside Bolshevik Russia from Paul Dukes & Sidney Reilly, the original Ace of Spies. Former intelligence officer Michael Smith uses his own experience to collect both the real & the imagined world of espionage. ($20, PB)
The Europeans: Three Cosmopolitan Lives and the Making of a European Culture by Orlando Figes ($65, HB)
The Europeans is both panoramic account of how in the 19th century huge aesthetic, economic, technological & legal changes created, for the first time, a genuinely pan-European culture—and an intimate story of a great singer, Pauline Viardot, her husband Louis and writer, Ivan Turgenev. Their passionate, ambitious lives caught up an astonishing array of writers, composers & painters all trying to navigate through an ever more prosperous, demanding & international culture. This culture—through trains, telegraphs & printing—allowed artists of all kinds to create a precarious but real living, shuttling back & forth, from the British Isles to Imperial Russia. Figes describes huge events through intimate details, little-known stories and through the lens of Turgenev & the Viardots’ love triangle.
The Cherry Picker’s Daughter: A childhood memoir by Aunty Kerry Reed-Gilbert ($29.95, PB)
At three-months old, Kerry Reid-Gilbert & her brother lost both parents. Her father, Kevin Gilbert—later to become a famous activist, writer, painter and actor—killed their mother & was jailed for many years. Her father’s sister, whom she always called Mummy, raised Kerry & her brother along with her own children & others within the extended family—working tirelessly to support all the children, making sure during fruit-picking season, they attended school, and keeping them from being taken/‘stolen’ by the ‘Welfare’. Aunty Kerry grew up in humpies, tents and run-down train carriages, working from a very young age—their Mummy & their identity as Aboriginal people were instrumental in helping them survive the Protectors, the White Australia Policy and the everyday racism that her family faced. ‘A wonderful yarn by an Aboriginal Elder about a bygone way of life.’—Melissa Lukashenko
Other People’s Houses by Hilary McPhee ($35, PB)
Publishing legend Hilary McPhee exchanges one hemisphere for another, fleeing the aftermath of a failed marriage, and embarking on a writing project in the Middle East, for a member of the Hashemite royal family—a man she greatly respects. Here she finds herself faced with different kinds of exile, new kinds of banishment. From apartments in Cortona & Amman & an attic in London, McPhee watches other women managing magnificently alone as she flounders through the mire of Extreme Loneliness. This is a brutally honest memoir, funny, sad, full of insights into worlds to which she was given privileged access, and of the friendships which sustained her. And ultimately, this is the story of returning home, of picking up the pieces, and facing the music as her house & her life takes on new shapes.
Face It by Debbie Harry ($45, HB)
In an arresting mix of visceral storytelling & visuals that includes never-before-seen photographs, bespoke illustrations & fan art installations Deborah Harry recreates the downtown scene of 1970s NYC, where Blondie played alongside the Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop & David Bowie. She follows her path from glorious commercial success to heroin addiction, the neardeath of partner Chris Stein, a heart-wrenching bankruptcy, and Blondie’s break-up as a band to her multifaceted acting career in more than 30 films, a solo career & the triumphant return of her band in a cinematic story of a woman who made her own path, and set the standard for a generation of artists who followed.
3 volumes of autobiography by Tove Ditlevsen Childhood / Youth / Dependency ($23, PB each)
Tove Ditlevsen was born in 1917 in a working-class neighbourhood in Copenhagen. Her first volume of poetry was published when she was in her early twenties, and was followed by many more books, including her 3 brilliant volumes of memoir, Childhood (1967), Youth (1967) and Dependency (1971). She married four times & struggled with alcohol & drug abuse throughout her adult life until her death by suicide in 1978.
Ian Fairweather: A Life in Letters (eds) Claire Roberts & John Thompson ($60, HB)
When he died in 1974 after a long period of self-imposed austerity & improvisation on Bribie Island, QLD, painter Ian Fairweather was at the apex of his fame. Born in 1891 in Scotland, he had lived a peripatetic life, forever seeking the right place to settle. He was a prodigious & idiosyncratic letter writer—wryly documenting for friends & family members his travels, his struggles with his painting & Chinese translations, and the changing conditions on Bribie, also commenting on literature & world affairs. This selection of letters is the closest thing to an autobiography of one of Australia’s most important and enduring artists.
Unfollow by Megan Phelps-Roper ($33, PB)
Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis by Malena Ernman, Beata Ernman, Svante Thunberg & Greta Thunberg ($35, HB)
Greta is 11 years old, and she has stopped eating. She has stopped talking. And she has become fixated on the horrors of the climate crisis, which creep into news bulletins each night. Her parents are desperate & the family begins to unravel. 4 years later, Greta sits outside Swedish Parliament. Her parents watch on as she eats vegan pad thai & chats with a journalist. They have allowed her to skip school. They have changed their habits—quitting their jobs & joining their daughter in her fight for the living planet. This is the remarkable true story of two parents & two daughters, who together have transformed the way we think & talk about our earth. Revealing the intimate, hitherto unseen impact of climate change on our children’s and our own mental health, it is a passionate rallying cry for us all to wake.
Gulpilil by Derek Rielly ($30, HB)
It’s been almost 50 years since a teenage David Gulpilil illuminated screens worldwide with his breakout role in Walkabout. It was the one of the first times we’d seen an Aboriginal person cast in a significant role—only 4 years after Holt’s referendum to alter the constitution & give Indigenous people citizenship and, subsequently, the right to vote. Gulpilil quickly became the face of the Indigenous world to white Australian audiences—starring in films ranging from Crocodile Dundee to Rabbit-Proof Fence. But what has marked Gulpilil, despite his fame and popularity, is the feeling that he’s been forever stuck between two worlds: a Yolngu man, a hunter, a tracker, who grew up in the bush in Arnhem Land outside any white influence; and a movie star flitting from sets to festivals. Able to exist in both worlds, but never truly home. Derek Rielly builds a narrative around his attempt to encapsulate the most beguiling & unconventional of Australian entertainers, observing Gulpilil’s own attempt to find a place in the world.
Gotta Get Theroux This: My Life and Strange Times in Television by Louis Theroux ($33, PB)
In 1994 fledgling journalist Louis Theroux was given a one-off gig on Michael Moore’s TV Nation, presenting a segment on apocalyptic religious sects. Gawky, socially awkward & totally unqualified, his first reaction to this exciting opportunity was panic. But he’d always been drawn to off-beat characters, so maybe his enthusiasm would carry the day. Nervously accepting the BBC’s offer of his own series, he went on to create an award-winning documentary style that has seen him immersed in worlds as diverse as racist US militias & secretive pro-wrestlers, the violent gangs of Johannesburg & extreme drinkers in London. Arguably his biggest challenge was corralling celebrities in his When Louis Met series, with Jimmy Savile proving most elusive. Blindsided when the revelations about Savile came to light, Louis was to reflect again on the nature of evil he had spent decades uncovering. Filled with wry observation, larger-than-life characters, and self-deprecating humour, this is Louis at his insightful and honest best.
Karl Marx: Philosophy and Revolution by Shlomo Avineri ($45, HB)
Karl Marx was one of the most influential & revolutionary thinkers of modern history, but he is rarely thought of as a Jewish thinker, and his Jewish background is either overlooked or misrepresented. Shlomo Avineri argues that Marx’s Jewish origins did leave a significant impression on his work. Marx was born in Trier, then part of Prussia, & his family had enjoyed equal rights & emancipation under earlier French control of the area. But its annexation to Prussia deprived the Jewish population of its equal rights. These developments led to the reluctant conversion of Marx’s father, and similar tribulations radicalized many young intellectuals of that time who came from a Jewish background. Avineri puts Marx’s Jewish background in its proper & balanced perspective, and traces Marx’s intellectual development in light of the historical, intellectual & political contexts in which he lived.
The Undying: A meditation on Modern Illness by Anne Boyer ($35, HB)
A week after her 41st birthday, Anne Boyer was diagnosed with highly aggressive triple-negative breast cancer. For a single mother living payslip to payslip who had always been the caregiver rather than the one needing care, the catastrophic condition was both a crisis & an initiation into new ideas about mortality and the gendered politics of illness. As well as a harrowing memoir of survival, her book explores the experience of illness as mediated by digital screens, weaving in ancient Roman dream diarists, cancer hoaxers & fetishists, cancer vloggers, corporate lies, John Donne, pro-pain ‘dolorists’, the ecological costs of chemotherapy, and the many little murders of capitalism. It excoriates the pharmaceutical industry & the bland hypocrisies of ‘pink ribbon culture’ while also diving into the long literary line of women writing about their own illnesses & ongoing deaths—Audre Lorde, Kathy Acker, Susan Sontag & others.
Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church—the fire-and-brimstone religious sect at once aggressively homophobic and anti-Semitic, rejoiceful for AIDS and natural disasters, and notorious for its picketing the funerals of American soldiers. From her first public protest, aged five, to her instrumental role in spreading the church’s invective via social media, her formative years brought their difficulties. But being reviled was not one of them. She was preaching God’s truth. She was, in her words, ‘all in’. In November 2012, at the age of twenty-six, she left the church, her family, and her life behind. Unfollow is a story about the rarest thing of all: a person changing their mind.
Tony Wheeler’s Islands of Australia ($40, PB)
Not just an island continent, Australia is a continent of islands. With over 8,000, it has more than the entire Caribbean. Join seasoned traveller Tony Wheeler on a journey around the Australian coast & beyond to discover the stunning natural features, unique wildlife & chequered histories of Australia’s remarkable (and remarkably diverse) islets, cays, atolls & archipelagos. Find out why the Whitsundays should have been called the Whitmondays, encounter Australia’s only known pirate, witness mutiny & murder on the Bounty & Batavia, meet giant lizards & friendly quokkas, and discover rich Indigenous cultures. Whether you’re an intrepid explorer, a simple sun-seeker or an armchair tourist, Wheeler will have you itching to visit.
Walks in Nature Melbourne (2nd ed), $25 Tasmania, $25 Australia (2nd ed), $30
Passionate walkers Anna Carlile and Andrew Bain offer bush walks & beach walks to shake away the cobwebs. Melbourne & Tasmania are in the form of a box of 32 colour coded cards, Australia is in book form.
Esprit de Battuta: Alone Across Africa on a Bicycle by Pamela Watson ($35, PB)
Cycling for a year and a half, covering nearly 15,000 kilometres and crossing through seventeen countries, Pamela Watson encountered an Africa rarely reported in the media and experienced first-hand the violent tinderbox of local politics. She discovers women are the backbone of rural Africa and is shocked to learn their responsibilities are not matched by their access to basic human rights.
Great Expeditions: 50 Journeys that Changed Our World by Mark Steward & Alan Greenwood ($30, PB)
Maybe the Horse Will Talk Elliot Perlman What if the only way to keep your job was to antagonise your boss? A dramatic, timely and laugh-out-loud funny novel from the prize-winning author of Three Dollars and The Street Sweeper. Out 1 October
The Secret Commonwealth Philip Pullman Master storyteller Philip Pullman continues the incredible journey of Lyra Silvertongue in the second volume of The Book of Dust. Out 3 October
Grand Union Zadie Smith The first ever collection of short stories from the bestselling and beloved author of Swing Time and White Teeth. Out 3 October
Buckley’s Chance Garry Linnell Few historical figures in this country are shrouded in as much myth and speculation as William Buckley. This is the greatest Australian story never told – until now. Out 1 October
Agent Running in the Field John le Carré From the bestselling author of The Night Manager and The Constant Gardener, an exhilarating novel that confronts the division and rage at the heart of our modern world. Out 15 October
The Body: A Guide for Occupants Bill Bryson Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories, The Body will have you marvelling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again. Out 1 October
Spanning several centuries and united by the common theme of the resilience of the human spirit, this is the ultimate collection of the stories of the intrepid explorers who forged new frontiers across land, sea, skies and space. The 50 incredible journeys include: Tenzing & Hillary’s conquest of Everest; Neil Armstrong’s giant leap; Christopher Columbus’ new world; Amelia Earhart flying the Atlantic; gold fever in the Yukon; the hunt for a man-eating leopard in India. The collection includes not only some of the most famous journeys in history but also introduces many more that ought to be more widely recognised and celebrated.
River Song by Mark Cloutier ($35, PB)
‘Although there’s plenty of practical advice here, this book is more about why we fish, what makes it special and how it makes us feel.’ Every fisherman has a special stretch of water, where the fish are always plentiful & the memories flow. River Song revels in each of celebrated fishing writer Mark Cloutier’s special locations, discovered over 4 decades fishing the mountain streams & lakes of Australia & New Zealand. Each tale conjures the romance of days spent chasing the perfect catch, and the insight that only quiet hours spent in the wild can bring. Accompanied by black-and-white photography from Cloutier’s adventures, this is a loving ode to fishing’s power to soothe the soul.
On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Road Trip by Paul Theroux ($35, PB)
Mexico is a country that has captured literary imaginations from D. H. Lawrence and Graham Greene to Aldous Huxley. Paul Theroux immerses himself in Mexico, attending local language & culinary schools, driving through the country, getting under its skin. He starts his journey into the culturally rich but troubled heart of modern Mexico with Nogales—a border town caught between Mexico & the US. A forty-foot steel fence runs through its centre, separating the prosperous US side from the impoverished Mexican side. It is a fascinating site of tension, now more than ever, as the town fills with hopeful border crossers & the deportees who have been caught & brought back.
Sovietistan: A Journey Through Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan by Erika Fatland ($33, PB)
The 5 former Soviet Republics’ Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan all became independent when the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991. How have these countries developed since then? Norwegian journalist Erika Fatland visits the huge & desolate Polygon in Kazakhstan where the Soviet Union tested explosions of nuclear bombs; she meets Chinese shrimp gatherers on the banks of the dried out Aral Sea & she witnesses the fall of a dictator. During her travels, she observes how ancient customs clash with gas production & she witnesses the underlying conflicts between ethnic Russians & the majority in a country that is slowly building its future in Nationalist colours. Amidst the treasures of Samarkand and the bleakness of Soviet architecture, Fatland moves with her openness towards the people and the landscapes around her. A rare and unforgettable travelogue.
books for kids to young adults The Misadventures of Frederick by Ben Manley (ill) Emma Chichester Clark
Oi Puppies! by Kes Gray & Jim Field
Dog is looking after some puppies. Quite a few puppies, actually, and none of them will sit! Not even on guppies, like they’re supposed to! They’re getting a little out of hand—but luckily Frog’s got a cunning plan. Another funny, rhyming read-aloud picture book, jam-packed with cute puppies and silliness from the multi-award-winning creators of OI FROG! ($25, HB)
Frederick lives a sheltered (and boring) life in a mansion surrounded by lakes & forests. When Emily invites him to play outside Frederick refuses—what if he hurts himself? Much better to stay safely indoors. But she’s not about to take no for an answer. A series of funny letters between Frederick and Emily interweave the colourful, adventurous world of Emily with Frederick’s drab life of boredom and safety—all illustrated by the wonderful Emma Chichester Clark of Plumdog/ Love is My Favourite Thing fame ($25, HB)
Theodore the Unsure by Pip Smith (ill) Beau Wylie ($18, PB)
Terribly Friendly Fox by Susie Lloyd & Ellie Snowden
Lion King Theodore is the ruler of all he surveys. He has only two problems. The first is that his kingly mane keeps growing ever larger. The second? Theodore cannot decide whether to have it cut off. In fact, Theodore has trouble deciding pretty much anything. Such as what colour socks to wear or what to eat for breakfast. As his mane grows ever larger, King Theodore is advised to hold a worldwide vote of all members of the Animal Kingdom to decide if he should shave it off. A good ruler should listen to his subjects. This is where the fun—and confusion—starts. All the animals have conflicting views and ideas. The Snakes are in favour of him keeping his Mane (‘What a Mane, What a Mane, What a Mighty Good Mane’). The Penguins have no idea what a Mane is. The Donkeys (of course) make a Donkey Vote. After the votes are counted, Theodore must make his BIGGEST decision, for the good of all… A charming, funny story about good leadership and about believing in oneself. Beau Wylie’s delightfully hilarious illustrations—I love the one showing the cockatoos demonstrating stylish Mane alterations—perfectly compliment Pip Smith’s clever text. More Theodore adventures, please. Stephen
In this hilarious picture book for 3yrs old and up, a charming fox who claims to have changed his name to Gerald and become a vegetarian, gatecrashes The Annual Woodland Creatures Ball. It’s agreed by all that he’s the life of the party, but as the guests gradually disappear, Gerald’s waistcoat begins to pop its buttons. The joke is delivered subtly and not all little children will get it on their own, but the language is delightfully old-fashioned and the illustrations gorgeous. ($15, PB) Morgan
The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals by Sami Bayly ($33, HB)
Sami Bayly is a natural history illustrator based in Newcastle loves all things weird and wonderful and she thinks it’s time for ugly animals to shine! With more than sixty ‘ugly’ animals to explore she debates their relative ugliness and merits—with illustrations and facts about the thorniest species the animal kingdom has to offer, from the naked mole rat to the goblin shark, aye-aye, sphinx cat, blobfish and many more ‘ugly’ beauties.
Eddie Woo’s Magical Maths
James Rhodes’ Playlist: The Rebels and Revolutionaries of Sound ($50, HB)
There’s magic in maths—if you know where to look says head mathematics teacher at Cherrybrook Technology High School, Sydney, Eddie Woo, and here he offers up another bumper book of fun with maths stuffed with things to draw, puzzle, invent, order, unscramble, code, decode for kids aged 7+. ($20, PB)
Concert pianist introduces classical music to first-time listeners and long-time fans in this exquisite slip-cased volume, with a large fold-out poster included. ‘Bach. Mozart. Beethoven. Old guys with curly wigs, right? But trust me: those composers were the original rock stars. Let me introduce you to some of the most breathtaking and magnificent pieces of music ever created. We’ll meet the rebels and revolutionaries who wrote them—did you know Beethoven peed into a chamber pot he kept under his piano?—and find out why they’re responsible for every track on your phone today. The world of classical music is going to blow your mind. So take some time out to read listen to the online playlist I’ve curated for you. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Rachmaninoff and Ravel: the perfect introduction to classical music.’
Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo
Beverly, Right Here is the latest book in Kate DiCamillo’s Raymor Nightingale trilogy. Set in Florida in the 1970s, the books are about a trio of friends, Raymie, Louisiana and Beverly. They are all children with family backgrounds that are difficult in varying degrees, Beverly’s being the worst. There is a theme of abandonment, loss and leaving throughout these books, and in this final book, It’s Beverly who up sticks and just leaves her negligent mother after the death of her beloved dog Buddy. If this sounds depressing, it’s not - it’s a heartfelt book, but full of poetry and humour and an undeniable belief in goodness and hope. All the characters are interesting; Beverly is in fact quite a girl, and the secondary characters are all extremely well written, vivid and believable. It’s also refreshing to read these books set not so long ago, but in such a different world - no mobile phones, no personal computers and mercifully free of social media. I highly recommend these books to good readers aged 10-12, but they would be enjoyed by many older readers as well. ($20, PB) Louise
The Golden Butterfly by Sharon Gosling ($15, PB)
It’s 1897 and since the Magnificent Marko’s death, no magician has come close to performing a trick as spectacular as ‘The Golden Butterfly’. When the menacing leader of the Grand Society of Magicians tries to uncover the secret of Marko’s trick, Luciana (alone in a city that believes women incapable of magic) realises that she must act to protect her grandfather’s reputation. But as she is drawn further in to the mysterious magical world her grandfather left behind, Luciana realises that among his many secrets may be one about her past...... A Tale of Magic... by Chris Colfer ($27, HB) 14-year-old Brystal Evergreen has always known she was destined for great things—if she can survive the oppressive Southern Kingdom. Her only escape are books, but since it’s illegal for women to read in her country, she has to find creative ways of acquiring them—like working as a maid at her local library. But one day Brystal uncovers a secret section of the library and finds a book about magic that changes her life forever. A new series set in the Land of Stories universe from Glee cast member, Chris Colfer.
Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell ($18, PB)
In the sequel to Carry On ‘chosen one’ Simon Snow is puzzled—he beat the villain, won the war and even fell in love. So why in the ‘happily ever after’ can’t he get off the couch? His best friend suggests a change of scenery—time to grab a vintage convertible, a couple of friends—Penny and Baz—and tear across the American West. They find trouble—dragons, vampires & such—and they get so lost, they start to wonder whether they knew where they were headed in the first place.
The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring ($28, HB)
At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi, fleeing the military regime that took her mother, it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumours of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.
SLAY by Brittney Morris ($18, PB) By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is a college student, and one of the only black kids at Jefferson Academy. By night, she joins hundreds of thousands of black gamers who duel worldwide in the secret online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer—not even her boyfriend, Malcolm. But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, the media labels it an exclusionist, racist hub for thugs. With threats coming from both inside and outside the game, Kiera must fight to save the safe space she’s created. But can she protect SLAY without losing herself?
Food, Health & Garden
Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal ($30, PB)
We are living through a crisis of distraction. Plans get sidetracked, friends are ignored, work never seems to get done. Why does it feel like we’re distracting our lives away? Behavioural designer Nir Eyal shows what life could look like if you followed through on your intentions. Instead of suggesting a digital detox, Eyal reveals the hidden psychology driving you to distraction, and teaches you how to make pacts with yourself to keep your brain on track. Indistractable is a guide to making decisions and seeing them through.
Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again by Eric Topol
The doctor-patient relationship—the heart of medicine—is broken: doctors are too distracted & overwhelmed to truly connect with their patients, and medical errors & misdiagnoses abound. Physician Eric Topol reveals how AI has the potential to transform everything doctors do, from notetaking & medical scans to diagnosis & treatment, greatly cutting down the cost of medicine & reducing human mortality. By freeing physicians from the tasks that interfere with human connection, AI will create space for the real healing that takes place between a doctor who can listen & a patient who needs to be heard. Innovative, provocative, and hopeful, Topol shows how AI can make medicine better, for all the humans involved. ($45, HB)
How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul & Maria Russo ($30, HB)
The authors of the viral NYT Books feature, show you how to instil the joy & time-stopping pleasure of reading. Divided into four sections, from baby through teen, each illustrated by a different artist, this book offers something useful on every page, whether it’s how to develop rituals around reading or build a family library, or ways to engage a reluctant reader. A 5th section, More Books to Love: By Theme and Reading Level, is chockful of expert recommendations. Throughout, the authors debunk common myths, assuage parental fear & deliver invaluable lessons in a positive & easy-to-act-on way.
How to be Sober & Keep Your Friends: Tips, Hacks & Drinks by Flic Everett ($25, HB)
Turning down a drink isn’t easy. Not only do you have to deal with your own desire for that chilled & glistening glass of white, you also have to tackle the: ‘Why aren’t you drinking?’ ‘Are you pregnant?’ ‘Go on… just one!’ And the worst one of all: ‘You’re no fun without a drink!’This book shows you how & why you can still be the life & soul of the party, keep your friends, and be sober. Learn more about why you’re giving up/cutting back, how to keep your relationships tight with your partner, colleagues & friends, and ways to enjoy your new found sobriety, from understanding the benefit to your health to appreciating the improvement in your bank balance.
New this month Up the Duff 2020 by Kaz Cooke, $45 Fire Cider! by Rosemary Gladstar ($25, PB)
Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar has been touting the health benefits of fire cider—a spicy blend of apple cider vinegar, onion, ginger, horseradish, garlic & other immune-boosting herbs for more than 30 years. Her original recipe, inspired by traditional cider vinegar remedies, has given rise to dozens of fire cider formulations created by fans of the tonic who use it to address everyday ills, from colds & flu to leg cramps & hangovers. Fire Cider! is a lively collection of 101 recipes contributed by more than 70 herbal enthusiasts, with versions ranging from Black Currant Fire Cider to Triple Goddess Vinegar, Fire Cider Dark Moonshine & Bloody Mary Fire Cider.
Menus that Made History by Alex Johnson & Vincent Franklin ($30, HB)
Each of this miscellany of menus provides an insight into its particular historical moment—from the typical food on offer in a 19th century workhouse to the opulence of George IV’s gargantuan coronation dinner. Some menus are linked with an event such as The Hindenburg’s last flight menu or the variety of meals on offer for First, Second and Third Class passengers on board RMS Titanic, while others give an insight into sport, such as the 1963 FA Cup Final Dinner or transport & travel with the luxury lunch on board the Orient Express. Also included are literary occasions like Charles’ Dickens 1868 dinner at Delmonicos in New York as well as the purely fictional & fantastical fare of Ratty’s picnic in The Wind in the Willows.
South by Sean Brock ($85, HB)
Sean Brock shares his recipes for key components of Southern cuisine, from grits & fried chicken to collard greens & corn bread. Recipes can be mixed & matched to make a meal or eaten on their own. Taken together, they make up the essential elements of Southern cuisine, from fried green tomatoes to smoked baby back ribs & from tomato okra stew to biscuits. Regional differences are highlighted in recipes for shrimp & grits, corn bread, fried chicken & more. Includes key Southern knowledge—how to fry, how to care for cast iron, how to cook over a hearth, and more.
The Edible Garden Cookbook & Growing Guide by Paul West ($40, PB)
Paul West shares practical gardening advice, with guides on building a no-dig garden, composting & keeping chooks, and an A-Z guide of the veggies that are easiest to grow. There are also more than 50 of his favourite family recipes, plus ideas for fun food activities to do with your community, whether it’s hosting a pickle party or passata day, brewing beer with some mates or whipping up a batch of homemade sausages.
Venetian Republic: Recipes from the Veneto, Adriatic Croatia and the Greek Islands by Nino Zoccali ($50, PB)
Prosecco and snapper risotto, Croatian roast lamb shoulder with olive oil potatoes, the sweet and sour red mullet of Crete, zabaglione from Corfu, or Dubrovnik’s ricotta and rose liqueur crepes. These are recipes steeped in history; dishes from the days when Venice was a world power. To tell this history, respected writer, chef and restaurateur Nino Zoccali focuses on the four key regions of the Republic: Venice & the lagoon islands; the surrounding Veneto; the Croatian coast; and the Greek Islands.
AWW Flexible Plant-Based ($40, HB)
A plant-based diet provides a number of health benefits, one of many reasons why it is being embraced more than ever in some form. Today’s plant-based eating allows people to tailor their diet to their own ideology, whim & likes. This flexitarian approach ranges from the strict vegan to ‘almost’ vegetarians, who add more plant foods to their diet & some white meat or seafood. No matter where you fall on the spectrum these recipes can be enjoyed by everyone.
Baltic: New & Old Recipes—Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania by Simon Bajada ($50, HB)
Baltic cuisine is a mixture of Russian & German culinary influences with spices thrown in such as cardamom & cinnamon because the region is a historic trading point with Byzantium. Simon Bajada has selected those Baltic recipes most suited to international palates, curating a mix that is a combination of traditional & contemporary Baltic cuisine. Start your day with Curd pancakes with sour cream & blackberry jam, and learn how to make Black bread & Latvian hemp butter, or try some Summer’s milk soup. Baltic is your starting point for experimenting with the flavours of this resurgent cuisine.
Lavash by Kate Leahy & Ara Zada ($40, HB)
Armenian food offers a new take on healthful deliciousness. It combines the best flavours and techniques of Mediterranean and central European cuisines into fresh and satisfying dishes, served with plenty of pickles, sides, and the soft, ubiquitous bread known as lavash. More than 60 recipes—arranged by course—cover authentic breads & everything you eat with them, from soups & salads to mains & sweets.
Week Light: Super-Fast Meals to Make You Feel Good by Donna Hay ($39.95, PB)
Who knew broccoli (in my mind the superfood of all vegetables) could make such a delicious pizza base, flat-bread or tart shell? Often for lunch, or even a snack, I’ll bake my super-green falafels in the oven & my studio team love them. As for my boys? Their current weeknight request is my crunchy raw pad thai—so yum. Inside Week Light, you’ll find all these ideas & so much more. It’s essentially my week in food, in a book—superquick, family-friendly, fuss-free meals with vegetables are at the forefront of nearly every recipe.
From the Oven to the Table: Simple dishes that look after themselves by Diana Henry ($40, HB) Diana Henry’s favourite way to cook is to throw ingredients into a dish or roasting tin, slide them in the oven & let the heat behind that closed door transform them. Most of the recipes in this varied collection are cooked in one dish; with some ideas for simple accompaniments that can be cooked on another shelf at the same time. Recipes include Chicken Thighs with Miso, Sweet Potatoes & Spring Onions, Roast Indian-spiced Vegetables with Lime-Coriander Butte & Roast Stone Fruit with Almond & Orange Flower Crumbs.
Posh Tarts by Phillippa Spence ($30, HB)
Phillippa Spence offers 70 amazing recipes covering breakfast tarts (pasteis de nata, English breakfast), meat tarts (Spanish omelette quiche, Shredded smokey chicken & sweet corn, Bacon, leek & cheese), fish tarts (Pissaladière, Tuna tonnata, Smoked salmon & watercress), vegetable tarts (Baked camembert in filo with cranberry, Roasted ratatouille, Butternut squash tarte Tatin with chestnut & sage), and sweet tarts (Jam tarts, Tarte au citron, Dutch apple tart & Linzertorte).
Out this month Good Food Guide 2020 by Myffy Rigby ($30, PB)
Events r Calenda
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Event—6 for 6.30
The Hilton Bombing in conv. with Kate McClymont 10 years after the Hilton bombing Evan Pederick confessed to this act of terrorism, only to have his testimony were undermined and he was accused of being a ‘fantasist’. The terrorist turned reverend: a remarkable story told for the first time.
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Ariel Salleh Pluriverse After decades of so-called ‘development’, the world is in crisis. This book initiates a global collaboration among communities to explore their convergences. It proposes a political radicalization that starts at everyday life and moves on to an Earth Democracy.
16 Event—6 for 6.30
The Weekend in conv. with Malcolm Knox Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast. When one dies, the group’s delicate equilibrium is disturbed when the remaining three gather for a weekend at her beach house to pack it up for sale— frustrations build and painful memories press in.
Cosmic C in conv. with R Are we alone in the did the Moon come know what stars ar there really be a f mining? Fred Wa Astronomer-at-Lar hottest topics in s astron
The Innoce in conv. with Bern This collection of e ous and plaintive reading and writin editor and teacher ing Debra
23 Event—6 for 6.30
Other People’s Houses in conv. with Jane Caro Other People’s Houses is publishing legend Hilary McPhee’s brutally honest memoir—funny, sad, full of insights into worlds to which she was given privileged access, and of the friendships which sustained her.
Feeding the Birds at Your Table in conv. with Dr Holly Parsons This book provides the first readily available source of reliable information relevant to Australians who want to keep the backyard birds fed. What’s more, it is written by an expert who feeds birds himself in his own suburban backyard.
Inside th Paddy Manning of examination of th ture of the Austra a record quarter o ing the major part tion, what lies ahea the ‘third force polit
Event—6 for 6.30
Event—6 for 6.30
Penny Wong: A Biography in conv. with Lenore Taylor Drawing on exclusive interviews with Penny Wong and her Labor colleagues, parliamentary opponents, and close friends and family, this is a scintillating insight into an Australian politician without precedence.
Judith Hoare The Woman Who Cracked the Anxiety Code Launcher: Jenny Brockie This is the true story of the littleknown mental-health pioneer, Dr Claire Weekes, who revolutionised how we see the defining problem of our era: anxiety.
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All events listed are $12/$9 concession. Book Launches are free. Gleeclub members free entry to events at 49 Glebe Pt Rd
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Chronicles Robyn Williams e Universe? Where e from? How do we re made of? Could future in asteroid atson—Australia’s rge—explores the space science and nomy.
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andom Trip Science pen if you really ine Diet’? Do fish w long is a DNA retch it out? How u make in a day? poo cubes? Auscientist heads off ild blue yonder.
Launch—3.30 for 4
Metin Mustafa The Ottoman Renaissance Launcher: Jim O’Kane This book re-evaluates Ottoman art of the early modern period within the Renaissance paradigm.
11 Launch—6 for 6.30
18 Launch—6 for 6.30
Wong Shee Ping The Poison of Polygamy Launcher: Shirley Fitzgerald Serialised in 1909–10, this first novel of the Chinese Australian experience, is a roller-coaster tale of blackmail, murder, betrayal and even thylacine attack, partly based on real people, places and events. Presented in Engligh translation for the first time.
Roslyn McFarland All the Lives We’ve Lived Launcher: Patrick Abboud Set along the eastern banks of Salt Pan Creek, a tributary of the Georges River, which empties into Botany Bay, this is a novel of interconnected stories woven together through the life of the main character, babyboomer Kate Ward.
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26 Launch—3.30 for 4 Jeremiah Seyrak
The Faceless Advisor Commercial lawyer, Ethan Roberts, gets a mysterious offer of a role from a highly secretive entity only known by the alias The Hand to exchange his monotonous work life to one of providing sensitive and discrete services to senior public and private clients investigating unusual and elaborate crimes that are not what they appear to be.
Coming in November
Sat 2nd: Christos Tsiolkas with David Marr—Damascus Thur 7th: Kerry Reid-Gilbert—The Cherry Picker’s Daughter Fri 8th: Eyal Mayroz—Reluctant Interveners: America’s Failed Response to Genocide from Bosnia to Darfur Mon 11th Seymour Centre: Thai Cave Heroes: Craig Challen, Richard Harris, Eleanor Hall Wed 13th: David Marr—The Primce: George Pell Updated For more events go to: http://www.gleebooks.com.au/bookings
Granny’s Good Reads
with Sonia Lee
Nine Pints by Rose George is one of the most interesting books I have ever read. And no, it’s not about your Friday night beer consumption, but about blood—that valuable fluid which courses through your veins, keeping you alive. When we first meet George, she is donating one of her pints to the NHS Blood and Transplant service—she dedicates her book to the NHS which she says is being slyly dismantled by government under-funding. When she was at Somerville College, Oxford, there was a portrait of Janet Vaughan on the wall of the refectory where she ate her meals. Vaughan was a pioneering doctor who with Percy Oliver, a civic-minded volunteer, oversaw the collection and distribution of blood in ice-cream vans during the Second World War. It’s thanks to them that we have voluntary donations of blood in the UK and Australia, while blood is sold in the US. In the 70s and 80s, many haemophiliacs died from AIDS and hepatitis C because of unsafe medical products. When you are selling blood, you might not always be up-front about your medical status. In India she finds that some hospitals ask prospective patients to bring along a gaggle of relatives to give blood, just in case. George gets furious when she visits South Africa where AIDS is proliferating in the heterosexual population thanks to government inaction from 1999 to 2008, and because of old men called ‘blessers’ who shower school girls—the ‘blessees’—with gifts in exchange for unprotected sex. In Nepal she is furious on behalf of the girls who have to spend five days of their periods huddled in freezing huts, a prey to venomous snakes and rapists, because they are deemed taboo by mothers and grandmothers. She writes approvingly about ‘Menstrual Man’, Aranachalam Muruganantham, who invented a cheap, reliable machine to make sanitary pads when he discovered that his wife couldn’t afford the manufacturers’ products. For many centuries doctors used to ‘bleed’ patients; now it’s regarded as quackery, but leeches are coming back into use as medics find them useful for removing blood from reattached body parts. Her last chapter is about vampires, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and synthetic blood. Rose George came to the Adelaide Writers’ Festival this year and spoke to Robyn Williams for the Science Show on RN if you want to look her up. She’s a knockout. Another fascinating book I recommend this month is Teen Brain by David Gillespie, father of six, who warns us that screens are making our teenagers depressed, anxious, and prone to addictive illnesses. At puberty boys and girls look like adults but their brains don’t fully develop for at least another ten years. Boys want danger and sex, and girls want approval from their Group, long before their impulse control mechanism kicks in. Their smart phone gives them a dopamine hit, and if you think they aren’t addicted, just watch mothers try to get their teens to leave off their phones long enough to do their homework and you will see addicts in desperate need of a fix. Steve Jobs who invented the infernal machine wouldn’t allow his own kids, aged 12, 14 and 19, to have one. Teens can get video games and porn for boys, and social media connection for girls, at the press of a button. They can also get information easily, and never have to learn their nine times table, or even the way from A to B on a map, so they know everything while knowing nothing. Plenty of food for thought in this book. My daughter told me to read Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth—a gripping saga which chronicles the ‘dispersal’ of an aboriginal tribe by settlers and the terrifying Native Police in outback Queensland, 1885. Tommy McBride, aged 14, and his brother, 16 year-old Billy, return from a swim in the waterhole to find a family tragedy. They seek assistance from John Sullivan, the wealthy owner of the neighbouring property. Sullivan’s wife is very kind to the boys, but John Sullivan takes the opportunity to blame the local aborigines. He and Inspector Noone, the head of the Native Police, engineer a brutal massacre in which the McBride boys take part, for which Tommy never forgives himself. This is a stunning novel by Howarth—an English writer who lived for 6 years in Melbourne before returning to the UK. He demonstrates psychological insight, with a real feeling for small details, and writes sensitively, even poetically, about the landscape, while juxtaposing scenes of almost unreadable sadistic horror. Adrian McKinty gives the novel a thumbs-up, and Tim Winton calls it ‘an impressive debut’. You won’t forget this book easily. Sonia
Convict Colony by David Hill ($33, PB)
David Hill tells the story of the first 3 decades of Britain’s earliest colony in Australia. The British plan to settle Australia was a high-risk venture. The New World of the 18th century was dotted with failed colonies, and New South Wales nearly joined them. The motley crew of unruly marines and bedraggled convicts who arrived at Botany Bay in 1788 in leaky boats nearly starved to death. They could easily have been murdered by hostile locals, been overwhelmed by an attack from French or Spanish expeditions, or brought undone by the Castle Hill uprising of 1804. Yet through fortunate decisions, a few remarkably good leaders, and most of all good luck, Sydney survived and thrived.
Penny Wong by Margaret Simons ($35, PB)
Resolute, self-possessed & a penetrating thinker on subjects from climate change to foreign affairs, she is admired by members of parliament and the public from across the political divide. Margaret Simons traces her story—from her early life in Malaysia, to her student activism in Adelaide, to her time in the turbulent Rudd & Gillard governments, to her key role as a voice of reason in the polarising campaign to legalise same-sex marriage. What emerges is a picture of a leader for modern Australia, a cool-headed & cautious figure of piercing intelligence, with a family history linking back to Australia’s colonial settlers & to the Asia-Pacific.
AFA 7: China Dependence: Australia’s New Vulnerability by Jonathan Pearlman ($23, PB) The latest issue of Australian Foreign Affairs explores Australia’s status as the most China-dependent country in the developed world, and the potential risks this poses to its future prosperity & security. China Dependence examines how Australia should respond to the emerging economic & diplomatic challenges as its trade—for the first time—is heavily reliant on a country that is not a close ally or partner.
Asbestos in Australia: From Boom to Dust by Lenore Layman & Gail Philips ($39.95, PB)
This book presents a multi-dimensional view of Australia’s asbestos story featuring contributions from experts in the disciplines of history, journalism, medicine, law & public health. It also includes first-hand accounts of those whose lives have been touched by the mineral, as workers, asbestos disease sufferers, and lawyers & campaigners directly engaged in the struggle to ban its use. The writers track the history of asbestos from the early 20th century, when asbestos was mined in Australia, to the post-war housing boom which saw asbestos become the material of choice in cities & suburbs around the country. They then deal with its controversial legacy: the dire medical consequences from exposure, the cover-ups & the protracted legal battles for compensation, and the ongoing risks to public health from the asbestos that remains in our workplaces, schools & homes to this day.
The Hilton Bombing: Evan Pederick & the Ananda Marga by Imre Salusinszky ($35, PB)
In 1978, Evan Pederick, a naive 22-year-old in the thrall of a radical religious movement, Ananda Marga, placed an enormous bomb outside Sydney’s Hilton Hotel. It killed 3 people. A decade later, Pederick confessed to this act of terrorism. But when one of his alleged accomplices was later acquitted, significant parts of Pederick’s testimony were undermined & he was accused of being a ‘fantasist’. Conspiracy theories flooded in to fill the vacuum. Was it a plot by ASIO, rather than, as Pederick asserted, a plot to assassinate the Indian prime minister? In the absence of a Royal Commission or similar inquiry, mystery continues to shroud the deadliest terror attack on Australian soil. Pederick, an Anglican priest, stands by his confession & testimony. Here is his story, told for the first time. This is an extraordinary tale of guilt, remorse, renewal & the search for forgiveness.
From Turnbull to Morrison: Understanding the Trust Divide (eds) Evans, Grattan & McCaffrie
Is trust between the government & Australians broken? The country’s leading institutions have been ranked among the least trusted in the world at a time when the economy has experienced 27 years of economic growth. Malcolm Turnbull was the 4th sitting prime minister in a decade to be removed by his own party. What role do these politically turbulent times play in this trust deficit? Scott Morrison has now been elected by the people. What does he & future prime ministers need to do to reboot civic belief in politics? Michelle Grattan, George Megalogenis, Megan Davis, Virginia Haussegger, Mark Kenny Katharine Murphy, Frank Bongiorno, Mark Evans, Susan Harris-Rimmer, Anne Tiernan, John Warhurst & George Williams examine the institutions, the issues and the leaders at the heart of this crisis. ($40, PB)
Available this month: 2020 Verso Radical Diary, $25 paperback
Finding the Heart of the Nation: The Journey of the Uluru Statement towards Voice, Treaty and Truth by Thomas Mayor ($40, HB)
Since the Uluṟu Statement from the Heart was formed in 2017, Thomas Mayor has travelled around the country to promote its vision of a better future for Indigenous Australians. He’s visited communities big & small, often with the Uluṟu Statement canvas rolled up in a tube under his arm. Through the story of his own journey & interviews with 20 key people, Mayor taps into a deep sense of our shared humanity. The voices within these chapters make clear what the Uluru Statement is & why it is so important. Mayor believes that we will only find the heart of our nation when the First peoples—the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders—are recognised with a representative Voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
Buckley’s Chance by Garry Linnell ($35, PB)
The 19th century has just begun. The world is at war. England, ruled by a mad king, is exiling thousands of criminals to an old land that has become its newest dumping ground. One of those prisoners is William Buckley, barely 21, a former soldier sentenced to life for stealing two small pieces of cloth. He has a towering frame & an immense desire for freedom. On a moonlit night Buckley escapes & disappears into the Australian bush. Discovered & adopted by an aboriginal tribe who regard him as a ghost, he is initiated into their rich & complex culture. Given up for dead by his white captors, he will not be seen again for more than 30 years until he emerges one day—carrying a spear, dressed in animal skins & having forgotten the English language. Buckley’s Chance is a profound journey into a turning point in history where cultures clash, bitter rivals go to war & the body count mounts.
Politics Now: The Best of David Rowe ($33, PB)
The first collection of the grotesque, malformed & subterranean world that is David Rowe’s vision of politics. Featuring all the madness & downright stupidity of the past 5 years, Rowe’s freakish burlesque includes the usual suspects—Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison & Bill Shorten, as well as a host of minor monstrosities who you would rather forget lest they haunt your dreams. There are also cartoons on China, Europe, the UK, and the slow-motion train wreck of Brexit, wars in the Middle East, terror, the rise of authoritarians, and of course, Donald Trump.
Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth by Rachel Maddow ($48, HB)
The oil-and-gas industry has weakened democracies in developed & developing countries, fouled oceans & rivers, and propped up authoritarian thieves & killers. Rachel Maddow takes a switchback journey around the globe—from Oklahoma City to Siberia to Equatorial Guinea—exposing the greed & incompetence of Big Oil & Gas. She shows how Russia’s rich reserves of crude have, paradoxically, stunted its growth, forcing Putin to maintain his power by spreading Russia’s rot into its rivals, its neighbours, the US & the West’s most important alliances. Chevron, BP & a host of other industry players get their star turn, but ExxonMobil & the deceptively well-behaved Rex Tillerson emerge as 2 of the past century’s most consequential corporate villains.
The Education of An Idealist by Samantha Power
Samantha Power traces her journey from childhood growing up in a pub in Ireland to war correspondent to presidential Cabinet official. In 2005, her critiques of US foreign policy caught the eye of newly elected Senator Barack Obama, who invited her to work with him on Capitol Hill & then on his presidential campaign. After Obama was elected president, Power went from being an activist outsider to a government insider, navigating the halls of power while trying to put her ideals into practice. She served for 4 years as Obama’s human rights adviser, and in 2013 took one of the world’s most powerful diplomatic positions, becoming the youngest ever US Ambassador to the United Nations. ($33, PB)
Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events by Robert J. Shiller
Using a rich array of historical examples & data, Robert J. Shiller argues that studying popular stories that affect individual & collective economic behaviour—what he calls ‘narrative economics’— has the potential to vastly improve our ability to predict, prepare for, and lessen the damage of financial crises, recessions, depressions &other major economic events. Spread through the public in the form of popular stories, ideas can go viral & move markets whether it’s the belief that tech stocks can only go up, that housing prices never fall, or that some firms are too big to fail. Whether true or false, stories like these transmitted by word of mouth, by the news media, and increasingly by social media drive the economy by driving our decisions about how & where to invest, how much to spend & save, and more. Shiller lays the foundation for a way of understanding how stories help propel economic events that have had led to war, mass unemployment & increased inequality, and explains how we can begin to take these stories seriously. ($50, HB)
How to Rig an Election by Nic Cheeseman & Brian Klaas ($27, PB)
Contrary to what is commonly believed, authoritarian leaders who agree to hold elections are generally able to remain in power longer than autocrats who refuse to allow the populace to vote. Nic Cheeseman & Brian Klaas expose the limitations of national elections as a means of promoting democratization, and reveal the 6 essential strategies that dictators use to undermine the electoral process in order to guarantee victory for themselves. Cheeseman & Klaas document instances of election rigging from Argentina to Zimbabwe, including notable examples from Brazil, India, Nigeria, Russia, and the US—touching on the 2016 election. This eye-opening study offers a sobering overview of corrupted professional politics, while providing fertile intellectual ground for the development of new solutions for protecting democracy from authoritarian subversion.
How to Start a Revolution: Young People & the Future of Politics by Lauren Duca ($33, PB)
Journalist Lauren Duca wrote her now famous article Donald Trump is Gaslighting America just after Trump’s election—it went viral. The article examined Trump’s lies, fake news & manipulative language. In this book Duca explores the post-Trump political awakening & reimagines what an equitable democracy would look like, while providing smart & practical advice for how to challenge the status quo. Combining extensive research & first person reporting, Duca tracks her generation’s shift from political alienation to political participation. She also draws on her own story as a young woman catapulted to the front lines of the political conversation (all while figuring out how the hell to deal with her Trump-supporting parents).
Now in paperback Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward, $20 Identity: Contemporary Identity Politics and the Struggle for Recognition by Francis Fukuyama, $23 For a Left Populism by Chantal Mouffe, $23 Kremlin Winter: Russia and the Second Coming of Vladimir Putin by Robert Service ($50, HB)
Vladimir Putin has dominated Russian politics since Boris Yeltsin relinquished the presidency in his favour in May 2000. He served two terms as president, before himself relinquishing the post to his prime minister, Dimitri Medvedev, only to return to presidential power for a third time in 2012. Putin’s rule has been full of surprises & there has never been a moment when politics in Russia have been entirely stable. At the same time there has been a steady progression in the direction of repression, control & international assertiveness. However, shoots of liberal growth have been appearing in the icy ground of public affairs, and Putin has been unable to take his supremacy for granted as he strives to impose his will on both the ruling team, its institutions & society at large.
Where Power Stops by David Runciman ($33, HB)
Lyndon Baines Johnson, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, Gordon Brown, Theresa May & Donald Trump have all sought the highest office—yet when they reached their goal, they often found that the power they had imagined was illusory. Their sweeping visions of reform faltered. They faced bureaucratic obstructions, but often the biggest obstruction was their own character. Arguably the most successful of them, LBJ showed little indication that he supported what he is best known for—the Civil Rights Act—but his grit, resolve & brute political skill saw him bend Congress to his will. In what could be a blueprint for good & effective leadership in an age lacking good leaders, David Runciman tackles the limitations of high office & how the personal histories of those who achieved the pinnacles of power helped to define their successes & failures in office
Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World by Branko Milanovic
For the first time in human history, the globe is dominated by one economic system. Branko Milanovic explains the reasons for this decisive historical shift since the days of feudalism and, later, communism. Surveying the varieties of capitalism, he asks: What are the prospects for a fairer world now that capitalism is the only game in town? His conclusions are sobering, but not fatalistic. Capitalism delivers prosperity & gratifies human desires for autonomy, but it comes with a moral price, pushing us to treat material success as the ultimate goal, and offers no guarantee of stability. Liberal capitalism creaks under the strains of inequality & capitalist excess, while authoritarian capitalism, exemplified by China, is more vulnerable to corruption and, when growth is slow, social unrest. Looking to the future, he dismisses prophets who proclaim some single outcome to be inevitable, whether worldwide prosperity or robot-driven mass unemployment. Capitalism is a risky but human system & our choices will determine how it serves us. ($54, HB)
How to Be a Dictator: The Cult of Personality in the Twentieth Century by Frank Dikötter ($30, PB)
Science & Nature The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson
The paradox of the modern dictator is that he must create the ilBill Bryson turns his attention inwards to explore the human lusion of popular support. Throughout the 20th century, hundreds body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. of millions of people were condemned to enthusiasm, obliged Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories this is a brilto hail their leaders even as they were herded down the road to liant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our serfdom. From carefully choreographed parades to the deliberphysical & neurological make up. ($50, PB) ate cultivation of a shroud of mystery through iron censorship, Gleebooks’ special price $44.99 these dictators ceaselessly worked on their own image & encouraged the population at large to glorify them. At a time when democracy is in retreat Frank Dikutter returns to 8 of the most chillingly effective personality cults of the 20th Bird Bonds by Gisela Kaplan ($35, PB) century—Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, Ceausescu, Mengistu of Some Australian native birds become childhood sweethearts & Ethiopia and Duvalier of Haiti—to ask are we seeing a revival of the same techniques court for years before they get ‘married’. Others divorce because among some of today’s world leaders? of personality clashes & different skill levels. Many negotiate their parenting duties. But how do these personal life events link to Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem ($33, PB) long-lasting bonds, long life-spans & exceptional overall intelliMudlark (/’mAdla;k/) noun A person who scavenges for usable degence? Professor Gisela Kaplan draws on the latest insights in the bris in the mud of a river or harbour. Lara Maiklem has scoured the evolution of particular cognitive & social abilities. She uncovers banks of the Thames for over 15 years, in pursuit of the objects that motivations & attractions in partner choice that are far more comthe river unearths—from Neolithic flints to Roman hair pins, meplex than was once believed. She shows how humans & birds may dieval buckles to Tudor buttons, Georgian clay pipes to Victorian be more alike in attachment & mating behaviour than we think— toys. These objects tell her about London & its lost ways of life. despite the enormous evolutionary distance between us. . Moving from the river’s tidal origins in the west of the city to the point where it meets the sea in the east, Mudlarking is a search for urban solitude & history on the River Thames, which Lara calls the longest archaeological site in England. As she has discovered, it is often the tiniest objects that tell the greatest stories.
A History of Crete by Chris Moorey ($65, HB)
Known by the Greeks as Megalónisos,’ or the Great Island,’ the island of Crete has a long & varied history. It has been of paramount strategic importance for thousands of years, thanks to its location close to the junction of 3 continents & at the heart of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. For much of its long history, the island has been ruled by foreign invaders. Under the rule of the Mycenaeans, Dorians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, Ottoman Turks and, briefly, the Third Reich, Cretans have adapted to living with their conquerors and to the influence of foreign rule on their culture. In a dazzling contrast to these 3000 years of domination, we see 2 periods of the island’s independence: the vibrant apogee of the Minoan civilization & the brief period at the beginning of the 20th century. Chris Moorey, who has lived in Crete for over 20 years, provides an engaging & lively account of the island spanning from the Stone Age to the present day.
Brothers York: An English Tragedy by Thomas Penn ($65, HB)
In early 1461, a 17 year-old boy won a battle on a freezing morning in the Welsh marches, and claimed the crown of England as Edward IV, first king of the usurping house of York. The country was in need of a new hero. Magnetic, narcissistic, Edward found himself on the throne, and alongside him his 2 younger brothers— the unstable, petulant George, Duke of Clarence, and the boy who would emerge from his shadow, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. The brothers would become the figureheads of a spectacular ruling dynasty, one that laid the foundations for a renewal of English royal power. Yet a web of grudges & resentments grew between them, generating a destructive sequence of conspiracy, rebellion, deposition, fratricide, usurpation & regicide—coming to a brutal end came on 22 August 1485 at Bosworth Field, with the death of Richard III, at the hands of a new usurper, Henry Tudor.
Voices of History: Speeches that Changed the World by Simon Sebag Montefiore ($35, HB)
These speeches journey from ancient times to the 21st century: some heroic & inspiring; some diabolical & atrocious; some are exquisite & poignant; others cruel & chilling. Empresses & conquerors, rock stars, novelists & sportsmen—Churchill, Elizabeth I, Stalin, Genghis Khan, Michelle Obama, Cleopatra, Bob Dylan, Nehru & Muhammad Ali—from the carnage of battlefields to the theatre of courtrooms, table-talk to audiences of millions, desperate last stands to orations of triumph, foolish delusions & strange confessions to defiant resistance & heartbreaking farewells—Montefiore shows why these 70 speeches are essential reading, and how they enlighten our past, enrich our present and inspire—and hold warnings for our future.
The Nuclear Spies by Vince Houghton ($58, HB)
Why did the US intelligence services fail so spectacularly to know about the Soviet Union’s nuclear capabilities following WWII? Houghton’s delightful retelling of American spy ineffectiveness in the then new field of scientific intelligence provides a new look at the early years of the Cold War. The abilities of the Soviet Union’s scientists, its research facilities & laboratories, and its educational system became a key consideration for the CIA in assessing the threat level of its most potent foe. Sadly, for the CIA scientific intelligence was extremely difficult to do well. For when the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb in 1949, no one in the American intelligence services saw it coming.
Cosmic Chronicles: A user’s guide to the Universe by Fred Watson ($33, PB)
Are we alone in the Universe? Where did the Moon come from? How do we know what stars are made of? Could there really be a future in asteroid mining? Australia’s Astronomer-at-Large, Fred Watson, explores the hottest topics in space science & astronomy. He presents the most up-to-date knowledge on everything from light echoing around the cosmos, the mechanics of black holes & how to navigate the hidden delights of nightfall, to the most profound questions facing humankind.
Ahab’s Rolling Sea: A Natural History of MobyDick by Richard J. King ($54, HB)
This is a chronological journey through the natural history of Herman Melville’s novel, Moby Dick. From white whales to whale intelligence, giant squids, barnacles, albatross & sharks, Richard J. King examines what Melville knew from his own experiences & the sources available to a reader in the mid-1800s, exploring how & why Melville might have twisted what was known to serve his fiction. King then climbs to the crow’s nest, setting Melville in the context of the American perception of the ocean in 1851 at the very start of the Industrial Revolution & just before the publication of On the Origin of Species. King compares Ahab’s & Ishmael’s worldviews to how we see the ocean today: an expanse still immortal & sublime, but also in crisis. And although the concept of stewardship of the sea would have been entirely foreign, if not absurd, to Melville, King argues that Melville’s narrator Ishmael reveals his own tendencies toward what we would now call environmentalism.
Cosmological Koans: A Journey to the Heart of Physics by Anthony Aguirre ($45, HB)
Could there be a civilization on a mote of dust? How much of your fate have you made? Who cleans the universe? Through more than 50 Koans—pleasingly paradoxical vignettes following the ancient Zen tradition—leading physicist Anthony Aguirre takes you across the world from Japan to Italy, and through ideas spanning the age, breadth & depth of the Universe. Using these beguiling Koans and his flair for explaining complex science, Aguirre covers cosmic questions that scientific giants from Aristotle to Galileo to Heisenberg have grappled with, from the meaning of quantum theory & the nature of time to the origin of multiple universes.
Artificial Intelligence by Melanie Mitchell ($35, HB)
How intelligent are the best of today’s AI programs? To what extent can we entrust them with decisions that affect our lives? How human-like do we expect them to become, and how soon do we need to worry about them surpassing us in most, if not all, human endeavours? Flavoured with personal stories & a twist of humor, AI researcher, Melanie Mitchell illuminates the workings of machines that mimic human learning, perception, language, creativity & common sense. Weaving together advances in AI with cognitive science & philosophy, Mitchell probes the extent to which today’s ‘smart’ machines can actually think or understand, and whether AI requires such elusive human qualities in order to be reliable, trustworthy & beneficial.
Feeding the Birds at Your Table: A guide for Australia by Darryl Jones ($25, PB) Millions of Australians feed wild birds in their gardens. This book, written by an expert who feeds birds himself, includes profiles on different types of Australian urban birds, what to feed them & the types of feeders to use, and has advice on how to create a birdfriendly garden. Jones offers sensible and practical suggestions so feeding doesn’t only benefit us, but benefits the birds themselves.
Philosophy & Religion
Good Entertainment: A Deconstruction of the Western Passion Narrative by Byung-Chul Han
Entertainment today, in all its totalizing variety, has an apparently infinite capacity for incorporation: infotainment, edutainment, servotainment, confrontainment. It is held up as a new paradigm, even a new credo for being & yet, in the West, it has had inescapably negative connotations. Han traces Western ideas of entertainment, considering, among other things, the scandal that arose from the first performance of Bach’s Saint Matthew’s Passion (deemed too beautiful, not serious enough); Kant’s idea of morality as duty & the entertainment value of moralistic literature; Heidegger’s idea of the thinker as a man of pain; Kafka’s hunger artist & the art of negativity, which takes pleasure in annihilation; and Robert Rauschenberg’s refusal of the transcendent. The history of the West, Han tells us, is a passion narrative, and passion appears as a killjoy. Achievement is the new formula for passion, and play is subordinated to production, gamified. And yet, he argues, at their core, passion & entertainment are not entirely different. The pure meaninglessness of entertainment is adjacent to the pure meaning of passion—and he explores this paradox. The fool’s smile resembles the pain-racked visage of Homo doloris. ($32, PB)
Philosophical Hitchcock: Vertigo and the Anxieties of Unknowingness by Robert B. Pippin ($39, PB)
In this close reading of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 masterpiece Vertigo philosopher Robert B. Pippin reflects more broadly on the modern world depicted in Hitchcock’s films. Hitchcock’s characters repeatedly face problems & dangers rooted in our general failure to understand others—or even ourselves, or to make effective use of what little we do understand. Vertigo, with its impersonations, deceptions & fantasies, embodies a common struggle for mutual understanding in the late modern social world of ever more complex dependencies. By treating this problem through a filmed fictional narrative, rather than discursively Hitchcock is able to help us see the systematic & deep mutual misunderstanding & self-deceit that we are subject to when we try to establish the knowledge necessary for love, trust & commitment, and what it might be to live in such a state of unknowingness.
Two Buddhas Seated Side by Side: A Guide to the Lotus Sutra ($54, HB) by Donald S. Lopez & Jacqueline I. Stone
The Lotus Sutra is among the most venerated scriptures of Buddhism. Composed in India some two millennia ago, it affirms the potential for all beings to attain supreme enlightenment. This book provides an essential reading companion to this inspiring yet enigmatic masterpiece. In a chapter-by-chapter guide, Lopez & Stone show how the sutra’s anonymous authors skillfully reframed the mainstream Buddhist tradition in light of a new vision of the path & the person of the Buddha himself, and examine how the sutra’s metaphors, parables, and other literary devices worked to legitimate that vision. They go on to explore how the Lotus was interpreted by the Japanese Buddhist master Nichiren (1222–1282), whose inspired reading of the book helped to redefine modern Buddhism—thus demonstrating how readers of sacred works continually reinterpret them in light of their own unique circumstances.
Theory of Jerks and Other Philosophical Misadventures by Eric Schwitzgebel ($50, HB)
Have you ever wondered about why some people are jerks? Asked whether your driverless car should kill you so that others may live? Found a robot adorable? Considered the ethics of professional ethicists? Reflected on the philosophy of hair? In this engaging book, Eric Schwitzgebel turns a philosopher’s eye on these & other burning questions. In a series of quirky & accessible short pieces that cover a mind-boggling variety of philosophical topics, Schwitzgebel offers incisive takes on matters both small (the consciousness of garden snails) and large (time, space, and causation). A common theme might be the ragged edge of the human intellect, where moral or philosophical reflection begins to turn against itself, lost among doubts & improbable conclusions.
When Christians Were Jews: The First Generation by Paula Fredriksen ($35, PB)
How did a group of charismatic, apocalyptic Jewish missionaries, working to prepare their world for the impending realization of God’s promises to Israel, end up inaugurating a movement that would grow into the gentile church? Committed to Jesus’s prophecy The Kingdom of God is at hand! they were, in their own eyes, history’s last generation. But in history’s eyes, they became the first Christians. Paula Fredriksen answers this question by reconstructing the life of the earliest Jerusalem community. As her account arcs from this group’s hopeful celebration of Passover with Jesus, through their bitter controversies that fragmented the movement’s midcentury missions, to the city’s fiery end in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, she brings this vibrant apostolic community to life. Fredriksen offers a vivid portrait both of this temple-centered messianic movement and of the bedrock convictions that animated and sustained it.
Now in paperback Materialism by Terry Eagleton, $28
The Technique of Thought: Nancy, Laruelle, Malabou & Stiegler after Naturalism by Ian James ($45 PB)
Ian James explores the relationship between philosophy & science as articulated in the work of 4 contemporary French thinkers-Jean-Luc Nancy, Francois Laruelle, Catherine Malabou & Bernard Stiegler. Situating their writings within both contemporary scientific debates & the philosophy of science, James elaborates a philosophical naturalism that is notably distinct from the Anglo-American tradition. Moving beyond debates about the constructed nature of scientific knowledge, James argues for a strong, variably configured & entirely novel scientific realism. By bringing together postphenomenological perspectives concerning individual or collective consciousness & first-person qualitative experience with science’s focus on objective & thirdperson quantitative knowledge, James tracks the emergence of a new image of the sciences & of scientific practice. Stripped of aspirations toward total mastery of the universe or a ‘grand theory of everything’, this renewed scientific worldview, along with the reconfiguration of philosophy’s relationship to science, opens up new ways of interrogating immanent reality.
The Search for Meaning in Psychotherapy: Spiritual Practice, the Apophatic Way and Bion by Judith Pickering ($61, PB)
If, when a patient enters therapy, there is an underlying yearning to discover a deeper sense of meaning or purpose, how might a therapist rise to such a challenge? In Part One of this book Judith Pickering considers the confluence between psychotherapy, spirituality, mysticism, meditation & contemplation—exploring qualities such as presence, awareness, attention, mindfulness, calm abiding, reverie, patience, compassion, insight and wisdom, as well as showing how they may be enhanced by meditative and spiritual practice. Part 2 explores the relevance of apophatic mysticism to psychoanalysis, particularly showing its inspiration through the work of Wilfred Bion. Pickering reflects on the works of key apophatic mystics including Dionysius, Meister Eckhart and St John of the Cross; Buddhist teachings on meditation; Sunyata and Dzogchen; and Levinas’ ethics of alterity.
Gender Mosaic: Beyond the myth of the male & female brain by Joel & Vikhanski ($23, PB)
Women are supposedly more sensitive & cooperative, whereas men are more aggressive & sexual because this or that region in the brains of women is larger or smaller than in the brains of men, or because they have more or less of this or that hormone. This story seems to provide us with a neat biological explanation for much of what we encounter in day-to-day life. It’s even sometimes used to explain why, for example, most teachers are women & most engineers are men. But is it true? Using the ground-breaking results from her own lab & from other recent studies, neuroscientist Daphna Joel shows that it is not. Instead, argues Joel, every brain—and every human being—is a mosaic, or mixture, of ‘female’ & ‘male’ characteristics. With urgent practical implications for the world around us, this is a fascinating look at gender—how it works, its history & its future—and a sorely needed investigation into the false basis of our most fundamental beliefs.
Scatterbrain: How the mind’s mistakes make humans creative, innovative & successful by Henning Beck ($30, PB)
Neuroscientist Henning Beck explains why perfectionism is pointless—and argues that mistakes, missteps & flaws are the keys to success. Our brain freezes are actually secret weapons, proof of our superiority to computers and AI—boredom awakens the muse, distractions spark creativity & misjudging time creates valuable memories, among the many other benefits of our faulty minds. Combining cutting-edge science with brainboosting advice & rivetting real-life stories, Henning Beck takes a fascinating adventure through human memory (one that we’ll all remember differently!).
How the Pill Changes Everything: Your Brain on Birth Control by Sarah E. Hill ($33, PB)
Hormonal contraception is something most women will use at some point during their lifetime. But the reach of the pill goes far beyond the small number of targeted effects we take it for. It affects almost every system in our body. In this trailblazing book, psychologist Sarah Hill reveals the latest science on the Pill, and how it’s changing women & the world for better & for worse. Did you know that the Pill not only creates a different version of yourself, but can change your brain, remove a key feature of your stress response, potentially increase your risk of depression & even have the ability to fundamentally change your mate selection? Hills book supplies understanding of the risks, so you can weigh up the costs & make smarter, more informed choices about your health & hormones.
books about books Miss Barbara Buncle lives a quiet life in her beloved village, Silverstream; but one day she realises that she needs to earn some money—her dividends aren’t what they used to be—so she decides to write a book. Writing under the pseudonym of John Smith, and wisely thinking she needs to write about what she knows, she sets her novel in a quiet English village, genteelly populated with people very similar to her own. Written in 1934, D E Stevenson’s Miss Buncle’s Book (published by my favourite publisher of forgotten women authors, Persephone Press), depicts a very different time—a vanished way of life. Miss Buncle’s book is a bestseller, and explodes in the village like a well aimed bomb, insulting most of the population, and amusing just a few of them. It’s vital the author is never uncovered, but this does not seem to be a problem—Miss Buncle does have friends, but not a single one of them suspects the mystery author could be her. Amusing and quite sincere, Miss Buncle’s Book reminds me of other books set in quiet little hamlets from another time: Margahrita Laski’s The Village (1952), E F Benson’s Lucia books (1920s and 30s), and Gabriel Chevalier’s wonderful Clochemerle (1934). But Miss Buncle is a stand out—there is something very endearing and extremely amusing about a lady writer, quiet as a mouse, who wears dreadful skirts and bad hats, setting a cat among the pigeons, with her deathless prose. Fierce Bad Rabbits by Clare Pollard is another engaging book. Pollard’s writes about children’s picture books with the intelligence and breadth of knowledge of an academic, but with all the warmth and accessibility of a contemporary poet and playwright—which she is. When Pollard had a baby she fell headlong down the rabbit hole of picture books, a terrain she was familiar with from her own childhood. She writes about classic books, and newer ones, with amazing insight and pertinent anecdotes: what she has to say about Beatrix Potter’s childhood, Kate Greenaway and her relationship with John Ruskin, de Brunhoff’s elegant elephants, and David McKee’s multi-coloured pachyderm, are particularly memorable. I have read a lot of texts about most of the books she discusses, but I learned a lot more from this book. Everything she writes feel fresh and interesting, her voice is really engaging—making you want to be part of the conversation. Pollard weaves her own experience through the narrative in a loving tribute to both her parents (both readers), as well as to her own son, Gruff. To write a book about children’s books for academics and teachers is one thing, but to write a book like this is another. Even if you think children’s picture books have limited appeal and significance, you might like to try this book. It opens the door into the endlessly fascinating realm of picture books. And for once, you can judge a book by its cover, it’s fabulous! Louise
Cultural Studies & Criticism The Innocent Reader: Reflections on Reading and Writing by Debra Adelaide ($30, PB)
These collected essays share a joyous and plaintive glimpse into the reading and writing life of novelist, editor and teacher of creative writing Debra Adelaide. Adelaide explores what shapes us as readers, how books inform, console and broaden our senses of self, and the constant conversation of authors and readers with the rest of their libraries. Drawing from her experiences in the publishing industry, the academic world, her own life and the literary and critical communities, she paints a vibrant portrait of a life lived in and by books.
Somewhere Becoming Rain: Collected Writings on Philip Larkin by Clive James ($25, PB)
The greatness of Philip Larkin’s poetry continues to be obscured by the opprobrium attaching to his personal life & his private opinions. In this collection Clive James writes about Larkin’s poems, his novels, his jazz & literary criticism; he also considers the 2 major biographies, Larkin’s letters & even his portrayal on stage in order to chart the extreme and, he argues, largely misguided equivocations about Larkin’s reputation in the years since his death. James argues that Larkin’s poems, adored by discriminating readers for over half a century, could only have been the product of his reticent, diffident, flawed, and all-toohuman personality. Erudite & entertaining in equal measure, Somewhere Becoming Rain is a love letter from one of the world’s best living writers to one of its most cherished poets.
The Ingenious Language: Nine Epic Reasons to Love Greek by Andrea Marcolongo ($28, PB)
For word nerds, language loons & grammar geeks, this is an impassioned & informative literary leap into the wonders of the Greek language. Andrea Marcolongo offers 9 ways Greek can transform your relationship to time & to those around you, 9 reflections on the language of Sappho, Plato & Thucydides, and its relevance to our lives today, 9 chapters that will leave you with a new passion for a very old language, 9 epic reasons to love Greek. Greek, as Marcolongo explains is unsurpassed in its beauty & expressivity, but it can also offer us a way to see the world & our place in it in new ways.
Coventry by Rachel Cusk ($33, HB)
Encompassing memoir & cultural & literary criticism, with pieces on gender, politics & writers such as D. H. Lawrence, Olivia Manning & Natalia Ginzburg, this collection of Rachel Cusk’s essays is fearless, unrepentantly erudite, both startling & rewarding. The book offers a cumulative sense of how the frank, deeply intelligent sensibility—so evident in her stories & novels—reverberates in the wider context of Cusk’s literary process. Coventry grants its readers a rare opportunity to see a mind at work that will influence literature for time to come.
Fentanyl, Inc by Ben Westhoff ($35, PB)
A new group of chemicals is radically transforming the recreational-drug landscape. Known as novel psychoactive substances (NPS), they range from so-called ‘legal highs’ like Spice, to synthetic opioids—most famously, the deadly fentanyl. Ben Westhoff goes undercover to investigate the shadowy world of synthetic drugs—becoming he first journalist to infiltrate a Chinese fentanyl lab. He tracks down the drug baron in New Zealand who unintentionally helped to start the synthetic-drug revolution; prowls St. Louis streets with a former fentanyl dealer to understand how the epidemic started; and chronicles the lives of addicts & dealers, families of victims, law enforcement officers & underground drug-awareness organisers in the US & Europe.
Tribes: How Our Need to Belong Can Make or Break Society by David Lammy ($33, PB)
Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy investigates the modern concept of ‘tribes’ and how New Tribalism has pernicious effects on the health of our society. He explores ways in which we can challenge & neuter New Tribalism, distinguishing between the ‘good’ sort of tribalism—the patriotism that is inclusive & open to newcomers, the ethnic or religious pride that celebrates a particular culture or faith tradition rather than denigrates others as inferior, the ‘Spirit of Dunkirk’ that saw ordinary people come together & do extraordinary things—from the harmful tribalism that excludes, denigrates and divides.
Sex Power Money by Sara Pascoe ($30, PB)
In this comedic & educational hopscotch over anatomy, the history of sexual representation & the sticky way all human interactions are underwritten by wealth, comedian Sara Pascoe explores whether we’ll ever be able to escape the Conundrum of Heterosexuality if women can’t help but admire status, and men obsess about youth & physicality. Drawing on anecdotal experience, unqualified opinion, interviews & research, Sex Power Money is a fresh and riotously funny take on the oldest discussion.
Whose Story Is This? Old Conflicts, New Chapters by Rebecca Solnit ($28, HB)
Who gets to shape the narrative of our times? The current moment is a battle over that foundational power. Women, people of colour & non-straight people are telling other versions, and white men in particular are fighting to preserve their own centrality. In this outstanding collection of essays by one of the most prescient & insightful commentators today, Rebecca Solnit appraises the voices that are emerging, why they matter & the obstacles they face in making themselves heard.
Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise by Katherine Rundell ($13, HB) This delightful and persuasive essay is for adult readers Katherine Rundell Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and prize-winning author of five novels for children explores how children’s books ignite, and can re-ignite, the imagination; how children’s fiction, with its unabashed emotion & playfulness, can awaken old hungers and create new perspectives on the world.
Edward Said by Dominique Edde ($35, PB)
In this personal portrait of Edward Said written by a close friend, novelist Dominique Edde offers a fascinating and fresh presentation of his oeuvre from his earliest writings on Joseph Conrad to his most famous texts, Orientalism and Culture and Imperialism. Eddy interweaves in her original biography accounts of the genesis and content of Said’s work, his intellectual development and her own reflections and personal recollections of their friendship, which began in 1979 and lasted until Said’s death in 2003. Throughout she traces the connection between personal history and theoretical options, illuminating the evolution of Said’s thinking.
Now in paperback In Mid-Air: Points of View from over a Decade by Adam Gopnik, $23
Gilgamesh: The Life of a Poem by Michael Schmidt ($50, HB)
Gilgamesh is the most ancient long poem known to exist. Lost for centuries to the sands of the Middle East, in the 1850s fragments of the poem, incised on clay tablets, were found scattered across a huge expanse of desert. Literary historian Michael Schmidt provides a unique meditation on the rediscovery of Gilgamesh & its profound influence on poets today. He describes how the poem is a work in progress even now—its translation, interpretation, and integration are ongoing—an undertaking that has drawn on the talents & obsessions of an unlikely cast of characters, from archaeologists & museum curators to tomb raiders & jihadis. Schmidt discusses the special fascination Gilgamesh holds for contemporary poets, reflecting on the work of leading poets such as Charles Olson, Louis Zukofsky & Yusef Komunyakaa, whose own encounters with the poem are revelatory, and he reads its many translations & editions to bring it vividly to life for readers.
Lectures on Shakespeare by W. H. Auden
‘W. H. Auden, poet and critic, will conduct a course on Shakespeare at the New School for Social Research beginning Wednesday. Mr Auden . . . proposes to read all Shakespeare’s plays in chronological order.’ So the New York Times reported on September 27, 1946, giving notice of a rare opportunity to hear one of the century’s great poets discuss at length one of the greatest writers of all time. Reconstructed by Arthur Kirsch, these lectures are ‘a marvellous blend of steady, patient intelligence & stunning insight spirited, free-thinking, resourceful, unintimidated, liberated from the air of treacly piety, and very, very intelligent.’—Stephen Greenblatt. ($36, PB)
True Stories: And Other Essays by Francis Spufford ($33, PB)
Francis Spufford’s first volume of collected essays gathers an array of his writings from the 1990s to the present. He uses a variety of encounters with places, writers, or books to address deeper questions relating to the complicated relationship between story-telling & truth-telling. Ranging across topics from the medieval legends of Cockaigne, the Christian apologetics of C. S. Lewis, & the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini he asks the questions: How must a nonfiction writer imagine facts, vivifying them to bring them to life? How must a novelist create a dependable world of story, within which facts are, in fact, imaginary? And how does a religious faith felt strongly to be true, but not provably so, draw on both kinds of writerly imagination?
On Shirley Hazzard by Michelle de Kretser
‘Hazzard was the first Australian writer I read who looked outwards, away from Australia. Her work spoke of places from which I had come and places to which I longed to go ... It was reading as an affair of revelations and gifts. It fell like rain, greening my vision of Australian literature as a stony country where I would never feel at home.’ In this essay on Shirley Hazzard, Michelle de Kretser offers a masterclass in engaging with a writer’s work. She illuminates the precision of Hazzard’s electrifying prose, and celebrates the intelligence, wit & fierce humanity of her fiction. ($18, HB)
George Seddon: Selected Writings (ed) Andrea Gaynor ($33, PB)
George Seddon’s work anticipated the new fields of urban planning, landscape architecture, environmental conservation, but he was also an irrepressible polymath. A professor in four distinct disciplines—English, geology, the history & philosophy of science, and environmental sciences—he also carved out a career in community, regional & government consultation, wrote practical guides to gardening, heritage walks & house restoration, and the first Australian suburban history. Collected here are highlights of Seddon’s groundbreaking writing, with a lively introduction from leading historian Tom Griffiths.
Guest House for Young Widows: Among the women of ISIS by Azadeh Moaveni ($33, PB)
This cast of unforgettable young women who responded to ISIS’s leader, Baghdadi’s call to join the caliphate All from urban families, some were still in school; some with university degrees & bookshelves filled with novels by Jane Austen & Dan Brown; and many with cosmopolitan dreams of travel & adventure. But instead of finding a land of justice & piety, they found themselves trapped within the most brutal terrorist regime of the 21st century—a world of chaos & upheaval & violence. What is the line between victim & collaborator? How do we judge these women who both suffered & inflicted intense pain? What role is there for Muslim women in the West? Azadeh Moaveni enters the school hallways of London, kitchen tables in Germany, coffee shops in Tunis, and the caliphate’s OB/GYN and its ‘Guest House for Young Widows’—where wives of the fallen waited to be remarried—to demonstrate that the problem called terrorism is a far more complex, political & deeply relatable one than we generally admit..
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Archaeology and False Antiquities by Robert Munro Methuen, London, 1905. Published in The Antiquary’s Books series. Red cloth with gilt engraved titles to the front and spine. No Jacket. First Edition. Condition: Good to Very Good. $50.00. Robert Munro (1835–1920) was a noted Scottish amateur archaeologist who authored such titles as Prehistoric Scotland and Its Place in European Civilization (1899) and a work on archaeological Rambles and Studies in Bosnia, Herzegovina and Dalmatia (1895). However, his fame rests on this classic work of archaeological forgeries and misidentifications. It focuses on alleged discoveries in Great Britain, but includes discussion of artefacts from continental Europe and North America. Among these are the activities of ‘Flint Jack’—Yorkshire born Edward Simpson (1815–1874?)—a prolific forger of arrowheads and fossils. His handiwork was purchased by numerous museums and archaeological societies. Imprisoned in 1867, Simpson admitted to ‘a liking for drink, and he admits that from that cause his life for 20 years past has been one of great misery. To supply his cravings for liquor he set about the forging of both fossils and antiquities about 23 years ago.’ Fake European artefacts are to be found at the Kesslerloch—a limestone cave in Switzerland which has yielded important authentic discoveries of Ice age European inhabitants. It was plagued by forgeries soon after its discovery in 1873. Shortly after initial excavations, two fragments of bone supposedly of a rhinoceros and a bison—engraved with portraits of a fox and bear—were retrieved. These finds however ‘betrays the hand of an unpractised artist, for these drawings want the nicety and correctness which the others possess in the highest degree’. The ancient illustrations were found to have been copied from a German book of zoo animals published in 1868. The New World was not immune from forgeries. The famed, human-like Calaveras Skull was unearthed in 1866 by miners in Calaveras County, California, some 40m (130ft) underground. Josiah Whitney (1819–1896), the State Geologist and Professor of Geology at Harvard, pronounced it as between 2 to 5 Million Years old and seized upon it to support his theory that humans, elephants and mastodons had coexisted in California. Proven a forgery after decades of scientific controversy, the Calaveras Skull retains a place of honour in numerous Creationist textbooks. Munro’s work continues to offer insight into evaluating unusual artefacts. It is gently ironic that he died perhaps believing that Britain’s most famous archaeological forgery—Piltdown Man—the long sought ‘missing link’, unearthed in 1912, was genuine. It was not exposed as a hoax until 1953. The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford ($14, PB) Much has been wrtiten of late about the affluent society in which we live, and much fun poked at some of the irrational ‘status symbols’ set out like goldne snatres to trap the unwary consumer at every turn. Until recently, little has been said about the most irrational and weirdest of the lot, lying ambush for all of us at the end of the road—the modern American funeral. If the Dismal Traders (as an 18th century English writer calls them) have traditionally been cast in a comic role in literature, a universally recognized symbol of humor from Shakespear to Dickens to Evelyn Waugh, they have successfully turned the tables in recent years to perpetrate a hug, macabre & expensive practical joke on the American public.... So starts Jessica Mitford’s 1963 acid-dipped account of the American funeral business. Having just rewatched the marvellous HBO series Six Feet Under (well worth more than one viewing) I’m very tempted to dip into Mitford’s report. The World Backwards: Russian Futurist Books 1912–16
by Susan P. Compton ($20, PB) In December 1912, in their manifesto A Slap in the Face of Public Taste, an aggressive group of young Russian artists rebelled against the well-established approach to art of the powerful symbolist generation. These ‘Futurists’ looked for a ‘world-from-the-end’, Worldbackwards, and gave that title to a remarkable series of illustrated books. Susan Compton surveys the complexity of Russian futurism, accompanied by illustrations from the British Library collection of Russian futurist books which highlight developments in theatre, graphic design & art in the years of its flowering, 1912–16
Imagining Illness: Public Health & Visual Culture
(ed) David Serlin ($20, PB) From 17th century broadsides about the handling of dead bodies, printed during London’s plague years, to YouTube videos about preventing the transmission of STDs, public health advocacy & education have always had a powerful visual component. Contributors to this volume examine among other things, Chinese health fairs, documentary films produced by the WHO, illness maps, fashions for nurses & live surgery on the INternet, to delve into the political & epidemiological contexts underlying their creation & dissemination
The Shakespeare of Shabby Street The pulp noir thrillers of Orri Hitt The Cheaters/Dial ‘M’ for Man Wayward Girl/The Widow by Orrie Hitt ($36 each) When it comes to crime writing, some like it noir and some like it pulp noir. If so, Orrie Hitt (1916–1975) is your author. This prolific wordsmith was a one-man writing factory in turning out sleaze pulp, dime store novels. Orrie came late to writing following Army service in World War II and careers as a radio announcer and later an insurance salesman. His first novel—I’ll Call Every Monday—appeared in 1953, his last—Nude Model—in 1970. In between, he wrote around 150 books. At his height he would complete one every two weeks, working 9 to 12-hour days, typing 90 words a minute and gulping down iced coffee to keep the inspiration flowing (this last, I can identify with). Hitt also wrote under numerous aliases: Nicky Weaver, Roger Normandie, Charles Verne, Joe Black. He also authored five books as lesbian author, Kay Addams. Orrie’s total output is uncertain because rapacious publishers regularly reissued his works under different titles, often without his knowledge or approval. His books all appeared with lurid covers, to match the titles: Call Me Bad, She Got What She Wanted, Violent Sinners, Rotten to the Core. Hitt’s novels provided a risqué and bracing alternate to the picture-perfect America of the 1950s. His characters were dark, sinister, varied low-life. The men were often labourers, hotel desk clerks, bartenders, cooks, travelling salesman. Usually one step ahead of the law and only half a step from a life of degradation. They were mostly sleazy drifters, heartless womanisers, corrupt officials, small time con artists given to financial scams or well-meaning, hapless dupes involved with numerous femmes fatale. Hitt’s women were frustrated wives, call girls, gang members, hillbilly trash, bar girls, models, strippers. Good girls gone bad. All scheming for the big money payoff—even if it involves murder—that will save them from destitution or as an escape from their already sordid surroundings. The Cheaters (1960) Big dreams man Clint Mayer arrives in the rough harbour town of Wilton, and promptly teams up with Charlie Fletcher, good time saloon owner and businessman. Charlie runs a group of working girls out of the bar as a side business, but his regular graft payments to corrupt detective Red Brandon are becoming irksome. Clint offers to buy Charlie out, but then he meets Charlie’s wife, Debbie. Clint schemes to own the bar, manage the girls, deal with Brandon and end up with Debbie. But Debbie has her own deadly ideas. Dial ‘M’ for Man (1962). TV repair man Hob Sampson would like to expand his business. However, he is refused a loan because he has a personal enemy who sits on his bank’s board of directors. That foe is a 60-year old, crooked real estate tycoon who has it in for Hob because Hob’s dad once tried to bust up his racket. The tycoon is married to a young 22-year old wife who has a TV set in need of repair. On a night when she’s all alone in the palatial estate Hob makes a house call and things start to happen, including plans for murder. Wayward Girl (1960). Voluptuous high school dropout, Sandy Greening works at the local diner, where she also operates as an occasional after hours call girl. Sandy’s circumstances are dire: her father is in prison, her mother an uncaring alcoholic. Sandy is also belongs to a gang called the The Blue Devils. When her gang member boyfriend is charged with murder for killing a rival gang member, Sandy refuses to provide the evidence the police need. Framed by a corrupt cop, Sandy is sent to a ‘progressive’ reform school where her troubles really begin. The Widow (1959). Short order cook Jerry Rebner starts work at the Dells, the palatial estate of for Mrs Sprague. As soon as he does, he notices petite, luscious Linda…and she him. Linda, however, is married to Sprague’s feckless son, Frank. When she is suddenly is widowed when drunken Frank crashes his hot rod into a tree, Linda comes to Jerry with a plan—Mrs. Sprague’s property is worth $50,000 to a development company, but she won’t sell. Linda is her sole heir. Perhaps an accident could be arranged on those steep cellar steps. Orrie’s writing stamina had, understandably, flagged by 1970. Some of his plotlines became both repetitive and increasingly incoherent. Due to the demands of the 1970s market, numerous additional, raunchier, hardcore scenes were often added to chapters of his last books by unknown editorial hands at Greenleaf Publishers of California. Yet, Orrie Hitt’s vivid—nay, bizarre—imagination could sometimes re-emerge, undimmed to the end. Panda Bear Passion (1968) his penultimate work (scarce and long out of print), is described as the Holy Grail of titles by Orrie Hitt collectors. It features insurance salesman Frank Jennings, juggling three women on his collection rounds, just like the narrator of I’ll Call Every Monday. The trio of girlfriends include a drunken blonde who seems to find more satisfaction with her stuffed panda bear then with any male caller. A suitably bizarre conclusion to a unique, fevered, 17-year pulp noir career. Stephen Reid
Encyclopedia of a Broken Heart by Jon Lupin ($25, PB)
Jon Lupin, the Poetry Bandit offers a new collection of poetry on the themes of hurt, melancholy, and healing. Organized in the format of an encyclopedia, each letter of the alphabet includes several poems on the theme of the word that begins with that letter.
Heide by Pi.O. ($39.95, PB)
Heide is an epic poem about history, painting, painters, patrons and the people who made art happen in Australia—from Louis Buvelot to Edith Rowan, Tom Roberts & Robert Streeton to Vassilief, Nolan, Tucker, Joy Hester, the Boyds, Mirka Mora & Albert Namatjira, with a particular focus on the artists gathered around Sunday & John Reed at Heide in Melbourne. A long poem made up of almost 300 poems, Heide is about the poets & artists who put their lives on the line, the Australian preoccupation with landscape, the dominance of a masculinist aesthetic, the sidelining & denigration of Indigenous art, the struggle of women artists to assert their influence & presence, and the impact of migration on Australian culture.
The Forward Book of Poetry 2020 ($30, PB)
This book brings together a selection of the best poetry published in the British Isles over the last year, including the winners of the 2019 Forward Prizes. Jury chair Shahidha Bari. She and her fellow judges—Jamie Andrews of the British Library, plus poets Tara Bergin, Andrew McMillan & Carol Rumens— read a year’s worth of new collections plus selected poems from magazines & competitions before arriving at their choices. In celebrating today’s fresh voices alongside new work by familiar names, this anthology offers both an overview of the current poetry scene & a great introduction to contemporary poets.
Elemental Haiku: Poems to honor the periodic table, three lines at a time by Mary Soon Lee Packed with wit, whimsy, and real science cred, each haiku in this collection celebrates the cosmic poetry behind each element of the periodic table (plus a closing haiku for element 119—not yet synthesized), while accompanying notes reveal the fascinating facts that inform it. Award-winning poet Mary Soon Lee’s haiku encompass astronomy, biology, chemistry, history, and physics, such as Nickel, Ni- Forged in fusion’s fire,/flung out from supernovae./Demoted to coins. ($25, HB)
‘Til Wrong Feels Right: Lyrics & Pictures of Iggy Pop by Iggy Pop ($50, HB)
Iggy Pop hasn’t just left a mark on music; he’s left blood stains all over it. From fronting the legendary proto-punk band The Stooges to collaborating with an eclectic mix of artists including David Bowie, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry & Jack White, Iggy has proved himself to be one of punk’s most iconic, outrageous and enduring music artists. In this illustrated collection, he shares his lyrics & reflections on a genre-defining music career that spans 5 decades. Bone Ink by Rico Craig ($23, PB) Urban, decadent, dystopian; in Rico Craig’s Western Suburbs there are many countries, caliphates, Terracotta warriors and Arctic shelves. With ‘the taste of a derelict future’, his working class songs and spells have a political consciousness that is unafraid to be mythopoetic. Bone Ink is a fine debut from a poet to watch, whose work has already crossed national borders’— Michelle Cahill.
RedACT by Ross Gibson ($23, PB)
RedACT is 40 or so remixes of redactions of extant texts. Gibson draws on many poets alongside texts such as legal judgements, films, paintings, art installations and occasional skeins of strange prose found in bins. In each case he declares what was the originating text or thing. In most case the mutations are so extreme that the original thing no longer properly resides in the new thing.
90th Anniversary editions from Faber ($20, HB) The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot The Hawk in the Rain by Ted Hughes Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott
The Wall John Lanchester, PB
Exploded View Carry Tiffany, HB
Motherland: A Novel Jo McMillan, HB
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher Hilary Mantel, HB
Sylvia, Queen of the Headhunters: An Eccentric Englishwoman and Her Lost Kingdom Philip Eade, HB
Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking Richard E Nisbett, HB
A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design Frank Wilczek HB
Spook Street Mick Herron PB
The Mesmerist: The Society Doctor Who Held Victorian London Spellbound Wendy Moore, PB
A World Without ‘Whom’: The essential guide to language in the Buzzfeed age Emmy J. Favilla, PB
How to Be Human: The Ultimate Guide to Your AmazBig Book of What? 801 Facts ing Existence, HB Kids Want to Know, HB
1919 - 1939: Between the Wars Philip Ziegler, HB
The Archaeology of Nostalgia: How the Greeks re-created their mythical past John Boardman, HB
South Sea Argonaut: James Colnett & the Enlargement of the Pacific 1772–1803 Granville Mawer, PB
The Museum of Broken Relationships: Modern Love in 203 Everyday Objects Vistica & Grubisic, HB
Honey & Co.: The Cookbook The Silver Spoon Quick and Easy Srulovich & Sarit Packer, HB Italian Recipes, HB
Cook it Raw Andrea Petrini, HB
The Art Nouveau Poster Alain Weill, HB
The Arts Womerah Lane: Lives and Landscapes by Tom Carment ($39.95, PB)
In this richly illustrated collection of Tom Carment’s essays about people & landscapes has been 30 years in the making. It covers the period that he has lived in Womerah Lane in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst, while travelling the country as a plein air artist. The book is composed of written pieces set in every state of mainland Australia, accompanied by paintings & drawings made in those places.
Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain ($120, HB)
Alonso Berruguete (c. 1488–1561) revolutionized the arts of Renaissance Spain with a dramatic style of sculpture that reflected the decade or more he had spent in Italy while young. Trained as a painter, he traveled to Italy around 1506, where he interacted with Michelangelo & other leading artists. In 1518, he returned to Spain & was appointed court painter to the new king, Charles I. Eventually, he made his way to Valladolid, where he shifted his focus to sculpture, opening a large workshop that produced breathtaking multistory altarpieces (retablos) decorated with sculptures in painted wood. This handsomely illustrated catalogue is the first in English to treat Berruguete’s art & career comprehensively.
Dorothea Tanning: Transformations by Victoria Carruthers ($110, HB)
This study of US artist Dorothea Tanning (1910–2012), positions her as one of the most significant creative forces to emerge from the 20th century. It provides a framework within which to consider the range & depth of Tanning’s work, well beyond the better-known early surrealist works of the 1940s, and makes connections between her life experiences & thematic preoccupations. The book is xtensively illustrated & features unpublished material from interviews which Carruthurs conducted with Tanning between 2000 & 2009.
Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and her Contemporaries by Alicia Foster ($90, HB)
Alicia Foster tells the story of British modernism from the perspective of Jessica Dismorr’s (1885–1939) career, along with the women artists she worked & exhibited with. Dismorr’s work has been described as encapsulating ‘the stylistic developments of 20th century British Art’, and her oeuvre certainly encompasses some its most exciting moments—from Rhythm in the early 1910s , through Vorticism, towards post-war modernist figuration & finally into the abstraction she shared with radical political artists groups in the 1930s. She worked & exhibited alongside some of the most exciting female artists of the time, including Barbara Hepworth & Winifred Nicholson, and lesser-known figures such as Dorothy Shakespear, Anne Estelle Rice & Helen Saunders. Bringing this web of connections to light this book provides a fresh interpretation of a pioneering period & the role women played within it.
Etching: An Artist’s Guide by Ann Norfield
This practical book guides you through the etching process to reveal the potential of this distinctive means of creating artists’ prints. With clear instructions & visual guides, Ann Norfield explains the many ways that marks are first made on a metal plate before ink is applied & the image transferred to paper. She introduces a broad menu of techniques which allow visual artists to develop a uniquely personal approach. Topics include the materials & equipment needed to get started, from the simple etching needle & scraper-burnisher to the etching press. She gives explanations for photo-etching, aquatint, as well as related intaglio processes such as drypoint & photopolymer. ($53, PB)
Cabin Porn: Inside by Zach Klein ($50, HB)
The follow-up to Cabin Porn delves deeper into the best-loved homes featured on the Cabin Porn blog over the last ten years, offering close-ups of the stunning architecture & interior design that make them truly remarkable. With more timeless photography and new design stories, this volume will bring you fresh inspiration for your quiet place somewhere.
Big Ideas for Small Houses by Catherine Foster
From building a secondary dwelling on an existing family section, to tiny houses on pocket handkerchief pieces of land, these approaches to housing will give ideas & inspiration to all wondering how it can be possible to own a first home in the 21st century. Each entry begins with a statement about the strategy the owner used to achieve a home of their own. The houses range in size from 100 square metres right down to a very cosy 34 square metres! Including plans & costs, the houses hail from Puhoi, west & north Auckland, Raglan, Tamahere, Taupiri, Whanganui, New Plymouth, Wellington & Christchurch ($45, PB)
Matisse: Printmaker ($65, HB)
Henri Matisse Henri Matisse (1869–1954) wrote, in eloquent language, that the important thing for an artist is to express themselves in multiple formats: painting, sculpture, drawing and engravings. He worked regularly as an engraver between 1900 and his death in 1954, and his engraving work encompasses more than 800 pieces that comprise a gigantic visual library, offering a complete document about his working process and his way of transforming what he saw into art. This book includes 63 of his engravings.
John Reeves: Pioneering Collector of Chinese Plants and Botanical Art ($80, HB)
John Reeves went to China in 1812 & immediately on arrival started sending back snippets of information about manufactures, plants & poetry, goods, gods & tea to Sir Joseph Banks. Slightly later, he also started collecting for the Society but despite years of work collecting, labelling & packing plants & organising a team of Chinese artists until he left China in 1831 he never enjoyed the same degree of recognition as other naturalists in China. In this book Kate Bailey brings to light the work of a modest, dedicated East India Company tea inspector & his band of skilful Chinese painters.
DAIM: Mirko Reisser 1989–2014 ($70, HB)
In 1989, DAIM sprayed his first piece on a feeder pillar outside of his parents’ house. In this book he reflects on a fascinating artistic career that has spanned the last 25 years. Off the grid and into the gallery—by tracing the evolution of his work from illegal street art and vandalism, spray-painting walls and buildings during his early career, to the more recent large-scale museum installations, this book offers a never-before-seen insight into the development of the artist through an extensive collection of murals, canvases, sculptures, graphics and tapings.
Language & Writing
A Word for Every Day of the Year by Steven Poole
Who knew that to dringle is to ‘waste time in a lazy lingering manner’? Or that a sudden happy ending could be termed a eucotastrophe? Looking for an alternative word to ‘bullshit’? Then try taradiddle. This is a collection of 366 words and their definitions, perfect for anyone who loves the richness of the English language, its diversity and wants to expand their vocabulary. Each day offers a rare & remarkable word with its history & definition and occasionally a challenge to include it in our lives. ($33, PB)
Grammar Geek by Michael Powell ($17, HB) English is full of beauty & surprises, yet despite being the lingua franca of the globalization world, it has a reputation for being difficult to learn because its grammar has also so many quirks & contradictions. Did you know: ‘Terry loves yogurt’ is an example of illeism; preposition stranding is a bogus rule; sometimes it’s acceptable to begin a sentence with ‘but’ or ‘and’; ‘Could you pass the salt?’ is ‘whimperative’; it’s OK to boldly split infinitives. Michael Powell’s book reveals obscure grammar rules & bogus ones you can safely ignore, while also being a handy primer. Word Nerd by Michael Powell ($17, HB) The English language is full of beauty & surprises. If you’re a lover of the weird & wonderful, from fascinating etymology to the ten most overused & useless English phrases, this book isn’t averse to a peppering of persiflage! Did you know: pilots & air traffic controllers at major air international airports have to speak English; the hashtag symbol is an ‘octothorpe’; ‘bumfiddle’ means to spoil a piece of paper or document; the word ‘noon’ originally meant 3pm; the literal meaning of ‘bamboozle’ is to make a baboon out of someone. Powell offers a boatload of things you didn’t know about the English language in a guaranteed prolix-free zone. First You Write a Sentence: The Elements of Reading, Writing & Life by Joe Moran ($23, PB)
The sentence is the common ground where every writer walks. A poet writes in sentences, but so does the unsung author who came up with Items trapped in doors cause delays. A good sentence can be written (and read) by anyone if we simply give it the gift of our time. Using minimal technical terms, Joe Moran gives an authoritative explanation of how the most ordinary words can be turned into verbal constellations of extraordinary grace. Using sources ranging from the Bible & Shakespeare to George Orwell & Maggie Nelson, and scientific studies of what can best fire the reader’s mind, he shows how we can all write in a way that is clear, compelling & alive. Along the way he reveals how good writing can help us notice the world, make ourselves known to others & live more meaningful lives. His book is an elegant gem in praise of the English sentence.
The Penguin Book Quiz by James Walton ($23, PB)
Featuring the work of everyone from Antony Beevor to Zadie Smith, books from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Ulysses, and with movie, music, television, theatre and literary references abound, this entertaining quiz tickles the fancy (and the brains) of light and heavy readers alike.
what we're reading
Scott V: Stasiland by Anna Funder & The Spy & the Traitor by Ben Macintyre—After watching the excellent HBO series Chernobyl, I decided to stay behind the iron curtain and picked up Stasiland by Anna Funder, which I’ve been meaning to read for a very long time. It’s a fascinating, humane and tragic (and occasionally humorous) look at the lives of East Germans under communist rule—specifically under the eye of the Stasi: the state police. The tales include near-escapes over the Berlin Wall by a teenager; an interview with the man who actually painted the line where the wall was built; and a heart-breaking story of a family divided between the two Germanys, among many other first-hand accounts. Much of the appeal of this classic work comes from the author’s own weird and wonderful experiences in East Germany and her empathy with the men and women she interviews. My cold-war momentum then quickened with Ben Macintyre’s The Spy & the Traitor, recommended by my colleagues and John Le Carré, who calls it the best true spy story he has ever read. I have to agree. This story gripped me from page one and never let go. It’s about the recruitment and attempted defection of British Intelligence’s most valuable asset in the KGB, Colonel Gordievsky. It reads like a Tom Clancy spy thriller and I had to keep reminding myself that this actually happened. The most chilling aspect is just how high the stakes were, not only for Gordievsky but between the two nuclear superpowers who could have easily blundered into a nuclear exchange if not for the rogue KGB agent.
Stef: The Katharina Code and The Cabin by Jørn Lier Horst—Norwegian author, Jørn Lier Horst is my latest find. On perusing the crime pages of last month’s Gleaner and seeing The Cabin, I knew I was in for a treat—especially once I realised it was book two in the Chief Inspector William Wisting series, which started off with The Katharina Code. These are great detective reads, the focus is all on the solving of solving aq crime. Both stories introduce the reader to a cold case and as the investigation and evidence is re-examined and new leads are discovered you find yourself shadowing Chief Inspector William Wisting and his team of investigators, including his journalist daughter, Line. Henning Mankell readers will like Hørst, and he is bound (I’m hoping) to deliver many more books in the Wisting series.
John: The Secrets We Kept is a spy story set in the late 1950s. Dr Zhivago Has been banned in the USSR and the CIA plan to use the book against the Soviets and will go to extraordinary measures to procure a copy. What makes this book so different from other Cold War thrillers is that the main characters are women, and the males are in supporting roles. It is refreshing to see women occupy centre stage rather than being relegated to the typing pool or the bedroom. Plot wise the book is on par with Le Carre or Robert Littell’s excellent novels of the CIA The Company and Legends. I loved it!
The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature by Daniel Levitin ($23, PB)
Dividing the sum total of human musical achievement, from Beethoven to The Beatles, Busta Rhymes to Bach, into just six fundamental forms, Levitin illuminates, through songs of friendship, joy, comfort, knowledge, religion & love, how music has been instrumental in the evolution of language, thought & culture. And how, far from being a bit of a song & dance, music is at the core of what it means to be human. A one-time record producer, now a leading neuroscientist, Levitin has composed a catchy & startlingly ambitious narrative that weaves together Darwin & Dionne Warwick, memoir & biology, anthropology & a jukebox of anecdote to create nothing less than the ‘soundtrack of civilisation’.
That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea by Marc Randolph ($33, PB)
It was a simple thought—leveraging the internet to rent movies— and was just one of many more proposals, like personalised baseball bats & a shampoo delivery service, that Randolph would pitch to his business partner, Reed Hastings, on their commute to work each morning. But Hastings was intrigued, and the pair—with Hastings as the primary investor & Randolph as the CEO—founded a company. Now with over 150 million subscribers, Netflix’s triumph feels inevitable but from having to pitch his own mother on being an early investor, to the motel conference room that served as a first office, to server crashes on launch day, the 21st century’s most disruptive start-up began with few believers and calamity at every turn.
Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews ($45, HB)
Julie Andrews’ 2nd volume of biography picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her instant & enormous success, including an Oscar following Mary Poppins & The Sound of Music. She describes her years in Hollywood—from the incredible highs to the challenging lows—detailing her collaborations with giants of cinema & television, the adjustment to a new & often daunting world, new motherhood, divorce and falling in love with the brilliant & mercurial Blake Edwards.
Chloe: The Friend by Sigrid Nunez—This is a remarkable book about an unusual trifecta of grief, writing and dogs. The unnamed protagonist, who is a writer and writing teacher, finds herself suddenly lumbered with responsibility for a middle-aged Great Dane following the suicide of a dear friend. Although she is not in the market for a pet, the narrator finds herself rearranging her entire life around the dog, Apollo. She wonders constantly what Apollo is thinking, how he is grieving for his lost owner and how she can best provide for him in his few remaining years. Dogs are not allowed in her apartment building and the Great Dane is not a subtle breed to be hiding, so the narrator soon finds herself facing homelessness as well as social isolation from the many friends who think she is crazy to be harbouring the dog. Nunez’s writing is direct, spare and conversational. It reminded me very much of Jenny Offill, one of my favourite writers, in that she writes in poignant vignettes that seem to speak directly of her own experiences— particularly her difficulties with writer’s block, and the idea that autofiction might be a cure. (It seems that dogs can also benefit from the autofiction cure. While grieving, Apollo destroys an enormous volume of Knausgaard. Later, he places the same title by the narrator’s side and tacitly asks her to read from it.) Like Offill, Nunez’s writing also offers a myriad random facts that you’ll have to interrupt your reading to verify. (Allow me to save you the effort in one such case: yes, Ted Bundy did volunteer at a suicide-prevention hotline.) The theme of suicide is woven throughout the book and for this reason many might find it difficult, but despite this it is a rather hopeful book. The narrator has done her best by her friend and by Apollo, and slowly, she does come to know this. She has also found a writing process that has started as a cure for one thing and ended as a cure for another. She has written herself better.
Morning Glory on the Vine: Early Songs and Drawings by Joni Mitchell ($50, HB)
In 1971, as her album Blue topped music charts around the world, Joni Mitchell created a holiday gift for her closest friends—an exquisite selection of Joni’s handwritten lyrics & poems, accompanied by more than 30 full-colour illustrations, paintings & watercolours. Hand-produced in LA, limited to 100 signed & numbered copies. To celebrate Mitchell’s 75th birthday, Morning Glory on the Vine will be made publicly available for the first time. This edition contains the book’s complete original content, plus a new introduction written by Mitchell and a number of her additional paintings (made at the time of the book’s creation).
Nixon at the Movies: A Book about Belief by Mark Feeney ($50, PB)
It’s well known that Richard Nixon viewed Patton multiple times before & during the invasion of Cambodia, but Nixon was an enthusiastic filmgoer who watched more than 500 movies during his presidency. Mark Feeney takes a new approach to looking at Nixon’s career—and Hollywood’s. From the obvious (All the President’s Men) to the less so (Elvis Presley movies and Nixon’s relationship to 60s youth culture) to several onscreen ‘alternate’ Nixons (Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity, Tony Curtis in The Sweet Smell of Success, Gene Hackman in The Conversation), Feeney sees aspects of Nixon’s character, and the nation’s, refracted & reimagined in film. Conversely, Feeney argues that Nixon can help us see the movies in a new light—Nixon as the movies’ tutelary deity during the early 70s, playing a role in Hollywood’s Silver Age comparable to FDR’s during its Golden Age.
Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year by Allie Esiri ($40, HB)
William Shakespeare wrote at least 37 plays, 154 sonnets & a handful of longer poems—and you can discover them all here. Each page of this volume contains an extract of his genius—a soliloquy, poem, quote or scene matched to the date. The introductory paragraphs serve as a window into the work, time and life of the greatest writer in the English language. Perfect for reading aloud and sharing Allie Esiri brings you Shakespeare’s bestknown & best-loved classics alongside less well-worn extracts.
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Bestsellers—Non-Fiction 1. On Drugs
2. Dead Man Walking: The Murky World of Michael
McGurk & Ron Medich
3. Secret: The Making of Australia’s Security State
4. Australianama: The South Asian Odyssey in Australia
5. Jack Charles: A Born-again Blakfella
6. QE 75: Men at Work - Australia’s Parenthood Trap
7. Pills, Powder & Smoke: Inside the bloody war on drugs
8. The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company
9. Venom: Vendettas, Betrayals & the Price of Power
10. Salt: Selected Essays & Stories
Bestsellers—Fiction 1. The Testaments 2. Too Much Lip
Margaret Atwood Melissa Lucashenko
3. The Overstory
4. Normal People 5. Fleishman is in Trouble
Sally Rooney Taffy Brodesser-Akner
6. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous 7. City of Girls 8. Night Boat to Tangier
Ocean Vuong Elizabeth Gilbert Kevin Barry
9. 10 minutes & 38 Seconds in This Strange World
10. The Long Call
and another thing..... The above brings to mind a lovely essay about Gertrude Stein by Elizabeth Hardwick in the collection of her essays I’m browsing at the moment: ‘Many wires and pieces of string went into the contraption, the tinkering, and the one result was that she wrote at great length and used a vocabulary very, very small. It was her original idea to make this vocabulary sufficent for immensities of conception, America, Americans, being perhaps her favorite challenge. When she is not tinkering, we can see her like a peasant assaulting the chicken for Sunday dinner. She would wring the neck of her words. And wring the neck of sentences, also.’ I look forward to a Coopes that has Stein, chickens and roses ... but meanwhile I’m reading Greta Thunberg’s pamphlett No One is too Small to Make a Difference and cringing at the thought of Australia’s PM patronising her with his ‘concern’. Three cheers for these junior agitators, I am utterly in awe of their articulateness in the face of the stonewalling they receive from politicians hamstrung by vested interests and their own priveleged ignorance. Jean Hinchliffe, 15 year-old Australian organiser and campaigner, was so impressive on Radio National the other morning I’m suggesting a new political party for the next election—Young Nation. If Pauline Hanson and the like can be elected, why not Jean. The voting age should most definitely be extended to include those concerned for their future as opposed to franking credits and tax cuts. Viki
For more October new releases go to:
Elif Shafak Ann Cleeves
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
New releases for October 2019