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08/12/2017 06:50 AM



TOUGH GUYS (have feelings too)!

It's not always easy being a tough guy... You might not think it, but tough guys have feelings too. Even when they're with their best friends, or when they're on top of the world, not everything works out. This can be very frustrating. 

Our book of the week with week is Keith Negley's wonderful picture book Tough Guys (Have feelings too)

Feeling bad or feeling sad or feeling uncertain or feeling not-very-confident are feelings that everyone has (even tough guys). 

Everyone has feelings (well, almost everyone). 

>> Tough guys can read this book too

>> Are boys more likely to show their feelings these days than in the 1970s

>> The Cure.





08/05/2017 02:31 PM


The earth moves according to its geological time, while upon it the lives and times of humans move by different rhythms. One house is the place where these forces interact. Fiona Farrell's new novel Decline and Fall on Savage Street, tracing the lives in one house through the twentieth century to the Christchurch earthquakes, is this week's Book of the Week

>> Read Stella's review

>> Extracts

>> Fiona Farrell on 'Standing Room Only': Sunday 6.8.17, 1:45

>> The author on writing the book

>> "Writing big" (whatever that means). 

>> A white-hot response

>> What makes a city a city? 

>> Fiona's writing day

>> Naughty reading secrets

07/29/2017 12:22 PM



"How to tell a shattered story? By slowly becoming everybody. No. By slowly becoming everything."
This week's Book of the Week is Arundhati Roy's long-anticipated second novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

>> Read an extract

>> And another extract

>> A strange and frightening dream

>> Fiction and politics. 

>> Roy returns to fiction, in fury

>> Interviewed on Democracy Now

>> "Black ants, pink crumbs."

>> The God of Small Things won the Booker Prize in 1997.

>> Can she win it again this year? 

>> Chatting with Rushdie (1997).

>> Other books by Roy

>> Why Roy thinks India is a corporate upper-caste state




07/22/2017 12:14 PM



Our Book of the Week this week is Anne Salmond's deeply thoughtful history Tears of Rangi: Experiments across worlds, published by Auckland University Press. 
Polynesian and then European settlers arrived in New Zealand bringing with them world views and modes of practice that they then began to apply and adapt to the new land. This remarkable book calibrates the varying approaches of the differing peoples who came to Aotearoa, and suggests that a deeper understanding of these mind-sets can lead towards approaches that are more harmonious, not just between cultures but towards the natural world too. 

>> On RNZ National last Sunday

>> Do traditional Maori attitudes to waterways hold a solution to New Zealand's fresh water crisis?

>> Is there such a thing as society?

>> An inspiring voice

>> "If you teach children that their ancestors were violent, abusive savages, after a while, they are likely to believe you."  

>> New Zealand needs to look to its own record on freedom of speech.

>> Anne Salmond interviewed by an invisible man

>> Salmond will be speaking in Nelson in August



07/15/2017 08:36 AM



"Electrifying! Shocking! Will knock your socks off! Then you'll think twice, about everything." - Margaret Atwood

The Power by Naomi Alderman is this week's Book of the Week at VOLUME. 


What if the power to hurt was suddenly manifest in women's hands (literally)? How would society change? Would gender imbalances we inverted? The Power is a gripping speculative fiction exploring the nature of gender and power.


>> Read Stella's review


>> The Power won the 2017 Baileys Prize for Women's Fiction


>> Read an extract


>> "If women were in the position to cause more pain than men, how would that change the world?"


>> How does Alderman describe her novel?

>> "An instant classic of speculative fiction." - The Guardian



07/08/2017 11:14 AM


This week's Book of the Week is a very interesting selection of essays from excellent New Zealand writers, all treating aspects of the concept of home (in its widest sense).
Home: New writing is edited by Thom Conroy and published by Massey University Press
Contributors: 
Selina Tusitala Marsh
Martin Edmond 
Ashleigh Young
Lloyd Jones
Laurence Fearnley
Sue Wootton
Elizabeth Knox
Nick Allen
Brian Turner
Tina Makereti
Bonnie Etherington
Paula Morris
Thom Conroy
Jill Sullivan
Sarah Jane Barnett
Ingrid Horrocks
Anna Gailani
Helen Lehndorf
James George
Ian Wedde

>> Read Stella's review

>> An interview with the editor.

>> An article about the book. 

>> Sarah Jane Barnett's essay, 'Suffering is Optional'. 




07/08/2017 11:12 AM




Review by STELLA
























Home: New writing is an excellent collection of essays from New Zealand writers. Each essay chosen by editor Thom Conroy takes you on its own journey, personal yet universal. In his introduction, Conroy reflects on the concept of 'home' being at the forefronts of our minds, with increasing homelessness and a growing population of ‘stateless’ people. Several of the essays reflect on the precarious lives of refugees and the travails, as well as the hopes, of migration. Lloyd Jones in 'Proximity' blends his encounters with the homeless and with Syrian refugees in Europe with his childhood memories of what was an acceptable home, with humanity and care. Diane Comer’s reflections and regrets on moving, of crossing the Pacific several times in her lifetime, endlessly seeking ‘home’, planting gardens that will continue to bloom long after she has left, are honest and revealing it seems for both the reader and writer. And leaving, yet not looking back, resonates through Iraqi-born Anna Gailani’s 'A Token of Patience'. And arrival, whether it is actual or virtual, is a concept that creeps into many of these essays. Ingrid Horrocks in 'Oscillations' cleverly talks about those places between memory and the actual, past and present, and finding her ‘home’ – a place true to herself. Sarah Jane Barnett draws on the connection between running and the body, on a certain point of connection that centres and eclipses suffering, creating a sense of home in oneself at a physical and mental level. Other essays point to environment, both urban and natural. Paula Morris’s 'Greys Avenue' is a riff on the layers of her street, on its history and the wider story of the changing urban landscape. The essay is a matrix of her family history; Morris discovered that her great-grandfather had also lived on the street at some stage. In Laurence Fearnley’s essay, she explores her neighbourhood by scent, curious to discover how, by concentrating with this sense of smell, familiar places of home can be recorded and explored anew. 'Home Without Now and Then' takes us into Elizabeth Knox’s memory of her childhood homes, and the homes of her mother - places she can’t inhabit any longer at the right times – needing to use the phone in the Paremata house but finding herself in the Raumati one. This is just a taste of the twenty-two essays. They are honest, moving and thoughtful, various in style and content, all a delight to read. To contemplate what 'home' means to us in a physical, emotional and philosophical sense, Home: New writing is a marker of social and cultural history as well as of politics, on the grand and small scale. 

07/01/2017 01:11 PM


Our Book of the Week this week is Black Marks on the White Page, a diverse selection of some of the most interesting twenty-first century prose by Maori and Pasifika writers, both well-known and emerging, edited by Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti. 

Writers represented: 
Anahera Gildea - Patricia Grace - Nic Low - Mary Rokonadravu - Tusiata Avia - Witi Ihimaera - Alexis Wright - Gina Cole - David Geary - Kelly Joseph - Cassandra Barnett - Jione Havea - Serie Barford - Dewe Gorode - Victor Rodger - Tina Makereti - Michael Puleloa - Courtney Sina Meredith - Kelly Ana Morey - Sia Figiel - Anya Ngawhare - Paula Morris - Selina Tusitala Marsh - Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada - Albert Wendt

Images:
Fiona Pardington - Pati Solomonia Tyrell - Shane Hansen - Rosanna Raymond - Robert Jahnke - Cerisse Palalagi - Lisa ReihanaYuki Kihara

>> Paula Morris: "The most subversive coffee table book of the year."

>> Stories can save your life

>> Should we be worried about the ethic representation in New Zealand publishing?

>> Expanding perceptions of the Pacific world

>> Makereti's five favourite Maori and Pasifika books

>> The marginalisation and pigeonholing of ethnic minorities in UK publishing

>> The whiteness of the publishing industry in the US.  



06/24/2017 11:56 AM



This week we are featuring the beautifully designed and deeply interesting OBJECT LESSONS series, published by Bloomsbury. 

Humans create objects for function but the meaning of those objects reaches far beyond their function. This excellent series unpacks the meaning concentrated in a plethora of common objects and illuminates layers of culture that are seldom noticed but always active.


Choose your object and learn your lesson (>click<): Earth, Egg, Traffic, Tree, Bread, Hair, Password, Questionnaire, Bookshelf, Cigarette, Shipping Container, Glass, Hotel, Phone Booth, Refrigerator, Silence, Waste, Driver's Licence, Drone, Golf Ball, Remote Control.

>> Read Thomas's review of Dust by Michael Marder. 

>> Read Stella's review of Shipping Container by Craig Martin. 

>> Read Thomas's review of Hotel by Joanna Walsh

>> Watch this Hotel trailer.

>> Joanna Walsh talks about the hotel

>> Read Thomas's review of Bookshelf by Lydia Pyne. 


Come along to VOLUME at 5 PM on Thursday 29th for some OBJECT LESSONS (as part of WINTER@VOLUME). Stella will be discussing the role of the object with fellow jeweller Katie Pascoe, whose Possession project repurposed exchanged objects. Bring along an object to discuss. Find out more about Bloomsbury's OBJECT LESSONS series. 
**** SOME PHOTOGRAPHS OF THIS EVENT HERE ****

>> 'Is the Object Really Necessary?' Read Stella's provocative essay, presented to Jemposium in 2012.  

>> Visit the Object Lessons website to learn more about the books and all manner of related essays and articles (you can even submit your own object lesson). 





The first six people who purchase books from the Object Lessons series this week will get a stylish Object Lessons tote bag courtesy of Bloomsbury Publishing. 








06/17/2017 12:56 PM



Our Book of the Week this week is Haruki Murakami's Men Without Women. The book contains seven stories of men choosing loneliness as a way of avoiding pain, even if it brings them close to self-erasure. It includes all your favourite Murakami signatures (cats, pasta, baseball, music, mysterious women).

>> Read Stella's review.

>> There is, of course, a playlist for this book.

>> Murakami's lonely men.

>> Other books by Murakami at VOLUME.

>> A short animated biography.

>> In search of this elusive writer.

>> Murakami's website and FaceBook page.

>> Browse Murakami's record collection.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1927478994206742/?acontext=%7B%22source%22%3A5%2C%22page_id_source%22%3A1073285499437246%2C%22action_history%22%3A[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22page%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22main_list%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A%22%7B%5C%22page_id%5C%22%3A1073285499437246%2C%5C%22tour_id%5C%22%3Anull%7D%22%7D]%2C%22has_source%22%3Atrue%7D
>> Come along to the MY VOLUME book group at 5 PM on Thursday 22nd June to discuss this book. Register when you purchase a copy.










06/10/2017 01:06 PM



This week's BOOK OF THE WEEK is See You When I See You by Rose Lagercrantz and Eva Eriksson 
Dani is on a school trip to the zoo, and the teacher tells the children how to stay safe and not get lost. But Dani gets separated from the others. Suddenly another class is rushing up the path and at the back of the noisy crowd is someone she recognizes: Ella! The good friends are so happy to be together again and Ella wants to play. What should Dani do? Follow her best friend in the whole world or do as the teacher said? 


>> Read Stella's review


>> This is the fifth book about Dani and her friend Ella. Have you read the others? 


My Happy Life
Dani is probably the happiest person she knows. She's happy because she's going to start school. Dani has been waiting to go to school her whole life. Then things get even better  -  she meets Ella by the swings. After that, Dani and Ella do everything together. They stick together through wet and dry, sun and rain, thick and thin. But then something happens that Dani isn't prepared for.
My Heart is Laughing
Dani's been trying her best to stay happy ever since her best friend Ella moved away. But when some girls in Dani's class start being cruel to her, it starts a chain of rather unhappy events. It would all be okay if only Ella would move back.
When I am Happiest
It's the second-to-last day of school and Dani's so happy she could write a book about it! In fact, that's exactly what she's done, although it's not quite finished yet. Now the book is in her backpack with all the other things she has to take home before the summer break. But then Dani gets some bad news. How will she ever be happy again? 
Life According to Dani
Its Dani's first summer vacation and the best ever! She is staying on an island with Ella, her best friend in the world. Dad is still in hospital but he calls every day, and Ella and Dani stay busy building huts, fishing, exploring, and swimming. Then Dad turns up, but with his new girlfriend! This is not the visit anyone had imagined. 






>> Bouncing back!


>> Do you read Swedish?






06/03/2017 01:47 PM



This week's Book of the Week is Peter Korn's Why We Make Things and Why It Matters
Why do humans continue to make new objects in a world already full of objects? Why do we esteem things that are well made, and why do some people choose to devote their lives to making things well? 

>> Peter Korn is the founder and director of the Centre for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, a model for craft education and a hotbed of craft philosophy. 

>> A free lecture from Korn

>> Hard at work

>> Techne is its own branch of philosophy, distinct from epistime

>> Why do we hate cheap things?

>> But 'Is the Object Really Necessary?' (also here)




05/27/2017 06:30 AM



Our Book of the Week this week is Olivia Laing's The Lonely City: Adventures in the art of being alone.  Olivia Laing not only describes her often-late-night walks across New York, but, more especially, her journeys through a state of mind. Wandering through art, literature, politics and activism, Laing gives us an insightful picture of the conflicting impulses of  immersion and disjuncture the beset us all. 

>> "How art helped me see the beauty in loneliness."

>> "What is so shameful about having failed to achieve satisfaction, about experiencing unhappiness?"

>> Olivia Laing's playlist for The Lonely City

>> An interview with the author. 

>> Some statistics about self-perceived loneliness in New Zealand. 

>> More than one million lonely New Zealanders

>> Laing's previous book: The Trip to Echo Spring: On writers and drinking



05/20/2017 02:33 PM



This week's Book of the Week is Catherine Chidgey's exquisitely written novel The Wish Child, which has just won the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize at the 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

>> Read Stella's review

>> Read an excerpt

>> Wrestling with her inner critic

>> Two births in one year

>> A night at the Ockhams in a not-very-good seat




05/13/2017 11:55 AM


https://volume.circlesoft.net/p/writing-my-father-s-island-a-memoir?barcode=9781776560820
This week's Book of the Week is My Father's Island by Adam Dudding (published by Victoria University Press).
Adam Dudding's book is a memoir of his father, Robin Dudding, a foremost literary editor of his time, catalyst to a generation of New Zealand writers, resolute bohemian, devoted but flawed father and husband.

>> Read Stella's review.

>> The book has been short-listed for the General Non-Fiction section of the 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

>> An extract from the book.

>> An interview with Adam.

>> Adam Dudding chats with Kim Hill.

>> An obituary for Robin Dudding, groomed by Charles Brasch as editor of Landfall and founder of the literary journal Islands.



05/06/2017 07:39 AM



This week's Book of the Week is Colm Tóibín's House of Names. In retelling the legendary clusters surrounding Clytemnestra, Orestes, Electra and Iphigenia, Tóibín re-evaluates received notions, reassesses characters and motivations, and gives these ancient Greeks and their stories a vitality and urgency that speak directly to the modern reader.

>> Read Stella's review

>> Toibin "endows Clytemnestra with a hybrid voice that sounds both strangely modern and ancient."

>> "He loves long nights, sing-songs and money but is deadly serious about his writing."

>> Toibin and cat

>> The Oresteia

>> Some other recent novels reclaiming viewpoints of suppressed or vilified female characters. 
Bright Black Air by David Vann (Medea, Jason) 
The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes (Oedipus, Antigone)

- The Story of Antigone by Ali Smith 



04/29/2017 12:30 PM



https://volume.circlesoft.net/p/politics-the-new-zealand-project--2?barcode=9780947492588
This week's Book of the Week is The New Zealand Project by Max Harris (published by Bridget Williams Books). Is this the book to transform political discussion in New Zealand into a tool fit for the social and environmental crises that lie ahead?

>> "Young, gifted and political."

>> On Universal Basic Income.

>> Rethinking prison.

>> "A visionary worth following."

>> With Kathryn Ryan on Radio NZ National.

>> Bringing values back to politics.

>> Would civics education result in better political participation from the young?

>> On the politics of love.

>> He blogged.


04/22/2017 02:22 PM




Our Book of the Week this week is Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. It features 100 one-page biographies of inspiring women from all times and all places, each with a full-page illustration by one of 60 artists (who just happen to all be women), including New Zealander Sarah Wilkins.

>> A quick survey of our shelves revealed them to be loaded with books that have feisty, adventurous girl protagonists who take their destinies into their own hands. Here's a small selection - recommended reading for children and young adults of all genders

>> We found to our delight that the gender-bias assessment undertaken in this video did not apply to the books on our shelves (if anything, the reverse!). We would also contend that it is not only girls who need books with girl protagonists - boys can enjoy them too. 

Our featured Rebel Girls this week: 
Monday: Policarpa Salavarrieta
Tuesday: Wang Zhenyi
Wednesday: Grace O'Malley
Thursday: Zaha Hadid
Friday: Lakshmi Bai





04/15/2017 08:58 AM




This week's Book of the Week is Bill Manhire's first poetry collection for seven years: Some Things to Place in a Coffin

>> Read Thomas's review

>> Manhire's reading life.

>> The title poem is Manhire's eulogy to his friend Ralph Hotere.

>> Also new from Manhire: Tell Me My Name, a book of poetic riddles (with a CD by Hannah Griffin and Norman Meehan, and photographs by Peter Peryer). 

>> Bill reads a poem

>> Manhire at the Curioseum

>> In the poetry archive

>> "I've eaten Kentucky Fried Chicken and quite liked it."



04/15/2017 08:57 AM






























Some Things to Place in a Coffin by Bill Manhire    {Reviewed by THOMAS}
The proximity of death can be noticed not so much in our thinking about death as in the effect it has on the qualities of our thinking about everything else. Why is it that some particulars, either small details of the present or instances from often far in the past, unexpectedly present themselves with a clarity and a grain that familiarity has robbed us of the capacity to see or has prevented us from noticing? Or is it that the intensity of this nothingness bends the light as it drags everything towards it, uprooting these particulars from their quotidian sockets and causing them to be seen with strange clarity as they are drawn towards a point of dissolution, whereas other particulars are shucked of urgency and released into a new inconsequence. In the face of that of which the mind cannot conceive the senses speak with urgency, we experience simultaneously a grasping and a relinquishment, a change in contrast and in texture, if we may call them that, a new sense of purpose indistinguishable from resignation. In this book, Bill Manhire’s first collection in seven years, language dances as death presses at it from behind, agency flees into objects, images draw themselves together on the brink of their own dissolution, small things become final containers for the large. Wearing his art so lightly as at times to resemble artlessness, Manhire tests the strengths of finer and finer threads to very subtle effect. The book is arranged in four sections: firstly a set of poems through the progression of which poetry itself is pared away and memories grasped with the effect of grasping at water, drawing us through a beauty indistinguishable from sadness, a thinness like the distinct threads of gauze that remain after the pile has been worn off fabric. Each line marks the move towards silence: There is a thin, high scraping./ Then no noise of any sort at all. The second section was commissioned to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and is an achingly beautiful sequence about loss at simultaneously the most specific and most universal scales. The third section is more linguistically playful, sometimes almost desperately so, and includes some pieces with the texture of songs, textures in which chasms open up to underlying voids, and also the title poem, written as an elegy to Manhire’s friend Ralphe Hotere. In the fourth section, ‘Falseweed’, small particles of poetry, dissolved already into the medium which bears them towards silence, converge and recombine in unexpected ways, squeaking out most affectingly before being redissolved. The final poem ‘The Lake’ is a farewell to language and to poetry and to the resisting of the pull to dissolution: Rapture. Quiet canoe. / I am defeated, done with speaking.




    


04/08/2017 08:02 AM



This week's Book of the Week is Nicola Galloway's eagerly anticipated new cookbook HOMEGROWN KITCHEN, which is beautifully presented and full of accessible delicious recipes and the best advice for those who want to eat delicious, healthy, natural, nourishing food every day.


>> Read Stella's review


>> We will have signed copies available


>> The Homegrown Kitchen's on-line recipe journal


>> The joys of growing and making your own food from scratch


>> Yoghurt and Honey Panna Cotta with Roasted Strawberry


>> Nicola's lovely Instagram gallery



04/08/2017 08:00 AM























 

Homegrown Kitchen by Nicola Galloway    {Reviewed by STELLA}
Nicola Galloway’s much-awaited cookbook Homegrown Kitchen is definitely worth the wait. A gorgeously presented book, the cover is enticing with its simple elegance, the photography conveys a feeling of comfort and pleasure in food. Thoughtfully ordered, the book opens with an introduction to Galloway’s philosophy of food and cooking and some preliminary notes about the recipes and your pantry, including information about gluten-free ingredients, sugars and their alternatives, and alternatives to dairy (nuts, seeds, coconut) - approachable and sound nutritional advice that doesn’t get bogged down in particular diet fads. For those that like to have all the essentials at their fingertips, this is a wonderful cookbook - almost half the book is dedicated to processes and recipes that will fill your household with all the nutritional goodness you and your family will need for eating well. There is a weekly kitchen planner to keep everything on track with your making of yoghurts, broths and stocks, sour-doughs, preparations for grains, seed and nut milk, and on preserving and fermenting. The recipes for preserving fruit, making sauces and chutneys look particularly tempting at this time of year when you want to fill the cupboards with bottles of beautifully coloured fruits, giving warmth and nutrition in the coming cooler months. Galloway’s instructions for fermenting are straightforwardly reassuring, and recipes include sauerkraut, lacto-fermented beetroot pickle and  kombucha. And then the recipes, headed up under the categories of Morning, Day, Evening and Sweet, are predominately everyday, interlaced with treats for special occasions. From porridge to poached eggs with a lime hollandaise on a roastie hash, there’s a breakfast that will appeal, the dips all look delicious and there are quick and healthy snack and lunch choices, and the evening dinners are tasty treats made from seasonal ingredients and combining nutritional value alongside the pleasure of food. And Galloway’s book is a pleasure which reflects her interest in nutrition, wellness and the goodness of eating and enjoying food.
 

 

04/01/2017 12:08 PM


This week's Book of the Week is Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton, a novel based on the completely extraordinary life of 17th century aristocrat, philosopher, poet, scientist, fiction-writer, and playwright Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

>> Read Stella's review


>> "A small miracle of imaginative sympathy."


>> "Prickly, shy, arrogant, imaginative, contradictory, curious, confused, melancholic, ambitious, restless."


>> A Description of the New World, Called the Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish (which inspired The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt).


>> The philosophy of Margaret Cavendish.

>> And now in PowerPoint.


>> A sampler of Margaret Cavendish's works


>> Danielle Dutton: "One of the most original and wonderfully weird prose stylists of our time".

>> Dutton is also a publisher at the very excellent The Dorothy Project.



04/01/2017 12:06 PM




























 
Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton     {Reviewed by STELLA}
Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of New Castle, was a poet, philosopher, essayist and ​playwright in the 17th century. Eccentric, erratically shy but desiring of fame, she was both shunned and celebrated by the aristocracy and the thinkers of the time. I kept picking up this slim volume with its attractive cover and its attractive turn of phrase, and insights into a woman’s lot in the 17th century. “One morning I woke to find I’d stained my sheets and thought I’d split in two. There followed a quiet clamor: new linens, removal from the nursery, and no one explaining why. Until a maid, in secret, provided useful counsel: Inscribe veronica in ink on the ball of your left thumb, to decrease the irksome flow. Stunned I fled to my room, only to find that my mother awaited me inside. 'You must wear chicken-skin gloves on your hands each night.'” And with those chicken-skin gloves, I was hooked. This is a fascinating fictional view of Margaret Cavendish, who courted fame and won it. Taken seriously by some, ridiculed by others, she was both shy and flamboyant (her fabulous outfits had London gossiping). The book opens with her childhood in the country estate of a royalist family. As trouble brews – Cromwell and the Civil War- Margaret goes into exile as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Henrietta Maria. In Paris she is courted by William Cavendish, and in their early married life they mix with European thinkers and other exiled intellectuals. Margaret is not content to be a wife and bystander and, encouraged by William, begins on a series of plays and novellas. Some are treatises on being female, philosophical treatises, discussions about science, while others are fantastical stories – the most famous of these being The Blazing World, which is seen by some academics as the forerunner to science fiction. Danielle Dutton captures Margaret and all her complexities and inconsistencies perfectly. The first part of the book often reads like diary entries giving us an intimate portrayal of her state of mind, her frustrations and fascinations. In the later parts, which take us back to England (the royal family back in the seat of power), Dutton changes her writing style and we look upon Margaret with all her foibles - her egocentric nature, knack of offending with her arrogance, bouts of doubt and sense of isolation - as well as allowing us a glance at how she was viewed by others. Known as ‘Mad Madge’, she courted attention - at times London society couldn’t get enough of her – whether for her ideas or just titillation. And while she was viewed as a peculiarity, she was also the first woman to attend the Royal Society, and in her 49 years published 21 volumes of work, some of which garnered serious attention. Dutton’s fictional account of this fascinating character is lively and absorbing. 



  


03/25/2017 07:03 AM


This week's Book of the Week is Sarah Bakewell's At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being and apricot cocktails, a chatty guide to mid-twentieth century Continental philosophy and the intellectuals who ignited social revolution from their café tables.

>> Read Thomas's review

>> An excellent series of enjoyable videos about existentialist and related philosophers

>> A guide to Simone de Beauvoir.

>> A guide to Jean-Paul Sartre

>> A crash course in existentialism

>> Sartre and Beauvoir "screener".

>> Beauvoir interview

>> Still being judged on her looks.

>> Camus vs. Sartre.

>> Jean-Paul's flower truck

>> Existentialist apricot cocktail recipes.  

>> The phenomenology of the cocktail

>> Are you experienced?