04/20/2018 02:00 AM

Eventide by Therese Bohman            $35
Karolina is a professor of art history who specializes in the portrayal of women at the turn of the 20th century. She’s forty-something, childless, and lives alone in Stockholm — in a smaller apartment and crummier neighbourhood than those she recently shared with her partner of 11 years, Karl Johan. For someone outwardly so successful, why does she feel such a failure? For someone seemingly so liberated, why does she feel so constrained? 
"Intelligent, impassioned, and compelling, Bohman explores complex inner worlds with great sensitivity and insight." - Kirkus
The Word for Woman is Wilderness by Abi Andrews           $33
A novel in which a 19-year-old woman  leaves her West Midlands home and travels through the frozen wilderness of the Arctic Circle by foot, husky sled and commercial fishing boats, on across the entire breadth of the American continent and finally to a lonely cabin in the wilds, exploring ideas about wilderness and womanhood as she goes.
"Unlike any published work I have read, in ways that are beguiling and audacious, this book rises to its own challenges in engaging intellectually as well as wholeheartedly with its questions about gender, genre and the concept of wilderness. The novel displays wide reading, clever writing and amusing dialogue." - Sarah Moss, Guardian
The Woman at 1000 Degrees by Hallgrímur Helgason      $27
Eighty-year-old Herra Bjornsson lives alone in a garage with her laptop, an oxygen tank and her father's old hand grenade. Neglected by her family, she spends her days spying on her children by hacking their emails and preparing to lose the race against the ticking time bomb of lung cancer, even making an appointment for her own cremation. As she counts down her final days, Herra looks back at her own remarkable life. Her happy childhood in Iceland was disrupted by the outbreak of war and her father's fervent love of Hitler. Shipped off to supposed safety, Herra spent the war trekking alone across war-torn Europe in a desperate bid to survive. Funny and sad. 
The Cold War: A new oral history by Bridget Kendall       $30
"Bridget Kendall is renowned for her coverage of the Soviet Union. In her understanding of Russia she has few peers. Her collection of first-hand stories of the experience of the Cold War is chilling, powerful and important. These memories are the more compelling for being placed with her own experience and knowledge of those grim days." - Jonathan Dimbleby
Swimmer Among the Stars by Kanishk Tharoor      $20
An interview with the last speaker of a language. A chronicle of the final seven days of a town that is about to be razed to the ground by an invading army. The lonely voyage of an elephant from Kerala to a princess's palace in Morocco. A fabled cook who flavours his food with precious stones. A coterie of international diplomats trapped in near-Earth orbit. Stories from the tradition of the Arabian Nights, Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges and Angela Carter.
Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima          $28
A single mother with a young child becomes increasingly withdrawn after she moves to a light-filled apartment but finds her life more constrained than liberated. The book covers the first year of her life after her divorce and was originally published in Japan in 1978/79) in monthly installments to match its timeframe. 
"Wonderfully poetic. The book has an extraordinary freshness and a Virginia Woolf quality." - Margaret Drabble

Ground Work: Writing about places and people edited by Tim Dee       $40
What sort of nature writing can be written in the anthropocene - an epoch where everything is being determined by the activities of just one soft-skinned, warm-blooded, short-lived, pedestrian species? How best to make our way through the ruins that we have made? Where is nature? An interesting anthology of responses and speculations from Julia Blackburn, Tessa Hadley, John Burnside, Philip Hoare, Marina Warner, Adam Thorpe, Richard Mabey, Philip Marsden, Helen Macdonald and others. 

Venice: Four seasons of home cooking by Russell Norman     $65

An intimate glimpse into life in a traditional Venetian neighbourhood (beautifully photographed!), with 130 delicious and achievable recipes of authentic everyday family dishes. Another excellent book from the author of Polpo.
Yellow Negroes, And other imaginary creatures by Yvan Alagbé         $40
"A timely collection about race and immigration in Paris by one of France’s most revered cult comic book artists. Alagbé uses stark, endlessly inventive black-and-white brushwork to explore love and race, oppression and escape." Publishers Weekly
"Nègres is one of those works that becomes emblematic not just of its publisher, but of a particular moment in comics. It is a bold and nakedly intense effort to represent the way bereavement may trigger memories, dreams, and rationalization, as well as to describe how, like it or not, family dictates our lives." The Comics Journal
>> Sample pages
The Bear and the Paving Stone by Toshiyuki Horie        $22

Three stories in which the past, through nostalgia or through the mindset associated with nostalgia, spills into the present and subtly transforms it. Two of the stories concern a Japanese narrator in France. 
The Best Minds of My Generation: A literary history of the Beats by Allen Ginsberg      $30
Based on a series of lectures given by Ginsberg in 1977, this book gives unparalleled (albeit Ginsbergian) insight into the literary and social revolutionaries who loosened conventions in the 1950s.
"Marvellous. Spellbinding, preserving intact the story of the literary movement Ginsberg led, promoted and never ceased to embody." - The New York Times
>> 'Howl'
>> Ginsberg and Dylan
>> Silent Beats
Owl Sense by Miriam Darlington         $37
Darlingtron set out to track down all thirteen species of owl endemic in Europe. 
"Achingly beautiful." - Guardian
Whose Home is This? by Gillian Candler and Fraser Williamson         $25
Where do animals live? Young children will learn a lot about the habitats of New Zealand native animals from the pages of this attractively illustrated book. See also: Whose Beak is This? and Whose Feet are These? 

Perfecting Sound Forever: The story of recorded music by Greg Milner         $28
Should a recording document reality as faithfully as possible, or should it improve upon or somehow transcend the music it records?
"Very, very, very few books will make you change the way you listen to music. This is one suck book. Read it." - Jarvis Cocker
Also in stock: The World's Din: listening to records, radio and films in New Zealand by Peter Hoar
Gravitational Waves: How Einstein's Space/Time ripples reveal the secrets of the universe by Brian Clegg      $23
Gravitational waves - ripples in the fabric of space and time - are unrelenting, passing through barriers that stop light dead.At the two 4-kilometre long LIGO observatories in the US, scientists developed incredibly sensitive detectors, capable of spotting a movement 100 times smaller than the nucleus of an atom. In 2015 they spotted the ripples produced by two black holes spiralling into each other, setting spacetime quivering. What can we learn from this?
Shakespeare's London on 5 Groats a Day by Richard Tames       $22
Also available: Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day by Philip Matyszak

The Neighbourhood by Mario Varga Llosa        $33
In the 1990s, during the turbulent and deeply corrupt years of Alberto Fujimori's presidency in Peru, two wealthy couples of Lima's high society become embroiled in a disturbing vortex of erotic adventures and politically driven blackmail.

Cheese and Dairy by Steven Lamb        $37
Try your hand at making yoghurt, labneh, mozzarella and matured cheeses. Clear and useful. 
One Clear Ice-Cold January Morning at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century by Roland Schimmelpfennig       $35
A fuel tanker crashes during the night on the autobahn outside Berlin, and a wolf is glimpsed as flames illuminate the surroundings. Not seen in the region for a century, the animal becomes a symbol of change that links the lives of disparate individuals and events: a young couple who have been separated, a bloody incident in a speeding car. Lives change as the wolf makes its way through the city. 
"The exhilarating narrative is wonderfully concise, and the imagery is intensely cinematic." - Guardian

Power in Numbers: The rebel women of mathematics by Talithia Williams      $40
Two thousand years of female mathematicians feature in this illustrated collective biography.

Turning: A swimming memoir by Jessica Lee        $28
"I long for the ice. The sharp cut of freezing water on my feet. The immeasurable black of the lake at its coldest. Swimming then means cold, and pain, and elation." Seeking to overcome depression, Lee undertakes to swim 52 German lakes in 52 weeks.
"A lovely, poetic, sensuous and melancholy book." - Irish Examiner
"Turning is many things: a snapshot of Berlin seen through the prism of its lakes; the story of a broken and healing heart; a contemplation of identity; a coming-of-age story." - Guardian

City Maps and Stories: Contemporary wanders through the 19th century illustrated by Lorenzo Petrantoni     $55
Explore 100 routes around 15 cities as they were at the beginning of the 20th century, and find unexpected stories and a lot of type ornaments. 
>> Find out more about Lorenzo Petrantoni's love affair with type ornaments

Refugee by Alan Gratz          $25
Josef is a Jewish boy in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world. Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to reach America. Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe. The experience of these three children is remarkably similar. 

The Merry Spinster: Tales of everyday horror by Malory Ortberg        $28
"Mallory Ortberg has created a Frankenstein's monster of familiar narratives that swings between Terry Pratchett's satirical jocularity and Angela Carter's sinister, shrewd storytelling, and the result is gorgeous, unsettling, splenic, cruel, and wickedly smart. I've never read anything quite like them." - Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties
"A wholly satisfying blend of silliness, feminist critique, and deft prose makes this a collection of bedtime stories that will keep you up at night for all the right reasons." - Kirkus 
The Vaccine Race: How scientists used human cells to combat killer viruses by Meredith Wadman        $30
Short-listed for the 2018 Wellcome Prize
Robata: Japanese home grilling by Silla Bjerrum        $55
Learn how to prepare classic yakitori and traditional Japanese fish robata dishes such as Miso Black Cod or a selection of vegetarian robata dishes on the unique Japanese charcoal grill. 
Out of China: How the Chinese ended the era of Western domination by Robert Beckers                 $38
China’s new nationalism, Robert Bickers says, is rooted not in its present power but in shameful memories of its former weaknesses. Invaded, humiliated, and looted in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by foreign powers, China has worked hard to regain its independence, but still looks to the future in terms of this history. 

Isabella of Castile: Europe's first great queen by Giles Tremlett       $22

Ascending the throne in 1474 at the age of 23, Isabella began to pull Spain into the Renaissance and to make it a significant power in a modernising and increasingly outward-looking Europe. 
Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the building of Britain by Julian Glover         $22
A stonemason turned architect turned engineer, Telford (1757-1834) invented the modern road, built churches, harbours, canals, docks, the famously vertiginous Pontcysyllte aqueduct in Wales and the dramatic Menai Bridge. Almost everything he ever built remains in use today. 
>>Pontcysyllte aqueduct.
>> The Menai Bridge in 1939

The Marzipan Pig by Russell Hoban and Quentin Blake       $20

Fallen behind the sofa, nobody hears the lost marzipan pig's cries for help. After many months, a mouse discovers him and eats him up, having never known such sweetness. A longing to be loved passes from the marzipan pig to the mouse and so begins a curious chain of events featuring a dancing owl, a glowing taxi meter, a buzzing bee and a pinky-orange hibiscus flower.
Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the myths of our gendered minds by Cordelia Fine        $25
Really this book ought to at last put to rest all that nonsense about 'male' and 'female' brains. There are just brains - the rest is up to us. Now in paperback. 
Winner of the 2017 Royal Society Science Book Prize. 
The Kevin Show: An Olympic athlete's battle with mental illness by Mary Pilon         $38
To what extent is the syndrome that makes sailor Kevin Hall believe he is constantly obeying The Director, someone nobody else can see, also responsible for his sporting success? What are the ties between mental illness and other, more celebrated, forms of exceptionality? 

Sentinels of the Sea: A miscellany of lighthouses past by R.G. Grant          $45
Representing safety on dangerous coasts, lighthouses are structures of precise technology standing in the roughest natural locations. This book includes architectural plans and elevations, and period drawings and photographs showing the innovative designs and technologies behind fifty lighthouses built around the world from the 17th to the 20th century. Appealing. 
>> Life in a lighthouse
>> A reassuring lighthouse in a storm (10 hours)

04/13/2018 05:50 AM


Out of the carton and onto your shelf. 
The Right Intention by Andrés Barba       $32
Four precise and unsettling novellas from the author of the devastating Such Small Hands. A runner puts his marriage at risk while training for a marathon; a teenager can no longer stand the sight of meat following her parents' divorce; a man suddenly fixates on the age difference between him and his younger lover. What are the relationships between internal states and external events? Barba shows that each is a trap for the other. 
"Barba is a master of the novella. A gorgeous, fully realised collection." - Kirkus
>> On loving your inhuman characters: Andrés Barba in conversation with Yiyun Li (author of, most recently, Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life). 
Mothers by Chris Power        $33
"To read Power's stories is to take a journey through a landscape familiar enough to console, yet strange enough to unsettle. The thrills and dangers of such a journey lie with the unexpectedness of life's undercurrents and our uncertain, unknowable selves. Chris Power's quiet yet compelling touch is reminiscent of Alice Munro and Peter Stamm." - Yiyun Li
The Overstory by Richard Powers       $37
Nine people, each learning to see the world from the point of view of trees, come together in an attempt to save a stand of North American virgin forest. The book gives a trees' perspective of American history, from before the War of Independence to the Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest in the late 20th century. 
"An extraordinary novel. There is something exhilarating in reading a novel whose context is wider than human life. The Overstory leaves you with a slightly adjusted frame of reference. What was happening to his characters passed into my conscience, like alcohol into the bloodstream, and left a feeling behind of grief or guilt, even after I put it down.” — Benjamin Markovits, The Guardian
"It’s not possible for Powers to write an uninteresting book." -  Margaret Atwood
>> Read an extract
Better Lives: Migration, wellbeing and New Zealand by Julie Fry and Peter Wilson       $15
Migration is at historically high levels and more than a quarter of the New Zealand population was born overseas. Yet immigration remains a deeply contentious issue, with the debate more often shaped by emotion than evidence. This book attempts to widen the discourse from considerations of GDP to consider te Tiriti, historical aspirations and social texture. 

Follow This Thread by Henry Eliot         $48
Mazes and labyrinths are both fascinating to explore and manifestations of the wonderful or horrific intricacies of our own minds. Eliot leads us deep into mazes, both real and imagined, from ancient ritual labyrinths to the works of Franz Kafka. The illustrations on each page are drawn by a single red line that winds through the book, sometimes forcing the reader to turn the book and read n unexpected ways. 
This is M. Sasek: The extraordinary life and travels of the beloved children's book illustrator by Olga Cerna, Pavel Ryska and Martin Salisbury      $60
Replete with documents, memories, and images from the life of Miroslav Sasek, this book is richly illustrated with material from Sasek's books as well as such archival material as previously unpublished illustrations, photographs, and vintage fan letters from children inspired by his books.
>> Sasek at VOLUME
>> New York!

The Solitary Twin by Harry Mathews       $30
A apparent mystery novel that simultaneously considers the art of storytelling. When identical twins arrive at an unnamed fishing port, they become the focus of the residents’ attention and gossip. The stories they tell about the young men uncover a dizzying web of connections, revealing passion, sex, and murder. Fates are surprisingly intertwined, and the result is a novel that questions our assumptions about life and literature. Mathews's straight-jacketed narrative style and his liking for constraints for guiding narratives through improbable territory led to his being invited to become the first American member of OuLiPo
"Harry Mathews's finest novel." - John Ashbery
>> An interview with Mathews when he was still alive

My Dad is My Uncle's Brother: Who's who in my family? by Jo Lyward      $22
Everyone in a family is related to everyone else, but in different ways. This quirky picture book is a fun introduction to genealogy. 

Imagine Wanting Only This by Kristen Radtke        $50
"The most beautiful graphic novel you'll read all year, Kristen Radtke's memoir is an absolutely stunning look at what it is to recover from grief, and is so haunting you'll be thinking about it for days after reading it. At once narrative and factual, historical and personal, Radtke's stunning illustrations and piercing text never shy away from the big questions: Why are we here, and what will we leave behind?" - Newsweek 
Thought for Food: Why what we eat matters by John D. Potter     $15
"We are no longer like our ancestors. We no longer depend on our skills as foragers, gatherers, scavengers, hunters and fishers for food. We are only part-time food raisers at best. Our biology, on the other hand, has changed far less. Now there is a mismatch between who we are and what we eat. And it is in the gap created by this mismatch that chronic diseases can take root."
 Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday             $33
A tripartite story of relationships across boundaries of age, gender, politics and nationality.
“Asymmetry is extraordinary. Halliday has written, somehow all at once, a transgressive roman a clef, a novel of ideas and a politically engaged work of metafiction.” — The New York Times Book Review

"A book unlike any you've read." - Chuck Harbach

Gates of Paradise by Hiroshi Sugimoto       $149
In 1585 four young Japanese men  from the nascent Christian community in Japan appeared before Pope Gregory XIII. Renowned photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto traces their steps, capturing the architectural wonders of Rome, Florence, and Venice as the Eastern visitors might have seen them. His photographs are presented in context with reproductions of Japanese art of the same period. Interesting and impressive. 

My German Brother by Chico Buarque        $33
Informed by the Brazilian author's search for his own German half-brother, this novel concerns a young Brazilian's search for a recently discovered German half-brother and his unearthing  and intertwining of his own and his father's personal histories. But what happens in his immediate family when he is looking somewhere else? 

Circe by Madeleine Miller         $32
“When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist.” Miller presents a beautifully written, thoughtful and passionate feminist retelling of the life of Circe, the witch who reduced Odysseus's crew to animals. From the author of The Song of Achilles.

"Circe is the utterly captivating, exquisitely written story of an ordinary, and extraordinary, woman's life." - Eimear McBride

All the Things That I Lost in the Flood by Laurie Anderson        $149
A stunning self-curated collection of Anderson's artwork, spanning drawing, multimedia installations, performance, and projects using augmented reality, providing a deep insight into the creative mind of an artist best known for her music and sound art. 
>> The tape-bow violin
>> 'Oh, Superman!'
>> Anderson on Radio NZ National (or whatever it is called).
Song for Rosaleen by Pip Desmond         $30
As Rosaleen Desmond slips into dementia her daughter commits this memoir to paper. 
"A beautiful, honest and deeply moving memoir. I have no doubt this book will resonate with a huge portion of readers - especially anyone who has watched a loved one decline due to a degenerative illness." - Mandy Hager
The Old Man by Sarah V. Claude and K. Dubois       $25
A tender picture book about the life of a homeless man, and the small things that can make his day special. 

Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different by Ben Brooks     $40
Boys also can break their gender stereotypes and make the world a better and more interesting place to live. This fully illustrated counterpart to Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls provides brief biographies of 100 male humans who exemplify a sensitive, individual and creative approach to the world. Includes Taika Waititi, Daniel Radcliffe, Galileo Galilei, Nelson Mandela, Louis Armstrong, Grayson Perry, Louis Braille, Lionel Messi, King George VI, Jamie Oliver, Frank Ocean, Salvador Dalí, Rimbaud, Beethoven, Barack Obama, Stormzy, Ai Weiwei and Jesse Owens.
No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin        $40
A collection of essays on aging, imagining, believing, the state of literature and the state of the world. 
Odyssey of the Unknown ANZAC by David Hastings         $35
Ten years after World War One, a Sydney psychiatric hospital held a man who had been found wandering the streets of London, incapable of providing any information other than  that he had been an ANZAC. An international campaign to find his family ensued. This book follows the story of George McQuay, from rural New Zealand through Gallipoli and the Western Front, through desertions and hospitals, and finally home to New Zealand.

A Line Made by Walking by Sarah Baume         $28
 Baume is investigating what it means to think and feel more deeply, what sadness looks like, particularly inside the head of Frankie, a young woman stymied by her inability to act on her desires and overwhelmed by depression. It’s not all gloom; it is lifted by some wry observations, the lack of sentiment, and Baume’s excellent writing - sharp, astute and lyrical. Now in paperback. 
>> Read Stella's review
The Howling Miller by Arto Paasilinna      $23
When Gunnar Huttunen turns up in a small village to restore its run-down mill, its inhabitants are wary. Gunnar is big. He's a bit odd. And, strangest of all, he howls wildly at night. If Gunnar is different, then he must be mad, the villagers decide. Hounded from his home, he must find a way to survive the wilds of nature and the greater savagery of civilisation. Paasilinna was born in Lapland in 1942.
"A gem of a novel." - New York Times
A Life by Italo Svevo        $22
Alfonso the bank clerk wants to be a poet and seems to be falling in love with Annetta, the vain and arrogant daughter of his boss. But the emptiness of his attempts at both writing and love lead to an ironic and painful conclusion. 
"The most significant Italian modernist novelist." - Times Literary Supplement
"If you have never read Svevo, do as soon as you can. He is beautiful and important." - New Statesman

Daphne, A love story by Will Boast       $33
Ovid's myth of Daphne and Apollo retold for the modern age. Daphne suffers from a form of cataplexy, which literally paralyses her when experiencing emotion. Consequently she has few friends and finds love problematic. One touch can freeze her. She is unsettled when she meets Ollie - will she hazard love or cling to safety? 
Goldilocks and the Water Bears: The search for life in the universe by Louisa Preston     $22
We know of only a single planet that hosts life: the Earth. But across a universe of at least 100 billion possibly habitable worlds, surely our planet isn't the only one that, like the porridge Goldilocks sought, is just right for life. Astrobiologists search the galaxy for conditions that are suitable for life to exist, focusing on similar worlds located at the perfect distance from their Sun, within the aptly named 'Goldilocks Zone'. Such a place might have liquid water on its surface, and may therefore support a thriving biosphere. What might life look like on other worlds? 
Art Sex Music by Cosey Fanni Tutti        $28
How does work on the margins eventually shape the course of the mainstream? Cosey Fanni Tutti's explorations of music, art and erotica has continually challenged social and creative norms. With the anti-band Throbbing Gristle, as half of the electronica pioneers Chris and Cosey, or solo, her work became avant-garde only after the rest of the world started moving in that direction. New edition. 
>> 'Time to Tell' (1983).

>> 'Near You' (1982). 
Being Ecological by Timothy Morton         $28
Don't care about ecology? This book is for you. Morton sets out to show that we already have the capacity and the will to change the way we understand the place of humans in the world.
Beyond Weird: Why everything you thought you knew about quantum physics is different by Philip Ball       $38
Quantum mechanics is less about particles and waves, uncertainty and fuzziness, than a theory about information- about what can be known and how. 
"This is the book I wish I could have written, but am very glad I've read. It's an accessible, persuasive and thorough appraisal of what the most important theory in all of science actually means." - Jim Al-Khalili

The Unmapped Mind: A memoir of neurology, incurable disease and learning how to live by Christian Donlan       $40
On the day that his daughter took her first step, Donlan was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This well-written memoir gives insight not only into MS and living with it, but into parenthood and into what remains whenever everything seems to have been lost. 

365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joelle Jolivet        $25
Imagine your delight if a penguin arrived at your door. What happens, though, when a penguins arrives every day? Where will you put them all? 

04/06/2018 06:55 AM


("Read us!")

Sight by Jessie Greengrass         $38
An accomplished, thoughtful and somewhat melancholy novel, tracking the thoughts of an expectant mother whose own mother has just died, whose ruminations on the mind, the body, living and dying encompass swathes of science and philosophy (as well as her own life). 
"The writing is poised – but as if on the edge of a precipice. Hovering between the novel and the essay, unfolding through long, languorous sentences, Sight builds meaning through juxtaposition, through surprising mirrorings and parallels. - Guardian

Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun Li        $28
Beautifully and thoughtfully written, these stories of the abrupt interpersonal mechanisms of life in modern China, and of the alternative existence offered in literature are affecting and memorable. (The title is a quote from Katherine Mansfield, BTW.)
"Profoundly engaging in depth, with remarkable subtlety and rare, limpid beauty." - Mary Gaitskill
"A remarkable account of literary life [from] an important and gifted writer. Her new book is a meditation on the fact that literature itself lives and gives life." - Marilynne Robinson 
>> Trauma and breakdown
Afterglow by Eileen Myles         $33
Ostensibly a memoir of sixteen years living with her dog, Rosie, Afterglow is a beautifully written contemplation of everything that has touched on Myles's life in that time.
"A ravishingly strange and gorgeous book about a dog that's really about life and everything there is, Eileen Myles's Afterglow is a truly astonishing creation." - Helen Macdonald (author of H is for Hawk)
"Reading Afterglow is like entering the company of a sensibility that is rich, original, witty, and tonally brilliant. It is the darting asides, the phrasing and the subplots that matter most in this book, that give pure, sheer constant pleasure." - Colm Toibin
Arkady by Patrick Langley           $37
A city is in the throes of social strife, with the poor and disadvantaged pushed to the edges, both physically and politically. Can two brothers navigate in the abandoned barge they requisition and find a new way of life? 
"Thick with smoky atmosphere and beautifully controlled - this is a vivid and very fine debut." - Kevin Barry 
"The Romulus and Remus of a refugee nation embark upon a drift across livid cities, liberatory canals and compromised occupations in a parallel present mere millimetres from our own. Langley gives to the reader the taste of the Molotov fumes and the bloody heft of the personal-political in this propulsive, acid fable, a dérive for the age of urbex. How can the orphaned subject escape the surveillance state? Read on to find out. We, also, are in Arcadia." — Mark Blacklock
>> Read an extract.
The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander    $20
In the early years of the 20th century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time, an Indian elephant was deliberately put to death by electricity in Coney Island. These are the facts. Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage, radioactivity, and injustice crying out to be righted. 
"Devastatingly powerful. A searing meditation on myth, history, and the persistence of poison in all its terrible forms. Bolander gives voice to the voiceless with such controlled and perfect fury the pages seem to char and burn as you read. It feels like an alternate 'Just So' story revealed to us by an ecstatic punk oracle. I can't stop thinking about it." - Helen MacDonald, author of H is for Hawk
The Wasp and the Orchid: The remarkable life of Australian naturalist Edith Coleman by Danielle Clode     $45
In 1922, a 48-year-old housewife from Blackburn delivered her first paper, on native Australian orchids, to the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria. Over the next thirty years, Edith Coleman would write over 300 articles on Australian nature for newspapers, magazines and scientific journals. She would solve the mystery of orchid pollination that had bewildered even Darwin, earn the acclaim of international scientists and, in 1949, become the first woman to be awarded the Australian Natural History Medallion. She was 'Australia's greatest orchid expert', 'foremost of our women naturalists', a woman who 'needed no introduction'. And yet, today, Edith Coleman has faded into obscurity. This book should correct that. 
Japan: The cookbook by Nancy Singleton Hachisu      $70
A definitive collection of over 400 regional and traditional recipes, organised by course and accompanied by insightful notes. Soups, noodles, rices, pickles, one-pots, sweets, and vegetables - all authentic and achievable at home. 

An Anthology of Decorated Papers by P.J.M. Marks        $55
Bookbinder Olga Hirsch (1889–1968) left her collection of 3,500 papers dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries to the British Library - one of the largest and most diverse collections of decorated papers in the world. This book contains reproductions of papers used as wrappers and endpapers for books, as the backing for playing cards, as linings for chests and cases, as pictures for display in churches and homes, as souvenirs for pilgrims, and as wrappings for foodstuffs such as gingerbread and chocolate. 
The Secret Barrister: Stories of the aw and how it's broken by "The Secret Barrister"       $38
What is it like to stand in court representing clients whose lives contain the full spectrum of human experience, right down to the unbelievably unfortunate? The courtroom is a crucible for both the best and worst of humanity. This book is "a searing first-hand account of the human cost of the criminal justice system." If the law is broken, can it be fixed? 

The Dinner Guest by Gabriela Ybarra        $35
At every meal, and extra place is set for someone who is absent - Ybarra's grandfather, who was kidnapped and killed by terrorists. Every so often he appears, casts his shadow over the table and erases on of those present. Ybarra's remarkable novel explores the ties of pain and absence that bind a family. 
Long-listed for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize
Towards Democratic Renewal: Ideas for constitutional change in New Zealand by Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler          $30
Get your democracy in order now!  A compelling case for a  democratic framework to safeguard our political system against current and future challenges. From the authors of A Constitution for New Zealand

The Work I Did: A memoir of the secretary to Goebbels by Brunhilde Pomsel         $30
"I know no one ever believes us nowadays - everyone thinks we knew everything. We knew nothing. It was all a well-kept secret. We believed it. We swallowed it. It seemed entirely plausible." Brunhilde Pomsel described herself as an `apolitical girl' and a `figure on the margins'. How are we to reconcile this description with her chosen profession? Employed as a typist during the Second World War, she worked closely with one of the worst criminals in world history: Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. She was one of the oldest surviving eyewitnesses to the internal workings of the Nazi power apparatus until her death in 2017. Her life, mirroring all the major breaks and continuities of the twentieth century, illustrates how far-right politics, authoritarian regimes and dictatorships can rise, and how political apathy can erode democracy. Compelling and unnerving.
The Post-Conceptual Condition by Peter Osborne         $39
An explorer's guide to the chasm between art and politics, and to the cultural forces that lurk there. Can art catalyse historical moments into philosophical truth? 
>> What makes contemporary art contemporary

The Lives of the Surrealists by Desmond Morris       $55
A Surrealist artist himself but better known as a zoologist and ethnologist, Morris is an excellent guide to the people who, rebelling against the strictures of modern life, devised modes of access to the workings of the unconsciousness, which they allowed expression in literature and art. 

You Say Brick: The life of Louis Kahn by Wendy Lesser      $28
Born to a Jewish family in Estonia in 1901 and brought to America in 1906, the architect Louis Kahn grew up in poverty in Philadelphia; by the time of his death in 1974, he was widely recognised as one of the greatest architects of his era. Yet this enormous reputation was based on only a handful of masterpieces built during the last fifteen years of his life. 
>> Fisher House.

Rainsongs by Sue Hubbard         $25
" A lyrical evocation of Ireland's fragile, ancient coastline reveals a poet's sensitivity. The multi-layered story of love and loss, of a woman 'erased by grief' is exceptionally moving." - Eleanor Fitzsimons

Greece and the Reinvention of Politics by Alain Badiou         $27
An insightful analysis of Syriza and the orchestrated failure of their responses to Greece's political and economic crisis. What can the rest of the world learn from Syriza's model and the opposition it was met with? 
Welcome Home: An apocalyptic fairy tale writ and illustrated by D. Power       $40
A remarkable grimdark fantasy, centering (mostly) around the exploits of Rygnir Wyndfallen, a beast-child drawn by a self-imposed doom to places his tiny life has never been. The world collapses into undead ruin around him and even time cannot uphold itself. Beautifully (and grimly) illustrated in colour throughout.
>> Preview Chapter One
Feverish by Gigi Fenster        $30
Fenster induced a fever in herself and was ready to follow whatever literary threads emerged from this experience. The resulting book covers her whole life, her relationship with her parents and others, and ruminations on bravery, transgression, vulnerability and art. "Fever is a particularly writerly thing," she writes. 
>> Feverish on the radio 
Havana: A subtropical delirium by Mark Kurlansky         $27
An enjoyable account of both the history and the contemporary texture of the Cuban capital. 

A Shadow Above: The fall and rise rise of the raven by Joe Shute       $35
Insight into both the legendary and natural history of the highly intelligent bird we have used to represent death, all-seeing power, the underworld, and wildness itself. 
>> Ravens are even ventriloquists. 

Cuz by Liz van der Laarse        $20
River gets a chance to crew on his uncle's fishing boat. He is annoyed by his cousin Huia and all her talk pf Maoritanga, but, when they find themselves stranded in Fiordland, he learns a lot from her as they try to survive in inhospitable country. 
Camp Austen: My life as an accidental Jane Austen superfan by Ted Scheinman         $23
“I didn’t last in Austenworld, but for a time it was ludicrous, intoxicating, and sometimes heartbreaking." By birth a Janeite (his mother was a noted scholar), Scheinman grew up eating Yorkshire pudding, singing in an Anglican choir, and watching Laurence Olivier as Mr. Darcy. Amusing (and with insights into the Cult). 
>> The Jane Austen Fight Club

How Numbers Work: The strange and beautiful world of mathematics by New Scientist        $35
(But is zero even a number?)

Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Muñoz Molina        $37
After the assassination of Martin Luther King, James Earl Ray fled America and spent some time in Lisbon before his apprehension. This novel weaves speculation about Ray's time in Lisbon with an author's quest for fulfillment. 
My Miniature Library by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini     $28
30 tiny books to make, read and treasure, and a library scene to display them in! Fun. 

03/29/2018 06:33 AM


Sphinx by Cat Woodward      $20
Each poem in this excellent collection pits its voice both against silence and against the deluge of other voices suspended above it, waiting for an opportunity to smother it. Every word is effective and surprising, the whole geared so that the humour and the blades rotate in opposite directions. A form-bursting collection from a poet recently moved to Nelson from the UK.
>> Find out about the 5-week poetry course Cat will be teaching at VOLUME in April. 

Go Girl: A storybook of epic New Zealand women by Barbara Else      $45
New Zealand's answer to Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls! Inspiring stories and wonderful illustrations. Includes Whina Cooper, Janet Frame, Beatrice Tinsley, Frances Hodgkins, Georgina Beyer, Huria Matenga, Jane Campion, Joan Wiffen, Karen Walker, Kate Edger, Katherine Mansfield, Mai Chen, Merata Mita, Mojo Mathers, Patricia Grace, Suzie Moncrieff, Farah Palmer, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Lucy Lawless, Kate Sheppard, Nancy Wake, Sophie Pascoe, Margaret Mahy, Lydia Ko, Merata Mita, Lorde, Rita Angus and Te Puea Herangi. Illustrations by Sarah Laing, Sarah Wilkins, Fifi Coulston, Ali Teo, Helen Taylor, Phoebe Morris, Sophie Watkins, Rebecca ter Borg and Vasanti Unka. 
The Cemetery in Barnes by Gabriel Josipovici      $28
How do lives and the narratives that impart these lives converge and overlay each other, and how is a translator able to correlate narratives not only across languages but across time? Beautifully constructed and written, a triple narrative both pulled towards and avoiding the darkness at its centre. 
"One of the very best writers now at work in the English language, and a man whose writing, both in fiction and in critical studies, displays a unity of sensibility and intelligence and deep feeling difficult to overvalue at any time." - Guardian
>> Visit the cemetery
The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman       $37

Born in Rome during his artist father's sojourn there, Pinch grows up desperate to emulate him, both artistically and otherwise. Moving to London to teach Italian, Pinch begins to write a biography of his father, but when his father dies, he sees the opportunity to receive more from him than the father, when alive, was prepared to give. Subtle and perceptive. 
Mazarine by Charlotte Grimshaw        $38
When her daughter vanishes during a heatwave in Europe, writer Frances Sinclair embarks on a hunt that takes her across continents and into her own past. What clues can Frances find in her own history, and who is the mysterious Mazarine? 
>> What are the possibilities of fiction in a post-truth world? 

Census by Jesse Ball       $37
A widower cares for his adult son, who has Down Syndrome. When he learns that he hasn't long to live the man takes a job as a census taker for a mysterious government agency and takes to the road with his son. 
"Census is a vital testament to selfless love; a psalm to commonplace miracles; and a mysterious evolving metaphor. So kind, it aches." - David Mitchell
"Census is Ball's most personal and best to date. Think The Road by Cormac McCarthy with Ball’s signature surreal flourishes." - New York Times
"A poet by trade, Ball understands the economy of language better than most fiction writers today." - Huffington Post
"A devastatingly powerful call for understanding and compassion." - Publishers Weekly
The Friendly Ones by Philip Hensher          $40
Family life in Sheffield meets the brutal history of Bangladesh in this thoughtful, perceptive and uncompromising novel. 
"Hensher is one of our most gifted novelists and this is certainly his best novel yet." - Guardian

The World's Din: Listening to records, radio and films in New Zealand, 1880-1940 by Peter Hoar       $45
An excellent history of social and private audiophilia and the societal changes concomitant with developments in recording technologies.
A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A guide to capitalism, nature and the future of the planet by Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore      $40
Nature, Money, Work, Care, Food, Energy and Lives are the seven things that have made our world and will continue to shape its future. By making these things cheap, modern commerce has controlled, transformed, and devastated the Earth.
Granta 142: Animalia         $28
We love and care for animals as pets, we weave them into our myths and fables, and then we breed them under conditions of terrible cruelty just so we can eat them cheaply. As new developments in research into animal cognition force us to concede fewer characteristics separating us from our neighbouring species, this issue of Granta asks writers, poets and photographers to consider the complex ways we interact with the animal kingdom. Includes contributions from Han Kang, Nell Zink and Yoko Tawada. 

The Old Man and the Sand Eel by Will Millard       $40
“My whole life has been one surrounded by water and my happiness can be accurately measured by proximity to it.” So begins Will Millard’s absorbing memoir about a lifetime’s obsession with fishing, in which he was joined by his grandfather. An evocation of British waterways and connections across generations. 
Dear Fahrenheit 451: A librarian's love letters and break-up notes to her books by Annie Spence       $28
Read this with a pencil at the ready: not only will you be making yourself a reading list, you'll be wanting to start writing love letters and break-up notes to the books that you love or that have disappointed you. 
The Traitor's Niche by Ismail Kadare       $24
In the main square of Constantinople, a niche is carved into ancient stone. Here, the Ottoman sultan displays the severed heads of his adversaries. Tundj Hata, the imperial courier, is charged with transporting heads to the capital - a task he relishes and performs with fervour. But as he travels through obscure and impoverished territories, he makes money from illicit side-shows, offering villagers the spectacle of death. The head of the rebellious Albanian governor would fetch a very high price. 
"The narrative unfurls with the shifting intensity of a dream, enriched by unsettlingly surreal details. It is a brilliant examination of the way that authoritarian structures operate: Kafka on a grander political scale." - Sunday Times
"Kadare is inevitably likened to Orwell and Kundera, but he is a far deeper ironist than the first, and a better storyteller than the second. He is a compellingly ironic storyteller because he so brilliantly summons details that explode with symbolic reality." - James Wood, The New Yorker 
Essays on World Literature by Ismail Kadare       $35
What can Aeschylus, Dante and Shakespeare teach us about resisting totalitarianism? 
"Ismail Kadare's first and only collection of essays translated into English offers profound and highly personal meditations on 'great' writers in the world literary tradition. Kadare conceives of literature as art that 'cries with the world', seeking through letters to understand the uniquely and most deeply human: tragedy, violence, pain. The 'world' of Kadare's essays on 'world literature' is a reflection of his native Albania's 'impossible drama' on the global scale of human history, an observation at once parochial and profound, like the greatness of great art." - Sean Guynes-Vishniac, World Literature Today
The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis       $30
It is an ordinary Tuesday morning in April when bored, lonely Charlie Fisher witnesses something incredible. Right before his eyes, in a busy square in Marseille, a group of pickpockets pulls off an amazing robbery. As the young bandits appear to melt into the crowd, Charlie realizes with a start that he himself was one of their marks. Yet Charlie is less alarmed than intrigued. This is the most thrilling thing that's happened to him since he came to France with his father, an American diplomat. So instead of reporting the thieves, Charlie defends one of them to the police, under one condition: he teach Charlie the tricks of the trade. 
The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton       $28
When the witch Rona Blackburn took vengeance against the men of Anathema Island, she also cursed her descendants to heartbreak, diminished magic, and an intrinsic bond to that remote northwestern locale. Now, ninth-generation Blackburn daughter Nor wants only to reach her 17th birthday leaving “the slightest mark humanly possible on the world. Despite physical and emotional scars, can she find the strength to stand against her villainous mother?
"An atmospheric, blood-drenched dark fantasy for a cold and stormy night." - Kirkus Reviews
Barcelona Cult Recipes by Stephan Mitsch        $55

Visit Catalonia's buzzing metropolis through its local dishes. An exciting addition to the excellent 'Cult Recipes' series

Book Towns by Alex Johnson         $33
Visit 45 towns around the world (including Featherston in New Zealand) that celebrate the printed word.
The Periodic Table of Feminism by Marisa Bate      $30
The history of feminism told through its individual active elements. What sorts of molecules could we construct from them? 

One Knife, One Pot, One Dish: Simple French cooking at home by Stéphane Reynaud         $45
Every short-cut that can be made, and every simplification, without compromising the authenticity or the deliciousness of these 160 classic recipes. 
I Am Sasha by Anita Selzer        $23
To elude the Nazi round-up of Polish Jews, a mother purchases fake Aryan ID papers, dresses her son as a girl (so his circumcision won't be discovered) and moves across Europe through displaced persons camps. The true story of the author's father and grandmother. 

The Orange Balloon Dog: Bubbles, turmoil and avarice in the contemporary art market by Don Thompson        $33
What, beyond aesthetics, is at play in the vast prices paid at auctions for contemporary art? 
The Eye of the North by Sinead O'Hart       $20
When Emmeline's scientist parents mysteriously disappear, she finds herself being packed off on a ship to France, heading for a safe house in Paris. On board she is befriended by an urchin stowaway called Thing. But before she can reach her destination she is kidnapped by the sinister Dr Siegfried Bauer. Dr Bauer is bound for the ice fields of Greenland to summon a legendary monster from the deep. And he isn't the only one determined to unleash the creature. The Northwitch has laid claim to the beast, too. Can Emmeline and Thing stop their fiendish plans and save the world?

The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary by Nonieqa Ramos       $28
Macy's school officially classifies her as "disturbed," but Macy isn't interested in how others define her. She's got more pressing problems: her mother can't move off the couch, her father's in prison, her brother's been taken by Child Protective Services, and now her best friend isn't speaking to her. Writing in a dictionary format, Macy explains the world in her own terms.
The Lost War Horses of Cairo: The passion of Dorothy Brooke by Grant Hayter-Menzies      $37
At the end of the First World War, thousands of British war horses were left behind in the Middle East. Dorothy Brooke, a wealthy Scottish socialite, visited Cairo in 1930 and was appalled at their fate. She founded the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital, dedicated the welfare of these and other animals.
With the End in Mind: Dying, death and denial in an age of denial by Kathryn Mannix        $30
Our cultural fear of death has blinded us the very things that are most important in the last days of a life. 
>> "We need to talk about dying." (Mannix on Radio NZ)
Macbeth (Hogarth Shakespeare series) by Jo Nesbo        $37
The Elizabethan tragedy rewritten as a blood-soaked police drama set in a rainy northern town in the 1970s.other animals. 

Ngaio Marsh: her life in crime by Joanne Drayton        $30
A life split between her public and private personas, between crime and theatre, and between London and New Zealand.

Quantum Physics for Babies by Chris Ferrie         $19
Meet electrons and learn about their energy and what they can and cannot do. A non-condescending board book. 

03/23/2018 04:24 AM

Lacking Character by Curtis White        $38
The story begins when a masked man with “a message both obscure and appalling” appears at the door of the Marquis claiming a matter of life and death, declaring, “I stand falsely accused of an atrocity!”
Dispatched by the Queen of Spells from the Outer Hebrides, the Masked Man’s message was really just a polite request for the Marquis (a video game-playing burnout) to help him enroll in some community college vocational classes. But the exchange gets botched… badly. And our masked man is now lost in America, encountering its absurdities at every turn, and cursing the author that created him.
"A profane wrestling match between high style and low comedy." - Kirkus 
“Curtis White is a master of the digressive, philosophical novel. His new work Lacking Character provides another excellent example of this tradition. Lacking Character is very funny, bursting with wit and generosity. It evokes Thomas Pynchon, Robert Coover, and the historical picaresque. There is Rabelais as well as the Soviet fairy tales of Kapek or Kharms, and the French symbolist films of Cocteau or Demy. Lacking Character is funny and heartbreaking.” — Entropy
The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch         $33
In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet's now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless, pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin. Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule - galvanised by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her.
"All my youth I gloried in the wild, exulting, rollercoaster prose and questing narratives of Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, and Jack Kerouac, but cringed at the misogyny; couldn't we have the former without the latter? We can, because: Lidia Yuknavitch. Buckle your seat belts; it's gonna be a wild feminist ride." - Rebecca Solnit"A raucous celebration, a searing condemnation, and fiercely imaginative retelling of Joan of Arc's transcendent life." - Roxane Gay
>> This Joan's not for burning
>> The Small Backs of Children is also excellent. 
Borges in Sicily: Journey with a blind guide by Alejandro Luque        $40
When Alejandro Luque received a set of photographs taken of Jorge Luis Borges on his visit to Sicily in 1984 (two years before his death) in the company of Maria Kodama (his PA and, eventually, wife and literary executor), he decided to trace Borges' steps, see the sights that Borges did not see due to his blindness, and discover what he could learn about his literary hero and about other literary visitors to Sicily. An interesting, very Borgesian travelogue (illustrated with the photographs). Includes a brief appearance by the Mediterranean's most slovenly gorilla. 
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi       $27
A monster created from human remains rampages around the streets of Baghdad. What qualifies as human in a city traumatised by war? 
"An extraordinary piece of work. With uncompromising focus, Ahmed Saadawi takes you right to the wounded heart of war's absurd and tragic wreckage. A devastating but essential read." - Kevin Powers
"There is no shortage of wonderful, literate Frankenstein reimaginings but few so viscerally mine Shelley's story for its metaphoric riches." - Booklist
Things That Bother Me: Death, freedom, the self, etc. by Galen Strawson      $38
A clear and enjoyable expression of Strawson's dismissal of free will, his avowal of the possibility of panpsychism and his consideration of the arbitrary and experiential characteristics of the self (so to call it). 

White Girls by Hilton Als          $28
"I see how we are all the same, that none of us are white women or black men; rather, we're a series of mouths, and that every mouth needs filling: with something wet or dry, like love, or unfamiliar and savoury, like love." Als traverses the last decades of the twentieth century, from Flannery O'Connor's rural South, through Michael Jackson in the Motown years, to Jean Michel Basquiat and the AIDS epidemic in nineties New York, in order to unravel the tangled notions of sexual and racial identity that have been so formative of contemporary culture
"White Girls is a book, a dream, an enemy, a friend, and, yes, the read of the year." - Junot Diaz
Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes        $38
An aging member of the once-vibrant youth culture of the 1980s finds himself increasingly at a loss in a society moving at a different pace and a different direction. 
"One of the books of the year, if not the decade. No review could do it justice. Seldom has a novel with so much vicious humour and political intent also included moments of beautifully choreographed, unexpected tragedy. Bold and sophisticated, this thrilling, magnificently audacious picaresque is about France and is also about all of us: how loudly we shout, how badly we hurt." - Irish Times
"This is not just a novel, it's an electrocardiogram." - Figaro 
Long-listed for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize
>> On Despentes's 'hardcore feminism'. 
Culture as Weapon: The art of influence in everyday life by Nato Thompson       $38
The machinery of cultural production has been co-opted by institutions, corporations and governments in order to further their interests, maximise profits and suppress dissent. A perceptive account of how advertising, media and politics work today. 

My Sweet Orange Tree by José Mauro de Vasconcelos      $22
Zezé is Brazil’s naughtiest and most loveable boy. His talent for mischief matched only by his great kindness. When he grows up he wants to be a poet but for now he entertains himself playing pranks on the residents of his family’s poor Rio de Janeiro neighbourhood and inventing friends to play with. That is, until he meets a real friend, and his life begins to change. 

A Fiery and Furious People: A history of English violence by James Sharpe        $30
How has society's attitude to violence changed through history? Why are some activities frowned upon in some ages and lauded in others? Does a turbulent history make a people more violent or less so? 
"Wonderfully entertaining, comprehensive and astute." - The Times

The Shepherd's Hut by Tim Winton        $45
Fleeing his abusive father across the desert towards the only person he thinks will understand him, Jaxie comes across an old recluse living in an abandoned shepherd's hut and begins to re-examine the trajectory of his young life. 
"Austere, beautiful and compelling, brilliant and uncomfortable." - Sydney Morning Herald
Tane's War by Brendaniel Weir    $30
1953. In order to help protect two shearers whose relationship is exposed, will their foreman be forced to come out about his relationship with a fellow soldier in World War One? 

The Book Thieves: The Nazi looting of European libraries and the race to return a literary inheritance by Anders Rydell     $35
"An erudite exploration of the systematic plundering of libraries and book collections by Nazi invaders. Looting books by mainly Jewish owners, collections, and libraries was an effective way of stealing Jewish memory and history, as this thorough work of research by Swedish journalist and editor Rydell attests. An Engrossing, haunting journey for bibliophiles and World War II historians alike." - Kirkus 

In Search of Mary Shelley, The girl who wrote Frankenstein by Fiona Simpson      $40
"We all know the life, but what do we know of the woman who lived it?" The story of a the teenager who eloped with a poet and wrote a book that brought into existence a modern archetype
>> Frankenstein in Mary Shelley's own hand. 

The Sea Takes No Prisoners: Offshore voyages in an open dinghy by Peter Clutterbuck         $33
Calypso was a Wayfarer, a small and very popular class of open dinghy, a boat designed for pottering around coastlines and estuaries during the day. But along with the occasional brave crewmate, Clutterbuck managed to sail her across the English Channel, through the Bay of Biscay, down the French canals and into the Mediterranean, then up into the North Sea and the Baltic to Oslo, living aboard for three months at a time. A real-life Swallows and Amazons
Earth Verse: Haiku from the ground up by Sally Walker and William Grill      $30
Fossilisation, rocks, the water cycle, volcanoes, glaciers, thunderstorms, geology, ecology - a beautifully illustrated introduction to earth science. 

Ordinary People by Diana Evans       $38
"A novel that lays bare the normality of black family life in suburban London, while revealing its deepest psyche, its tragedies, its hopes and its magic. A wondrous book." - Afua Hirsch
>> The author on losing her twin
In the Shadows of the American Century: The rise and decline of US global power by Alfred W. McCoy       $38
As the dust settled after World War II, America controlled half the world's manufacturing capacity. By the end of the Cold War it possessed nearly half the planet's military forces, spread across eight hundred bases, and much of its wealth. Beyond what was on display, the United States had also built a formidable diplomatic and clandestine apparatus. Indeed, more than anything else, it is this secretive tier of global surveillance and covert operations that distinguishes the US from the great empires of the past. But recent years have seen America's share of the global economy diminish, its diplomatic alliances falter and its claim to moral leadership abandoned. Will China become the dominant nation this century? 
Vonney Ball Ceramics by Helen Schamroth         $45
The work of the leading contemporary ceramicist, resident in New Zealand since 1995, displays a breadth of influence, from the Bloomsbury Group's Omega Workshop, old English pottery, Memphis and Wedgewood to New Zealand and Pacific indigenous and traditional aesthetics. 
>> Visit Vonney Ball's website
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi       $20
Zelie remembers when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie's Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zelie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zelie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. YA fantasy steeped in Nigerian folklore. 
"The best sort of book: a hugely enjoyable escapist story that makes you re-examine the world around you. It is a miraculous achievement." - The Guardian
Rust by Jean-Michel Rabate         $22
Rust never sleeps, it is working away all the time, converting what we though was solid and permanent into something organic and mutable. Rabate's exploration of the meanings of rust ranges from science into psychology, from investigations of the rust belts in China and the US to the use of rust by artists and architects, to strange ruminations on the connections between rust and blood.
Luggage by Susan Harlan      $22
What we carry about with us when every gram counts are carefully curated portraits of the selves we want to be and of the selves we are anxious to escape. 
Souvenir by Rolf Potts      $22
A souvenir certifies a journey but also distorts our memory of it. What has been the changing nature of travel relics, and how do they reflect the traveller more than the place in which it was acquired? 
Burger by Carol J. Adams        $22
The burger, long the All-American meal, is undergoing an identity crisis. From its shifting place in popular culture to efforts by investors such as Bill Gates to create the non-animal burger that can feed the world, the burger's identity has become as malleable as that patty of protein itself, before it is thrown on a grill. 

03/16/2018 01:59 AM


Release these books and, with them, yourself.

The Fountain in the Forest by Tony White        $33
At once an avant-garde linguistic experiment, a thrilling police procedural, a philosophical meditation on liberty, and a counter-culture bildungsroman, The Fountain in the Forest takes a traditional crime narrative and undermines its every preconception, resulting in a head-spinning multi-leveled metaphysical wonder that loses none of the pace and intrigue of the pulp form upon which it is based. 
>> Chat.

Murmur by Will Eaves        $33
Taking its cue from the arrest and legally enforced chemical castration of the mathematician Alan Turing, Murmur is the account of a man who responds to intolerable physical and mental stress with love, honour and a rigorous, unsentimental curiosity about the ways in which we perceive ourselves and the world. 
"Murmur is a profound meditation on what machine consciousness might mean, the implications of AI, where it will all lead. It’s one of the big stories of our time, though no one else has treated it with such depth and originality." – Peter Blegvad
>> You can enthuse about this book in the snow.
>> Thomas reviews Will Eaves' The Absent Therapist
Gaudy Bauble by Isabel Waidner        $26
A hugely enjoyable, unstoppable and unconstrained excitation both of language itself and of its referents, social mores and particularities. 
"I'm besotted with this beguiling, hilarious, rollocking, language-metamorphosing novel. The future of the queer avant-garde is safe with Isabel Waidner." - Olivia Laing
Short-listed for the 2018 Republic of Consciousness Prize
>> The author reads an extract
>> Read an extract yourself
>> Interview
In the Dark Room by Brian Dillon      $40
"In the Dark Room is a wonderfully controlled yet passionate meditation on memory and the things of the past, those that are lost and those, fewer, that remain: on what, in a late work, Beckett beautifully reduced to 'time and grief and self, so-called'. Retracing his steps through his own life and the lives of the family in the midst of which he grew up, Brian Dillon takes for guides some of the great connoisseurs of melancholy, from St Augustine to W. G. Sebald, by way of Sir Thomas Browne and Marcel Proust and Walter Benjamin. The result is a deeply moving testament, free of sentimentality and evasion, to life's intricacies and the pleasures and the inevitable pains they entail. In defiance of so much that is ephemeral, this is a book that will live." - John Banville, 
Empty Set by Veronica Gerber Bicecci      $32
Can relationships be understood in terms of set theoryHow do you draw an affair? A family? Can a Venn diagram show the ways overlaps turn into absences? Can tree rings tell us what happens when mothers leave? Can we fall in love according to the hop and skip of an acrostic? Empty Set is a novel of patterns, its young narrator's attempt at making sense of inevitable loss, tracing her way forward in loops, triangles, and broken lines. 
"Bicecci's experimental novel takes a unique approach to topics like debilitating loneliness, political repression, and epistemological crises." - Publisher's Weekly
>> "A visual artist who also writes." 
>> The author's website.
Translation as Transhumance by Mireille Gansel        $32
"In this memoir of a translator’s adventures, Mireille Gansel shows us what it means to enter another language through its culture, and to enter the life of another culture through its language. A sensitive and insightful book, which illuminates the difficult, and often underestimated task of translation—and the role of literature in making for a more interconnected and humane world." – Eva Hoffman
"A history not just of twentieth century poetry but of that dark century itself, from the rise of the Nazis to the American bombing of North Vietnam, and yields too a rare insight into the nature of language and the splendours and limitations of translation." – Gabriel Josipovici
On Imagination by Mary Ruefle         $18
"It is impossible for me to write about the imagination; it is like asking a fish to describe the sea." Ruefle, despite this, provides an most approachable primer to her natural element. 

Samuel Beckett is Closed by Michael Coffey      $38
After reading only Beckett for three years, Coffey splices together his ruminations on the writer and his works with media accounts of torture and terrorism, occurrences in his own life and speculations on the nature of literary fame to create a fractured but prismatic work in which casts light in all directions and demonstrates how Beckett's work continues to be a useful thinking tool for the ailments of modern life. The work is structured according to a sequence laid out by Beckett in his notes to the unpublished 'The Long Observation of the Ray'. 
"Coffey’s book speaks to how contemporary writers might stage an unmaking and remaking of form, serving as an ethical reminder of authorial limitations and of the porousness between the worlds we create and the political reality in which we live. By breaking rules of genre and narrative, by embracing experimental form, Coffey’s work raises questions about how contemporary artists might work to resist the status quo through a subversive, fragmentary style that makes it impossible for us to look away from our political reality. Now, more than ever, we have much to learn from Beckett." - Los Angeles Review of Books
The Largesse of the Sea-Maiden by Denis Johnson          $40

"All the slipshod magnificence and crazy wonder of the late, venerated American writer are present in this posthumous collection of short stories." - Observer
What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons          $23
A lively novel exploring the complex interplay of grief, race and gender, national and individual identities, and the struggle to personhood in a society whose currency is labels. 
"Penetratingly good and written in vivid still life - wonderfully chromatic, transfixing and bursting with emotion. Zinzi Clemmons's novel signals the emergence of a voice that refuses to be ignored." - Paul Beatty
"Luminescent. Sometimes fierce and angry, other times quiet and tender." - Independent 
The Last Wolf by Laszlo Krasznahorkai     $23
Written in one virtuosic 73-page sentence which exerts enormous pressure on language to make it more closely resemble thought and which makes form the primary content of this novella, The Last Wolf tells of an academic who is commissioned to travel to Extremadura in Spain where he seeks to determine the fate of the last wolves in that barren area. We read his relation to a Hungarian bartender in Berlin of the accounts of Extremadurans made to him via a translator (and usually based in any case on further hearsay), nesting the subject of the story in several layers of reportage, rumour and translation, the performative complexity of which is repeatedly punctured by the offhand comments of the bartender. Krasznahorkai, as usual, succeeds in being both comic and morose, this hopeless tale of human destruction and the frustrating impassivity of nature is one in which meaning is both invoked and withheld much like the presence of the last elusive wolf (or, rather, much like the story of the last wolf, for it is  narrative that is the true quarry for the hunter). Herman, the other novella in this book, was written earlier in Krasznahorkai’s career, yet deals with many of the same themes. The two versions, reminiscent at times of Kafka, tell of a master trapper whose disgust at his calling is turned upon his own species as the compounding of his exterminations creates a momentum from which neither he nor others can be released. What remains but the consequential force of past actions when their rationale has proven spurious?
>> Also available: lovely hardback
The Arrow that Missed by Ted Jenner      $20
Slipping between verse and prose but maintaining perfect cadence, Jenner's poems are steeped in the ethos of the Classical Greece of which he is a scholar, but address the contemporary, the personal and the particular with a tenderness and an intimacy from which pathos and tragedy are never far distant. 
"It is a labyrinthine house of language with many rooms that Jenner inhabits and what he finds there is never less than (ordinarily) surprising and provocative." - Michael Harlow
Outsiders: Five women writers who changed the world by Lyndall Gordon       $38
Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner, Virginia Woolf: 'outsiders', 'outlaws', 'outcasts'. A woman's reputation was her security and each of these five lost it (to the benefit of posterity). 

Plants Taste Better: Delicious plant-based recipes, from root to fruit by Richard Buckley       $55

"Cooking plants is a uniquely different art from cooking meat or fish - it requires not only a solid grounding in traditional cooking techniques, but also a deeper understanding of new techniques specific to plant based cookery." Nicely presented. 
The Man Who Would Not See by Rajorshi Chakraborti     $38
As children in Calcutta, Ashim and Abhay made a small mistake that split their family forever. Thirty years later, Ashim has re-entered his brother's life, with blame and retribution on his mind. It seems nothing short of smashing Abhay's happy home in New Zealand will make good the damage from the past. At least, this is what Abhay and his wife Lena are certain is happening.
"In his fifth novel, Indian-born, New Zealand-based author Rajorshi Chakraborti skilfully amps up the tension, showing how easily fear can shove reason out the window, even in smart, seemingly self-aware people.It's an absorbing, gripping read that is ultimately about the importance of family and the emotional labour required to create deep, honest connections." - New Zealand Listener
"A compelling book about the dislocation of belonging, geography, culture and, ultimately, memory." - Dominion Post
>> Read an extract.
>> An interview with the author. 
Psychoanalysis: The impossible profession by Janet Malcolm      $25
What is psychoanalysis? Why do people become analysts? Why do people visit analysts? Can psychoanalysis help anyone? What risks does it pose to both patient and analyst?
My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum-Cleaner, A family memoir by Meir Shalev         $30
A charming tale of family ties, over-the-top housekeeping, and the sport of storytelling in Nahalal, the village of Meir Shalev's birth, where her Jewish grandmother settled when moving from Russia to Palestine in 1923. 
The King is Always Above the People by Daniel Alarcón      $23
An affecting collection of stories, all concerning the results of forced migration and the convergence of fates in New York. 

 Rāwāhi by Briar Wood       $25
Short-listed for the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards (poetry section). 
The Telescope in the Ice: Inventing a new astronomy at the South Pole by Mark Bowen          $37
Since 2010, at the geographic South Pole, 'IceCube', a cubic kilometer of clear ice a couple of kilometers below the surface has been used to detect extraterrestrial high-energy neutrinos and provide new data about the universe. Neutrino astronomy is an exciting field, still in its infancy.  
Trajectory by Richard Russo      $37
A collection of short stories, extending the range of the author of Everybody's Fool (and, indeed, Nobody's Fool). 
"Thoughtful and soulful. Trajectory will abruptly break your heart. That's what Richard Russo does, without pretension or fuss, time and time again." - New York Times
Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone       $20
A story about an eagle huntress, an inventor and an organ made of icicles, but also a story about belonging, even at the very edges of our world.
Flora Magnifica: The art of flowers in four seasons by Makoto Azuma and Shunsuke Shiinoki      $70
A stunning, luscious book of unusual flower arrangements, a collaboration between a flower artist and a botanical photographer. Come and see this book. 

Peonies by Jane Eastoe       $45
We like peonies. There are over 50 varieties photographed and described in this book. 
Look What You Made Me Do by Helen Walmsley-Johnson        $38
A book that will do much to raise awareness of psychological abuse within relationships. 
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg            $28
First published in 1824, this novel is not only a savage psychological portrayal of religious hypocrisy and fanaticism but, in its exploration of identity-supplanting doubles, unreliable narrators and embedded narratives, prefigured many of the concerns of the post-modern novel. Memorable. 
The End of Epidemics by Jonathan D. Quick        $38
Dr Quick considers looming epidemics to be the greatest current threat to humanity, but he prescribes a way they can be avoided.

Tomorrow by Elisabeth Russell Taylor        $23
A Jewish refugee living in London returns every year to the Danish island of Møn where her family once had idyllic holiday homes and where, absorbed in their own happiness, for too long they ignored the gathering storm of antisemitism in their German home town. A subtly affecting and nicely structured novel.
Song of the Dolphin Boy by Elizabeth Laird      $20
Finn feels a much stronger affinity with the dolphins off Stromhead than with his fellow humans. Can he help both, and find a place for himself? 

Grandma Z by Daniel Gray-Barnett        $30
Albert's life is very constrained and, well, boring, until his Grandmother Z whisks him off on her motorcycle on a wonderful adventure. 

03/09/2018 04:15 AM


An introduction to some of the new titles that arrived this week. Click through to find out more, and to reserve your copies. 

The Holidays by Blexbolex        $35
At the end of the summer, a girl spends time at her grandfather’s place in the countryside. Then an unexpected guest arrives, who the girl doesn’t like. Through images and the characters’ actions, the book tells the story of those few days and what happens - it's about the assumptions we make that aren’t always right.
"An entirely new, wholly different form of bewitching visual storytelling." - Brainpickings
>> An interview with Blexbolex.

The Dictionary of Animal Languages by Heidi Sapoka         $37
How easy is it for a woman to blaze her own creative path? Ivory Frame escapes her aristocratic family to interwar Paris, where she becomes an artist of the Surrealist set. Many years later she is working on her last masterpiece and looking back over her life. A novel inspired by the life of Leonora Carrington
"The Dictionary of Animal Languages is such a special book, suffused with an almost painterly intelligence. Sopinka's characters experience the world with an intensity we associate with children and visionaries. Watching them navigate the difficulties of the humdrum and the glamorous both is a distinctive, if unsettling, pleasure." — Rivka Galchen
"Not only a dictionary of animal language, but also an atlas of the human heart, Heidi Sopinka's gorgeous debut novel maps the difficult territory between history and memory, love and loss." —Johanna Skibsrud
All This by Chance by Vincent O'Sullivan            $35
"If we don't have the past in mind, it is merely history. If we do, it is still part of the present." A thoughtfully written novel tracing the trauma of the Holocaust and of unspoken secrets through three generations of a family, crossing between Britain and New Zealand. 
The Territory is Not the Map by Marilia Garcia        $22
The distance between territory and map, the distance between a journey and the language used to write about it, the distance between one language and another - there is no straight line to measure any of this. A sequence of poems from one of the most exciting contemporary poets writing in Portuguese. 
>> Read a sample poem

After the Winter by Guadelupe Nettel       $40
When a shy young Mexican woman moves to Paris to study literature, this begins to move the loom upon which the relationships of many people are woven. 
"Nettel creates marvellous parallels between the sorrows and follies of her human characters and the creatures they live with." - New York Times
"The gaze Nettel turns on madness both temperate and destructive, on manias, on deviances, is so sharp that it has us seeing straight into our own obsessions." - Le Monde

Spring by Karl Ove Knausgaard          $38

The third of Knausgaard's seasonal quartet covers one day in that season (13 April 2016) in the life of a man and his newborn daughter, a day filled with its own particulars but also manifesting the weight of the past, especially of something that happened in Summer nearly three years before. 
Wanted: The search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn Taylor edited by Bronwyn Holloway-Smith       $80
New Zealand artist E. Mervyn Taylor was not only an internationally influential wood engraver. During the burgeoning of New Zealand nationalist-cultural focus in the 1960s he produced a dozen murals for government and civic buildings. Some were later destroyed or covered over. This book records the search for a distinctive artistic legacy. 
Maybe Esther by Katja Petrowskaja          $35
From Berlin to Warsaw to Moscow to Kiev, Petrowskaja's search for her family's twentieth-century history encompasses a great-uncle sentenced to death for shooting a German diplomat, a grandfather who disappeared during World War 2 and reappeared forty years later, and a great-gandmother, maybe named Esther, who, being too frail to leave Kiev when the Jews rewe being rounded up, was shot by the Nazis outside her home. 
"Rarely is research into family history this exciting, this moving. If this were a novel it would seem exaggerated and unbelievable. This is great literature." - Der Spiegel
"There's a literary miracle on every page here. There's poetry and politics in this family memoir, but most of all there's the pleasure of being in the company of Petrowskaja's talent. A Proust for the Google age." - Peter Pomerantsev
Anchor Stone by Tony Beyer        $40
Beyer's poetry has a clarity and space that allows meaning and association to orbit the lines and create patterns of resonance indicative of hitherto inaccessible levels of experience, both of society and the natural world. 
Short-listed for the poetry award in the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

The Facts by Therese Lloyd         $25
Poetry and relationships pull against each other, or buoy each other, in this collection of poems set against a failing marriage and an assertion of artistic vitality. 
He's So Masc by Chris Tse       $30
An acerbic, acid-bright, yet unapologetically sentimental and personal reflection on what it means to perform and dissect identity, as a poet and a person.
>> Sample!

Dear Oliver: Uncovering a Pakeha history by Peter Wells        $40
Well's discovery of a cache of letters among his elderly mother's effects led him to unravel the many strands of his family's history, and to find very personal experiences of the war against Te Kooti, the Boer War, the Napier earthquake, the Depression, class fluidity, personal and collective crises and AIDS. 

Pasture and Flock: New and selected poems by Anna Jackson      $35
Pastoral yet gritty, intellectual and witty, sweet but with stings in their tails, the poems and sequences collected in Pasture and Flock are essential reading for both long-term and new admirers of Jackson’s slanted approach to lyric poetry.

>> Read a sample. 
Object-Related Ontology: A new theory of everything by Graham Harman       $24
The world is clearly not the world as manifest to humans, says Harman: "'To think a reality beyond our thinking is not nonsense, but obligatory." At OOO's heart is the idea that objects - whether real, fictional, natural, artificial, human or non-human - are mutually autonomous. This core idea has significance for nearly every field of inquiry which is concerned in some way with the systematic interaction of objects, and the degree to which individual objects resist full participation in such systems. 
Fathers and Sons by Howard Cunnell         $25
As a boy growing up on the south coast of England, Howard Cunnell's sense of self was dominated by his father's absence. Starting with his own childhood in the Sussex beachlands, Cunnell tells the story of the years of self-destruction that defined his young adulthood and the escape he found in reading and the natural world. Still he felt compelled to destroy the relationships that mattered to him. Cunnell charts his journey from anger to compassion as his daughter Jay realizes he is a boy, and a son.
"There is so much aching love in this book, such pain and beauty." - Tim Winton
"Dazzlingly beautiful. This is truly heart-stopping writing." - The Financial Times
The Lucky Galah by Tracy Sorensen         $35
It's 1969 and a remote coastal town in Western Australia is poised to play a pivotal part in the moon landing. Perched on the red dunes of its outskirts looms the great Dish: a relay for messages between Apollo 11 and Houston, Texas. Crouched around a single grainy set, radar technician Evan Johnson and his colleagues stare at the screen, transfixed. Watching all this, and narrating this novel, is a caged bird, a galah named Lucky. 
"Warm and smart." - The Australian
Future Sex: A new kind of free love by Emily Witt        $25
How does the internet, personalised technology and shifts in ideas of empowerment, individuality and transpersonal identity alter the way we think and act about sex? Does this make it any easier or any harder to integrate or separate sex and love? 

Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2018 edited by Jack Ross      $35
Work from featured poet Alistair Paterson and a raft of established and emerging poets, as well as essays on poetics and reviews of collections published in the last year. 
Maori Oral Tradition / He Korero no te Ao Tawhito by Jane McRae       $45
A good overview of the resources and potentials of oral literature. 
Look at Me by Mareike Krugel         $37
Katharina's husband isn't coming home for the weekend - again - so she's on her own. When their chaotic daughter Helli has a nosebleed, Kat has to dash off to school to pick her up. Then their son, Alex, announces he's bringing his new girlfriend home for the first time. Kat's best friend from college is coming around tonight too, and she's wondering if she should try to seduce him - but first she needs to do the shopping, the vacuuming and the laundry, deal with an exploding clothes-dryer, find their neighbour's severed thumb in the front yard and catch a couple of escaped rodents. When she's got all that sorted, perhaps she'll have time to think about the thing she's been trying not to think about - the lump she's just found in her breast. Because you can't just die and leave a huge mess for someone else to clean up can you? And wasn't there supposed to be more to life than this?
Gone to Pegasus by Tess Redgrave        $35
It's Dunedin 1892, and the women's suffrage movement is gaining momentum. Left to fend for herself when her husband's committed to the Seacliff Lunatic Asylum, 23-year-old Eva meets Grace, an outspoken suffragist with an exotic and mysterious past. As the friendship between the two women grows through a shared love of music, Eva begins questioning the meaning of her marriage and her role as a woman. But Grace has a bullying husband and secrets she's been keeping from Eva, which could threaten the freedom both women find themselves fighting for.

Divided: Why we're living in an age of walls by Tim Marshall      $38
In an age when mass communication links us across the globe, why are we increasingly reinforcing the barriers, both literal and figurative, between us. 

Look, a Butterfly! by Yasunari Murakami       $15
A white butterfly lands on many different coloured flowers. What happens when it lands on a cat? 
A Way With Words: A memoir of writing and publishing in New Zealand by Chris Maclean       $50
The great-grandson of New Zealand publishing pioneer George Whitcombe, Maclean has been responsible for a number of outstanding books about place, history and the outdoors in New Zealand, including Tararua: The story of a mountain range (1994), John Pascoe (2003), Stag Spooner: Wild Man from the Bush (2012), Tramping: A New Zealand History (2014), Kapiti (2000), Wellington: Telling Tales (2005) and Waikanae (2010). This book gives good insight into the New Zealand publishing industry. 
In Search of Consensus: New Zealand's Electoral Act 1956 and its constitutional legacy by Elizabeth McLeay        $40
In a series of backroom negotiations in 1956, the National Government and Labour Opposition agreed to put aside adversarial politics temporarily and entrench certain significant electoral rules. For any of these rules to be amended or repealed, Section 189 of the Electoral Act (now Section 268 of the 1993 Act) requires the approval of either three-quarters of all MPs or a majority of electors voting in a referendum. The MPs believed this entrenchment put in place a 'moral' constraint to guide future parliaments, but its status has changed over time. In Search of Consensus tells the story of why and how such a remarkable political settlement happened. It traces and analyses the Act's protected provisions, subsequent fortunes and enduring legacy. 
Bizarre Romance by Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell        $48
A quirky collection of graphic or illustrated short stories charting many different types of love, with many different outcomes. 

"The book has much to say about the beauty and devastation of seeking companionship in any given human life. The collaboration is winningly strange.” — Publishers Weekly
London in Fragments: A mudlark's treasures by Ted Sandling        $28
What sort of story can be told of a city based on the detritus found in the mud on the banks of the river that runs through it? Very well illustrated. 
Dancing Bears: True stories of longing for the old days by Witold Szablowski       $38
Why is it that some citizens of once-Communist countries exhibit such nostalgia for how they used to live? Perhaps for the same reason that dancing bears liberated into the wild will still raise themselves up on their hind legs when they see humans. 
>> It's not easy running a retirement home for old dancing bears
The Yark by Bertrand Santini and Laurent Gapaillard     $20
The Yark loves children. More precisely, this hairy monster loves to eat children: ham of boy, orphan gratin, schoolchild puree, breaded babies, girl rillettes. But he has a problem: his delicate stomach can only tolerate the flesh of nice children; liars give him indigestion. There are not nearly enough good, edible children around to keep him from starvation. Then the Yark finds delicious, sweet Madeleine. Will he gobble her up? Or will she learn how to survive?

03/02/2018 04:01 AM


They're new.
The Book of Chocolate Saints by Jeet Thayil     $33
What is it like, and what are the costs (to oneself and to others), for someone to live an artistic life without compromise? Told is a wide range of voices and styles, this is a remarkable novel in which the margins of life in modern India dissolve into something even stranger. From the author of the Booker-short-listed Narcopolis
"This novel is a rich harvest. It moves with the strange and flawless certainty of a dream. It is superbly written and its madness is also its strength." - Edna O'Brien
>> "I have a liver condition, I'm reckless and I'm very aware that time is limited." 
>> 15 reasons not to become a poet
Walking to Jutland Street by Michael Steven        $28
Steven's gifts as a poet include the ability to isolate ordinary details as connective routes between times, places and modes of experience. His poems bristle with the particulars of life in the shabby backstreets of Dunedin, but pull with them an allegorical load of illuminating subtlety. 

The Customer is Always Wrong by Mimi Pond         $55
A lightly fictionalised graphic memoir describing a young artist's experiences working in a diner frequented by drunks, junkies, thieves and creeps. 
Pond will be appearing during Writers Week at the New Zealand Festival this month. 

Vitamin D2: New perspectives in drawing    $70
The absolutely new edition of Vitamin D is packed with recent examples of artists pushing at the edges of the medium. 
The Debatable Land: The lost world between Scotland and England by Graham Robb        $40
A fascinating history of the independent territory that, from the 13th to the 17th centuries, resisted (bloodily) integration into either Scotland or England. 
Robinson by Peter Sís      $30
Books by Peter Sis are always beautifully and distinctively  illustrated. In Robinson, a boy who is shunned by his classmates for dressing as his hero Robinson Crusoe instead of as a pirate like everyone else, persists with enjoying what makes him special until his classmates  are attracted to it too. 
The Progress of this Storm: Nature and society in a warming world by Andreas Malm          $35
Debunks the idea that there is no longer such a thing as nature as distinct from society, or that such a distinction no longer matters. Quite the contrary: in a warming world, nature comes roaring back, and it is more important than ever to distinguish between the natural and the social. Only with a unique agency attributed to humans can resistance become conceivable. From the author of the remarkable Fossil Capital, which examined the links between our economic system and the climate crisis. 
All the Devils Are Here by David Seabrook         $28
Seabrook's accounts of his wanderings around the Kentish coast forces English culture to roll over and reveal its dark underbelly. 
"I guess you'd call it psychogeography, though this doesn't begin to capture its intense interest, its uncanny spookiness, the way it ensnares you, turning your stomach, messing with your head. A fugitive sort of book, twitchy and mournful, All the Devils Are Here demands to be reread, picked over, endlessly discussed - and yet to know it is somehow not to know anything at all." - Observer"An alternate English history." - Iain Sinclair
The Art Treasure Hunt: I spy with my little eye by Doris Kutschbach       $32
Finding the details in these iconic paintings will enable young children to approach artwork fully open to its rewards. 

The Expatriate Myth: New Zealand writers and the colonial world by Helen Bones        $35

Did the writers who left New Zealand during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries need to do so to achieve success? What was the nature of their connections to the New Zealand they left behind? What was the experience of those who returned? 

The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi     $22
One girl links beasts with humankind. She has the power to save them both. Or to destroy them. Erin's family have an important responsibility: caring for the fearsome serpents that form the core of their kingdom's army. So when some of the beasts mysteriously die, Erin's mother is sentenced to death as punishment. With her last breath she manages to send her daughter to safety. Alone, far from home, Erin soon discovers that she can talk to both the terrifying water serpents and the majestic flying beasts that guard her queen. This skill gives her great powers, but it also involves her in deadly plots that could cost her life. 
Europe's Fault Lines: Racism and the rise of the right by Liz Fekete         $39
"For twenty-five years, Fekete relentlessly monitored Europe's far right while the continent's leaders preferred to look away. With right-wing extremism finally recognised by the mainstream as a fundamental threat to Europe's future, her indictment of those who enabled, amplified, and aided the rise of the hard right is an essential contribution to the defense of democratic values." - Arun Kundnani

The Great Cowboy Strike: Bullets, ballots and class conflicts in the American West by Mark Lause        $43

Although later made an icon of 'rugged individualism', the American cowboy was a grossly exploited and underpaid seasonal worker, who waged a series of militant strikes in the generally isolated and neglected corners of the Old West.

Folk by Zoe Gilbert      $37
On the island of Neverness, youngsters battle through mazes to secure kisses from local girls, a baby is born with a wing for an arm, strangers arrive in the middle of the night, and inhabitants fashion fiddles to play the music of their grief.
"I was thoroughly absorbed. Zoe Gilbert's invented folk-world is sensuous and dangerous and thick with magic." - Tessa Hadley

The Cook's Atelier: Recipes, techniques and stories from our French cooking school by  Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini      $60
A good introduction to authentic French cooking techniques. 
>> Here they are
>> And here

What's Cooking? by Joshua David Stein and Julie Rothman         $23
In answering a lot of silly questions about what can and cannot be done in the kitchen, rather a lot of useful information about cooking is conveyed. A funny and attractively illustrated introduction to kitchen culture for young readers. 
>> Some spreads here
The Rending and the Nest by Kaethe Schwehn       $27
When 95 percent of the earth's population disappears for no apparent reason, Mira does what she can to create some semblance of a life: she cobbles together a haphazard community named Zion, scavenges the Piles for supplies they might need, and avoids loving anyone she can't afford to lose. Four years after the Rending, Mira's best friend, Lana, announces her pregnancy, the first since everything changed and a new source of hope for Mira. But when Lana gives birth to an inanimate object - and other women of Zion follow suit- the thin veil of normalcy Mira has thrown over her new life begins to fray.
The Walkabout Orchestra: Postcards from around the world by Chloe Perarno      $28
The orchestra have somehow got scattered around the world. Can you help the conductor to use the clues on their postcards to find them and get them all together? 
The Burning Time: The story of the Smithfield Martyrs by Virginia Rounding         $25
In Tudor times, heretics, either Protestant or Catholic depending on the wind of current orthodoxy, were relieved of their lives at Smithfield (later to become the famous meat market). 
"Deeply researched and fascinating." - Spectator

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson          $17
Every year on St Stephen's Day, Wren Silke is chased through the forest in a warped version of a childhood game. Her pursuers are judges - a group of powerful and frightening boys who know nothing of her true identity. If they knew she was an augur - their sworn enemy - the game would be up. This year, the tension between judges and augurs is at breaking point. Wren's survival, and that of her family, depends on her becoming a spy in the midst of these boys she fears most and using her talent, her magic, to steal from them the only thing that can restore her family's former power for good.
The Crisis in Physics by Christopher Caudwell       $23
What are the lines of connection between scientific theory and economic realities? Caudwell’s controversial book offers an astute and enduring diagnosis of the maladies of bourgeois epistemology.
Flamingo Boy by Michael Morpurgo         $25
Set in the unique landscape of the Camargue in the South of France during WW2, this book tells the story of a young autistic boy who lives on his parents' farm among the salt flats, and of the flamingos that live there. There are lots of things he doesn't understand: but he does know how to heal animals. He loves routine, and music too: and every week he goes to market with his mother, to ride his special horse on the town carousel. But then the Germans come, with their guns, and take the town. Everything changes. 
Enlightenment Now: The case for reason, science, humanism and progress and progress by Steven Pinker        $40
Can a reassertion of humanist rationalism help us to overcome our current woes? 
"Words can hardly do justice to the superlative range and liveliness of Pinker's investigations." - Independent
Marxism and the Philosophy of Science by Helena Sheehan       $23
"A singular achievement. Sheehan is masterful in her presentation of the dialectics of nature debates, which begin with Engels and recur throughout the periods covered by this book." - Science and Society
Posters: 450 examples from 1965 to 2017 by Milton Glaser       $50
From the early psychedelic work to recent production, with Glaser's own commentary, this book marks half a century at the forefront of graphic design. 
>> He's got a website

Ada Lovelace by Isabel Sanchez Vergara      $23
A picture book to introduce young readers to this pioneer of computing (1815-1852). 
Pick a Flower: A memory game by Anna Day       $22
Match the flower cards with the flower history cards. 
Chineasy for Children: Learn 100 words by ShaoLan Hsueh and Noma Bar      $30
A wonderful pictorial introduction to Chinese characters. 
>> The method is superb.  
>> The Chineasy website
Dress Like a Woman: Working women and what they wore by Vanessa Friedman and Roxane Gay        $40
An illustrated look at the interplay of gender and dress in the workplace. 
>>"Dressing like a woman means wearing anything a woman deems appropriate and necessary for getting her job done." (excerpt)
>> Men wore clothes to work, too. 

For a Little While by Rick Bass         $28
New and selected stories from the 30-year career of this American master acutely aware of the uneasy impact of humans on the natural world. 
Sustainable Architecture from The Plan          $100
A detailed investigation, including floor plans, elevations and diagrams, of responses to specific locational demands around the world. 

Myth Match: A fantastical flip-book of extraordinary beasts by Good Wives and Warriors       $35
Mix and match halves of fantastical beasts from around the world to make new fantastical beasts. Fun.
>> Sample pages

02/23/2018 04:08 AM

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado        $28
Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women's lives and the violence visited upon their bodies. A wife refuses her husband's entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A sales assistant makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the dresses she sells. A woman's surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest.
"Carmen Maria Machado is the best writer of cognitive dysphoria I’ve read in years. " - Tor
"Life is too short to be afraid of nothing." - Machado

Ashland and Vine by John Burnside          $26
An alcoholic film-maker approaches an elderly woman for an oral-history documentary. The woman declines, but tells the film-maker that if she can stay sober for four days she will tell her a story, and other stories beyond that. What emerges is not just a personal story of heartbreak, but something much wider and deeper. 
"Masterful. A meditation on storytelling itself." - Daily Telegraph
"A story about telling old stories again, and never quite settling the truth of a childhood long last. This is a delicate, beautiful novel, filled with tender details and sharply evoked, lyrical moments." - Spectator
I Love You Too Much by Alicia Drake         $35
"There is the most extraordinary sensibility in this book. It is the author's but she gives it to the reader as thirteen year old Paul's out of kilter, isolated, yearning perception. Denied love, this vulnerable boy floats, adrift, through Paris like a lost, living ghost. We see - and feel - through his eyes, and the experience is unsettling, unnerving, strangely delicious. Alicia Drake has achieved something very rare." - Tim Pears
"The enfant naturel of Henry James's What Maisie Knew and Deborah Levy's Swimming Home." - Anne Korkeakivi
This is Memorial Device by David Keenan       $23
This excellent novel, set on the dges of the post-punk music scene of Lanarkshire in the early 1980s, displays remarkable resonance with that of New Zealand in the same period. 
"Many of the chapters would work as brilliant standalone short stories." - Guardian
"I wanted to live in this book." - Kim Gordon
>> Read an excerpt
>> A playlist of appropriate Scottish post-punk tracks
>> And another (more 'easy listening') playlist
>> Interview with David Keenan
The Patterning Instinct: A cultural history of humanity's search for meaning by Jeremy Lent          $50
What are the root metaphors used by all cultures to impose meaning on the world? Why do we classify ad arrange and divide as we do? What do the ways we think imply for our capacity to face the challenges in what we might like to think of as our future? 

Notes on a Thesis by Tiphaine Rivière      $50
An outstanding graphic novel on the miseries (and opportunities) of academia and the epiphanies of procrastination. When Jeanne is accepted on to a PhD course, she is over the moon, brimming with excitement and grand plans - but is the world ready for her masterful analysis of labyrinth motifs in Kafka's The Trial? At first Jeanne throws herself into research with great enthusiasm, but as time goes by, it becomes clear that things aren't quite going according to plan.
"This is a book for anyone who has ever laboured under a deadline, battled a stubborn pig of a boss, or half drowned beneath a wave of bureaucracy and paperwork. Put off what you intended to do today and go out and buy it, right now." - Guardian
How Democracies Die: What history tells us about our future by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt    $40

Democracies die in three stages: the election of an authoritarian leader, the concentration and abuse of governmental power and finally, the complete repression of opposition and citizens. Following the election of Donald Trump in the US, the first stage seems fulfilled. How can the two following stages be averted? 

About the Size of the Universe by Jón Kalman Stefánsson       $35
A modern Icelandic saga, spanning the whole twentieth century, and  kind of companion-piece to the Man Booker International short-listed Fish Have No Feet
"Powerful and sparkling. Translator Philip Roughton's feather-light touch brings out the gleaming, fairy-tale quality of the writing." - Irish Times 
"Stefansson's prose rolls and surges with oceanic splendour." - Spectator

In the Restaurant: Society in four courses by Christoph Ribbat          $33
Food and drink are only pretexts for the real business of a restaurant, which is a jostling for and display of social positioning, and a calibration of functional politics, both withing the staff and in relation to the customers. Ribbat takes us across the dining room and into the kitchen to disentangle the social functions of the restaurant.
The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Photography edited by Nathalie Herschdorfer      $60
The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú     $35
A very interesting account of a transformative time spent as a border control officer on the Mexican-US border. 
"This book tells the hard poetry of the desert heart. If you think you know about immigration and the border, you will see there is much to learn. And you will be moved by its unexpected music" - Luis Alberto Urrea
>> "This is work that endangers the soul.
>> "Caught up in the deportation fight." 
Political Tribes: Group instinct and the fate of nations by Amy Chua      $24
Do our group identities matter more to us than any political issue? Is tribalism a better model to understand both the successes and idiocies of recent political situations than any overarching theory of historical development?
"A beautifully written, eminently readable, and uniquely important challenge to conventional wisdom." - J. D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy 

On Trust: A book of lies by James Womack         $28
Poetry is often regarded as a confessional medium, conveying deeper 'truths' about the poet and their experience. This collection playfully destabilises this preconception, severing the 'I' of a poem from the 'I' of the poet, and assailing such lazy concepts as reliability, sincerity and authenticity. 

Long-listed for the 2018 Dylan Thomas Prize.
Young & Damned & Fair: The life and tragedy of Catherine Howard at the court of Henry VIII by Gareth Russell     $28
A reassessment of the life and role of Henry's fifth wife, from their marriage in 1540 to her beheading less than two years later following one of the more outstanding scandals of Henry's reign. 
Fun fact: The night before her execution, Catherine Howard spent many hours rehearsing laying her head upon the block.
Becoming Unbecoming by Una         $48
This graphic novel is an indictment of sexual violence against women in all its guises - from the 12-year-old protagonist's classroom to the Yorkshire Ripper case on her television set. 

How Money Got Free: Bitcoin and the fight for the future of finance by Brian Patrick Eha        $27
Is Bitcoin the way in which the libertarian right will achieve their goal of collapsing the state? 

The Genius Within: Smart pills, brain hacks and adventures in intelligence by David Adam       $38
If cognitive enhancement, smart drugs and electrical stimulation can increase our mental performance, just what is intelligence? 
Can You Die of a Broken Heart? A heart surgeon's insight into what makes us tick by Nikki Stamp        $33
What is the relation between the physical and metaphorical function of the heart? 

The Three Rooms in Valerie's Head by David Gaffney and Dan Berry     $40
Serially unlucky in love, to feel better Valerie imagines that her previous boyfriends are dead and that their bodies are kept downstairs in the cellar in a strange, mummified state. Every day she brings them upstairs and speaks with them about what went wrong. Funny and sad. 
“One hundred and fifty words by Gaffney are more worthwhile than novels by a good many others.” — The Guardian
Lyla by Fleur Beale          $19
The Christchurch earthquakes and their aftermath as seen through the eyes of a fourteen-year-old student. 

The Only Girl in the World by Maude Julien       $38

Subjected to dreadful ordeals (such as holding an electric fence without flinching) by her fanatical and controlling father, who was convinced his daughter would be an exemplar of a new order of humanity, Julien love of nature and, particularly, of literature somehow enabled her to remain sane. 
Mechanica: A beginner's field guide by Lance Balchin       $27
A steampunkish selection of robotic animals constructed at the end of the 23rd century to replace the lamented ex-fauna of Earth. 
Is This Guy For Real? The unbelievable Andy Kaufman by Box Brown        $35
A graphic biography of the actor and comedian who made a career out of making himself contemptible to his audience. 

Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a classic, The world of A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard by Annemarie Bilclough and Emma Laws        $60
Full of facsimiles of artwork and early editions, and giving an understanding of how the books came into existence. 
Attack of the 50 ft. Women: How gender equality can save the world by Catherine Meyer         $20
>> A vision of the future? 

02/16/2018 01:17 AM

A few of the interesting books that arrived this week. 

The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow by Danny Denton        $33
In a strange but possibly possible future Ireland where it never stops raining and where violence is the chief currency, the Kid, having fallen in love with the Earlie King's daughter, vows to care for their babby (although he is only 13). A lively and inventive novel from a fresh Irish writer. 
"Mashing ancient myth with a miserable future, Denton’s fierce and distinctive debut should set the books world alight." - Irish Times
The Melody by Jim Crace           $38
When an aging musician's reaches out to a feral child, he begins to question the borders between civilised and wild, between acceptable and unacceptable, and between natural and unnatural. Ecological aware, multileveled and beautifully written. 
"Takes its place amongst Crace's finest novels." - Guardian
"The book blazes with anger." - Irish Times
River by Esther Kinsky         $38
A woman moves to London and begins a series of walks along the River Lea, precisely recording what she sees. As the narrative progresses, the associative qualities of her experiences provide access to tributaries of memory, both personal and collective, reaching back to a place where stories seep into consciousness and collect themselves on the margins of experience. 
"There’s a timeless quality to River. How much is fact and how much is pure fiction? It hardly matters. River exists in a hinterland between personal and universal strands of truth. Esther Kinsky has produced a minor-key masterpiece. Iain Galbraith’s English translation could well be one of the best new translations of 2018." Asymptote
Liberating the Canon: An anthology of innovative literature edited by Isobel Waidner         $38
An anthology of examples of contemporary innovative and nonconforming literary forms in English emerging at the intersections of prose, poetry, art, performance, political activism; the whole being a sort of cultural resistance movement to ascendant nationalist and reactionary contexts. 

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin        $35
 In 1969, the four Gold children, Simon, Klara, Daniel, and Varya, visit a psychic on Manhattan’s Lower East Side who predicts the date each of them will die. The novel then follows how the siblings deal with the news. How does foreknowledge affect the choices we make? How would the way we live our life change as we approached what we knew to be its end? 
"It's amazing how good this book is." - Karen Joy Fowler
Fireflies by Luis Segasti          $30
How do we make our histories? Why is it that memory assembles certain illuminated moments into a kind of story? Segasti is fully aware that each moment in life or literature is an amalgam of numerous stories and times, all having bearing on a moment's experience, and concocts this novel with, among other referents,  dashes of Joseph Beuys, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Japanese poets and Russian cosmonauts. 
My Body is a Book of Rules by Elissa Washuta       $33
As Elissa Washuta makes the transition from college kid to independent adult, she finds herself overwhelmed by the calamities piling up in her brain. When her mood-stabilizing medications aren't threatening her life, they re shoving her from depression to mania and back in the space of an hour. Her crisis of American Indian identity bleeds into other areas of self-doubt: mental illness, sexual trauma, ethnic identity, and independence become intertwined. Compelling and inventively written, this is not only a portrait of a woman at the battle-front of her own life but a rethinking of the form of memoir.  
Southerly by Jorge Consiglio          $32
On the eve of an important battle, a colonel is visited in his tent by an indigenous woman with a message to pass on. A man sets about renovating the house of his childhood, and starts to feel that he might be rebuilding his own life in the process. At a private clinic to treat the morbidly obese, a caregiver has issues of her own. Stories of immigration, marginality, history, intimacy and obsession from an acclaimed Argentinian author. 

Draft No.4: On the process of writing by John McPhee         $37
A very useful guide for writers, especially on the aspects of a work, such as structure, that should go unnoticed by the reader. 
>> Read an excerpt. 

The Kites by Romain Gary        $37
On a small farm in Normandy, as Hitler rises to power in Germany, young Ludo comes of age in the care of his Uncle Ambrose, an eccentric mailman, kite-maker, and pacifist. Ludo’s quiet existence changes the day he meets Lila, a girl from the aristocratic Polish family who own the estate next door. Lila begins to reciprocate his feelings just as Europe descends into war. After Germany invades Poland, Lila and her family disappear, and Ludo’s journey to save her from the Nazis becomes a journey to save his loved ones, his country, and ultimately himself. A French classic, finally translated into English.
>> Romain Gary is a great big liar
The President's Room by Ricardo Romoro         $29
In a nameless suburb in an equally nameless country, every house has a room reserved for the president. No one knows when or why this came to be. It’s simply how things are, and no one seems to question it except for one young boy. Can anyone - the narrator? even the reader? - be trusted to tell the truth? Overtones of Cortázar and Kafka  potentise the sinister mystery surround the room that is both many rooms and no room. 
Eye of the Sixties: Richard Bellamy and the transformation of modern art by Judith E. Stein      $28
A man with a preternatural ability to find emerging artists, Richard Bellamy was one of the first advocates of pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art. At home both in New York's arts Bohemia and glittering upper-crust salons, Bellamy was a catalyst for fame for many artists in the mid-to-late twentieth century. 

Victorians Undone: Tales of the flesh in the age of decorum by Kathryn Hughes        $28
What was it like to have a body in the nineteenth century? How did attitudes towards bodies shape social practices? How did the physical particularities of individuals affect the course of collective history? Hughes will make you think differently both about historical personages and about life in the Victorian era. 
"A dazzling experiment in life writing. Every page fizzes with the excitement of fresh discoveries. Each page becomes a window on to a world that is far stranger than we might expect." - Guardian

True to Life: British Realist painting in the 1920s and 1930s by Patrick Elliot    $50
Interesting comparisons can be made to the work of Rita Angus and others practicing in New Zealand in the same period. 

Jealousy by Alain Robbe-Grillet        $17
Generally regarded as the one of the purest examples of the Nouveau Roman novels of which Robbe-Grillet outlined the theory in For a New Novel (1963), Jealousy is narrated by an invisible uninvolved observer who can be postulated as the jealous husband of the character known only as A, whose suspicion that A. is having an affair with a neighbour constantly brings the reliability of the narrative into question. Robbe-Grillet's 'phenomenological' writing has a rigour and clarity still stands as an object lesson for contemporary writers. 

The Blot by Jonathan Lethem        $26
What is the black spot that is spreading across a flamboyant gambler's vision? More importantly: what does it mean? 
"The Blot sets a high bar for 2017's fiction. There are moments of genuine, inexplicable tenderness as well as the sarcasm, venality and schadenfreude that swirl around the book. It also shows that the genre best equipped to speak truthfully about the world we are in is not a flat-footed and sententious realism, but un-realism." - Scotland on Sunday 

Orwell on Truth by George Orwell         $30
"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." Orwell's clarity of thought is a healthy tool in a post-truth world. Read what he has to say about freedom, ethics, honesty and propaganda. 

Mod New York: Fashion takes a trip by Phyllis Magidson and Donald Albrecht      $90
Traces the fashion arcs of the 1960s and 1970s, when designers worked hard to keep pace with social change. Well documented with historical and garment photographs. 
Fish Have No Feet by Jón Kalman Stefánsson         $28
Returning to Iceland to visit his dying father, a writer thinks deeply about the passing of time and of life perched on an island of black lava pushed at on all sides by implacable ocean. In the memories of tte narrator and his father a century of change, both personal and cultural, becomes apparent. 
Long-listed for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize.
"Powerful and sparkling. Translator Philip Roughton's feather-light touch brings out the gleaming, fairy-tale quality of the writing, making this novel an impassioned and lyrical read. Stefansson brings out the history of a place and its people in a way few contemporary writers ever manage." - Irish Times
Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot     $30
The great epic poem, compiled by Lönnrot in the nineteenth century from Finnish and Karelian folklore and mythology, contains much that is very ancient and demonstrates an alternative path to consideration of the human condition, so to call it, especially in its relation to the forces of nature, so to call them. 

The Bughouse: The poetry, politics and madness of Ezra Pound by Daniel Swift         $30
In 1945, on the eve of his trial for the pro-Fascist broadcasts he produced in Italy, Pound was declared insane and committed to an institution, where he stayed for ten years, holding salons for visitors. Swift enters these uncomfortable waters to learn more about this strange man and about the relationship between his life and his poetry. 
Terracotta Warriors by Edward Burman         $38
The so-called 'Buried Army' that so amazed the world when discovered in Shaanxi Province in 1974 continues to provide new insights into life and death in China in the late third century BCE, and to pose new questions. 
A Really Big Lunch: The 'Roving Gourmand' on food and life by Jim Harrison      $40
A selection of the best food writing from 'The Poet Laureate of Appetite', and author of the hugely enjoyable The Raw and the Cooked
"A celebration of eating well and drinking even better as a recipe for the good life." - Kirkus

Beautiful Days by Joyce Carol Oates      $53

A nicely presented new collection of stories in which Oates typically at once coolly condemns and warmly sympathises with her characters, their lives careening out of bounds.
The ANZAC Violin: Alexander Aitken's story by Jennifer Beck and Robyn Belton        $28
A sensitively illustrated true story of a violin's survival of the horrors of both The Somme and Gallipoli, and of the collective efforts of ordinary soldiers to protect it and return it to its owner when they became separated. 

Enigma Variations by André Aciman         $28
A half-life's account of one man's struggles to understand himself through the intensities and regrets of his erotic fixations. 
"A rewarding excavation about one man’s inner life, mapping out the way our emotional and romantic ties can shape our self-knowledge for the rest of our lives." - Lambda
"A Proustian tale of conflicted desires." - The New York Times

Fragile Lives: A heart surgeon's stories of life and death on the operating table by Stephen Westaby         $27
"The stakes could not be higher in this bloody, muscular and adrenaline-charged memoir from a pioneering heart surgeon. `Surgeons are meant to be objective,' Westaby tells himself, `not human'. What makes this book so fascinating, and so moving, is the terrible tension between these necessary qualities." - Sunday Times
Twins by Dhwani Shah and Bhaddu Hamir     $17
Turn the flap and trace the outlines to complete the creatures in this madcap interactive tale of the meetings of similars. 

02/09/2018 04:52 AM


New this week.
The Unmapped Country by Ann Quin        $32
Exploring the risks and seductions of going over the edge, this collection of stories and fragments provides a good introduction to this cult writer of the 1960s who cut an alternative path across twentieth century innovative writing, bridging the world of Virginia Woolf and Anna Kavan with that of Kathy Acker and Chris Kraus. 
"Ann Quin is one of the few mid-century British novelists who actually, in the long term, matter." - Tom McCarthy
" Quin works over a small area with the finest of tools. Every page, every word gives evidence of her care and workmanship." - New York Times

Fragments of Lichtenberg by Pierre Senges          $32
Eighteenth century German physicist, satirist, Anglophile, mathematician, electrical theorist, womaniser, hunchback, asthmatic, hypochondriac and author of 8,000 aphorisms, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg recorded his many and various thoughts in a dozen what he termed 'sudelbücher' (scrapbooks). Senges' remarkable novel treats these fragments as minutiae feeling their way towards becoming a single work - and attempts to construct that work.
"This is no mere literary game: what hides behind all this is a deep observation of the links between one's age and one's culture; a subtle reflection on the construction of canon, schools, and literary cults that structures our idea of great literature and thus closes our mind to a more dynamic, alternative, or revisionist view. It is also a very moving illustration of close reading as a sort of rewriting that goes beyond the specialist consensus, a political novel that dares not say its name, and one of the funniest books I've read in a long while." - The Quarterly Conversation
The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook       $37
When her mother, a former slave, is killed by the panther that also leaves herself disfigured, Samantha crosses the Texan frontier with her brother Benjamin, and, with an unlikely posse, seeks revenge on this implacable and unknowable force of nature. 

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood          $45
In turns funny, angry and insightful, Lockwood's memoir of growing up with a father several times larger than life in a world several sizes too small for them both is not quite like anything else. Lockwood, whose Motherland, Fatherland, Homelandsexuals positioned her as an American approximation of Hera Lindsay Bird, will appear at this year's New Zealand Festival
"Lockwood's prose is cute and dirty and innocent and experienced, Betty Boop in a pas de deux with David Sedaris." - The New York Times
In the Days of Rain: A daughter, a father, a cult by Rebecca Stott       $28
"I couldn't explain how I'd become a teenage mother, or shoplifted books for years, or why I was afraid of the dark and had a compulsion to rescue people, without explaining about the Brethren or the God they made for us, and the Rapture they told us was coming. But then I couldn't really begin to talk about the Brethren without explaining about my father..."
Winner of the 2017 Costa Biography Prize. 
"Beautiful, dizzying, terrifying, Stott's memoir maps the unnerving hinterland where faith becomes cruelty and devotion turns into disaster. A brave, frightening and strangely hopeful book." - Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City
Aelfred's Britain: War and peace in the Viking age by Max Hastings      $55
In 865, a great Viking army landed in East Anglia, precipitating a series of wars that would last until the middle of the following century. It was in this time of crisis that the modern kingdoms of Britain were born. In their responses to the Viking threat, these kingdoms forged their identities as hybrid cultures. 

My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson         $28
Thirteen-year-old Lora is determined to leave Havana and teach literacy in the rural backblocks of Cuba. Her parents aren't too pleased, but she has the support of her grandfather. 

The Senses by Matteo Farinella       $28
A graphic novel-style introduction to the senses, drawn by a neuroscientist. Interesting and fun. From the author of the excellent Neurocomic
>>> Sample pages!
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson, illustrated by Chloe Bristol         $28
Elizabeth, eleven, spends Christmas break at Winterhouse hotel under strange circumstances, where she discovers that she has magical abilities, and where her love of puzzles makes her ideally suited to solve a mystery.
>> Looks good!

Slum Virgin by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara      $32
A Buenos Aires slum is transformed into a tiny utopia when a transvestite is led by a divine revelation to steer the community. The lively separatism of the shantytown attracts and then subsumes a journalist at first intent only on a story. 
>> Read an extract.
Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts by Christopher de Hamel    $38
Gazing at illuminated manuscripts made by human hands hundreds of years ago creates a very special kind of connection across the centuries. Who better to do the introductions than Christopher de Hamel? Fully illustrated. 
Astrid the Unstoppable by Maria Parr       $19
Astrid loves to spend her days racing down the hillside on her sledge or skis. Astrid longs for other children to come to her village and join her adventures. Instead, she has to put up with a grumpy old seventy-four year old for a best friend (although secretly, she knows she wouldn't have it any other way). Astrid's world is about to be turned upside down, however, first by the arrival of a strange family, and then a mystery woman. Her best friend, Gunnvald, has been keeping a secret from her - one that will test their friendship to its limits. Everything is changing in Astrid's valley, and she's not sure she likes it.
Blood on the Page: A murder, a secret trial, a search for the truth by Thomas Harding        $38
In June 2006, police were called to number 9 Downshire Hill in Hampstead to investigate reports of unusual card activity. The owner of the house, Allan Chappelow, was an award-winning photographer and biographer, an expert on George Bernard Shaw, and a notorious recluse, who had not been seen for several weeks. Inside they found piles of rubbish, trees growing through the floor, and, in what was once the living room, the body of Chappelow, battered to death, and buried under four-feet of page proofs. The man eventually convicted of his murder was a Chinese dissident named Wang Yam: the grandson of one of Mao's closest aides, and a key negotiator in the Tiananmen Square protests. His trial was the first in the UK to be held without access to the press or public. Yam has always protested his innocence - admitting to the card fraud, but claiming no knowledge of the murder. Intriguing. 
Nothing But the Night by John Williams         $26
Arthur's ambivalence towards his estranged father reaches a head during an evening of drinking and romance in this novella from the author of Stoner

Lucky Button by Michael Morpurgo        $23
Inspired by the Foundling Hospital, this tale set in the eighteenth century features, understandable, an orphan, and the transformative power of music. Illustrated by Michael Foreman. 

Urban Maori: The second great migration by Bradford Haami         $40
The movement of rural Maori to the cities following World War 2 has transformed not only they texture of New Zealand life but also necessitated new definitions of what it means to be Maori. 
The Growth Delusion by David Pilling        $33
Obviously, any system that is dependent upon indefinite and continued growth is at best unsustainable. Why then has this been the dominant model of economics in recent times? What are the alternatives?
Sky ('The Huntress' #2) by Sara Driver          $20
The trail of the Storm-Opals takes Mouse into a dangerous new world. With little brother Sparrow and friend Crow alongside her, she finds herself in Sky, where fortresses hide among the clouds, secret libraries (skybraries) nestle atop icebergs and the air swirls with ferocious flying beasts. Start the series with Sea
Secret Pigeon Service: Operation Columba, resistance and the struggle to liberate occupied Europe by Gordon Corera       $37
Everyone has heard of MI5 and MI6. Some may even have heard of MI9 which helped downed airmen escape in World War II. But few will know of MI14(d) - the `Special Pigeon Service'. Between 1941 and 1944, sixteen thousand plucky pigeons were dropped in an arc from Bordeaux to Copenhagen as part of `Columba' - a secret British operation to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation. 

Mariner: A voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge by Malcolm Guite       $28

A biography of Coleridge, showing his life's arc to be similar to that described in the poem he wrote at age 25. Guite not only uses 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' as a lens through which to view the poet's life, but also uses it to reveal something of the human condition or relevance to our own times. 

The Devil's Highway by Gregory Norminton           $35
A novel of three strands (the Roman occupation, the present, a plausible future) set around a Roman Road in South-East England, and with a strong ecological awareness. The post-apocalyptic strand is written in a decayed English reminiscent of Riddley Walker

The Girl in the Tower ('Winternight' #2) by Katherine Arden     $37
For a young woman in medieval Russia, the choices are stark- marriage or a life in a convent. Vasya will choose a third way: magic. Follows The Bear and the Nightingale
"With its beautiful storytelling and fiercely independent heroine fighting to be in charge of her own story, Katherine Arden's series finally fills a gap long left empty by Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. Full of snowy Russian legends come to life, the lights and political intrigue of medieval Moscow, beautiful princes and monks with swords, Arden's writing is striking in its loveliness and impressive in its storytelling instincts." - Anna James

Te Papa: Reinventing New Zealand's national museum, 1998-2018 by Conal McCarthy            $45

How have the past twenty years fulfilled our expectations for our museum? 
Horses: Wild and tame by Iris Volant and Jarom Vogel        $30
>> Have a look inside

02/02/2018 10:18 AM

A few of the books that have arrived at VOLUME this week.
Red Clocks by Leni Zumas            $35
In an increasingly plausible dystopian future America, women's reproductive rights have been overturned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo. In a small Oregon fishing town, five very different women navigate these new barriers.
"Leni Zumas here proves she can do almost anything. Red Clocks is funny, mordant, baroque, political, poetic, alarming, and inspiring -not to mention a way forward for fiction now." - Maggie Nelson
"A lyrical and beautifully observed reflection on women's lives." — Naomi Alderman, The New York Times
>> Read an extract
>> Keri Hulme is an object of her gratitude
Wait Till You See Me Dance by Deb Olin Unferth        $34
"Deb Olin Unferth's stories are so smart, fast, full of heart, and distinctive in voice - each an intense little thought-system going out earnestly in search of strange new truths. What an important and exciting talent." - George Saunders
"This book is an astonishment - strange, brainy and loaded with feeling. Deb Olin Unferth shows, with brilliant force, the startling vitality of the short story. She is a master." - Ben Marcus
" Wild, funny and wonderful." - Geoff Dyer
The Dark Dark by Samantha Hunt         $32
Girls turning into women, women turning into deer, people becoming doubles of themselves and each other - Hunt's sharply written stories concern characters on the verge of becoming something else. From the author of Mr Splitfoot
"The Dark Dark reads like a feminist manifesto threaded through imaginative fiction; it's the most evocative, impressive collection I've read this year." - The Paris Review
>> A sample story

Out of Nothing by Daniel Locke and David Blandy         $33
A wonderful colourful graphic for children, covering the whole of history, from the Big Bang to an imagined future, showing how human progress is achieved through a combination of observation, imagination and communication. 
Birds, Art, Life, Death: A field guide to the small and significant by Kyo Maclear          $35
Meeting an urban musician with a passion for birds, Maclear became fascinated by the relationship between creativity and nature. In the year that they spent together, Maclear began to apply the principles and approaches of birdwatching to other areas of life, and made some gently profound discoveries. What is the gift that the small and the particular can give us that we are usually too busy and too 'big picture' focused to see? A lovely book. 
"Original, charming, a little eccentric even. The book is a delight." - Nigel Slater
My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs by Kazuo Ishiouro        $13
Ishiguro's Nobel Prize Lecture contains reflections on his own novels, reveals his sources of inspiration, explores his ambivalent relationship with his birthplace of Japan (which he left at age five), and emphasises the importance of literature to the world.
The Adulterants by Joe Dunthorne         $35
Ray mostly did not cheat on his pregnant wife. He only sometimes despises every one of his friends. And though his career as a freelance tech journalist is dismal and he spends his afternoons churning out third-rate listicles, he dreams of making a difference. But Ray is about to learn that his special talent is for making things worse. Joe Dunthorne dissects the urban millennial psyche of a man too old to be an actual millennial.
Black Edge: Inside information, dirty money, and the quest to bring down the most wanted man on Wall Street by Sheelah Kolhatkar     $28
A revelatory look at the grey zone in which so much of Wall Street functions, and a window into the transformation of the worldwide economy. This is a true-life legal thriller that takes readers inside the US government's pursuit of hedge fund accumulator Steven Cohen and his employees, and raises urgent questions about power and wealth. 
Homesick for Another World by Otessa Moshfegh         $26
Moshfegh's stories expose the limitless range of self-deception that human beings can employ and, at the same time, infuse the grotesque and outrageous with tenderness and compassion. From the author of the Booker-short-listed Eileen
"Razor-sharp." - Zadie Smith

Geis 2: A Game Without Rules by Alexis Deacon          $33
The struggle for power continues in Alexis Deacon's excellent supernatural medieval graphic fantasy series. The contenders find themselves divided against their will and thrown into a mysterious game. Exciting and well-drawn. Start with Geis #1.
From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The evolution of minds by Daniel C. Dennett      $30
How and why did what we call consciousness evolve in what became humans? What does it mean to have a mind, and to what extent is individual consciousness a cultural (communal) phenomenon? 
"Required reading for anyone remotely curious about how they came to be remotely curious." - Observer
The Right to Have Rights by Alastair Hunt, Stephanie DeGooyer, Werner Hamacher, Samuel Moyn and Astra Taylor       $30
In the light of the refugee crisis, the relevance has never been greater for Hannah Arendt's observation that before people can enjoy any of the inalienable Rights of Man, and before there can be any specific rights to education, work, voting, there must first be such a thing as the right to have rights. This book is a thoughtful consideration of human vulnerability. 

This Idea is Brilliant: Lost, overlooked and underappreciated scientific concepts everyone should know edited by John Brockman       $35

206 leading thinkers answer the question, "What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known?" Interesting. 
Supercommunity: Diabolical togetherness beyond contemporary art edited by Julieta Aranda, Anton Vidokle and Brian Kuan Wood        $37
 "I am the supercommunity, and you are only starting to recognize me. I grew out of something that used to be humanity. Some have compared me to angry crowds in public squares; others compare me to wind and atmosphere, or to software." A project by e-flux for the Venice Biennale, identifying the naked power that is revealed when the complex of art, the internet and globalisation shed their utopian guises. 
The Rise of Wolves by Kerr Thomson      $19
Innis Munro is walking home across the bleak wilderness of Nin Island when he hears the chilling howl of a wolf. But there are no wolves on the island - not since they were hunted to extinction, centuries ago. He decides to investigate the history of his Scottish island home and accepts an ancient challenge.

The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers         $38
Mokhtar grew up in San Francisco, raised by Yemeni immigrant parents. As a young man he learned of the true origins of coffee making - an ancient art born in Yemen, the secret stolen by European colonisers - and became determined to resurrect the ancient art of Yemeni coffee. Mokhtar dedicated himself to coffee, quickly becoming one of the world's leading experts, the first Arab in the world to qualify as a 'Q Grader'. But while visiting Yemen on a research trip, he was caught in the maelstrom of sudden civil war. The US Embassy closed its doors, and so Mokhtar embarked on a nail-biting adventure - to escape the country with his precious coffee samples intact.
The Wizard and the Prophet: Two remarkable scientists and their conflicting visions of the future of our planet by Charles C. Mann        $40
In 40 years, the earth's population will exceed 10 billion. Will the planet be able to sustain us? Mann examines our attitudes towards this issue by contrasting the approaches of two twentieth century scientists: the Prophets are those like William Vogt, a founding environmentalist who believed we must change our lifestyle to live within the available resources; and the Wizards, who believe, like Norman Borlaug, that scientific advances will enable us to expand the capacity of the planet to deliver our demands upon it. 
The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser            $20
Amy Lennox doesn't know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother's childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay. Amy's grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House—but not in the usual way. It turns out that Amy is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As thrilling as Amy's new power is, it also brings danger: someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life.
Three Cheers for Women! by Marcia Williams       $30
The wonderfully idiosyncratic Marcia Williams illustrates the lives of over 70 inspirational women in comic-book style. 

I Am Thunder and I Won't Keep Quiet by Muhammad Khan       $20
Fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem is passionate about writing and dreams of becoming a novelist. There's just one problem - her super-controlling parents have already planned her life out for her: Step 1) Get educated Step 2) Qualify as a doctor Step 3) Marry a cousin from Pakistan. Oh, and boyfriends are totally haram. No one is more surprised than shy Muzna when schoolmate Arif Malik takes an interest in her.
The Colossus of New York by Colson Whitehead        $28
A channeling of sorts of the thoughts and experiences, hopes and disappointments of long-time and new residents of New York. From the author of The Underground Railroad
"A tour de force." - The New York Times

The One Inside by Sam Shepard       $35
When a man realises he is ayear older than his father was when he died, he is thrown into the fugue of memories and re-configured experience. Foreword by Patti Smith.
"The narrator seeks authenticity, even as he creates art and artifice as a metier. Masculinity and its perils, the primitive drama of sibling and father-son rivalry, are the wellsprings of Shepard's work." - The New York Times 
Dyschronia by Jennifer Mills          $35
One morning, the residents of a small coastal town somewhere in Australia wake to discover the sea has disappeared. One among them has been plagued by troubling visions of this cataclysm for years. Is she a prophet? Does she have a disorder that skews her perception of time? Or is she a gifted and compulsive liar? 
"This is a novel that is daring, original and ambitious. And in its near-apocalyptic vision, there’s an awful beauty but also a cautious hope." - The Australian

Ms Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakama            $23
A boy is smitten with a woman who works at his local supermarket, but when he tells his friend of his crush his visits end and so, in some ways, does his childhood. 
The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a changing India, and a hidden world of art by Barb Rosenstock and Claire Nivola        $28
A picture book telling the story of the man who built the astounding sculpture park and rock gardens in Chandigarh. 
>> A virtual tour
Potter's Boy by Tony Mitton         $22
Ryo witnesses a lone warrior scare bandits away from the village in which he has grown up, and sets his heart on training to become like the hero he saw. He has much to learn. 

Witchborn by Nicholas Bowling          $19
It's 1577. When her mother is burned at the stake for witchcraft, Alyce flees to London. But it isn't just witchfinders she has to worry about. Powerful political forces are also on her trail, dragging her into the feud between Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. As Alyce struggles to understand her own powers, she is drawn into a web of secrets, lies and dark magic that will change the fate of England.

The Book of Seeds: A life-size guide to six hundred species from around the world by Paul Smith        $70
An awe-inspiring survey to the planet's botanical diversity, with both life-size and much-greater-than-life-size photographs. 

Insomniac City: New York, Oliver Sacks, and me by Bill Hayes       $22

A tender and insightful portrayal of neurologist Oliver Sacks, and of the grief his partner felt after his death. Now in paperback. 
What's Your Favourite Colour? by Eric Carle et al         $19
Leading children's illustrators use their favourite colour and tell us why they like it. 

01/25/2018 10:37 PM

Reasons to keep reading.

The Cage by Lloyd Jones         $38
Two mysterious strangers turn up at a hotel in a small country town. Where have they come from? Who are they? What catastrophe are they fleeing? The townspeople want answers, but the strangers are unable to speak of their trauma. Before long, wary hospitality shifts to suspicion and fear, and the care of the men slides into appalling cruelty. 
"Jones is a daring writer who can relied upon to ignore expectation." - The Guardian
The Only Story by Julian Barnes         $35
Is it preferable to love the more, and suffer the more; or love the less, and suffer the less? First love has lifelong consequences, but Paul doesn’t know anything about that at nineteen. At nineteen, he’s proud of the fact his relationship with an older woman flies in the face of social convention. As he himself grows older, however, the demands placed on Paul by love become far greater than he could possibly have foreseen.
Feel Free by Zadie Smith         $40
A new collection of essays. No subject is too fringe or too mainstream to be made fascinating. How much joy can a person tolerate? How many kinds of boredom make up a life? Should Justin Bieber be more like Socrates? 
>> "I have a very messy and chaotic mind.

Man With a Seagull on His Head by Harriet Paige        $30
Under the summer sun on the Essex coast a gull falls from the sky and strikes an unassuming local council worker sitting on the beach below. From that moment on he is obsessed, a crazed visionary repeatedly depicting the scene and the unknown figure within in it which filled his view at the moment of impact. Can he reach the object of his obsession through his art?
"A precious and strange thing. A bona fide gem. A book that would be a credit to any short list." - The Guardian
Speak Gigantular by Irenosen Okojie           $28
A startling short story collection, riffing surreally on everyday realities of London life, using difference as a point of access into wholly new ways of thinking and feeling. 
"Okojie has a sharp eye for the twisting stories of the city, and a turn of phrase that switches from elegance to brutality in a single line. Lovely stuff." - Stella Duffy

A Most Elegant Equation: Euler's formula and the beauty of mathematics by David Stipp         $45
eiπ + 1 = 0 is regarded as the most beautiful equation in mathematics, and describes the connection between fundamental numbers in terms of basic operations. Leonhard Euler, the eighteenth century Swiss mathematician who devised it, was also responsible for other formulae of great elegance and usefulness (in mathematics, elegance = usefulness), and for the exploring the applications of π. 
Free Hand: New typography sketchbooks by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico         $60
Browse the workbooks of leading contemporary typographer and hand-letterers. Plenty of inspiration here. 

The Invisible Rider by Kirsten McDougall          $25
Philip Fetch is a lawyer with an office in a suburban shopping mall, a husband and father, and a cyclist on Wellington’s narrow and winding streets. He is also a man who increasingly finds simple things in life baffling. As he moves through the sometimes alarming and sometimes comical episodes of this novel, a break in the hurtling flow of events looms ahead. Is it safe for Philip to pull out and pass? The first book from the author of the wonderful Tess.
"Charming, heart-wrenching and funny. McDougall imbues her book with a lovely optimism and an infectious affection for her characters; this is a writer to watch."  – Louise O’Brien, NZ Listener
"Quirky, playful and finally moving."  – Lawrence Jones, Otago Daily Times
"Fetch has the ability to grapple with the borders of his life with a melancholy that belongs to us all, with a deceptive simplicity that sounds as if it is coming from his wisest self. The stories capture the delicacy of human feelings and relationships." – Takahē
The Lost Pages by Marija Peričić       $23
In the margins of his definitive 3-volume biography of Franz Kafka, Reiner Stach assembled and wrote Is That Kafka?, a compilation of 99 'finds' that demonstrate a Kafka different from the general sterotype. In her novel The Lost PagesPeričić goes further, pulling Kafka and his friend and executor Max Brod well over the threshhold into fiction. Hers is a Kafka and a Brod liberated from the burdens of biographical fact and therefore able to play out the metaphorical dramas that have always been within their potential. 
>> On writing The Lost Pages
The Mediterranean by Armin Greder       $33
A moving and powerful wordless picture book from the author of The Island, challenging us to consider our attitudes towards refugees. 
Lullaby by Leila Slimani            $33
When a seemingly perfect nanny commits a horrendous crime, the lives and choices of a high-flying lawyer and her husband come under scrutiny. 
Winner of the Prix Goncourt. 
"A truly horrific, sublime thriller, this tense, deftly written novel about a perfect nanny’s transition into a monster will take your breath away." - The Guardian
T is For Tumbling by Julie Morstad              $25
Delightful alphabet cards, with a whimsy with great appeal for a thoughtful child. 
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders        $22
Two childhood friends are thrown back together as adults under an imminent apocalypse: one as part of a group of cutting-edge scientists, the other as part of a group of magicians working to repair the world's ailments. Together, will they save the world or destroy it? Anders has been compared with David Mitchell and Ursula Le Guin. 
"Dazzling... Profound... Wondrous. Charlie Jane Anders darts and soars, with dazzling aplomb, throwing lightning bolts of literary style that shimmer with enchantment or electrons." - Michael Chabon
"All the Birds in the Sky has the hallmarks of an instant classic. It's a beautifully written, funny, tremendously moving tale that explodes the boundaries between science fiction and fantasy, YA and 'mainstream' fiction." - Los Angeles Times

Seeing Ourselves: Women's self-portraits by Frances Borzello       $40
Blowfish's Oceanopedia: 291 extraordinary things you didn't know about the sea by Blowfish       $37
But soon will.

The Story of Shit by Midas Dekkers          $38
With all our efforts at discretion and hygiene have we lost touch with our important natural function of excretion? An interesting history of faeces, from its time in the bowel to the great diversity of customs and etiquettes that humans have devised to address it. 

House of Snow: An anthology of the greatest writing about Nepal by Ranulph Fiennes et al       $40
50 excerpts from fiction and non-fiction, assembled to raise funds to rebuild after the 2015 earthquake. 

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown         $17
A castaway robot learns to get on with the animal inhabitants of a small island. What happens when nature and technology collide? 
The Feather by Margaret Wild and Freya Blackwood       $28
When a great feather drifts from the leaden sky, two children recognise its extraordinariness and take it to the village for its protection. The villagers, however, want to encase it, upon which the feather loses its radiance. The children take it home and care for it through the night. In the morning it is again radiant, and when they set it free it leaves behind the first signs of blue sky and colour. 

Significant Others: Creativity and intimate partnership by Whitney Chadwick and Isabelle de Courtivron         $22
What trace of an artist's relationships can be found within their work? To what extent can a partner be a creative intermediary between the isolated self and the wider world? In what ways could artists' works have been different if their private lives had been differently structured?

Little Nothing by Marisa Silver        $22
A child is scorned for her physical deformity but has the ability to transform those around her and to cross the border between the human and animal worlds in this inventive novel drawing on folktale motifs. Now in paperback. 
"Little Nothing celebrates not only the unruly and lost parts of all our lives but also the possibility of their reordering and comprehension." - Los Angeles Times
Collusion: How Russia helped Trump win the White House by Luke Harding        $33
Back in stock.

Bygone Badass Broads: 52 forgotten women who changed the world by Mackenzi Li and Petra Eriksson         $35
Women from ancient times to the present (most of whom you haven't heard of) who went further than most to confront and overthrow the limitations placed upon them due to their gender. 
>> The illustrator's website. 
When I Was Small by Sara O'Leary and Julie Morstad          $30
When Henry asks his mother to tell him about when she was small, she tells him that when she was small she used to sleep in a mitten, wear a daisy as a sunhat, and feast upon a single raspberry. 
Where's Jane? Find Jane Austen hidden in her stories by Rebecca Smith        $23
An enjoyable introduction to the works and times of Jane Austen, in the form of a literary Where's Wally?

The Very Short Story Starter: 101 flash fiction prompts for creative writing by John Gillard         $35
Useful and fun, this workbook will help you think about your writing in different ways, and find ways to incorporate it into your daily routines. 

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert           $23
When Alice's grandmother, the author of some books of very dark fairy tales, dies, her mother is kidnapped by someone seemingly from a world where those stories are true. What is Alice to do? 

"Terrifying, magical, and surprisingly funny, The Hazel Wood is one of the very best books I've read in years." - Jennifer Niven 

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones           $37
An unjust imprisonment destabilises an ostensibly exemplary relationship. 
"Tayari Jones is blessed with vision to see through to the surprising and devastating truths at the heart of ordinary lives, strength to wrest those truths free, and a gift of language to lay it all out, compelling and clear." - Michael Chabon
Clash of the Titians: Old Masters trump cards by Mikkel Sommer Christensen       $22
Pit 32 Old Masters against each other in a trump card battle encompassing hundreds of years of art history.
A Far Away Magic by Amy Wilson        $18
When Angel moves to a new school after the death of her parents, she isn't interested in making friends. Until she meets Bavar - a strange boy, tall, awkward and desperate to remain unseen, but who seems to have a kind of magic about him. Everyone and everything within Bavar's enchanted house is urging him to step up and protect the world from a magical rift through which monsters are travelling, the same monsters that killed Angel's parents. But Bavar doesn't want to follow the path that's been chosen for him - he wants to be normal, to disappear. From the author of A Girl Called Owl
Mice in the City: New York and London by Ami Shin      $30 each
The landmarks of the cities turn out to be crammed with tiny busy mice (and the odd cat). Large format. Lots of fun. 
The Mystery Mansion: Storytelling card game by Lucille Clerc       $30
A beautifully presented myriorama - arrange the elements of the story in any of a vast number of permutations, each a different story.

A Maori Word a Day: 365 words to kick-start your reo by Hemi Kelly           $30
Build real familiarity with key words and their usage. 

Mezza (Card game) by Thomas Michael        $25
Quirky and fun, this variation of 'Shithead' is made even more exciting by the addition of mathematically very powerful '1/2' cards.


01/19/2018 01:03 AM

Books either anticipated or surprising - just out of the carton.
We That Are Young by Preti Taneja        $38
A sprawling but incisive retelling of King Lear, set against a backdrop of tradition, misogyny and corruption in modern India.
Long-listed for the Republic of Consciousness Prize.  
>> Modern rewritings of King Lear tend to have Lear the CEO of a corporation. See also Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn. 

Peach by Emma Glass      $27
"Slip the pin through the skin. Start stitching. It doesn't sting. It does bleed. White thread turns red. Red string. Going in. Going out. I pull. Tug. Tug the pin. In. Out. Out. Out. Blackout. Something has happened to Peach. It hurts to walk but she staggers home to parents that don't seem to notice. They can't keep their hands off each other and, besides, they have a new infant, sweet and wobbly as a jelly baby. Peach must patch herself up alone so she can go to college and see her boyfriend, Green. But sleeping is hard when she is haunted by the gaping memory of a mouth, and working is hard when burning sausage fat fills her nostrils, and eating is impossible when her stomach is swollen tight as a drum."
"An immensely talented young writer. Her fearlessness renews one's faith in the power of literature. Peach is a strange and original work of art that manages to be both genuinely terrifying and undeniably joyful" - George Saunders
Letters to the Lady Upstairs by Marcel Proust, translated by Lydia Davis         $28
Letters written between 1909 and 1919 to Madame Marie Williams, the upstairs neighbour to his elegant apartment at 102 Boulevard Haussmann, revealing his concerns with his health and with noise (that harp!), in a mix of elegance and haste, refinement and convolution, gravity and self-mockery.
>> Lydia Davis on translating Proust's letters
The Blind Owl, And other stories by Sadeq Hedayat           $17
One of the foremost works of modern Iranian literature, The Blind Owl tells the story of an unnamed pen case painter, the narrator, who sees in his macabre, feverish nightmares that "the presence of death annihilates all that is imaginary. We are the offspring of death and death delivers us from the tantalizing, fraudulent attractions of life; it is death that beckons us from the depths of life. If at times we come to a halt, we do so to hear the call of death. Throughout our lives, the finger of death points at us." The narrator addresses his murderous confessions to the shadow on his wall resembling an owl. His confessions do not follow a linear progression of events and often repeat and layer themselves thematically, allowing for an open-ended interpretation of the story.
Risography: Loving imperfections by Carolina Amell      $65
An excellent selection of works demonstrating the scope, characteristics and quirks of this printmaking process.
>> Risography explained and demonstrated
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin           $17
Fear (as opposed to anxiety, terror, horror, angst and its other cousins) clarifies perception and heightens the significance of details, much as does good writing, building an electrostatic charge which almost craves, yet ultimately resists, the release offered by the revelation of the feared. Schweblin’s short novel is like a Van de Graaff generator, building a textual charge that can be felt up the spine long after the book is finished. Now in paperback. 
Shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize. 

Classic Food of Northern Italy by Anna Del Conte         $45
Recipes for dishes both familiar and surprising, both rustic and sophisticated, from restaurants and farmsteads, from city and country; all authentic and delicious. 
"Beyond doubt, the best writer on Italian food." - Nigella Lawson
"Anna is a purist. She will not countenance anything that isn't in the strictest sense authentic." - Delia Smith

The Medici by Mary Hollingsworth         $65
Argues that, far from being benign protocapitalist patrons of culture, the Medici were as devious and immoral as the Borgias, that they in fact despised the Florentines and beggared the city in their lust for power and wealth. 
"Vividly told." - The Times

China: A history in objects by Jessica Harrison-Hall        $65
A stunning visual history told in 6000 artefacts and objects. 

Massive, Expressive, Sculptural: Brutalism now and then by Chris van Uffelen      $85
An overview of post-war and contemporary brutalist buildings and of the relationship - in appearance and design, in the grand concepts and the smallest details - between brutalism today and its ancestors.
Barbara Hepworth: The sculptor in the studio by Sophie Bowness       $35
Trewyn Studio in St Ives, and especially the garden that Hepworth shaped there, was the primary and ideal context in which her sculptures were viewed. Following Hepworth's death in 1975, the studio was opened as the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Mister Monkey by Francine Prose        $33
An engaging comedy about Mister Monkey, a screwball children's musical about a playfully larcenous pet chimpanzee (and not a monkey), the kind of 'family favorite' that has certainly seen better days. The novel is told from the viewpoints of wildly unreliable, seemingly disparate characters whose lives become deeply connected as the madcap narrative unfolds. 
"Beautifully crafted, incisively written. What elevates this novel is Prose's ability to let us see into the heart of each character, to render each so vulnerably human, so achingly real in just a few short paragraphs." - Minneapolis Star Tribune 
Inside Madeleine by Paula Bomer       $32
A collection of raw but unflinching stories, all examining the complexities of women's relationships with and through their bodies.
"Bomer offers her characters no outs only the creeping sense that they're doomed to swing forever between futile attempts at self-determination." - The New York Times
 "Reading Paula Bomer is like being attacked by a rabid dog - and feeling grateful for it. This is some of the rawest and most urgent writing I can remember encountering." - Jonathan Franzen
The Leveller Revolution: Radical political organisation in England, 1640-1650 by John Rees          $25
The Levellers comprised one of the earliest modern social movements, agitating for equality first against the Monarchy and then against Cromwell. An interesting and well-written study of one of the roots of modern democracy. Now in paperback. 
"A scrupulously researched, carefully told narrative and a work of impressive scholarship." - Spectator
A Hero for High Times: A young reader's guide to the Beats, Hippies, Freaks, Punks, Ravers, New-Age Travellers and Dog-on-a-Rope Brew Crew Crusties of the British Isles, 1956-1994 by Ian Marchant        $40
A personal and enlightening guide to subculture history. 

Red Star Over Russia: A revolution in visual culture by Natalia Sidlina and Matthew Gale       $22
A good introduction to the correlation between political change and visual media, well illustrated with photomontage, photographs, paintings, handwritten notes, books, enclosures and ephemera.
>> Draws on the 250000 pieces of art and ephemera from the David King Collection
>> And inside the collector's home (he also collected Sunmaid Raisin packets)
Counting on Snow by Maxwell Newhouse        $16
A lovely Arctic counting book in which the animals are gradually obscured by snow. 
Oneida: From free love Utopia to the well-set table by Ellen Wayland-Smith        $28
How did a radical religious community practising open sexual relations become a manufacturer of silver cutlery and a bastion of  conservative American values? Bizarre. 
The Future Won't Be Long by Jarett Kobek         $37
New York in the late 80s and early 90s: a city of club kids, drag queens, artists and junkies; the urban laboratory where identities are being reinvented for the new millennium.
"The Great New York City Novel has been loudly attempted and proclaimed so many times, one is tempted to assume it simply couldn't exist. Yet, with piercing intelligence, vitality, hilarity, and a rather startling sweetness, Jarett Kobek has done it. Staggering." - Matthew Specktor 
"A novel that not only dissects with consummate skill the cultural life of fin-de-siecle New York, but finds there the early symptoms of our contemporary malignancy." - James Purdon, Observer
"An inspired evocation of the last days of the underground empire, before the fall." - Chris Kraus 
Little Mouse and the Red Wall by Britta Teckentrup        $30
Sometimes we find that the walls that keep us from freedom are not as substantial as we had thought. Little Mouse and his animal friends have something to learn about the wall between them and the outside world. 
Hello World: A celebration of languages and curiosities by Jonathan Litton        $33
Make friends around the world with this lift-the-flap board book. 
White Trash: The 400-year untold history of class in America by Nancy Isenberg       $28
The United Sates' treatment of poor whites has been almost as shameful as its treatment of Blacks and Hispanics. This book, now in paperback, traces the roots of the disaffection that has manifest itself in the US's current woes. 
Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, microbes and the fight for real cheese by Bronwen and Francis Percival           $35
In little more than a century, the drive towards industrial and intensive farming has altered every aspect of the cheesemaking process, from the bodies of the animals that provide the milk to the science behind the microbial strains that ferment it. This book explores what has been lost, but is also enthusiastic for what can be reclaimed: artisanal processes and the associated microbial structures that provide flavours not otherwise achievable. 

Radical Happiness: Moments of collective joy by Lynne Segal          $27
Is it possible to overthrow the mindset that makes happiness an individualised commodity and make it instead a collective mode of action? 

Fables by Arnold Lobel            $22
A crocodile admires the orderly pattern of flowers on his bedroom wallpaper. When confronted with the riot of flowers in Mrs. Crocodile's garden he retreats to his bed in distress, where he is comforted by the neat floral rows of the wallpaper. After that he seldom leaves his bed, becoming a sickly shade of green. The moral: "Without a doubt, there is such a thing as too much order." 

An instant favourite: twenty cheerful fables, wonderfully illustrated. 
Animation Studio by Helen Piercy          $33
Everything (including the film set!) a child needs to create stop-motion videos on a mobile phone or digital camera.
Feed the Resistance: Recipes + ideas for getting involved by Julia Turshen      $30
When people search for ways to resist injustice and express support for civil rights, environmental protections, and more, they begin by gathering around the table to talk and plan. What should you give them to eat? Useful. 

A Note of Explanation: A little tale of secrets and enchantment from Queen Mary's dolls' house by Vita Sackville-West, illustrated by Kate Baylay            $35
A hitherto unpublished work commissioned in 1924 for the library of Queen Mary's Dolls' House, beautifully illustrated in period style. 

>> Visit the dolls' house

01/12/2018 05:14 AM


Robinson by Jack Robinson          $30
Written following the 2016 referendum in which the UK voted to quit the European Union, Robinson is in part a record of the disfiguring influence of Defoe’s novel on British education and culture. The latter-day Robinsons of Kafka, Céline, Patrick Keiller and others are surveyed, and Robinson himself as a fictional character – more ‘a sort of ghost’ – makes known his opinion of the author.
"Quirky and stylish, Robinson is Robinson’s witty and indefinable response to Brexit. Readers are taken on an erudite journey through the many different versions of Robinson Crusoe since the original 'father of all Crusoes' who 'built a wall and fortified it with guns'." - The Irish Times
"This is a very witty, quick-moving book. It has to be witty, because it is about the depressing, miserable condition of contemporary Britain. It has to be quick-moving, because it covers a lot of ground – vignettes, glimpses, quick recreations or summaries of many books, photographs, films. It's a book about literature (and much else) but free of the encumbering formalities of academic writing." - Christopher Palmer
>> Read an extract.
The Reservoir Tapes by Jon McGregor          $30
Eleven prequel stories of the characters appearing in the acclaimed Reservoir 13
"McGregor writes with such grace and precision, with love even, about who and where we are, that he leaves behind all other writers of his generation." - Sarah Hall
Die, My Love by Ariana Harwicz           $30
A woman is beset by extreme ambivalences of every kind, particularly her longing for and revulsion by family life. If a thought is thought it must be thought until its end, and Harwicz maps the darkest (and most common) paths of thought sensitively in exquisite prose. 
Blue Land and City Noise: An Expressionist stroll through art and literature by Cathrin Klingsohr-Leroy      $60
A beautifully presented selections of Expressionist art and of the more-seldom-seen Expressionist literature, all claiming the value of a subjective response to the world. 
The Absence of Absalon by Simon Okotie        $28
An unnamed investigator investigates a series of disappearances: of his colleague, Marguerite; of Harold Absalon, the Mayor's transport advisor, whose disappearance Marguerite had been investigating prior to his own disappearance; of Richard Knox, the owner of the townhouse, who had fallen out with Absalon before disappearing; and of Absalon's wife Isobel. What is going on? How do objects stand in the way of understanding? A highly original approach to crime-fiction narrative. 
"This is literature as insanity, the mind stuck in an endless loop - focused, it would appear, too closely on the job at hand. The detective story as existential crisis took form with Beckett's Molloy more than 60 years ago; and the concept of the novel as crazed digression was first incarnated in Tristram Shandy, over 250 years ago. Okotie is in very good company - and has also set himself a high bar. He succeeds. Superbly. - Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian
Moving Kings by Joshua Cohen         $38
Twenty-one-year-olds Yoav and Uri, veterans of the last Gaza War, have just completed their compulsory military service in the Israel Defense Forces. In keeping with national tradition, they take a year off for rest, recovery, and travel. They come to New York City and begin working for Yoav’s distant cousin David King—a proud American patriot, Republican, and Jew, and the recently divorced proprietor of King’s Moving Inc, a heavyweight in the Tri-State area’s moving and storage industries. What starts off as a profitable if eerily familiar job—an “Occupation”—quickly turns violent when they encounter one homeowner seeking revenge.
"This is a book of brilliant sentences, brilliant paragraphs, brilliant chapters. There’s not a page without some vital charge — a flash of metaphor, an idiomatic originality, a bastard neologism born of nothing. Cohen is an extraordinary prose stylist." — James Wood, New Yorker
Do It the French Way by Daniel Gaujac       $45
As well as building the "hideous monstrosity" that has become France's foremost visual icon, Gustav Eiffel also build the Thuir Distillery in 1873, which was the origin of many of France's iconic aperitifs, including Pernod Absinthe, Byrrh, Lillet, Ricard and Suze. The first half of this book features photographs of the restored distillery, the second contains illustrated recipes from some of the world's foremost bartenders for cocktails based on these aperitifs. All in all a very pleasing book. 
Difficult Women by David Plante         $38
Pen portraits of the aged, alcoholic, Lear-like Jean Rhys; Sonia Orwell, George Orwell's widow, both exploiter and victim; and Germaine Greer, always ready to make a virtue of her difficulty. Plante writes revealingly throughout, revealingly often of himself.

A Wood of One's Own by Ruth Pavey         $33
What is the point of leaving London, seeking a piece of land upon which to plant a wood and then discovering the unromantic complexities of rural life if you do not also write a charming book about your experiences doing so? 
Ice by Anna Kavan          $33
A pleasing new hardback edition of Kavan's classic post-apocalyptic novel, described by Peter Owen as "a cross between Kafka and The Avengers". Inspired by the two years Kavan spent in New Zealand, which she constantly felt as close to the Antarctic, by the ice imagery common to heroin addiction (she overdosed in 1968, the year after Ice was published), and by a David Attenborough television documentary, Ice is a tale of obsession set in a world threatened by a vast ice sheet in the wake of a nuclear war. 
"There is nothing else like it. This ice is not psychological ice or metaphysical ice; here the loneliness of childhood has been magicked into a physical reality as hallucinatory as the Ancient Mariner's." - Doris Lessing
The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a global world by Maya Jasanoff        $70
Migration, terrorism, the tensions between global capitalism and nationalism, the promise and peril of a technological and communications revolution: these forces shaped the life and work of Joseph Conrad at the dawn of the twentieth century. 
"The Dawn Watch will win prizes, and if it doesn’t, there is something wrong with the prizes." - Guardian 

Revolutionary Yiddishland: A history of Jewish radicalism by Alain Brossat and Sylvie Klingberg        $23
Socialists, Communists, Bundists, Zionists, Trotskyists, manual workers and intellectuals: before the Holocaust decimated their numbers and laid waste to the land their radicalism addressed, the Jewish communities between Russia and the Baltic brought forth a swathe of new ideas compounded of idealism and doubt. The book examines what was lost, and what might have been. Now in paperback. 

Robot House by Peter Testa      $55
New applications and developments in robotics are transforming architectural practice (and theory too, for that matter). This book takes us to the forefront of design. 

Dawn of the New Everything: A journey through virtual reality by Jaron Lanier      $40
An account of the enormous paradigm shift implied by technological advances in the last three decades, advances that find us on the brink of wholly new ways of being and thinking. Written by one of the pioneers in the field. 
"A deeply human, highly personal and beautifully told story." - Dave Eggers
A Plea for the Animals by Matthieu Ricard        $40
The moral, philosophical and evolutionary imperatives for not only treating animals with compassion but also for recognising that they and we have common natures and concerns. 
Under the Knife: A history of surgery in 28 remarkable operations by Arnold van de Laar       $38
The history of surgery is one of conceptual revolutions as much as technical revolutions. 
Paladares: Recipes inspired by the private restaurants of Cuba by Anya von Bremzen and Megan Fawn Schlow     $60
Cuban cuisine is notable not only for the appreciation of 'ordinary' ingredients but for the inventiveness in their treatment. This book is meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated. 
I, Mammal: The story of what makes us mammals by Liam Drew       $27
What does it mean for us to have more in common with a horse and an elephant than we do with a parrot, snake or frog?

Extreme Cities: The peril and promise of urban life in the age of climate change by Ashley Dawson     $35
Cities are ground zero for climate change, contributing the lion's share of carbon to the atmosphere, while also lying on the frontlines of rising sea levels. Rethinking cities and the way we use them could make all the difference not only to the environment but to issues of inequality and social justice also. 
A Cat, a Man, and Two Women by Junichiro Tanizaki        $23
Shinako has been ousted from her marriage by her husband Shozo and his younger lover Fukuko. She's lost her home, status and respectability, but the only thing she longs for is Lily, the elegant tortoiseshell cat she shared with her husband. As Shinako pleads for Lily's return, Shozo's reluctance to part with the cat reveals his true affections, and the lengths he'll go to hold onto the one he loves most.

Perfect Simple: Inspired eating from a Nordic kitchen by Simon Bajada         $40
The clean, fresh flavours of modern Scandinavian cuisine are an expression of simple ingredients, traditional preparations and contemporary approaches. 

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio          $38
Compared with Donna Tartt's A Secret History, If We Were Villains is a riveting mix of love and murder set in an elite drama college specialising in Shakespeare (what else?). 
Gender Medicine by Marek Glezerman         $23
Recent research has suggested that both diagnosis and prescription are jeopardised by the assumption easy assumptions about the similarity of subjects, when the differences between subjects, for instance in gender, may be instrumental in achieving desired health outcomes (so to call them). This book examines more flexible approaches.
Eleanor and Hick: The love affair that shaped a First Lady by Susan Quinn        $37
In 1932, as her husband assumed the presidency, Eleanor Roosevelt entered the claustrophobic, duty-bound existence of the First Lady with dread. A lifeline came to her in the form of a campaign reporter for the Associated Press: Lorena Hickok. 

At War with War: 5000 years of conquests, invasions and terrorist attacks, An illustrated timeline by Seymour Chwast         $37
Balances anger and despair with wit and humanity. 
>> A video about design legend Seymour Chwast and about this book

01/05/2018 03:45 AM

for a new year
The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai         $33
"This collection of stories – a masterpiece of invention, utterly different from everything else – is hugely unsettling and affecting: to meet Krasznahorkai’s characters, to read his breathless, twisting sentences, is to feel altered." - The Guardian
"The narrators in The World Goes On find themselves wandering in a world of forgotten revelations and corrupted messages, blindly groping toward ineffable essences that forever remain out of reach." - Music & Literature 

From Here to Eternity: Travelling the world to find the good death by Caitlin Doughty          $35
As a practicing mortician in a society that fears and seldom looks directly at death, Doughty is keenly curious about societies that have a greater intimacy with and acceptance of our inescapable fate. In this book she travels the world surveying the death practices, mourning rituals and attitudes to mortality of a wide range of cultures. 
A New Map of Wonders: a journey in search of modern marvels by Caspar Henderson       $45
Do we overlook wonder in the modern world? This remarkable illustrated book reawakens our curiosity about the world we live in, and about our place in it.

Mandelbrot the Magnificent by Liz Ziemska         $25
"Bottomless wonders spring from simple rules repeated without end.” - Benoit Mandelbrot
A fictional pseudobiography of Mandelbrot as he flees into deep mathematics to escape the rise of Hitler. Drawn into the infinite promulgations of formulae, he sinks into secret dimensions and unknown wonders. 
>> Some pleasantly zoomable fractals
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's quest to transform the grisly world of Victorian medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris         $40
In Victorian operating theatres, half the patients failed to survive the experience. This was an era when a broken leg could lead to amputation, when surgeons often lacked university degrees, and were still known to ransack cemeteries to find cadavers. While the discovery of anaesthesia somewhat lessened the misery for patients, it actually led to more deaths, as surgeons took greater risks. Doctors remained baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. Joseph Lister, a young Quaker surgeon made the claim that germs were the source of all infection and could be treated with antiseptics.  
Frankenstein, Or, The modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, illustrated by David Plunkert        $33
A 200th anniversary edition, fully and imaginatively illustrated. 
>> Visit the illustrator's website (recommended). 
>> Plunkert animation

Urban Potters: Makers in the city by Katie Treggiden and Ruth Ruyffelaere        $60
More than thirty young and passionate ceramicists in New York, London, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Sydney and Sao Paulo introduce us to their work, their studios and their inspiration. Beautifully photographed and presented. 

The Best American Nonrequired Reading, 2017 edited by Sarah Vowell        $33
A compilation of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics and genreless pieces selected by US high-school students and notable for its range and liveliness. 

"One wonders how the world might be different if works in The Best American Nonrequired Reading were indeed required." - USA Today
Beyond the Map: Unruly enclaves, ghostly places, emerging lands, and our search for new Utopias by Alastair Bonnett        $33
Geography is in greater flux than ever, with what qualifies as a place being redefined with every artificial island, hidden settlement, proto-state and micro-nation. Bonnett takes us just beyond the reach of maps, and considers the emergence of new trends in geographic thinking. 

A Chill in the Air: An Italian war diary, 1939-40 by Iris Origo         $28

The awful inevitability with which Italy stumbled its way into a war for which they were ill prepared and largely unenthusiastic is documented here by one of the twentieth century's great diarists.
Defending the Rock: How Gibraltar defeated Hitler by Nicholas Rankin         $45
Menaced on all sides by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Vichy France and Francoist Spain, Gibraltar had to let thousands of people cross its frontier to work every day. Among them came spies and saboteurs, attempting to blow up its 25 miles of secret tunnels. In 1942, Gibraltar became US General Eisenhower's HQ for the invasion of North Africa, the campaign that led to Allied victory in the Mediterranean.
Janesville: An American story by Amy Goldstein          $29
This insightful book studies the impact of the closure of the General Motors factory in Janesville, Wisconsin, upon the workers, families, communities, educators, support workers and local businesses, and reveals a wider variety of responses than we might assume. 
"Moving and magnificently well-researched. Janesville joins a growing family of books about the evisceration of the working class in the United States. What sets it apart is the sophistication of its storytelling and analysis." - The New York Times
Catch Me When You Fall by Eileen Merriman        $20
Seventeen-year-old Alex Byrd is about to have the worst day of her life, and the best. A routine blood test that will reveal her leukaemia has returned, but she also meets Jamie Orange. A well-written YA novel from the NZ author of Pieces of You about finding love on the borders of life and death.
Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty          $37
"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. Full of scenes that are rendered with exquisite accuracy and care, allowing the most detailed physical descriptions to be placed against the possibility of a rich spiritual life, this is a novel of great ambition by an artist at the height of his powers." - Colm Toibin

Soul at the White Heat: Inspiration, obsession and the writing life by Joyce Carol Oates         $33
Where does writing come from? What is the relationship between the writer and her source of inspiration? In this series of incisive critical and personal essays, Oates examines her own writing practice and that of Virginia Woolf, John Updike, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, J. M. Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, Joan Didion, Zadie Smith, and many others.
"Oates's writing has always seemed effortless: urgent, unafraid, torrential. She writes like a woman who walks into rough country and doesn't look back." - The New York Times
Emilia's Colours: The gift of autism by Ali Beasley          $24
A very helpful and affirming book written by the parent of an autistic girl to help other parents and professionals better understand the needs and gifts of autistic children. 
>> The author's website
>> Other books about autism at VOLUME

Off the Deep End: A history of madness at sea by Nic Compton         $30
Why are sailors seven times more likely to suffer from mental illness than the rest of the population? Interesting.

Children's Writer's Notebook: 20 great writers and 70 writing exercises by Wes Magee        $23
Notable for its range of writing exercises devised specifically for those writing for children.
Mischling by Affinity Konar        $23
Pearl and Stasha Zagorski take refuge in their identical natures, comforting themselves with the private language and shared games of their childhood. In 1944 the arrive at Auschwitz and become part the experimental population of twins known as 'Mengele's Zoo'. What happens when one of twins disappears? 
"Mischling is a paradox. It's a beautiful novel about the most odious of crimes, it's a deeply researched act of remembrance that somehow carries the lightness of a fairy tale, and it's a coming-of-age story about children who aren't allowed to come of age. If your soul can survive the journey, you'll be rewarded by one of the most harrowing, powerful, and imaginative books of the year." - Anthony Doerr
The Visiting Privilege by Joy Williams        $25
Williams is a devastating observer of social vacuities, and yet manages to induce great sympathy for the ways in which her characters desperately attempt to shore up their dissolving realities.
Now in paperback.
>> Williams’s essay on writing, ‘Uncanny the Singing that Comes from Certain Husks’, has the same merciless sympathy as her stories. 

12/15/2017 05:54 AM


Impossible Inventions: Ideas that shouldn't work by Alexandra Mizielinska, Daniel Mizielinski and Malgorzata Mycielska      $35
Just because something is impossible is no reason not to invent it. Throughout history, humans have dreamed up some improbable ideas. Some of them, while laughed at in their time, have been remarkably prescient of technology of the world centuries in their future. This wonderfully illustrated book, from the inventors of Maps, H.O.U.S.E. and D.E.S.I.G.N. rewards hours of rapt attention. 
>> A comic review
The Domain by Gavin Hipkins         $70
Early in his career, New Zealand artist Gavin Hipkins was described by fellow artist Giovanni Intra as a ‘tourist of photography’. This epithet has been used repeatedly by commentators on Hipkins’ work to describe two intertwined aspects of his practice. As art historian Peter Brunt puts it, Hipkins is a constantly travelling photographer, ‘an iconographer of desire, travel, time and modern communities’, and a tourist within the medium, ‘a great manipulator of the photographic artefact itself’.
>> See some of the photographs on the Dowse website.
Island Time by Damon Salesa         $15
New Zealand is a nation that exists on Pacific Islands, but does not, will not, perhaps cannot, see itself as a Pacific Island nation. Yet turning to the Pacific, argues Damon Salesa, enables us to grasp a fuller understanding of what life is really like on these shores. What would it mean, this far-sighted book asks, for New Zealand to recognise its Pacific talent and finally act like a Pacific nation?

Witchfairy by Brigitte Minne and Carll Cnutt    $30
What do you do if you're tired of being a fairy? Can you be a witch? Can you be both a fairy and a witch? 
Black Tudors by Miranda Kaufmann     $39
A remarkable piece of scholarship, unearthing the long-overlooked lives of free Africans in Renaissance England. 
Telling the Real Story: Genre and New Zealand literature by Erin Mercer      $40
What modes of writing have been deemed more appropriate than others at particular times, and why? Why have some narratives been interpreted as realist when there are significant aspects of them that relate to other genres, such as romance, science fiction and Gothic? What meanings are generated by the meeting points in a text, where one mode meets another?
The Tiger Who Would Be King by James Thurber, illustrated by JooHee Yoon      $30
When the Tiger, against the advice of his mate, sets out to overthrow the current political order for the wrong reasons, things can hardly go well. 
One House for All by Inese Zandere and Juris Petraskevics        $30
Raven, Crayfish and Horse have always been best friends. They're grown up now and would like to start a family. They want all their families to live together and start planning to build a house. But what should that house look like? Will they find a solution that works for all of them?
The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero       $28
When a doll  comes to life in a toy shop in Krakow in 1939, she must not only heal the dollmaker's heart but together they must use their magic to save Jewish children from the fate intended for them by the Nazis. 
Tell Me How It Ends: An essay in forty questions by Valeria Luiselli        $17
"It is not even the American dream they pursue, but rather a more modest aspiration: to wake up from the nightmare into which they were born." An impassioned and revelatory account of the experiences of children who have entered the United States illegally from Mexico and Latin America. The book concentrates on both the hardships of the originating country and the harsh reception they receive in the US. 
"The first must-read book of the Trump era." - Texas Observer
"With anger and lucidity, Luiselli depicts the nightmares these children are forced to flee in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, as well as the destructive ignorance and bigotry that awaits them in America." - Chicago Tribune
Blankets by Craig Thompson        $45
An autobiographical graphic novel describing Thompson's emergence from a childhood of abuse, social isolation and evangelical Christianity through first love and into adulthood. 
"A superb example of the art of cartooning: the blending of word and picture to achieve an effect that neither is capable of without the other." - Bloomsbury Review
"Thompson manages to explore adolescent social yearnings, the power of young love and the complexities of sexual attraction with a rare combination of sincerity, pictorial lyricism and taste". - Publishers' Weekly
Africa: A modern history, 1945-2015 by Guy Arnold        $80
From decolonisation through independence to disappointment and new hope. 
"Vast and brilliant. Orderly but still managing to nip down a fascinating byway when necessary. A groundbreaking book." - Giles Foden, Guardian
Diary of an Ordinary Schoolgirl by Margaret Forster      $38
When Margaret Forster was 15 she did not know she would end up writing such best-selling books as Georgy Girl and Diary of an Ordinary Woman, but she did write her own diary, brimming with detail and lively expression. 
One Trick Pony by Nathan Hale      $25
The aliens have arrived. And they're hungry for electricity. In the Earth of the future, humans are on the run from an alien force - giant blobs who suck up electrical devices wherever they can find them. Strata and her family are part of a caravan of digital rescuers, hoping to keep the memory of civilisation alive by saving electronics wherever they can. Many humans have reverted to a pre-electrical age, and others have taken advantage of the invasion to become dangerous bandits and outlaws. When Strata and her brother are separated from the caravan, they must rely on a particularly beautiful and rare robot pony to escape the outlaws and aliens - and defeat the invaders. A notable graphic novel for children.
Works, 2007-2017 by Tracey Emin         $149
A full exploration of the wide range of Emin's work, all assailing the division of private and public lives. Moving chronologically through a prolific decade of work from major public installations to recent reflective paintings and sculptures this book shows a coherent vision that defies the idiosyncrasies of Emin s evolution as an artist. The same mixture of anger, hope, curiosity, and vulnerability that informs her delicate drawings and handwritten neon works can be felt in the darker tones of recent monoprints and the weight of later bronze pieces.
Voices in the Dark by Ulli Lust and Marcel Beyer        $50
Germany, in the final years of the Third Reich. Hermann Karnau is a sound engineer obsessed with recording the human voice in all its variations-the rantings of leaders, the roar of crowds, the rasp of throats constricted in fear-and indifferent to everything else. Employed by the Nazis, his assignments take him to party rallies, to the eastern front, and into the household of Joseph Goebbels. There he meets Helga, the eldest daughter - bright, good-natured, and just beginning to suspect the horror that surrounds her. An outstanding graphic novel.
Searches for Tradition: Past and present in New Zealand music edited by Michael Brown and Samantha Owens        $40
In Douglas Lilburn's famous address to the 1946 Cambridge Summer School of Music, the composer described his `search for tradition' in the music of New Zealand and spelled out his hopes that a distinctive art music might yet emerge here. Sixty years on, this collection of scholarly essays brings together various perspectives on what `tradition' means in the context of the music of Aotearoa New Zealand. Searches for Tradition presents case studies drawn from a broad spectrum of genres, cultures and historical periods, from investigations of New Zealand's colonial music to fresh consideration of Lilburn's legacy, from corners of the jazz scene to the contemporary revitalization of taonga puoro. The focus on `tradition' leads in some instances to critical issues of nationalism and biculturalism, while others uncover little-discussed aspects of local music history, performance practice or composition. It will be stimulating reading for all enthusiasts of New Zealand music's past, present and future.
Akelare: New Basque cuisine by Pedro Subijana      $75
Excellence and innovation applied to seasonal ingredients results in a magical array of dishes appropriate for a restaurant named after a coven of witches. 
>> Visit Akalare

Film Posters of the Russian Avant-Garde by Susan Pack      $45
The Day Before Happiness by Erri de Luca            $24
A young orphan boy grows up in Naples, playing football, roaming the city's streets and hidden places. The older boys call him 'monkey' because he can climb anywhere. He is alone, apart from Don Gaetano, the apartment caretaker, who feeds him, teaches him to play scopa, and tells him stories about the dark secrets of Naples' past.
Gadgets, Games and Gizmos: The inventions that changed the world by Jean-Marie Donat     $40
Blueprints and technical drawings from the patents office record a world obsessed with innovation. 

The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott            $27
A novel tracing the experiences of three generations of an Irish immigrant family in Brooklyn, New York. 
"McDermott's highly crafted writing - her poised sentences, finely wrought imagery, intricate structuring and emotionally laden detail - is not just clever, but poignant." - Sunday Times
Fresh Ink: A collection of voices from Aotearoa New Zealand        $28
Exciting new authors of stories, poems and novel extracts, from Cloud Ink Press
What a Fish Knows: The inner lives of our underwater cousins by Jonathan Balcombe       $22
The mental lives of fish are surprisingly complex and rich. 
Virtue and Terror by Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre    $22
The French Revolution is widely celebrated as the birth of modern political society, so how should we read this justification of political violence by one of its chief architects? Slavoj Zizek gives a few pointers. 

Why Time Flies: A mostly scientific investigation by Alan Burdick        $38
A rethinking of our concept of time would throw all our other problems into a different light. Burdick examines why we think of time as we do, and how this shapes our experience of everything else. 

"In his lucid, thoughtful, and beautifully written inquiry about time Burdick offers nothing less than a new way of reconsidering what it means to be human." - Hanya Yanagihara
New French Table: A fresh take on classic recipes by Giselle and Emily Roux     $45
At the heart of French gastronomy are the recipes that have been passed down through the generations. At each generation, however, and in each region, these recipes have been rethought, re-evaluated and rewritten, still bearing the je-ne-sais-quoi that underscores their authenticity, 
Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People: Diary comics by Bryce Galloway        $20
The cat has herpes, the kids have worms, the chicken has mites, and Bryce has an assortment of ailments beyond his digestive tract, including a spasming eye, aching knees, haemorrhoids, stiff neck, tinnitus, fleas, and, possibly, dementia. Luckily his wife is there to keep Bryce on his toes and burst his art-martyr bubble. 
>> Being a comic book antihero is an ongoing burden

12/08/2017 05:45 AM


These books have lined up for your attention. 

Charges by Elfriede Jelinek         $48
Nobel Prize-winning novelist Elfriede Jelinek offers a powerful analysis of the plight of refugees, from ancient times to the present. She responds to the immeasurable suffering among those fleeing death, destruction, and political suppression in their home countries and, drawing on sources as widely separated in time and intent as up-to-the-minute blog postings and Aeschylus's The Supplicants, Jelinek asks what refugees want, how we as a society view them, and what political, moral, and personal obligations they impose on us. 
Aberhart Starts Here by Laurence Aberhart and Lara Strongman     $40
An excellent selection of photographs from Aberhart's early career in the 1970s and 1980s, demonstrating his developing concerns and technique (and recording some extraordinary buildings and interiors). 

Chronicles of a Liquid Society by Umberto Eco           $50
 A crisis in ideological values, a crisis in politics, unbridled individualism: it is hard to find anything solid in contemporary society. Does this matter? Is this liberating? Eco's last collection of essays. 
"Eco brilliantly exposes all that is absurd and paradoxical in contemporary behaviour. His irony is disarming, his cleverness dazzling." - Tim Parks, Guardian 
>>Just a few of his books on shelves
The Camera in the Crowd: Filming New Zealand in pace and war, 1895-1920 by Christopher Pugsley        $80
Both filming and the showing of films transformed the way New Zealanders saw themselves and their world, and also how they saw the relationship between work and leisure. This book is the first time this subject has been fully documented.  
Say Something! Jacqueline Fahey by Felicity Milburn et al      $30
A survey of Fahey's remarkable paintings of the 1970s, depicting the private realities of New Zealand women, challenging accepted archetypes of female experience and ‘appropriate’ subjects for art.
Sad Topographies: A disenchanted traveller's guide by Damien Rudd and Kateryna Didyk      $52
What are the stories behind the most lugubrious places in the world? Beautifully drawn maps by Kateryna Didyk.
>> Sad online

How to by Juile Morstad        $35
How to feel the breeze, how to have a good sleep, how to make some music, how to be brave. Delightfully whimsical. 
The Purloining of Prince Oleomargerine by Mark Twain and Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead        $45
Johnny, forlorn and alone except for his pet chicken, meets a kind woman who gives him seeds that change his fortune, allowing him to speak with animals and sending him on a quest to rescue a stolen prince. Twain's fragmentary and never-completed tale is beautifully realised by Stead and Stead. 
Earthly Signs: Moscow Diaries, 1917-1922 by Marina Tsvetaeva        $35
Fragmented, poignant, revelatory observations, both personal and societal, of the social, economic and cultural upheavals of the Bolshevik revolution, from one of Russia's outstanding poets of the twentieth century. 
Studio kO by Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty        $150
An exquisitely produced volume surveying the raw minimalism and clean lines of the architecture of Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty.
>> The kO website (recommended).
Snow and Rose by Emily Winfield Martin       $30
Snow and Rose don't realise they are in a fairy tale, but who does? So different in temperament, the sisters must enter the forest, face dangers and meet both friendly and unfriendly characters in order to solve the mystery of their father's disappearance. 
Red Flag Unfurled: Historians, the Russian revolution and the Soviet experience by Ronald Suny         $43
Suny explores the historiographical controversies over 1917, Stalinism, and the end of 'Communism' and provides an assessment of the achievements, costs, losses and legacies of the choices made by Soviet leaders. A quarter century after the disintegration of the USSR, the story usually told is one of failure and inevitable collapse, but Suny reevaluates the promises, missed opportunities, achievements, and colossal costs of trying to build a kind of "socialism" in the inhospitable environment of peasant Russia. He ponders what lessons 1917 provides for Marxism and the alternatives to capitalism and bourgeois democracy.
Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa         $22
Sentaro has failed: he has a criminal record, drinks too much, and hasn't managed to fulfill his dream of becoming a writer. Instead, he works in a confectionery shop selling dorayaki, a type of pancake filled with a sweet paste made of red beans. One day an elderly, handicapped woman enters the shop. Tokue makes the best bean paste imaginable, and begins to teach Sentaro her art. But as their friendship flourishes, societal prejudices become impossible to escape. A quiet, subtle novel. 
The Least of all Possible Evils: Humanitarian violence from Arendt to Gaza by Eyal Weizman       $27
"This is a wonderful book, written with clarity, precision, and passion. It takes the reader into the heart of contemporary necro-politics and calculations of "lesser evils" by powerful states and their humanitarian accomplices. Deeply learned and informative on every page, this is essential reading for anyone who cares about contemporary conditions of warfare and state-controlled violence; about the spatial practices that reinforce and regulate systemic forms of violence, such as the calculation of minimal requirements for human survival. In the spirit of Doctors Without Borders, Weizman is at home in political philosophy, military history, 'just war' theory, and the spatial systems of controlled, calculated violence that constitute Israel/Palestine, and much of the world today." - W. J. T. Mitchell

New China Eye Witness: Roger Duff, Rewi Alley and the art of museum diplomacy edited by James Beattie and Richard Bullen        $60
A fascinating account of the 1956 visit to the People's Republic of China by a group of prominent New Zealanders - including Roger Duff, James Bertram, Evelyn Page, Angus Ross and Ormond Wilson - and of how Canterbury Museum came to acquire the largest collection of Chinese art in New Zealand. At the centre of the book is the eloquent diary kept by Canterbury Museum director Roger Duff, detailing his efforts to bring to Christchurch the collection of antiquities gifted to the museum by long-time China resident, New Zealander Rewi Alley. Through Alley's contacts with premier Zhou Enlai and Duff's diplomatic skills they obtained the sanction of the Chinese government to circumvent its own export ban on antiquities and permit the gifting of seven crates of treasures to Christchurch (here illustrated). 
A Citizen's Guide to Impeachment by Barbara A. Radnofsky       $23

All We Saw by Anne Michaels         $35

What does love make us capable of? What does it make us incapable of? What is love's relationship with loss? A long-awaited new poetry collection from the author of Fugitive Pieces
A Galaxy of Her Own: Amazing stories of women in space by Libby Jackson      $40
From Ada Lovelace in the nineteenth century, to the women behind the Apollo missions, from the astronauts breaking records on the International Space Station to those blazing the way in the race to get to Mars.

Time Twins by Sally Astridge and Arne Norlin          $25
Astrid thinks she is imagining the quiet boy who appears in her room in the middle of the night. He's called Tamati and lives in New Zealand. Astrid lives in Sweden. What's he doing here? And why does he keep turning up?

>> Come to the New Zealand launch of Time Twins. Sally Astridge (Nelson) and Aren Norlin (Sweden) will both be speaking. Tuesday 19 December, 6 PM at VOLUME, 15 Church Street, Nelson. Find out more
General Relativity for Babies by Chris Ferrie        $19
A clear and helpful board book. 
The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater        $55
Reading Nigel Slater's very personable food writing is a culinary experience in itself, and so is cooking from his recipes or applying his ideas and flavour combinations in ways of your own devising. The recipes in this book are suitable for Christmas, and suitable for the middle of winter, too: goose and turkey (and making the most of the leftovers), mincemeat and Christmas cake; ribsticker bread pudding with Comte and Taleggio, salt crust potatoes with blue cheese and goat's curd, and hot-smoked salmon, potatoes and dill; pink grapefruit marmalade, pear and pickled radish salad and rye, linseed and treacle bread. 
The Geometry of Hand-Sewing: A romance in stitches and embroidery from Alabama Chanin and The School of Making by Natalie Chanin      $40
An ingenious approach to stitching considered as a system of grids and variants, with wide applications to good effect.
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors by Mika Yoshitake      $110
Since 1965's Phalli's Field, Kusama has produced over twenty mirrored installations with an impression of infinite extent. This book surveys her career. 
>> Some infinity rooms
>> Obsessed with dots. 
>> Also new: Yayoi Kusama: From here to infinity by Sarah Suzuki   $35: A children's book on the Infinity Mirrors and their creator. 
Global Discontents: Conversations on the rising threats to democracy by Noam Chomsky         $35
Can we take action that will ensure democracy's survival in the face of populists, kakistocracies and financial oligarchies? 

What is Left Behind by Tom Weston           $25
Just long-listed for the Poetry prize in the 2018 Ockham Book Awards. 
"If Allen Curnow was the stony and austere godhead of New Zealand literary modernism, then Tom Weston [is] tending to the altar and ensuring the continuation of the elder's example. It is something of a study, to observe how Weston is able to sustain the seriousness of the task - the poem-as-act-of-sacred-communion - without ever breaking down into didactic sermonising or self-consciousness parody." - Michael Steven, Landfall 

David Bowie: A life by Dylan Jones      $40
Outdoes most other Bowie biographies in both scope and depth.
>> A man with a million identities.
The World of Moominvalley by Tove Jansson and Philip Ardagh       $65
At last, an encyclopedia of the world of the Moomins and all the other creatures who live alongside them. 
Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017 by Ian Black         $65
The inability to established a shared narrative of their histories makes a peaceful future even more difficult to attain. 

Trainwreck by Sady Doyle       $38
History is full of women who pressed against the boundaries that constrained them and then fell through. 

"Smart, compelling, persuasive. Doyle reminds us that we shouldn't be so quick to judge women in terms of degrading stereotypes or unrealistic expectations."- New York Times 
The Poetry Pharmacy: Tried and true prescriptions for the heart, mind and soul by William Sieghart       $40
A useful pharmacopoeia with poems arranged by condition.

The Excavation by Max Andersson         $49
A young couple is about to discover that nothing is as it seems: not their bodies; not the structures they inhabit (there are no doors); and not the police who wander in and out of their lives. And, no matter how many armed standoffs and car chases there are, you can never escape your parents - or the dead body under the kitchen table. Graphic novel. 
Terrorism and Communism by Leon Trotsky        $22
"To make the individual sacred we must destroy the social order which crucifies him. And this problem can only be solved by blood and iron." An impassioned defence of revolutionary dictatorship written during Russia's Civil War, here introduced by Slavoj Zizek.
Hello World Bingo Game by Jonathan Litton       $28
Learn to say hello in over 50 languages whist having fun playing this game with up to nine people. 

How Should We Live? Everyday ethics in Aotearoa New Zealand edited by Stephen Chadwick        $45
Abortion, poverty, online behaviour, commercial sex, pornography, internet downloading, recreational drug use, social inequality, animal rights, data protection, criminal justice. Our everyday lives are an ethical minefield. 

Made in North Korea: Graphics from everyday life in the NDPK by Nick Bonner     $60
In what way does the particular mind-set of North Korean society manifest itself in 'ordinary' graphic design. This book gives insight into a design culture unlike any other. Beautiful in a new way. 
"Leaving North Korea is not like leaving any other country. It is more like leaving another universe. I will never truly be free of its gravity, no matter how far I journey." - Hyeonseo Lee
>> A sampler 
Great Shakespearean Deaths: Card game by Chris Riddell with Spymonkey        $28
Who had the greatest last words, and what were they? Who enjoyed the slowest, most tedious death? Morbid and lots of fun. 

12/01/2017 04:39 AM

The newest books aren't always the best books, but quite often they are. 
Tinderbox by Megan Dunn        $30
Like everyone, Megan Dunn had a book inside her. In Dunn's case, that book happened to be Fahrenheit 451, which had already been written by Ray Bradbury. Tinderbox is about the hold of literature on our minds and about the mechanisms by which society attempts to destroy that hold. It is about hope and failure and retail and living in the twenty-first century and failure (it's strong on failure), and it's fun to read. 
>> Read an extract
>> The 1966 film by Francis Truffaut
>> Megan's Julie Christie slide show
Women and Power: A manifesto by Mary Beard       $23
"You can't easily fit women into a structure that is already coded as male; you have to change that structure." Beard explores the cultural underpinnings of misogyny, considers our cultural assumptions about women's relationship with power, and advocates the overthrow of gendered templates for female advancement. 
>> The woman behind the book
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood             $35
A splendid new edition of this excellent novel (and now a NetFlix series). A doctor specialising in amnesia interviews Grace Marks, imprisoned for the 1843 murder of her employer and his housekeeper. Grace claims to remember nothing. Was she guilty? 
"Brilliant. So intimate it seems to be written on the skin." - Hilary Mantel

Border Districts by Gerald Murnane         $30
Gerald Murnane writes perhaps the most perfect sentences in English of any living writer. In this, his last work of fiction (though the narrator claims it is a report of actual experience and no sort of fiction), an elderly writer, having moved to a small town close to the border of a territory he had never in his previous life left, postpones a trip over the border to consider the life and death of mental states, and persistence or evanescence of images in the mind. Murnane, the Australian Proust, has written a valedictory work of great subtlety. 
>> Murnane's writing room

Between Eternities by Javier Marias         $37
"Marias is able to see and discover those things which many of us have failed to notice, as well as the things which we do recognise but have never put into words. He keeps looking at this world long after most of us have turned away." - Alexis Grohman

Wide-ranging but incisive, Marias's essays are good workouts for the cerebral muscles. 
Monograph by Chris Ware        $119
Whether he is writing graphic novels, making paintings, or building sculptures, Ware explores universal themes of social isolation, emotional torment, and depression with his trademark self-effacing voice. The end result is wry and highly empathetic. This vast and splendid volume chronicles a quarter century of remarkable and very individual creative work. 
>> What is he doing now? 
You Belong Here by M.H. Clark and Isabelle Arsenault       $35
Everything and everyone is right where they belong. A beautifully illustrated and reassuring bedtime story. 
Sea Change: Climate politics and New Zealand by Bronwyn Hayward      $15
Action is urgently needed, but what action is appropriate for a small country in the face of a global problem? 

Aalto by Robert McCarter       $95
Architecture, furniture, glassware, textiles, product design: Alvar Aalto brought a clarity and humanity to every project. This lovely book surveys the full range and depth of his activities. 
>> Visit the Alva Aalto Foundation
>> Meet Alvar Aalto

Bread is Gold: Extraordinary meals with ordinary ingredients by Massimo Bottura and friends        $65
Three-course meals from some of the world's leading chefs, all using overlooked, undervalued or waste ingredients. Beautifully presented. "These dishes could change the way we feed the world, because they can be cooked by anyone, anywhere, on any budget. To feed the planet, first you have to fight the waste." - MB
>> See some spreads
>> See some chef reducing waste
Follow Finn: A search-and-find maze book by Peter Goes       $30
A beautifully drawn and delightfully immersive maze boo with lots to find and an exciting plot. When goblins invade and then flee the house, Finn's dog gives chase - and so must Finn. Hours of fun. 

Tangata Ngai Tahu / People of Ngai Tahu edited by Takerei Norton and Helen Brown       $40
Fifty biographies of key figures in Ngai Tahu's history, up to the Deed of Settlement. Fully illustrated and fully interesting. 

Istanbul: Memories and the city by Orhan Pamuk         $55
A beautifully illustrated edition of Pamuk's memoir, with 450 historical photographs. 
The Ground Between: Navigating the oil and mining debate in New Zealand by Sefton Darby       $15
The politics, ethics, cultural and environmental considerations of resource extraction.
Jacob's Room is Full of Books by Susan Hill         $33
Where does reading end and living begin? Considering everything from Edith Wharton's novels through Alan Bennett's diaries, Virginia Woolf and the writings of twelfth century monk Aelred of Rievaulx, Susan Hill charts a year of her life through the books she has read, reread or returned to the shelf.
Today by Julie Morstad           $28
What should we do today? Where should we go? What should we wear? What should we eat? A beautifully illustrated book (with choices!) about all the options we have available to us every day. 
>> "Maybe I'll read my favourite book. Can you guess what it's about?"
The Standing Chandelier by Lionel Shriver       $23
When Weston Babansky receives an extravagant engagement present from his best friend (and old flame) Jillian Frisk, he doesn't quite know what to make of it - or how to get it past his fiancee. Especially as it's a massive, handmade, intensely personal sculpture that they'd have to live with forever.
Picasso / Giacometti bSerena Bucalo-Mussely and Virginie Perdrisot        $90
Picasso and Giacometti were addressing similar issues of form and meaning at the same time and in the same circles but in different ways. How can their work be considered a dialogue about the direction of modern art? 
>> Picasso vs. Giacometti.
Wednesdays with Bob by Derek Reilly with Bob Hawke        $33
On a sun-drenched veranda, Australia's longest-serving prime minister and a young writer smoke choice cigars and share conversation about  life, death, love, sex, religion, politics, sport, fatherhood, marriage and everything in between. Interspersed with interviews with Hawke's contemporaries, these conversations provide the deepest insight into this thinker who did not shy from controversy when pursuing his ideals.
Fantasyland: How America went haywire, A 500-year history by Kurt Andersen       $40
If you are free to create your own reality in the Land of the Free, what happens when this reality is contradicted by actuality? Trump's post-factual universe has deep and long precedents in American history. 
"This is the indispensable book for understanding America in the age of Trump." - Walter Isaacson

100 Songs by Bob Dylan       $35
Bob Dylan was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature, so here is a book of his words (without the music and the voice). You can catch all the lyrics and be awed. 
>> Richard Thomas also ranks Dylan with the Classical greats
>> Featuring all the literati (except Shakespeare)
Logical Family by Armistead Maupin        $40
A memoir from the author of Tales of the City, from being a conservative son of the Old South to being a gay rights pioneer and novelist. 
"A book for any of us, gay or straight, who have had to find our family. Maupin is one of America's finest storytellers, and the story of his life is a story as fascinating, as delightful and as compulsive as any of the tales he has made up for us." - Neil Gaiman
The Polar Bear Explorers' Club by Alex Bell       $21
Tumbling from an ice bridge to be impaled on a mammoth's tusk is a noble death for an arctic explorer, but Stella and her team have an adventure to pursue. Can they cross the Arctic wastes and live to tell the tale? 
Chip Book: Work, 2007-2017 by Chip Kidd      $119
The outstanding graphic designer, best known for his book covers. 
>> Portfolio.

Where the Wild Coffee Grows: The untold story of coffee from the cloud forests of Ethiopia to your cup by Jeff Koehler        $39
Not only the past but the future of coffee. 
To the River: A journey beneath the surface by Olivia Laing     $23
Virginia Woolf drowned  herself in the Ouse in 1941. Decades later, Laing walked the river from its source to the sea and wrote this fascinating book on landscape and our place within it. New edition. 
"Laing's writing at its sublime best reminds me of Richard Mabey's nature prose and the poetry of Alice Oswald. Laing seems to lack a layer of skin, rendering her susceptible to the smallest vibrations of the natural world as well as to the frailties of the human psyche." - The Times 
"Has a Sebaldian edge to it that lifts it out of memoir and biography and into something far more tantalizing and suggestive." - Guardian 
Osteria: 1000 generous and simple recipes from Italy's best local restaurants     $90
A special Slow Food investigation into authentic regional cuisine. 
Johnson by Dean Parker      $35
Whatever happened to the hero of John Mulgan's Man Alone? Parker's novel extrapolates Johnson's life from the point at which he leaves to fight in the Spanish Civil War at the end of Mulgan's novel.
>> For a fictionalised account of Mulgan's life after he parted ways with Johnson, read Mulgan by Noel Shepherd. 

Frida: The story of her life by Vanna Vinci       $60
An outstanding graphic novel mix of biography and fiction. 
>> See some sample pages
How to Resist: Turn protest into power by Matthew Bolton        $20
A handy wee incendiary volume. 
"This extraordinary book is the road map for a new kind of effective activism." - Brian Eno
>> Resistance is useful
The Man Booker Prize Diary 2018: Celebrating 50 years of the finest fiction        $28
Each week, find out who won the Booker (and who was on the short list) for a year of the prize's history. Doubles as a fifty-year history of book cover design. 

11/24/2017 03:45 AM


These books have all arrived this week. 
Gordon Walters: New Vision by Lucy Hammonds, Julia Waite, Laurence Simmons et al     $79
Best known for his positive/negative koru stacks, Walters, as this book demonstrates, was a remarkably diverse and accomplished abstract artist. 
>> An exhibition by the same name is currently on display at the Auckland Art Gallery.
The Second Body by Daisy Hildyard            $38
How can we bridge the conceptual divide between our individual body and the global body that is also our responsibility, without losing our individual identities?
"Hildyard takes us on a white-knuckle philosophical ride through identity, agency, ecology and molecular biology, leaving us vitally disconcerted, but with a strange new sense of community and solidarity. A curious, oblique, important, and fascinating book." — Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast
McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #50         $55
A whole summer's worth of reading from Lydia Davis, Sarah Vowell, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Diane Williams, Jesse Ball, Sheila Heti, Carrie Brownstein, Etgar Keret, Jonathan Lehtam, Valeira Luiselli, Heidi Julavits, Sherman Alexie, &c, &c, &c, &c, &c, &c (50 writers and artists).
Here We Are: Notes for living on planet earth by Oliver Jeffers         $30
"Well, hello. And welcome to this Planet. We call it Earth. Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you've only just got here. Your head will be filled with questions, so let's explore what makes our planet and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your journey. And you'll figure lots of things out for yourself. Just remember to leave notes for everyone else. Some things about our planet are pretty complicated, but things can be simple, too: you've just got to be kind."
Winter by Karl Ove Knausgaard         $38
Knausgaard's notes for living on Planet Earth. As the birth of his daughter approaches, Knausgaard continues his quartet recording what he manages to find valuable, beautiful, significant or particular in the world, or at least what he would like to find valuable, beautiful, significant or particular in the world, or least what he would like us to think he finds valuable, beautiful, significant or particular in the world. As always with Knausgaard, the profound and banal prove to be indistinguishable. 
"A bit like reporting on a football match by watching the grass." - Guardian
My Cat Yugoslavia by Pajtim Statovci         $28
A conversation with a talking cat starts a young man on a journey back to the Kosovo his mother fled before his birth, to confront the magical, cruel, incredible history of his family, and to find a chance to find love. 
"A strange, haunting, and utterly original exploration of displacement and desire. A marvel, a remarkable achievement, and a world apart from anything you are likely to read this year." - Tea Obreht, The New York Times
"An elegant, allegorical portrait of lives lived at the margin, minorities within minorities in a new land. My Cat Yugoslavia is layered with meaning and shades of sorrow." - Kirkus

Hazana: Jewish vegetarian cooking by Paola Gavin      $52
During 2000 years of exile, Jews have spread across the world, bringing their culinary traditions with them and adapting and adopting the cuisines of their host societies. This book travels from North Africa across Europe and into the Middle East and India, showing all the subtle variations and innovations of essentially Jewish dishes. 
Cleansing the Colony: Transporting convicts from New Zealand to Van Diemen's Land by Kristyn Harman      $35
During the mid-nineteenth century at least 110 people were transported from New Zealand to serve time as convict labourers in the penal colony of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania).
The Punishments of Hell by Robert Desnos        $30
Written in the period after the dissolution of Paris Dada but before the formalisation of Surrealism, this novel is caught between nihilistic incomprehensibility and savage lyricism. Featuring Desnos and most of other prime members of the Paris Dada movement the momentum of the narrative soon begins to act upon them like a particle accelerator, tearing them off into the impossible. 

The Long Dream of Waking: New perspectives on Len Lye edited by Paul Brobbel, Wystan Curnow and Roger Horrocks        $50
One of twentieth century art's outstanding modernist innovators, Lye's direct films, kinetic sculptures, photography, drawing, painting and poetry continue to reward new scholarship and discovery. The essays here consider Lye's importance from various perspectives and in international contexts. 
>> Two steps ahead of the avant-garde
Flowersmith: How to handcraft and arrange enchanting paper flowers by Jennifer Tran       $45
If you have never wanted to make paper flowers you will want to after seeing this book. 
>> These could be your hands

Why Dylan Matters by Richard F. Thomas         $30
When the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Bob Dylan in 2016, many wondered whether he even qualified for the award. Thomas makes the case for his inclusion in the literary canon. 

Bottled by Chris Gooch         $40
Jane is sick of her dead-end life in the suburbs, and desperate for a change. Her old friend Natalie made it out, living in Japan as a fashion model. Now, as Natalie comes back to town on business, Jane sees a way for her friend to do her a favour - whether she likes it or not.
"Chris Gooch twists the knife in the gap between persona and self. Bottled is a slow burn of a comic where the betrayals and the dread cut deep." - Katie Skelly
The Balkans, 1804-2012: Nationalism, war and the great powers by Misha Glenny          $40
Glenny investigates the roots of the bloodshed, invasions and nationalist fervour that have come to define our understanding of the south-eastern edge of Europe, and presents portraits of its kings, guerrillas, bandits, generals, and politicians. Glenny shows that groups we think of as implacable enemies have, over the centuries, formed unlikely alliances, thereby disputing the idea that conflict in the Balkans is the ineluctable product of ancient grudges. He explores the often-catastrophic relationship between the Balkans and the rest of Europe, raising some disturbing questions about Western intervention.
Stories by Susan Sontag        $50
All of Sontag's short fiction collected for the first time. Her stories, vignettes, observations and allegories wrestle with similar concepts to her essays, but do so in ways that the essays could not reach.  

The Ones Who Keep Quiet by David Howard      $25
The ones who keep quiet the longest are the dead, but there are echoes of them everywhere. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt: A political life by Robert Dallek       $75
Driven my grand but always complicated motivations, Roosevelt harnessed public consensus to make the presidency the foremost institution in the United States of America. 
Explorer's Atlas for the Incurably Curious by Piotr Wilkowiecki and Michal Gaszynski      $45
The world is so full of a number of things that I'm sure we should all be terribly confused if there weren't books such as this one to give some sort of spatial pattern to our confusion. A beautiful, large-format hardback.  

Sodden Downstream by Brannavan Gnanalingam          $29
The stresses of yet another once-in-a-lifetime storm in Wellington and not helped by the demands put upon Tamil refugee Sita by her employer, but support comes from unexpected quarters when the usual structures of urban life and upended.
>> "A subversion of the classic quest narrative."
Freedom Hospital: A Syrian story by Hamid Sulaiman       $48
A graphic novel giving insight into one the tragedies of our time. Over 40,000 people have died since the start of the Syrian Arab Spring. In the wake of this, Yasmin has set up a clandestine hospital in the north of the country. The town that she lives in is controlled by Assad's regime, but is relatively stable. However, as the months pass, the situation becomes increasingly complex and violent. 

The Robin: A biography by Stephen Moss        $37
Write to the Point: How to be clear, correct and persuasive on the page by Sam Leith          $33
Writing effectively is partly a matter of not making common mistakes and partly a matter of learning a few key skills. 

Moonshots: 50 years of NASA space exploration seen through Hasselbladt cameras by Piers Bizony       $130
The most extraordinary images of the Apollo and later missions, presented in this lavish large-format slip-cased volume. Who would have thought that such images could inspire such awe and wonder? 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill        $48
A sumptuously illustrated new gift edition with extra content.

"No wizarding household is complete without a copy." - Albus Dumbledore
Sticky Fingers: The life and times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone magazine by Joe Hagan         $40
To what extent has the vision and ego of one man shaped (or distorted?) popular culture over five decades? 
Orwell's Cough: Diagnosing the medical maladies and last gasps of the great writers by John Ross        $25
Did Shakespeare's doctors addle his brain with mercury, leading to his early retirement? Was Jane Eyre inspired by the plagued school that claimed the Bronte clan? Did writing 1984 kill George Orwell?
>> Six famous writers injured when writing
What a Plant Knows: A field guide to the senses by Daniel Chamovitz         $38
How do plants experience life on earth? How do they communicate? Is there any sense in which they are 'aware' or can be said to 'remember'? What is it like to be a plant? 

A Farewell to Ice: A report from the Arctic by Peter Wadhams       $30
Ice regulates the world's temperatures. It is vanishing, fast, faster than anyone predicted and the effects will make the the planet a very different place. 
'Astonishing, beautiful, compelling and terrifying." - Observer
"Wadhams' writing sparkles. He has a lyrical sense of wonder at the natural world. This may be the best reader-friendly account of the greenhouse effect available." - John Burnside
>> Our time is running out
Fraulein Else by Arthur Schnitzler          $23
While staying with her aunt at a fashionable spa, Else receives an unexpected telegram from her mother, begging her to save her father from debtor's jail. The only way out, it seems, is to approach an elderly acquaintance in order to borrow money from him. This stream-of-consciousness novella, written from the the point of view of a naively romantic young woman hilariously at odds with reality. 
A Short History of Drunkenness by Mark Forsyth        $38
Alcohol has existed in all times and in all cultures but drunkenness and the way that is it viewed has varied tremendously across history and peoples. 
The Sex Pistols, 1977: The Bollocks Diaries      $45
An exhaustive archive of images and writings from the year the Sex Pistols detonated their load on the prevailing musical tastes. 
>> "Am I not entitled to do what I want?"
>> 'Anarchy in the UK' (in Sweden).

11/17/2017 03:23 AM

Out of the carton and onto the shelf.
Beneath Pale Water by Thalia Henry       $30
Set amidst the physical and psychological landscapes of New Zealand's southern hills and grasslands, Beneath Pale Water is a social realist and expressionistic novel that follows a triangle of three damaged individuals - a sculptor, a vagrant and a model - who have grown calcified shells against the world. Their search for identity and belonging leads them into dangerous territory that threatens both their sanity and lives. As their protective shells crack they are left vulnerable-both physically and emotionally-to the high country winds and their own conflicts that, ultimately, might free - or destroy them.
>> Review on Radio NZ National.
Old Nelson: A history in postcards, 1900-1940, Selected from the Rob Packer collection by Barney Brewster     $50
A huge amount of documentary detail, arranged by location and by theme.
Vanishing Points by Michele Leggott        $28
"Vanishing Points concerns itself with appearance and disappearance as modes of memory, familial until we lose sight of that horizon line and must settle instead for a series of intersecting arcs. It is full of stories caught from the air and pictures made of words. It stands here and goes there, a real or an imagined place. If we can work out the navigation the rest will follow."
Poetry and prose poems from an outstanding poet. 
Landfall 234     $30
Includes the winners of the 2017 Landfall Essay Competition, the 2017 Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry and the 2017 Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize. No-Fiction and poetry from the usual literary suspects (and some less usual ones), art (Jenna Packer, James Robinson, Andrew McLeod) and reviews. 
Science and the City: The mechanics behind the metropolis by Laurie Winkless       $23
We take much of city life for granted, but almost every way we interact with a city embeds us in a web of technology designed to make living in proximity to many other humans both possible and pleasurable. Winkless helps us to see what is all around us. 
"Offers a unique insight into the revolutionary thinking that is shaping big cities around the world." - Sunday Times
>> Did you hear Winkless (now a Wellington resident) on Radio New Zealand National? 

Selected Stories by Éilís Ní Dhuibhne      $35

Eilis Ni Dhuibhne's stories are widely acclaimed for their acute perception of Irish women's lives, the power of her verbal economy, and her skillful and unique use of both humour and the fantastic.

The Great Derangement: Climate change and the unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh       $36
"The climate crisis is also a crisis of culture, and thus of the imagination." Is our resistance to addressing climate change embedded in literature, as well as in history and politics?  How can writers and artists clear the intellectual dead wood that blocks the path to effective change? 
Sun, Sea and Sustenance: The story of the Otaki Children's Health Camp by Di Buchan          $40
An excellent collection of oral history and context giving insight into the experience of children in one of New Zealand's health camps (to which children from the Nelson area were referred). From the late 1940s, health camps were established to provide health care and education for sickly, disadvantaged and 'at risk' children. 
Vietnamese Cuisine by Tom Moorman, Larry McGuire, Julia Turshen and Evan Sung          $70
A beautifully presented cookbook, showcasing the French-nuanced Vietnamese food and Vietnamese-nuanced French baking as produced in the Elizabeth Street Cafe. 
>> Some sample pages
Great Books of China by Frances Wood      $45
An excellent introduction to 66 works of Chinese literature. Much needed. 
Devotion by Patti Smith        $34
Why is one compelled to write, to cocoon oneself from others and fill empty space with words? Patti Smith takes us across the invisible line between devotion and obsession to show us the workings of her creativity. 
>> Smith channels a literary laureate.
Labyrinths: Emma Jung, her marriage to Carl, and the early years of psychoanalysis by Catrine Clay       $28
"Too long overlooked, Emma’s legacy mimicked her life – Labyrinths is the first mainstream publication to recognise both the value of her contributions as a practitioner of analytical psychology, but more importantly to acknowledge the integral role she played in the discipline’s development. As Clay astutely demonstrates, Jungian theory was a direct product of the specifics of this marriage." - Guardian
We See Everything by William Sutcliffe          $19
In a near-future, war-ravaged London, impoverished inhabitants are herded into “the Strip”, surveilled constantly by drones and periodically bombed into further submission. Gripping YA dystopia. 
Game of Queens: The women who made sixteen-century Europe by Sarah Gristwood      $22
Isabella of Castile, Anne de Beaujeu, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I, Jeanne d'Albret &c. 
"Gristwood handles multiple narrative strands with tremendous finesse. Densely packed with fascinating material, this immensely ambitious undertaking succeeds triumphantly.' - Literary Review
Granta 141: Canada edited by Madeleine Thien and Catherine Leroux          $28
From Canada's global cities to its Arctic Circle - from the country's ongoing story of civil rights movements to languages under pressure - the writers in this issue upend the ways we imagine land, reconciliation, truth and belonging, revealing the histories of a nation's future. 
The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell       $35
Spirits in jam jars, mini-apocalypses, animal hearts and side shows. A girl runs a coffin hotel on a remote island. A boy is worried his sister has two souls. A couple are rewriting the history of the world. Mermaids are on display at the local aquarium. Twelve haunting stories from this bookshop-positive author (and bookseller). 
The Museum of Broken Relationships: Modern love in 203 objects by Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic     $45
When Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic ended their relationship they founded a museum for objects that embody the arc of human relationships, from their ignition through their development to their demise. They have curated a selection from the collection. 
>> Visit the website
From the Heart by Susan Hill        $37
"A quietly shattering coming-of-age story set in the late 'fifties and early 'sixties. Hill's storytelling is vivid, yet spare. From the Heart is a captivating portrait of a woman caught in the wrong era. This slender novel could be devoured in an afternoon, but it has an unsettling quality that will stay with the reader long after it is finished." - Daily Telegraph
The Art of Natural Cheesemaking: Using traditional non-industrial methods and raw ingredients to make the world's best cheeses by David Asher          $75
Possibly the best book on the subject. 
In Progress: See inside a lettering artist's sketchbook and process from pencil to vector by Jessica Hische         $60
An inspiring record of the working processes (and the end results) of the celebrated letting artist.
>> What is the difference between a calligrapher, a lettering artist and a type designer? 
Icebreaker: A voyage far north by Horatio Clare      $45
An account of a journey up the Finnish coast of the Gulf of Bothnia on board a government icebreaker. 
"Travel writing at its very best." - Daily Mail
This is an Uprising: How nonviolent revolt is shaping the twenty-first century by Mark Engler and Paul Engler         $35
From protests around climate change and immigrant rights, to Occupy, the Arab Spring, and #BlackLivesMatter, a new generation is unleashing strategic nonviolent action to shape public debate and force political change. When mass movements erupt onto our television screens, the media consistently portrays them as being spontaneous and unpredictable. Yet, in this book, Mark and Paul Engler look at the hidden art behind such outbursts of protest, examining core principles that have been used to spark and guide moments of transformative unrest. 
"Absorbing...Ambitious...Indispensable. A genuine gift to social movements everywhere." - Naomi Klein
How Evolution Explains Everything About Life by New Scientist      $35
How does evolution actually work? Is life inevitable or a one-off fluke? Could life have taken an entirely different course? What are selfish genes and are they really the driving force in evolution? How has our understanding of evolution changed? 
Bright Ideas for Young Minds: 70 step-by-step activities to do at home with your child         $40
An excellent resource for everyone from young parents to grandparents, showing how to provide developmentally rich experiences without specialist equipment. 
Where the Past Begins: A writer's memoir by Amy Tan         $37
By delving into vivid memories of her traumatic childhood, confessions of self-doubt in her journals, and heartbreaking letters to and from her mother, Tan gives evidence to all that made it both unlikely and inevitable that she would become a writer.
Love for Sale: Pop music in America by David Hajdu       $28
From the sheet music of the nineteenth century through Tin Pan Alley to the rise of radio to the label wars and the atomisation of the music industry. 
>> 'Love For Sale'.
>> 'Love For Sale'
>> 'Love For Sale'.
>> 'Love For Sale'
>> 'Love For Sale'.
>> 'Love For Sale'. 
>> 'Love For Sale'.
>> 'Love For Sale'.
>> 'Love For Sale'.
Making Things Right: A master carpenter at work by Ole Thorstensen       $40
On one level, this is an account of the renovation of a loft; on another it is an insight into the mindset of a craftsperson and the humanising benefits to be had from doing things well. 
Magnificent Birds by Narisa Togo       $28
The Earth Gazers by Christopher Potter      $45
When the Apollo mission sent back the first views of Planet Earth from space, how did this change the way we thought about ourselves, our place in the universe and our responsibility towards our planet? What 
The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch         $30
There's something strange on the Metropolitan Line. Why do commuters keep forgetting their encounters with ghosts on the rails? PC Peter Grant investigates in this, the first novella to accompany the 'PC Grant' ('a.k.a. 'Rivers of London') series. OTT. 
The Smell of Fresh Rain: The unexpected pleasures of our most elusive sense by Barney Shaw          $33
Our noses are wired straight into our brains. What are the neurological, psychological and cultural dimesions of our sense of smell? 
Flora: The graphic book of the garden by Guy Barter       $55
And attractive and clear introduction to gardening. 
Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson        $60
A magisterial biography from the author of Steve Jobs and Einstein

The Trials of the King of Hampshire: Madness, secrecy and betrayal in Georgian England by Elizabeth Foyster       $22
Considered by Byron a fool but not a madman, the 3rd Earl of Portsmouth enjoyed funerals, pinching his servants and being bled (none of which exactly made him an exception to his time and station). In 1823 his family petitioned the court to have him declared insane. This is a fascinating piece of history.
The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 29 psychiatrists and mental health experts assess a President edited by Bandy Lee      $45
Everything you've ever suspected is backed up by an expert, but what is the mental health status of the nation that elected him? 
Nasty Women: Feminism, resistance and revolution in Trump's America edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding       $28
Esssays from Rebecca Solnit, Cheryl Strayed, Jessica Valenti, Nicole Chung and others. 
Censored 2018: Press Freedoms in a Post-Truth Society, The top censored stories and media analysis of 2016-2017 edited by Micky Huff        $40
The annual yearbook from Project Censored features the year's most underreported news stories, striving to unmask censorship, self-censorship, and propaganda in corporate-controlled media outlets. 
Larousse Wine: How to understand the world's best wines edited by          $100          
New edition. Definitive. 
The Art of Fire: The joy of tinder, spark and ember by Daniel Hume        $50
A history of, a rumination on, and instructions for fire-making. 
>> An incendiary art or a smouldering craft? 

11/10/2017 12:45 AM


The Beat of the Pendulum: A found novel by Catherine Chidgey     $35
This fascinating (and funny) new novel from the author of The Wish Child (winner of the 2017 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize) is sieved and assembled from the great flood of words that washed over Chidgey in 2016. Both an experiment in form and an exercise in documentary rigour, this novel is revelatory of the actual texture of life and an interrogation of the processes of memory.

Winter by Ali Smith     $34
In the second installment of Smith's seasonal quartet, a modern-day Scrooge reassesses her relationships in the context of Brexit Britain and the deep patterns of history and society. 
"Luminously beautiful. A novel of great ferocity, tenderness, righteous anger and generosity of spirit." - Guardian
Strangers arrive: Émigrés and the arts in New Zealand, 1930-1980 by Leonard Bell          $75
From the 1930s to the 1950s, forced migrants - refugees from Nazism, displaced people after World War II and escapees from Communist countries - arrived in New Zealand from Europe. Among them were extraordinary artists and writers, photographers, designers and architects whose European Modernism radically reshaped the arts in this country. How were migrants received by New Zealanders? How did displacement and settlement in New Zealand transform their work? How did the arrival of European Modernists intersect with the burgeoning nationalist movement in the arts in New Zealand? This book introduces us to a group of `aliens' who were critical catalysts for change in New Zealand culture. An outstanding piece of social and artistic history, beautifully illustrated. 
Insane by Rainald Goetz          $38
Dr Raspe takes up a position at a psychiatric institution determined to implement his ideals, but instead becomes overwhelmed by the reality of life in the hospital and soon passes beyond the edges of what is commonly thought of as sane, disassembling as he does so society's expedient construct of sanity. For him, and for the reader, the idea of madness is overthrown.
"Rainald Goetz is the most important trendsetter in German literature. In many passages, Goetz achieves the same intensity and concentration of experience as in the disturbing early novels of Thomas Bernhard.— Süddeutsche Zeitung
"This book is a hammer. His texts should come with an epilepsy warning." — Die Zeit
"As a hyper-nervous virtuoso of attentiveness, Rainald Goetz works in the field between authenticity and fiction." — Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
"Praise is bad." — Rainald Goetz
>> "He was a doctor. He knew what he was doing." — Marcel Reich-Ranicki, commenting on Goetz slicing open his forehead at the 1983 Ingeborg Bachmann Prize
The Expatriates by Martin Edmond           $50
"The connection between a colony and its founder, centre and margin, is always paradoxical. Where once Britain sent colonists out into the world, now the descendants of those colonists return to interrogate the centre." This book rediscovers four men, born in New Zealand, who achieved fame in Europe as they were forgotten at home: Harold Williams, journalist, linguist, Foreign Editor of The Times; Ronald Syme, spy, libertarian, historian of ancient Rome; John Platt-Mills, radical lawyer and political activist; and Joseph Burney Trapp, librarian, scholar and protector of culture. Edmond, as always, writes thoughtfully and with insight. 
The Journal of Urgent Writing, 2017 edited by Simon Wilson      $40
Essays towards a better national conversation, including: Morgan Godfery on identity • Jess Berentson-Shaw on social investment • Andrew Judd on racism • Carys Goodwin on climate change • Conor Clarke on dirt • David Cohen on Popper, Plato, Hegel and Marx • Emma Espiner on a tikanga Māori world • Gilbert Wong on growing up Chinese • Giselle Byrnes on why universities matter • Jo Randerson on dying • Māmari Stephens on our threatened marae • Victor Rodger on being actually brown • Maria Majsa on Johnny Rotten • Max Harris on dreams • Mike Joy and Kyleisha Foote on dams • Raf Manji on a new progressive agenda • Sarah Laing on menstruation • Sylvia Nissen on youth and politics • Teena Brown Pulu on three Tongan funerals • Tim Watkin on explaining Trump • Simon Wilson on a radical centre.

Old Rendering Plant by Wolfgang Hilbig       $28
One day, a boy follows the odors, oozings, and grime of a polluted creek to the rendering plant that has spewed animal refuse into it for years. He becomes obsessed with the poor creatures that are being made into soap, and in his paranoia he comes to believe that this abattoir is somehow connected to the mysterious disappearances occurring throughout the countryside. Hilbig uses obsessive, hypnotic prose to explore the intersections of identity, consciousness, our frail bodies, and history's darkest chapters.
"An artist of immense stature." - Laszlo Krasznohorkai 
Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia, illustrated by Katy Horan       $42
A magical survey of 30 writers who are also women, giving insight into their verbal superpowers, biographies and principle works. Powerfully illustrated. Includes Janet Frame, 'Hermit of Hospitals, Belonging and Lost Souls'. 
>> Peek at a few witches here

Make Her Praises Heard Afar: The untold history of New Zealand women in World War One by Jane Tolerton        $60

Many New Zealand women have been left out of the histories of the First World War. As well as the 550 nurses who followed the troops and the women who 'kept the home fires burning', many other New Zealand women were involved in the war, as doctors and ambulance drivers, munitions workers and mathematicians, civil servants and servicewomen in British units, and in many other roles. Tolerton tells these stories for the first time. 
Nikau Cafe Cookbook by Kelda Hains and Paul Schrader      $60
Recipes for many of the memorable dishes at the iconic Wellington cafe,a long with thoughtful writing, and photography by Douglas Johns. 

Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia O'Hara and Lauren O'Hara      $30
Hortense is irritated by the antics of her shadow, but its ability to take on new forms can be useful when you are threatened by bandits.
Downtime: Deliciousness at home by Nadine Levy Redzepi        $60
Quietly thoughtful and nicely presented.
"This is great family cooking: inviting, achievable and simply delicious." - Nigel Slater

Coming Unstuck: Recipes to get you back on track by Sarah Tuck      $60
When not everything is going your way (or even when nothing seems to be going your way), the preparing and eating of good food can help to get your life back on the rails. S. Tuck shares 100 of her most effective recipes in this attractively presented cook book. This food will help pick you up off the floor. 
>> STuck in the kitchen
Heather, the Totality by Matthew Weiner    $28
The Breakstone family arrange themselves around their perfect daughter Heather, but as Heather grows she becomes the centre of other, darker orbits. 
"Heather, the Totality is superb. Weiner conveys the sense that beyond the brilliantly chosen details there was a wealth of similarly truthful social and psychological perception unstated. Then there was the ice-cold mercilessness, of a kind that reminded me (oddly, I suppose, but there it was) of Evelyn Waugh. This novel is something special." - Philip Pullman
"I cringed and shuddered my way through this short, daring novel to its terrible inevitable end. Each neat, measured paragraph carpaccios its characters to get to the book's heart - one of Boschian self-cannibalising isolation. A stunning novel. Heather, the Totality blew me away." - Nick Cave
>> Matthew Weiner, the man who made Mad Men
Last Inhabitant of Shackleton's Hut by Oliver Sutherland       $25
In 1962, as a young zoologist, Sutherland lived for 3 months alone in Shackleton's hut in Antarctica's McMurdo Sound, alone, that is, apart from visitors (up to 40 a day) who came to see him living alone in the famous explorer's hut. One of the visitors, Graham Billing, wrote a novel, Foxbrush and the Penguins, based on Sutherland, and this was subsequently made into a film starring John Hurt as Sutherland. Sutherland's own account of his stay is now available for the first time.
Type: A visual history of typefaces and graphic styles, 1628-1938 by Cees de Jong et al       $125
A stupendous encyclopedia of typographical evolution and innovation, including not only typefaces but also layout, ornament and aesthetic. Full of information and inspiration. 

Life in the Garden by Penelope Lively        $40
A memoir of the writer's life in gardens and a consideration of gardens in her reading. 
The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresan      $40
What happens if you throw literature into the Large Hadron Collider? This book is a fictional life told in fragments, each fragment constantly permuting and breaking into further fragments. An adventure in fractalising narrative. 
"It’s a strange and rewarding book, and one which channels a stylized, almost hermetic environment—which seems to fit the themes of both supercolliders and the inner workings of the human psyche." - Electric Literature
>> Is this a "total novel"?

Ungrateful Animals by Dave Eggars     $50

Before Eggars was a writer he was an illustrator. In this book he presents a series of animals, both wild and domestic, with plaintive or pseudo-Biblical texts. Odd and rather touching. 
Thirty-Four Illustrations for Dante's Inferno by Robert Rauschenberg       $45
"I think a picture is more like the real world when it's made out of the real world."  Produced between 1958 and 1960, Rauschenberg's illustrations transpose photographic and found imagery to the canvas and overwork it with other media. 
>> Read the book and look at the pictures. 
>> Rauschenberg is not the first artist to tackle the subject
The Runaway Species: How human creativity remakes the world by Anthony Brandt and David Eagleman         $37
The latest neurological research shows how our brains are softwired (or live-wired!) rather than hardwired. This endless malleability enables us to reconceptualise our world and to construct experience. Where do new ideas come from? Eagleman, whose book The Brain is the best introduction to the philosophical and psychological implications of neurological research, teams up with composer Anthony Brandt to explore our need for novelty and our capacities to produce it like no other animal. 

The Art of Cartographics by Jasmine Desclaux-Salachas   $60
A curated selection of maps that take cartography in new directions. Interesting. 

Moral Fables by Giacomo Leopardi          $22
Between 1823 and 1828 Leopardi set aside the lyric poetry he has become most famous for to concentrate on this set of 24 stories, mostly dialogues, which address the range of philosophical themes that underlie both his academic and poetic writings. 
Fanaticism: On the uses of an idea by Alberto Toscano        $29
Tracing its development from the traumatic Peasants' War of early sixteenth-century Germany to contemporary Islamism, Toscano tears apart the sterile opposition of 'reasonableness' and fanaticism.  Toscano suggests that fanaticism results from the failure to formulate an adequate emancipatory politics.

Tū Arohae: Interdisciplinary critical thinking by William Fish and Stephen Duffin       $45

Being able to describe, evaluate and generate reasoning and arguments effectively, appropriately and sympathetically is a key life, professional and academic skill. But there are hidden complexities inherent in this approach, and it has limits when employed as a form of persuasion
Dinosaurium by Lily Murray and Chris Wormell       $42
A beautifully illustrated large-format book from the wonderful 'Welcome to the Museum' series. The latest facts with a retro feel. 
Portraits, 2005-2016 by Annie Leibovitz       $140
Stunning, as you would expect. Leibovitz's sure and incisive eye captures layers of subtlety beneath each exquisite surface. Sumptuous, large-format production.
Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eager       $19
Can a clever young inventor uncover a ruthless pirate's heart of gold? 

Cinemaps: An atlas of great movies bAndrew DeGraff & A. D. Jameson     $55
Detailed hand-painted maps that provide a cartographic representation of 35 major films. Plus essays (also fun). 
>> DeGraff is also responsible for Plotted: A literary atlas
Storied Lives (The Novella Project V), Griffith Review 58 edited by Julianne Schulz       $35
How do people make an impact on the world? Fiction and nonfiction. 
This Long Pursuit: Reflections of a Romantic biographer by Richard Holmes      $30
What are the challenges, rewards and pitfalls of biographical research and writing? 
"Holmes writes beautifully. A masterly performance by the greatest literary biographer of his generation." - The Oldie
The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster and the Year that Changed Literature by Bill Goldstein      $43
1922, the year that Modernism was born. 
Gnomon by Nick Harkaway         $37
An investigator studying the recordings of a machine that can read memories finds evidence of more persons than she ought to in the mind of a reclusive novelist who has died in police custody. Inventive (bonkers). 
"Gnomon is an extraordinary novel, and one I can't stop thinking about some weeks after I read it. It is deeply troubling, magnificently strange, and an exhilarating read." - Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
"Harkaway is J.G. Ballard's geeky younger brother." - Times Literary Supplement
First Time Ever by Peggy Seeger         $45
An interesting memoir from the folk music revival catalyst, left-leaning political activist and feminist. 
>> 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'.
Textiles of the Middle East and Central Asia by Fahmida Suleman      $65
The textiles featured include male and female garments, hats and headdresses, rugs and felts, children's clothing, dolls, tent hangings, amulets and animal harnesses.
I Can't Breathe: The killing that started a movement by Matt Taibbi        $38
On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner died in New York City after a police officer put him in what has been described as a "chokehold" during an arrest for selling "loosies," or single cigarettes. The final moments of his life were captured on video and seen by millions, sparking an international series of protests that built into the transformative "Black Lives Matter" movement. Weeks after Garner's death, two New York City police officers were killed by a young black man from Maryland, in what he claimed was revenge for Garner's death. Those killings in turn led to police protests, clashes with New York's new liberal mayor, and an eventual work slow-down.
Phantom Architecture: The fantastical structures that the world's greatest architects really wanted to build by Philip Wilkinson       $60
If only.
Katherine Mansfield tote bag      $20
Holly Dunn design. 

11/02/2017 07:20 AM

November is upon us and so are these New Releases.  
Mr Lear: A life of art and nonsense by Jenny Uglow         $55
A man of deep ambivalences, contradictions and vulnerabilities, Edward Lear was unable to act on his deepest feelings but produced some of the oddest poetry of his time, as well as a body of art both serious and comic. Jenny Uglow, who could almost be said to specialise in biographies of odd characters who both exemplify and stand apart from their times, is Lear's perfect biographer, forensic yet sensitive to the most hidden corners of his psyche, his playfulness and his melancholy. 
"Jenny Uglow has written a great life about an artist with half a life, a biography that might break your heart." - Robert McCrum, Guardian
The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen        $28
When a mouse is swallowed by a wolf, a duck already resident in the wolf's belly shows it what a good life can be lived there. How can they defend their home against a hunter? 

Sagaland by Richard Fidler and Kari Gislason         $45
Two friends travel to Iceland to experience the settings of (and to retell!) the Icelandic sagas they are both so fond of, and to find Gislason's roots. What is the relationship between land and stories, both ancient and modern, both culture-defining and personal? Where are the Vikings now? 
>> "Tales of blood feuds and dangerous women, fugitives and warrior poets." 
>> How they came to write the book

Lisboeta: Recipes from Portugal's City of Light by Nuno Mendes      $53
An interesting and attractive guide to the food of Lisbon replete with recipes for every meals of the day and with evocative photographs. 
>> Mendes tells a little about himself
The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell      $33
The main difference between The Bookshop in Scotland's Book Town of Wigtown and Black Books is that business at The Bookshop proceeds without a script and the odd customers are all (or mostly) actual members of the public rather than actors. As Bythell shows, running a booklover's paradise may not always feel like you're in paradise yourself, but booksellers wouldn't have it any other way (that is to say, they are of no use for any other occupation). 
>> A shop with books in
>> Shaun shows us how to reconfigure with a broken Kindle
Marco Polo: Dangers and visions by Marco Tabilio       $28
An exquisite graphic novel account of the explorations and inner life of the Venetian merchant who travelled through Asia as far as Chine in the thirteenth century. 
>> Have a look at Tabilio's website

The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks        $38
The latest advances in neuroscience have bearing on the dilemmas of both philosophy and psychology. Before he died, Sacks drew together some of his incisive essays on consciousness and on the relationship between the brain and the mind, experience and memory, to be presented as this important addition to his oeuvre. 
The Relive Box, And other stories by T.C. Boyle         $35
"Some of the best, funniest, bleakest, most unsettling short stories I've ever read." - The Times 
"Always enjoyable, virtually incapable of dullness or slack sentences. His stories reveal truths about modern life while still feeling beautifully invented." - New York Times 
"By far and away one of the most inventive, adventurous and accomplished fiction writers in the US today. Most of all, he is a mesmerising storyteller."  Lionel Shriver 

Oak and Ash and Thorn: The ancient woods and new forests of Britain by Peter Fiennes         $37
Fiennes journeys to Croft Castle & Parkland (Herefordshire), Clapham Common, Northfield Wood, The Weald, Knockwood & Secret Wood (Tenterden), Windsor Great Park, Runnymede (Surrey), Sherwood Forest, Cranborne Chase (Dorset), Kingley Vale (W. Sussex), Kipling's house (South Downs), Wistman's Wood (Dartmoor), Wayland Wood (Norfolk), Queen's Wood (Highgate), Hardcastle Crags (W. Yorkshire), Glover's Wood (Sussex), Smithy Wood (Sheffield). So many woods, and so much history, has been lost. 
"Written with a mixture of lyricism and quiet fury,  Fiennes's book winningly combines autobiography, literary history and nature writing. It feels set to become a classic of the genre." - Observer
A Revolution of Feeling: The decade that forged the modern mind by Rachel Hewitt         $55
Led by revolutionary foment in Europe, British intellectual and radicals in the 1790s formulated new ways of thinking, feeling and acting that would have far-reaching consequences through literature, art and social dynamics, what Edmund Burke called "the most important of all revolutions, the revolution of the sentiments." The project involved the complete rethinking of the relationship between the individual and society, between the individual and nature, between an individual's inner and outer lives.  
The Last London by Iain Sinclair         $40
The outstanding psychogeographer strikes out on a series of solitary walks and collaborative expeditions to make a final reckoning with a capital stretched beyond recognition. Here is a mesmerising record of secret scholars and whispering ghosts. Of disturbing encounters. Night hospitals. Pits that become cameras. Mole Man labyrinths. And privileged swimming pools, up in clouds, patrolled by surveillance helicopters. Where now are the myths, the ultimate fictions of a many times revised city?
Phoney Wars: New Zealand society in the Second World War by Stevan Eldred-Grigg and Hugh Eldred-Grigg        $50
What were the concerns of ordinary New Zealanders during war? The war divided New Zealanders and involved many in acts of brutality that affected their families and communities when they returned. What price did New Zealand pay for the outcome of the war? 
"Stevan Eldred-Grigg defies classification. He can swoop from the historical to the contemporary, from lyric to polemic, from fiction to faction. He's unsettling as well as absorbing." - David Hill

The Weight of Things by Marianne Fritz          $22
A Modernist classic only now translated into English, The Weight of Things tells of a traumatised young woman's descent into first domesticity and then suffering. Admired by Jelinek and Sebald, Fritz is a recipient of both the Robert Walser Prize and the Franz Kafka Prize. 

"There is a class of artists whose work is so strange and extraordinary that it eschews all gradations of the good and the mediocre: genius and madness are the only descriptors adequate to its scale. Such is the case of the Austrian novelist Marianne Fritz." - Adrian Nathan West
Improbable Destinies: How predictable is evolution? by Jonathan Losos         $55
The natural world is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes and wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times. Convergence suggests that evolution is predictable, and if we could replay the tape of life, we would get the same outcome. But there are also many examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest change - a random mutation or an ancient butterfly sneeze - caused evolution to take a completely different course. So are we humans, and all the plants and animals in the world today, inevitabilities or evolutionary freaks? 
The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach        $28
Seventeen year old Ivan Isaenko is a life long resident of the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely III Children in Belarus. For the most part, every day is exactly the same for Ivan, which is why he turns everything into a game, manipulating people and events around him for his own amusement. Until Polina arrives. She steals his books. She challenges his routine. The nurses like her. She is exquisite. Soon, he cannot help being drawn to her and the two forge a romance that is tenuous and beautiful and everything they never dared dream of. Before, he survived by being utterly detached from things and people. Now, Ivan wants something more: Ivan wants Polina to live.
Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love         $37
Excellent retellings, with excellent illustrations. Crossley-Holland's versions are both enjoyable and scrupulous to the sources. 

"Kevin Crossley-Holland is the master." - Neil Gaiman
How Language Began by Daniel Everett        $55
Suggests that the requisites for language, and indeed language itself, were present as early as Homo erectus one-and-a-half million years ago. 
Modern Death: How medicine changed the end of life by Haider Warraich          $43
Advances in medical science has meant not only that we live longer but that we spend more of that time dying. How has this changed our view of the world and our place in it? 
Manderley Forever: The life of Daphne du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay          $45
"It's impressive how Tatiana was able to recreate the personality of my mother, including her sense of humour. It is very well written and very moving. I'm sure my mother would have loved this book." - Tessa Montgomery d'Alamein (daughter of Daphne du Maurier)