06/24/2017 11:56 AM

Our Books of the Week this week are the beautifully designed 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 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 Dust by Michael Marder. 

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. 

>> '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 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.[%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
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
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?

03/25/2017 07:01 AM

At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being and apricot cocktails by Sarah Bakewell  {Reviewed by THOMAS}
Not only a chatty and enjoyable introduction to mid-century Continental philosophy from phenomenalism to existentialism and beyond but also a source of anecdotal gossip about the personalities, relationships, foibles, diets, hairstyles and other eccentricities of the group of writers and philosophers clustered either physically or thematically around Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir’s Parisian café table (or should that read: Not only a source of anecdotal gossip about the personalities, relationships, foibles, diets, hairstyles and other eccentricities of the group of writers and philosophers clustered either physically or thematically around Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir’s Parisian café table but also a chatty and enjoyable introduction to mid-century Continental philosophy from phenomenalism to existentialism and beyond), At the Existentialist Café is pointy-headed enough to satisfy your curiosity about what these thinkers thought and pointy-nosed enough to satisfy your curiosity about how these thinkers lived. Indeed, either integral or coincidental to the existentialist project was the drawing closer of life-as-lived and life-as-thought-about, and Sarah Bakewell manages to pleasantly reassert the importance of whichever half of the equation you may have neglected (with respect to your knowledge of the existentialists, anyway) or to advance both halves for your general education and amusement. She seems to know when to linger in the company of one intellectual so as to grasp the fundamentals of her or his thinking and when to stand up and move on to the table of another, and she demonstrates the ongoing relevance of phenominalist and existentialist approaches to the ordinary lives of ordinary people (who may or may not have realised that they are adopting phenominalist or existentialist approaches). By the time you have read this book you will be on chatting terms with (or at least about) Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger (though you may not wish to sit at his table), Albert Camus, Raymond Aron, Emmanuel Levinas, Hannah Arendt, Karl Jaspers, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and others, and you will certainly have enhanced your rating as a conversationalist in whatever café you frequent.
>> This is this week's Book of the Week. Click here for information, links and amusements.  


03/19/2017 07:58 AM

This week's Book of the Week is Ashleigh Young's phenomenally interesting personal essay collection, which has just won a 2017 Windham-Campbell prize for non-fiction and been short-listed for the 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

>> Can you tolerate Thomas's review?

>> Can you tolerate 'Bearded Ladies'?

>> Not all strange e-mails come from Nigeria.

>> You can easily tolerate Ashleigh Young's blog.

>> A very tolerable review by Holly Hunter on Radio NZ.

>> Some poems by Ashleigh Young.

>> Grab a copy of the book before the third print run sells out!

03/19/2017 07:55 AM

Can You Tolerate This? By Ashleigh Young   {Reviewed by THOMAS}
Like some sort of contrast medium, Ashleigh Young’s prose penetrates the fissures and fine vessels of her experiences so that when the reader turns their attention to her texts, subtleties and depths and dimensions hitherto unsuspected yet somehow deeply familiar are revealed and remain imprinted upon memory. The medium flows particularly into areas of ordinary damage (her personal sadness, discomfort, awkwardness, anxiety) and resolves here into twenty-one personal essays which lucidly yet with an almost tender subtlety picture the shared concerns (time, family, memory, the body, love, loss) with which we must constantly contend if we are to be aware of something we take to be ourselves. There is a certain lightness to Young’s touch, and often a concomitant humour, that allows her to describe and circumnavigate the heavy without snagging herself or us upon it, to treat delicately with subjects about which most writing is clumsy through its attempts to be profound. The essays that I remember most are those that acknowledge the dimensions of ambivalence that exist around their subject: the tangle of love and irritation around a childhood dog, her meditations on the hair on her lip, or her growing dislike for Katherine Mansfield in the midst of general adulation during her tenure at the Birthplace in Tinakori Road. The best pieces are those in which Young knows she does not need more than a few pages to be succinct, insightful and good company.
This book has just been awarded a 2017 Windham-Campbell Prize for non-fiction and is a finalist in the 2017 Ockham Book Awards.

03/11/2017 12:06 PM

Our Book of the Week this week is George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo. Is this The American Book of the Dead? Abraham Lincoln's 11-year-old son Willie died of typhoid in 1862. This inventive novel from the author of the Folio Prize-winning Tenth of December has a president, "freshly inclined toward sorrow," driven by grief into communion with the disembodied spirits of the dead in what becomes a meditation on the force of death in personal and collective histories, notably the American Civil War. 

>> Read Stella's review.

>> Read an extract!!

>> Read the review in The New York Times

>> And the review in The Guardian

>> Saunders inside Lincoln's head

>> The sadly shortened life of Willie Lincoln. 

>> George Sanders the novelist talks with Dana Spiotta the novelist

>> Saunders speaks.

>> c.f. Bardo Thodol, The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

>> Cheese

03/11/2017 12:03 PM


Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders   {Reviewed by STELLA}
This is the most original and enjoyable novel to cross my path in recent times. George Saunders is an astounding writer whose gift for story-telling makes Lincoln in the Bardo a pleasure to read and thoroughly absorbing. Using first-hand accounts and a cacophony of voices (from the spirit world) this is predominately a dialogue-driven novel. The year is 1862, an eleven-year-old boy - Willie Lincoln - has a fever and the Civil War rages in America. The book opens with a stately dinner during which the President and his wife venture upstairs at intervals to check on their cherished son. The fever doesn't break and young Willie dies. Lincoln is inconsolable and this is the story of his grief and his visits to the young boy's grave. The historical details from recorded histories, letters, reports and observances create a wonderfully accurate picture of the time and a truthful account of what happened - Saunders cleverly arranges this information to become a readable script ,building visual scenes in the reader's mind. Interspersed are the sections in the Bardo - the Bardo (from Tibetan Buddhist tradition) is a place of transition, a place between death and life, where those stuck in this world are tormented by demons and biding time until the next world. The array of characters Saunders creates are both grotesque and humorous. Unwilling to depart this world, they live in hope for a way back to their loved ones and out of their 'sick-boxes'. Willie is in the Bardo and it is here that his father comes, stricken with grief, to cradle his son one more time. In this place, the cacophony of voices telling this story and their fascination with the living one who enters their world, are intriguing. Not only do these voices give an insight into the times, but their stories of woe are both tragic and entertaining. Saunders gets the pitch just right. A story of grief and familial love against a backdrop of tragedy and crisis, Lincoln in the Bardo is a gem for its stylistic endeavours and the interplay between lightness and dark.


03/04/2017 07:06 AM

Our Book of the Week this week is Hand-Coloured New Zealand: The photographs of Whites Aviation by Peter Alsop
From 1945, Whites Aviation began producing exquisitely hand-coloured detailed aerial photographs of New Zealand which are prized not only as a record of the country in a different time but for their aesthetic and nostalgic qualities. This is a stunning and desirable book. 

>> An introduction to the book

>> Watch this short film about a woman who was a Whites colourist

>> Look through the Whites Aviation archive and the National Library of New Zealand

>>> Get one of these framable Whites Aviation prints courtesy of publishers Potton & Burton when you purchase a copy of the book!!

02/25/2017 12:29 PM

Our Book of the Week this week is Maurice Gee's wonderful fantasy adventure, THE SEVERED LAND. We are giving away a useful map of the severed land (courtesy of Penguin Random House) with every book by Gee (until we run out of maps).

>> "A thoughtful, fast-paced adventure with a wonderful heroine."  Read Stella's review.

>> Maurice Gee gives a rare interview.

>> Read some other excellent books by Maurice Gee.

>> Maurice talks about writing The Halfmen of O. 

>> Watch out for Wilberforces (at least they dress well).

We have a signed copy of The Severed Land to give away (also courtesy of Penguin Random House). To go in the draw, just let us know which book by Maurice Gee is your favourite (and, if you like, why).

02/18/2017 06:41 AM

Our book of the week this week is THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE by Lara Pawson.

Lara Pawson was for some years a journalist for the BBC and other media during the civil wars in Angola, and on the Ivory Coast. In this book, her experiences of societies in trauma, and her idealism for making the 'truth' known, are fragmented (as memory is always fragmented) and mixed with memory fragments of her childhood and of her relationships with the various people she encountered before, during and after the period of heightened awareness provided by war.

"Lara Pawson’s lucid, sudden and subtle memoir unpicks the spirals of memory, politics, violence, to trace the boundaries and crossing points of gender and race identity." – Joanna Walsh

>> Read Thomas's review

>> An interview with the author

>> We're featuring the publications of CB Editions, who published this book. 

>> Lara Pawson and some other CB Editions authors read at Shakespeare and Company, Paris

>> Pawson's book In the Name of the People, on Angola's 1977 forgotten massacre. She talks about this here

>> She also has a blog.