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Vol. 24 No. 7 August 2017
new this month from Robert Drewe WHIPBIRD
Nothing like a holiday (to Peru and Ecuador no less, with lots of long distance reading time) to shake out some reading cobwebs. And a time to catch up with old favourites, some recommendations from trusted companions, some books that just had to wait for holidays, and a handful of publisher advance copies. Here’s my response to some of the offering (sadly, the pile remains dauntingly high, and the next holiday is nowhere in sight) Carried Away by Alice Munro: the author’s selection of seventeen stories published across a forty year career of exemplary writing. Exquisitely constructed, utterly absorbing stories. Thank goodness they gave her a Nobel Prize, so her genius could be shared between more readers Position Doubtful by Kim Mahood: It took me a year to get to it, and this memoir (in some ways a sequel to the beautiful Craft for a Dry Lake from 2001) lived up to my high expectation. Original, heart-felt and beautifully revealing of the country and people Mahood grew up with. The title beautifully captures the notion of the wild and exotic and remote world of southeast Kimberley and its first-nation people who are the focus of this must-read book
Hillbilly Elegy by J D Vance: You’ve heard all about the book, and the author from the ‘read this if you want to understand why America voted for Trump’ angle. It’s a different, and more interesting, book than that, albeit one you should treat with caution. Vance’s narrative of his white working-class hillbilly heritage is fascinating, but somewhat warped by the complacent cultural assumptions of someone who succeeded in transcending that heritage Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham: Another tense, dark, brilliantly paced and psychologically complex thriller from a top-rate crime writer
A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey (due in November): I’ve been reading and admiring Carey for the bets part of 40 years, and I’m delighted to see the freedom and rambunctious energy with which this new novel is infused. Set in suburban and provincial Australia of the early 50s, (would you believe a car dealership in Bacchus Marsh), with a narrative threaded around an around Australia Redex trial (old enough to remember them?), this is a novel which doesn’t shirk serious engagement in major social issues (most significantly, Aboriginal Australia). But at the same time, it fairly rattles along, with an energy and verve I can’t remember since Illywhacker and Kelly Gang. Quite brilliant and ambitious in scope and tone, and I loved it.
Rain Birds by Harriet McKnight (due in September): This is a powerful and touching first fiction, the political and personal through an intense, intimate focus on two women’s lives The Red-Haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk (also due in September): This is Pamuk’s first novel since the lovely Museum of Innocence, and it is another intriguing and engaging chronicle of life in that most fascinating of crosscultural cities, Istanbul, with a political murder-mystery focus. David
Come to Me My Melancholy Baby by Kate Jennings ($20, PB)
This is a new edition of author Kate Jennings’s first book of poetry. These celebrated poems—including her incendiary moratorium speech that launched the second wave of feminism in Australia—will be performed as part of a major music event to be held in Melbourne in October.
Passage by Kate Middleton ($24, PB) The poems in Kate Middleton’s 3rd collection haunt, and are haunted by, the legacies of literature and history: whether inhabiting the scientific laboratory, the exploratory voyage, the layered history of landscape, or the voices of past authors, they are interested in the border-zones of understanding, in both the ‘the riddle of untrodden land’ and the buried history of lost empires—continuing her preoccupation with terrestrial & other landscapes, both real & imagined.
Australian Literature The Way Back by Kylie Ladd ($30, PB)
Charlie Johnson is 13 & in her first year of high school. She loves her family, netball & Liam, the cute guy who sits next to her in Science—but most of all she loves horses & horse-riding. Charlie’s parents have leased her a horse, Tic Tac, from the local pony club, but one day they go out for a ride in the national park & only Tic Tac returns. 4 months later, long after the police & the SES have called off the search, Charlie is found wandering injured & filthy, miles from where she was last seen. Her family rejoice in her return, but can anyone truly recover from what Charlie’s been through? When a life has been shattered, how do you put the pieces back together?
Bridget Crack by Rachel Leary ($30, PB)
Van Diemen’s Land, 1826. When Bridget Crack arrives in the colony, she is just grateful to be on dry land. But finding the life of an indentured domestic servant intolerable, she pushes back and is punished for her insubordination—sent from one place to another, each significantly worse than the last. Too late, she realises the place she has ended up is the worst of all: the ‘Interior,’ where the hard cases are sent—a brutally hard life with a cruel master, miles from civilisation. She runs from there and finds herself imprisoned by the impenetrable Tasmanian wilderness. Matt Sheedy, a man on the run, saves her from certain death—but her precarious existence among volatile and murderous bushrangers is a different kind of hell and, surrounded by roaring rivers and towering columns of rock, hunted by soldiers and at the mercy of killers, Bridget finds herself in an impossible situation—what will she have to do to survive?
On The Java Ridge by Jock Serong ($30, PB) Amid the furious ocean there was no human sound on deck: some people standing, watching the wave, but no one capable of words. On the Java Ridge, skipper Isi Natoli & a group of Australian surf tourists are anchored beside an idyllic reef off the Indonesian island of Dana. In the Canberra office of Cassius Calvert, Minister for Border Integrity, a Federal election looms & (not coincidentally) a hardline new policy is being announced regarding maritime assistance to asylum-seeker vessels in distress. A few kms away from Dana, the Takalar is having engine trouble. Among the passengers fleeing from persecution are Roya & her mother, and Roya’s unborn sister. The storm now closing in on the Takalar and the Java Ridge will mean catastrophe for them all.
Gleebooks’ special price $26.99
Pulse Points: Stories by Jennifer Down ($30, PB)
In the award-winning Aokigahara, a young woman travels to the sea of trees in Japan to say goodbye. In Coarsegold, a woman conducts an illicit affair while her recovering girlfriend works the overnight motel shift in the middle of nowhere. In Dogs, Foggo runs an unruly gang of bored, cruel boys with a scent for fresh meat. In Pressure Okay a middle-aged man goes to the theatre, gets a massage, remembers his departed wife, navigates the long game of grief with his adult daughter. The characters in Jennifer Down’s stories live in small dusty towns, glittering exotic cities & slow droll suburbs; they are mourners, survivors & perpetrators.
Common People by Tony Birch ($29.95, PB) From two single mothers on the most unlikely night shift to a homeless man unexpectedly faced with the miracle of a new life, Tony Birch’s stories are set in gritty urban refuges and battling regional communities. His deftly drawn characters find unexpected signs of hope in a world where beauty can be found on every street corner—a message on a T-shirt, a friend in a stray dog or a star in the night sky... all shining a light on human nature and how the ordinary kindness of strangers can have extraordinary results.
The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green ($30, PB)
In 1978 the Northern Territory has begun to self-govern. Cyclone Tracy is a recent memory and telephones not yet a fixture on the cattle stations dominating the rugged outback. Sybil is the matriarch of Fairvale Station, run by her husband, Joe. Their eldest son, Lachlan, was Joe’s designated successor but he has left the Territory for good. Their second son, Ben, must take his brother’s place. With her oldest friend, Rita, now living in Alice Springs & working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and Ben’s English wife, Kate, finding it difficult to adjust to life at Fairvale, Sybil decides to form a book club to give them all companionship and purpose. Disaffected mother-ofthree, Sallyanne, and Texan adventurer, Della, complete the group.
New this month The Chaser 9: Entertainment Weakly, $12.95
Whipbird by Robert Drewe ($33, PB)
Kungadgee, Victoria, Australia. A weekend in late November, 2014. At Hugh and Christine Cleary’s new vineyard, Whipbird, six generations of the Cleary family are coming together from far and wide to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the arrival of their ancestor Conor Cleary from Ireland. Hugh has been meticulously planning the event for months—a chance to proudly showcase Whipbird to the extended clan. Some of these family members know each other; some don’t. As the wine flows, it promises to be an eventful couple of days. Comic, topical, honest, sharply intelligent, and, above all, sympathetic, Robert Drewe’s new novel tells a classic Australian family saga as it has never been told before.
Gleebooks’ special price $29.99
The Lone Child by Anna George ($30, PB) Since her mother’s death when she was seven, Neve Ayres has learned to look after herself & to keep her cards close. But now her deliberately constructed world has collapsed: her partner’s left her when she was 8 months pregnant. And so, alone with her newborn son, she’s retreated to her cliff-top holiday house in coastal Flinders. The first time Neve sees Jessie, the small girl is playing alone on an empty stretch of beach—while her mother is distracted by her own troubles. Neve is intrigued and concerned, and Jessie is drawn to Neve’s kindness—and to her home. Having been lost in the sleepless haze of new motherhood, Neve is touched, and finds herself grappling with how to best help the forgotten girl. She has the spacious house, the full pantry, the resources. But how much can you—should you—do for a stranger’s child? Her by Garry Disher ($30, PB)
Out in that country the sun smeared the sky and nothing ever altered, except that one day a scrap man came by. Her name is scarcely known or remembered. All in all, she is worth less than the nine shillings and sixpence counted into her father’s hand. She bides her time. She does her work. Way back in the corner of her mind is a thought she is almost too frightened to shine a light on: one day she will run away. A dark and unsettling tale from the turn of the 20th century The Town by Shaun Prescott ($30, PB) Community radio host Ciara receives dozens of unmarked cassette recordings every week & broadcasts them to a listenership of none. Ex-musician Tom drives an impractical bus that no one ever boards. Publican Jenny runs a hotel that has no patrons. Rick wanders the aisles of the Woolworths in an attempt to blunt the disappointment of adulthood. In a town of innumerable petrol stations, labyrinthine cul-de-sac streets, two competing shopping plazas, and ubiquitous drive-thru franchises, where are these people likely to find the truth about their collective past – and can they do so before the town completely disappears? Shaun Prescott’s debut novel follows an unnamed narrator’s efforts to complete a book about disappeared towns in Central West NSW.
The Making of Christina by Meredith Jaffe
Interior designer Christina Clemente is caught off guard by an intense affair with her charismatic client, Jackson Plummer. He quickly becomes the cure to Christina’s loneliness and a surrogate father to her young daughter Bianca. When Jackson suggests moving to a rundown farm in the mountains, Christina soon forgets her initial hesitation and absorbs herself in restoring the rambling century-old house, Bartholemews Run, becoming obsessed with solving its mysterious history. But while living on the isolated farm, her once effervescent child transforms into a quiet sullen teenager and Christina increasingly struggles to connect with her. Because Bianca has a secret. And the monstrous truth threatens to destroy them all. ($30, PB)
Taboo by Kim Scott ($33, PB) In the rural South-West of WA a group of Noongar people revisit, for the first time in many decades, a taboo place: the site of a massacre that followed the assassination, by these Noongar’s descendants, of a white man who had stolen a black woman. Dan Horton, the elderly owner of the farm on which the massacres unfolded, hopes that by hosting the group he will satisfy his wife’s dying wishes & cleanse some moral stain from the ground on which he & his family have lived for generations. But the sins of the past will not be so easily expunged. Walking with this ragtag group through the taboo country Scott notes in them glimmers of re-connection with language, lore, country, and shows how countless generations of Noongar may have lived in ideal rapport with the land. This is a novel of survival and renewal, as much as destruction; and, ultimately, of hope as much as despair.
Gleebooks’ special price $29.95
Now in B format & paperback Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms by Anita Heiss, $20 The Easy Way Out by Steven Amsterdam, $23
I’ve spent quite some time at (my freezing) home this winter so managed to fit in a lot of reading between long sleeps (not as good as it sounds). As a bookseller, my job is to sell books, not criticise them, so a few big duds from Australian authors shall remain nameless. After all this time, I think Dulwich Hill customers can pretty much read my expression when they ask me about a book I don’t like. Here are a few I did like. A happy surprise is a debut novel by well-known academic and journo/columnist Dennis Glover, called The Last Man in Europe. Glover succeeds admirably in reimagining the life of George Orwell, in particular the events and ideas that led him to write Nineteen Eighty-Four (his preferred way of writing the title). This isn’t merely a recounting of the political ideas Orwell formulated, fascinating though they are, but also a fully realised novel about a flawed genius, his life and loves, his crippling illness and his determination to reveal the true meaning of totalitarianism—‘the crushing flat of whatever joy life promised, under the guise of efficiency, productivity and rationality’—a bit like modern capitalism or the proposed changes to the Bankstown line perhaps. Also set in the mid-twentieth century is the spy thriller Defectors by Joseph Kanon. Simon is a publisher who travels to Russia to edit the autobiography of his famous defector brother, Frank. But Frank has hatched a plan to defect back to the States and recruits Simon to help. But all is not as it seems in this classic cold-war thriller. Gripping right to the surprising end. Very readable. And now….drum roll….sneak preview! I have been waiting impatiently to get my paws on an advanced reading copy of Michelle de Kretser’s (winner of the Miles Franklin for Questions Of Travel) forthcoming novel The Life to Come—due in October. Given that I am a friend of Michelle it can be quite nerve-wracking to begin such a book—what if I don’t like it? How could I ever tell her, especially after the hundreds of copies we sold of Questions? Not a very good tease as you have already guessed I love, love, love The Life to Come. Like everything Michelle writes, this novel is not easily pigeon-holed and I’m still working on my sales pitch but this is a first draft of how it’s going to go: The Life to Come isn’t really about anything, in the way TV sitcom Seinfeld wasn’t about anything. Eschewing conventional narrative structure, de Kretser is more concerned with the connections between people, the choices they make or don’t make, the things said and left unsaid. In this beautifully elliptic novel, de Kretser takes us forward and backwards in (contemporary) time and the links between characters often seems tenuous—like so much else in this very clever story, to be teased out by the reader. These marvellously rich, mostly female, characters yearn for a life that might be, that could be, but is just out of reach, only to discover that the life to come is the one they’re living now. Stunningly written, this is a joyous, witty, intelligent and ultimately hopeful novel, an exhilarating panacea for our uncertain times. See you on D’hill, Morgan
Siren by Rachel Matthews ($29.95, PB) What happens when a young woman enters a city apartment early morning, with two footballers? Jordi Spence is 16 years old & lives in outer Melbourne. By daybreak, her world has shifted. Max Carlisle, a troubled AFL star, can’t stop what comes next. And Ruby, a single woman from the apartment block, is left with questions. Rachel Matthews captures the characters of Jordi and her family, the players, and the often loveable inhabitants of a big city with a deceptive lightness of touch. Siren reveals the often unnoticed life of a city while simultaneously drawing the reader deep into a dark and troubling world. What happens has an unexpected effect on all those who are both directly and indirectly involved—this is a powerful and haunting novel about cultural stereotypes and expectations, love, loneliness, family and our struggle to connect. In so many ways, Matthews subtly sounds the siren on sexual violence and its prevalence in our culture. The Art of Navigation by Rose Michael ($25, PB)
1987. Silently the forest closed around them. One, two, three girls left the dark garden and disappeared from sight under the green canopy that reached towards the house on the hill. 1587. Sometimes the visions Mr Kelley sees in the glass clarify as he gazes upon them: as though this precious stone is the lens of Dr Dee’s spyglass projecting a scene from far away and Ed, homing in, is polishing the surface with his spying, lying mind. 2087. A skrying app—an icon containing infinite space, maintaining ultimate time—will be tapped. Directing the dark obsidian discs of a nova millennium’s hundred-eyed crystalline ball. What refined magic science has become … ‘Old magic and strange memories swirl through The Art of Navigation, as Elizabethan alchemy and the technologies of the future ingeniously intersect.’—Brenda Walker 3
Singer. Songwriter. Swamp child. Soul man.
From two-times winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award.
Tex Perkins is a true rock'n'roll animal. In this memoir, the enigmatic king of the Australian music underground lays bare an extraordinary life lived on the road, on the stage and on the edge.
A work charged with ambition and poetry, in equal parts brutal, mysterious and idealistic, about a young woman cast into a drama that has been playing for over two hundred years ...
TAMING TOXIC PEOPLE David Gillespie
THE 91-STOREY TREEHOUSE
The science of identifying & dealing with psychopaths at work & at home.
Join Andy and Terry in their ridiculous 91-storey treehouse!
Bestselling author David Gillespie turns his attention to a phenomenon that damages businesses, seeds mental disease and discomfort and can bring civilisations to the brink of implosion – the psychopath.
Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Go for a spin in the world's most powerful whirlpool, take a ride in a submarine sandwich and hang out in a giant spider web. Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up! In-store 8 August.
The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory ($33, PB)
17 year-old Jane Grey was queen of England for nine days. Her father & his allies crowned her instead of the dead king’s halfsister Mary Tudor, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her throne, and locked Jane in the Tower of London. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner’s block, where Jane transformed her father’s greedy power-grab into tragic martyrdom. Her younger sister Katherine is heir to the insecure & infertile Queen Mary and then to her sister Queen Elizabeth, who will never allow Katherine to marry & produce a Tudor son. When Katherine’s pregnancy betrays her secret marriage she faces imprisonment in the Tower, only yards from her sister’s scaffold. What will happen when the last Tudor defies her ruthless and unforgiving cousin Queen Elizabeth?
The Zoo by Christopher Wilson ($25, PB)
There are certain things that Yuri Zipit knows: That being official food-taster for the leader of the Soviet Union requires him to drink too much vodka for a 12 year-old. That you do not have to be an Elephantologist to see that the great leader is dying. That Marshal Bruhah has been known to eat his own children, while Comrade Krushka is only fit to run a slaughterhouse, and that one of them has Yuri’s father somewhere here in the Dacha. That it’s a crime to love your family more than you love Socialism, the Party or the Motherland. That, because of his damaged mind, everyone thinks Yuri is a fool. But Yuri isn’t. He sits quietly through another excessive state dinner and witnesses it all—betrayals, body doubles, buffoonery. This is a cutting satire, told through the refreshing voice of one gutsy boy who will not give up on hope.
Madame Zero by Sarah Hall ($28, PB)
Whether depicting a husband who finds his wife utterly transformed, a child who becomes a case study in wildness, or a road trip overwhelmed by buried phobias, Sarah Hall is always deeply attuned to the uncanny strangeness that underlies our everyday reality. In these memorable scenes, she delights in the mythic symbolism of wilderness & wasteland, and revels in blurring thresholds between the natural & urban, mundane & surreal, human & animal. This is a haunting collection from a uniquely fertile imagination, written in lyrical prose glittering with the compacted power and striking imagery of poetry. Marked by Hall’s fascination with the intimacy of nature—and the nature of intimacy—these intensely sensual, thrillingly inventive tales seek to expose our innermost fears & desires.
New this month Granta 140: The Mind (ed) Sigrid Rausing , $25
To Die in Spring by Ralf Rothmann ($30, PB) Walter Urban and Friedich ‘Fiete’ Caroli work side by side as hands on a dairy farm in northern Germany. By 1945, it seems the War’s worst atrocities are over. When they are forced to ‘volunteer’ for the SS, they find themselves embroiled in a conflict which is drawing to a desperate, bloody close. Walter is put to work as a driver for a supply unit of the Waffen-SS, while Fiete is sent to the front. When the senseless bloodshed leads Fiete to desert, only to be captured and sentenced to death, the friends are reunited under catastrophic circumstances. In a few days the war will be over, millions of innocents will be dead, and the survivors must find a way to live with its legacy. This is a beautifully written novel about young men forced to risk life and limb for a lost cause—a conflict that they don’t understand and care even less about. It has it’s moments of darkness and of light, and is worth reading for both.—Mike All My Goodbyes by Mariana Dimópulos ($24.95, PB) This is a novel told in overlapping vignettes, which follow the travels of a young Argentinian woman across Europe (Málaga, Madrid, Heidelberg, Berlin) and back to Argentina (Buenos Aires, Patagonia) as she flees from situation to situation, job to job, relationship to relationship. Within the complexity of the narrator’s situation, a backstory emerges about a brutal murder in Patagonia which she may or may not be implicated in, but whether this is the cause of her flight is never entirely clear—she is driven as much by psychological concerns, her relationship with her father, uncertainty about her identity and purpose in life. The novella is, as the title suggests, a catalogue of goodbyes, the result of a decade-long cycle of self-inflicted alienation which the narrator, despite herself, seems fated to perpetuate. This acclaimed contemporary Argentinian novel is the first in Giramondo’s ‘Literature of the South’ series, featuring innovative fiction and non-fiction by writers of the southern hemisphere. It is translated from the Spanish by Australian translator Alice Whitmore Anna by Niccolo Ammaniti ($30, PB)
It is some years since a virus killed all the adults. Now Sicily lies in ruins while the disease lies in wait, poised to claim the children as they reach adolescence. Brave, stubborn 13 year-old Anna looks after her brother Astor in the cottage where their mother’s skeleton rests, lovingly decorated, in a locked bedroom. She tells him fearsome stories about monsters, hoping to keep him safe at home while she forages among the real hazards. Wild dogs. Gangs of savage, blue-painted kids. But then Astor starts to question Anna’s version of the world, just as the blue kids are turning their attention to the cottage—and suddenly, everything will change.
Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty ($30, PB)
A retired couple, Gerry and Stella Gilmore, fly from their home in Scotland to Amsterdam for a long weekend. A holiday to refresh the senses, to do some sightseeing and generally to take stock of what remains of their lives. Their relationship seems safe, easy, familiar— but over the course of the four days the deep uncertainties which exist between them surface. Gerry, once an architect, is forgetful and set in his ways. Stella is tired of his lifestyle, worried about their marriage and angry at his constant undermining of her religious faith. Things are not helped by memories which have begun to resurface of a troubled time in their native Ireland. ‘Midwinter Break is a work of extraordinary emotional precision and sympathy, about coming to terms—to an honest reckoning—with love and the loss of love, with memory and pain.’—Colm Tóibín
The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley ($30, PB) In 1860, Merrick Tremayne is recuperating at his family’s crumbling Cornish estate as he struggles to recover from an injury sustained on expedition in China. Dispirited by his inability to walk any further than his father’s old greenhouse, he is slowly coming round to his brother’s suggestion that he might want to consider a new path in life—into the clergy. But The East India Trading Company coerces Merrick in to agreeing to go on one final expedition to the holy town of Bedlam in Peru, to seek valuable quinine from a rare Cinchona tree. In Bedlam, nothing is as it seems. The Cinchona is located deep within a sacred forest where golden pollen furls in the air & mysterious statues built from ancient rock appear to move. Guided by the priest Raphael, who disappears for days on end into this shadowy realm, Merrick discovers a legacy left by his father and grandfather before him which will prove more valuable than the British Empire could ever have imagined. Now in B Format Hag-seed: The Tempest Retold by Margaret Atwood, $23 How Saints Die by Carmen Marcus ($33, HB)
Ten years old and irrepressibly curious, Ellie lives with her fisherman father, Peter, on the wild North Yorkshire coast. It’s the 1980s and her mother’s breakdown is discussed only in whispers, with the promise ‘better by Christmas’ and no further explanation. Steering by the light of her dad’s sea-myths, her mum’s memories of home across the water, and a fierce spirit all her own, Ellie begins to learn—in these sudden, strange circumstances—who she is and what she can become.
The Sixteen Trees of the Somme by Lars Mytting
Edvard grows up on a remote mountain farmstead in Norway with his taciturn grandfather, Sverre. The death of his parents, when he was three years old, has always been shrouded in mystery—he has never been told how or where it took place and has only a distant memory of his mother. But he knows that the fate of his grandfather’s brother, Einar, is somehow bound up with this mystery. One day a coffin is delivered for his grandfather long before his death—a meticulous, beautiful piece of craftsmanship. Perhaps Einar is not dead after all. Edvard’s desperate quest to unlock the family’s tragic secrets takes him on a journey from Norway to the Shetlands, and to the battlefields of France—and finally to the discovery of a very unusual inheritance. ($33, PB)
Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash by Eka Kurniawan ($30, PB)
Ajo Kawir, a lower-class Javanese teenage boy excited about sex, likes to spy on fellow villagers in flagrante, but one night he ends up witnessing the savage rape of a beautiful crazy woman. Deeply traumatised, he becomes impotent, turns to fighting as a way to vent his frustrations. Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash shows Eka Kurniawan in a gritty, comic ‘Tarantino-esque’mode—but alongside its liberal peppering of fights, high-speed car chases, and ladies heaving with desire, Kurniawan’s novel continues to explore his familiar themes of female agency in a violent and corrupt male world.
The Susan Effect by Peter Høeg ($33, PB)
Susan Svendsen has a special talent: she has a unique ability to make people confide in her and tell her their innermost secrets. She has exploited that talent, and now has a prison sentence hanging over her head for punching a Bollywood actor in an Indian casino. To make matters worse, her husband is on the run from the mafia, one of her children has been accused of antiquity smuggling and the other has run off with a monk. But Susan gets an offer from a former government official—an offer to use her power one more time and have all her charges dropped so she can return to Denmark. Together with her family, she must track down the last surviving members of a secret think tank of young talents founded in the 1970s, the so-called Future Committee, and find out what was written in the committee’s final report. But the report is apparently covering up information of great value, and some powerful people are determined it is not revealed.
The Haunting of Henry Twist by Rebecca F. John
London, 1926: Henry Twist’s heavily pregnant wife leaves home to meet a friend. On the way, she is hit by a bus and killed. The baby survives, and Henry is left with nothing but his new daughter—a single father in a world without single fathers. He hurries the baby home, terrified that she’ll be taken from him. Racked with guilt and fear, he stays away from prying eyes; walking her through the streets at night, under cover of darkness. But one evening, a strange man materialises from the shadows and addresses Henry by name. The man says that he has lost his memory, but that his name is Jack. Henry is both afraid of and drawn to Jack, and the more time they spend together, the more Henry sees that this man has echoes of his dead wife. His mannerisms, some things he says. And so Henry wonders, has his wife returned to him? Has he conjured Jack himself from thin air? Or is he in the grip of a sophisticated con man? Who really sent him? ($30, PB)
The Party by Elizabeth Day ($30, PB)
Martin Gilmour is an outsider. When he wins a scholarship to Burtonbury School, he doesn’t wear the right clothes or speak with the right kind of accent. But then he meets the dazzling, popular & wealthy Ben Fitzmaurice, and gains admission to an exclusive world. Soon Martin is enjoying tennis parties & Easter egg hunts at the Fitzmaurice family’s estate, as Ben becomes the brother he never had. But Martin has a secret. He knows something about Ben, something he will never tell. It is a secret that will bind the two of them together for the best part of 25 years. At Ben’s 40th birthday party, the great & the good of British society are gathering to celebrate in a haze of champagne, drugs & glamour. Amid the hundreds of guests—politicians, celebrities, the old-money and the newly rich—Martin once again feels that disturbing pang of not-quite belonging. His wife, Lucy, has her reservations too. There is disquiet in the air. But Ben wouldn’t do anything to damage their friendship. Would he?
The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar ($24.95, PB)
This book is a powerful and evocative literary novel set in Iran in the period immediately after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Using the lyrical magic realism style of classical Persian storytelling, Shokoofeh Azar draws the reader deep into the heart of a family caught in the maelstrom of post-revolutionary chaos and brutality that sweeps across an ancient land and its people. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree is really an embodiment of Iranian life in constant oscillation, struggle and play between four opposing poles: life and death; politics and religion. The sorrow residing in the depths of our joy is the product of a life between these four poles.
Now in B Format Freya by Anthony Quinn, $20
PARTY TIME! Thursday 10th August at
You are invited to the launch party of the new Treehouse book! Pre-order your book so you don’t miss out and come after school to the party! There will be fun activities & prizes to be won
marshmallows to eat and MORE!
See you there! Now in paperback Harry Potter and the Cursed Child—Parts One & Two by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany, $20 Evening Primrose by Kopano Matlwa (27, PB) Told in the form of a one-sided conversation with God, Evening Primrose is the story of Masechaba, a young woman who achieves her childhood dream of becoming a doctor, yet soon faces the stark reality of South Africa’s healthcare system. As she leaves her deeply religious mother and makes friends with the politically-minded Nyasha, Masechaba’s eyes are opened to rising xenophobic tension in the shadow of the apartheid. Battling her own personal demons, she must decide if she should make a stand to help her friend, even if it comes at a high personal cost. Madame Bovary of the Suburbs by Sophie Divry (30, HB)
She has doting parents, does well at school, finds a loving husband after one abortive attempt at passion, buys a big house with a moonlit terrace, makes decent money, has children, changes jobs, retires, grows old and dies. All in the comfort that the middle-classes have grown accustomed to. But she’s bored. She takes up all sorts of outlets to try to make something happen in her life: adultery, charity work, esotericism, manic house-cleaning, motherhood and various hobbies—each one abandoned faster than the last. But nothing truly satisfies her, because deep down—just like the town where she lives—the landscape is non-descript, flat, horizontal. From childhood to death, somewhere in provincial France, from the 1950s to just shy of 2025, Sophie Divry dramatises the philosophical conflict between freedom and comfort that marks women’s lives in a materialistic world.
Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr (20, PB) Anthony Doerr’s new collection of stories is about memory: the source of meaning & coherence in our lives, and the fragile thread that connects us to ourselves & to others. In the luminous title story, a young boy in South Africa comes to possess an old woman’s secret, a piece of the past with the power to redeem a life. In The River Nemunas, a teenaged orphan moves from Kansas to Lithuania, and discovers a world in which myth becomes real. And in Afterworld, a woman who escaped the Holocaust is haunted by visions of her childhood friends in Germany, yet finds solace in the tender ministrations of her grandson. The Deep which was awarded the 2011 Sunday Times Short Story Award.
THE WILDER AISLES
Looking for books to read during my enforced time of not being very mobile, I found a book of short stories by Mark Haddon, The Pier Falls. I had loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the NIght-Time & A Spot of Bother— which I found very funny—so I looked forward to reading this collection. I was in for quite a surprise, as the stories were not at all what I expected. I really don’t know how to describe them. Strange, would be one word. Different another. Just thinking about the stories makes me feel a bit unsettled. WhenI got to the last story, The Weir, I realised I had read it before in the New Yorker—and that it left a strong impression on me then. The first story, The Pier Falls, tells of a afternoon in a seaside town in 1970. A town that seems untouched by modern times. A rivet on the pier fails—and the result is catastrophic. Haddon’s description of both the people on the pier & those watching is compelling: a young boy trying to stay afloat, a women who has a heart attack & dies in her chair, everyone thinking that she is asleep. In another story, Bunny, an obese man, loves chocolate & sweets, of every kind. In fact just about anything edible. He is alone, confined to his flat—until Leah turns up, and his life takes on a new meaning. I won’t say any more, but think of the words, killing with kindness. As I write about this book, I realise how much I liked the stories, although ‘like’ isn’t quite the right word, and neither is enjoyed. Read them. The book is illustrated with rather strange drawings. A $20 paperback, what could be better value. Montalbano’s First Case & Other Stories, is another collection I read while recuperating. I can easily say I thoroughly enjoyed these. The collection fills in backstory about Montalbano’s promotion to inspector, and his transfer from Mascalippa, a small town in the mountains, to Vigata, a seaside town— something he has longed for, as he loves the sea & hates the mountains. Camilleri has written an interesting preface, in which he talks about his difficulty selecting the stories from the many he had written. I will just mention one story, Montalbano Says No, that features a crime so terrible that the inspector, not coping, turns to the one person he knows he can call on for help. All the same old characters are there, Catarella, Mimi, Fazio and Adellina, his cook, mother of Pasquale, a trouble maker, in & out of jail. Salvo Montalbano is one of the great characters in crime novels—those of you who already know him will love these stories, but I feel sure first time readers will fall for Montalbano too. I have just finished watching the Montalbano TV series on DVD—the man in the title role couldn’t have been better cast. Rain Birds is a first novel by Harriet McKnight. Alan and Pina have lived in the small town of Boney Point for 30 years, when Alan is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer. His condition worsens, and Pina is working hard to find ways of coping, when one day a flock of black cockatoos arrive in the trees in their yard. To Pina’s surprise Alan notices the birds and seems to be interested in them. Close by, a conservation biologist, Arianna Brandt, is working on a scheme to reintroduce the cockatoos back into the national park. The birds are failing to thrive, and Arianna is haunted by the fear of failure. As Pina deals with Alan, and Anna deals with her birds and her demons, the two women get to know each other. At first not on friendly terms, they eventually realise that they are both after the same outcome for different reasons. There is a lot more to this book than what I have written here. It is well worth a read.
A man with a gun walks into a sandwich-shop. That is the beginning sentence of The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo. This gunman forces the two girls in the shop to lie flat, and Meredith Oliver finds herself face-to-face on the dirty floor with Lisa Bellow, the most popular girl in her class. They barely know each other, but it’s the uncool Meredith who finds herself comforting Lisa, all the while convinced that they will soon be dead. Frustrated by the slim the takings in the cash drawer, the gunman abducts Lisa. In the aftermath Meredith, unable to describe the masked man or his car, retreats into her room. Meanwhile, her brother Evan, a promising star baseball player, is hit in the eye by a ball, thus ending his hopes for the future, and their mother, Claire, is caught in helplessness at not being able to save her children from harm—and driven to distraction by Mark, their eternally optimistic father. Claire is not keen when Lisa’s mother, Colleen, wants to talk to Meredith— but Meredith says yes to her request. Meredith then forms a relationship not only with Colleen, but with Becca and the other cool girls at school, forsaking Jules and Kristy, her former best friends. This is a many layered novel. I really like the character of Claire—and I completely understood when she was ready to give up on all of them—Meredith, Mark and Evan. It’s not my usual fare, so I was a bit surprised to find myself liking the book—but enjoy it I did. One thing I found strange was the age of the girls. I expected them to older by their behaviour, dress etc., but I guess I am a bit behind the times these days. Recently a friend told me the other day her 12 year-old was already wearing make-up, so I guess it happens. Janice Wilder
The Twentieth Man by Tony Jones ($33, PB) In September 1972, journalist Anna Rosen takes an early morning phone call from her boss at the ABC, telling her about two bombings in Sydney’s busy CBD—Anna has no doubt which group is responsible for the carnage. She has been investigating the role of alleged war criminals in the globally active Ustasha movement. High in the Austrian Alps, Marin Katich is one of 20 would-be revolutionaries who slip stealthily over the border into Yugoslavia on a mission planned and funded in Australia. Soon the arrival in Australia of Yugoslavia’s prime minister will trigger the next move in a deadly international struggle. A Nest of Vipers by Andrea Camilleri ($30, PB)
In the 21st Inspector Montalbano outing, an elderly man is found dead in the dining room of his Vigàtan beach house; his coffee spilt across the table, a gunshot wound through the back of his head. The son who discovered the body has the most to gain from his father’s untimely death, and his sister is quick to point out the reasons why. But as Inspector Montalbano learns more about the victim’s dishonourable life, he soon finds half of Vigàta has a motive for the murder. The inspector truly has his work cut out for him this time.
Crossing the Lines by Sulari Gentill ($30, PB)
When Madeleine d’Leon conjures Ned McGinnity as the hero in her latest crime novel, she makes him a serious writer simply because the irony of a protagonist who would never lower himself to read the story in which he stars, amuses her. When Ned McGinnity creates Madeleine d’Leon, she is his literary device, a writer of detective fiction who is herself a mystery to be unravelled. As Ned and Madeleine play out their own lives while writing the other’s story, they find themselves crossing the lines that divide the real and the imagined. This is a story about two people trying to hold onto each other beyond reality.
Fateful Mornings by Tom Bouman ($30, PB)
In Wild Thyme, Pennsylvania, Officer Henry Farrell’s life is getting complicated. Widowed and more traumatised than he cares to admit, he is caught up in an affair with a local woman, and with helping out his friend’s barn construction job—on which the clock is ticking. When a troubled old acquaintance of theirs becomes the prime suspect in the disappearance of his girlfriend, it becomes increasingly clear that something seriously dark is at large in the woods that surround them. Against this old and strange landscape—where silence rules—a fascinating and troubling case ensues, as Henry struggles for his very survival.
A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee ($33, PB)
India, 1920. The fabulously wealthy kingdom of Sambalpore is home to tigers, elephants, diamond mines & the beautiful Palace of the Sun. But when the heir to the throne is assassinated in the presence of Captain Sam Wyndham & Sergeant ‘Surrender-Not’ Banerjee, they discover a kingdom riven with suppressed conflict. Prince Adhir was a moderniser whose attitudes may have upset the more religious elements of his country, while his brother—now in line to the throne—appears to be a feckless playboy. As Wyndham & Banerjee desperately try to unravel the mystery behind the assassination, they become entangled in a dangerous world where crossing those in power may cost you your life.
Promise of Ruin by Cuyler Overholt ($25, PB) In early 1900s New York, the formidable crime syndicate known as the Black Hand has been terrorizing the city’s Italian community with bombings and kidnappings. When a young Italian girl is found drowned and sexually defiled, Dr Genevieve Summerford suspects the organization has expanded into forced prostitution, and she won’t rest until the trafficking ring is brought to justice.
The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter ($33, PB) 2 girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind. 28 years ago, Charlotte & Samantha Quinn’s happy smalltown family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father—Pikeville’s notorious defence attorney—devastated. 28 years later Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself—the archetypal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again—and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatised—Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case which can’t help triggering the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber ($30, PB)
Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason: her father was murdered, her mother ran away to join a cult, and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her. Now, Josie has settled in New York with her boyfriend Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay. The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name. Then investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a hit podcast that reopens the case of her father’s murder and Josie’s carefully constructed world begins to unravel. She is forced to return to her hometown where she must confront the lies from her past— as well as those on which she has staked her future..
Colombiano by Rusty Young ($33, PB) All Pedro Gutierrez cares about is fishing, playing pool & his girlfriend Camila’s promise to sleep with him on his 16th birthday. But his life is ripped apart when Guerrilla soldiers callously execute his father in front of him, and he & his mother are banished from their farm. Swearing vengeance against the five men responsible, Pedro, with his best friend Palillo, joins an illegal Paramilitary group—but as he descends into a world of unspeakable violence, Pedro must decide how far he is willing to go. Can he stop himself before he becomes just as ruthless as those he is hunting? Colombiano is the remarkable story of a boy whose moral descent becomes a metaphor for the corruption of an entire nation. Too Easy by J. M. Green ($30, PB) On a stormy Halloween night, Stella gets a call from her best friend, Detective Phuong Nguyen. Her lover, Bruce Copeland, has been implicated in a police-corruption scandal, and the only person who can help prove his innocence has disappeared. The missing man is Hunter Keane, a drug dealer associated with the notorious motorcycle gang The Corpse Flowers. Reluctantly, Stella offers to help track him down—and it isn’t long before she is way in over her head: consorting with cutthroats, drinking tea with drug dealers, and, worst of all, hanging out in the Macca’s carpark with a bunch of smart-alec teenagers. The List by Michael Brissenden ($30, PB)
Sidney Allen is a member of the Australian Federal Police’s K block—a unit doing whatever it takes in order to stop terrorist attacks on home soil. But when young Muslim men on the Terror Watchlist start turning up dead, Sid & his partner, Haifa, have to work out what’s going on. Sectarian war? Drugs? Retribution? For Sid, there’s nothing unclear about a bullet to the head & a severed hand. Someone is sending a message. Deciphering that message reveals a much wider threat and Sid & the agency have to decide just how far they’ll go to prevent a deadly attack. Time is running out ... for them and Australia.
Three Minutes by Anders Roslund & Borge Hellstrom
One-time Swedish government agent Piet Hoffmann is on the run from a life prison sentence he escaped, and the Polish drug mafia. He is now hiding in Cali, Colombia, living under a false identity with his wife Zofia and sons Rasmus and Hugo. In order to survive he accepts employment as a bodyguard & hit man for the Colombian cocaine mafia, and is simultaneously approached by the US DEA to infiltrate the same cartel, he chooses to say yes to both. Hoffmann has a new, lucrative double life. This balancing act is short lived, & his old enemy DCI Ewert Grens will now become the only ally he can trust. ($30, PB)
Two Lost Boys by L. F. Robertson ($17, PB)
Janet Moodie has spent years as a death row appeals attorney. Overworked & recently widowed, she’s had her fill of hopeless cases, and is determined that this will be her last. Marion ‘Andy’ Hardy has been convicted along with his brother Emory of the rape & murder of two women. But Emory received a life sentence while Andy got the death penalty, labelled the ringleader despite his low IQ and Emory’s dominant personality. Janet investigates Andy’s past, discovering a sordid & damaged upbringing, a series of errors on the part of his previous counsel— and the possibility that there is far more to the murders than was first thought. Andy may be guilty, but does he deserve to die?
Age of Olympus by Gavin Scott ($17, PB)
Duncan Forrester has travelled to Greece, intent on recovering the ancient Cretan stone he discovered during the war, while part of an SOE mission to kidnap a German commander. But during a visit to Athens he witnesses the poisoning of a Greek poet, who it appears may have not been the intended target. The man Forrester believes to have been marked for death is a general, who has been approached to lead ELAS, the military arm of the Greek communists. With Greece on the brink of civil war, and more attempts made on the general’s life Forrester knows that the country’s future depends on the fate of one man.
Vinyl Detective: The Run-Out Groove by Andrew Cartmel ($17, PB)
His first adventure consisted of the search for a rare record; his second the search for a lost child. Specifically the child of Valerian, lead singer of a great rock band of the 1960s, who hanged herself in mysterious circumstances after the boy’s abduction. Along the way, the Vinyl Detective finds himself marked for death, at the wrong end of a shotgun, and unknowingly dosed with LSD as a prelude to being burned alive. And then there’s the grave robbing.
The Graybar Hotel by Curtis Dawkins ($30, PB) A man sits collect-calling strangers every day just to hear the sounds of the outside world; an inmate recalls his descent into addiction as his prison softball team gears up for an annual tournament; a prisoner is released & finds freedom more complex & baffling than he expected. A gritty, unflinching and deeply moving collection of stories by debut writer Curtis Dawkins, who is currently serving a life sentence in Michigan’s prison system. Painted from behind bars his stories offer a vivid portrait of the reality of prison life through the eyes of the people who spend their days, years & lives behind bars.
‘A vivid and disturbing portrait of a family’ – Alex Miller
n this singular memoir, historian and biographer
Jim Davidson writes about his fraught relationship with his authoritarian father, whose South African background and time in Papua New Guinea and Fjii prompted his own postwar mini-empire of dominance. An amazingly controlling parent, he rejects his first son – gay – as he creates a second family, shutting Jim out and eventually disinheriting him. But he never really leaves him alone.
harles Bean shaped Australia’s interpretation
of the Great War. Australia’s first official war correspondent, Bean was also our first official war historian and the driving force behind the creation of the Australian War Memorial. In Charles Bean, Australia’s top military historians – including Peter Stanley, Peter Burness, Michael McKernan, Jeffrey Grey, Peter Edwards, David Horner, Peter Rees and Craig Stockings – analyse the man, the myth and his long-reaching legacy.
w w w. n ews o u t h p u b l i s h i n g .co m
The Shipwreck Hunter by David L. Mearns
David Mearns has found some of the world’s most fascinating and elusive shipwrecks. His deep-water searches have solved the 66-year mystery of HMAS Sydney, discovered the final resting place of the mighty battlecruiser HMS Hood and revealed the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur in the narrow underwater canyon that served as its grave. His painstaking historical detective work has led to the shallow reefs of a remote island that hid the crumbling wooden skeletons of Vasco de Gama’s 16th century fleet. This is the compelling story of Mearns’ life and work on the seas, focusing on some of his most intriguing discoveries. ($33, PB)
Miracles Do Happen by Fela & Felix Rosenbloom ($28, PB)
In 1933, a 10 year-old Jewish girl, Fela Perelman, befriended a new family that had moved into her street in Lodz, Poland. There were 3 children in the Rozenblum family—Rose, Felix & Maria. 5 years later, Fela & Felix became sweethearts. When war broke out the Jews of Lodz found themselves under German occupation & were soon forced into a ghetto. Fela eventually survived the ghetto, forced labour in Germany, and then the last 17 months of Auschwitz’s existence and the death march out of it. Meanwhile Felix fled eastward, to Soviet-controlled Polish territory where he spent the war doing forced labour in the Soviet Union. After the war, miraculously, Fela and Felix found each other, and this is their story.
Every Lie I’ve Ever Told by Rosie Waterland
‘I was doing brilliantly, and I had written the memoir to prove it. I even had online haters. I had conquered life at 30 and nothing was ever going to go wrong again!’ It was all going so well for Rosie Waterland. Until it wasn’t. Until, shockingly, something awful happened and Rosie went into agonising free fall. Until late one evening she found herself in a hospital emergency bed, trembling and hooked to a drip. Over the course of that long, painful night, she kept thinking about how ironic it was, that right in the middle of writing a book about lies, she’d ended up telling the most significant lie of all. A raw, beautiful, sad, shocking—and very, very funny—memoir of all the lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves. ($30, PB)
Mafia Life: Love, Death and Money at the Heart of Organised Crime by Federico Varese
Today, mafias operate across the globe, with hundreds of thousands of members and billions of pounds in revenue. From Hong Kong to New York, these vast organisations spread their tentacles into politics, finance and everyday life. But what is it like to belong to the Mafia? How do you join? What does it do to your loved ones? How do you make it to the top? And what happens if you break the rules? Criminologist Federico Varese draws on a lifetime’s research to give us access to some of the world’s most secretive societies. Mixing reportage with case studies and historical insights, this is the story of mafia as it really is: filled with boredom and drama, death and disaster, ambition and betrayal. ($30, PB)
City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, & the First Police Chief of Paris by Holly Tucker ($38.95, HB)
In the late 1600s, Louis XIV assigns Nicolas de la Reynie to bring order to the city of Paris after the brutal deaths of 2 magistrates. Reynie tackles the dirty & terrifying streets only to discover a tightly knit network of witches, poisoners & priests whose reach extends all the way to Versailles. As the chief investigates a growing number of deaths at court, he learns that no one is safe from their deadly love potions & ‘inheritance stews’. Based on court transcripts & Reynie’s compulsive note-taking, Holly Tucker’s riveting true crime narrative follows the police chief into the dark labyrinths of crime-ridden Paris, the glorious halls of royal palaces, secret courtrooms & torture chambers in a tale of deception & murder that reads like fiction.
The Contractor by Mark Abernethy ($30, PB)
Meet Mike. He runs a building site, drives a ute, likes a beer, loves his nail-gun. But Mike is hiding in plain sight. When the Pentagon call him in as ‘Big Unit’, he’s another kind of contractor—one as handy with a Colt M4 as he is with a Skilsaw, a man as accustomed to danger, death & pain as he is to a hammer & nails. In six action-packed true stories we follow a man who left foreign intelligence for a life ‘on the tools’—but the good guys need a James Bond in Blundstones. They need The Contractor. Tradie. Spy. Big Unit. Follow him as he goes undercover to save a family trapped by an ISIS-run drug cartel in the seedy back streets of Northern Pakistan to terrorist-besieged Paris to a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with Australia’s most wanted murderer.
Thirty Days: A Journey to the End of Love by Mark Raphael Baker ($33, PB)
This is the moving memoir of Mark Baker’s wife of 32 years, Kerryn Baker, who died ten months after her diagnosis, aged 55, from stomach cancer. It is also a study in how we construct our own version of the past, after Mark discovers a cache of Kerryn’s letters in the laundry cupboard & has to rethink their relationship. It is a book about memory & its uncertainties, as Mark sifts through photos & home movies, as his wife gets sicker, and his search for clues about their relationship grows more desperate. In her last days, Kerryn reveals her traumatic childhood to Mark for the first time—emerging as the rock of the family—cleareyed about her treatment, focused on finding the path to a peaceful death. Paradoxically, her dying brings the couple back to the intensity of their first love.
The Book of Emma Reyes: A Memoir in Letters
Emma Reyes was an illegitimate child, raised in a windowless room in Bogota with no water or toilet. Abandoned by their mother, she & her sister moved to a convent housing 150 orphan girls, where they washed pots, ironed & mended laundry, scrubbed floors, cleaned bathrooms, and sewed garments & decorative cloths for church. Illiterate & knowing nothing of the outside world, Reyes escaped at age 19, eventually coming to have a career as an artist & to befriend the likes of Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera. Comprised of letters written over the course of thirty years, her memoir describes in vivid, painterly detail the remarkable courage and limitless imagination of a young girl growing up with nothing. ($30, PB)
Now in B Format The Fall of the House of Wilde: Oscar Wilde and His Family by Emer O’Sullivan, $25 The Boy Behind the Curtain by Tim Winton, $25 Dashing for the Post: The Letters of Patrick Leigh Fermor, $23 Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir Of A Family And Culture In Crisis by J. D. Vance, $25 In The Darkroom by Susan Faludi, $25 Balcony Over Jerusalem: A Middle East Memoir by John Lyons ($35, PB)
Drawing on a 20-year interest in the Middle East, Australian journalist John Lyons has had extraordinary access—he’s interviewed everyone from Israel’s former Prime Ministers Shimon Peres & Ehud Olmert to key figures from Hezbollah & Hamas. He’s witnessed the brutal Iranian Revolutionary Guard up close & was one of the last foreign journalists in Iran during the violent crackdown against the ‘Green Revolution’. He’s confronted Hamas officials about why they fire rockets into Israel & Israeli soldiers about why they fire tear gas at Palestinian school children. From the sheer excitement of arriving in Jerusalem with his wife & 8 year-old son, to the fall of dictators & his gripping account of what it feels like to be taken by Egyptian soldiers, blindfolded & interrogated, this is a memoir of the Middle East like no other.
Last King of the Cross by John Ibrahim ($35, PB) In the mongrel tongue of the streets, John writes of fleeing war-torn Tripoli with his family & growing up in Sydney’s rough & tumble west—before establishing himself as a tough guy & teen delinquent, then a bouncer, enforcer & nightclub king on the Golden Mile. In a city of shadows, John builds his army & empire—partying like a playboy prince of darkness while staying one step ahead of the cops, the outlaw gangs & hungry triggermen, plotting to take him & his family down. Last King of the Cross is a colourful crime saga like no other and powerful proof that truth is always stranger than fiction. A Führer for a Father by Jim Davidson ($30, PB)
In this singular memoir, historian & biographer Jim Davidson writes about his fraught relationship with his authoritarian & controlling father, whose South African background & time in PNG & Fiji prompted his own post-war mini-empire of dominance. A manipulative & emotionally ferocious man, he rejects his son & creates a second family, shutting Jim out & eventually disinheriting him, but never really leaving him alone. Traversing territory across Australia, South Africa, India & London, this beautifully written book tells of a time of crushing conformity, sharply reminding us that some experiences can never be written out of our personal histories.
Charles Bean: Man, myth, legacy by Peter Stanley
Australia’s official war correspondent during WWI, Charles Bean was also Australia’s first official war historian & the driving force behind the creation of the Australian War Memorial. Bean was also a public servant, institutional leader, author, activist, thinker, doer, philosopher, and polemicist. In this book Australia’s top military historians— including Peter Stanley, Peter Burness, Michael McKernan, Jeffrey Grey, Peter Edwards, David Horner, Peter Rees & Craig Stockings— analyse the man, the myth, and his long-reaching legacy. ($40, PB)
Jerusalem Without God: Portrait of a Cruel City by Paola Caridi ($45, PB)
There is no escaping the Jerusalem of the religious imagination. Not once but 3 times holy, its overwhelming spiritual significance looms large over the city’s complex urban landscape & the diurnal rhythms & struggles that make up its earthbound existence. However, says Paola Caridi, it is possible to close one’s eyes & discern the conflict & plurality of belonging that mark out the city’s secular character. She leads the reader through the streets, malls, suburbs, traffic jams & squares of Jerusalem’s present moment showing a city riven by the harsh asymmetry of power & control embodied in its lines, limits, walls & borders—a city memorable for its ancient stones & shimmering sunsets but dotted with Israeli checkpoints, ‘postmodern drawbridges’, that control the movement of people, ideas & potential attackers. Describing Jerusalem through the lenses of urban planners & politicians, anthropologists & archaeologists, advertisers & scholars, Caridi reveals a city that is as diverse as it is complex, and ultimately, one whose destiny cannot be tied to any single religious faith, tradition, or political ideology.
Shackled by Chris Turney ($35, PB)
In 2013, Australian earth scientist Chris Turney led an ambitious expedition to Antarctica. It promised discovery, history, adventure—but came with great risk. When Turney’s ship, the Shokalskiy, became trapped on Christmas Eve, the hull of the ship pierced by a tower of ice, the plight of the 71 people on board was broadcast around the world. Efforts to rescue them were thwarted by fierce blizzards & roaming icebergs. In Shackled the ghosts of explorers like Shackleton, Mawson & Ross look on, as Chris Turney offers firsthand the latest scientific findings from the frozen continent & details of the fates of the many intrepid explorers in whose footsteps he and his team walked.
Nevada Days by Bernardo Atxaga ($30, PB) A seductive blend of fiction and autobiography, this is a fictionalised account of Atxaga’s 9 months’ stay as writer-in-residence at the Centre for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada. He is accompanied by his wife, Angela, who is also doing research there, and by their two daughters. During their first few weeks, the family encounter a strange mapache (racoon), which is always staring at them from the garden, a flight of helicopters immediately overhead, a black widow spider, a warning about bears, a party of prisoners in the desert, a lake that is somehow far too calm and too blue, and, not long into their stay, the kidnap and murder of a young girl living in the house right next door. Atxaga tells us about all these strange encounters, and about his colleagues at the university, about the trips the family make to California and across the Sierra Nevada and to Lake Tahoe, all interspersed with accounts of his dreams, with stories from his past.
August To-Read List
From the author of Marching Powder. Blending fact and fiction, Colombiano takes us on a heart-thumping journey into the violent and unpredictable world of post-Escobar Colombia.
An exploration of love and uncertainty when a long-married couple take a midwinter break in Amsterdam. Bernard MacLaverty reminds us why he is regarded as one of the greatest living Irish writers.
A triumphant return to Miss Smilla territory – a story about sincerity, and a pacey thriller with a strongwilled female scientist like Smilla or Saga from The Bridge.
Sport in Australia is a national obsession. In this book David Hill recalls his encounters with the great and the good in Australian sport, as well as some of its darker moments.
One of our finest communicators and most successful businesswomen shares what she’s learned about leadership, the culture of the workplace and the vital importance of living a whole life.
Comic, topical, honest, sharply intelligent, and, above all, sympathetic, Robert Drewe’s exhilarating new novel tells a classic Australian family saga as it has never been told before.
When Australian-based scientist Chris Turney’s expedition got stuck in the Antarctic ice in 2013, it brought global attention to the dangers of the world’s least-known continent – and its fragility.
A gripping, atmospheric novel from the acclaimed author of What Came Before that asks: how much should you do to help a stranger’s child?
The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big and Small
This is a collection of 1,000 adventures to be had across every continent, from seeing the northern lights from an igloo in Finland to panning for gold in California, from cruising the Galapagos Islands to ninja training in Japan. Some experiences are unique outdoor pursuits in incredible locations around the world—such as climbing an active volcano in Italy or ice diving in Antarctica—but others are smaller ambitions including trying a local cuisine, milking a cow, brewing your own beer, or mastering a foreign language. The Bucket List is the perfect gift for the passionate traveller: an around-the-world, continent-by-continent listing of beaches, museums, monuments, islands, inns, restaurants, mountains, and more. ($40, PB)
The Last Great Australian Adventurer by Gordon Bass ($35, PB)
In 1948, Australian army major, Ben Carlin, set out from NYC with an audacious, lunatic plan to circumnavigate the world in an army surplus amphibious jeep called Half-Safe. Fuelled by cigarettes a& adrenaline, he pushed his fragile, claustrophobic vehicle through fierce Atlantic hurricanes, across uncharted North African desert, into dense South-East Asian jungle & over the icy dark swells of the North Pacific. It was a 50,000 mile roll of the dice that by all rights should have killed him. When he finally pulled into Times Square a decade later, he found himself alone & forgotten, his legacy little more than a wake of women & empty whiskey bottles. Was it all a fool’s errand? Or a pure manifestation of spirit? Where does a dream end & an obsession begin? What’s an acceptable cost to pay, and to what lengths will a person go not to be left with the haunting question: what if? Gordon Bass gives a compelling account of Carlin’s attempt to make an enduring mark on the world at the twilight of the Golden Age of Adventure.
Neon Pilgrim by Lisa Dempster ($33, PB) During a culture-shocked exchange year in Japan, 15 year-old Lisa Dempster’s imagination was ignited by the story of the henro michi, an arduous 1200 kilometre Buddhist pilgrimage through the mountains of Japan—and she promised herself to return to Japan & walk the henro michi. Fast-forward 13 years, and Lisa is severely depressed, socially withdrawn, overweight, on the dole & living with her mum, she is 28 and miserable. And then a book at her local library reminds her of the henro michi, and she decided to return to Japan and walk herself back to health. Brushing aside the barriers that other people might find daunting—the 1200km of mountainous terrain, the sweltering Japanese summer, the fact she had no money and had never done a multi-day hike before—Lisa was determined to walk the pilgrimage, or die trying.
Read more at penguin.com.au
books for kids to young adults
compiled by Lynndy Bennett, our children's correspondent
Ruben by Bruce Whatley ($30, HB)
Whatley, one of Australia’s best-known illustrators, devoted ten years to the creation of this picture book set in the not-too-distant future. Ruben is a young boy surviving in a derelict city. He ventures out every day to find what he needs to survive but it is getting harder and he needs to venture deeper into the heart of Block City. When Ruben meets Koji, another refugee from the industrial wastelands, he realizes that by combining their knowledge and accumulated objects escape is not only essential, but possible. The ambiguity of the ending is deliberate, prompting discussion and re-reading. Whatley combined graphite pencil and photographs in Cinema 4D to produce haunting images in this exquisitely detailed book he regards as his best yet. Lynndy
The Shop at Hoopers Bend by Emily Rodda ($17, PB) ‘Eleven-year-old Jonquil (known as Quil) Medway is a girl with more than an unusual name. Quil’s parents died in a car accident when she was a baby and she now goes to boarding school, but spends her holidays with an aunt—or at camp, which is where Quil is heading when she decides to get off early at a train stop called Hoopers Bend. It is there that Quil meets Pirate, a chunky little white dog with black spots who immediately adopts her and Bailey, a crabby older lady who has gone to Hoopers Bend to check out the shop that has been left to her by an uncle. There is something magical about the shop at Hoopers Bend though, and once it casts its spell on Quil and Bailey they are drawn together in an unlikely friendship and their fight to save the shop from developers. From one of Australia’s most renowned children’s authors, this is a story about coming home when you didn’t even know that was where you belonged.’ Utterly credible, and filmically visual in every detail, Rodda’s latest book is sure to gain her a whole new generation of readers. Ideal for age 9+. Poe: Stories and Poems adapted and illustrated by Gareth Hinds
Another classic is this collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s best-known short stories in all their chilling glory, along with three of his acclaimed poems. Hinds has interpreted Poe’s stories of horror and human malfeasance in graphic format, losing none of the darkness of Poe’s original works. Shiver factor is turned way up, and the art shares the starring role. ($30, PB) Lynndy
The Traitor and the Thief by Gareth Ward ($18, PB) Discovered picking pockets at Coxford’s Corn Market, fourteen year old Sin is hunted across the city. Caught by the enigmatic Eldritch Moons, Sin is offered a way out of his life of crime: join the Covert Operations Group (COG) and train to become a spy. At Lenheim Palace, Sin learns spy craft while trying not to break the school’s Cast-Iron Rules. Befriended by eccentric Zonda Chubb, together they endeavour to unmask a traitor causing havoc within the palace. After an assassination attempt on the founder of COG, Sin realises that someone closest to him could be the traitor. With no other option, Sin is forced into an uneasy alliance with the school bully, Velvet Von Darque. But can he trust her? And will COG try to bury him with the secrets he discovers? Secrets, spies and steampunk gadgets abound in this fantastic adventure story! I’ve not seen a copy of this, but the description, and the fact that it won the NZ Storylines Tessa Duder Award swayed me, as did the quirky names of the characters, and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the machinations of the Covert Operations Group. Lynndy
The Tiny Timmy Series by Tim Cahill ($13, PB) I like Tiny Timmy books because they are funny and always have a twist. They are about the best Australian soccer player Tim Cahill. Louis Garran (age 10). It Can’t Be True! Incredible Visual Comparisons by Dorling Kindersley ($30, HB)
I like It Can’t be True! because it tells you interesting true facts. My favourite fact is an Argentinosaurus’s leg is the size of a double decker bus. Frederic Garran (age 7).
Under the Same Sky by Britta Teckentrup ($25, HB) Lynndy has just shown me this exquisite new picture book, and I’m afraid I’ve swooped on it to review. The German illustrator, Britta Teckentrup, has always been one of our favourites, and she never fails to delight; however Under the Same Sky is outstanding—once again Teckentrup takes us into the natural world, with different animals, united under the same sky. Lyrical, simple text, and glorious full colour illustrations, with a judicious use of die-cuts (each one individual), this is a celebration of difference and sameness. If a child can discover something he doesn’t know yet, and yet if he can recognise the familiar in a book, then that book has succeeded. Under the Same Sky does just that, it covers familiar ground in a different way—I can’t recommend this highly enough for babies—adults. Louise I Just Ate My Friend by Heidi McKinnon ($25, HB)
With this title you might expect tragedy, but instead this is laugh-out-loud funny. ‘I just ate my friend. He was a good friend. But now he is gone. Would you be my friend?’ The somewhat gormless looking monster in this book needs another best friend, and maybe a little bit of impulse control... Ridiculous hilarity for all ages in Australian illustrator, Heidi McKinnon’s debut. Louise
A Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
Orphaned Cat Chant good-humouredly endures his sister Gwendolyn’s magical ambitions even after she convinces a powerful nine-lifed enchanter to adopt them. However, the ensuing battle of wits between Gwendolyn and the inhabitants of Chrestomanci Castle leads Cat to realise that people have rather been taking advantage of him. Incredibly charming and wellplotted, Diana Wynne Jones’s first Chrestomanci novel still reads like a dream filled with shouting furniture, a sarcastic dragon, and a cat nee violin. A classic for readers of 8+. Josh
The Melendy Family books by Elizabeth Enright ($14–18, PB)
These are American classics that have not dated: one can only enjoy reading about the complete freedom the Melendy children enjoyed, and wish those days had never ended. In the first book they live in New York, with their father and family housekeeper, and in the subsequent three books they have moved to an eccentric old house—the Four Storey Mistake, in the countryside. Illustrated by the author, these books are a joy to read again. Louise ‘The Melendys are the quintessential storybook family...[their] ardent approach to living is eternally relevant.’—Publishers Weekly review.
I can think of no other books like Dover little activity books—they fit into an envelope, or a pocket, or a travel bag. Perfect for party favours, stocking fillers, or just a small gift, the range of different titles is extensive, and there is something to fill the bill for nearly every 3-8 year old. There are sticker books, and maze books, crosswords and every kind of puzzle book, tattoos, foreign language activities and colouring books. There is an extensive range of different difficulty levels and consistently good artwork, with many different styles of illustration. Lots of the favourites remain in print, and new titles are added frequently. From $4-$5. Louise
The Egg by Britta Teckentrup
One of our favourite illustrators, Teckentrup here explores eggs in almost every aspect of their fragile complexity, from Oology to shape, markings and interior structure. She examines an array of birds’ eggs, then extends to other species such as reptiles and mammals. She also addresses eggs in mythology, art, tradition and fairy tales, all depicted in her trademark lushly textured art. The gorgeous presentation and miscellany of facts render this a valuable contribution to any library and oh, such a pleasure to trawl through! ($27, HB) Lynndy
Food, Health & Garden
Better Brain Food by Ngaire Hobbins & Michelle Crawford ($40, PB)
Recent scientific investigations have uncovered foods and ingredients that can help protect brain cells from damage by oxidation and inflammation, and keep the systems that support them working as well as possible. There is no magic pill (and beware of anyone who claims a simple solution), but there is evidence-based advice on foods and lifestyle strategies that can give your brain the best chance of peak health. Dietitian Ngaire Hobbins offers advice combined with inspiring recipes from Michelle Crawford that offer optimal nutrition for brain health and can be adapted for households from singles to larger families.
The New Puberty by Amanda Dunn ($25, PB)
Emily is a happy 10 year-old who wears a size 12B bra & has tampons nestled in her school bag beside her play lunch. She isn’t alone. Children are going through puberty earlier than ever before. How does this affect them? What does it mean for their parents, friends & society? What exactly happens during puberty, and how does it impact on social & emotional development? How is it linked to mental health, gender & sexuality, body image & risk-taking? Why is puberty still such a no-go topic? The New Puberty tackles these complex questions for parents & teachers of school-aged children through the latest research & expert analysis.
New this month What Color Is Your Parachute? 2018: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters & Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles ($33, PB) The Mystery Gut by Kerryn Phelps et al ($35, PB) The problems caused by poor gut health and how an uneasy gut can make life miserable. Symptoms such as weight gain, diarrhoea & cramping are common, but few people receive a definitive disease label. In this book Drs Phelps & Lee common medical problems—from IBS to various food intolerances—and show you what’s going on & what to do about it. Featuring a comprehensive guide on the mysteries of microbiota, a plethora practices & treatments to restore your energy, & 30 recipes to revitalise & heal your gut—produced with nutritionist and clinical dietitian Jaime Chambers—this is an essential guide to fixing your gut & improving your wellbeing.
The Salt Fix by James DiNicolantonio ($33, PB)
We’ve all heard the recommendation: no more than a teaspoon of salt a day for a healthy heart. But there’s one big problem with this: the majority of us don’t need to watch our salt. For most, salt protects against a host of aliments, including internal starvation, insulin resistance, diabetes & heart disease—not to mention, it tastes great. Dr DiNicolantonio reveals the eye-opening story of a century-spanning drama of competing egos & interests, of how salt became unfairly demonised— and shows how eating the right amount of salt will help you beat sugar cravings, achieve weight loss, improve athletic performance, increase fertility & thrive with a healthy heart.
Growing Food the Italian Way by Fabian Capomolla ($45, PB)
In Italy the most important things are family and food. Growing your own food is about providing for yourself and your family. This book will show you—in simple, Italian-style terms!—how to set up and maintain your veggie patch, and the extensive A-Z plant guide will help you decide what to grow in it. There’s a chapter on problems you might encounter and remedies to fix them, along with handy tips scattered throughout. Some of these tips have been expanded into easy-to-follow activities like how to build your own barbecue or make your own insect repellent. You’ll also find a selection of simple and delicious recipes so you can cook just like Nonna, and a glossary to help decode common gardening terms.
This Is Not a Wine Guide by Chris Morrison ($40, HB)
Award-winning sommelier Chris Morrison believes that your wine decisions should be driven by your own sense of taste—and by the way you like to eat, drink and live. In This Is Not A Wine Guide he helps readers develop the confidence to choose, purchase, serve, share and ultimately even collect wine without feeling the need to rely on the ‘old rules’ involving notes, scores, jargon & reviews.
Backyard Bounty: The Expert Guide to Growing Your Own Organic Vegetables ($35, PB)
This book presents a practical guide to growing vegetables organically, whether you’re starting a patch from scratch or you’re an old hand who wants to go greener—grow your own healthy & sustainable produce: from getting started, preparing your patch & making compost, to an A-Z of popular vegetables with a month-by-month planting & growing guide, as well as natural ways to combat pests and diseases.
New this month Lucky Peach Issue 23: The Suburbs Issue, $23
Veneto: Recipes from an Italian Country Kitchen by Valeria Necchio ($40, HB)
Food writer, columnist & photographer Valeria Necchio introduce the cuisine of the Veneto. Celebrating the food & flavours of North Eastern Italy, her book includes lovingly-written recipes from Sarde in Saor (Marinated Sardines) to Gnocchi di Zucca al Burro e Noci (Pumpkin Gnocchi with Butter & Walnuts), Grigliata de Carne (Barbecued Pork Ribs, Pancetta & Sausage with Rosemary) to Sbrisolona (Almond Polenta Shortcake).
The Magic Fridge: Amazing Sauces, Butters, Bases & Preserves by Alex Mackay ($35, HB)
Cheese sauce, Ratatouille, Tomato chilli relish, Salsa verde, Almond cream, Raspberry jam and Lemon curd. These will keep, carefully stored in the fridge, for at least three weeks. Each of these basic recipes is transformed by what it is served with—turn chocolate mousse into a molten pudding or an upside down tart. Or try some basil pistou with fish, chicken, lamb, beef, risotto, roasted peppers and even cheese on toast.
New Pizza: A whole new era for the world’s favourite food by Stefano Manfredi ($40, HB)
Pizza comes in many styles - thin, thick, crisp, chewy, round, square, a metre or more in length, filled, fried or sweet—and the quality of the pizza is defined by the quality of the flour, dough and toppings. Sydney’s award-winning pizza maestro will show you how to use wholewheat flour, fresh toppings & tried-and-tested methods to create the healthiest, tastiest pizza this side of Naples.
Hardcore Carnivore by Jess Pryles ($40, HB) From slow smoked barbecue ribs to perfect cowboy steaks Jess Pryles’s recipes are meaty winners. Including an intro section on the tricks of the trade & a collection of foundations& finishes at the end, this book will have you cooking meat like a seasoned pro. Australian by birth, Texan by choice, Jess Pryles is a professional Hardcore Carnivore with a particular penchant for steak and bourbon. She is a co-founder of the Australasian Barbecue Alliance. The Butcher—Australian Women’s Weekly
This is a cookbook for meatlovers, with must-have recipes for beef, poultry, pork and lamb. The recipes in this book use many different cuts of meat, both primary and secondary to suit everyone. You will even learn to make your own sausages! With step-by-step photos, showing you just how to achieve perfection in the art of cooking meat. ($45, HB)
The Blossom Cookbook by Ronen Seri & Pamela Elizabeth ($50, HB)
What began as a humble vegan restaurant in New York City quickly grew into one of the most well-known group of restaurants in the world. Learn the Blossom chefs’ secrets for preparing elegant vegan entrees like Lobster-Mushroom Crusted Tofu & Seitan Piccata with Sauteed Kale, comfort food favourites like Fettuccine with Cashew Cream & Curried Un-Chicken Salad, and even recipes for everyone’s favourite meals, brunch & dessert. With essential tips for living a vegan lifestyle, a chapter dedicated to preparing fundamental vegan base sauces & condiments, and 80 inventive recipes.
The Grammar of Spice by Caz Hildebrand
Spices can elevate the everyday act of making & consuming food to a higher plane of experience, and they have played an intrinsic part in the human story, running through history, geography, anthropology, politics, religion, culture, art, & design. From alligator pepper seeds, which in the Yoruba culture are given to newborn babies to taste a few minutes after birth, to charoli seeds, which are used in traditional Indian desserts eaten during the festival of Holi, and caraway seeds, which were added to medieval love potions, each spice has its own significance in the lives of the people who use it. This book is a practical resource for cooks that also changes the way we understand the role spices play in defining not only our food but also our place in the world. ($40, HB)
Cook Thai: 100 Delicious Modern Dishes by Sebby Holmes ($40, HB)
Holmes’ dishes have been adapted to perfectly suit the home cook, and include recipes for essential pastes, dips & pickles which are then used throughout the book as a starting point to explore this fragrant cuisine. Recipes include Tiger Prawn & Sweet Potato Fritters, Cumin Beef Sirloin with Thai Shallots & Sticky Pork Belly with Salted Roast Pumpkin, classic curries & impressive sharing dishes such as Grilled Whole Seabass with Coconut Chilli Jam.
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Sam’s Best Shot Launcher: Nicole Rogerson This is a father and son’s life-changing journey through Autism, adolescence and Africa. Inspiring, entertaining and a beacon of hope for those touched by autism.
The Sepia Carousel In conv. with Luke Fischer This collection explores inter alia the poet’s deepening contact with a Europe quite different in urban topography and cultural resonance to the bushy Adelaide of his childhood and the quiet Blue Mountains village of his recent academic life.
Event—6 for 6.30 Chris Turney
Shackled In conv. w. Peter FitzSimons In 2013, Australian earth scientist Chris Turney led an ambitious expedition to Antarctica. It promised so much—discovery, history, adventure—but came with great risk....
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The Twentieth Man Tony Jones, one of Australia’s most admired journalists, has written a brilliantly compelling thriller, taking us from the savage mountains of Yugoslavia to Canberra’s brutal yet covert power struggles in a novel that’s intelligent, informed and utterly suspenseful.
Mischka’s War: A European Odyssey of the 1940s in conv. with Mark McKenna Sheila Fitzpatrick pieces together her late husband’s story through diaries, correspondence and recollections: ‘This is a historian’s book but it’s also a wife’s book about her husband ... an offering of love that is also a search for knowledge.’ Event—6 for 6.30
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Running the City in conv. w Jeff Scully Leading Australian curator Felicity Fenner profiles activity-based and pop-up contemporary public art projects from Australia and around the globe. Running the City explores art projects that bring together diverse disciplines and cultures—including running, cycling, architecture, and guerilla gardening. Event—6 for 6.30
The Surgeon’s Eye Launcher: Penny Cook In The Surgeon’s Eye, John Parkinson presents the journals of Dr. Richard Bowker—who as ship’s surgeon—and as seaman on a whaler in the Pacific, Dr. Bowker committed to paper his youthful adventures at sea and on land.
Democracy In Chains This is an explosive exposé of Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan—the man and the ideas behind the well-heeled right’s relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, change the Constitution, and curb democratic majority rule.
A Führer for a Father in conv. with Peter Cochrane In this singular memoir, historian and biographer Jim Davidson writes about his fraught relationship with his authoritarian and controlling father, whose South African background and time in Papua New Guinea and Fiji prompted his own post-war mini-empire of dominance.
One Halal of a Story in conv. with Craig Reucassel As in life, Sam Dastyari’s memoir is unexpected and unorthodox. This is the man who introduced Pauline Hanson to the halal snack pack and accountability to big banks.
Unbreakable: Wo of resilienc Panel: Nina Fun Veisz Successful Austra about the challeng come, from sexual tic violence to rac depression and los the past go & m
The Vandem Historians failed t myths and lies—u exaggeration to sa Van Diemen’s La ed from the islan were deliberately o ground-breaking in neglected handw centuries old, that know about
24 Event— Mark
Climat Mark Butler, the ter for climate ch makes a forceful and cleaner energ action to save the will also make A for the massive gl vestors and create ene
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te Wars opposition minishange and energy, case for using less gy as part of global e planet. Doing so Australia attractive lobal market of ine new jobs in clean ergy.
Launch—3.30 for 4 Mark Aarons & John Grenville
The Show: Another Side of Santamaria’s Movement Launcher: Bret Walker SC Using secret archives of both The Movement & the Communist Party, ASIO’s massive files, and extensive oral history interviews, The Show exposes a previously unseen side of Santamaria’s Catholic Movement.
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Garsington Revisited In conv. with Paul Delprat This book updates Sandra Jobson Darroch’s original, acclaimed biography of Lady Ottoline Morrell, the flamboyant benefactor of the arts and Bloomsbury literary hostess, first published in 1976.
Escape from the Sun: Surviving the Tyrannies of Lenin, Hitler & Stalin When a son begins to question his parents’ judgement and decisions after World War II, he is overwhelmed by what he finds. To survive dictators you need to keep secrets even if this means deliberately disinforming your family.
Things My Father Taught Me Launcher: Joe Hildebrand Claire Halliday spoke with a range of well-known Australians who shared their stories about the way their dads shape their lives. From memories of deep warmth and closeness to stories of difficulty and tragedy—everyone’s story is unique.
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Sandra Jobson Darroch
monian War to see through the until now. It is no ay that the tribes of and were extirpatnd. Whole societies obliterated. This is story, discovered writing nearly two t redraws what we t our history.
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These Things are Real and With the Youngsters: Group Sestinas & Group Villanelles Launchers: Joanne Burns and A. J. Carruthers
25 Launch—6 for 6.30 Christine Townend
A Life for Animals Launcher: Hon Michael Kirby Christine Townend founded Animal Liberation Australia in 1976 after reading Peter Singer’s book of the same name. is the story of a life devoted to a radical idea: that animals should be treated with dignity and respect.
26 Launch—3.30 for 4 Petra Jungmanova
Launch—3.30 for 4 Life Rocks! Join Petra Jungmanova as she Bronwyn Bancroft guides you through a journey to livShapes of Australia ing a fully creative conscious life. In From boulders to bee hives, from this book you will learn how to fully mountains to coral, Bronwyn Banembrace the seasons in life, you’ll learn the steps for living an authentic croft explores the shapes that form our land. empowered life. This book is for anyone who wants to let go of the past and move forward into a beautiful vibrant future. In September Julian Burnside (Tuesday September 5th) Michele de
and Kretser (Tuesday September 26th)
Granny’s Good Reads with Sonia Lee
Bernie Gunther is my favourite anti-hero—and in Philip Kerr’s latest thriller, Prussian Blue, Bernie is in top form. He needs to have all his wits about him because in the first fifty pages he’s ordered by the Deputy Head of Stasi to murder a former lover by thallium poisoning and then almost hanged by Stasi thugs, but outwits them by escaping from the Blue Train to Paris, and ends up on the run with the thugs and the French police in hot pursuit. At one stage our intrepid hero buys an old bicycle, a beret and two strings of onions and pedals off in the direction of the German border to evade his pursuers. This novel begins in 1956 with flashbacks to 1939, when Bernie had to investigate a murder at the Berghof—Hitler’s mountain retreat—in a case involving Heydrich, Bormann, Hess and other Nazi luminaries. On that occasion he was given only the week before Hitler’s birthday to solve the murder and survived several attempts on his life. The two cases converge explosively in a stunning climax. Rusted–on fans will be delighted with this thriller and new readers will find themselves hunting out the previous 11 novels. Highly recommended.
I knew I was going to love Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent when I saw the cover—a William-Morris-inspired design promising further delights within. The novel is set in the 1890s, that energetic decade when discoveries in science challenged literal interpretations of the Bible, great improvements were made in medicine and mass education, and there were serious attempts to provide better housing for the working class. Cora Seaborne is no ordinary heroine. She wears men’s tweed coats and boots and tramps around the shore looking for ammonites and other fossils. After the death of her unpleasant husband she leaves London for Colchester, accompanied by her socialist companion Martha and her autistic son Francis. Cora hopes to further her scientific interests there and perhaps even become a great fossilist like Mary Anning. She hears on the grapevine that a fearsome serpent with leathery wings and a snapping beak, last seen in the Essex estuary in 1669, is back again terrorising the locals—who deal with the situation by hanging dead moles and horseshoes on Traitor’s Oak. Cora hopes, more scientifically, that the serpent will prove to be a living ichthyosaurus. He friends Charles and Katherine Ambrose introduce Cora to the local vicar, William Ransome, his consumptive wife Stella and three lively children who could happily grace the novels of Edith Nesbit. Cora and William strike sparks off each other, not only because there is an underlying attraction, but also because the vicar wants to defeat his flock’s superstition through faith rather than science. Others in the mix are Luke Garrett, a young surgeon who has fallen for Cora, and his friend George Spencer, who tries to spend his fortune wisely in a doomed attempt to win over Martha. Author Sarah Perry grew up in a strict Baptist household where popular culture was ignored, classical literature esteemed and the King James Bible read. She writes beautiful descriptions of landscapes and her graceful and intelligent prose is the perfect medium for this fin de siècle Gothic novel with concerns so very like our own. When I was twelve I read an extract from Les Misérables titled ‘The Bishop’s Candlesticks’ and pestered my parents until they bought me the novel, whose three worn volumes are still on my shelves. Back then I was utterly entranced by the stirring tale of ex-convict Jean Valjean, who turns his life around after the gift of the candlesticks, becoming the benevolent businessman who adopts the abandoned child Cosette and carries her lover Marius through the sewers of Paris in a heart-stopping finale. In The Novel of the Century David Bellos tells the story of the writing and publishing of Les Misérables. Victor Hugo was born in 1802 and first made a name though his poetry and then The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He began writing his magnum opus in 1845 and finished and published the first volume to great acclaim in 1862. On 7th April of that year publication took place simultaneously in Paris, London, and other major cities of Europe. Hugo had already received a massive advance, the publisher being sure that he would easily recover it in profits—which proved correct. The English version was, unfortunately, abridged, and a complete English text, by Australian translator Julie Rose, only became available 146 years later, in 2008. In this engrossing account Bellos carefully examines the language, geography and historicity of Les Misérables and discusses its many adaptations for screen, stage and television. Finally, he tells us, there are 365 chapters in the novel, so at a chapter a day the complete text can easily be read in a year. Sonia
Griffith Review 57: Perils of Populism (ed) Julianne Schultz
The latest issue of Australia’s most awarded quarterly is about making sense of the populist moment we are living in and includes essays about building a conscience, climate-change deniers, obstructive bureaucracy, religious cults and the enduring kindness of strangers. ($28, PB)
Released this month The Book of Paul: The Wit & Wisdom of Paul Keating Updated gift edition (ed) Russell Marks ($15, HB)
One Halal of a Story by Sam Dastyari ($30, PB) Named Sahand by his hippy Iranian parents, he changed his name to Sam to fit in with his schoolmates. But Sam Dastyari was always going to stand out. He joined the Labor Party when he was 16 and was elected as a senator only 13 years later. He brings his super-charged approach to life to his writing & the result is hilarious: part-memoir, part-political treatise & part-reflection on hard times. Learn about his cats, Lenin & Trotsky; how to deal with neighbours when their front lawns are under siege from the media thanks to your misdemeanour; and how the most dangerous mosh pits are to be found among parents at the school nativity play. This is a no-holds-barred look at the good & bad of family, politics, and being Sam Dastyari. Reboot: A Democracy Makeover to Empower Australia’s Voters by Richard Walsh ($25, PB)
If you want real change, change the system. Reboot offers a tantalising glimpse of a better future, where politicians work directly and closely with those who voted for them. Utopian? Disillusional? Richard Walsh makes a tour de force argument for doing away with the senate, embracing a republic and having a government where the prime minister and ministers are the best people in the country, not just chosen from the politicians who sit in the parliament.
The Enigmatic Mr Deakin by Judith Brett ($50, HB)
This new biography of Alfred Deakin, Australia’s 2nd prime minister, shines fresh light on one of the nation’s most significant figures. It brings out from behind the image of a worthy, bearded father of federation the gifted, passionate and intriguing man whose contributions continue to shape the contours of Australian politics. Political scientist Judith Brett scrutinises both Deakin’s public life & his inner life. Deakin’s private papers reveal a solitary, religious character who found distasteful much of the business of politics, with its unabashed self-interest, double-dealing & mediocre intellectual levels. And yet politics is where Deakin chose to do his life’s work. This is a masterly portrait of a complex man who was instrumental in creating modern Australia.
Credit Code Red by Peter Brain & Ian Manning
Economic analysts, Brain & Manning, argue that Australia’s prosperity has been bought by borrowing from its future—or, more specifically, by borrowing too much, for the wrong assets, and from the wrong lenders. Using international & local indicators to measure economic danger signs, they warn that, if current policies are not altered, the country will be at extreme risk of an economic calamity within several years. Due to Australia’s high & increasing levels of household debt, foreign debt, & low foreign-exchange reserves, the country will enter what they call a Code Red zone. Once that happens, it is highly unlikely that Australia will be able to avoid, at best, a severe & prolonged recession, or, at worst, an economic catastrophe. To avert this future, the authors propose alternative courses of action for authorities to take—reducing disposable incomes & imports, re-regulating the financial sector, and abandoning neo-liberal economic theory. They warn that what is politically unrealistic today may become too little, too late, by the early 2020s. ($30, PB)
Watching Out: Refelctions on Justice & Injustice by Julian Burnside ($30, PB)
In this successor volume to Watching Brief, barrister & human-rights advocate Julian Burnside explains the origins of our legal system, looks at the way it operates in practice, and points out ways in which does & doesn’t run true to its ultimate purposes. He examines fundamental legal principles, such as the presumption of innocence, explains why good barristers defend bad people, and sets out legal remedies for wrongs done to individuals & groups. Burnside covers Legal aid, class actions, assisted dying, counter-terrorism, unjust verdicts, and the treatment of asylum-seekers are some of the contentious subjects dealt with here. There is also a compelling chapter on the plight of people who live on the margins of society, bereft of legal remedies, and shocking examples of hate mail that Burnside’s defence of refugees has provoked. Eloquent in its defence of civil society, Watching Out is a beacon of legal liberalism in an intemperate age.
The Show: Another Side of Santamaria’s Movement by John Grenville & Mark Aarons ($33, PB)
In late 1942, on the recommendation of 26-year-old Bob Santamaria, Australia’s Catholic bishops took the first steps in creating a clandestine church organisation to smash the Communist Party’s massive trade union base. Santamaria based his Movement (also called The Show) completely on the Communist Party, copying its spectacularly successful union-organising machinery. Within a decade, it had defeated communist power in many major unions, & infiltrated the Labor Party, helping spark the great Labor Split of the mid-1950s. Ironically, in modelling the Movement on his enemy, Santamaria imported its most odious characteristic: Stalinism. He rapidly embraced the characteristics of a Stalinist leader, actively cultivating his own ‘cult of personality’. Over time, this infected The Movement, as it adopted authoritarian practices and imposed anti-democratic policies on the unions it controlled, mirroring the communists’ modus operandi. Weaving together a rich story from previously secret archives of both The Movement and the Communist Party, ASIO’s massive files, and extensive oral history interviews, The Show exposes a previously unseen side of Santamaria’s Catholic Movement.
The Death & Life of Australian Soccer by Joe Gorman ($32.95, PB)
Against Native Title: Conflict and creativity in outback Australia by Eve Vincent ($34.95, PB)
The Great Grand Final Heist: A Mysterious Tale of Tigers, Rabbitohs and an Unlikely Coaching Hero by Ian Heads ($29.95, PB)
Slow Catastrophes: Living with Drought in Australia by Rebecca Jones ($34.95, PB)
Joe Gorman chronicles the rise and fall of Australia’s first national football competition. Drawing on archival research and numerous interviews, he reveals the sport’s vibrant multicultural history, while also taking an unflinching look at the issues that plague the game. This is no ordinary sports book. It is the riveting story of Australia’s national identity, and offers new ways of understanding the great changes that have shaped our country.
This is about one group’s lived experience of a divisive native title claim in the outback town of Ceduna, where the native title claims process has thoroughly reorganised local Aboriginal identities over the course of the past decade. Senior Aboriginal woman Sue Haseldine’s extended family has experienced native title as an unwelcome imposition: something that has emanated from the state & out of which they gained only enemies. They rail against the logic of native title & oppose the extensive Cold War Games by Harry Blustein ($33, PB) Cold War Games shows vividly how the USSR and US exploited the mineral exploration underway in their country. Threaded throughout is the story of a Melbourne Olympic Games for propaganda, turning athletic fields, twice-yearly event called ‘rockhole recovery’—trips that involve numerous days of swimming pools and other sporting venues into battlefields in which travel to a series of permanent water sources & Dreaming sites—expressing the ways in which Sue Haseldine and her family continue to care for, & maintain connections each fought for supremacy. to, Country—outside of the native title process.
Balmain’s shock defeat of Souths in the 1969 Grand Final has been called the biggest boilover in rugby league history. The true story of the Tigers’ upset win has remained untold for almost 50 years. They were coached by Leo Nosworthy, a savvy operator who’d grown up around the Balmain docks. His team was full of character & characters, but lacked big names. The star-studded Rabbitohs were the two-time defending premiers. Famous names such as Provan, Churchill, Beetson & Sattler are prominent in the story. Shady figures linked to organised crime lurk in the background; this was Balmain in the 60s. The relationship between the two clubs had an edge that had simmered for 60 years. Huge sums were bet on the match. Tigers players were accused of faking injury, to slow the game down. The referee’s integrity was questioned. Ian Heads has trawled through archives and interviewed players, officials, fans and media to discover what really happened.
Dragon and Kangaroo by Robert Macklin ($33, PB) Robert Macklin traces a new history of the Chinese presence in & influence on Australia. His narrative reaches from pre-colonial times, to John Macarthur’s ‘coolie’ shepherds, the only Chinese bushranger, Sam Pu, and the multiple atrocities committed against the Chinese in the gold rush; through to the 20th century, where the two Australians—‘Morrison of Peking’ and William Donald— played a significant role in the downfall of the last Chinese emperor & the creation of the first republic, before WWII & decades of Cold War brinkmanship; to our current economic bonds & Australia’s role in the dangerous geopolitics of the South China Sea. Making Modern Australia: The Whitlam Government’s 21st Century Agenda (ed) Jenny Hocking
The Whitlam government propelled Australia out of the presumptions & certainties of 23 years of conservative government. It passed a record number of bills into law & became the most successful reformist government in Australia’s history. The Australian Assistance Plan generated networks of regional & community cooperation that remain today. Plans for energy infrastructure & self-sufficiency that would ensure the use of the nation’s resources for the common good, appear more & more visionary. The ground-breaking Royal Commission into Human Relationships is clearly a forerunner of the current royal commissions into institutionalised child abuse & family violence. This book reassesses the place of the Whitlam government, and its dismissal, in light of new material that continues to emerge from the personal papers of Sir John Kerr, and new analyses that challenge previous assessments. Contributors include Stuart Macintyre, Michelle Arrow, Eric Eklund, Murray Goot & more. ($29.95, PB)
The Crying Years: Australia’s Great War by Peter Stanley ($45, PB)
Climate change scenarios suggest that in the next 50 years global warming will increase both the frequency & severity of drought. Stories of drought are familiar to us, accompanied by images of dead sheep, dry dams, cracked earth, farmers leaving their lands & rural economic stagnation. Drought is indeed a catastrophe, played out slowly. But as Rebecca Jones reveals in this sensitive account of families living on the Australian land, the story of drought in this driest continent is as much about resilience, adaptation, strength of community, ingenious planning for & creative responses to, persistent absences of rainfall. Jones tells the histories of 8 farming families, stretching from the 1870s to the 1950s, focussing on private lives & inner thoughts, revealed by personal diaries. She also talks with contemporary farmers & pastoralists, greatly enriching our understanding of the human dimensions of drought, and providing us with vital resources to face our ecological future.
The Exile: The Flight of Osama bin Laden by Adrian Levy & Catherine Scott-Clark
Following the attacks on the Twin Towers, Osama bin Laden eluded intelligence services & Special Forces units for almost a decade. Using first-person testimony from bin Laden’s family & closest aides, The Exile chronicles this astonishing tale of evasion, collusion & isolation—revealing not only the frantic attack on Afghanistan by the US in their hunt for bin Laden but also how & why, when they found his family soon after, the Bush administration rejected the chance to seize them. It charts the formation of ISIS, and uncovers the wasted opportunity to kill its Al Qaeda-sponsored founder; it explores the development of the CIA’s torture programme; it details Iran’s secret shelter for bin Laden’s family & Al Qaeda’s military council; and it captures the power struggles, paranoia & claustrophobia within the Abbottabad house prior to the raid. The Exile is as authoritative as it is compelling, and essential reading for anyone concerned with history, security and future relations with the Islamic world. ($40, HB)
Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen by Guy Standing ($23, PB)
Shouldn’t everyone receive a stake in society’s wealth? Could we create a fairer world by granting a guaranteed income to all? What would this mean for our health, wealth & happiness? Basic Income is a regular cash transfer from the state, received by all individual citizens. It is an acknowledgement that everyone plays a part in generating the wealth currently enjoyed only by a few. Political parties across the world are now adopting it as official policy & the idea generates headlines every day. Guy Standing has been at the forefront of thought about Basic Income for the past 30 years. In this book he covers in detail its effects on the economy, poverty, work & labour; dissects & disproves the standard arguments against Basic Income; explains what we can learn from pilots across the world & illustrates exactly why a Basic Income has now become such an urgent necessity.
Peter Stanley has selected documents, photographs, artefacts, and images from the The National Library’s war memorabilia—drawings, prints, postcards, advertisements, souvenirs, song-sheets, posters, leaflets, maps, and cartoons—which together tell stories of battles overseas with Turks & Germans, and battles at home, for Optimism Over Despair by Noam Chomsky & against conscription, over ‘loyalty’ & ‘disloyalty’, and the war’s We have two choices. We can be pessimistic, give up, and help many imposts on Australia’s people. ensure that the worst will happen. Or we can be optimistic, grasp the opportunities that surely exist, and maybe help make A Charter of Rights for Australia, 4th Edition the world a better place. Not much of a choice. From peerless by George Williams & Daniel Reynolds ($35, PB) political thinker Noam Chomsky comes an exploration of risAustralia does not have a bill or charter of rights, which means there ing neoliberalism, the refugee crisis in Europe, the Black Lives is no comprehensive law that enshrines human rights in Australia— Matter movement, the dysfunctional US electoral system, and even though these laws are standard in the rest of the developed the prospects and challenges of building a movement for radical world. So what does this mean for the rights of Australian citizens? change. ($15, PB) In this fully revised 4th edition George Williams & Daniel Reynolds show that human rights are not adequately protected in Aus- Economyths: 11 Ways Economics Gets it Wrong by David Orrell tralia, contrary to what many of us think. Using some pressing ex- Applied mathematician David Orrell explains how the economy is the result of comamples, they demonstrate how the rights of people at the margins plex & unpredictable processes; how risk models go astray; why the economy is not of our society are violated in often shocking ways. Several states & rational or fair; why no woman (until 2009) had ever won the Nobel Prize for ecoterritories have adopted their own charters of rights, or have a charter well underway. This nomics; why financial crashes are less Black Swans than part of the landscape; and, book’s urgent argument is that the time has come to adopt a charter at the federal level. finally, how new ideas in mathematics, psychology & environmentalism are helping to reinvent economics. ($25, PB) 15
The Hungry Empire: How Britain’s Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World by Lizzie Collingham ($60, HB)
The glamorous daughter of an African chief shares a pineapple with a slave trader. Surveyors in British Columbia eat tinned Australian rabbit. Diamond prospectors in Guyana prepare an iguana curry. To be British was to eat the world. The Empire allowed Britain to harness the globe’s edible resources from cod fish & salt beef to spices, tea & sugar. By the 20th century the wheat to make the working man’s loaf of bread was supplied by Canada & his Sunday leg of lamb had been fattened on New Zealand’s grasslands. In twenty meals The Hungry Empire tells the story of how the British created a global network of commerce and trade in foodstuffs that moved people and plants from one continent to another, re-shaping landscapes and culinary tastes.
The Pursuit of Power: Europe, 1815–1914 by Richard J. Evans ($30, PB)
The Pursuit of Power draws on a lifetime of thinking about 19th century Europe to create a rich, surprising & entertaining panorama of a continent undergoing drastic change. Richard Evans reignites the sense of wonder that permeated this remarkable era, as rulers & ruled navigated overwhelming cultural, political & technological changes. It was a time where what was seen as modern with amazing speed appeared old-fashioned, where huge cities sprang up in a generation, new European countries were created & where, for the first time, humans could communicate almost instantly over thousands of miles. Evans gives full coverage to the revolutions, empire-building & wars that marked the 19th century, but his book is about so much more, whether it is illness, serfdom, religion or philosophy.
Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India by Shashi Tharoor ($33, PB)
In the 18th century, India’s share of the world economy was as large as Europe’s. By 1947, after 2 centuries of British rule, it had decreased six-fold. Beyond conquest & deception, the Empire blew rebels from cannon, massacred unarmed protesters, entrenched institutionalised racism, and caused millions to die from starvation. British imperialism justified itself as enlightened despotism for the benefit of the governed, but Shashi Tharoor takes on & demolishes this position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial ‘gift’—from the railways to the rule of law—was designed in Britain’s interests alone. He goes on to show how Britain’s Industrial Revolution was founded on India’s deindustrialisation, and the destruction of its textile industry. ‘Tharoor’s impassioned polemic slices straight to the heart of the darkness that drives all empires ... he demolishes Raj nostalgia, laying bare the grim, and high, cost of the British Empire for its former subjects. An essential read.’ —Nilanjana Roy
India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha
Born against a background of privation & civil war, divided along lines of caste, class, language & religion, independent India emerged, somehow, as a united & democratic country. Ramachandra Guha writes compellingly of the myriad protests & conflicts that have peppered the history of free India. Moving between history & biography, the story of modern India is peopled with extraordinary characters. Guha gives fresh insights into the lives & public careers of those long-serving Prime Ministers, Jawaharlal Nehru & Indira Gandhi. He also writes about lesser-known Indians— peasants, tribals, women, workers & musicians. Massively researched and elegantly written, this 10th anniversary edition, is revised and expanded to bring the narrative up to the present. ($45, PB)
East Indies: The 200 year struggle between Portugal, the Dutch East India Co. and the English East India Co. for supremacy in the Eastern Seas by Ian Burnet ($29.95, PB)
Driven by the search for spices, silks, gold, silver, porcelains & other oriental goods, the Portuguese trading monopoly was challenged by the Dutch East India Company & then the English East India Company, the world’s first joint stock & multi-national trading companies. The struggle for supremacy between the Portuguese, the Dutch & the English ranged across the Eastern Seas & in the settlements of Goa, Malacca, Ambon, Macao, Canton, Nagasaki, Solor, Batavia, Macassar, Johor & Singapore for 250 years. Ian Burnet follows the trade winds, the trade routes, and the port cities across the East Indies & the Orient to tell a history of high finance, piracy, greed, ambition, double dealing & exploitation.
Now in B Format Timekeepers: How the World Became Obsessed With Time by Simon Garfield, $23 Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s by Anne Sebba, $23
Science & Nature
Sunlight & Seaweed: An Argument for How to Feed, Power and Clean Up the World by Tim Flannery ($20, PB)
Climate change, food production & toxic pollution present huge challenges, but, as Tim Flannery shows, we already have innovative, practical & inspiring solutions. Solar energy has, until now, been limited to supplying power only when the sun is shining. But new technology using concentrated sunlight to provide intense heat energy that can be effectively stored overcomes this problem, providing clean renewable power around the clock. Further, the large amounts of power produced can be used to tackle the issue of feeding the world’s growing population—by enabling energy-intense methods of purifying polluted land for agricultural production. Flannery explores the potential of kelp, a fast-growing sea algae, to be used on a large scale to convert carbon from the air to a non-gaseous form, reducing levels of atmospheric carbon. With accessible and engaging explanations of the fascinating science behind these technologies, as well as accounts of the systems already in operation around the world, Sunlight and Seaweed is an enlightening and uplifting view of the future.
Adapt: How We Can Learn from Nature’s Strangest Inventions by Amina Khan ($30, PB)
Amina Khan explores the exciting new science of biomimicry, which shows how we can borrow designs from nature to solve complex problems. The field is growing rapidly & everyone from architects to biologists to nano-technicians to engineers are paying attention. Whether it’s maximizing wind power by arranging turbines to imitate schools of fish or aping the skin of a cuttlefish to make military camouflage gear, nature is already inspiring technological breakthroughs. If a fly’s eye can see without hundreds of fancy lenses, and termite mounds can stay cool in the desert without air conditioning, it stands to reason that nature can teach us a thing or two about technology & innovation.
101 Dilemmas for the Armchair Scientist: How Do Headphone Wires Get So Tangled? by Joel Levy
Is running always faster than walking? If you froze your hand in liquid nitrogen and hit it with a hammer, would it shatter? Could you survive in a falling elevator by jumping as it hit the ground? Why can’t a fly get out of the toilet? Why can an ant survive in a microwave; why do some people sneeze when they see bright light; and why does it takes longer for a ball to come down than go up. This fascinating foray into the world of science tackles some perplexing problems that even the brainiest of scientists can’t figure out. ($20, PB)
It’s Alive! Artificial Intelligence from the Logic Piano to Killer Robots by Toby Walsh ($35, PB)
The development of AI is an adventure as bold & ambitious as any that humans have attempted. And the truth is that thinking machines are already an indispensable part of our lives. In countless ways, with every passing day, AI is shaping & reshaping our world. But where will AI technologies take us in the future? Will thinking machines destroy our jobs? Could their intelligence surpass our own? Could the rise of AI threaten the very existence of humanity? Toby Walsh takes us on a surprising & inspiring journey through the story of Artificial Intelligence—revealing how it is already transforming our societies, our economies & even ourselves—and makes ten predictions about what it will have achieved by the year 2050.
The Wonder of Birds by Jim Robbins ($35, PB)
Birds, Jim Robbins posits, are our most vital connection to nature. They compel us to look to the skies, literally & metaphorically; draw us out into nature to seek their beauty; and let us experience vicariously what it is like to be weightless. Birds have helped us in many of our endeavours—learning to fly, providing clothing & food, and helping us better understand the human brain & body. From the Australian brush turkey, which helped scientists discover how dinosaurs first flew, the eagles in Washington DC that rehabilitated the troubled teenagers placed in charge of their care, to the superb lyrebird, whose song is so sophisticated it can mimic koalas, crying babies & chainsaws, Robbins shows our close relationship with birds, the ways in which they are imperilled & how we must fight to save them for the sake of both the planet & humankind.
Freshwater Turtles of Australia by John Cann & Ross Sadlier ($150, HB)
Australia is home to a diverse freshwater turtle fauna including more than 25 species & an array of side-necked turtle subspecies. The biology & ecology of Australian freshwater turtles is complex & a number of species are of particular conservation concern. Many affected species are found on Australia’s east coast, where the river systems are most heavily modified due to the pressures of development. This beautifully illustrated & comprehensive monograph based on John Cann’s highly respected Australian Freshwater Turtles (1998) reviews new information on the biology of Australian chelid turtles, presents recent perspectives & insights into their history & taxonomy, and provides an introduction to the freshwater turtles of New Guinea and Irian Jaya to Australia’s north.
The Animals Among Us: The New Science of Anthrozoology by John Bradshaw ($45, HB)
In this hugely enjoyable work, John Bradshaw examines modern humans’ often contradictory relationship with the animal world. Why, despite the apparent irrationality of keeping pets, do half of today’s American households, and almost that figure in the UK, have at least one pet (triple the rate of the 1970s)? Then again, why do we care for some animals in our homes, and designate others only as a source of food? Through these & many other questions, Bradshaw shows that our relationship with animals is nothing less than an intrinsic part of human nature. An affinity for animals drove our evolution and now, without animals around us, we risk losing an essential part of ourselves.
I’m okay! A memoir about telling lies and being on the brink
Now in B Format Where Song Began: Australia’s Birds and How They Changed the World by Tim Low, $25 Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal, $25 Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach, $20 Ethics in the Real World: 87 Brief Essays On Things That Matter by Peter Singer, $25 The Ring of Truth: The Wisdom of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung by Roger Scruton, $25 A Little History of Religion by Richard Holloway, $25
Philosophy & Religion
Stranger In A Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem by George Prochnik ($50, HB)
George Prochnik revisits the life & work of Gershom Scholem—vividly conjuring Scholem’s upbringing in Berlin, and bringing to life Scholem’s transformative friendship with Walter Benjamin, the critic & philosopher. In doing so, he reveals how Scholem’s frustration with the bourgeois ideology of Germany during WW1 led him to discover Judaism, Kabbalah, and finally Zionism, as potent counter-forces to Europe’s suicidal nationalism. Prochnik’s own years in the Holy Land in the 1990s brings him to question the stereotypical intellectual & theological constructs of Jerusalem, and to rediscover the city as a physical place, rife with the unruliness and fecundity of nature. Prochnik ultimately suggests that a new form of ecological pluralism must now inherit the historically energizing role once played by Kabbalah and Zionism in Jewish thought.
Pontius Pilate: Deciphering a Memory by Aldo Schiavone ($35.95, HB)
The only historic figure outside the early Christian tradition to whom the Gospels ascribe a dialogue with Jesus is the 1st century Roman prefect Pontius Pilate. Presiding over the trial & execution of Jesus, Pilate is a figure who has straddled history & legend for over 2000 years. Aldo Schiavone presents a comprehensive, revisionist biography of Pilate that meticulously reconstructs the social, religious & political context in which his fateful encounter with Jesus took place. Drawing on a wealth of original research, Schiavone weaves together the sources, from epigraphs to the Gospels, from Josephus to Tacitus and Philon, to create a portrait that approaches its subject as if for the first time, without any other intent than to try to explain what happened.
The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less is More—More or Less by Emrys Westacott ($57.95, HB)
Emrys Westacott examines why, for more than two millennia, so many philosophers and people with a reputation for wisdom have been advocating frugality and simple living as the key to the good life. He also looks at why most people have ignored them, but argues that, in a world facing environmental crisis, it may finally be time to listen to the advocates of a simpler way of life. The Wisdom of Frugality explores what simplicity means, why it’s supposed to make us better and happier, and why, despite its benefits, it has always been such a hard sell. In a philosophically informed reflection rather than a polemic, Westacott ultimately argues that we will be better off—as individuals and as a society—if we move away from the materialistic individualism that currently rules.
Knowing the Score: How Sport Teaches Us About Philosophy (and Philosophy About Sport) by David Papineau ($33. PB)
Why do sports competitors choke? How can Roger Federer select which shot to play in 400 milliseconds? Why do opposing professional cyclists help each other? Why does test cricket run in families? Why is punching tolerated in rugby but not in soccer? David Papineau shows that these questions all raise long-standing philosophical issues. Using metaphysics, ethics, the philosophy of mind & political philosophy, as well as numerous other philosophical disciplines, philosopher, enthusiastic amateur sportsman and omnivorous sports fan, Papineau, offers a book that ranges far and wide through the sporting world—adding a new dimension to the way we think about sport.
Magic and mystery from Australia’s favourite storyteller, Emily Rodda
A gripping memoir of life in Jerusalem from one of Australia’s most experienced Middle East correspondents
Psychology The Female Mind: A User’s Guide by Kathryn Abel ($35, PB)
This is an up-to-date overview of how gender & sexuality affect mental health and will help women to self-identify & selfmanage the symptoms of mental ill health. It gives information on the modern woman’s place in the ever-changing social landscape, examining the influences of cultural & historical factors as well as discussing the physical science of the female brain & how it functions differently. It covers a wide range of specific mental health disorders—many of which are more common in women—and includes real-life case studies, the latest treatments & where to find further help & support.
Taming Toxic People: The Science of Identifying & Dealing with Psychopaths at Work by David Gillespie ($33, PB)
The everyday psychopath is at best disruptive, and at worst highly dangerous to your day-to-day life. At a societal level, their presence in powerful positions can be disastrous. Psychopaths have always been around, Gillespie argues, but were traditionally constrained by social disapproval. But as community-building institutions dissolve, so does our ability to use social tools to constrain the psychopaths among us. Taming Toxic People is a practical guide to restraining the difficult person in your life, be it your boss, your spouse or a parent. It is also a serious and meticulously researched warning if we value a free and well-functioning society: if we don’t understand and act to manage psychopathic behaviour, Trump is only the beginning.
It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are And How To End The Cycle by Mark Wolynn ($30, PB)
The answers to some of our greatest life problems often lie not within our own story, but in the experiences of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and extended family. Even if the person who suffered the original trauma has died, or the story has been forgotten or silenced, memory & feelings can live on in those in the present. And while inherited physical traits are easily discernible, this emotional legacy is often hidden, encoded in everything from gene expression to everyday language. A pioneer in this field, Mark Wolynn focuses on identifying & breaking inherited family patterns. This is an accessible, pragmatic & prescriptive guide to the method with which Wolynn has helped thousands of people reclaim their lives. 17
Studies & Criticism The Patterns of Friendship Cultural You Play The Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Princesses,
Richmal Crompton was best known as the author of the classic Just William stories, about the irrepressible and unrepentant William Brown—these books have been favourites of many since they appeared in the 1920s. However, she also wrote over 40 books for adults, long forgotten and now mainly out of print. So I fell on Family Roundabout, when I saw it had been republished by the excellent Persephone Books, and was completely taken with it. Starting in 1920, and set in a village very similar to William’s stamping ground, it tells the story of two very English families, each headed by a widowed mother. They each have five children, but are polar opposites in their approach to parenting, and most other aspects of life. Their children intermingle, mainly through marriage and engagement, and with varying degrees of success. This is such an interesting novel. It’s very easy to read and written with a wonderfully clear structure—there is very little back story to the characters, so the reader feels immediately amongst them as the dialogue is so wonderful, and the setting so vivid. The female characters are particularly believable, with their ever present needlework—sewing, mending, embroidering—all this handiwork runs like a thread through the narrative. There is also a very interesting theme of writing, with one character who is an aspiring writer, and another who is a successful author, both in love with the same girl, and neither of whom are very appealing. World War 2 is looming by the end of the book, and the sense of change is very present.
Meanwhile, in another English village at the same time, in ‘Real Life’, Tirzah Garwood was writing her autobiography. Tirzah was married to the English artist Eric Ravilious, and together, and with several friends they became incredibly prolific artists, chronicling the rural life they were living. There has been a resurgence of interest in these artists, partly because they were so willing to put their collective hand to many projects—from children’s handkerchief designs, to book covers, to large beautiful murals—and their art has more than stood the test of time. Long Live Great Bardfield: The autobiography of Tirzah Garwood, also published by Persephone Books, is an account of these artists’ lives. Not written for publication, but as a record for her children while she was recuperating from surgery, this book is quite extraordinary—for the way it’s written, for its content, and for the indelible impression it leaves on the reader. Garwood has a remarkable recall of her childhood, and for the tiniest, most amusing details. She is extremely astute and perceptive, and writes about the many people she has met—as an artist in her own right, and as Eric Ravilious’ wife. They must have been a compelling couple, people were always falling in love with them both—she writes about these complications without rancour or blame, and with utmost candour. I was reminded of the writing of Barbara Comyns when I started reading this book, but ultimately I realised Tirzah Garwood had her own voice, and this autobiography was not like anything I’ve ever read before. The book is illustrated with the author’s woodblock pictures, black and white photographs, and with fabulous endpapers by the artist. After reading Long Live Great Bardfield, I wanted to know more about Eric Ravilious, so I am reading Ravilious & Co: the Pattern of Friendship by Andy Friend. This is a very well researched and comprehensive book about Ravilious and his extensive circle of friends and fellow artists. The book is beautifully produced and illustrated with photography, patterned papers, and really excellent reproductions of many paintings, illustrations and designs. Part of the appeal of this volume lies in the fact that most of the work of the artists was done for reproduction, so it sits well in book form. Ravilious often worked in tandem with Edward Bawden and it’s sometimes hard to distinguish their work; sadly Ravilious died young in WW2, but Bawden continued until the 1980s, with his work influencing many generations of illustrators. Louise
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby ($29, PB)
Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making ‘adult’ budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette—she’s ‘35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something’—detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms—hang in there for the Costco loot—Samantha Irby is as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.
Trainwrecks & Other Man-Made Women by Carina Chocano ($33, PB)
Part memoir, part cultural commentary, part call to arms to women everywhere, You Play The Girl flips the perspective on the past 35 years in pop culture—from the progressive 70s, through the backlash 80s, the triumphalist 90s & the pornified ‘bro culture’ of the early 21st century—providing a firsthand chronicle of the experience of growing up inside this funhouse. Always incisive, Chocano brilliantly shows that our identities are more iterative than we think, and certainly more complex than anything we see on any kind of screen.
Joyce in Court by Adrian Hardiman ($38, HB)
Adrian Hardiman has spent years researching James Joyce’s obsession with the legal system, and the myriad references to notorious trials in Ulysses & Finnegans Wake. Joyce was fascinated by & felt passionately about miscarriages of justice, and his view of the law was coloured by the potential for grave injustice when policemen & judges are given too much power. Hardiman recreates the colourful, dangerous world of the Edwardian courtrooms of Dublin & London, where the death penalty loomed over many trials. He brings to life the eccentric barristers, corrupt police & omnipotent judges who made the law so entertaining & so horrifying. This is a highly readable evocation of a vanished world, though Joyce’s scepticism about the way evidence is used in criminal trials is still highly relevant.
Songlines & Faultlines: Epic Walks of the Red Centre by Glenn Morrison ($28, PB)
Visitors to the Red Centre come looking for the real Australia. What they find is both beautiful & disturbing: wilderness, desire, an ancient philosophy of home, and the confusing countenance of the Australian frontier, a meeting place of black & white, ancient and modern. Songlines and Fault Lines explores the stories of six epic walks that shaped a nation: a journey of Aboriginal Dreamtime ancestors; John Stuart’s south–north trek across the continent; anthropologist TGH Strehlow’s childhood journey down the Finke River; conservationist Arthur Groom’s reimagining of the country’s heart as tourist play-ground; Bruce Chatwin’s seminal travel text about the Centre & Eleanor Hogan’s portrait of Alice Springs, a troubled town. Retracing the legendary pathways & stories of the Australian centre, Glenn Morrison finds new answers to age-old queries.
A Universe of Ones Own by Antonia Hayes ($10, PB) Antonia Hayes’ adventures in language began when, as a young child, she was a word sponge, soaking up speech & phrases & the sometimes haunted spaces in between. She became a natural bookworm, and when her debut novel, Relativity, was published, she again turned to literature for guidance & consolation, this time in the form of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. Woolf wished for financial independence & a room of one’s own in which to write, but Hayes, writing almost 90 years later, argues here that maybe that isn’t enough. Perhaps women writers need a whole universe of their own. Buoyed by hope & a lifetime of language, Hayes tells us how we can dare to disturb the universe before A Room of One’s Own turns 100. Post-Truth : Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It by Evan Davis
Low-level dishonesty is rife everywhere, in the form of exaggeration, selective use of facts, economy with the truth, careful drafting—from Trump & the Brexit debate to companies that tell us ‘your call is important to us’. How did we get to a place where bullshit is not just rife but apparently so effective that it’s become the communications strategy of our times? Evan Davis steps inside the panoply of deception employed in all walks of life & assesses how it has come to this. He sets out the surprising logic which explains why bullshit is both pervasive & persistent. Why are company annual reports often nonsense? Why should you not trust estate agents? And above all, why political campaigning has become the art of stretching the truth? Drawing on behavioural science, economics, psychology and his knowledge of the media, Davis ends by providing readers with a tool-kit to handle everyday deceptions, and charts a route through the muddy waters of the post-truth age. ($35, PB)
Indigenous Transnationalism: Essays on Carpentaria (ed) Lynda Ng ($39.95, PB)
This book brings together eight essays by critics from seven different countries, each analysing Alexis Wright’s novel Carpentaria from a distinct national perspective. Taken together, these diverse voices highlight themes from the novel that resonate across cultures and continents: the primacy of the land; the battles that indigenous peoples fight for their language, culture & sovereignty; a concern with the environment & the effects of pollution. At the same time, by comparing the Aboriginal experience to that of other indigenous peoples, they essays demonstrate the means by which a transnational approach can highlight resistance to, or subversion of, national prejudices.
Now in Paperback Play All: A Bingewatcher’s Notebook by Clive James, $20
The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen: Awesome Female Characters From Comic Book History by Hope Nicholson ($45, HB)
Think comic books can’t feature strong female protagonists? Think again! This book introduces the most fascinating exemplars of the powerful, compelling, entertaining, and heroic female characters who’ve populated comic books from the very beginning. This spectacular sisterhood includes costumed crimebusters like Miss Fury, super-spies like Tiffany Sinn, sci-fi pioneers like Gale Allen, and even kid troublemakers like Little Lulu. The book contains vintage art, publication details, a decade-by-decade survey of industry trends & women’s roles in comics, and spotlights on iconic favourites like Wonder Woman & Ms. Marvel.
House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835–1870 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich ($65, HB)
Author of A Midwife’s Tale, winner of the Pulitzer Prize & the Bancroft Prize for History, delivers a revelatory, nuanced & deeply intimate look at the world of early Mormon women. Through more than two dozen 19th century diaries, letters, albums, minute-books & quilts left by first-generation Latter-day Saints Ulrich tells the story of the earliest days of the women of Mormon ‘plural marriage’, whose right to vote in the state of Utah was given to them by a Mormon-dominated legislature as an outgrowth of polygamy in 1870, 50 years ahead of the vote nationally ratified by Congress, and who became political actors in spite of, or because of, their marital arrangements. Writing of this small group of Mormon women who’ve previously been seen as mere names and dates, Ulrich has reconstructed these textured, complex lives to give a fulsome portrait of who these women were and of their ‘sex radicalism’—the idea that a woman should choose when and with whom to bear children.
Simple Forms: Legend, Saga, Myth, Riddle, Saying, Case, Memorabile, Fairytale, Joke by André Jolles
Legend, saga, myth, riddle, proverb, case, memorabile, fairy tale, joke: Andre Jolles understands each of these nine ‘simple forms’ as the reflection in language of a distinct mode of human engagement with the world and thus as a basic structuring principle of literary narrative. Long recognized as a classic of genre theory, Simple Forms, first published in 1929, has been called a significant precursor to structuralist and narratological approaches to literature. Like Vladimir Propp’s Morphology of the Folktale, with which it is often compared, Jolles’s work is not only foundational for the later development of genre theory but of continuing relevance today. A major influence on literary genre studies since its publication, Simple Forms is now available for the first time in English. ($35, PB)
The Secret History of Jane Eyre: How Charlotte Bronte Wrote Her Masterpiece by John Pfordresher
In this perceptive book, John Pfordresher shares the enthralling story of how Charlotte Bronte wrote her masterpiece and why she tried so vehemently to disown it. What few people knew then—and even fewer know today—was that as she tended her invalid father and held the family together, Bronte was re-imagining her experiences as a governess, her fears for her dissolute brother and her devastating passion for a married man into an immersive, brilliant novel. By aligning the details of Bronte’s life with the timeless characters and plot of Jane Eyre, Pfordresher reveals the remarkable parallels between one of literature’s most beloved heroines and its vulnerable and deeply human creator and why Bronte didn’t want those parallels exposed. ($38.95, HB)
Language & Writing
How to Speak Any Language Fluently: Fun, Stimulating and Effective Methods to Help Anyone Learn Languages Faster by Alex Rawlings ($35, PB)
This book will give you the skills to learn to speak any language with confidence. It uses techniques that can easily be incorporated into your daily life, while making use of whatever resources you have available. Whether you are starting out with your first foreign language or wishing to add to your repertoire, you’ll find a wealth of easy-to-follow advice and achievable goals. Discover how to: Speak with greater confidence & accuracy; Effectively learn vocabulary & grammar; Use time on the internet & social media to learn a language; Read real books, websites & articles in a foreign language; Pass exams that certify your language skills.
Totes Ridictionary 2: The Super, Revised, on Fleek Edition by Balthazar Cohen ($30, HB)
Following the same format that made Cohen’s original so cray-cray presh, Totes Ridictionary 2 is packed with even more hilarious illustrations, internet-addicted pets, and smart-phone-savvy pop art than its predecessor—as well as the imagined Twitter conversations of history & literature’s most argumentative couples. It also features Cohen’s classic glossary of terms, but beefed up with added etymological goodness and all the hottest new lingo online, to help you sort your FOMO from your YOLO, your bae from just any old ratchet, how to be an unreadable reader—and just when you should be bidding Felisha, ‘bye’.
s d d w n n a o 2 H R Ancient Libraries and Bookshops
The World of Books in Classical Antiquity by AH L Pinner (A.W. Sijthoff, Leiden, 1948) 64pp. b/w plates and illustrations. Index. Second Impression. Hardcover. No dustjacket. Age spotting and browning on front cover edges and boards. Internally Very Good condition. $40.00. To this teenage book devotee, one of the most memorable scenes in the 1963 film Cleopatra is the portrayal of the destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria. During Julius Caesar’s (100–44BCE) occupation of the city in 48BCE he set fire to the Egyptian fleet in the harbour. The blaze reached the city near the shore and destroyed several buildings, including the library. While Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra rages at Caesar (Rex Harrison), a nearby scholar intones the loss to posterity: ‘Aristotle’s manuscripts, the Platonic commentaries, the plays, the histories. The testament of the Hebrew God—the Book of Books!’ Since the raw material of the ancient Egyptian scroll was the Papyrus reed it must have been a truly astonishing conflagration. The Great Library was founded in c.295 BCE by Demetrius of Phalarium, under the patronage of Pharaoh Ptolemy I (323–283BCE). They envisaged a library that would house a copy of every book in the world, an institution to rival those of Athens. By the reign of Ptolemy III (246–222 BCE) it was decreed that all ships docking at the port should surrender their manuscripts to the authorities. Copies were then made by official scribes and the originals were kept in the Library. The political purpose of the Great Library was to aid in the Hellenizing of Egypt, thus it was truly unique in that the writings of the country in which it was built are not represented at all. Contemporaries estimated the Great Library held somewhere between 500, 000 to 700,000 books before its destruction. This does not seem an exaggeration when one considers that it contained the whole of Greek Literature, of which the greater part has not survived. To replace some of the loss, Roman general Marc Antony later gifted Cleopatra with 200,000 books taken from the library of the Kings of Pergamon. This short, entertaining monograph has five chapters covering such topics as: the production of papyrus scrolls and parchment codices, the Greek and Roman book trade and its publishers, ancient libraries and a chapter on bookshops in Athens and Rome. Stranded in Athens in 412 BCE, after a shipwreck, the philosopher Zeno takes a stroll around the harbour, sees a bookshop and wanders in where he encounters the works of Socrates for the first time. Ancient Rome was full of libraries and bookshops. Many were located next to the heated public baths—the best of both worlds! In the absence of printing, book production in the ancient world was truly labour intensive. Several scribes would be required to copy whatever volume was needed, reproducing existing texts to preserve it or to obtain one for a purchaser in the first place. When authors made inadvertent errors that were only discovered when the work was already in circulation the process of correcting them could be expensive and fraught. The Roman politician and author Cicero, having made a mistake about someone mentioned in a published speech, writes a frantic letter to Atticus, his publisher and asks him to employ three specific scribes to have the offending name crossed out in every copy, suggesting a very large ‘print run’. Martial, the Latin poet and creator of the modern epigram, was not shy about advertising his works and where they could be purchased: Near Caesar’s Forum is a bookshop where both doors are plastered with advertisements...Go in and ask for my book. The owner – his name is Atrectus – will be extremely pleased to get a fine copy of Martial out of his first or second shelf and let you have it for five denarii. Not an inexpensive purchase, considering that 1 denarius would pay a skilled craftsman—a carpenter—for a 10-hour day’s work. To Martial we also owe the word plagiarism. The poet complains that his name and work is continually being pirated by other authors in worthless imitations. In Epigram I.53 Martial dubs these literary thieves ‘plagiarius’, from the noun plagium, meaning kidnappers. By this time bibliomania had taken hold among the upper classes of Roman society and Roman satirists made merry with the type of nouveax riche collector that was now commonplace. The writer Lucian scolded those book collectors who gloated over possessing thousands of volumes without having read anything but the titles. Their library is ‘nothing but a playground for mice, a home for moths and a terror to the servants’. A final thought sees St Jerome, Christian theologian and historian, describing a still common dilemma for many bibliophiles on the move some sixteen centuries later: When long ago I decided to leave home, parents, sisters and relatives, for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, and to betake myself for pious deeds to Jerusalem, I could nevertheless not bring myself to deprive myself of my library which I had collected with so much trouble and labour in Rome. Stephen
LIZZIE BORDEN TOOK AN AXE . . . The History and Haunting of Lizzie Borden by Rebecca Pittman ($61, PB).
This August marks the 125th Anniversary of one of the most notorious criminal cases in North American history: ‘Maggie, Maggie! Come down quick! Father’s dead! Someone’s come in and killed him…Go for Dr Bowen as soon as you can. I think Father is hurt.’ Thursday 4 August 1892. Fall River, Massachusetts. The Borden family house at 92 Second St. A hot, sultry, late summer morning. At about 11am, Bridget Sullivan, the family maid is awoken from her mid-morning nap by the cries from the youngest daughter, Lizzie (1860–1927). The 69-year-old patriarch Andrew Jackson Borden has been murdered. He had been taking a nap on a sofa in the parlour after returning from business. Struck a dozen times in the head with a hatchet, Borden is hit with such force and savagery that his face is virtually obliterated. Unknown to Bridget, as she runs across the street to fetch the doctor, the body of Lizzie’s stepmother, Abby Gray Borden is also upstairs in the guest room near the bed she was in the process of making. She has also been stuck on the head some 19 times with a sharp implement. It is later estimated that Abby was murdered between 9.00 and 10.30am and Andrew between 10.30 and 11am. Lizzie’s older sister Emma is not in the house on the day of the murders, she is visiting cousins at Fairhaven, about 20kms away. On 8 August 1892, an inquest is held. Lizzie gives contradictory answers to her whereabouts and actions in the house on the day of the murders. She is the only suspect and three days later is arrested for murder. Lizzie’s trial, held at New Bedford, Massachusetts, begins on 5 June 1893 and is a media sensation. The official transcript runs to nearly 2,000 pages. Hundreds of newspapers report on every detail of the often lurid proceedings. The battered skulls of Andrew and Sarah Borden are produced in court, causing Lizzie to faint. There are prosecution accusations that Lizzie may have committed the murders while naked, to explain the lack of one type of incriminating evidence on her clothing. Her earlier contradictory answers to questions are ruled inadmissible due to her regular taking of morphine—as a calming agent—in the days after the murders. Lizzie never took the stand in her own defence. On 20 June 1893, a 12-man jury acquits Lizzie Borden after 90 minutes of deliberation. No one else is ever charged with the crime.
Ostracised by many—but by no means all—in the local community, Lizzie changes her name to Lizbeth and remains in Fall River the rest of her life. She and Emma inherit their father’s estate—some $300,000—worth $10 million today. Lizzie purchases a large, new house—Maplecroft—in one of the town’s most fashionable neighbourhoods, where she lives with Emma. Lizzie has friends—to her domestic employees’ families she is known as ‘Aunt Lizzie’. Others date from her childhood. A loyal band who remain devoted to her, and who are certain of her innocence. At first, she spends her days travelling and theatre going. Later, she finds solace in books and caring for animals. Her continuing notoriety makes her evermore reclusive. Loneliness and depression take their toll over the years. Emma is often absent, travelling. In 1897, Lizzie is accused of—but not tried for—shoplifting. In 1905, the sisters become estranged over Lizzie’s close relationship with Nance O’Neill a famed stage and silent film actress. Emma leaves the house. The sisters never meet again. Both die within nine days of each other in June 1927. They are buried beside their parents in the family grave at the Fall River Oak Grove Cemetery. Why was Lizzie Borden acquitted? Due to the lack of any physical evidence linking her to the murders. A hatchet was discovered in the basement of the Borden home, but its blade was clean and the handle had been broken off and rubbed with dust—to suggest age and disuse? Lizzie admitted to burning an allegedly paintstained dress shortly after the murders. Fingerprints were not taken at the crime scene—this detection aid was still in its infancy. It was discovered by police that Lizzie unsuccessfully attempted to buy poisonous liquid prussic acid some days before the murders—to clean some dirty clothes she claimed. Finally, sheer incredulity played its part. How could a 32-year-old spinster—and a Sunday School teacher—commit such dreadful murders?
There have been numerous other suspects and theories suggested over the last century. These include: Emma Borden, the older sister; a ‘William Borden’, supposedly Andrew’s illegitimate son, who attempted to extort money from him; Bridget Sullivan, the maid, who may have been in an overly intimate relationship with Lizzie; John Morse, Lizzie’s maternal uncle angered with Andrew over a property rights dispute. Rebecca Pittman’s book—a decade in the research and writing— must surely be the most exhaustive, complete study of the case to appear. Some 789 pages of text (plus a 30-page supplement listing supposed hauntings of the Borden House since 1892—which is entertaining!). Pittman seems to have consulted the trial record, every local and state newspaper report as well as Borden family financial documents which she believes provide an important motive for the murders. Detailed timelines are also presented, tracing the movements of every member of the ill-fated household. Dozens of contemporary photos and illustrations are included depicting the murder event, the personalities involved and the social milieu of Fall River itself—another key to the crime. The Borden house interior is also extensively photographed since it is now preserved—exactly as it was on the fatal day—as a Museum/B&B. Originally built in 1845 as a two-storey boarding house and purchased by Andrew Borden in
1874, the layout is a maze of stairwells, semi-hidden doorways and adjoining rooms—crucial to understanding Lizzie’s movements and actions on the day of the murders. Pittman’s minute-by minute account of the events of 4 August 1892 occupy 210 pages and is an extraordinary feat of historical reconstruction. If all this sounds a bit overwhelming, it’s not. The book is clear in presentation, well written and reads like a slow-burn thriller. After finishing it, I am persuaded that Lizzie Borden was guilty of the of the double murder of her father and stepmother. This book explains both the How—but more importantly—the Why. Stephen Reid
Mancunia by Michael Symmons Roberts
Mancunia is both a real & an unreal city. In part, it is rooted in Manchester, but it is an imagined city too, a fallen utopia viewed from formal tracks. A Victorian diorama, a bar where a merchant mariner has a story he must tell, a chimeric creature— Miss Molasses—emerging from the old docks. There are poems in honour of Mancunia’s bureaucrats: the Master of the Lighting of Small Objects, the Superintendent of Public Spectacles, the Co-ordinator of Misreadings. Mancunia is—like More’s Utopia—both a no-place and an attempt at the good-place. It is occupied, liberated, abandoned and rebuilt. ($25, PB) .
Resistance, Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now
From Solmaz Sharif & Eileen Myles to Kevin Young & Juan Felipe Herrera, American poets of diverse styles & strategies have contributed their truths to this collection: scenes from the front lines of resistance, and from the interior of our collective conscience. A final cento by editor, Ohio Poet Laureate Amit Majmudar—a poem including at least one line or phrase from each of the poems in the volume—celebrates the robust multiplicity of voices in this book and in America now. ($23, PB)
Partly: New and Selected Poems, 2001–2015 by Rae Armantrout ($50, HB)
Rae Armantrout’s poetry comprises one of the most refined & visionary bodies of work written over the last forty years. These potent, compact meditations on our complicated times reveal her observant sensibility, lively intellect & emotional complexity. This generous volume charts the evolution of Armantrout’s mature, stylistically distinct work. In addition to 25 new poems, there are selections from her books Up To Speed, Next Life, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award winning volume Versed, Money Shot, Just Saying, and Itself.
So Much Synth by Brenda Shaughnessy ($40, HB) Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa, Japan and grew up in Southern California. She is the author of three books of poetry, including Human Dark with Sugar, winner of the James Laughlin Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. This is a brave and ferocious collection composed of equal parts femininity, pain, pleasure & synthesizer. While Brenda Shaughnessy tenderly winces at her youthful excesses, we humbly catch glimpses of our own. From Never Ever: ‘Late is a synonym for dead which is a euphemism for ever. Ever is a double-edged word’, ‘at once itself and its own opposite: always and always some other time. My Private Property by Mary Ruefle ($45, HB)
From Personalia: When I was young, a fortune-teller told me that an old woman who wanted to die had accidentally become lodged in my body. Slowly, over time, and taking great care in following esoteric instructions, including lavender baths and the ritual burial of keys in the backyard, I rid myself of her presence. Now I am an old woman who wants to die and lodged inside me is a young woman dying to live; I work on her. Mary Ruefle has published ten other books of poetry, a book of prose (The Most of It), and a comic book, Go Home and Go to Bed!; she is also an erasure artist whose treatments of 19th century texts have been exhibited in museums and galleries as well as published in the book A Little White Shadow.
Squandermania by Don Share ($29, PB)
Don Share’s latest collection is a book of poems that are slightly death-haunted and studded with references to marriage and fatherhood, geology and biology. There are poems about the intimate household terrors of marital relations & questions raised by children about what happens in the world, and others woven from a tapestry of literary interactions with sources that range from Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy and Bacon’s essay On Building to the ‘rotten kid theorem’. Proverbs cease to reassure as the poet monitors news about global warning, war, and other self-inflicted disasters.
Back to the Garden: Nature and the Mediterranean World from Prehistory to the Present James H. S. McGregor, HB
Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life Niles Eldredge, HB
Raptor: A Journey Through Birds James Macdonald Lockhart, HB
The Making of the English Gardener: Plants, Books and Inspiration, 1550–1660 Margaret Willes, PB
Napoleon: A Life Andrew Roberts HB
Ansel Adams: Knowing Where to Stand, HB
How Mathematics Happened : Descartes’ Bones: A Skeletal The First 50,000 Years History of the Conflict Between Peter S. Rudman, HB Faith and Reason Russell Shorto, PB
Aesthetics: A Memoir Ivan Brunetti, HB
The Conquest of the Ocean: The Illustrated History of Seafaring Brian Lavery, HB
Is That a Word? From AA to ZZZ, the Weird & Wonderful Language of Scrabble, HB
The Duke’s Assassin: Exile and Death of Lorenzino de’ Medici Stefano Dall’Aglio, HB
A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design Frank Wilczek, HB
I Can Resist Everything Except Temptation: The Wicked Wit of Oscar Wilde, HB
Updike Adam Begley, HB
Fantastic Tales: Visionary and Everyday Italo Calvino, PB
Kill or Cure: An Illustrated History of Medicine Steve Parker, HB
Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles Bernard Cornwell, HB
Shaping Humanity: How Science, Art, and Imagination Help Us Understand Our Origins John Gurche, HB
A Really Short History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson, HB
Running the City: Why public art matters by Felicity Fenner ($50, PB)
Leading Australian curator Felicity Fenner profiles activitybased & pop-up contemporary public art projects from Australia & around the globe, exploring art projects that bring together diverse disciplines & cultures—including running, cycling, architecture & guerilla gardening. From runners taking to the streets of Sydney’s CBD in Runscape to Work No. 850, where athletes sprinted through the corridors of the Tate Britain, the book surveys recent art projects that utilise the city both as subject matter & a site for art. Participatory, temporary & permanent community-driven art projects reveal how public space can be activated in ways that are original, subversive, fun & unexpected. More than just site-specific public art, the art projects examined in Running the City change the way we think about and inhabit our cities.
Orientalist Lives: Western Artists in the Middle East, 1830–1920 by James Parry
In one of the most remarkable artistic pilgrimages in history, the nineteenth century saw scores of Western artists heading to the Middle East. Inspired by the allure of the exotic Orient, they went in search of subjects for their paintings. James Parry traces these journeys of cultural and artistic discovery, and looks at what led this surprisingly diverse and idiosyncratic group of men & women often remote and potentially dangerous locations, from Morocco to Egypt, the Levant, and Turkey. There they lived, worked, and travelled for weeks or months on end, gathering material with which to create art for their clients back in the drawing-rooms of Boston, London, and Paris. Excerpts from letters and diaries, including little-known accounts and previously unpublished material, as well as photographs, sketches, and other original illustrations, bring alive the impressions, experiences, and careers of the Orientalists. ($93, PB)
First Exposures: Writings from the Beginning of Photography by Steffen Siegel
Treasure Palaces: Great Writers Visit Great Museums (ed) Maggie Fergusson ($23, PB)
From a stunning villa on sunny Capri with Ali Smith to an unlikely temple in the heart of Copenhagen with Alan Hollinghurst, Treasure Palaces is a collection of moving, lyrical essays that speak to the enduring power of museums in our cultural life, and will leave you longing to revisit your favourite treasure palace or looking for a new one to explore. Join Andrew Motion as he muses on writerly methods in the British Library, or Matthew Sweet at the hands-on joy of the ABBA museum. Julian Barnes meditates on Jean Sibelius’s music, as well as the composer’s apple corer, while visiting his home in Helsinki. Jacqueline Wilson encounters the dolls of Le Musée de la Poupée, Tim Winton remembers his first barefoot encounter with the National Gallery of Victoria, and Aminatta Forna ponders love tokens in The Museum of Broken Relationships.
Blind Spot by Teju Cole ($40, HB)
The shadow of a tree in upstate New York. A hotel room in Switzerland. A young stranger in the Congo. In Blind Spot Teju Cole brings his artistic vision into the visual realm, as he continues to refine the voice and intellectual obsessions that earned him such acclaim for Open City. In more than 150 pairs of images and lyrical text, Cole explores his complex relationship to the visual world through his two great passions: writing and photography.
Tudor Fashion: Dress at Court by Eleri Lynn
Far from being mere decoration, fashion was pivotal in the communication of status & power in the Tudor court. It was used as a tool in securing and holding the tenuous Tudor throne and those farthingales & ruffs, furs & jewels, codpieces & cloaks, and vast expanses of velvet & silk were used as a competitive weapon in the factions, intrigues & love-affairs of the court. In this book histories of Kings and Queens complement stories of unsung dressmakers, laundresses, and officials charged with maintaining and transporting the immense Tudor wardrobes from palace to palace. Handsomely illustrated, this sumptuous book contextualises Tudor dress within the buildings in which it was worn and adds to the knowledge of the period and its fascinating historical figures. ($70, HB)
Scientists and amateurs alike were working on a variety of photographic processes for much of the early 19th century. Thus most historians refer to the year 1839 as the first year The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Iconoof photography, not because the sensational new medium was clastic Masterpiece by Francesco Dal Co invented then, but because that is the year it was introduced Considered the crowning achievement of Frank Lloyd Wright to the world. For the first time in English this book brings (1867-1959), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattogether more than 130 primary sources from 1839. The matan is often called iconic. But it is in fact iconoclastic, standing terial not only includes all the chemical and technological in stark contrast to the surrounding metropolis and setting a new details of the various processes but also contracts, speeches, correspondstandard for the postwar art museum. Commissioned to design ence, arguments, parodies, satires, eulogies, denunciations, journals & even some pothe building in 1943 by the museum’s founding curator, Baroness ems—revealing the competition, the rivalries, and the parallels among the various Hilla von Rebay, Wright established residence in the Plaza Hotel practitioners & theorists, & providing an unprecedented way to understand the early disin order to oversee the project. Over the next 17 years, Wright continuously clashed course around photographic techniques & processes. ($95, PB) with his clients over the cost and the design, a conflict that extended to the city of New The Red Thread: Nordic Design ($100, HB) York and its cultural establishment. Against all odds, Wright held fast to his radical This book showcases the diversity of design from Scandinavia design concept of an inverted ziggurat and spiralling ramp, built with a continuous & Finland via more than 200 objects—from everyday items to beam-a shape recalling the form of an hourglass. Construction was only completed in exquisitely produced decorative glassware, traditional handmade 1959, six months after Wright’s death. The building’s initial critical response ultimately textiles to mass-produced products found in homes across the gave way to near-universal admiration, as it came to be seen as an architectural masglobe. The title is taken from a metaphor, common in the Nordic terpiece. ($45, HB) countries, of a shared and highlighted characteristic (like a long connecting thread in woven material), that runs through and connects themes, ideas, stories, and, in this case, design.
Moonlight & Manchester by Sea
DVDs With Scott Donovan 20th Century Women: Dir. Mike Mills ($33.95, Region 2)
Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening) is a determined single mother, raising her adolescent son Jamie (newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann, in a breakout performance) at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women in Jamie’s upbringing—Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a free-spirited punk artist living as a boarder in the Fields’ home, and Julie (Elle Fanning), a savvy and provocative teenage neighbour.
Elle: Dir. Paul Verhoeven ($33.95, Region 2) Isabelle Huppert is Michèle LeBlanc; founder and CEO of a successful video game company, who is attacked in her own home. Taking what appears to be a desire to shrug off the terrifying incident, she locks the door after her attacker and refuses to tell the police—then Michèle begins to track down her assailant, and soon they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game, one that at any moment may spiral out of control. A gripping multi-layered psychological noir thriller from filmmaker Paul Verhoeven that recalls Hitchcock & Polanski. Frantz: Dir. François Ozon ($33.95, Region 2) In a small German town after World War I, Anna mourns daily at the grave of her fiancé Frantz, killed in battle in France. One day a young Frenchman, Adrien, also lays flowers at the grave. His presence so soon after the German defeat ignites passions.
The Academy judges uncharacteristically got it right this year awarding top gongs to Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea—two powerful stories about troubled outsiders in today’s America. Writer/director Kenneth Lonergan won the Best Screenplay Oscar for Manchester by the Sea. His script is clever, frequently very funny and unflinching in its depiction of a family falling apart through grief. Leading man Casey Affleck deservedly won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance while Michelle Williams was unlucky to miss out on the Best Supporting Actress award for which she was nominated. Best Picture award went to Moonlight—a coming of age story set in a tough neighbourhood in Miami. A terrific cast, lead by Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris and Ashton Sanders, and deft direction by Barry Jenkins make for a compelling film exploring issues of race, sexuality and poverty in America’s south. Both stories sound grim but they are treated with such style and intelligence as to be richly rewarding viewing. Highly recommended.
Gleebooks’ special price $19.95 each
The Poetry of Pop by Adam Bradley ($50, HB)
Featherston by Geoff Isaacs ($70, HB)
Grant Featherston (1922–1995), was a Melbourne-based industrial designer most well known for his Contour chairs. This collection was designed & developed in the early 1950s and remains highly sought after by mid-century collectors in Australia and overseas—often fetching $10,000 or more at auction. Featherston, later joined by his second wife, Mary, designed hundreds of chairs over the next thirty years—this book focuses on the chairs produced between 1947 and 1975 and presents a new biography of the designer, drawn from archival research and interviews with his peers. It is extensively illustrated with over 250 beautiful photographs.
Versailles: The Great & Hidden Splendours of the Sun King’s Palace ($100, HB)
Pop songs are music first. They also comprise the most widely disseminated poetic expression of our time. Adam Bradley traces the song lyric across musical genres from early 20th century Delta blues to mid-century rock ‘n’ roll to today’s hits. George and Ira Gershwin’s Fascinating Rhythm. The Rolling Stones’ (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. Rihanna’s Diamonds. These songs are united in their exacting attention to the craft of language and sound. Bradley shows that pop music is a poetry that must be heard more than read, uncovering the rhythms, rhymes & metaphors expressed in the singing voice. At once a work of musical interpretation, cultural analysis, literary criticism & personal storytelling, this book illustrates how words & music come together to produce compelling poetry, often where we least expect it.
Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
Versailles is one of the most photographed places in the world, but only 4 people have the privilege of being the Palace’s official photographers. They have uniquely unfettered access to the secrets that lie within, outside & beneath this enormous domain where they spend their days—and sometimes their nights. Now, for the first time, they open their personal albums to offer a wealth of impressions & responses. 250 previously unpublished photographs reveal a plethora of outstanding artworks, the private apartments of Louis XIV, Marie-Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour, magnificent galleries, the delightful Orangerie and more.
Comedians Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. But Seinfeld created a strange new reality, one where years after the show had ended the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying ‘No soup for you!’, Joe Davola gets questioned every day about his sanity & Kenny Kramer makes his living giving tours of New York sites from the show. Seinfeldia is an intimate history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be—bringing readers into the writers’ room & a world of devotees. ($25, HB)
Canaletto and the Art of Venice ($90, HB)
This book showcases in full the rich collection of 18th century Venetian art held by the Royal Collection. It explores paintings, prints, and drawings by Canaletto, as well as many of his contemporaries, including Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Antonio Visentini, Francesco Zuccarelli, and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Lavishly illustrated, the book presents these works against the background of the social and artistic networks of the period, looking at the links between art and theatre in Venice, as well as the role of the city as a centre for printmaking & book production.
Tex by Tex Perkins ($35, PB)
Singer. Songwriter. Swamp child. Soul man. Tex Perkins is a true rock’n’roll animal. In this loud, uncut, no-holds-barred, laughout-loud & take-no-prisoners memoir, the enigmatic king of the Australian music underground lays bare an extraordinary life lived on the road, on the stage & on the edge. Raised a biblethumping Catholic & beaten bloody on the streets of Brisbane for being a ‘cow-punk’, skinny Gregory Perkins flees to Sydney and mutates into ‘Tex’ rogue leader of the Dums Dums, Thug and Salamander Jim before finding a strange kind of success, celebrity, sex symboldom and icon status as Tex Perkins, snake-hipped, honey-voiced, often bloodied frontman of influential Aussie bands the Cruel Sea, Beasts of Bourbon and Tex, Gigs. Albums. Tours. Fights. Feuds. Arrests. Drugs. High times. Low roads. This is a wild ride of a life written loudly, proudly and full of punk energy.
Platform Papers 52: Putting Words In Their Mouths—The playwright & screenwriter at work by Andrew Bovell ($17, PB)
Andrew Bovell discusses the place & role of the writer in Australian theatre, film & television, and examines how that place may have changed in each. He examines some of the philosophical, political & practical ideas that inform his work, and makes a case for the centrality of the writer in the creative process, whilst discussing the crucial relationship he has with the other key creatives in the development of a new work.
Now in paperback Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, $35 Working Class Boy by Jimmy Barnes, $33
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Bestsellers—Non-Fiction 1. Dancing with Demons: True Life Misadventures of
a Criminal Psychologist
2. QE66: On the Climate Deadlock
3. Cardinal: The Rise & Fall of George Pell
4. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
5. The Clever Guts Diet
6. No Is Not Enough: Resisting the New Shock Politics
7. Many Ways of Seeing: A True Story of Blindness,
Friendship and Adventure
8. Sydney Noir: The Golden Years
Michael Duffy & Nick Hordern
9. Back to Broady: A Memoir of Growing up in Broadmeadows
Caroline van de Pol
10. Game of Mates: How Favours Bleed the Nation
Cameron Murray & Paul Frijters
Bestsellers—Fiction 1. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness 2. Random Life: Cartoons
Arundhati Roy Judy Horacek
3. As the Lonely Fly
4. Anything is Possible
5. A Horse Walks into a Bar
6. The Handmaid’s Tale 7. The Museum of Modern Love 8. Commonwealth
Margaret Atwood Heather Rose Ann Patchett
9. Theft by Finding: Diaries—Volume One
10. The Force
and another thing.....
I’ve got piles of proofs beside the bed that are beginning to resemble the clutter in the Coopes above—vows of working my way through them in an orderly fashion fall by the wayside as new books from Peter Hoeg, Jane Harper, Stephen Fry, Peter Carey, Robert Harris, Richard Flanagan, Philip Pullman, Dan Brown, Edward St Aubyn’s addition to the Shakespeare retellings—his version of Lear, Dunbar arrive ... the list is endless. I need a reading holiday to read your holiday reading! Meanwhile, I’m relaxing with A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee, the 2nd book in his crime series featuring Captain Wyndham & Sergant Banerjee of the Calcutta Police Force. Set between World Wars 1 & 2 in the crumbling British Raj, Mukherjee, a Scottish child of immigrants has really captured the style of the period. A most pleasurable read. vViki
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Book and DVD new releases for August 2017 from one of Australia's leading independent bookshops.