06/15/2018 05:06 AM

Some excellent books await your attention. 

Fish Soup by Margarita García Robayo       $32
Two novellas and a swathe of short stories from this exciting Colombian writer. Each of the stories portrays characters grappling with, or pushing against, the limitations of their situation, drawn to whatever it is they lack, seemingly oblivious of the consequences (until it is too late (at least for them)). 
>> Extract of Fish Soup

Stream System by Gerald Murnane       $40
Murnane writes beautiful, exquisitely pedantic, sad, subtly barbed and often very funny sentences. His ability to take a few brief experiences, or a location on the inland plains of Victoria, Australia, or a childhood memory, or the image of a person or a textual phrase, and to wring from these a seemingly endless depth and subtlety, gives him a rare Proustian quality. 
>> "Intricately strange."
>> Mental places.
>> Words in Order.

Kudos by Rachel Cusk        $33
Cusk brings her masterly 'Faye' trilogy (following Outline and Transit) to a close by finally activating Faye herself, recording her aeroplane journey and the conversations she has, pushing at the form of the novel and forcing tectonic shifts in the reader's preconceptions.
>> "Perhaps the cruellest novelist at work today."

Darker With the Lights On by David Hayden          $32
If it is what is excluded that potentises text, if it is what is destroyed by writing that makes writing do what writing does, then the stories of David Hayden in Darker with the Lights On move like the sharpened tip of a great black crayon as it scribbles out all memory and knowledge. Not in these stories the reassurance of the expected, nor that of continuity or clarity. Answers are not given, perhaps withheld, though withholding requires an existence for which no evidence ensues, but we are participants in the ritual taking away of knowledge, the deanswering of questions, itself a sort of understanding. Many of the stories concern themselves with the tensions between memory and perception, between two times running concurrently, memory snarling on details and producing not-quite-narrative but a stuttering intimation of the vast force of passing time. Hayden produces a spare disorienting beauty on the level of the sentence. His admixture of restraint, even paucity, and excess, produces a surrealism truncated rather than efflorescent, its effects cumulative rather than expansive, a surrealism not the furthest expression of surrealism’s usual tired romantic literary inclinations but of their opposite, their extinguishment, not the surrealism of dreams but of the repetitive banging of the back of the head as the reader is dragged down a flight of steps, their eyes either closed or open.
>> Read Thomas's review.
>> Read an extract
Sand by Wolfgang Herrndorf         $23
Somewhere in the North African desert, a man with no memory tries to evade his armed pursuers. Who are they? What do they want from him? If he could just recall his own identity he might have a chance of working it out. Elsewhere, four westerners are murdered in a hippy commune and a suitcase full of worthless currency goes missing. Enter a pair of very unenthusiastic detectives, a paranoid spy whose sanity has baked away in the sun, and an  American woman with a talent for being underestimated.
"Part Pynchon, part Beckett, a crime story told by Lewis Carroll in a particularly nihilistic mood." - Spectator
"Brilliant, anarchic, darkly comic." - Irish Times
Are Friends Electric? by Helen Heath       $25
The first part of Helen Heath's new collection is comprised largely of found poems which emerge from conversations about sex bots, people who feel an intimate love for bridges, fences and buildings, a meditation on Theo Jansen's animal sculptures, and the lives of birds in cities. A series of speculative poems further explores questions of how we incorporate technology into our lives and bodies. In these poems on grief, Heath asks how technology can keep us close with those we have lost. How might our experiences of grieving and remembering be altered?
>> Helen Heath - Standing room only
>> Ask Gary Numan
The Beggar, And other stories by Gaito Gazdanov          $28
A never-before-published-in-English collection of six stories (1931-1963) from this Russian émigré modernist master. 
>> "Much much more than a publishing event."

Chernobyl: History of a tragedy by Serhii Plokhy        $55
On 26 April 1986 at 1.23am a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine exploded. While the authorities scrambled to understand what was occurring, workers, engineers, firefighters and those living in the area were abandoned to their fate. The blast put the world on the brink of nuclear annihilation, contaminating over half of Europe with radioactive fallout. Plokhy draws on recently opened archives to recreate these events in all their drama, telling the stories of the scientists, workers, soldiers, and police who found themselves caught in a nuclear nightmare.
Rotoroa by Amy Head        $30
A novel of loss and the reconstruction of lives, set at the Salvation Army rehabilitation centre for alcoholics on Rotoroa Island in the Hauraki Gulf. 
"This daring novel doesn’t shout at you. It makes its moves with such care and concealment that it’s a total surprise to find it has pressed such a weight against your chest. Beguiling and brilliant!" —Damien Wilkins
>> The drinkless isle: "Why I set my novel at the rehab centre on Rotoroa Island."

Seven Types of Atheism by John Gray        $50
Atheism is as old and rich and diverse as religion, and as riven between its sects. Gray, a modern-day Schopenhauer and author of Straw Dogs and Black Mass, brings his misanthropy to bear on, changes the scope of, and brings to a whole new level, the tiresome religion vs science debate.

Florida by Lauren Groff         $37
Storms, snakes, sinkholes, secrets. A savage collection of tooth-sharp stories from the author of the devastating Fates and Furies.
"A superlative book." - Boston Globe
"Gorgeously weird and limber." - New Yorker
"Brooding, inventive and often moving." - NPR
"Eerie and exquisite." - Vox
"Florida's unofficial poet laureate, as Joan Didion was for California." - Washington Post
>> Groff speaks.
Street Food Asia: Saigon, Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur by Luke Nguyen           $45
Nguyen is in his element as the 'Street Food King', eating and exploring his way through traditional noodle soups and sweet sticky meats, to more adventurous dishes like Stir-fried Embryo Egg with Tamarind and Duck and Banana Blossom Salad. Venturing out at dawn and late into the night to discover street vendors, stallholders and roaming food carts, Nguyen captures the energy of each place at their busiest times of the day. 
>> Luke in Saigon

Felix Culpa by Jeremy Gavron          $37
Whose stories deserve to be told? And whose words should do the telling? A book entirely made from lines sieved out of 100 other works of literature, assembled into a new form. A writer is on the trail of a boy recently released from prison, who has been discovered dead in the frozen north. But in searching for the boy's story, will he lose his own?
>> An excerpt

The Valley at the Centre of the World by Malachy Tallack        $33
A quietly vivid fictional evocation of life in the Shetlands, a society mixed of natives, incomers and returnees, abraded by land and sea.

Catastrophe  by Dino Buzzati        $38
A new translation of this endlessly inventive and sneakily disconcerting collection of surreal stories, first published in Italian in 1965. Buzzati falls somewhere between Borges and Calvino, both in time and in literary genetics. 
"Much of Catastrophe is about the construction of paranoia and fear." 
Among the Living and the Dead: A tale of exile and homecoming by Inara Verzemnieks          $33
Raised by her grandparents in the USA, Verzemnieks grew up among expatiates, scattering smuggled Latvian sand over the coffins of the dead, singing folk songs about a land she hand never visited. Verzemnieks pieces together the lives of her refugee grandmother, of her grandmother's sister, exiled to Siberia under Stalin, and of her grandfather, conscripted by the Nazis.                     
"A world in which poetic mythology coexists with sophisticated modernity, the dead mingle with the living, and the hardships of a traumatic past are countered by the strength of memory and of lasting attachments." - Eva Hoffman
Never Anyone But You by Rupert Thomson           $38
A well written novel treating the lives of step-sisters and lovers Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob and Suzanne Alberte Malherbe, their early life in Nantes, their escape from the provinces to Paris, their reinvention of themselves as Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore respectively, pushing the frontiers of both art and gender at the time of the Surrealists, and their flight from the Nazis.

"Arrestingly accomplished." - The Guardian
>> Cahun
Remaking the Middle East by Anthony Bubalo       $13
Not since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire has the Middle East been convulsed by so many events in such a short period of time. Uprisings, coups, and wars have seen governments overthrown, hundreds of thousands killed, and millions displaced. Bubalo argues that the current turmoil is the result of the irrevocable decay of the nizam - the system by which most states in the modern region are ruled. But if you look hard enough, it is possible to spot 'green shoots' of change that could remake the Middle East in ways that are more inclusive, more democratic, less corrupt, and less violent.
A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That: A Gujarati Indian cookbook for Aotearoa by Jayshri Ganda and Laxmi Ganda         $70

A beautifully presented and very appealing book of delectable and authentic dishes from western India, all absolutely at home in New Zealand. 

That Was When People Started to Worry: Windows into unwell minds by Nancy Tucker       $33
An insightful study of mental illness in young British women: anxiety, self-harm, borderline personality disorder, OCD, binge eating disorder, PTSD and dissociative identity disorder.
>> Case studies
Extraordinary People: A semi-comprehensive guide to some of the world's most fascinating individuals by Aaron Scamihorn and Michael Hearst        $18
Evel Knievel jumped his motorcycle over 14 Greyhound buses. The Iceman is the most well-preserved human, found in the ice after 5,300 years. Sam Patch jumped Niagara Falls for $75. Helen Thayer walked to the North Pole alone. Roy Sullivan was struck by lightning 7 times. How are you interesting?

The Weather Detective: Rediscovering nature's secret signs by Peter Wohlleben       $38
The natural world is a text wee can learn to read. From the author of The Hidden Life of Trees and The Inner Life of Animals

The Consolation of Maps by Thomas Bourke          $35

Kenji Tanabe finds maps easier to read than people. At the elite Tokyo gallery where he works, he sells antique maps by selling the stories that he sees within their traces: their contribution to progress, their dramatic illustrations, their exquisite compasses. But no compass or cartography can guide him through the events that will follow the sudden and unexpected offer of a job in America. There, Theodora Appel runs a company that is more like a family. Brilliantly successful, beguilingly secretive, she gradually initiates Kenji into her rarefied world. Only someone like him - quiet, intensely committed and discreet - could be allowed to see beneath the surface to what his employer is hiding. Theodora has never recovered from the death of her lover, and her obsession to reclaim the past threatens them all. Moving across countries and cultures, The Consolation of Maps charts an attempt to understand the tide of history, the geography of people and the boundless territory of loss.
Mrs Moreau's Warbler: Hos birds got their names by Stephen Moss         $37
From the common starling to the many-coloured rush tyrant, the names we have given to birds are some of the most vivid and evocative words in the English language. 
>> Birds calling each other by name 

Scoundrels and Eccentrics of the Pacific by John Dunmore        $40
Opportunists and self-seekers had an effect on the often unofficial history of the Pacific. This rollicking and often tragic book follows those who followed the European explorers and sought to benefit from what was to them a new world. 

Patisserie: Master the art of French pastry by Melanie Dupuis and Anne Cazor      $65
A beautifully presented large-format book, with stunning diagrams and very clear step-by-step photographs. 

I'm the Biggest by Stephanie Blake        $20
Simon is miffed that his little brother is growing faster than he is. What does it mean to be a big brother? 
>> The other Simon books

06/08/2018 05:30 AM


These books have just arrived at VOLUME.

Us v Them: Tony de Lautour by Peter Vangioni et al        $40
The first retrospective collection of this savagely interesting artist sprung from Christchurch's itching cultural underbelly. 
>> The "low-brow high art world of Tony de Lautour".
>> From earthquakes to fatherhood
>> The thought part of the act

Anything That Burns You: A portrait of Lola Ridge, radical poet by Terese Svoboda          $45
"The woman artist had no place in New Zealand at the turn of the century." Living in Hokitika before leaving first for Sydney and then California, Ridge became both a modernist poet and a painter, and a tireless advocate for the working class. Comparisons are made with Mansfield, Bethell and Mander: "Short story writer Katherine Mansfield was the only contemporary New Zealander with international ambition equal to Ridge's," and, "Ridge's main competitor for 'New Zealand's best woman poet of the early 20th century' is another modernist, Ursula Bethell."
>> American anarchist with a West Coast connection
>> Some poems and a bio
Modern Forms: A subjective atlas of 20th century architecture by Nicolas Grospierre        $65
You couldn't hope for a more stimulating and surprising collection of architectural forms from around the world. 
Mothers: An essay on love and cruelty by Jacqueline Rose       $28
Motherhood is the place in our culture where we bury the reality of our own conflicts. When treated as either idols or scapegoats, mothers become inaccessible as individuals and become a mechanism that prevents the resolution of personal and societal difficulties. 
No Live Files Remain by András Forgách       $35
What happens when a mother's love for her country outweighs her love for her family? After his mother's death, Forgách started to discover evidence that she was an informant for Hungary's Kadar regime. This novel tells her story. 
>> Mother knows best. Mother knows everything
>> "My mother was a Cold War spy."

Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, With illustrations by David Hockney         $55
Hockney's illustrations, a mix of etching, aquatint and drypoint, are remarkable and individual, injecting new energy into these tales. 
>> Look at some of the illustrations here
The Language of Bugs by Zhu Yingchun         $60
This book is not written by humans but by insects. Zhu Yingchun left ink pools in his garden and collated the marks made by crawling insects into this unique book, in equal parts rigorous science and conceptual art. 
>> Writers at work
The Epic of Gilgamesh by Kent H. Dixon and Kevin H. Dixon         $40
The world's oldest literary epic is now a graphic novel! Follow Gilgamesh and his buddy Enkidu as they battle golds, monsters, mortality and the blurred edges of their own humanity. 
Birds and Their Feathers by Britta Teckentrup        $34
What are feathers made of? Why do birds have so many of them? How do they help birds fly? And what other purpose do they serve? All these questions and many more are answered in this book bursting with the most beautiful illustrations. 
A companion for The Egg
Age of Conquests: The Greek world from Alexander to Hadrian, 336 BC - AD 138 by Angelos Chaniotis          $70
The Hellenistic period was one of fragmentation, violent antagonism between large states, and struggles by small polities to retain an illusion of independence. Yet it was also a period of growth, prosperity, and intellectual achievement.

John Yeon: Architecture by Randy Gragg        $149
John Yeon (1910-1994) was a pioneering figure in architecture, who paved the way for the Northwest Regional style of modernism. Known for a series of exceptionally beautiful houses - including the Watzek House, a National Historic Landmark - Yeon's architecture was celebrated for its subtle relationship to site and place, and its sensitive deployment of local materials. His innovations in construction and early sustainable design, and his stylistic freedom, anticipated several later movements, ranging from ecological modernism to postmodern eclecticism. 
>> A few examples
>> A tour of Watzek House (1937)
Young Adam by Alexander Trocchi           $19
The discovery of a woman's body in the canal between Edinburgh and Glasgow by a drifter and the bargeman he is working for supercharges the claustrophobic intensity of this book in which the narrator seduces the bargeman's wife and begins to betray the fact that he knows more about the woman's death than he will admit. First published in 1954.
"The plotless beauty of Trocchi's writing, and its fearless look at the emptiness of his own life, put 'the Scottish Beat' on a par with Kafka and Camus. Asked to name the best existential literature, most of us would probably say Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre or Franz Kafka. But Trocchi actually takes the reader one step further into the philosophical world of existential angst than any of them." - Guardian
>> The book was made into a film. 
The Cafe Move-On Blues: A look at post-Apartheid South Africa by Christopher Hope           $33
Hope travels through South Africa and asks what happened to the dream of a egalitarian post-Apartheid future? 
The Children of Castle Rock by Natasha Farrant          $17
When Alice Mistlethwaite is shipped off to boarding school in Scotland it's nothing like she imagines. There are no punishments and the students are more likely to be taught about body painting or extreme survival than maths or English. When Alice's father goes missing and she must run away to find him, can she persuade her new friends to help? An exciting Highlands adventure. 
The World in Thirty-Eight Chapters, Or, Dr Johnson's Guide to Life by Henry Hitchings           $40
Can this depressive, razor-tongued essayist, poet, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor, lexicographer, the son of a bookseller show us how to address (or avoid) the pitfalls, vulnerabilities, tediums and hazards of quotidian life? Possibly he can. 

Facing the Future: Art in Europe, 1945-1968 by Peter Weibel        $165
How can art be made following a cultural trauma such as that experienced by Europe during World War 2? This important new book includes some 400 works by 150 artists, bringing together for the first time post-war art from both Western and Eastern Europe. The book studies how Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Ossip Zadkine, Henry Moore, Renato Guttuso, Fernand Leger, Yves Klein, Gerhard Richter, Lucian Freud and many others worked through the trauma of 1940-1945 and the Cold War.
The Shadow Cipher ('York' #1) by Laura Ruby        $17
An enjoyable, page-turning adventure with clues, mysteries, strange consequences and extremely likeable characters. Can Tess, Theo and Jamie solve the notorious century-old cipher set by the brilliant inventors the Morningstarr twins and save their building from destruction at the hands of developers? 
>> Read Stella's review
Boy Erased: A memoir of identity, faith and family by Garrard Conley       $28
When Conley, the son of a small-town Arkansas Baptist pastor, was nineteen, he was outed to his parents and was forced to make a decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to "cure" him of homosexuality, or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. 
Purge by Sofi Oksanen          $23
Deep in an overgrown Estonian forest, two women, one young, one old, are hiding. Zara, a murderer and a victim of sex-trafficking, is on the run from brutal captors. Aliide, a communist sympathizer and a blood traitor, has endured a life of abuse and the country's brutal Soviet years. Their survival now depends on exposing the one thing that kept them hidden: the truth.

Losing the Girl ('Life on Earth' #1) by MariNaomi      $19
An idiosyncratic YA graphic novel. Claudia Jones is missing. Her classmates are thinking the worst, or at least the weirdest. It couldn't be an alien abduction, could it? None of Claudia's classmates at Blithedale High know why she vanished - and they're dealing with their own issues. Emily's trying to handle a life-changing surprise. Paula's hoping to step out of Emily's shadow. Nigel just wants to meet a girl who will laugh at his jokes. And Brett hardly lets himself get close to anybody. 
>> Meet MariNaomi.
In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the hippie idea by Danny Goldberg          $25
Culture and counterculture had a moment of confluence in 1967, the year of the Summer of Love and LSD, the Monterey Pop Festival and Black Power, Muhammad Ali's conviction for draft avoidance and Martin Luther King Jr's public opposition to war in Vietnam, as well as of debut albums from the Doors, the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Why 1967?
>> Jimi Hendrix live, (1967)
>> The 'Summer of Love'

Anselm Kiefer by Richard Davey         $95
Kiefer wrestles with the darkness of German history, unearthing the taboos that underlie the collective past and interweaving them with Teutonic mythology, cosmology, and meditations on the nature of belief. His works have a disconcerting tactility, at once emerging from the picture plane and decaying into it. 

Holes by Jonathan Litton and Thomas Hegbrook        $40
All children like to thoroughly investigate a hole. This beautifully illustrated book surveys all the different sorts of natural and human-made holes, from animal homes to conceptual voids. 

Boqueria: A cookbook, from Barcelona to New York by Marc Vidal and Yann de Rochefort        $48
From traditional tapas like crispy patatas bravas and bacon-wrapped dates to classic favorites like garlicky sauteed shrimp, pork meatballs, and saffron-spiced seafood paella, Boqueria introduces us to both the food and culinary culture of Barcelona. 
Revolution in the Air by Max Elbaum        $27
Why did the radicals of the sixties turn to Marx, Lenin, Mao and Che Guavara? Are there parallels to the world political situation today? 
Out of the Shadow of a Giant: How Newton stood on the shoulders of Hooke and Halley by John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin     $27
Robert Hooke and Edmond Halley, whose place in history has been overshadowed by the giant figure of Newton, were pioneering scientists within their own right, and instrumental in establishing the Royal Society.

Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth    $33
A search for a family's killers in 1880s Queensland is set against the actions of the Queensland Native Police, the arm of colonial power whose sole purpose is the 'dispersal' of Indigenous Australians in protection of settler 'rights'. 

Sourdough School by Vanessa Kimbell       $45
Well illustrated, attractively presented and full of clear and useful information on how to make a variety of delicious breads. 
>> It is not as difficult or as time-consuming as you might think
How I Resist: Activism and hope for a new generation edited by Maureen Johnson and Tim Federle      $33
Essays, interviews, illustrations, songs and consciousness raising for young people, from a wide range of contributors. 
3 2 1 Go! by Virginie Morgand         $25
Count to 20 and back with these eager animals at their very own Olympic Games. Useful.

06/01/2018 05:16 AM


New books for a new month. 
Pure Hollywood by Christine Schutt        $30
"Pure Hollywood is pure gold. In tales of rare wit and verve, Christine Schutt leads us into the lives of her perfectly drawn characters - couples young and old, children, skinny men, charming women - and dances on masterful prose through gardens, alcohol (often too much), luxurious homes, and resort vacation spots. Come for the art of her exquisitely weird writing and stay for the human drama." - Ottesa Moshfegh
"Christine Schutt is already easily among the liveliest stylists of our time, and these eleven stories prove we ain't seen nothing yet. Each is a wonder, pickled in her crystalline idiom and cured under her brutal, astonishing wit." - Claire Vaye Watkins
Calypso by David Sedaris         $28
What is it like to pass through middle age to the great unknown beyond, full of new uncertainties, irritations and brushes with mortality?  
"This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumour joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris's darkest and warmest book yet." - AV
"A caustically funny take on the indignities and banalities of everyday life." - New York Times
To the Mountains: A collection of New Zealand alpine writing edited by Laurence Fearnley and Paul Hersey          $45
A thoughtful and wide-ranging collection, surveying the ways we think about, view, approach, climb and dream about mountains. New Zealand, after all, is only held above the surface of the ocean by the mountains upon which it depends. The selection of non-fiction, poetry, fiction and journals includes work by Rachel Bush, Freda du Faur, John Pascoe, Brian Turner, Graeme Dingle, Fleur Adcock, Edmund Hillary and Hone Tuwhare. 
Land of Smoke by Sara Gallardo          $28
First published in 1977 and only now translated into English, this book introduces us to a 'new' Latin American master. Gallardo's stories are surreal and philosophical, fascinating and unsettling, melancholy and funny. 
>>Read a sample story

100 Books that Changed the World by Scott Christianson and Colin Salter        $30
A good selection of influential Anglophone and translated books, well illustrated with covers, portraits, &c. 
The Dark Stuff: Stories from the peatlands by Donald S. Murray          $35
Murray spent much of his childhood either playing or working on the moor, chasing sheep and cutting and gathering peat for fuel. This book is an examination of how this landscape affected him and others. Murray explores his early life on the Isle of Lewis together with the experiences of those who lived near moors much further afield, from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland to the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and Australia. Examining this environment in all its roles and guises, Donald reflects on the ways that for centuries humans have represented the moor in literature, art and folktale, how these habitats remain an essential aspect of industrial heritage and working life, and how important the peatlands are ecologically. 
The Aviator by Eugene Vodolazkin             $33
A man wakes up in a hospital bed, with no idea who he is or how he came to be there. The only information the doctor shares with his patient is his name: Innokenty Petrovich Platonov. As memories slowly resurface, Innokenty begins to build a vivid picture of his former life as a young man in Russia in the early twentieth century, living through the turbulence of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath. But soon, only one question remains: how can he remember the start of the twentieth century, when the pills by his bedside were made in 1999?
>> What history cannot teach us

Granta 143: After the fact        $28
What happens to issues and the people that they concern when the news cycle moves on? What happens when reality takes over from debate (and when debate becomes no longer possible)? New fiction, poetry, photography and essays. 
Photography in Japan, 1853-1912 by Terry Bennett        $60
The 350 images in this book, many of them published here for the first time, not only chronicle the introduction of photography in Japan, but are also useful in helping to understand the dramatic changes that occurred in mid-nineteenth century Japan. Taken between 1853 and 1912 by the most important local and foreign photographers working in Japan, the photographic images, whether sensational or everyday, intimate or panoramic, document a nation about to abandon its traditional ways and enter the modern age.

Suffragette: The battle for equality by David Roberts      $40
2018 marks 125 years of suffrage in New Zealand and 100 years in Britain. This beautifully illustrated book gives a blow-by-blow account of the British struggle, and potted biographies of suffragists worldwide, including Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia.
Kaukasis. The cookbook: A culinary journey through Georgia, Azerbaijan and beyond by Olia Hercules          $40
More than 100 recipes for vibrant, earthy, unexpected dishes from the culinary zone straddling Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran, Russia and Turkey. Nicely presented, too. 

As Serious as Your Life: Black music and the free jazz revolution, 1957-1977 by Val Wilmer          $28
Placing the achievements of African-American artists such as Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Sun Ra in their broader political and social context, Wilmer evokes an era of extraordinary innovation and experimentation that continues to inspire musicians today.
>> 'Buddha Blues' by Ornette Coleman.
>> 'India' by John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy

Lights in the Distance: Exile and refuge on the borders of Europe by Daniel Trilling        $45
Visiting camps and hostels, sneaking into detention centres and delving into his own family's history of displacement, Trilling weaves together the stories of people he met and followed from country to country. In doing so, he shows that the terms commonly used to define them - refugee or economic migrant, legal or illegal, deserving or undeserving - fall woefully short of capturing the complex realities.The founding myth of the EU is that it exists to ensure the horrors of the twentieth century are never repeated. Now, as it comes to terms with its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, the 'European values' of freedom, tolerance and respect for human rights are being put to the test. 
>> Trilling in Selmentsi
The King of the Birds by Alexander Utkin         $30
A graphic novel telling of a Russian fairy tale. Very nicely done. 

The People vs Tech: How the internet is killing democracy (and how you can save it) by Jamie Bartlett         $28
The internet was meant to set us free. Tech has radically changed the way we live our lives. But have we unwittingly handed too much away to shadowy powers behind a wall of code, all manipulated by a handful of Silicon Valley utopians, ad men, and venture capitalists? In light of recent data breach scandals around companies like Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, what does that mean for democracy, our delicately balanced system of government that was created long before big data, total information and artificial intelligence? Are we losing our critical faculties, maybe even our free will?
The House of Islam: A global history by Ed Husain          $33
The gulf between Islam and the West is widening. A faith rich with strong values and traditions, observed by nearly two billion people across the world, is seen by the West as something to be feared rather than understood. Sensational headlines and hard-line policies spark enmity, while ignoring the feelings, narratives and perceptions that preoccupy Muslims today. How can Muslims confront the issues that are destroying Islam from within, and what can the West do to help work towards that end?
The Displaced: Refugee writers on refugee lives edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen        $40
Contributions from David Bezmozgis, Thi Bui, Reyna Grande, Aleksandar Hemon, Fatima Bhutto, Ariel Dorfman, Vu Tran and others. 
Water Ways: A thousand miles along Britain's canals by Jasper Winn         $38
Before the arrival of railways, canals formed the major transport infrastructure of the industrial revolution. Today there are more boats on the canals than ever, many of them expressions of the 'slow transport' revolution. Winn treads the towpaths and floats alongside many of the canals' residents to give us new perspectives on the canals in history and the present. 
Chemistry by Weike Wang            $26
''A clipped, funny, painfully honest narrative voice lights up Wang's novel about a Chinese-American graduate student who finds the scientific method inadequate for understanding her parents, her boyfriend, or herself. Wang has a gift for perspective.'' - Publishers Weekly
Notes from the Cévennes: Half a lifetime in provincial France by Adam Thorpe         $37
Part memoir, part enthusiasm for life in the mountains of southern France, Thorpe's enjoyably discursive book sets off on verbal journeys, and returns always to, the old stone house in which he has lived for the past 25 years.  
Vegan: The cookbook by Jean-Christian Jury          $70
Definitive, wide ranging. 
"For a long time, vegan cooking has lived in the shadow of the health food movement of the Sixties and Seventies, but here's a cookbook that blasts away the past and jumps boldly into a multi-culinary future where veganism isn't just about saying no to animal products but is instead about saying yes to hundreds of mind-blowing dishes from Iraq to Ireland, and from the Philippines to Peru."—Amanda Cohen, Dirt Candy

Built: The hidden stories behind our structures by Roma Agrawal          $30
From huts to skyscrapers, human history is the history of structures. By the structural engineer responsible for the London Shard.
>> Roma the engineer

Trump/Russia: A definitive history by Seth Hettena       $37
Is the president controlled by a foreign power? 
Big Weather: Poems of Wellington edited by Gregory O'Brien and Louise St. John         $30
Perfect for the poetic flaneur, pacing their pentameters against the wind. 

The Arabs: A history by Eugene Rogan       $38
Draws extensively on five centuries of Arab sources to place the Arab experience in its historical context. This new updated edition untangles the latest geopolitical developments of the region to offer a comprehensive account of the Middle East. 
"Deeply erudite and distinctly humane." - Atlantic
Drinking Like Ladies: 75 modern cocktails from the world's leading female bartenders by Kirsten Amann and Misty Kalkofen          $30
"Dismantle the patriarchy one cocktail at a time." Includes toasts to extraordinary women in history. 

05/25/2018 05:46 AM

These books are in the building. 
See What Can Be Done by Lorrie Moore           $45
Three decades of the application of Moore's sharp and quirky mind to every cultural manifestation from books to films to politics (and back to books) has left this marvelous residue of essays and criticism. 
>> "The route to truth and beauty is a toll road." 
The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas         $26
When Unn inexplicably disappears, Siss's world is shattered. Siss's struggle with her fidelity to the memory of her friend and Unn's fatal exploration of the strange, terrifyingly beautiful frozen waterfall that is the 'Ice Palace' are described in prose of a remarkable lyrical economy. 
"How simple this novel is. How subtle. How strong. How unlike any other. It is unique. It is unforgettable. It is extraordinary." - Doris Lessing
"I'm surprised it isn't the most famous book in the world." - Max Porter
>> Read an excerpt
>> 1987 film by Per Blom
Mimicry #4 edited by Holly Hunter         $15
Oil paintings of stills from fail videos, apricots plucked from novels, a porn filmmaker memorialising her son, reasons why Hollywood doesn't cast poets in films. Visual art, poetry, prose, photography, music and comedy from emerging artists. 
>> There's a playlist!
Landfall 235 edited by Emma Neale        $30
Arts and letters: Aimee-Jane Anderson-O’Connor, Nick Ascroft, Joseph Barbon, Airini Beautrais, Tony Beyer, Mark Broatch, Danny Bultitude, Brent Cantwell, Rachel Connor, Ruth Corkill, Mark Edgecombe, Lynley Edmeades, Johanna Emeney, Bonnie Etherington, Jess Fiebig, Meagan France, Kim Fulton, Isabel Haarhaus, Bernadette Hall, Michael Hall, Rebecca Hawkes, Aaron Horrell, Jac Jenkins, Erik Kennedy, Brent Kininmont, Wen-Juenn Lee, Zoë Meager, Alice Miller, Dave Moore, Art Nahill, Janet Newman, Charles Olsen, Joanna Preston, Jessie Puru, Jeremy Roberts, Derek Schulz, Sarah Scott, Charlotte Simmonds, Tracey Slaughter, Elizabeth Smither, Rachael Taylor, Lynette Thorstensen, James Tremlett, Tam Vosper, Dunstan Ward, Susan Wardell, Sugar Magnolia Wilson, Kathryn Madill, Russ Flatt, Penny Howard. Results of the 2018 Charles Brasch Young Writers’ Award. 
Hannah's Dress: Berlin, 1904-2014 by Pascale Hugues        $54
A fascinating insight into the vaguaries and extremities of Berlin's modern history as expressed through the lives of those living on a single street. 
Winner of the European Book Prize. 

Vladimir M. by Robert Littell           $23
Twenty-five years after his death, four women gather to share their memories of Vladimir Mayakovsky, the Russian Futurist poet whose subsequent uneasy relationship with the increasingly realist Soviet culture machine continued far past his suicide in 1930. In this novel, Mayakovsky's memory is contested on the eve of Stalin's death. 

All Gates Open: The story of Can by Rob Young and Irwin Schmidt        $55
Applying avant-garde approaches to popular musical forms, from 1968 onward, Can opened a sort of crack to the creative unconscious through which flowed enormous amounts of musically liberating energy. This book is in two parts: a biography of the band by Young, and a symposium on musical experimentation by founding member Schmidt, and a consideration of the tentacular reach of the band's influence. 
>> 'Halleluhwah' (1971).

>> Live in Soest (1970). 
Bullshit Jobs: A theory by David Graeber          $55
Graeber, author of the excellent Debt: The first 5000 years, argues the existence and societal harm of meaningless jobs. He contends that over half of societal work is pointless, which becomes psychologically destructive when paired with a worth ethic that associates work with self-worth. Graeber describes five types of bullshit jobs, in which workers pretend their role isn't as pointless or harmful as they know it to be: flunkies, goons, duct tapers, box tickers, and taskmasters. He argues that the association of labour with virtuous suffering is recent in human history, and proposes universal basic income as a potential solution.
>> Writing a book about bullshit jobs is not a bullshit job
Journals, 1958-1973 by Charles Brasch, edited by Peter Simpson         $60
The third and final volume of this very valuable source of information about New Zealand's literary history. By the 1960s, Brasch, though very private by temperament, was a reluctant public figure, especially as editor of Landfall. He was also becoming a highly regarded poet, who eventually had six books to his name. Behind the scenes Brasch was increasingly important as an art collector and as patron and benefactor.. Among his friends Brasch counted most of the country's leading artists, writers and intellectuals including Sargeson, McCahon, McCormick, Stead, the Pauls, the Woollastons, the Baxters, Lilburn, Beaglehole, Angus, Oliver, Bensemann, Lusk, Frame and Dallas. These near contemporaries were joined by the talented young, many met as contributors to Landfall- including Gee, Cross, Shadbolt, Duggan, O'Sullivan, Hotere, Tuwhare, Caselberg, Middleton and Manhire. Brasch's lively and sometimes acerbic accounts of such people are a fascinating aspect of his journals. Behind the esteemed poet, editor and public intellectual, however, was a sensitive and often angst-ridden man, who confided his loneliness to his journals.
>> Volumes 1 and 2 are also available. 
Whisper of a Crow's Wing by Majella Cullinane         $28
Poetry drawing its imagery and strength from Cullinane's Irish heritage and her New Zealand home.
"There is an elegance and poise and care in the language of these poems, an unobtrusive mastery and ease in their cadences and rhythms." - Vincent O'Sullivan   
Ko Wai e Huna Ana? by Satoru Onishi and Paora Tibble        $20
Who's hiding? Who's crying? Who's backwards? Te Reo edition. 
New People of the Flat Earth by Brian Short          $23

During his years in a Zen monastery, Proteus has discovered an ability to connect, deep in his mind, with a spherical entity he calls Mosquito. When Mosquito disappears, Proteus sets off in search of answers, only to find that wisdom lies far away from sanity. 

The 5 Misfits by Beatrice Alemagna         $18

When a perfect stranger visits the five misfits, will he be able to inspire them to Achieve, or are they happy as they are, leaving him to look like a perfect fool?
Deport, Deprive, Extradite: 21st century state terrorism by Nisha Kapoor          $35
A damning indictment of contemporary state security, this well-researched and cogently argued book looks at the mechanisms by which states, notably the UK and the US, deprive presumed radicals of citizenship, identity and human rights, and, in doing so violate the bases of these concepts for all. 

The Cost of Living by Deborah Levy         $35
Following Things I Don't Want to Know, this second installment of Levy's 'living autobiography' reveals a writer in radical flux, grappling with life and letters and re-establishing the positions of de Beauvoir's The Second Sex in a contemporary context. 
A World to Win: The life and works of Karl Marx by Sven-Eric Liedman         $65
Building on the work of previous biographers, Liedman creates a definitive portrait of Marx and the depth of his contribution to the way the world understands itself. He shines a light on Marx’s influences, explains his political and intellectual interventions, and builds on the legacy of his thought. Liedman shows how Marx’s Capital illuminates the essential logic of a system that drives dizzying wealth, grinding poverty, and awesome technological innovation to this day.

Marx and Marxism by Gregory Claeys         $28

Recurrent financial crises, growing social inequality, and an increasing sense of the destructiveness of capitalism has fueled new interest in this thinker. 
The End of the French Intellectual by Shlomo Sand       $43
Revered throughout the Francophile world, France’s tradition of public intellectual engagement stems from Voltaire and Zola and runs through Sartre and Foucault to the present day. The intellectual enjoys a status as the ethical lodestar of his nation’s life, but, as Sand shows, the recent history of these esteemed figures shows how often, and how profoundly, they have fallen short of the ideal. Sand examines Sartre and de Beauvoir’s unsettling accommodations during the Nazi occupation and then shows how Muslims have replaced Jews as the nation’s scapegoats for a new generation of public intellectuals.
“Combining rigorous historical investigation and passionate political intervention is rare, yet it is precisely what Shlomo Sand has achieved in this well-informed, insightful book. The recent wave of reactionary, Islamophobic intellectuals in France—and elsewhere—has found one of its fiercest analysts. By re-examining the history of the ‘French intellectual’ in the longue durée, Shlomo Sand offers robust criticism of our present—and also helps us imagine how future forms of political intellectuality could emerge.” – Razmig Keucheyan
Migration: Incredible animal journeys by Mike Unwin and Jenni Desmond         $25
Follow the emperor penguin through snow, ice and bitter temperatures; watch as the great white shark swims 10,000 km in search of seals; track huge herds of elephants, on their yearly hunt for water and be amazed at the millions of red crabs, migrating across Christmas Island. Lovely illustrated hardback. 

Korean Food Made Easy by Caroline Hwang         $45
Clear recipes for delicious, healthy food. 

A Sand Archive by Gregory Day         $35
A novel sifting the histories and stories of Australia's Great Ocean Road along the southern coast of Victoria, reaching back to the thinking of engineer, historian and philosopher F.B. Herschell, a minor player in the road's construction and deeply rooted in the narrator's experience of place. 

Why I am a Hindu by Shashi Tharoor         $38
"Shashi Tharoor is the most charming and persuasive writer in India. His new book is a brave and characteristically articulate attempt to save a great and wonderfully elusive religion from the certainties of the fundamentalists and the politicisation of the bigots." - William Dalrymple
Tharoor lays out Hinduism's origins and its key philosophical concepts, major texts and everyday Hindu beliefs and practices, from worship to pilgrimage to caste. Tharoor is unsparing in his criticism of extremism and unequivocal in his belief that what makes India a distinctive nation with a unique culture will be imperilled if Hindu 'fundamentalists', the proponents of 'Hindutva', or politicised Hinduism, prevail.
The Neurotic Turn edited by Charles Johns      $23
Neurosis is not an ailment but the dominant functional mechanism of our society. Medicalisation of neurosis has only provisionally put into into abeyance, but is increasingly ineffective. The essays in this book ask what we can learn about society through the modelling of neuroses, and what paths offer themselves to address the suffering entailed by both. 
Creative Quest by Questlove          $50
Who better than Questlove, musician and creative dynamo, to synthesise creative philosophies and provide the tools to focus your capacities in the direction you would like them applied? 
>> ?estlove drum solo.

The Drugs that Changed Our Minds: The history of psychiatry in ten treatments by Lauren Slater           $38

As our approach to mental illness has oscillated from biological to psychoanalytical and back again, so have our treatments. With the rise of psychopharmacology, an ever-increasing number of people throughout the globe are taking a psychotropic drug, yet nearly seventy years after doctors first began prescribing them, we still don't really know  how or why they work - or don't work - on what ails our brains.

Beyond Manapouri: 50 years of environmental politics in New Zealand by Catherine Knight      $40

“We’re on the cusp of significant shifts in our environment and our attitudes towards it – unfortunately we’ve squandered the opportunity to make incremental change in the area of climate change policy, for instance, and it’s now becoming more urgent to make changes that could have more brutal social and economic consequences." Catherine Knight 

This book tracks the development of environmental politics from the 1960s, examines the legislation and establishment of institutions to safeguard habitats, and examines issues such as freshwater management, land use, climate change and the strengthening role of iwi and hapū in environmental management. Timely and important. 
Milk: A 10,000 year food fracas by Mark Kurlansky        $35
The history of milk is the history of human civilisation. From the author of Cod  and Salt

How We Desire by Carolin Emcke       $38
Do we sometimes ‘slip into norms the way we slip into clothes, putting them on because they’re laid out ready for us’? Is our desire and our sexuality rather constantly in flux, evolving as we mature, and shifting as our interests change? Can our inner lives and our social roles ever be in harmony? 
"Delicate and vulnerable, angry, passionate, clever and thoughtful. An amazing work." - Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

 Pops: Fatherhood in pieces by Michael Chabon        $35
A series of essays springing from Chabon's experiences as a father and his attempts to enact meaningful communication with his children, attempts often stymied by his own unexamined generational prejudices and leading, ultimately, to a deep respect for his children. 

Mr Peacock's Possessions by Lydia Syson        $33
A novel based on the author's ancestors' attempt to settle on Sunday (now Raoul) Island in the Kermadecs in the 1870s.
"Lord of the Flies as if written by Barbara Kingsolver." - Writers' Review
"A thrilling story of love and courage, brutality and hope all told with equal measures of deep humanity, imagination and elan. Lydia Syson has an amazing gift of bringing history alive through richness of language, dramatic pace and fabulous visual imagery." - Anne Sebba
>> The author on Radio NZ

05/18/2018 05:07 AM

Newly released. 
Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood          $28
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's Motherland, Fatherland, Homelandsexuals positioned her as an American approximation of Hera Lindsay Bird.  
"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

>> "Anything that happens from here is not my fault." (Lockwood in Wellington.)
Toolbox by Fabio Morábito       $36
What is it like to be a hammer, a screw, a file, a sponge? Why do different tools have different 'characters'? If tools are the extension of human capacities and intentions, what do they tell us about ourselves? Both witty and profound.
Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose        $28
On April 11, 1931, Virginia Woolf ended her entry in A Writer s Diary with the words "too much and not the mood". She was describing how tired she was of correcting her own writing, of the cramming in and the cutting out to please readers, wondering if she had anything at all that was truly worth saying. These issues underlie these essays by Chew-Bose: the contrapuntal forces of her external and internal worlds, the relationship between inner restlessness and creative production, the clash of identity and individuality. The work is informed by the sensibilities of MAggie Nelson, Lydia Davis and Vivian Gornick and quotidian frustration.
"Our generation has no-one else like Durga Chew-Bose: a cultural critic who isn't afraid to get personal, a romantic nostalgic with a lemony twist who applies her brilliance to life as it is currently lived. It's a profound and glorious relief to encounter this book." - Lena Dunham
>> The power of uncertainty
Brother in Ice by Alicia Kopf       $30
"She thought that it was precisely when things get uncomfortable or can't be shown that something interesting comes to light. That is the point of no return, the point that must be reached, the point you reach after crossing the border of what has already been said, what has already been seen. It's cold out there." This hybrid novel - part research notes, part fictionalised diary, and part travelogue - uses the stories of polar exploration to make sense of the protagonist's own concerns as she comes of age as an artist, a daughter, and a sister to an autistic brother.  “It’s much easier to get to the Arctic than to reach certain areas of one’s self.”
The Shape of Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez        $38
A novel comprised of personal and formal investigations into the possible links between the assassination of Rafael Uribe Uribe in 1914, the man who inspired Garcia Marquez's General Buendia in One Hundred Years of Solitude, and of the charismatic Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, the man who might have been Colombia's J.F.K., gunned down on the brink of success in the presidential elections of 1948. 
"Absolutely hypnotic, a display of tense, agile, intelligent narrative, it takes conspiracy to a whole other level." - El Cultural 
"With utmost skill, Vasquez has us accompany him in his detective work, proposing a reflection on ghosts from the past and the inheritance of blame, doubt and fear." - El Pais 
"Juan Gabriel Vasquez has many gifts - intelligence, wit, energy, a deep vein of feeling - but he uses them so naturally that soon enough one forgets one's amazement at his talents, and then the strange, beautiful sorcery of his tale takes hold." - Nicole Krauss
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi           $33
Ada has always been unusual. As an infant in southern Nigeria, she is a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents successfully prayed her into existence, but something must have gone awry, as the young Ada becomes a troubled child, prone to violent fits of anger and grief. But Ada turns out to be more than just volatile. Born “with one foot on the other side,” she begins to develop separate selves. When Ada travels to America for college, a traumatic event crystallises the selves into something more powerful. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these alters—now protective, now hedonistic—move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dangerous direction. 
>> Read an extract
>> What is an ogbanje? 
The Life of Stuff: A memoir about the mess we leave behind by Susannah Walker         $40
What is the relationship between a person and their possessions? What extra burden do these possessions bear when the person dies and what extra difficulty or comfort do they extend to those left behind? When her mother died, Walker was left to search through a dilapidated, cluttered house min search of someone she found she had never really known. 

Women Design: Pioneers in architecture, industrial, graphic and digital design from the twentieth century to the present day by Libby Sellers         $45
A good selection, well illustrated, from Eileen Gray, Lora Lamm and Lella Vignelli, to Kazuyo Sejima, Hella Jongerius and Neri Oxman.
Rebel Publisher: How Grove Press ended censorship of the written word in America by Loren Glass         $32
Grove Press, and its house journal The Evergreen Review, revolutionized the publishing industry and radicalized the reading habits of the "paperback generation." Barney Rossett founded the company on a shoestring in 1951 and it became an important conduit through which avant-garde and European literature, and the works of Beckett, Burroughs, Brecht and Malcolm X became available in the US. 
>> Rossett obituary (2012).
>> Much discussion in this institution
Listen to This by Alex Ross         $28
From the author of The Rest is Noise, this book collects some of his best writing on classical and popular music - everything from Brahms to Bjork.  
>> Ross will be appearing with soprano Bianca Ross and Stroma at the Nelson School of Music on 27 May

Bloom: A story of fashion designer Elsa Schiapparelli by Kyo Maclear and Julia Morstad          $30
A very nicely done picture book about a girl who became ill from planting seeds in her ears and nose went on to be a designer who would not be limited by tradition or rationality. 
Ready to Fall by Marcella Pixley        $19
Following the death of his mother, Max Friedman comes to believe that he is sharing his brain with a tumour. As Max becomes focused on controlling the malignant tenant, he starts to lose touch with his friends and family, and with reality itself – so Max’s father sends him off to the artsy Baldwin School to regain his footing. Soon, Max has joined a group of theatre misfits in a steam-punk production of Hamlet. He befriends Fish, a gril with pink hair and a troubled past, and The Monk, a boy who refuses to let go of the things he loves. Max starts to feel happy, and the ghosts of his past seem to be gone for ever. But the tumour is always lurking in the wings – until one night it knocks him down, and Max is forced to face the truth.
"Grief becomes something oddly beautiful – and beautifully odd." - Kirkus
Woman at Sea by Catherine Poulain          $37
"`It must be possible to find a balance,' I say, `between deathly boredom and a too-violent life.' `There isn't a balance,' he says. `It's always all or nothing.'" A novel based on the author's own experience of running away from a humdrum existence in France and finding the intensity she seeks on board a rough fishing boat operating from the Alaskan island of Kodiak. 
"An untamed successor to Conrad and Melville." - l'Obs [!]

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor           $25
Not only is this book a thriller that overturns the expectations of a thriller while still achieving the effects upon the reader of a thriller, it is a novel that overturns the expectations of a novel (plot, protagonists, ‘viewpoint’, shape, interiority, &c) while achieving the effects upon the reader of a novel. Written scrupulously in the flat, detached, austere tone of reportage, infinitely patient but with implacable momentum, a slow mill grinding detail out of circumstance, a forensic dossier on English rurality, the novel is comprised of detail after detail of the human, animal and vegetative life in a small rural community over thirteen years. New edition.
>> Read Thomas's review
The Enlightened Mr. Parkinson: The pioneering life of a forgotten English surgeon by Cherry Lewis         $25
In 1817 James Parkinson identified the disease since named after him. He was also a political radical and a fossil-hunter, and worked with Edward Jenner to set up smallpox vaccination clinics across London. He deserves to be better known.
Another History of the Children's Picture Book: From Soviet Lithuania to India by Giedre Jankeviciute and V. Geetha     $70
How did the period of Soviet cultural outreach affect the production of children's books in other countries? Apart from the interesting text, which shifts the focus of international children's book production, the book is packed with delightful examples of illustration and book design. 

Rad Women Worldwide by Kate Schatz and Mirian Klein Stahl        $35

Artists, athletes, pirates, punks, and other revolutionaries. 

Under the Canopy: Trees around the world by Iris Volant and Cynthia Alonso         $30

From the olive trees of Athens to the Eucalyptus trees of Australia, discover the place of trees in history and mythology across the world. Every climate, every nation has its tales of trees, true or legendary, that help us understand ourselves and the natural world around us.
Heke Tangata: Māori in markets and cities by Brian Easton         $40

This book describes, both analytically and statistically, the migration of Maori into cities since 1945 and the changes in Maori position and participation in the New Zealand economy. 

Policing the Black Man: Arrest, prosecution and imprisonment edited by Angela Davis       $38
Essays range from an explication of the historical roots of racism in the US criminal justice system to an examination of modern-day police killings of unarmed black men. The authors discuss and explain racial profiling, the power and discretion of police and prosecutors, the role of implicit bias, the racial impact of police and prosecutorial decisions, the disproportionate imprisonment of black men, the collateral consequences of mass incarceration, and the Supreme Court's failure to provide meaningful remedies for the injustices in the criminal justice system. 
"Somewhere among the anger, mourning and malice that Policing the Black Man documents lies the pursuit of justice. This powerful book demands our fierce attention." - Toni Morrison
Origin Story: A big history of everything from the Big Bang to the first stars, to our solar system, life on Earth, dinosaurs, homo sapiens, agriculture, an ice age, empires, fossil fuels, a Moon landing and mass globalisation, and what happens next... by David Christian      $40
Any questions?
The Infinite Game by Niki Harré      $30
Can we live a better and more fulfilling life if we thought of it as a game? Playing is more rewarding than winning. Also available: Psychology for a Better World
>> Harre talks about the book on Radio NZ National

Take Heart: My journey with cardiomyopathy and heart failure by Adrienne Frater          $30
Well written, insightful, medically accurate, emotionally helpful. Local author. 

AutoBioPhilosophy by Robert Rowland Smith        $40
What does it mean to be human?  Love triangles, office politics, police raids, illegal drugs, academic elites and near-death experiences can offer insights, if Rowland Smith's experiences of these are anything to go by. Can Shakespeare and Freud (and Rowland Smith) help us build new models of psychology? Yes, possibly. 
Dear Zealots: Letters from a divided land by Amoz  Oz      $30
Essays on Israel/Palestine from this outspoken advocate of the two-state solution and opponent of Israeli settlement in the Occupied Territories. Oz appeals to the deep tradition of Jewish humanism to seek a way forward from impasse. "No idea has ever been defeated by force. To defeat an idea, you have to offer a better idea, a more attractive and acceptable one."
Badly Wolf: A furry tale by Lindsay Pope, illustrated by Jo Tyson          $20
"He lived alone in his rustic lair, / A toothless wolf with silver hair." Is a wolf-in-human-clothing a threat to nursery rhymes? Yes, on the evidence of this book from "the scratchy cardigan of New Zealand poetry", very likely. Huge fun. 

05/11/2018 03:37 AM


A weekly bulletin from VOLUME. 11.5.18
The New Ships by Kate Duignan           $30
Acting and not acting each have their consequences, shunting lives onto quite different tracks. This long-awaited new novel from Duigan stretches the web of consequences from post-Twin Towers Wellington across time and space as far as a houseboat in Amsterdam in the 1970s. How do Peter and Moira respond to the new roles fate casts upon them? 
"The New Ships is a gripping novel about lost children and a very fine portrait of family life in all its beauty and betrayal. Intricate, compelling, and deeply moving." —Anna Smaill
"Beautifully fluid, elegant, assured and calm, intellectually right and morally true." —Emily Perkins
Not to Read by Alejandro Zambra           $32
A lively, fluid and iconoclastic theory of reading emerges from Zambras essays and observations of literature, its production and its consumption. Zambra is always good company: playful, irreverent and thoughtful 
"When I read Zambra I feel like someone's shooting fireworks inside my head. His prose is as compact as a grain of gunpowder, but its allusions and ramifications branch out and illuminate even the most remote corners of our minds." - Valeria Luiselli
>> Alejandro Zambra is also against poets
>> Read Thomas's reviews of Zambra's excellent Multiple Choice and My Documents
Motherhood by Sheila Heti          $40
"I've never seen anyone write about the relationship between childlessness, writing, and mother's sadnesses the way Sheila Heti does. I know Motherhood is going to mean a lot to many different people - fully as much so as if it was a human that Sheila gave birth to - though in a different and in fact incommensurate way. That's just one of many paradoxes that are not shied away from in this courageous, necessary, visionary book." - Elif Batuman 
"With each of her novels, Sheila Heti invents a new novel form. Motherhood is a riveting story of love and fate, a powerful inspiration to reflect, and a subtle depiction of the lives of contemporary women and men, by an exceptional artist in the prime of her powers. Motherhood constitutes its own genre within the many-faceted novel of ideas. Heti is like no one else." - Mark Greif 
>> On failures of the word 'mother' and other failures
Often I Am Happy by Jens Christian Grøndahl    $20
“We, who are no longer being loved, must chose between revenge and understanding.” A short, thoughtful, beautifully written novel about the reassessment of personal history in the wake of loss, and the liberation this can provide. When Elinor's husband dies, she writes a series of letters to his long-dead first wife, the woman whose children she has raised. 
"A compassionate and often edifying commentary on the elasticity of love, the strength it takes to move forward after a death, and the power of forgiveness." - Publishers Weekly

Dawn Raid by Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith      $18
Like many 13-year-old girls, Sofia’s main worries are how to get some groovy go-go boots, and how not to die of embarrassment giving a speech at school. But when her older brother starts talking about protests and overstayers, and how Pacific Islanders are being bullied by the police, a shadow is cast over Sofia’s teenage days. Through diary entries, this book describes the terror of being dawn-raided and provides an insight into the courageous and tireless work of the Polynesian Panthers in the 1970s as they encourage immigrant families across NZ to stand up for their rights.
>> Find out more about the Polynesian Panthers
Exactly: How precision engineers created the modern world by Simon Winchester        $37
Technological progress, though it may be fuelled by mixes of quite unspecific impulses, cannot proceed through vague gesture. Without absolute precision, mechanisms will not work or will soon wear and break. This book, by the author of The Surgeon of Crowthorne, Pacific and Krakatoa, introduces us to key engineers whose struggle with and mastery of the finer points of making have underlaid the scientific and industrial revolutions and made possible all those everyday things we take for granted (cameras, computers, watches, telephones, washing machines, cars). Winchester has the remarkable ability to give a vivid immediacy to the moments he describes and give depth to bits of pivotal history that are usually passed over too quickly. It is this ability to give a third dimension to overlooked pieces of fact that makes Winchester’s books always completely absorbing. 
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje        $35
Two teenagers, left by their parents in London after World War 2 under the protection of a man called The Moth and his mysterious companions, only realise much later the significance of what happened in this time and the truth about what they thought was their mother's betrayal. 
"His best novel since The English Patient." - New York Times
"A miraculous achievement." - David Herkt 
Summer by Karl Ove Knausgaard         $38
Typically completely out of synch, at least with us, Knausgaard finishes his seasonal quartet of assembled short prose, diaries and letters to his newborn daughter. No writer has striven harder than Knausgaard to make the mundane and the profound seem so similar. 
>> A man for all seasons
>> Meet Knausgaard in Auckland next weekend
>> "Contemporary fiction is overrated.
Where the Wild Winds Are: Walking Europe's winds from the Pennines to Provence by Nick Hunt         $28
Hunt set out to experience the named winds of Europe, from the Helm to the Bore to the Foehn to the Mistral. Along the way he met meteorologists, storm chasers, mountain men, eccentric wind enthusiasts, sailors and shepherds. Interesting. 
"Travel writing in excelsis." - Jan Morris
"A thrilling and gorgeous tale, packed with meteorological wonder." -Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun

What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper          $37
A beautifully illustrated novel of a teen Holocaust survivor who struggles to come to terms with her history and her Jewishness, and to rediscover her love of music, which she though she had lost for ever. 
>> Book trailer

Te Kōparapara: An introduction to the Māori world edited by Michael Reilly,  Suzanne Duncan, Gianna Leoni, Lachy Paterson, Matiu Ratima and Poia Rewi       $70
An introduction to Māori culture (including tikanga on and off the marae and key rituals like pōwhiri and tangihanga), Māori history (from the beginning of the world and the waka migration through to Māori protest and urbanisation in the twentieth century), and Māori society today (including twenty-first century issues like education, health, political economy and identity). 
A Walk Through Paris: A radical exploration by Eric Hazan        $27
On a walk from Ivry to Saint-Denis, roughly following the meridian that divides Paris into east and west, and passing such familiar landmarks as the Luxembourg Gardens, the Pompidou Centre, the Gare du Nord and Montmartre, as well as forgotten alleyways and arcades, Hazan interweaves historical anecdotes, geographical observations, and literary references to reveal the revolutionary history of the city of Robespierre, the Commune, Sartre, and the May '68 uprising. Many of these landmarks are generally unrecognised, and often threatened by development. 
They Knew What They Wanted: Poems and collages by John Ashbery         $70
The first-ever collection of Ashbery's collage work (interesting!), with a selection of related poetry. 
>> All the kitsch

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter       $23
In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family are forced to leave their home in search of safety. As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z's small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds. This is a story of new motherhood in a terrifying setting: a familiar world made dangerous and unstable, its people forced to become refugees. 
"I can't remember ever having read a novel quite as sparing or as daring as The End We Start From, or one that delivers so mighty an impact from such delicate materials. " - Jim Crace
"An exceptional, alarming and beautiful book, which still echoes months after I finished reading it. Megan Hunter is a writer of unnerving power." - Evie Wyld
Work: The last 1,000 years by Andrea Komlosy          $35
The transformation in the nineteenth century of the concept of 'work', in the West at least, into one of employment for wages made invisible other kinds of work, especially that done by women, subsistence farmers and in the third world. This book takes a revelatory global and cross-gender view on the whole complex and contradictory history of work, both paid and unpaid. 

The Enigma of Reason: A new theory of human understanding by Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber        $28

If reason is useful for survival, why haven't animals other than humans evolved it? If reason is commensurate with reality, why does it produce so much nonsense? Reason seems to have developed from, and it reliant upon, a rich social environment and appears to be more of an interactive tool designed to persuade and justify rather than to produce anything we might call 'truth' about our world. 
Cuba: The cookbook by Madelaine Vázquez Gálvez and Imogene Tondre      $70
The definitive guide to Cuban cuisine and food culture, with 350 recipes suited for home cooking and representing the variety of influences, from Spanish to Chinese to Soviet. 
The Timothy Leary Project: Inside the great counterculture experiment by Jennifer Ulrich       $45
This collection of Timothy Leary's selected papers and correspondence opens a window on the ideas that inspired the counterculture of the 1960s and the fascination with LSD that continues to the present. The man who coined the phrase "turn on, tune in, drop out," Leary cultivated interests that ranged across experimentation with hallucinogens, social change and legal reform, and mysticism and spirituality. Includes much on Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Ken Kesey, Marshall McLuhan, Aldous Huxley, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and Carl Sagan. 
>> A message to young people (1966). 
Natural Causes: Life, death and the illusion of control by Barbara Ehrenreich       $33
Is our constant fixation on postponing death stopping us from living? 
Best Before: The evolution and future of processed food by Nicola Temple        $27
From fermentation and smoking to test-tube steaks, irradiation and 3-D printed pizzas, the processes by which humans have preserved food beyond its natural arc of decay reveal deeper forces and changes in society. 
Lampedusa: Gateway to Europe by Pietro Bartolo and Lidia Tilotta        $28
It is common to think of the refugee crisis as a recent phenomenon, but Dr Pietro Bartolo, who runs the clinic on the Italian island of Lampedusa, has been caring for its victims - both the living and the dead - for a quarter of a century.
"An urgent, wrenching dispatch from the front line of the defining crisis of our times. Bartolo is at once the saviour and the coroner to boatload after boatload of migrants who risk everything to cross the deadly seas. It is also a damning indictment of the broader, collective indifference of humankind to both the drowned and the saved." - Philip Gourevitch
The Waikato: A history of New Zealand's greatest river by Paul Moon         $70
Follows the river from its source on Mount Ruapehu, through Lake Taupo and into the Tasman Sea, a journey of 425 km and through centuries of vital history. 
Left Bank: Art, passion and the rebirth of Paris, 1940-1950 by Agnès Poirier      $43
"A tour de force. The book weaves together so many people, ideas, trends, occurrences, and above all Parisian places, into a tapestry of fascinations - a distillation of the essence of an amazing time. The best book of its kind I have ever read." - A.C. Grayling
"Poirier does not shy away from exposing the joy and pain of experimental living or from exploring with sensitivity the moral ambiguity of living through the Occupation. Compulsive reading." - Anne Sebba
Winter Eyes by Harry Ricketts           $25
Poetry as comfort, poetry as confrontation. 

Claiming my Place: Coming of age in the shadow of the Holocaust by Planaria Price with Helen Reichmann West         $30
When the Nazis took over the town of Piotrkow in Poland and began to round up the Jewish population, Jewish teenager Gucia Gomolinska chose (and was able) to 'pass' as a Pole. Her journey through Germany and her experiences through and after the war make for compelling reading. 

Consciousness and the Novel by David Lodge         $28
Argues that it is literature, rather than science or philosophy, that provides the most accurate picture of the development and operaions of human conscious. 

Rosie: Scenes from a vanished life by Rose Tremain       $40
"The chilling description of cruel or absent parents is oddly exhilarating, and makes one see one’s own life anew. What a book this is, so much more alert and open and alive than so many slightly disappointing memoirs by otherwise great writers, with their plodding lists of relatives and schools and terraced homes and who had lunch or sex with whom. Much of Tremain’s canvas is heartsinkingly familiar — anyone with neglectful or absent parents will identify — but somehow the young Rosie Thomson never quite relinquishes either hope or joy. Perhaps that’s the nascent writer in the woman who would eventually become Rose Tremain. Again and again, she finds ‘wonder’ in the emotional and actual landscape around her, as she waits, sometimes with an almost excruciating trust and patience, to ‘find my place in the world’." - Spectator
Neither Devil Nor Child: How Western attitudes are harming Africa by Tom Young        $33
Decades after the colonial powers withdrew Africa is still struggling to catch up with the rest of the world. When the same colonists withdrew from Asia there followed several decades of sustained and unprecedented growth throughout the continent. So what went wrong in Africa? Is the West helping Africa, or making matters worse?

05/04/2018 04:57 AM


Ready to read.
Girl at End by Richard Brammer        $32
"Obscure soul records and obscure pap smear specimens. Fluid, fluidity and inflammation at 45 revolutions per minute. Equal parts autobiography and soap-opera, Girl at End is a work of hypervigilant minor literature featuring only hypomanic minor characters. Girl at End is quality TV, gynaecological cytolology and Northern Soul at 45rpm, at 78rpm, at 7200rpm. Girl at End is a dentist's drill, it's a leaf found pressed inside a book about Javascript. Girl at End is drum machine presets and pressure of speech, forgotten current affairs, nitrile times and above all NO MOUTH PIPETTING!"
"UK literary subculture at its best." - Isabel Waidner, author of Gaudy Bauble
>> Read an extract (recommended!).
>> There's an 'Official Trailer'!
The Emissary by Yoko Tawada          $33
An ecological disaster has contaminated the soil of Japan. Children are born frail but wise, and the elderly are new creatures, full of vitality. Yoshiro frets about the declining health of his grandson Mumei, but Mumei is a beacon of hope, guiding his grandfather towards "the beauty of the time that is yet to come" (but which was does time run?).
"Persistent mystery is what is so enchanting about Tawada's writing. Her penetrating irony and deadpan surrealism fray our notions of home and combine to deliver another offbeat tale. An absorbing work from a fascinating mind." - Kirkus

Patient X: The Case-Book of Ryunosuke Akutagawa by David Peace         $33
A compelling and original novel exploring the imaginative territory surrounding the life and works of one of Japan's outstanding modern writers (author of 'Rashōmon' and 'In a Bamboo Grove'), who was active during the turbulent Taishō period (1912-1926 (including the 1923 earthquake)), and who killed himself at the age of 35 in 1927. 
"David Peace not only lays bare the psyche of an era in which Japan came of age as a modern nation, he gives us a stunning, intense, profound and moving portrait of the life and death of a great writer." - Japan Times
"David Peace writes the boldest and most original British fiction of his generation." - New York Times
>> David Mitchell talks with David Peace.
Property: A collection by Lionel Shriver        $33
Ten stories and two novellas displaying Shriver's sharp eye for the dynamics of power relations, here all hinging upon the ownership of property as real estate and property as stuff. What does it mean to own? What does it mean to be owned?
"A phenomenal collection, assured and entertaining." - The Guardian

Free Woman: Life, liberation and Doris Lessing by Lara Feigel         $37
Re-reading The Golden Notebook in her thirties, shortly after Doris Lessing's death, Lara Feigel discovered that Lessing spoke directly to her as a woman, a writer, and a mother in a way that no other novelist had done. At a time when she was dissatisfied with the conventions of her own life, Feigel was enticed by Lessing's vision of freedom. Studying Lessing further helped her to change her own life and to write this dazzling book of forensic intensity. 
"The most intriguing and certainly the bravest work of literary scholarship I have ever read." - Deborah Levy
The Second Location by Bronwyn Lloyd        $29
A collection of surreal stories, springing from the author's research into the doomed love affair bertween painter Rita Angus and composer Douglas Lilburn. 

Garments Against Women by Anne Boyer         $36
Beautifully written (and devastatingly funny) lyric essays, largely concerning the conditions that make literature (the writing of it and the reading of it) impossible (or nearly so), especially the conditions that apply to the particular woman living in a Kansas City apartment and writing these confessions. 
"In this textual hybrid of rhythmic lyric prose and essayistic verse, visual artist and poet Boyer faces the material and philosophical problems of writing—and by extension, living—in the contemporary world. Boyer attempts to abandon literature in the same moments that she forms it, turning to sources as diverse as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the acts of sewing and garment production, and a book on happiness that she finds in a thrift store. Her book, then, becomes filled with other books, imagined and resisted.” - Publishers' Weekly
"Some of the most wonderful writing I’ve read on happiness occurs in these pages." - 3AM
>> Read an extract
Workers by Sebastião Salgado         $165
A stunning vast set of large-format images recording instances of skilled and unskilled labour around the world, and of the men, women and children who are responsible for the production of the goods upon which a consumer society depends. Moving, exquisite and inherently political.  
A Line in the River: Khartoum, City of memory by Jamal Mahjoub       $30
In 1956, Sudan gained Independence from Britain. On the brink of a promising future, it instead descended into civil war and conflict, including the crisis in Darfur that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and driven many more from their homes. When the 1989 coup brought a hard-line Islamist regime to power, Jamal Mahjoub's family were among those who fled. Almost twenty years later, he returned to a country on the brink of rupture. 

Travelling in a Strange Land by David Park     $33
"I am entering the frozen land, although to which country it belongs I cannot say." A middle-aged man must drive alone from Belfast to Sunderland to collect his sick son from university. The world is clogged in snow as he makes his way not only towards his son but towards the tragedy that lies, almost unfaceable, in the past. 
"The Belfast Turgenev. One of the truest observers of life." - Big Issue

"The voice of a middle-aged everyman reflecting on his wife and children recalls that of Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones. Park takes this emotional terrain of parenthood as both his setting and his subject, and creates something exhilaratingly brave and powerful from its jagged peaks and troughs." - Guardian
Plantopedia: Welcome to the greatest show on earth by Adrienne Barman       $33
Full of colour and fun facts, this book is the ideal way to introduce children to the world of plants. Matches Creaturepedia.

Things I Don't Want to Know by Deborah Levy          $28
In 1946 George Orwell wrote an essay ‘Why I Write’, in which he described some events that marked his development towards becoming a writer and outlined what he saw were the four main motives for writing: ‘Sheer egoism’, ‘Aesthetic enthusiasm’, ‘Historical impulse’ and ‘Political purpose’. He explained that he would not naturally have become a political writer had circumstances not demanded it. Responding to this essay but contrasting the bluntness of its assertions with a subtler and less direct approach, Deborah Levy, who re-emerged from undeserved obscurity when she was shortlisted for the 2011 Booker Prize for Swimming Home, takes Orwell’s four ‘motives’ as titles for pieces of memoir: of her childhood in South Africa (where her father was imprisoned for five years as a member of the ANC); of her teenage years in England, wishing to ‘belong’; and of a time she spent in the off-season at a small mountain hotel in Majorca, despondent, wondering how to deal with things she didn’t want to think about and doubting her ability to get her writing out into the world. As she talks with a Chinese shopkeeper, another displaced character, over dinner, she comes to some resolve: “To become a writer I had to learn to interrupt, to speak up, to speak a little louder, and then louder, and then to just speak in my own voice which is not loud at all”. New edition. 
Brother by David Chariandy         $29
Two boys grow up in a poor neighbourhood of Toronto, sons of a Trinidadian immigrant, assailed from all sides by many sorts of hopelessness. 
"A brilliant, powerful elegy from a living brother to a lost one, yet pulsing with rhythm, and beating with life." - Marlon James
"I love this novel. Riveting, composed, charged with feeling, Brother surrounds us with music and aspiration, fidelity and beauty." - Madeleine Thien
In Defence of History by Richard J. Evans       $28
A passionate case for the study of history and for importance of historical fact in a 'post-truth' world.  
The Fire This Time: A new generation speaks about race edited by Jesmyn Ward         $27
An impassioned collection of essays and poetry from Claudia Rankine, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Jericho Brown, Carol Anderson, Edwidge Denticat and others responding to James Baldwin's pivotal 1963 The Fire Next Time. What has been achieved? Why is there so far still to go? 

The Big Book of the Blue by Yuval Zommer      $30

Everything a young oceanographer needs to know: what lives where in the ocean and why. Attractively presented, full of detail, and a companion volume to The Big Book of Bugs and The Big Book of Beasts

Tokyo Romance by Ian Buruma         $33
What happens to a young film student when he finds himself immersed in the depths of the Japanese avant-garde arts scene in the 1970s? How does he re-examine his cultural, aesthetic and social preconceptions when faced with what at first seem contradictions? What is it like to perform butoh? Interesting and unexpected.
>> Find out more

>> Buruma performed with the Dairakudakan butoh company.

Book of Colours by Robyn Cadwallader       $37

A novel giving insight in the world of women in the fourteenth century from the author of The AnchoressLondon, 1321. In a small stationer's shop in Paternoster Row, three people are drawn together around the creation of a magnificent illuminated book, a Book of Hours. Even though the commission seems to answer the aspirations of each one of them, their own desires and ambitions threaten its completion. As each struggles to see the book come into being, it will change everything they have understood about their place in the world. 

Orchid Summer: In search of the wildest flowers of the British Isles by Jon Dunn           $37
Dunn set off to the remotest corners of the British Isles to find all the native species of orchid. He succeeded, but he found out a lot about other orchid hunters and about the flowers themselves on the way. 
"A wonderful book." - Robert Macfarlane
Swell: A waterbiography by Jenny Landreth        $22
 In the 19th century, swimming was exclusively the domain of men, and access to pools was a luxury limited by class. Women were allowed to swim in the sea, as long as no men were around, but even into the 20th century they could be arrested and fined if they dared dive into a lake. It wasn't until the 1930s that women were finally granted equal access. Part social history, part memoir, Swell uncovers a world of secret swimming in the face of these exclusions and shines a light on the `swimming suffragettes' who made equal access possible. It is also the story of her own realisation of the importance and meaning of swimming for herself.

>> A selection of books exploring the relationship between swimming and thought
God of Money by Karl Marx and Maguma          $30
Key concepts on capital's role in the creation of false needs from Marx's chapter on money in his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts (1844) have been illustrated in the form of an unsetlling concertinaed double-sided freize drawing inspiration from Bosch. 
>> How the book came about
Boats are Busy by Sara Gillingham       $20
Meet 15 boats and ships and learn what keeps them so busy. Also learn what those flags mean. An appealing board book. 

The Kitchen Science Cookbook by Michelle Dickinson       $50
Edible science! If you can follow a recipe you can learn about science. Ideal for children (and other people too). 

>> Nanogirl is a good name for a superhero.

Ponti by Sharlene Teo          $35
A novel of many stories, running from the late 1960s into the near future and capturing the accumulating pressures of life in Singapore, mother-daughter rifts, teenage angst and cult movies. 

"Remarkable. Teo's characters glow with life and humour and minutely observed desperation." - Ian McEwan
Miles Franklin: Feminist, activist, literary legend by Jill Roe        $35
An interesting account of the life and concerns of the woman after whom is named Australia's premier literary award. 

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: An art book by Reinhard Kleist       $55
A graphic distillation of the man and the band by the artist responsible for Nick Cave: Mercy on me
"A complex, chilling and completely bizarre journey into Cave World." - Nick Cave
>> Get down, get down. 

Square by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen        $28
When Circle thinks that Square's blocks are sculptures, she asks him to make a sculpture of her. He doesn't know how. Is he a genius? 
>> Trailer
>> Square has also met Triangle

04/27/2018 05:46 AM


Here they are. 
West by Carys Davies        $20
When widowed mule breeder Cy Bellman reads in the newspaper that colossal ancient bones have been discovered in the salty Kentucky mud, he sets out from his small Pennsylvania farm to see for himself if the rumours are true: that the giant monsters are still alive and roam the uncharted wilderness beyond the Mississippi River. Promising to write and to return in two years, he leaves behind his only daughter, Bess, to the tender mercies of his taciturn sister and heads west. Bess must approach adulthood in her father's absence. 
"To read Carys Davies's West is to encounter a myth, or potent dream - a narrative at once new and timeless." - Claire Messud
"Carys Davies is a deft, audacious visionary." - Téa Obreht
>> Beasts beyond the frontier
>> Over the frontier in search of monsters
Notes from No Man's Land by Eula Biss        $38
Notes from No Man's Land begins with a series of lynchings, ends with a list of apologies, and in an unsettling coda revisits a litany of murders that no one seems capable of solving. Biss explores race in America through the experiences chronicled in these essays: teaching in a Harlem school on the morning of 9/11, reporting from an African American newspaper in San Diego, watching the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina from a college town in Iowa, and rereading Laura Ingalls Wilder in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. She reveals how families, schools, communities, and civic institutions participate in preserving white privilege. 
"I can't think of an American writer at work today who matches Eula Biss's combination of lyrical precision, exhaustive research, timely provocation, and fiercely examined conscience." - Maggie Nelson
The Music: A novel through sound by Matthew Herbert        $40
Instead of making another record of his music assembled from sounds, Matthew Herbert has written a description of that record, assembling descriptions of sounds into chapters rather than tracks, creating a book that is both a manifesto for sound, or, rather, for listening, and an unusual novel.
>> Anything can be music
>> Matthew Herbert's website

American Innovations by Rivka Galchen         $23
Stories told from the perspective of a woman attuned to and under attack by the small ironies and psychological perversities of everyday life. What happens when a woman's furniture walks out on her, when another woman starts to grow a third breast, when the cheese won't stay put? 
"Rivka Galchen is one of the best things going. She writes for the joy of it and so artfully, and conforms to no-one else's standards." - Rachel Kushner
"The pinball wizard of American letters, with a narrative voice that can ricochet from wonder to terror to hilarity. The delicacy and brilliance of what Galchen is doing doesn't yet have a name." - Karen Russell
Fast by Jorie Graham       $30
An eagerly anticipated new collection from this innovative and exhilarating poet. 
"In Fast the feel-good myth of American democracy explodes. Graham has studied grief and tracked its symptoms to their sources. A body can indeed tell the story of the world." - The New York Times

When I Hit You, Or, A portrait of the writer as a young wife by Meena Kandasamy         $22
Caught in the hook of love, a young woman marries a dashing university professor. She moves to a rain-washed coastal town to be with him, but behind closed doors she discovers that her perfect husband is a perfect monster. As he sets about battering her into obedience and as her family pressures her to stay in the marriage, she swears to fight back - a resistance that will either kill her or set her free. Short-listed for the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction. Now in paperback. 
"Explosive." - Guardian 

"Urgent." - Financial Times
Dictionary Stories: Short fictions and other findings by Jez Burrows      $33
When Burrows opened his dictionary and read, under the entry for 'study', the exemplary sentence, "He perched on the edge of the bed, a study in confusion and misery," he realised he had stumbled upon a treasure trove of fiction. Could these sentences be assembled into more extended (but still quite short) fictional works? This book bears the wonderful results of his experiments. 
"Dictionary Stories isn't just a book for word nerds, but for anyone for whom language and story matter. Everybody will find themselves thoroughly in love with this book." - Kory Stamper, editor for Merriam-Webster
"Dictionary Stories is a giddy celebration of the wild, elastic potential of language." - McSweeny's 
>> Visit the Dictionary Stories blog

You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld          $35
Curtis Sittenfeld has established a reputation as a sharp chronicler of the modern age who humanizes her subjects even as she skewers them. These ten stories upend assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided.
“Every bit as smart, sensitive, funny, and genuine as her phenomenally popular novels.” - Booklist

Brazen: Rebel ladies who rocked the world by Pénélope Bagieu      $40
Fascinating graphic biographies of thirty remarkable women, most of whom have been largely 'forgotten' by history. Includes Tove Jansson, Josephine Baker, Temple Grandin, Wu Zetian and Peggy Guggenheim. 
"A modern classic." - Guardian
>> See some spreads.
Skybound: A journey into flight by Rebecca Loncraine       $35
When Loncraine was diagnosed with breast cancer she determined to take to the air and took up gliding. This book is a memoir of unpowered flights around the world (including New Zealand), a history of gliding and a piece of thoughtful nature writing from an unusual perspective. 
>> FYA (For Your Amusement): Sport gliding in the 1920s.
The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli         $35
If there is no such thing as the past or the future, why do we have this concept of time? How can a useful construct also hamper our understanding of the nature of the universe? If we rethink our notions of time, are we able to build some sort of model of reality that takes cognisance of but overcomes the shortcomings of general relativity, quantum mechanics and string theory? Beautifully written and deeply thoughtful. 
>> Is spacetime granular? 

The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal         $37
The dolls that Mona makes each have a special significance for different periods of her life. This novel is a story told through the relationship between memory and objects. 
Long-listed for the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction

Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin, translated by Michael Hofmann    $38
Franz Biberkopf returns to Alexanderplatz, fresh from prison. When his friend murders the prostitute on whom Biberkopf has been relying, he realises that he will be unable to extricate himself from the underworld into which he has sunk. He must deal with misery, lack of opportunities, crime and proto-Nazism. A new translation of this 1929 modernist classic.
>> Scandalous velocity
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer         $37
How is the feminist torch passed between generations? Who fumbles in the exchange? 
“Uncannily timely, a prescient marriage of subject and moment that addresses a great question of the day: how feminism passes down, or not, from one generation to the next.” — The New York Times
“Meg Wolitzer is the novelist we need right now. The Female Persuasion is the sort of book that comes along in too few authors’ careers—one that makes the writer’s intellectual project snap into sharp focus, and with it, the case that their artistry is not merely enjoyable but truly important.” —The Washington Post
“Equal parts cotton candy and red meat.” – People 
Flames by Robbie Arnott       $37
After their mother's death Levi McAlliester builds a coffin for his sister, who promptly runs for her life. As they cross inhospitable country they also traverse the grief, love and history that both bond and divide them. 
"A strange and joyous marvel." - Richard Flanagan
Finding by David Hill     $20
The fortunes of an immigrant family and a tangata whenua family are intertwined in this story of seven generations and 130 years of fast-flowing change. 

Unexceptional Politics: On obstruction, impasses and the impolitic by Emily Apter        $35
Can a new mode of political thought and action be constructed that evades the net of scams, imbroglios, information trafficking, brinkmanship, and parliamentary procedures that obstruct and block progressive politics. The book proposes a new mode of dialectical resistance, countering notions of the "state of exception" embedded in theories of the "Political" from Thomas Hobbes to Carl Schmitt. 
"Unexceptional Politics is a book that teaches walking the walk by exposing the talk talked. Very few academic books of this intellectual quality can serve as a guide for activism in the interest of social justice. A text for careful reading." - Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
All That Remains: A life in death by Sue Black       $38
From the grieving process after losing a loved one, to violence, murder, criminal dismemberment, missing persons, war, natural disasters, unidentified bodies, historical remains, and working with investigative agencies, lawyers, justice, criminal sentences, and always sadness and pain, Black takes us on a scientific and reflective journey explaining the genetic DNA traits that develop before our birth, and those traits and features we gather through life, all of which add up to an identity that reveals itself in death.
"No scientist communicates better than Professor Sue Black. All That Remains is a unique blend of memoir and monograph that admits us into the remarkable world of forensic anthropology." - Val McDermid
Spineless: The science of jellyfish and the art of growing a backbone by Juli Gerwald         $38
We know so little about these most ancient of sea creatures, 95% water, highly venomous and barely distinguishable from their habitat. 
>> "I thought you had a spinal column."
A Tribute to Flowers: Plants under pressure photographed by Richard Fischer        $90
Fifty percent of the world's flower species are threatened with extinction. To highlight this, flower ambassador Fischer has photographed dozens of threatened flowers. Each glows on the page in this astounding book. 
>> Some of the photographs can be seen here, but the book is ten times more stunning

To Throw Away Unopened by Viv Albertine         $33
At the launch party for her memoir Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys in 2014, musician Viv Albertine received news that her mother was dying, and spent a few final hours with the woman who was, in a sense, the love of her life. In the turbulent weeks after the funeral, Viv made a series of discoveries that revealed the role of family conflicts in propelling her towards the uncompromising world of punk. 
>> The Slits in London, 1979
>> Peel sessions
Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust       $20
A retelling of 'Snow White' from the point of view of both the stepmother, a young woman with a glass heart who wants to know love, and the stepdaughter, a young woman made of snow who seeks solidity. 
"In Girls Made of Snow and Glass, Melissa Bashardoust has given us exquisite displays of magic, complex mother-daughter relationships, and gloriously powerful women triumphing in a world that does not want them to be powerful. A gorgeous, feminist fairy tale." - Traci Chee

The Feather Thief: Beauty, obsession and the natural history heist of the century by Kirk Wallace Johnson        $38
One summer evening in 2009, twenty-year-old musical prodigy Edwin Rist broke into the British Museum of Natural History. Hours later, he slipped away with a suitcase full of rare bird specimens collected over the centuries from across the world, all featuring a dazzling array of priceless feathers. When Kirk Wallace Johnson discovered that the thief evaded prison, and that half the birds were never recovered, he embarked upon an investigation which led him deep into the  secretive underground community obsessed with the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Bizarre. 
A Sister in My House by Linda Olsson        $35
Two sisters end up sharing a rented house in Spain and having to come to terms with their personal tragedies. From the author of The Kindness of Your Nature
Whisper by Lynette Noni       $23
“'Lengard is a secret government facility for extraordinary people,' they told me. 'It's for people just like you.' I believed them. That was my mistake. There isn't anyone else in the world like me. I'm different.I'm an anomaly. I'm a monster." For two years, six months, fourteen days, eleven hours and sixteen minutes, 'Jane Doe' has been locked away and experimented on, without uttering a single word. Life at Lengard follows a strict, torturous routine that has never changed. When Jane is assigned a new-and unexpectedly kind-evaluator, her resolve begins to crack, despite her best efforts. One wrong word could change the world. A gripping YA novel. 

Hyper-Capitalism: The modern economy, its values, and how to change them by Larry Gonick and Tom Kasser      $40
A graphic novel showing how global, privatising, market-worshipping hyper-capitalism is threatening human well-being, social justice, and the planet, and exploring different ways in which this model has been or can be assailed. 
The List: A week-by-week reckoning of Trump's first year by Amy Siskind          $38
Siskind has undertaken to document the grain-by-grain destruction of democracy in the US, publishing it in her blog The Weekly List, and now in this book. Beware: this is how democracy ends.  
War on Peace: The end of diplomacy and the decline of American influence by Ronan Farrow      $32
Is the military taking over from the diplomats? 

A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano and Lane Smith     $30
Two children enter an abandoned house and find plenty to capture their imagination. Did a family once live here? 
Weird Maths: At the edge of infinity and beyond by David Darling and Agnijo Banerjee          $27
Is anything truly random? Does infinity actually exist? Could we ever see into other dimensions?
 Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic        $40

Stefanovic was born into a country about to tear itself apart. Her family moved back and forth between Yugoslavia and Australia several times, unable to feel fully at home in either place, and Sofija came to embody cultural contradictions that made her feel a perpetual outsider. 
The Siege and Fall of Troy by Robert Graves        $30
A beautifully presented and well-told version for younger readers. 
Forever Words: The unknown poems by Johnny Cash      $23
A collection of lyrics that didn't become songs. Includes facsimiles of the scraps of paper upon which they were found. 
>> 'God's Gonna Cut You Down'.
Hamster #2
Hamster is a journal of literature, art, 'literature', 'art', literary polemic, art polemic, other polemic, and also other things (including limited edition and unique art works and work made with adhesive lettering), published by The Physics Room. Hamster is free. Issues #1 and #2 are available digitally at

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.