06/23/2017 05:05 AM

These interesting books (and other interesting books) have all arrived at VOLUME this week.
Click through or come in to secure your copies or to find out more. 

Investigations of a Dog, And other creatures by Franz Kafka, translated by Michael Hofmann      $38
An excellent new translation of some of Kafka's best stories. 
"Hofmann's translation is invaluable - it achieves what translations are supposedly unable to do: it is at once 'loyal' and 'beautiful'." - New Republic
"Anything by Kafka is worth reading again, especially in the hands of such a gifted translator as Hofmann." - The New York Times 
>> Kafka never left home.

Essayism by Brian Dillon        $40
Imagine a type of writing so hard to define its very name means a trial, effort or attempt. An ancient form with an eye on the future, a genre poised between tradition and experiment. The essay wants above all to wander, but also to arrive at symmetry and wholeness; it nurses competing urges to integrity and disarray, perfection and fragmentation, confession and invention. Essayism is a personal, critical and polemical book about the genre, its history and contemporary possibilities.

Kingdom Cons by Yuri Harrera         $26
The new book from the author of the astounding Signs Preceding the End of the World. "Part surreal fable and part crime romance", the whole book is a meditation on the durability of integrity when confronted with power. 
"Yuri Herrera must be a thousand years old. Nothing else explains the vastness of his understanding." - Valeria Luiselli
>> Read an extract

The Matter of the Heart: A history of the heart in eleven operations by Thomas Morris            $40
“Thomas Morris does for the history of cardiac surgery what The Right Stuff and Hidden Figures did for the space race. The book is – appropriately – pulse-thumpingly gripping and will be enjoyed by anyone who, in any sense of the phrase, has a heart.” – Mark Lawson
“Tremendous. An exhilarating sweep through ancient history and contemporary practice in surgery of the heart. It’s rich in extraordinary detail and stories that will amaze you. A wonderful book.” – Melvyn Bragg

The Gifts of Reading by Robert Macfarlane        $9
An essay on the importance and the joys of reading. Macfarlane recounts the story of a book he was given as a young man, and how he managed eventually to return the favour, though never repay the debt.
When I Hit You, Or, A portrait of the writer as a young wife by Meena Kandasamy          $28
Seduced by politics, poetry and an enduring dream of building a better world together, the unnamed narrator falls in love with a university professor. She swiftly learns that what for her is a bond of love is for him a contract of ownership. A searing indictment of attitudes to marriage in modern India, and an avocation of the power of art to transact change (or at least revenge). 
"It would take Carol Ann Duffy, Caroline Criado-Perez, Arundhati Roy and Salman Rushdie to match Kandasamy's infinite variety." - Independent 
Seeing People Off by Jana Benova     $38
 "Elza and Ian were Bratislava desperadoes. They didn't work for an advertising agency and weren't trying to save for a better apartment or car. They sat around in posh cafés. They ate, drank, and smoked away all the money they earned."
"Seeing People Off is a fascinating novel. Fans of inward-looking postmodernists like Clarice Lispector will find much to admire here, as will most readers with a taste for the experimental." - NPR
>> Read an extract.

Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the present day by Peter Ackroyd           $38
“This book is a celebration,as well as a history, of the continual and various human world maintained, in its diversity despite persecution, condemnation and affliction. It represents the ultimate triumph of London.”
"Peter Ackroyd is the greatest living chronicler of London". - Independent
The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips          $23
As she becomes accustomed to her new job processing files in a mysterious windowless building, Josephine begins to suspect these strings of number have some relationship to the lives (or deaths) of actual people, and notices also that her relationship with her husband is beginning to change. Unsettling and memorable. 
 "Funny, sad, scary and beautiful. I love it." - Ursula K. Le Guin 
The Whole Intimate Mess: Motherhood, politics and women's writing by Holly Walker         $15
"I began to pull the threads of my experience back together. Instead of divergent stories about public failure, private torment, and postnatal distress, I started telling myself a united story: the truth, or as close as I could get to it." A Rhodes scholar and former Green MP, Holly Walker tells the story of how she became one of New Zealand's youngest parliamentarians, how motherhood intervened, and how she found solace and solidarity in the writings of women. 

The Wood for the Trees: A long view of nature from a small wood by Richard Fortey      $25
This biography of an English 'beech-and-bluebell' wood through the seasons and through history both natural and human, is a portrayal of the relationships of humans to nature and a demonstration that poetic writing can be scientifically precise. 
"'His remarkable scientific knowledge, intense curiosity and love of nature mean entries erupt with the same richness and variety as the woods they describe. Fortey's enthusiasm for his new wonderland is infectious and illuminating, deep and interesting." - Guardian 
Cutting it Short by Bohumil Hrabal           $26
"As I crammed the cream horn voraciously into my mouth, at once I heard Francin's voice saying that no decent woman would eat a cream puff like that." An enjoyably exuberant portrayal of life in a small Mitteleuropean town between the wars.
More Alive and Less Lonely: On books and writers by Jonathan Lethem          $50
Lethem examines and imparts his love for his favourite books and authors, including Knausgaard, Ishiguro, Melville and Lorrie Moore. >> Interview with Lethem here.
Jews, Queers, Germans by Martin Duberman       $37
Set in a time when many men in the upper classes in Europe were closeted gay, this novel revolves around three men: Prince Philipp von Eulenburg, Kaiser Wilhelm II's closest friend who becomes the subject of a 1907 trial for homosexuality; Magnus Hirschfeld, a famed Jewish sexologist; and Harry Kessler, a leading proponent of modernism, whose diaries allude to his own homosexuality. 
Science in the Soul: Selected writings of a passionate rationalist by Richard Dawkins      $38
More than forty pieces demonstrating the importance and rewards of approaching the world guided by the principles of science. 

Chronicles: On our troubled times by Thomas Piketty          $28
A very accessible handbook to the ideas and analysis provided in the hugely influential Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Moving the Palace by Charif Majdalani          $37
At the dawn of the 20th century, a young Lebanese explorer leaves the Levant for the wilds of Africa, encountering an eccentric English colonel in Sudan and enlisting in his service. In this lush chronicle of far-flung adventure, the military recruit crosses paths with a compatriot who has dismantled a sumptuous palace in Tripoli and is transporting it across the continent on a camel caravan. 
"Renders the complex social landscape of the Middle East and North Africa with subtlety and finesse. Yet one doesn't need to care about the region's history, or its present-day contexts, to enjoy Moving the Palace,  Majdalani's richly textured prose are reason enough." - The Wall Street Journal
"An eloquent, captivating excursion through a Middle East history that is more relevant today than ever. Majdalani is a major storyteller and a novelist with conscience who writes the past with transnational awareness." - Rawi Hage
Finding Language: The Massey University Composer Addresses edited by Michael Brown, Norman Meehan and Robert Hoskins         $40
Includes Margaret Nielsen on Douglas Lilburn, and lectures by Jack Body, John Ritchie, David Farquhar, Edwin Carr, John Rimmer, Lyell Cresswell, John Cousins and Chris Cree Brown. 
Behave: The biology of humans at our best and worst by Robert Sapolsky           $40
What drives human behaviours such as racism, xenophobia, tolerance, competition, morality, war, and even peace?
>> A neurobiologist in the bookshop
>> Are we hard-wired to be cruel to each other? 

Sound: Stories of hearing lost and found by Bella Bathurst        $40
A thoughtful consideration of the place of sound and hearing in our lives and culture and identities, springing from the author's progressive deafness and the recovery of her capacities.

What We Cannot Know: From consciousness to the cosmos, the cutting edge of science explained by Marcus de Sautoy       $23
The things we know that we don't know is a quantifiable penumbra around what we know. Science is always reaching our into this penumbra, but also often inadvertently reaching the things we didn't know that there was to know, causing us to rethink the things we thought we knew.

"Brilliant and fascinating." - Bill Bryson 
Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods by Tania del Rio and Will Staehle        $35
When 13-year-old Warren discovers that his beloved hotel can walk, it ferries its guests to all sorts of unexpected locations. Unfortunately, Warren gets separated from the hotel and has to follow it through a sinister forest teeming with sinister (and quirky) characters...
A Bold and Dangerous Family: The Rossellis and the fight against Mussolini by Caroline Moorehead          $38
A fascinating picture of how one family's disgust at Mussolini's grasp on Italy hardened into active resistance. From the author of The Village of Secrets and A Train in Winter.

Amazons: The real warrior women of the ancient world by John Man          $40
The ancient legends of tribes of female warriors who killed their male offspring and removed a breast to improve their archery have long been considered just stories: exemplars of the dangers of female emancipation or avenging shadows of the rise of the patriarchy. Recent research has shown that tribes led by powerful warrior queens did exist in central Asia in ancient times. John Man presents the evidence.
"One could not wish for a better storyteller or analyst." Simon Sebag Montefiore
>> Information about the discoveries in Central Asia interspersed with Russian dancing
The Allure of Chanel by Paul Morand        $23
Notes made by Morand in the 1940s towards a memoir of Coco Chanel, including transcripts of conversations he had with her, came to light after decades stuffed into the back of a drawer.  

"The closest anyone can get towards a face-to-face with Coco." - Spectator
Uncommon People: The rise and fall of the rock stars by David Hepworth         $40
The age of the rock stars, like the age of the cowboys, has passed. What did we want of them? Unable to sustain the pressure to be (at least) demigods, is it any wonder that so many of them burned and fell? 
>> What's at the bottom of your swimming pool? 

The Big Book of Bugs and The Big Book of Beasts by Yuval Zommer     
Giant, splendidly illustrated, satisfyingly fact-filled books in the same series as The Book of Bees!

Unbroken Brain: A revolutionary new way of understanding addiction by Maia Szalavitz            $30
Argues that addiction is a learning disorder rather than a brain disease, a bad habit or a crime. Reframing the condition provides a fresh approach to treatment, prevention and policy.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire        $24
Argues that treating students as passive, empty vessels preserves the authority and advantages of the powerful by creating a culture of silence and passivity. Freire suggests the authoritarian teacher-pupil model can be replaced with critical thinking so that students becomes co-creators of knowledge. Crucial to Freire's argument is the belief that every human being, no matter how impoverished or illiterate, can develop an awareness of self, and the right to be heard. A new edition of this important book.
"A transformative text." - George Monbiot 
"Truly revolutionary." - Ivan Illich 
"Brilliant methodology of a highly charged and politically provocative character." - Jonathan Kozol
Judas by Amos Oz         $26
A young man's erotic and intellectual obsessions open the way for him to re-examine the history in the consequences of which he is immersed.
"This book is compassionate as well as painfully provocative, a contribution to some sort of deeper listening to the dissonances emerging from deep within the politics and theology of Israel and Palestine." - Rowan Williams, New Statesman
"Oz engages with urgent questions while retaining his right as a novelist to fight shy of answers: it's a mark of his achievement that the result isn't frustrating but tantalising." - Daily Telegraph
Theft by Finding: Diaries by David Sedaris          $40
"Sedaris is like an American Alan Bennett, in that his own fastidiousness becomes the joke, as per the taxi encounter, or his diary entry about waiting interminably in a coffee-bar queue." - Guardian 
"Cool, very funny, sardonic, yet open. There is an echo of Truman Capote or Tennessee Williams - with extra quirk. Or even Lewis Carroll. One of the biggest comedy writers of his generation." - Spectator
Requiem for the American Dream: The ten principles of concentration of wealth and power by Noam Chomsky          $37
Incisive analysis of the detrimental effects of income inequality on a society and all it members, both rich and poor. 
>> "The definitive discourse with Noam Chomsky."
Karl Marx: Greatness and illusion by Gareth Stedman Jones      $40
A reappraisal of Marx, contending the man and his thinking have been overwhelmed by the inflation of the reputations of both. Stedman Jones's carefully deflationary approach is also a portrait of his own conflicted attitudes towards the genesis and development of Socialism. 
"A deeply original and illuminating account of Marx's journey through the intellectual history of the nineteenth century. Stedman Jones explores the friendships, affinities, rivalries and hatreds that shaped Marx's life with elegance and analytical brilliance." - Christopher Clark
'Vintage Minis' by various excellent authors       $10 each
A new series of very pickupable thoughtful small books to have with coffee (or whatever). The publishers have devised a quiz to match you with your first mini but we think reaching out at random will provide just as reliable results.

Desire by Haruki Murakami
Love by Jeanette Winterson
Babies by Anne Enright
Language by Xiaolu Guo
Motherhood by Helen Simpson
Fatherhood by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Summer by Laurie Lee
Jealousy by Marcel Proust
Sisters by Louisa May Alcott
Home by Salman Rushdie
Race by Toni Morrison
Liberty by Virginia Woolf
Swimming by Roger Deakin
Work by Joseph Heller
Depression by William Styron
Drinking by John Cheever
Eating by Nigella Lawson
Psychedelics by Aldous Huxley
Calm by Tim Parks
Death by Julian Barnes
[Does the order in which these titles have been listed suggest life's narrative arc?]

06/18/2017 09:19 PM

Books anticipated or surprising, just out of the carton.
Click through to find out more and to secure your next book.

Blue Self-Portrait by Noémi Lefebvre    $33
A wonderfully written interior monologue, reminiscent of Thomas Bernhard, of a difficult woman obsessed with a portrait of the composer Arnold Schoenberg and thrown off kilter by a romantic encounter with a musician.
>> Read an extract
No is Not Enough: Defeating the new shock politics by Naomi Klein          $35
"Trump, as extreme as he is, is less an aberration than a logical conclusion - a pastiche of pretty much all the worst and most dangerous trends of the past half century. A one-man megabrand, with wife and children as spin-off brands." Klein sees Donald Trump's presidency as the conclusion of the long corporate takeover of politics, using deliberate shock tactics to generate wave after wave of crises and force through radical policies that will destroy people, the environment, the economy and national security. This book provides a toolkit for resistance, starting with clarity of perception.
"I count Naomi Klein among the most inspirational political thinkers in the world today." -Arundhati Roy 
"Naomi Klein as a writer is an accusing angel." - John Berger
>> How to jam the Trump brand
>> "Trump is an idiot, but don’t underestimate how good he is at that."
Strange Heart Beating by Eli Goldstone            $33
Seb's beautiful, beloved wife Leda has been killed by a swan. Sorting through her belongings after her death, he comes across a packet of unopened letters from Olaf, a man whom Leda had never mentioned. Floundering professionally and sunk by grief, he decides to travel to Leda's home village in Latvia to patch her story together. But with each new person that he turns to for answers, Seb is met instead by more questions about Leda, her past and their life together. 
"Although I began this novel captivated by its wicked humour, confident prose and gripping narrative, it was its savage tenderness that ensnared me. Far more than a tragicomedy of errors and erasures, Strange Heart Beating is about the idea of possession in relationships, and the lie that we can ever fully know someone even when we love them absolutely. Eli is an astonishing writer with a vision that is both acerbic and sympathetic." - Ka Bradley
>> "I can't think of many great books that aren't funny."
>> Read the first chapter here
Binary Star by Sarah Gerard            $36
Like a star, the anorexic burns fuel that isn't replenished; she is held together by her own gravity. The saga of two young lovers and the culture that keeps them sick.
"A bold, beautiful novel about wanting to disappear and almost succeeding. Sarah Gerard writes about love and loneliness in a new and brilliantly visceral way." - Jenny Offill
"Rhythmic, hallucinatory, yet vivid as crystal. Gerard has channeled her trials and tribulations into a work of heightened reality, one that sings to the lonely gravity of the human body." - NPR
"Sarah Gerard's debut, Binary Star, radiates beauty. Gerard captures the beauty and scientific irony of damaged relationships and ephemeral heavenly lights. Just as with the stars, it is collapse that offers the most illumination." - Los Angeles Times
Walks With Walser by Carl Selig          $29
A regular visitor to the Swiss author-of-the-small Robert Walser during the last twenty years of his life during his time as a voluntary patient in mental asylums, Selig, who became Walser's guardian and literary executor, meticulously recorded their conversations and is the best biographical source for this period of Walser's life. 
>> How Swiss is it? 

The New Animals by Pip Adam       $30
Gen-Xers and Millennials clash in the world of fashion - will irony or sincerity prevail? Will new animals emerge from the wreckage and waste of 21-st century Auckland?
>> Compare the attitudes.
>> Interview with Pip Adam

The Perfect Pencil: The story of a cultural icon by Caroline Weaver         $90

In the digital age, what could be hipper than using a pencil and paper? The humble pencil, once the tool of the infant school, has now become the talisman of designers, artists, writers and other creatives. This book features profiles of pencil crafters, anecdotes about famous writers and their favorite pencils, and essays about the surprising role of pencils in world history and culture. Illustrated with pencil drawings. 
>> Visit a pencil factory
Polly Plum, A firm and earnest woman's advocate: Mary Ann Colclough, 1836-1885 by Jenny Coleman          $40
Coleman argues that Colclough was just as important as Kate Sheppard for the New Zealand women's movement in New Zealand. 

A Cup of Rage by Raduan Nassar        $20
A pair of lovers - a young female journalist and an older man who owns an isolated farm in the Brazilian outback - spend the night together. The next day they proceed to destroy each other. 
"A Cup of Rage is a burning coal of a work, superbly translated by Stefan Tobler. You may consider a book this short to be scarcely worthy of the name, but it packs more power into its scant 47 pages than most books do into five or 10 times as many. Each of its seven chapters comes not only as an unbroken paragraph but as a single sentence: you have to read carefully to keep track, and once you have finished you will want to read it again. The writing is chewy - dense, tough, but well worth the effort."- Nick Lezard, The Guardian 
Hamlet, Globe to Globe: Taking Shakespeare to every county in the world by Dominic Dromgoole        $37
Over two years, the Globe Theatre travelled to every country in the world, performing Hamlet. I what ways did the reception differ in different societies and conditions, and in what ways were the responses universal?
>> Off (and on) they go
The Egg by Britta Teckentrup           $34
A beautifully illustrated survey of birds in nests and in art and mythology. 

The Bickford Fuse by Andrey Kurkov              $28
Four separate bewildered wanderers bear their symbolic burdens towards a common goal. A satirical epic of the Russian mentality, grand schemes and failures, from World War Two until the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

"Some people see him as a latter-day Bulgakov; to others he's a Ukrainian Murakami." - Guardian
Basic Income, And how we can make it happen by Guy Standing        $28
"Guy Standing has been at the forefront of the movement for nearly 4 decades, and in this superb and thorough survey he explains how it works and why it has the potential to revitalise life and democracy in our societies. This is an essential book." - Brian Eno
>> Protecting the precariat
The Nonsense Show by Eric Carle           $16
A preposterous board book. Fun. 
Gauchillos by Toni Meneguzzo        $55
A stunning photographic essay on the culture of the Argentinian rural bandits. 

Outside the Asylum: A memoir of war, disaster and humanitarian psychiatry by Lynne Jones             $35
War and disaster bring an intensity of trauma to ordinary citizens, and compound the difficulties of those already receiving psychiatric care. 

Chromaphilia: The story of colour in art by Stella Paul            $70
Uses 200 artworks to explore the pigments and effects of 10 major colours or colour groups. 
"Stella Paul has written a most useful and readable book on the complex subject of color which addresses expertly both its material and affective properties. The many works of art that she illustrates are in her well balanced text not merely data for a clinical examination of color, but a source of sensitive analysis and interpretation." —Philippe de Montebello, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Upgrade: Home extensions, alterations and refurbishments         $120
Full of excellent examples of marrying old and modern elements without compromising the characteristics of either to make living spaces that are comfortable and pleasing. 
Land's Edge: A coastal memoir by Tim Winton          $26
A new edition of this beautifully written short book about life lived in harmony with the ebbs and flows of the tide. 
The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd         $29
Shepherd's timeless evocation of the Cairngorms and of the way in which humans find meaning and regeneration in the natural world puts her in the front rank of nature writers. This edition has an introduction by Robert Macfarlane.
The Happy Reader, Issue 9        $8
This issue looks at Treasure Island from many angles and follows its many resonances. Robert Louis Stevenson is under-recognised as a prose stylist. Also in this issue, an audience with bookseller, supermodel and actress Lily Cole

06/09/2017 05:23 AM

Click through to find out more and to purchase or reserve your copies.
Panorama by Dušan Šarotar        $25
A melding of text and photographs in the manner of W.G. Sebald marks this interesting and thoughtful work about displacement, statelessness, waiting and mourning. Washes of narrative leave the reader with an indelible residue of impressions.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy         $38
"How to tell a shattered story? By slowly becoming everybody. No. By slowly becoming everything." Twenty years after The God of Small Things, Roy's second novel braids together many lives and strands as they pass through harm and healing. 
>> "Fiction takes its time."
>> Where do old birds go to die? (an extract from the novel).
>> Roy speaks with Kim Hill.

Tōtara: A natural and cultural history by Philip Simpson            $75
Among the biggest and oldest trees in the New Zealand forest, the heart of Maori carving and culture, trailing no. 8 wire as fence posts on settler farms, clambered up in the Pureora protests of the 1980s: the story of New Zealand can be told through totara.

The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen        $25
Living is hard both physically and mentally on a small island off the Norwegian coast. Ingrid's father dreams of building a causeway to the mainland, whereas her mother dreams of moving to a smaller, even more remote island. When Ingrid is sent to work on the mainland she learns that mainland life has trials of its own.
 Short-listed for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize
"Even by his high standards, his magnificent new novel The Unseen is Jacobsen's finest to date, as blunt as it is subtle and is easily among the best books I have ever read." - Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

Fair Borders? Migration policy in the twenty-first century edited by David Hall        $15
Do our current and projected immigration policies offer a 'fair go' to recent arrivals and prospective arrivals, and also to those whose arrival may be generations ago? 
See You When I See You by Rose Lagercrantz and Eva Eriksson          $20
Dani is on a school trip to the zoo, and the teacher tells the children how to stay safe and not get lost. But Dani gets separated from the others. Suddenly another class is rushing up the path and at the back of the noisy crowd is someone she recognizes: Ella! The good friends are so happy to be together again and Ella wants to play. What should Dani do? Follow her best friend in the whole world or do as the teacher said? 

Milk Island by Rhydian Thomas         $29
As the 2023 New Zealand election approaches, four cruel and unusual stories expose the inner workings at the heart of Milk Island (former South Island) where a fifth-term Government's legacy project is going very well or very poorly, depending on who you ask. On Milk Island, patriotism and prosperity trumps all else and life matters very little unless you're Milky Moo, the nation's favourite cow. Absurd and unhelpful, and "100% pure fiction" (unless you happen to live in the South Island).
>> Demonstrating the advantages of the herringbone
The End of Eddy by Édouard Louis       $37
"Before I had a chance to rebel against the world of my childhood, that world rebelled against me. In truth, confronting my parents, my social class, its poverty, racism and brutality came second. From early on I provoked shame and even disgust from my family and others around me. The only option I had was to get away somehow. This book is an effort to understand all that." 
"Even in the wake of Knausgaard and Ferrante it is hard to find a literary phenomenon that has swept Europe quite like the autobiographical project of Edouard Louis." - LitHub 
"An extraordinary autobiographical novel about class, violence and sexuality in France. It's a vivid, often brutal but immensely touching book that restores my faith in the power of literature." - Tash Aw
Void: The strange physics of nothing by James Owen Weatherall        $42
The physics of matter receive a lot of attention, but what about the physics of nothing and of absence? Both relativity and quantum theory tell us that nothingness can't be infinitely extensive. Nothing, Weatherall shows, turns out to be very similar to something, similarly structured and describable with the same laws.
Extinctions by Josephine Wilson         $35
As he feels impelled towards his own extinction in a retirement village, can Professor Frederick Lothian, retired engineer, world expert on concrete, find a was back into existence? This novel is about many kinds of extinction: natural, racial, national and personal, and about how these extinctions may be resisted.
#Cook for Syria: Recipe book edited by Clerkenwell Boy and Serena Guen          $60 
A wonderful selection of Syrian-inspired recipes given by top chefs for this book, which is a fund-raiser (and awareness-raiser) for UNICEF's Syria relief fund. 
>> The supper club that became a global movement.

At the Lightning Field by Laura Raicovich     $28
Walter De Maria's 'Lightning Field' is an array of 400 stainless steel poles in the desert in New Mexico, designed to attract lightning. Raicovich pays a number of visits and makes a series of subtle philosophical and mathematical observations on time, space, duration, light, change and changelessness. 
"Raicovich combines her intimate, studied observations with the writings of a vast array of mathematicians and thinkers, including Benoit Mandelbrot and Gertrude Stein. Attempting to answer the question, How reliable is memory?, the essay is a beautifully chaotic map of thought and experience that both mirrors the experience of a work of art and probes its essence." - Publishers Weekly
"Make a pilgrimage to The Lightning Field by walking the lines of this book and building something beautiful in your mind's eye with the author, who will take you there and many places besides." - Rebecca Solnit
The Polar Bear by Jenni Desmond         $30
A beautifully illustrated book introducing children to this unique animal. Winner of the 2016 Maurice Sendak medal.
>> Look inside the book!
Fragments of Metropolis: Berlin's Expressionist legacy by Christoph Rauhut and Niels Lehmann          $65
Berlin was the cultural wellspring of Expressionism and the locus of a rethinking of the relationship between experience and architectural form.  Rauhut's and Lehmann's project was to document all the remaining examples of Expressionist architecture with photographs, drawings, maps and descriptions. Impressive.
Gillian Wearing and Claude Cahun: Behind the mask, another mask by Sarah Howgate         $60
Cahun's photographs from the 1920s onwards tested the performance of identity and gender and, although not then much exhibited, her practice was influential in defining the concerns of Surrealist photographers such as Man Ray. Gillian Wearing, who won the Turner Prize in 1997, has mirrored and furthered many of Cahun's concerns. This is an excellent consideration of the work of both photographers. 

The Ski Flier by Maria McMillan         $25
Avalanches, best friends, bicycles, cities, daughters, dragons, disempowerment, eruptions, fringed animal skins, ghosties, Herzog, jubilation, little cafes with candles in wine bottles, lycra, self-doubt, snow, super-herodom, temper tantrums, umbrellas, whales.
>> McMillan interviewed by some 11-and-12-year-olds

The Japanese House: Architecture and life after 1945 by Florence Ostende and Pippo Ciorra         $100
Traditional and new concerns combined to enable a rethinking of the fundamentals of residential and community architecture following the cultural trauma of the second world war. This is the first comprehensive survey of the creative flourishing of domestic architecture in this period.

Wolfgang Tillmans, 2017 by Chris Dercon           $60
An excellent survey of the last 15 years of the work of this important photographer. 
>> Visit Tillmans' website

You Do Not Travel in China at the Full Moon: Agnes Moncrieff's letters from China, 1930-1945 edited by Barbara Francis       $50

New Zealander Agnes Moncrieff was the foreign secretary to the and the YWCA in China during the Sino-Japanese War. Her first-hand accounts of the horrors taking place around her are nuanced and valuable. 
Fink on Warhol: New York photographs of the 1960s by Larry Fink        $85
Very evocative shots of the Factory and its denizens (both in situ and on the streets), together with other fine examples of street photography.
>> The Velvet Underground live at the Factory.

The Wine Dine Dictionary by Victoria Moore         $45
A much-needed guide to matching food to wine and wine to food. 
Fashion Forward: 300 Years of Fashion by Pierre Berge et al        $140
A sumptuous collection of prime examples of dress, from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first, with informative text and contemporary illustrations to provide context and extension.
Gravel Heart by Abdulrazak Gurnah         $30
Moving from revolutionary Zanzibar in the 1960s to restless London in the 1990s, Gravel Heart is a story of exile, migration and betrayal.
"Gurnah writes with wonderful insight about family relationships and he folds in the layers of history with elegance and warmth." - The Times 
"Gurnah etches with biting incisiveness the experiences of immigrants exposed to contempt, hostility or patronising indifference on their arrival in Britain." - Spectator 
Fish Boy by Chloe Daykin         $23
Billy's got a lot on his mind that he'd rather not think about, so he fills it with facts and David Attenborough documentaries and asks a lot of questions (about facts). At school a bully is hardly making things easy for him. Does a mackerel he meets when swimming have something to tell him? 
"Summarising the plot does this assured, silvery writing a disservice.  Literary prizes, this way, please." - Guardian
Just Cool It! The climate crisis and what we can do by David Suzuki and Ian Hanington       $35
A hopeful and practical guide to overcoming the barriers to addressing climate change.

The Nosyhood by Tim Lahan          $30
Lots of well-wishers come to visit the new arrivals in the neighbourhood. How can they all fit in? The along comes a giant nose. Oh no! Don't tell me it is going to sneeze!
>> Develops a theme by Gogol

06/02/2017 05:51 AM


Phone by Will Self          $38
What is the relationship between human psychopathology and technological progress? Self continues to extend the capacities of the modernist novel in an attempt to make language more resemble thought. 
"A triumph of joined-up thinking, Phone is the final instalment [following but independent of Umbrella  and Shark] in what has shown itself to be one of the most ambitious and important literary projects of the 21st century. It will be a challenge to those whose minds have been eroded by the permanent present of the smartphone. But I can’t think of a better way to spend your time. " - Guardian
>> Have we lost the need to communicate?
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk       $40
To move is to exist. To be unsettled is to push always at the edges of being settled, to strive to burst into new zones of existence. Tokarczuk has written a collection of short and long texts, all concerning movement and travel, change and stasis, and the effect of these upon identity. Beautifully written, the book is bristling with ideas and memorable images.
Black Moses by Alain Mabanckou           $33
For the People’s Republic of the Congo, the Marxist-Leninist revolution of 1970 heralded a new age. Fleeing the relative safety of the orphanage, the only home he’s ever known, Moses makes a life for himself among the villainous “Merry Men” in Pointe-Noire and the friendly Zairean prostitutes of the Trois-Cents quarter. It is far from a peaceful existence, and pursuit by the authorities ultimately sends Moses over the edge into madness.
"Africa's Samuel Beckett. One of the continent's greatest living writers." - Guardian
Bleaker House: Chasing my novel to the end of the world by Nell Stevens      $38
A young writer achieves total solitude on Bleaker Island in the Falklands (official population: 2) and writes a book (this book) about how total solitude is not a good way to write a book. Sharp.
99 Stories of God by Joy Williams        $28
99 stories, most less than a page long, each written with such sharpness and lightness of touch that they draw blood unexpectedly and without pain.
"Radically compressed. New territory for Williams, with a brevity and a strict whimsy you might encounter in Lydia Davis's work. Easy to follow and hard to fathom; easy to enjoy and harder to absorb." - New Yorker
"A collection of tiny, wry masterpieces." - New York Times
"There’s something unwholesome and self-destructive about the entire writing process."
Aberrant by Marek Sindelka          $39
A heady concoction of crime story, horror story (inspired by the Japanese tradition of kaidan), ecological revenge fantasy, and Siberian shamanism. The book explores the rickety foundation of illusions on which our relationship to the environment, and to one another, rests, and guides us through a world of aberrations, anomalies, and mistakes.
The Red Thread: Nordic design           $110
200 objects, from the everyday to the consciously positioned, intimating the wellspring in Scandinavian and Finnish culture that gives rise to a material culture that enhances, both practically and aesthetically, the small and large aspects of the tasks and pleasures of living. 
October: The story of the Russian Revolution by China Mieville       $33
The radical realignment of society from an autocratic monarchy to a socialist state that occurred in the upheavals of 1917 has long fascinated Mieville and served as a braising pan for his fiction, which is full of extreme characters, new ideas and byzantine thinking. Here he puts his skills as a novelist to work in a history of what was a revolution in human ideas as it was in events played out in the world. 
The Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers confront the occupation edited by Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman      $33
26 writers (including Colum McCann, Rachel Kushner, Colm Toibin, Dave Eggers, Madeleine Thien and Eimear McBride) from 14 countries bear witness to the human cost of the 50-year Israeli occupation of the West Bank. 
"Moving, heartbreaking, and infuriating, testifying to the chilling cruelty of Israel's policy toward Palestinians. Deeply unsettling and important." - Kirkus 
>> Trailer
Free Speech: Ten principles for a connected world by Timothy Garton Ash          $28
With the internet providing instant audience for any statement, how are we preserve our freedoms and also progress to a more humane and inclusive mode of discourse?
"Garton Ash's larger project is not merely to defend freedom of expression, but to promote civil, dispassionate discourse, within and across cultures, even about the most divisive and emotive subjects." - Guardian 
Graphic: 500 designs that matter        $45
A handbook of successful design across the world and across time. 
The Story Cure: An A-Z of books to keep kids happy, healthy and wise by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin      $45
Books to nourish and restore every part of a young reader's mind, usefully arranged by 'ailment'. 
In Writing: Essays on literature by Adam Phillips      $40
Phillips plausibly posits that the insights gained from literature and from psychoanalysis can together provide better understanding of the predicaments and pleasures of being human than either approach can provide alone. Includes consideration of W.G. Sebald, Barthes, Byron, Emerson and Shakespeare. 
A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert       $35
A novel correlating Jewish, Ukrainian and German experiences in the days following the Nazi invasion of a small town in the Ukraine in 1941, and seeking comprehension of the guilt burden still passed down through generations. 
>> "My grandparents were Nazis." 
Tell Me Everything You Don't Remember: The stroke that changed my life by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee        $50
In the months following her stroke in 2006 at the age of 33, Hyung-Oak Lee outsourced her faculty of memory to the small notebook from which this narrative is constructed. As she recovered, the realignment of her sense of time led her to think deeply about what she thought of as herself.  
>> How did the stroke affect her vision and proprioception?
Modernism in the Streets: A life and times in essays by Marshall Berman       $43
Marshall Berman was one of the great urbanists and Marxist cultural critics of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, and author of All That is Solid Melts into Air, a key work on modernism. This collection includes early essays from and on the radical '60s, on New York City, on literary figures from Kafka to Pamuk, and late essays on rock, hip hop, and gentrification, and forms a sort of intellectual autobiography. 
The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism, war, empire, love, revolution by Tariq Ali          $28
Is terrorism ever a useful tactic? Can imperial wars ever be supported? What sort of political party do we need? What is the moral justification for seizing power? How does one overcome the burden of history? What role does friendship or love play in revolution? How do you establish a legacy that lasts? Tariq Ali provides an insightful picture of the dilemmas Lenin faced a hundred years ago, dilemmas that are also relevant today as we face another urgent need for change. 
Sounds and Sweet Airs: The forgotten women of classical music by Anna Beer           $22
Explores the life and work of eight female composers from the 17th to the 20th centuries and the reasons for their contemporary and subsequent obscurity. 
"A meticulously researched, engrossing read, vividly bringing its eight subjects to life. It should appeal not only to music connoisseurs but to anyone interested in social and cultural history." - Financial Times 
Pieces of You by Eileen Merriman         $20
"A wonderfully compelling story suffused with heartbreak and humour about first love, about sexual awakening and the lives of teens: the decisions they are confronted by, as well as the dangers and difficult situations that young people can find themselves in, and how to cope with these." - Stella
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Edde-Lodge       $30
An attempt to wrest control of discussions about racism back from those who are not personally affected by it, a call to see and act against systemic and institutionalised racism, and an exploration of race's relationship to other issues of identity politics. 
Client Earth by James Thornton and Martin Goodman       $40
The organisation Thornton founded in 2007, ClientEarth, uses advocacy, litigation, and research to address the greatest challenges of our time - including biodiversity loss, climate change, and toxic chemicals. It now has sixty lawyers working full-time - finding, taking on, and winning cases across a broad spectrum. 

Who Will Catch Us As We Fall by Iman Verjee        $20

A novel exploring the nuanced, layered intricacies of racial politics in east Africa beyond black and white, focusing on the tensions between Africans and Indians living in post–British imperialism Kenya. 
The Fate of Gender: Nature, nurture and the human future by Frank Browning       $30
"In this daring examination of the complexities of modern gender, Frank Browning gives the scientific evidence that gender is a construct rather than a biological reality. Our notions of masculinity and femininity are becoming more fluid and not less, as science defers to social reality instead of the other way around. Scholarly, wide-ranging, and deeply imagined, this unsettling book limns the triumph of nuance over a binary that was never based in authenticity." - Andrew Solomon (author of Far From the Tree)
Who Runs the World? by Virginia Bergin         $18
Sixty years after a virus has wiped out the male half of the human species, 14-year-old River meets Mason. She thought all boys were extinct...
From the author of The Rain
Other Russias: Stories and drawing from the age of Putin by Victoria Lamasko                 $50
What is it like to live in Russia? For eight years graphic novelist Lamasko travelled around Russia, collecting the stories, dreams and frustrations of the diversity of people who have not found places of advantage in the post Soviet structures that  dominate post-Soviet society. 
"Victoria Lomasko's gritty, street-level view of the great Russian people masterfully intertwines quiet desperation with open defiance. Her drawings have an on-the-spot immediacy that I envy. She is one of the brave ones." - Joe Sacco, author of Palestine 
The Voices Within: The history and science of how we talk to ourselves by Charles Fernyhough        $28
As soon as we evolved language our minds assailed us with voices that could not be heard by anyone else. What do these voices tell us about the workings of our minds, the structures and function of language, and about our conception of ourselves and our place in our world?
>> Not I
The Age of Inequality: Corporate America's war on the working people by Jeremy Ganz         $33

928 Miles from Home by Kim Slater         $18
When 14-year-old Callum's father brings home his new Polish girlfriend and her son Sergei, Callum starts to re-examine some of the attitudes prevalent with his friends at school. 

Ink: The mark of human identity by Ted Bishop        $35
Without ink, what would have carried human history along its course? 

Wild Animals of the South by Dieter Braun        $45
A wonderfully illustrated compendium of fauna found in the southern hemisphere, and a companion volume to the equally stunning Wild Animals of the North
>> Meet some wild animals of the south

05/25/2017 10:47 PM

A selection of new arrivals we think you'll like.

Sport 45         $30
Includes: 'Moulin d’Ornes', a novella by new writer Nicole Phillipson; poet John Gallas interviewed by Bill Manhire; 'Stridently Sex-Conscious’: Writing and Gender (and Mountaineering) c. 1928', a chapter from John Newton’s forthcoming history of New Zealand literature; fiction by Claire Baylis, William Brandt, David Coventry, Breton Dukes, Eamonn Marra, Melissa Day Reid, Tracey Slaughter and John Summers; essays by Giovanni Tiso and Virginia Were; poetry by Johanna Aitchison, Jake Arthur, Victoria Broome, Jake Brown, James Brown, Stephen Burt, Kate Camp, William Connor, John Gallas, Rata Gordon, Rebecca Hawkes, Helen Heath, Anna Jackson, Clare Jones, Brent Kininmont, Natalie Morrison, Bill Nelson, Rachel O’Neill, Claire Orchard, Bob Orr, Vincent O’Sullivan, Harry Ricketts, Evangeline Riddiford Graham, Frances Samuel, Kerrin P Sharpe, Shen Haobo translated by Liang Yujing, Charlotte Simmonds, Elizabeth Smither, Catherine Vidler and Amy Leigh Wicks; cover art by Sam Duckor-Jones. 
Bluets by Maggie Nelson          $37
"It's been said that a great writer can turn any subject into an engaging book, but most authors still choose inherently dramatic themes, and few approach the static or plotless. But this is precisely what Bluets, Maggie Nelson's arty, smart and gorgeous meditation on the color blue, sets out to do, and it is alarming how much drama she creates from a subject so apparently simple... Wittgenstein, Goethe, Gertrude Stein and Yves Klein are just a few of the writers and artists whose work Nelson uses to uncover the potency of the colour. But their true function in the book is to establish a stage on which the author can dance." - Catherine Lacey, Time Out 
From the author of The Argonauts.
Fullblood Arabian by Osama Alomar       $28Exquisite, by turns disconcerting, funny and revelatory, these very short short stories from a Syrian refugee author read like a cross between Aesop, The Arabian Nights and Lydia Davis.
>> You will also enjoy Alomar's collection The Teeth of the Comb.
"The stories' distinctive flavour comes from Alomar's masterful shifts of character perspective within extremely tight parameters. The book is full of these moments which trip you up, swing bluntly from one psyche to another, rapidly decelerate time and play with scale, all of it exposing the delicate balance of our presumptions and allegiances; the small dictatorships that we foster second by second." - 
Emissaries by Lisa Reihana       $75
Lisa Reihana's vastly ambitious, vastly impressive video installation In Pursuit of Venus [Infected]  is currently representing New Zealand at the Venice Biennale. The work explores the impact of European contact on indigenous cultures in the Pacific. Reihana infects her backdrop of appropriated eighteenth-century wallpaper with subtle, snide and acute observations, building to an affecting and unsettling experience for the viewer. This sumptuous fully illustrated publication is supported by essays by a range of scholars and curators. 
The Iron Age by Arja Kajermo                  $26
Tradition and superstition clash with economic reality in this illustrated short novel telling of family's migration from rural Finland to urban Sweden. 
"This quiet, assiduously written short novel about a girl living in Finland among the looming shadows of war achieves the alchemy every writer would love to conjure up: it’s somehow about every childhood, every twilit life. A radiantly beautiful book." – Joseph O’Connor
"So bleakly funny that it makes Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes seem idyllic." – The Irish Times
Collected Poems by Ian Wedde        $40
On the sharp edge of the plough since the 1960s. 

>>"I don't really know where the instinct for form comes from."
The Milk of Dreams by Leonora Carrington        $37
Nine stories the surrealist painter and author wrote for her own children. Meet a boy who has wings for ears, another who ate the wall of his room, the Monster of Chihuahua and a vulture who gets set in gelatin.
>> Meet Leonora Carrington
Compass by Mathias Enard      $40
Awarded the Prix Goncourt and now a front-runner for the Man Booker International Prize, Enard's remarkable novel, of almost Proustian scope and texture, revolves on the cultural dynamo that is the Middle East. Franz Ritter, an insomniac musicologist, takes to his sickbed with an unspecified illness and spends a restless night drifting between dreams and memories, revisiting the important chapters of his life: his ongoing fascination with the Middle East and his numerous travels to Istanbul, Aleppo, Damascus, and Tehran, as well as the various writers, artists, musicians, academics, Orientalists, and explorers who populate this vast dreamscape. At the centre of these memories is his elusive, unrequited love, Sarah, a fiercely intelligent French scholar caught in the intricate tension between Europe and the Middle East.
"Few works of contemporary fiction will yield as much pleasure as Compass. Reading it amounts to wandering into a library arranged in the form of an exotic sweet shop, full of tempting fragments of stories guaranteed leaving you wanting more." - Irish Times
"Compass is a challenging, brilliant, and important a novel as is likely to be published this year." — Los Angeles Times
"Enard is like the anti-Houellebecq, and he deserves far more attention." - Wall Street Journal 
>> "Mathias Enard's Compass is the antidote to Europe's Islamophobia."
>> He speaks (in French)
Nobody Leaves: Seventeen essays on Poland by Ryszard Kapuscinski       $38
When Ryszard Kapuscinski was a young journalist in the early 1960s, he was sent to the farthest reaches of his native Poland between foreign assignments. The resulting pieces brought together in this new collection, nearly all of which are translated into English for the first time, reveal a place just as strange as the distant lands he visited. From forgotten villages to collective farms, Kapuscinski explores a Poland that is post-Stalinist but still Communist; a country on the edge of modernity.
"A peculiar genius with no modern equivalent, except possibly Kafka." - Jonathan Miller
Five Ideas to Fight For: How our freedom is under threat and why it matters by Anthony Lester         $22
Human Rights, equality, free speech, privacy, the rule of law: these dearly held principles of civilised society are under threat globally - from forces within government and without.
The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt         $30
Arendt's analysis of the conditions that led to the Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes is a warning from history about the fragility of freedom, exploring how propaganda, scapegoats, terror and political isolation all aided the slide towards absolutist domination. A warning for our times (even though first published in 1951). 
The Experience of Architecture by Henry Plummer    $70
All aspects and details of a space affect how the space is experienced, but this relationship has been insufficiently documented and is often insufficiently considered. Stimulating. 
Boys in Zinc by Svetlana Alexievich          $30
A collection by the Nobel laureate of accounts from Russians (soldiers, doctors and nurses, mothers, wives and siblings) involved in the 1979-1989 Soviet-Afghan War. Unflinching an harrowing. The dead were shipped home in sealed zinc coffins. 

There are Little Kingdoms by Kevin Barry        $23

A modern Dubliners -  a collection of short stories from the author of the wonderful Beatlebone
Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey           $25
When a Brazilian novelist disappears her translator must turn to her works to look for clues as to her whereabouts. 
"An elegant page-turner. Charges forward with the momentum of a bullet."  - New York Times Book Review

Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott        $38
Cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I, the town of Rotherweird's independence (not to mention its special character, strange architecture, arcane science and idiosyncratic customs) is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history. For beneath the enchanting surface lurks a secret so dark that it must never be rediscovered, still less reused. Shelve beside Peake, Gorey and Aaronvitch. 
"Intricate and crisp, witty and solemn: a book with special and dangerous properties." - Hilary Mantel
Sri Lanka: The cookbook by Prakash K. Sivanathan and Niranjala M. Ellawala        $45
As well as absorbing influences from India, the Middle East, Far East Asia and myriad European invaders, the small island also has strong Singhalese and Tamil cooking traditions. This cookbook brings these styles together to showcase feather-light hoppers, fiery sambols, subtly spiced curries and unique ‘vada’ (fried snacks).

Science and Islam by Ehsan Masood        $25
Preserving and building on Classical scholarship, it was the Islamic world, from Cordoba to Samarkand, that carried the torch of science before the European Enlightenment.
Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann         $25
"A lot can be taken from you—even your life—but not your stories about that life. So this, then, is a word, not without love and respect, to a young writer: write." Some considered practical and philosophical advice.
"An intensely literary writer, his prose thrums with echoes of Beckett, Yeats and Joyce." - Sunday Times
Naondel ('The Red Abbey Chronicles' #2) by Maria Turtschaninoff        $23
Follows Maresi in this excellent Finnish feminist YA fantasy, reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale and Ursula K. Le Guin.
"Maresi is thrilling, harrowing and exhilarating by turns. It conjures up a startlingly well-fashioned world that's different from ours, yet disturbingly familiar. It grips like a vice and enchants like a distant song. It's tale-telling as strong, complex and admirable as its heroine." - Jonathan Stroud
Briony Hatch by Ginny and Penelope Skinner           $35
Briony Hatch hates reality. She prefers the fantasy world of her favourite novels: 'The Starling Black Adventures', in which ghosts are real and you can cast magic spells to defeat your enemies. In her real life, Briony's parents are getting divorced and her friends are preoccupied by losing weight and meeting boys. Briony has tried all Starling Black's magic spells in her bedroom but they don't seem to be working. Her mother wants her to grow up, get her head out of those books and pack - they're leaving Dad and moving into a bungalow the other side of town. Worst of all, Briony has almost finished the last ever Starling Black novel. Life will soon have no meaning at all. But Briony is about to learn that fantasy and reality aren't always so easy to distinguish, and life doesn't have to be dull just because you're getting older.
"The visual construction of the graphic narrative is remarkably inventive and varied, from Briony’s hand-drawn chapter markers to pages from her diary that render her internal thought processes empathetically. This visual narrative displays a fresh sense of experimentation in conveying the emotional extremes of teen life, from despair to laughter, and avoids the well-worn tropes of the coming-of-age tale" - Publishers Weekly
Argentinian Street Food: Empanadas, helados and dulce de leche by Enrique Zanoni and Gaston Stivelmaher        $28
Achievable delicious food with text and photographs to provide cultural context.
Elsewhere: Stories from small-town Europe edited by Maria Crossan      $27
Featuring Mirja Unge (Sweden), Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), Gyrðir Elíasson (Iceland), Roman Simic (Croatia), Ingo Schulze (Germany), Michael O'Conghaile (Ireland), Mehmet Zaman Saçlioglu (Turkey), Frode Grytten (Norway), Jean Sprackland (Scotland) and Danielle Picard (France). Is there some common experience to living in a small town in Europe, or is there not?
Adults in the Room: My battle with Europe's deep establishment by Yanis Varoufakis         $40
Who really wields the power behind Europe? Varoufakis attempted to lead Greece through a radical economic reform, which would have addressed its financial crisis, but the experiment was derailed by deeper financial interests across Europe.
Scientific Babel: The language of science from the fall of Latin to the rise of English by Michael D. Gordin         $28
German, Russian, Swedish and Italian all vied to be the global scientific language, often with unfortunate consequences, before English assumed the mantle of scientific monoglot. What were the political, personal, financial (and even scientific) factors at play in this transitional period?
The Reality Frame: Relativity and our place in the universe by Brian Clegg        $45
Humanity has traditionally sought out absolutes to explain the world around us, but as science has developed, relativity has swept away many of these certainties, leaving only a handful of unchangeable essentials such as absolute zero, leading to better science and a new understanding of the texture of what we call knowledge and the texture of what it is to be human.
The Last Resistance by Jacqueline Rose        $22
What place is there for literature in the political dimension of our lives? Rose considers Zionism, Israel-Palestine, post-Apartheid South Africa and the American national fantasy post-9/11, and the works of Freud, Grossman, Sebald and Gordimer.

The Courage of Hopelessness: Chronicles of a year acting dangerously by Slavoj Žižek       $30
Do we endorse the predominant acceptance of capitalism as a fact of human nature, or does today's capitalism contain strong enough antagonisms to prevent its infinite reproduction? Can we move beyond the perceived failure of socialism, and beyond the current wave of populist rage, and initiate radical change before the train hits?

Astride a Fierce Wind by Huberta Hellendoorn      $38
Huberta Hellendoorn was born in the Netherlands in 1937 and emigrated to Dunedin in 1960 with her husband. This is the story of her life, hardships and triumphs, and the effect of migration on her 'Dutchness'.

'Alma Quirky Classics'           $17 each
On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts by Thomas de Quincey (an indescribable mixture of analysis, reportage and satire from one of English's finest stylists. 
The Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift (The 'Ancients' versus the 'Moderns' in this pastiche of the heroic epic genre.     
The Death of a Civil Servant by Anton Chekhov (Short stories satirising greed, sycophancy and ignorance).
The Decay of Lying by Oscar Wilde (What is the relationship between art and life?)
The Crocodile by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (A man experiences every impediment to escape after being swallowed alive by a crocodile).
The Dictionary of Received Ideas by Gustav Flaubert (A spoof encyclopedia of 19th century popular 'wisdom').
Bad Hair Day        $15
Once you start looking at the subjects' hair in artworks, you'll find amusement everywhere. This wee handbook from the collections of the Christchurch Art Gallery will get you started.

Cat Bingo by Marcel George          $42

05/13/2017 11:56 AM

Scroll through a selection of the interesting
NEW RELEASES that have arrived at VOLUME this week, or drop into the shop and pick up a copy in printed form. Books can be purchased from our website or from our shelves, and sent anywhere. 

05/12/2017 03:21 AM

A few books just out of the carton that we think you'll like.
Click through to find out more, and to reserve or purchase copies from our website, 

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami          $45
"I find writing novels a challenge, writing stories a joy. If writing novels is like planting a forest, then writing short stories is more like planting a garden." 
Seven stories of men choosing loneliness as a way of avoiding pain, even if it brings them close to self-erasure. Contains all your favourite Murakami signatures (cats, pasta, baseball, music, mysterious women). 
>> The playlist for this book
The 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet         $35
Another remarkable novel from the author of HHhH. What if the death of Roland Barthes in 1980 was not an accident but an assassination? What if the cultural theorist's death of the was part of an international intrigue, involving the use of language as an irresistible convincer (its ultimate 'seventh function'). Police Captain Jacques Bayard and his reluctant accomplice Simon Herzog set off on a global chase that takes them from the corridors of power and academia to seedy back streets. Both brainy and fun.
"This is a novel that establishes Laurent Binet as the clear heir to the late Umberto Eco, writing novels that are both brilliant and playful, dense with ideas while never losing sight of their need to entertain. The 7th Function of Language is one of the funniest, most riotously inventive and enjoyable novels you’ll read this year." - Guardian
The Teeth of the Comb, And other stories by Osama Alomar      $30
The short fable-like tales from this Syrian writer often have sly morals or sharp comments about politics or society. Personified objects find they have a lot to tell us. 
"Elegant masterpieces of compression, fables worth of Kafka: swamps and streams, lightning and dogs all play a part in these beguiling, suggestive fables. These stories are of perfect length, but one wishes the book went on for much longer." - Kirkus
The Forensic Records Society by Magnus Mills        $33
Two enthusiasts form a society for the minute appreciation of recorded music. The society becomes unexpectedly popular, and a schism develops in the ranks"A spectacularly disingenuous exploration of power, fanaticism and really, really good records." An Animal Farm with turntables, perhaps. 
Headspace: The psychology of city living by Paul Keedwell     $37
Our built environments are expressions of the way we think, and, in turn, they shape the way we think. This interesting book help us to consider the psychological effects of city living, and the forces at play in our constructed habitats. 
An Overcoat: Scenes from the afterlife of H.B. by Jack Robinson         $33
In June 1819 Henri Beyle (aka Stendhal) is rejected by the woman he loves. Beyle finds himself stranded in an afterlife populated by tourists, shoplifters and characters in novels he hasn't yet written. Footnoting a host of other writers, An Overcoat is an obsessional play upon the life and work of one of the founders of the modern novel.
"An Overcoat takes intellection as seriously as, say, being able to make a three-point turn in traffic; perhaps less so. This is the book’s charm, and possibly its point. It’s a mind at play, and Boyle’s silly pseudonym is a deliberate act of self-sabotage – as well as a nod to Stendhal’s fondness for different identities. I can’t think of a wittier, more engaging, stylistically audacious, attentive and generous writer working in the English language right now." - Nicholas Lezard , Guardian
Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish: Essays by Tom McCarthy        $37
The author of Remainder and the Booker-shortlisted Satin Island presents a selection of his essays, many of which appeared in The Believer, London Review of Books  and elsewhere, on, among other things, Laurence Sterne, Franz Kafka, James Joyce, Kathy Acker, London weather, Gerhard Richter, David Lynch, and Sonic Youth.

"Reading Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish is like receiving a map of all the space that art, literature and culture have carved out for each other. This is the kind of book that deepens your appreciation of the subjects you've previously encountered, and send you to seek out the ones you haven't." - Publishers Weekly
Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez        $33
Short stories from the world of Argentine Gothic: sharp-toothed children; women racked by desire; demons lurking beneath the river; stolen skulls and secrets half-buried under Argentina's terrible dictatorship.
"Hits with the force of a freight train." - Dave Eggers
Hostage by Guy Delisle         $48
As astounding graphic novel recounting the fate of Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe Andre, who was kidnapped by armed men in Chechnya and taken away to an unknown destination in the Caucasus in 1997.  
"Another reason why Delisle must be counted as one of the greatest cartoonists of our age." - Guardian
The One Cent Magenta: Inside the quest to own the world's most valuable stamp by James Barron        $29
When it was issued in 1856, it cost a penny. In 2014, this tiny square of faded red paper known as the one-cent magenta sold at Sotheby’s for nearly $US9.5 million, the highest amount ever paid for a postage stamp at auction. One-cent magentas were provisional stamps, printed in British Guiana when a shipment of official stamps from London failed to arrive. They were intended for periodicals, and most were thrown out. But one stamp survived. It has had only nine owners since a 12-year-old Scottish boy discovered it in 1873 (and sold it for what would be $17 today). 
The Weird and the Eerie by Mark Fisher       $23
Some of the most haunting and anomalous fiction of the 20th century belongs to these two modes. The Weird and the Eerie are closely related but distinct modes, each possessing its own distinct properties. Both have often been associated with Horror, yet this emphasis overlooks the aching fascination that such texts can exercise. The Weird and the Eerie both fundamentally concern the outside and the unknown, which are not intrinsically horrifying, even if they are always unsettling. Perhaps a proper understanding of the human condition requires examination of liminal concepts such as the weird and the eerie. Includes consideration of the work of H. P. Lovecraft, H. G. Wells, M.R. James, Christopher Priest, Joan Lindsay, Nigel Kneale, Daphne Du Maurier, Alan Garner, Margaret Atwood, Stanley Kubrick, Jonathan Glazer and Christoper Nolan.
Beyond Infinity: An expedition to the outer limits of the mathematical universe by Eugenia Cheng       $37
Numbers are infinitely extensive but also infinitely divisible. Can one sort of infinity be said to be larger than another? 

Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves by Rachel Malek       $40
When Rene Hargreaves is billeted to Starlight Farm as a Land Girl, far from the city where she grew up, she finds farmer Elsie Boston and her country ways strange at first. Yet over the months Rene and Elsie come to understand and depend on each other and soon can no longer imagine a life apart. But a visitor from Rene's past threatens the life they have built together, a life that has always kept others at a careful distance.

Everything I Found on the Beach by Cynan Jones       $25
Hold, a Welsh fisherman, Grzegorz, a Polish migrant worker, and Stringer, an Irish gangster, all want the chance to make their lives better. One kilo of cocaine and the sea tie them together in a fatal series of decisions and reactions.
War Primer by Bertolt Brecht          $28
During World War 2, Brecht took photographs from newspapers and magazines and captioned them with an epigraph in verse in a singular attempt to deconstruct propaganda and show the miseries of war for the ordinary person. 
>> Mother Courage

My European Family: The first 54,000 years by Karin Bojs          $30

The story of Europe and its people through its genetic legacy, from the first wave of immigration to the present day, weaving in the latest archaeological findings, genetic sequencing and new evidence of prehistoric migrations. 
Redemption and Utopia: Jewish libertarian thought in Central Europe by Michael Lowy        $22
Examines the confluence of religious and secular antiauthoritarian thought that did much to set the groundwork such remarkable twentieth century thinkers as Martin Buber, Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin and Georg Lukacs.
Freeman's, The best new writing: Home edited by John Freeman      $38
Viet Thanh Nguyen offers a haunting piece of fiction about those fleeing Vietnam after the war. Rabih Alameddine leaves his mother's Beirut apartment to connect with Syrian refugees who are rebuilding a semblance of normalcy, even beauty. Nir Baram takes us on a journey to the West Bank. Gerald Murnane celebrates winning a literary prize named after his home town. Danez Smith explores everyday alienation in a poem about an encounter at a bus stop. Kerri Arsenault returns to the ailing mill town where she grew up. Xiaolu Guo reflects on her childhood in a remote Chinese fishing village.
The Non-Jewish Jew, And other essays by Isaac Deutscher         $22
Essays on Spinoza, Heine, Marx, Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg and Chagall, and on the Jews under Stalin and of the 'remnants of a race' after Hitler, as well as on the causes and results of Zionism.
"Exceedingly vivid." - TLS
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt          $21
12-year-old Jack's family is caring for off-the-rails 14-year-old Joseph. The two boys set off in the middle winter to find the baby Joseph has fathered. 
"Beautiful, tragic and heartbreaking." - Guardian, 'The Best New Children's Books'
"Schmidt uses beautifully sparse language to tell a big story. This is a punchy and emotional book which will draw you in then spit you out crying at the end." - Scotsman
In a Different Key: The story of autism by John Donvan and Carin Zucker      $38
From the first diagnosis 75 years ago to the latest scientific discoveries and difference activism, the history of autism is inseparable from the history of the non-autistic. This book does much to include the experiences of the autistic, parents and doctors, and will help towards a new understanding and acceptance. 
Between Them: Remembering my parents by Richard Ford       $23
Very Fordian in its perceptions and texture, Ford's memoir of his parents, whose lives were considerably altered by his arrival, is a considered portrait of mid-twentieth century American life. 
"Ford is possessed of a writer's greatest gifts: pure vocal grace, quiet humour, precise and calm observation. Ford's language is of the cracked, open spaces and their corresponding places within." - Lorrie Moore
>> A good memory is not always a good thing

Mulgan by Noel Shepherd      $25
A novel exploring the last months of Mulgan's life, leading up to his suicide in Cairo in 1945. Although Man Alone had been published in 1939, almost the entire print run was destroyed in the London blitz and Mulgan never knew the place the book would hold in the New Zealand literary landscape.
Zeustian Logic by Sabrina Malcolm       $25
A mountain-climbing accident, a petrol-head neighbour, a troubled little brother - what boy wouldn't prefer the company of Greek gods, astronomers and his best friend, Attila the Pun? 

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier         $37
The latest in the excellent Hogarth Shakespeare series, rejigging the plays into modern-day novels.
"Chevalier's modern interpretation of Othello deftly explores race relations in the schoolyard in 1970s suburban Washington, and captures how it feels to be an outsider." - Anita Sethi, '2017 Books of the Year'
The Sky Over Lima by Juan Gomez Barcena       $20
A novel on an actual literary hoax concocted in 1904: a romantic correspondence between rising young Spanish poet Juan Ramon Jiménez (eventual recipient of the 1956 Nobel Prize) and two Peruvian men pretending to be a young female fan.
"Here's a tale with the subtlest of stings in it, dark wit and telescopic perspective aplenty. And then there's the intoxicating folly of the games that the protagonists play with fantasy and fact, malice, tenderness, ambition, envy and other forces that strike at our most vulnerable selves. I'll be thinking of these characters, what they longed to create and what they managed to despoil, for a long time." - Helen Oyeyemi
Fractured Lands: How the Arab world came apart by Scott Anderson       $25
How has the Middle East been transformed since the 2003 invasion of Iraq?
>> Sampler

Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan by Ruth Gilligan       $23
At the start of the twentieth century, a young girl and her family emigrate from Lithuania in search of a better life in America, only to end up in Ireland by mistake. In 1958, a mute boy locked away in a mental institution outside of Dublin forms an unlikely friendship with a man consumed by the story of the love he lost nearly two decades earlier. And in present-day London, an Irish journalist is forced to confront her conflicting notions of identity and family when her Jewish boyfriend asks her to make a true leap of faith. Three strands weave diverse stories of Jewish immigration to (and from) Ireland.

A Separation by Katie Kitamura          $33
A woman searching for her estranged husband in a Greek fishing village is revealed to be the ultimate unreliable narrator - how much of what she tells us is true? 
>> Writing ugly
To Be a Machine: Adventures among cyborgs, Utopians, hackers and the futurists solving the modest problem of death by Mack O'Connell       $33
Technological transhumanism is causing us to rethink what it means to be human and is enabling us to rethink old problems in new ways. 
"A beautifully written powerhouse of a novel that defies all expectations." - Independent 
Hubert by Ben Gijsemans           $55
A gentle graphic novel about a lonely man whose life revolves around visiting art galleries, painting copies of artworks in his room and thinking about the woman in the apartment blcok opposite, but who can make no real contact with others. 
"This beautiful, moving book isn't only about what it is like to be too much alone; to turn its almost wordless pages is briefly to replicate the experience. The deafening silence of its frames are at moments as crushing as lead. This book's emotional and visual economy is extraordinary, Gijsemans showing such (precocious) daring when he devotes six, nine, even 12 frames to the smallest ceremonies. His drawings, washed out but somehow lush, too, are so tender and telling." - Rachel Cooke, Guardian 
Heloise by Mandy Hager         $38
One of history's most tragic and inspiring love stories, that of the academically brilliant Heloise and her equally brilliant and unconventional tutor Peter Abelard, is treated from Heloise's perspective in this novel for adults by this New Zealand author.
Hypatia: Mathematician, philosopher, myth by Charlotte Booth        $50
Starting with contemporary sources, the legends surrounding this remarkable woman, who flourished at the turn of the fifth century in Alexandria, have threatened to obscure the facts. Booth compares the stories with the evidence. 
>> Hypatia's death (2009).

Familiar Things by Hwang Sok-yong       $35

On the outskirts of South Korea's glittering metropolis is a place few people know about, a vast landfill site called Flower Island. Populated by those driven from the city by poverty, is it here that 14-year-old Bugeye and his mother arrive, following his father's internment in a 're-education camp'. 

Granta 139: The Best of Young American Novelists        $28
The third decade issue of Granta's selection of the most exciting younger voices in American fiction. 
>> Who is on the list?
The Man Who Ate Lincoln Road by Steve Braunias        $25
Steve Braunias entered Auckland's Lincoln Road a moderately healthy middle-aged man, and emerged from the other end infused with sugar and saturated in fat, having eaten at every food joint along the strip. Never shying from a public service, what can we learn from the rigours of his experience? A journey through the belly of New Zealand culture. 
>> The difficult birth of the man who ate Lincoln Road. 

05/05/2017 05:55 AM

A few of the interesting books that arrived at VOLUME this week.

House of Names by Colm Tóibín      $35
Tóibín retells, reinvigorates and reinterprets the legendary cluster of  Clytemnestra, Orestes and Electra with his hallmark sensitivity and depth of perception. 
"A story of revenge, violence, pain and love. So much drama, so many voices screaming for revenge and power cast across a panorama of violence and death. Beautifully written." - Stella
The Hideout by Ego Hostovsky        $28
When a Czech engineer arrives in Paris in 1939, he cannot know that three years later he will be in hiding, confined to the damp, dark cellar of a French doctor. Alone with his memories, he writes to his "dearest Hanichka", confessing everything: the hope of a love affair for which he travelled to Paris, the discovery of the German warrant for his arrest, and the murder he was forced to commit. As he contends with his failing eyesight and the loss of his teeth, so too must he grapple with the guilt of leaving his family and the dwindling hope of ever returning home. A claustrophobic classic of Czech literature.
Torpor by Chris Kraus         $23
More wonderful ironic positioning incompletely concealing devastating observation, from the author of I Love Dick
"Crappy feelings about messed-up relationships cut back and forth with painful proddings of historical events, all rendered in a kind of open prose that allows a dirt road to lead to Desert Storm and wind up in an analysis of thirtysomething without wandering astray. The effect is so startling that it resuscitates words long fallen out of fashion: Torpor is honest and true. Though history is the master trope of Torpor, inner turmoil always bubbles up, most often in the form of Sylvie chastising herself. Though they often come off as clichés, Sylvie’s lamentations resist the streamlining of life around her; her insistent self-doubt, -scrutiny, and -torture are antidotes to the culture of empty-headed sure-footedness in which she moves." - The Believer
Tax and Fairness by Deborah Russell and Terry Baucher        $15
The world has changed a lot in the last thirty years, but New Zealand's tax system hasn't. Since the 1980s New Zealand's taxation policy has remained the same, despite substantial economic and social changes. The system may be familiar, but is it fair? Answers to this question cut to the heart of whether or not New Zealand can be considered an egalitarian country. 
Notes on Blindness: A journey through the dark by John M. Hull       $25
Just before the birth of his first child, Hull began losing his sight. He documented the passage of his world through vagueness and into darkness in a series of cassette tapes, leading up to the point where he had passed beyond loss and into a new way of thinking about his world, a point where he had become psychologically as well as optically blind. 
>> Hull's audio records were also made into a very interesting film
Release by Patrick Ness     $28
Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. Ness's most personal novel yet is inspired by his love for Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.
Notes of a Crocodile by Qiu Miaojin        $35
Told through the eyes of an anonymous narrator nicknamed Lazi, Qiu Miaojin's cult classic novel, ostensibly the coming-of-age story of a group of queer misfits discovering love, friendship, and artistic affinity while hardly studying at Taiwan's most prestigious university, is a postmodern pastiche of diaries, vignettes, mash notes, aphorisms, exegesis, and satire by an incisive prose stylist and countercultural icon.
The Aleppo Cookbook: Celebrating the legendary cuisine of Syria by Marlene Matar       $55
Aleppo is one of the world's oldest inhabited cities, and has a deep and varied cuisine. This book is the perfect introduction. 
Hell's Traces: One murder, two families, thirty-five holocaust memorials by Victor Ripp        $40
Two axes define the space of the Jewish Museum in Berlin: the 'axis of exile' and the 'axis of the Holocaust'. Ripp's mother's family chose the axis of exile, whereas his father's was consumed by the axis of the Holocaust. Ripp uses the stories of both sides of his family, and a journey he made to visit memorials through Europe, to give deft and subtle insight into the fatal spasm of anti-Semitism that emerged in the middle of the twentieth century. 
Putin Country: A journey into the real Russia by Anne Garrels         $30
"Quiet but excellent. Garrels' clear, patient, sympathetic portraits of teachers, children, prostitutes, doctors the whole raft of Russian humanity provide a pointillist landscape and an understanding of the country, and its mentalities, that eludes many more overtly political books." - The New Yorker
"A quiet masterwork. Garrels seems to have talked to everyone. She marshals her reporting, character after character, to build the evidence." - Bookforum
Masterworks by Karl Blossfeldt          $95
The botanical photographs of Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932) are outstanding in their capture of of the forms of plants. First published as Art Forms in Nature (1928-32), these images have inspired generations of artists and botanists. 
The Lady with the Borzoi: Blanche Knopf, literary tastemaker extraordinaire by Laura Claridge      $33
With her finger on the pulse of a rapidly changing culture, Blanche Knopf quickly became a driving force behind the firm. A conduit to the literature of Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance, Blanche also legitimized the hard- boiled detective fiction of writers such as Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Raymond Chandler; signed and nurtured literary authors like Willa Cather, Elizabeth Bowen, and Muriel Spark; acquired momentous works of journalism by John Hersey and William Shirer; and introduced American readers to Albert Camus, Andre Gide, and Simone de Beauvoir. Alfred A. Knopf remains one of the United States of America's most esteemed publishing houses. 
The Man Who Walked Through Walls by Marcel Aymé        $23
A mild-mannered clerk gets driven to a life of crime on account of his facility for intramural travel, a woman finds she can duplicate herself at will, a writer is permitted only 15 days of life per month under wartime rationing. An excellent translation of stories from the French Gogol. 
Journals, Part 2: 1945-1957 by Charles Brasch, edited by Peter Simpson        $60
Brasch returned to New Zealand after World War 2 with the intention of establishing a literary journal to be printed by the Caxton Press. This volume covers his first decade of editorship of Landfall, and provides rich commentary on many of the writers, artists and intellectuals he was in contact with, including Frank Sargeson, A.R.D. Fairburn, Keith Sinclair, Eric McCormick, James Bertram, J.C. Beaglehole, Maria Dronke, Fred and Evelyn Page, Alistair Campbell, Bill Oliver, Toss and Edith Woollaston, Denis Glover, Allen Curnow, Leo Bensemann, Lawrence Baigent, Ngaio Marsh, Colin McCahon, James K. Baxter, Janet Frame and Ruth Dallas. Much also is also revealed of his personal life, including his relationships with Rose Archdall, Rodney Kennedy and Harry Scott. 
>> Also available: Volume 1, and Brasch's Selected Poems
Landfall 233 edited by David Eggleton       $30
Brasch's legacy lives on. Aimee-Jane Anderson-OConnor, Nick Ascroft, Claire Baylis, Miro Bilbrough, Victoria Broome, Iain Britton, Owen Bullock, Christine Burrows, Brent Cantwell, Marisa Cappetta, Joanna Cho, Stephanie Christie, Makyla Curtis, Doc Drumheller, Mark Edgecombe, Lynley Edmeades, Johanna Emeney, Riemke Ensing, Ciaran Fox, Michael Gould, Sarah Grout, Shen Haobo, Paula Harris, Rene Harrison, Stephen Higginson, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Amanda Hunt, Anna Jackson, Ted Jenner, Anne Kennedy, Erik Kennedy, Jessica Le Bas, Wes Lee, Michele Leggott, Carolyn McCurdie, Robert McLean, Fardowsa Mohamed, Kavita Ivy Nandan, Emma Neale, Piet Nieuwland, Claire Orchard, Bob Orr, Jenny Powell, Chris Price, Helen Rickerby, Ron Riddell, L E Scott, Iain Sharp, Charlotte Simmonds, Peter Simpson, Tracey Slaughter, Laura Solomon, Barry Southam, Matafanua Tamatoa, Philip Temple, Dunstan Ward, Elizabeth Welsh, Sue Wootton, Mark Young, Karen Zelas. Includes the winner of the inaugural Charles Brasch Young Writers Essay Competition. 
A Tale of Love by Linda Lê          $35
Ylane and Ivan meet in the library of a psychiatric hospital and fall in love. In the shelter of the clinic they find happiness, but release into the outside world is frightening and love becomes a struggle. This is a novel as much about the power of reading and writing to transform as it is about the transformation of love. Translated by New Zealander Sian Robyns. 
Map of Days by Robert Hunter         $30
Richard can’t stop thinking about the clock. He lies in bed each night listening to its tick-tocking, to the pendulum’s heavy swing. Why does his granddad open its old doors in secret and walk into the darkness beyond? One night, too inquisitive to sleep, Richard tiptoes from his bed, opens the doors, and steps inside... 
"A bewitching graphic novel with alien landscapes and rich hues that speak of dreams and mystery." - Guardian 

Close to the Knives: A memoir of disintegration by David Wojnarowicz          $28
A new edition of this electric account of living as an artist and activist and dying of AIDS, with am introduction by Olivia Laing. 
"David Wojnarowicz has caught the age-old voice of the road, the voice of the traveller, the outcast, the thief, the whore." Pick up this book and listen." - William S. Burroughs 
"My book of a lifetime, my book for these dark times, an antidote to stupidity, cruelty and oppression of all kinds." - Olivia Laing
The Secret Diary of Charlotte Gatland by Patricia Charlotte Dennis        $39
In 1847, Gatland left London high society and travelled first to California during the gold rush, and then to New Zealand, about which she makes some very fresh observations. 
Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal'd by Mary Losure        $28
An intelligent illustrated biography for young readers, giving insight into Newton's boyhood and the set of conceptions about nature from which he undertook his experiments and formed his theories.
Five Strings by Apirana Taylor        $35
Puti and Mack live out their hopeless lives in a haze of smoke and alcohol addiction, accompanied by a host of others eking out a barren existence on the fringes of society. Who will be redeemed and who will fail to get out alive?
The Moth: All these wonders, True stories about facing the unknown edited by Catherine Burns    $33
The concept is simple: get people in front of an audience to tell a true story from their own experience. The Moth as a performance evening soon became a popular phenomenon. This is the second book flung from the storytelling centrifuge, the first being, simply, The Moth
"Enthralling, funny and moving." - The Times
>> There is a wide selection of Moth stories to watch on their video channel.
Let Go My Hand by Edward Docx           $35
A dying man sets off on a final road trip across Europe with his middle-aged sons. Will they survive the unspoken presence of corrosive family secrets?
"Unforgettable. Not since What a Carve Up! has there been such an absorbing indictment of the family." - Independent
"Docx has a gift for assessing 'the exact shape and weight of other people's inner selves, the architecture of their spirit' and even his most ancillary characters flare into being, vital and insistent." - The New Yorker

Hoopla Poetry Series #4         $25 each
Emerging and established New Zealand voices. 
Family History by Johanna Emeny
Dylan Junkie by Jeffrey Paparoa Holman
Wolf by Elizabeth Morton

Walt Whitman's Guide to Manly Health and Training by Walt Whitman       $25
Shortly before the third edition of Leaves of Grass was published, Whitman pseudononymously published a series of newspaper columns on everything from diet to exercise to grooming to alcohol to dancing to sports. Rediscovered and attributed after 150 years, this work is, today, endlessly amusing. 

04/29/2017 02:20 PM

Come and pick up a copy of our latest NEW RELEASES bulletin, or click through to our website to scroll though it on-line. Find out about the latest titles at VOLUME, books either anticipated or surprising - just out of the carton. Books can be reserved or purchased via our website (and sent anywhere). 

04/28/2017 10:13 AM

Books either anticipated or surprising - just out of the carton.

Upright Beasts by Lincoln Michel          $34
Humans are the upright beasts in these stories, doing battle with our darker, weirder impulses as the world collapses around us. 
"Lincoln Michel is one of contemporary literary culture's greatest natural resources." - Vice
"Mighty surrealist wonders, mordantly funny and fiercely intelligent." - Lauren van den Berg
Calamities by Renee Gladman          $30
"I began the day.." begins each of these short, beautifully textured linked essays exploring Gladman's obsession with conceptual borderlines and the crossing of these. Using exquisite sentences, Gladman takes the most quotidian of tasks or events and uses them as stepping stools to get her head above the clouds. 
I am looking forward to reading this. -Thomas. 
>> A sample
>> Gladman reads something aloud.
Record of a Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami         $23
A woman travels through an unending night with a porcelain girlfriend, a sister mourns her invisible brother, snakes inveigle themselves into people's personal lives. Three haunting, lyrical stories from the author of Strange Weather in Tokyo and The Nakano Gift Shop
One Hundred Twenty-One Days by Michèle Audin     $30
A literary mixtape of different styles and effects, Audin's novel focuses on the relationship of two mathematicians through two world wars. The constraints she applies to her text help us to think deeply about the nature of literature and the nature of war. Audin is a French mathematician and a member of OULIPO
"Polymorphous and fluid, the book considers how our lives find their shape, and which details are amenable to history's telling." - Scott Esposito, Times Literary Supplement 
"This is an unconventional novel that has many layers and makes you think about love, history, war, racism, rebellion, caring, and many other things but most of all about telling a story. Highly recommended." - European Mathematical Society 
The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes        $35
A reimagining of the Ancient Greek Oedipus and Antigone stories, told from the viewpoints of female characters usually overlooked in other tellings. The book also entails a rethinking of mythic and psychoanalytic tropes. Haynes combines her depth of knowledge as a classicist with her timing as a stand-up comic to good effect in this novel. 
Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout      $35
"It's hard to believe that a year after the astonishing My Name Is Lucy Barton Elizabeth Strout could bring us another book that is by every measure its equal, but what Strout proves to us again and again is that where she's concerned, anything is possible. This book, this writer, are magnificent." - Ann Patchett
"The epic scope within seemingly modest confines recalls Strout's Pulitzer Prize winner, Olive Kitteridge, and her ability to discern vulnerabilities buried beneath bad behavior is as acute as ever. Another powerful examination of painfully human ambiguities and ambivalences-this gifted writer just keeps getting better." - Kirkus 
 Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals  by Patricia Lockwood       $26
"With its extended figures, its theme-and-variations structures, its spirals and twists away from (and sometimes back toward) ordinary speech, Lockwood's new book rewards rereading. She has written a book at once angrier, and more fun, more attuned to our time and more bizarre, than most poetry can ever get, a book easy to recommend for people who do read new poetry often - as well as for almost all the people who do." - Stephen Burt, New York Times
Raptor: A journey through birds by James Macdonald Lockhart       $30
Lockhart examines all fifteen species of birds of prey who breed in Britain - each in a different location. 
"Lockhart's prose is so intimate, urgent, and visceral as to make his darkly resonant ruminations almost unfailingly gripping." - Independent
>> The author reads am extract, a little nervously
I Must Be Living Twice: New and selected poems by Eileen Myles        $37
"A new generation of public feminists, including Beth Ditto, Lena Dunham and Tavi Gevinson, cite her as an inspiration, finding in her writing a ribald and ponderous succession to the New York School." - New York Times 
"She and her work are unsettled in the best sense: restless, disturbing, changeable. She is exemplary for more and more young writers precisely because she has gone her own way." - Ben Lerner 
"One of the richest and most conflicted human hearts you're likely to find." -New York Review of Books
>> She reads.
The Peregrine by J.A. Baker (50th anniversary edition, with an introduction by Robert Macfarlane)         $30
"Passionately fierce but also wonderfully tender." - Andrew Motion 
"An inspiring example to future writers, and a gift to lovers of nature." - The Times Literary Supplement 
"A literary masterpiece, one of the 20th century's outstanding examples of nature writing." - Independent
The Suicide Club by Sarah Quigley         $38
Three brilliant misfits, thrown together by chance and a will to self-destruction, travel together to Bavaria, where, in an experimental institution, their relationships and their fragile selves come under increased pressure. Another intense examination of humanity by the New Zealand author of The Conductor
Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic        $37
Fact and fiction, observation and representation start to blur when a young woman moves from England to New York and becomes fixated on a Japanese writer whose life has strange parallels to her own. 
"The best fictional account I have read of the way the internet has shaped our inner lives." - Observer
"A mind-bending novel that skilfully depicts the bizarre interplay of technology and intimacy with a story that is compassionate, funny, and incredibly alarming." - Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond

The Pleasures of Leisure by Robert Dessaix        $37
Dessaix is always lively and charming, so we might actually find his advice amenable as we try to relax and get on with the things we like to do.

Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan         $28
A successful writer befriends a woman who, little by little, begins to assume her appearance, identity and function. Insidious. 
"If Simone de Beauvoir had written Single White Female with nods to Marguerite Duras, the result might be something like this latest Gallic grip-lit sensation." - Guardian

"All writing is constructed on shifting sands, but I’ve never read a book that makes the complex relationship between reality and fiction both as visible, and at the same time so opaque, as here. I was captivated. Combining the allure of Gone Girl with the sophistication of literary fiction, Based on a True Story is a creepy but unapologetically clever psychological thriller that also aces the Bechdel test (at least two women in a work of fiction, talking to each other about something other than a man)." - Independent
The Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerey       $37
Following the Baileys Prize-winning The Glorious HeresiesMcInerey traces her young protagonist's entry into the criminal underworld of Cork City, in 'the arse-end of Ireland'.
"This is as much a love letter to a cruel but curiously buzzing place as a lament. The great strength of this book is its amorality. If you can survive in this world, and learn to live without always watching over your shoulder for danger, it’s not a bad place to be." - Guardian
London: The cookbook by Cara Frost-Sharratt
From haute cuisine to greasy spoons - what makes the London food scene so vibrant? This book is an eatery crawl, with signature recipes.
Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell         $23
Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage's duel and the start of four trials that will make him a spellcaster. There's just one problem: his magic is gone. As his sixteenth birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning in a bid to avoid total disgrace. But when a daring stranger arrives in town, she challenges Kellen to take a different path.
The Wealth of Humans: Work and its absence in the twenty-first century by Ryan Avent          $30
The structure and meaning of work is changing rapidly, not only through the pressures of automation and dwindling resources, but for reasons that make modern political, practical and ethical contradictions difficult to resolve. Avent offers us an analysis and some idea of a path.
"Ryan Avent is a superb writer. Highly readable and lively." - Thomas Piketty
The Art of Flight by Sergio Pitol        $33
"Writing meant the possibility of embarking towards an elusive goal and fusing the outside world and that subterranean one that inhabits us." A multigenre literary memoir combining fiction and memory to profound effect. The first work by this Mexican luminary to be translated into English.
"Reading him, one has the impression of being before the greatest Spanish-language writer of our time." - Enrique Vila-Matas
Admissions: A life in brain surgery by Henry Marsh         $38
Why does a person to spend a lifetime handling other people's brains? No other part of the body is more integral to what makes us human and what makes life worthwhile. A thoughtful memoir from the author of Do No Harm
>> "Agonisingly human."
Built on Bones: 15000 years of urban life and death by Brenna Hassett       $33
When humans started living together in settled groups, they started living on top of where humans had lived before, on top of their figurative ad literal dead. How has this impacted upon our culture and our health? The author, a forensic archaeologist, is perfectly placed to guide us through the less pleasant consequences of urban living.
Gone: A girl, a violin, a life unstrung by Min Kym       $40
At 7 years old Min Kym was a prodigy, the youngest ever pupil at the Purcell School of Music. At 11 she won her first international prize. She worked with many violins, waiting for the day she would play 'the one'. At 21 she found it: a rare 1696 Stradivarius, perfectly suited to her build and temperament. Her career soared. She recorded the Brahms concerto and a world tour was planned. Then, in a train station cafe, her violin was stolen at a train station. In an instant her world collapsed.
>> They play
>> What happened when the violin was recovered? 
Refuge: Transforming the broken refugee system by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier       $55
How can the world provide acceptable solutions to the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. 

"Betts and Collier offer innovative insights into how to more effectively meet this challenge, with an important new focus on international solidarity and refugee empowerment." - Kofi Annan

Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli's lifelong quest for freedom by Erica Benner        $55
Argues that Machiavelli was not so Machiavellian after all. 
Saffron Soul: Healthy vegetarian heritage recipes from India by Mira Manek     $45
Approachable yet inspiring, and full of excellent food. 
>> Summer Salad could be made in an Indian summer

The Empire of Things: How we became consumers of things, from the fifteenth century to the twenty-first by Frank Trentmann         $38

How was the mechanism of modern society built, why and for whose benefit?

Pallets 3.0: Remodeled, reused, recycled: Architecture and design by Chris van Uffelen         $70
If not used for shipping they are anything but boring. Pallets are a universal symbol of the globalized world. The properties of this transport platform - standardization, stability, simplicity and internationality - are carried over into the work of architects and designers who use pallets as the material for their own creations.
>> Fast work.

04/21/2017 06:22 AM

Books either anticipated or surprising - just out of the carton. Follow the links for more information, to purchase these books or to have them put aside for you.

A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume     $40
Undergoing a breakdown, an artist moves to her grandmother's cottage in rural Ireland, where she confronts her memories and nature's ineluctable cycles of life and death, pattern and disintegration. An excellent new novel from the author of Spill Simmer Falter Wither
"Immensely sensitive, carefully calibrated, original and affecting." - Guardian
>> Hear Baume on A Line Made by Walking

The Idiot by Elif Batuman        $37
"I'm not Turkish, I don't have a Serbian best friend, I'm not in love with a Hungarian, I don't go to Harvard. Or do I? For one wonderful week, I got to be this worldly and brilliant, this young and clumsy and in love. The Idiot is a hilariously mundane immersion into a world that has never before received the 19th Century Novel treatment. An addictive, sprawling epic; I wolfed it down." - Miranda July

Literature Class by Julio Cortázar       $44
Cortázar's novels and short stories ignited a whole generation of Latin American writers, and had an enthusiastic following through the Americas and Europe. In this series of masterclasses he discusses his approach to the problems and mechanisms of fiction writing: the short story form, fantasy and realism, musicality, the ludic, time and the problem of literary "fate". 
"Anyone who doesn't read Cortázar is doomed." —Pablo Neruda

Lifting by Damien Wilkins      $30

Wilkins' writing is both light and deft as he brings us inside the head and world of Amy, a store detective at Cutty's (for which read Kirkaldie and Stains) in the weeks leading up to the department store's closure. Why is Amy being interviewed by the police? What will change in her unremarkable life? 

The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit      $38
In this book, Solnit continues the sharp important work she began in Men Explain Things to Me with this collection of commentary essays on feminism, misogyny, gendered binaries, masculine literary insecurity and related topics. 
"No writer has weighed the complexities of sustaining hope in our times of readily available despair more thoughtfully and beautifully, nor with greater nuance." - Maria Popova
>> Which other Solnit books have you read

Dear Ijeawele: Or, A feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie     $18
Adichie received a request from a childhood friend for advice on how to raise her baby girl as a feminist, and has responded with this considered approach to both the broad issues and the minutiae of raising a child free from sexist conditioning. Much of the advice is pertinent to adults as well, with warnings against Feminism Lite, the dangers of likeability and the conflation of appearances with morality. A follow-up to We Should All Be Feminists
>> Adichie discusses this book
Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist by Paul Kingsnorth       $37
Kingsnorth's novels have been intimately concerned with the relationship of a person, and of peoples, to the land. In this very individual book, the former green activist argues that the concept of 'sustainability' is a sop that enables humanity to continue living and consuming without guilt rather than decivilise themselves in a way that would make a difference for the planet. By turns provocative, frustrating, inspiring and visionary; always urgent. 
>> Read a sample.
>> The Four Degrees
The Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte Hobson       $23
An English governess in Moscow gets caught up in various ways in the Revolution of 1917 and the tangle of idealism and ideology that surrounds it. 
Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan        $32
A novel exploring the psychological and humanitarian crises that face the "guest workers" who enable Dubai to grow and function but who have no citizenship or welfare rights in the UAE. 

Down Below by Leonora Carrington        $30
Painter and author Leonora Carrington's fascinating account of being taken "over the border" into Spain, into insanity and being held in an abusive lunatic asylum in Spain after her partner Max Ernst was imprisoned by the Germans.

>> "The task of the right eye is to peer into the telescope, while the left eye peers into the microscope."
Little Nothing by Marisa Silver       $25
Drawing inspiration from fairy tales and folklore, Little Nothing is the story of a peasant couple who long for a child, who, when he comes, turns out to be no ordinary child.  
"Marisa Silver delivers a tale as mysterious as anything the Grimm Brothers might have collected. 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 
"'Little Nothing is the key to its own box, which opens and opens, transcending the limits of the very tale one thought one was reading. This book is a beautifully realised riddle." - Rachel Kushner
Ravilious & Co: The pattern of friendship by Andy Friend [sic]      $60
Eric Ravilious's wood engravings and watercolours captured the spirit of mid-century England. The group of artists that gathered about him formed an artistic node between their influences and those they inspired. Beautifully produced and profusely illustrated. 
South and West: From a notebook by Joan Didion         $23
Two extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks, one tracing a 1970 road trip through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama; the other a contemplation of California following the 1976 Patty Hearst trial. 
Red Edits by Geoff Cochrane         $25
Poets disimprove with age and should die young./Should resemble shooting stars./Should trace short arcs of fizz and fire/and then disappear.
Works & Days by Bernadette Mayer       $28
"The richness of life and time as they happen to us in tiny explosions all the time are grasped and held up for us to view in her magnificent work." — John Ashbery
"The experience of reading Works and Days is exhilarating; it’s like encountering a new, never-before-seen contemporary artwork you know will stand the test of time. It reaches back to the beginning of art by way of its political economy of the everyday, its honest humor about the ridiculousness of the writer’s experience in 21st century life, its emphasis on solidarity with the exploited. There is no other book from this year I’d more like to read again." - Jonathan Sturgeon, Flavorwire
The Truth About Language: What it is and where it came from by Michael Corballis       $40
Corballis argues with both God and Chomsky to persuade us that language is indeed the product of evolution and has its precursors throughout the animal kingdom. 
Evicted: Poverty and profit in the American city by Matthew Desmond       $30
A devastating portrait of urban poverty in the US, both of the mechanisms of inequality and its effects. Now it paperback. 
"Essential. A compelling and damning exploration of the abuse of one of our basic human rights: shelter." -  Owen Jones  

Are Numbers Real? The uncanny relationships between maths and the physical world by Brian Clegg       $40
The concept of number arose from our attempts to divide and grapple with the 'real' world, but numbers also exist in a world of their own, independent of the 'real' world. What are the relationships between the two?
The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall      $23
England is in a state of environmental and economic crisis. Under the repressive regime of The Authority, citizens have been herded into urban centres, and all women of child-bearing age fitted with contraceptive devices. A woman known as 'Sister' leaves her oppressive marriage to join an isolated group of women in a remote northern farm at Carhullan, where she intends to become a rebel fighter. But can she follow their notion of freedom and what it means to fight for it? Winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. 
A Case in Any Case ('Detective Gordon' #3) by Ulf Nilsson and Gitte Spee      $20
Detective Gordon has retired, and Buffy is the sole detective at the small police station in the forest. It is not easy for a police officer to be alone. Especially when there are strange noises outside the station at night. Buffy decides to seek out Gordon to help solve the mystery. After all, two police think twice as well as one. Two police are twice as brave!
This enjoyable series began, logically, with The First Case, followed, complicatedly, by A Complicated Case
Bee Quest by Dave Goulson        $45
Whether he is tracking great yellow bumblebees in the Hebrides or orchid bees through the Ecuadorian jungle, Goulson's wit, humour and deep love of nature make him the ideal travelling companion.
The Ascent of Gravity: The quest to understand the force that explains everything by Marcus Chown        $38
We work against it every day but it holds our lives together. How on earth did we explain its effects before we had the theory?
"The finest cosmology writer of our day." - Matt Ridley
>> Newton's theory has a musical application
My Pictures After the Storm by Eric Veille       $23
Sometimes things happen (storms, babies, magic, hairdressers, practical jokes) and things just aren't the same afterwards, and sometimes these changes make us laugh. A very silly before-and-after book. 

04/07/2017 11:25 AM

Books either anticipated or surprising - just out of the carton. Follow the links for more information, to purchase these books or to have them put aside for you.

Attrib. And other stories by Eley Williams       $32
Language and thought wrestle and play as characters try and fail or succeed or fail/succeed to communicate. 
"Fiddling with words, as if playing with them were all that mattered, her characters draw time to a standstill – then they stop, suddenly, blinking and thrilled. It’s beautiful, the way they get lost." - Guardian
Between Wolf and Dog by Sasha Sokolov       $42
Is this the Russian equivalent of Finnegans Wake? Language itself is the default protagonist in a novel in which plot, character, time and death all lack stability. The only thing that never changes is the frozen Russian landscape. 
>> "I thought it would never happen."

Homegrown Kitchen by Nicola Galloway      $50
Beautifully presented and full of accessible delicious recipes and the best advice for those who want to eat delicious, healthy, natural, nourishing food every day, this eagerly anticipated book starts with a section on kitchen essentials, sourdough, fermentation and preserving, the book, as the day, moves on through breakfast, lunch and dinner, and finishes off with an array of delectable sweet treats.  
Other Minds: The octopus and the evolution of intelligent life by Peter Godfrey-Smith       $30
The remarkable intelligence of the cephalopds evolved quite separately from that of homonids and cetaceans. What does this tell us about the nature and evolution of consciousness, and what would it be like to have the mind of an octopus? 
"Brilliant." - The Guardian
Breaking Ranks: Three interrupted lives by James McNeish       $35
Parallel biographies of three New Zealanders who stood up for what they believed in and paid the price: Dr John Saxby, Brigadier Reginald Miles and Judge Peter Mahon. McNeish's work highlights the difficulties of living with integrity against the grain of society. 
The Smile Stealers: The fine and foul art of dentistry by Richard Barnett       $50
A history of dental intervention as evidenced in objects and illustrations, from the Bronze Age to the present. Concurrently attractive and repellent and consistently fascinating.

Manifesto Aotearoa: 101 political poems edited by Philip Temple and Emma Neale      $35
A wide gathering of voices and concerns. Poetry arises from an urgent wrangling between freedom and constraint and between the personal and the societal. It is never far away from being political. 

The New Old House: Historic and modern architecture combined by Marc Kristal      $95
Excellent examples of bold yet sensitive hybridisings of existing structures with modern architecture. 
Town is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz and Sydney Smith       $28
A young boy describes his life in a small seaside town, all the while remembering that as he is swimming or playing his father is at that moment in the dark under the sea digging for coal. 
Antibiotic Resistance: The end of modern medicine? by Souxsie Wiles      $15
In ten years time, will antibiotics still work? Have we let bacteria get the upper hand in the evolutionary arms race?
Speaking of Universities by Stefan Collini       $37
An impassioned and informed defence of tertiary education in the face of the business model that has been forced upon it, both in Britain and New Zealand, and a reassertion of the role of the university as a a public good, first and foremost.
Buying Time: The delayed crisis of democratic capitalism by Wolfgang Streeck       $28
Capitalism is by definition an unsustainable model, but, since the 1970s, governments have acted widely to defer the consequences of capitalism's inherent pressures. This has caused the pressures to build. How will they be released? Which will ultimately survive, capitalism or democracy?
"When political passion connects with critical exposition of the facts and incisive argument, Streeck's sweeping and empirically founded inquiry reminds one of Karl Marx's Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte." - Jurgen Habermas
A Wary Embrace: What the Russia-China relationship means for the world by Bobo Lo        $13
Despite their new prominence in world affairs, Moscow and Beijing have shown no capacity to cooperate on grand strategy or establish new international norms. Theirs is a partnership of strategic convenience: pragmatic, calculating and limited.
 The Accusation: Forbidden stories smuggled from inside North Korea by Bandi      $33
What is life really like for ordinary and not-so-ordinary people in North Korea? These stories by the anonymous 'Solzhenitsyn of Pyongyang' depict a country operating over the edge from sanity and under the sway of a demagogue. 
"Very rare fiction to emerge from the secretive dictatorship. On its way to becoming a literary sensation." - Guardian

Gastrophysics: The new science of eating by Charles Spence      $38
Full of surprising information, Spence's book is an examination of the  multisensory experience of eating and the roles it plays in our multifaceted lives. 

The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge by Abraham Flexner     $24
The search for answers to deep questions, motivated solely by curiosity and without concern for applications, often leads not only to the greatest scientific discoveries but also to the most revolutionary technological breakthroughs. This essay is a challenge to current application-based funding models.
The Best of e-Tangata edited by Tapu Misa and Gary Wilson        $15
The e-Tangata website is a focus of discussion for Maori and Pasifika issues in New Zealand. This selection brings together sharp commentary on political and social issues, history and popular culture. 
Oreo by Fran Ross         $28
A playful, modernised parody of the classical odyssey of Theseus with a feminist twist, immersed in seventies pop culture, and mixing standard English, black vernacular, and Yiddish with aplomb. Oreo, our young hero, navigates the labyrinth of sound studios and brothels and subway tunnels in Manhattan, seeking to claim her birthright while unwittingly experiencing and triggering a mythic journey of self-discovery. First published in 1974. 
"A brilliant and biting satire, a feminist picaresque, absurd, unsettling, and hilarious, Ross' novel, with its Joycean language games and keen social critique, is as playful as it is profound. Criminally overlooked. A knockout." Kirkus

The Plains by Gerald Murnane        $32
A pleasing new hardback edition of Murnane's 1982 novel, exploring, with his signature perfect sentences and idiosyncratic genius, a sort of "inner Australia", a place under the surface of but also separate from the "outer Australia"; a dimension of existence that reveals its subtleties best against the emptiness of the inland plains. The narrator is an filmmaker attempting to film the plains in a way that will reconcile the opposing worldviews of two cliques of plainsmen who use their wealth to support an elaborate system of patronage whereby artists are employed to interpret or represent the meaning of their jealously guarded and endlessly elusive landscape.
>> Introduction by Ben Lerner
>> Meet Gerald Murnane
>> Thomas recommends books by Gerald Murnane
Shock of the Anthropocene by Christophe Bonneuil and Jean-Baptiste Fressoz       $24
A dialogue between history and science, re-evaluating the factors that have tipped the planet into a new geologic age, one in which human actions are the major determining factor for environmental conditions.
Trees by Lemniscates       $28
"Trees cannot change their place in the world so they are patient and learn to live where they are."

Exit West by Moshin Hamid          $37
What place is there for love in a world torn by crisis? From the author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist
"Exit West is a novel about migration and mutation, full of wormholes and rips in reality. It is animated by a constant motion between genre, between psychological and political space, and between a recent past, an intensified present and a near future." - The Guardian

Things That Helped: Essays by Jessica Friedmann      $38
A multifaceted examination of post-partum depression, drawing on critical theory, popular culture, and personal experience. 
The New Zealand Project by Max Harris         $40
New Zealand faces some urgent issues: climate change, wealth inequality, political populism, the degradation of health and education, housing affordability, racial tension. How are we going to grapple with them when our media and political discussion is so frustratingly superficial? 

War: An enquiry by A.C. Grayling       $45
Are wars avoidable? Grayling examines, tests, and challenges the concept of war and proposes that a deeper, more accurate understanding of war may enable us to reduce its frequency, mitigate its horrors, and lessen the burden of its consequences. 

Elizabeth and Zenobia by Jessica Miller      $21

What happens when Elizabeth and her unusual friend Zenobia enter the forbidden wing of the great house and find a room in which the wallpaper seems to be alive and they find a strange book that contains a different story every night? 
Home-Made Europe: Contemporary folk artifacts by Vladimir Arkhipov     $34
A fascinating collection of objects made because the maker lacked the correct tool, the relevant source, sufficient money, or the requisite common sense to solve their problem or fill their needs in any other way. Endlessly inventive, often hilarious or sad, always interesting, each object is accompanied by a photograph of its maker and a description of its necessity and making in their own words. 
Alvin Lustig Postcards        $30
50 stunning designs from books published by New Directions between 1941 and 1952. 
>> Excellent Alvin Lustig website

03/31/2017 05:02 AM

Choose from this array of new releases

Some Things to Place in a Coffin by Bill Manhire      $25
Language dances as death presses at it from behind, agency flees into objects, images draw themselves together on the brink of their own dissolution, small things become final containers for the large. Manhire's first collection for seven years takes its title, and many of its themes, from the elegy he wrote for his friend Ralph Hotere.
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin        $23
A young woman lies dying in hospital. The boy at her bedside asks some questions which unleash the most terrifying of stories. 
Long-listed for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize.
"Terrifying but brilliant, this dangerously addictive novel in which a woman’s life speeds towards doom is haunted by the bleak landscape of rural Argentina. Schweblin remorselessly cranks up the tension until every sentence seems to tremble with threat. Fever Dream’s ambiguities, and the intricate psychologies with which Schweblin invests her characters, mean that rereading proves rewarding even when the suspense is removed. Wherever you decide the truth lies, aspects of Amanda’s story will continue to puzzle and haunt you long after she stops being able to tell it." - Guardian

Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell       $38
32-year-old Helen is in her Manhattan apartment when she receives a call that her adoptive brother has killed himself. Helen, who like her brother is Korean and was adopted by the same white Milwaukee couple, is shaken by the news and books a one-way ticket to Milwaukee. But what starts as a detective’s hunt for clues soon becomes Helen’s confrontation of her own place in the world and her estrangement from her past. 
“Patty Yumi Cottrell’s adoption of the rambling and specific absurd will and must delight. This is a graceful claim not just about writing but about a way of being in the world, an always new and necessary way to contend with this garbage that surrounds us, these false portraits of our hearts and minds. This book is not a diversion—it’s a lifeline.” —Jesse Ball
The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, expats and ex-countries by Jessa Crispin      $45
In her memoir of leaving settled life in search of a way of existing not based solely on either struggle or surrender, Crispin (author of Why I Am Not a Feminist) finds solidarity with Nora Barnacle, William James, Maude Gonne and Igor Stravinsky, fellow refusers of the stable caught always in the borderlands between dependence and independence. 

Swallowing Mercury by Wioletta Greg     $28
Steeped in the author's own experiences, this novel protrays the life of a girl growing up in rural Southern Poland in the 1970s where the edges of reality are always assailed by Catholicism, Communism and folklore.
"Enchantingly elliptical. Greg moves back and forth across time with a poet’s panache. It is refreshing to find a fiction writer so free of stylistic pomp, so and finely attuned to the truth of her material, a novel so sensually saturated." - Kapka Kassabova, Guardian

This book has just been long-listed for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize

The Abundance by Annie Dillard         $25
A selection of essays from the Pulitzer Prize-winner's various collections of essays. 
"Annie Dillard's books are like comets, like celestial events that remind us that the reality we inhabit is itself a celestial event." - Marilynne Robinson
"Spirited and gale-force. She raps out her opinions; lyrical, gleeful, cymbal-clashing, peppery. The best thing is her glee, a pied-piperish glee at being in the world, which she evokes better than anyone else." - Robert MAcfarlane
"Annie Dillard is among the greatest nature writers who have ever lived. Like Thoreau, like Gilbert White, she combines a naturalist's sharp eye with a philosopher's curiosity and a poet's magical gift for language. Keen, urgent and impassioned, her subject is life itself, in all its teeming and marvellous forms." - Olivia Laing
Bright Air Black by David Vann         $37
A deeply poetic and dark novel set in the 13th century BC and telling of Medea's journey with Jason across the Mediterranean on board the Argo bringing the Golden Fleece from Colchis. Vann has an almost uncanny ability to probe the furthest corners of his characters' motivations, weaknesses and strengths, and this is a nuanced treatment of an often maligned character. 
"David Vann is surely one of the most powerful writers working today." - New Zealand Herald
>> Euripides attempted something similar
>> As did Lars Trier
>> Beware of centaurs.
Who Lost Russia? How the world entered a new Cold War by Peter Conradi       $40
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, it seemed possible that a new age of openness and co-operation with the West was possible. But the vacuum of the 1990s proved the ideal conditions for the growth of a worrying new nationalism with international repercussions led by Vladimir Putin. 
"Nuanced yet fast-paced, this is the essential guide to our rocky relationship with a country we ignore at our peril." - Peter Pomerantsev
A Girl in Exile by Ismail Kadare      $27
When a woman is found dead with a signed copy of Rudian Stefa's latest book in her possession, the author finds himself summoned for an interview by the Party Committee. He has never met the woman in question but he remembers signing the book. As the influence of a paranoid regime steals up on him, Rudian finds himself swept along on a surreal quest to discover what really happened to the mysterious woman to whom he wrote the dedication.
"A compelling amalgam of realism, dreaminess and elegiac, white-hot fury. Kadare communicates with awful immediacy the nature of tyranny and the accommodations that those subject to it must make - as Kadare himself had to do." - John Banville 
The Burrow, And other stories by Franz Kafka       $30
A much-anticipated new translation of some of Kafka's most interesting (but sometimes lesser-known) stories by the luminous Michael Hofman. Includes 'Building the Great Wall of China' and 'Investigations of a Dog'. 
>> Hofman stands, speaks and reads
>> Meet Franz K.
>> What makes something Kafkaesque?
>> Will Self finds K's dust.

The Greatest Story Ever Told... So Far: Why are we here? by Lawrence M. Krauss        $38
How did we arrive at the current favoured model of physical reality? Why is the Standard Model of Particle Physics the best tool we have at the moment to understand the unseen forces that shape our everyday realities? 
"A Homeric tale of science, history and philosophy revealing how we learned so much about the universe and its tiniest parts." - Sheldon Glashow (Nobel laureate in physics)

The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart      $18
When Reuben discovers an old pocket watch, he soon realizes it holds an incredible power: it can turn you invisible for fifteen minutes. He can't resist the lure of disappearance: for a time, he can vanish from the despotic regime of New Umbra. But the watch's power is even more extraordinary than he imagines. Soon, he's on the run from New Umbra's ruler, The Smoke, who's determined to possess it for himself...
From the author of the rather wonderful 'Mysterious Benedict Society' series. 

Kruso by Lutz Seiler      $37
At the end of the 80s a young literature student travels to the Baltic Island of Hiddensee, a notorious destination for hippies, idealists, and those at odds with the East German state. Although he tries to remain on the edges he feels himself drawn to charismatic Kruso, unofficial leader of the seasonal workers. What is Kruso's mission? What will happen as the wave of change in Germany hits the island?
"The first worthy successor to Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain to appear in contemporary German literature.”  - Der Spiegel

>> Read an extract here
Empires in the Sun: The struggle for the mastery of Africa by Lawrence James        $40
Between 1830 and 1945, Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Italy and the United States impressed their languages, laws, culture, religions, scientific and technical knowledge and economic systems upon Africa. What was the result? 

Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea by Teffi      $40
Teffi writes with superimposed sympathy, wit and clarity of her 1918-1920 journey by cart, freight train and steamer into exile during the Russian Civil War and of the ordinary and 'unheroic' people she encountered, many of them refugees. 
"Like Nabokov, Platonov, and many other great Russian prose writers, Teffi was a poet who turned to prose but continued to write with a poet's sensitivity to tone and rhythm. Like Chekhov, she fuses wit, tragedy, and a remarkable capacity for observation; there are few human weaknesses she did not relate to with compassion and understanding." - Robert Chandler, New Yorker
"I never imagined such a memoir could be possible, especially about the Russian Civil War. Teffi wears her wisdom lightly, observing farce and foible amid the looming tragedy, in this enthralling book." - Antony Beevor 
Coastline: The food of Mediterranean Italy, France and Spain by Lucio Galletto and David Dale     $70
Accessible, enjoyable, authentic. 

The Folded Clock: A diary by Heidi Julavits     $35
"Exquisite. This diary is a diary in the way that Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater is a confession, or that Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year is a journal, or that Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book is a pillow book. Witty, sly, critical, inventive and adventurous, a work so artful that it appears to be without artifice. This diary is a record of the interior weather of an adept thinker. In it, the mundane is rendered extraordinary through the alchemy of effortless prose. It is a work in which a self is both lost and found, but above all made." - New York Times
A lovely hardback edition. 
Landskipping by Anna Pavord      $22
A deeply poetic and thoughtful consideration of the British landscape and the effect of place on the people who live there. 
"Rangy, deeply felt and sometimes luminous. Like the raking light that exposes ancient lynchets at sunset, such knowledge brings out new detail in the one particular view over a gate which Pavord has loved in all seasons, and which she now evokes for us as it changes through a full year. From the vantage point of this ending, I look back and find that the mixed landscape of the whole book is cast in a very beautiful light." - Alexandra Harris, Guardian
Now in paperback.
Green Kitchen at Home: Quick and healthy vegetarian food for every day by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl     $45
>> They've got a blog
>> They've got a YouTube channel
The Complete Poems by Emily Dickinson       $40
1775 of them. 
[But did Dickinson consider any of her poems "complete"?]
>> Try this (Herman Melville-inflected) Emily Dickinson poetry generator.

>> Also in stock: the very lovely Envelope Poems

A Land Without Borders: My journey around East Jerusalem and the West Bank by Nir Baram        $40
Baram navigates the conflict-ridden regions and hostile terrain to speak with a wide range of people, among them Palestinian-Israeli citizens trapped behind the separation wall in Jerusalem, Jewish settlers determined to forge new lives on the West Bank, children on Kibbutz Nirim who lived through the war in Gaza, and ex-prisoners from Fatah who, after spending years detained in Israeli jails, are now promoting a peace initiative. 
"Written with great talent, momentum and ingenuity. It expands the borders of literature to reveal new landscapes." - Amos Oz
"A book that is a fascinating and charged document about the meaning of home, security and freedom, on both sides of the divide." - NRG 
Abandon Me by Melissa Febos        $33
An interrogation of relationships, idolisation, and how the author's past intertwines with cultural history. Though the book explores bonds that Febos has with others—lovers, friends, lost and found family members—the relationship it ultimately depicts is the one that she builds with herself. It is also an origin story about creating the life of an activist, artist, teacher, and cultural theorist. 
>> Read an interview with Febos here

The Dog's Last Walk (And other pieces) by Howard Jacobson        $27
A collection of his witty and iconoclastic columns for the Independent on everything from racism to darts. 
"Jacobson is one of the great sentence-builders of our time. I feel I have to raise my game, even just to praise. He is one of the great guardians of language and culture - all of it. Long may he flourish." - Nicholas Lezard, Guardian 

Utopia for Realists, And how we can get there by Rutger Bregman      $24
"Brennan is part of a new generation of thinks who are suggesting exciting alternatives to the orthodoxies of the last forty years. In this surprising, accessible and often counterintuitive book Bregman explores some simple but brilliant ideas for making a better world." - Brian Eno

Rogues' Gallery: The history of art and its dealers by Philip Hook      $45
Who controls the exchange between artists and their collectors? A tale of brilliance, cunning and greed spanning centuries. 
A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her work by Bernadette Brennan      $40
Brennan considers forty years of work by this revered and admired author. Garner often writes herself into her non-fiction, but just who is this 'I' of which she speaks? Insightful. 
Junket is Nice by Dorothy Kunhardt         $35
An old man with a red beard and red slippers is eating an endless bowl of junket. He says he will give something nice to whoever can guess what he is thinking about. The wildest guesses are wrong, but a small boy knows and the junket comes to an end. First published in 1932, this is a very silly book indeed. 
>>> ("If you don't know what junket is, ask your nana about it.")

03/24/2017 02:14 AM

These books are all on the shelf now at VOLUME.

The Fire Horse: Children's poems by Vladimir Mayakovsky, Osip Mendelstam and Daniil Kharms, illustrated by Lidia Popova, Boris Ender and Vladimir Konashevich       $37
Three classic Soviet-era children's books by leading avant-garde writers and illustrators, newly translated. 

White Tears by Hari Kunzru        $37
Starting as a coming-of-age story, developing as a love story and ending as a ghost story, Kunzru's novel is also the story of black lives and black music stolen by the a mainstream culture eager to absorb the identities of its components. 
"Part thriller, part literary horror novel; completely impossible to put down." - NPR
Bitten by Witch Fever: Wallpaper arsenic in the Victorian home by Lucinda Hawksley             $70
What price beauty? The nineteenth century chemical processes enabled a leap in the range of intense pigments available for both dress and decor. Unfortunately, many of these pigments were highly toxic. Scheele's green and Schweinfurt green, pigments created using arsenic, were used to produce millions of rolls of vibrant wallpaper, which had a devastating effect on the inhabitants of the rooms they decorated, to say nothing of the factory workers. Hawksley's fascinating account is accompanied by the most stunning reproductions of ansenical wallpaper (not printed with arsenic (though that would be interesting)). 
>> Was Jane Austen poisoned by arsenic 
Atlas of Another America: An architectural fiction by Keith Krumweide       $110
This stupendously illustrated piece of speculative examines the suburban family home as an economic and environmental calamity and extrapolates a series of scenarios which highlight issues already at play, both in 'McMansions' and ordinary homes. The fictiontakes the form of a series of plans and interventions in iconic bucolic artworks.

>> See more here
Tell Me My Name by Bill Manhire, with Hannah Griffin and Peter Peryer       $30
Thirteen poetic riddles as only Manhire could write them, with a CD of music by Griffin and photographs by Peryer. 
>> An interview with Manhire.

Blood Ties: New and selected poems, 1963-2016 by Jeffrey Paparoa Holman       $25
"Blood Ties is a journey through a lifetime that is a parable of settlement, one man’s response to the challenge of living responsibly and with sensitivity to the question of where we are and what we must be. There are strong ancestors throughout, but, at the same time and very distinctively, the urgent sound of this river of poetry is all this fine poet’s own." - Patrick Evans

Problems by Jade Sharma       $35
Events and addictions conspire to send Maya's life into a chaotic spiral.

"The problem with Jade Sharma's novel is that it ends. The narrator, Maya, is a hot mess with zero percent of her shit together, and yet as I got to know her through the Sharma's inventive narrative voice, I saw her as - or perhaps wanted her to be - my friend." - The Rumpus

Schadenfreude: A love story by Rebecca Schuman       $40
Lured to Germany by her crush on two young men (one of whom, Franz Kafka, wasn't even German), Schuman learned a lot about the language and the people, but (possibly) even more about herself through her experiences both personal and literary. 
Breuer by Robert McCarter        $210
The definitive book on this important brutalist architect and designer. 
>> Preview the book here (or come into the shop).
>> Glance through his work here
Himself by Jess Kidd       $33
When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck on Ireland's west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the lies of his past. No one - living or dead - will tell Mahony what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite his certainty that more than one of the villagers knows the sinister truth. 
"A sort of Under Milk Wood meets The Third Policeman meets Agatha Christie. Lushly imagined, delightfully original and very, very funny." - M.L. Stedman
>> Find out more
Fish in Exile by Vi Khi Nao     $35
Unimaginable loss is treated in prose of delicate poetic texture in this subtle novel. 
"This journey across the boundaries of form and genre, to write about what is un-write-aboutable, is a smart maneuver - it permits the reader to experience what has been written about over and over in a way that is fresh and absorbing in its difference." - NPR
Ithaca by Alan McMonagle       $38
How does a lonely teenager in recession Ireland with a crazed alcoholic mother cope with reality? He escapes to the Swamp, a mysterious rising pool of water on the outskirts of town and befriends a girl as lost as himself but with even less regard for reality. 
"Fast and urgent and full of feeling and savage humour and all kinds of tenderness." - Kevin Barry

Curiosity by Alberto Manguel       $38
Manguel tags along with Dante and converses with Hume, Lewis Carroll, Rachel Carson and Socrates as he investigates the quality that drives the expansion of human knowledge but has also been the death of cats. Why have we evolved this faculty?
>> Manguel talks at our London branch.

Fully Clothed and So Forgetful by Hannah Mettner       $25
I uproot one
of the ladies and use her to beat back a
path through the others, until they look
almost young again in the freshness
of their bruises. When I get back to the
pond most of the spinsters have frosted
in the ground. The children are there
wearing new fur coats. One is putting logs
on a fire, while the other pulls dinner
from the snow.

"This book will push you down a marble staircase, and then cheerfully bring you a couple of aspirin." — Hera Lindsay Bird
Everyone is Watching by Megan Bradbury      $25
An innovative novelistic picture of New York through the creative minds of Walt Whitman, Robert Moses, Robert Mapplethorpe and Edmund White. Now in softcover.
"Beautiful, kaleidoscopic. Everyone should be watching Megan Bradbury from now on." - Eimear McBride
"Megan Bradbury's daring, urgent novel is a thrilling act of psychic and historical excavation, a profound examination of the relationship between urban spaces and the making of art. A moving portrait of lives linked across time, Everyone is Watching is an important addition to the literature of New York." - Garth Greenwell
>>> We have the lovely hardback edition still available
The Book of Bees by Piotr Socha      $40
Not only does this large-format picture book contain a large amount of information about bees (some useful; some curious), it is irresistibly illustrated. 
Border: A journey to the edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova        $40
When Kapka Kassabova was a child, the border zone between Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece was rumoured to be an easier crossing point into the West than the Berlin Wall, so it swarmed with soldiers, spies and fugitives. On holidays close to the border on the Black Sea coast, she remembers playing on the beach, only miles from where an electrified fence bristled, its barbs pointing inwards toward the enemy: the holiday-makers, the potential escapees. Today, this densely forested landscape is no longer heavily militarised, but it is scarred by its past. Kassabova sets out on a journey to meet the people of this triple border - Bulgarians, Turks, Greeks - and the latest wave of refugees fleeing conflict further afield. 
Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar       $35
Alone in space on a derailed mission to Venus from which he was never expected to return, a Czech cosmonaut comes to doubt his marriage, his memory, his heroism, his family history and his sanity. 
>> Shades of Omon Ra?

Hit & Run: The New Zealand SAS in Afghanistan and the meaning of honour by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson         $35

An expose of the killing of civilians in Afghanistan by the New Zealand SAS, and of a cover-up that implicates the highest levels of government.

The Sad Part Was by Prabha Yoon     $28
Multifaceted short short stories riffing in all sorts of ways on life in modern Bangkok. 
"Evocative, erudite and often very funny." - Guardian

Direct Action: Protest and the reinvention of American radicalism by L.A. Kauffman       $22
A wide survey of disruptive protest in the US in the last forty years, drawing parallels between the efforts of environmentalists, black and indigenous activist, feminists and radical queers. What effect has protest had on shaping society, and what are the potentials for protest now?
The Yid by Paul Goldberg       $25
Moscow, 1953. Three secret policemen arrive in the middle of the night to arrest Solomon Shimonovich Levinson, an actor from the defunct State Jewish Theater. But Levinson, though an old man, is a veteran of past wars, and he proceeds to assemble a ragtag group to help him enact a mad-brilliant plot: the assassination of Stalin (no less). While the setting is Soviet Russia, the backdrop is Shakespeare: A mad king has a diabolical plan to exterminate and deport his country's remaining Jews. 
"Darkly playful and generous with quick insights into the vast weirdness of its landscape." - The Washington Post
"A brilliant novel that is at once surreally comic, suspenseful if slightly cracked and punctuated with eruptions of violence, but with a poignant ending . An extraordinary, rich and surprising tale of intrigue Paul Goldberg has been aptly compared to a whole constellation of Jewish literary geniuses Sholem Aleichem, Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, E.L. Doctorow, Michael Chabon and even the Coen brothers. Goldberg possesses a voice and vision that are entirely and uniquely his own." - The Jewish Journal
Ferment, Pickle, Dry: Ancient methods, modern meals by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinska-Poffley      $45
Not only shows you how to ferment, pickle and dry all manner of ingredients but shows you how ingredients so preserved can be used in all manner of delicious dishes. 

Disobedient Teaching: Surviving and creating change in education by Welby Engs    $35
Is productive disobedience necessary to avoid academic straightjacketing and overassessment, and to enable positive outcomes for students?  
>> The case for disobedience in schools
The Clown Egg Register by Luke Stephenson and Helen Champion       $40
The world's oldest clowning organisation, Clowns International, has long kept an archive of eggs upon which clowns have registered their identity and make-up. This unusual and fascinating book accompanies images of the egg register with the professional and life stories of the clowns to whom the eggs refer. 
>>> Bring in the eggs!

03/09/2017 07:33 AM

The Internet of Things by Kate Camp       $25
Warm and sharp, Camp's poems step easily from the domestic to the universal yet never stray from the personal, which gives them such buoyancy, such vigour and compassion.
Bruno: Some of the more interesting days in my life so far by Catharina Valckx and Nicolas Hubesch        $25
The cat, Bruno, takes life as it comes. When it is too rainy to go outside, he rustles up an inside picnic with his friends. When he meets a fish swimming in the air, he follows it. Why not! When the canary forgets how to sing, Bruno helps out. Six delightful stories - a new favourite!
300 Arguments by Sarah Manguso        $27
How short can an essay be? What seems at first an assortment of aphorisms on life, failure, &c, builds cumulative force into a kind of thesis on (or even novel-in-potentia of) life, failure, &c. 
"A Proustian minimalist on the order of Lydia Davis.” - Kirkus Reviews
>> Here's a sample!

This Young Monster by Charlie Fox          $38
“It is conventional to call 'monster' any blending of dissonant elements. I call 'monster' every original inexhaustible beauty.” - Alfred Jarry
What is the relationship between freakishness and art? Is creativity the deliberate courting of chaos to the verge of destruction? What else must be unleashed to unleash the new? 
"Charlie Fox writes about scary and fabulous monsters, but he really writes about culture, which is the monster’s best and only escape. He is a dazzling writer, unbelievably erudite, and this book is a pleasure to read. Domesticating the difficult, he invites us as his readers to become monsters as well." — Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick
>> Read a sample: 'Self-Portrait as a Werewolf'.
A Life Discarded: 148 diaries found in a skip by Alexander Masters         $35
A fascinating and sensitive portrait of two obsessive writers: one the author of tens of thousands of urgently written pages found thrown into a skip, the other Masters himself, unable to rest in his fourteen-year search for the identity and real history of the diarist known only as "I". 
"Approaches something ineffable, the span of a soul across the arc of time; the radiant, baffling grandeur of other people." - The New Yorker
Black Wave by Michelle Tea       $32
“I worship at the altar of this book. Somehow Michelle Tea has managed to write a hilarious, scorching, devastatingly observed novel about addiction, sex, identity, the 90s, apocalypse, and autobiography, while also gifting us with an indispensable meditation on what it means to write about those things—indeed, on what it means to write at all. A keen portrait of a subculture, an instant classic in life-writing, a go-for-broke exemplar of queer feminist imagination, a contribution to crucial, ongoing conversations about whose lives matter, Black Wave is a rollicking triumph.” — Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts
Hopes Dashed? The economics of gender inequality by Prue Hyman      $15
In 1994, economist Prue Hyman published Women and Economics, an overview of the status of women in the New Zealand economy. Much has changed since then - but how much? 

Lines in the Sand: Collected journalism by A.A. Gill        $38
Acerbic yet compassionate, ironic yet provocative, mordant yet generous, wide-ranging yet with a nose for minutiae, Gill was one of the outstanding journalists of our times. Some of his best work of the last five years is collected in this book.

>> We also have Gill's own account of his pickled life, Pour Me.

On Tyranny: Twenty lessons from the twentieth century by Timothy Snyder        $24
Understanding how democracies can fall, often by popular accord, into absolutism may help us to recognise the warning signs that similar forces threaten dearly held ideals. Can an understanding of the past prevent it from being repeated?

Acquacotta: Recipes and stories from Tuscany's secret Silver Coast by Emiko Davies       $55
A very appealing cookbook, packed with the delicious, fresh, approachable food characteristic of the Tuscan coast, together with plenty of information and anecdote.

Safeguarding the Future: Governing in an uncertain world by Jonathan Boston     $15
In an age of populist politics, media demagogues and policy determined by opinion polls, is there a place for a longer and more considered view?

The Lost Kitten by Komako Sakai and Lee Lee     $30
When a tiny stray kitten turns up on the doorstep, Hina and her mother take the kitten in. Hina makes a home for her and learns all about caring for a living creature. Then one day the kitten goes missing. Beautifully illustrated. 

Charlotte by David Foenkinos         $28
Charlotte Salomon (1917–1943) was a German-Jewish artist primarily remembered as the creator of an autobiographical series of paintings 'Life? or Theater?', consisting of 769 individual works painted between 1941 and 1943 in the south of France, while Salomon was in hiding from the Nazis. In October 1943 she was captured and deported to Auschwitz, where she and her unborn child were gassed to death by the Nazis soon after her arrival. Her life forms the basis of Foenkinos's beautiful, indignant book. 
>>Some of her work can be seen here
The Other Paris: An illustrated journey through a city's poor and bohemian past by Luc Sante      $37
Who lived in the shadows of the City of Light? Sante does an excellent job of introducing us to the denizens on whom the back of history is most usually turned.

The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil        $38
Vast, sprawling and incisive, Musil's unfinished, unfinishable, incomparable masterwork (the first part of which appeared in 1930) is a multilayered fractalising exploration of what it is like to be a human being in the modern world. Translated by Sophie Wilkins, and with an introduction by Jonathan Lethem. Intellectually, aesthetically and ultimately emotionally enthralling. 
A House Without Mirrors by Marten Sanden        $25
Why are there no mirrors in Thomasine's Great-Great-Aunt's old and melancholy house? One day her cousin makes a discovery: a cupboard which contains all the mirrors, through which the children reach a world where one can discover not what one most desires but perhaps what one most needs. 

At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell       $28
Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus, Heidegger et al meet at cafes to resolve and enlarge the discrepancies between their lives and their philosophies. Lively and informative and now in soft cover. 
"A wonderfully readable combination of biography, philosophy, history, cultural analysis and personal reflection." - Independent 

The Best We Could Do: An illustrated memoir by Thi Bui       $40
Thi Bui's family fled to America following the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s. Her graphic memoir is a story of identity, family, longing and home. 
"A book to break your heart and heal it." - Viet Thanh Nguyen 

Poetry New Zealand Yearbook, 2017 edited by Jack Ross       $35
An interesting survey of current New Zealand poetry practice, with representation from the establishment, from the fringes and from emerging voices. The featured poet is Elizabeth Morton, whose collection Wolf will be published later this year. 

Obsession by Elspeth Sandys        $35
An obsessive love affair has long-lasting repercussions for two writers and a poet. From the author of the remarkable memoir What Lies Beneath.
15 Million Degrees: A journey to the centre of the sun by Lucie Green       $30
Inconceivably large (actually it's 110 times the size of the earth), immeasurably hot (actually, it's 15,000,000 degrees), quite far away (even though Earth lies within its atmosphere), the sun affects everything in our lives. Although it is too bright to look at, Lucie Green shows us the wonder at the centre of our solar system. 
>>Is there a sun behind the sun? 

02/23/2017 06:58 AM

(Just click through to find out more (and to purchase or reserve the books))

The Evenings by Gerard Reve      $33
"The funniest, most exhilarating novel about boredom ever written. If The Evenings had appeared in English in the 1950s, it would have become every bit as much a classic as On the Road and The Catcher in the Rye." - Herman Koch

Book of Numbers by Joshua Cohen         $26
Two protagonists (both named Joshua Cohen) orbit each other's fates in a novel about pretty much everything. 
"Joshua Cohen's novel Book of Numbers reads as if Philip Roth's work were fired into David Foster Wallace's inside the Hadron particle collider. Book of Numbers is more impressive than all but a few novels published so far this decade." - The New York Times 
"A hugely ambitious novel set in the high-tech world of now. It is a verbal high-wire act, daring in its tones and textures: clever, poetic, fast-moving, deeply playful, filled with jokes, savvy about machines, wise about people, dazzling and engrossing." - Colm Toibin, Guardian
The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen      $35
Eight stories from the author of the remarkable (and Pulitzer Prize-winning) The Sympathizer, each dealing with the experiences of immigrants straddling two worlds: those in their homeland and those in the societies in which they find themselves welcome, unwelcome or ignored. What can be healed and what cannot?
"The Refugees comes at a time when Americans are being forced to reckon with what their country is becoming. It's hard not to feel for Nguyen's characters, many of whom have been dealt an unfathomably bad hand. But Nguyen never asks the reader to pity them; he wants us only to see them as human beings. And because of his wonderful writing, it's impossible not to do so. It's an urgent, wonderful collection." - NPR
Age of Anger: A history of the present by Pankaj Mishra     $40
How can we explain, let alone remedy, the wave of paranoia, racism, nationalism and mysongeny that is sweeping the world and manifesting as reactionary government, violence and demagoguery? Mishra shows how disaffection has wide roots in our economic and social structures. 
"Urgent, profound and extraordinarily timely. Throws light on our contemporary predicament, when the neglected and dispossessed of the world have suddenly risen up to transform the world we thought we knew." - John Banville
It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis      $28
A vain, outlandish, anti-immigrant, fear-mongering demagogue runs for President of the United States - and wins. Lewis's 1935 novel is suddenly incredibly relevant. 
"Eerily prescient." - Guardian
"One of the most important books ever produced in the United States." - New Yorker
Browse: The world in bookshops edited by Henry Hitchings      $33
Fifteen authors from around the world (including Ali Smith, Dorthe Nors, Yiyun Li, Ian Sansom, Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Daniel Kehlmann, Elif Shafak, Iain Sinclair and Pankaj Mishra) tell their stories of the importance to bookshops to them and to society. 
Idaho by Emily Ruskovich         $37
How does a horrific act resonate along the lines of love and memory that link (and divide) a family? What changes, what endures? What can be recovered, and what must be constructed? 
"That an act of brutality inspires storytelling as beautiful as this is reason enough for this novel to stand out from the crowd. To discover the sheer exquisiteness of Ruskovich’s prose is an unforeseen added bonus. There’s a rare, rich plangent quality to her sentences, as present in the spaces between the words, in what’s not said, as much as in what is articulated." - Independent 
>> An interview with Ruskovich.
And the Weak Suffer What They Must? Europe, austerity and the threat to global stability by Yanis Varoufakis         $28
The former Greek finance minister and "rock star of Europe's anti-austerity uprising" (Telegraph) shows that the roots of European economic collapse run deeper than officially acknowledged or addressed. Is the European Union a financial pyramid scheme? Are international fiscal practices structurally flawed? 

Granta 138: Journeys edited by Sigrid Rausing         $28
Is travel writing dead? What are the ethics of writing about a place you visit only briefly and view with the eyes of an outsider?

Includes Geoff Dyer, Edna O'Brien, Emily Berry, Robert Macfarlane and Pico Iyer. 
The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook by Selena Hage      $55
The author of the excellent The Lebanese Kitchen widens her scope to present 150 dishes from a region steeped in traditional vegetarian recipes. 
How to Survive a Plague: The story of how activists and scientists tamed AIDS by David France      $40
15.8 million people taking anti-AIDS drugs today are alive thanks to a de facto collaboration between social activists and medical scientists.
"Epoch-making: the whole social and scientific history of AIDS, brilliantly told. Informative, entertaining, suspenseful, moving, and personal." - Edmund White
"A contemplation not so only of an epidemic of illness but also of an epidemic of resilience." - Andrew Solomon

A Zero-Sum Game by Eduardo Rabasa         $33

"Rabasa's novel is built much like the sprawling housing complex it portrays: a complex but self-contained set of ideas populated by funny and frightening characters. Rabasa has crafted an Orwellian satire of low-level bureaucrats, urban dreamers, and political power." - Publishers Weekly
>> Zero sum games explained (but aren't all games zero sum games when seen in a wide enough context?).
The Best American Nonrequired Reading, 2016 edited and introduced by Rachel Kusher       $30
Selected by (intelligent, engaged) secondary school students for (intelligent, engaged) secondary school students. Includes Jesse Ball, Marilynne Robinson, Adrian Tomine, Dana Spiotta and several interesting writers you haven't yet discovered. 
Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller      $37
Did Ingrid kill herself? Was Gil a charming womaniser or a monster? Will Flora be able to lay the ghosts of her past to rest? How does miscommunication between people close to each other make love an obstacle to understanding as much as it is a bond? 
“Swimming Lessons has all the observational touches that show Fuller to be a serious novelist with an acute awareness of the nuances and patterns of human speech and behaviour." - Guardian
“Claire Fuller has captured love in its fullest form, nursed on betrayal and regret and guilt. Swimming Lessons is so smoothly, beautifully written. The human failures here are heartbreaking." - David Vann
The Disappearance of Emile Zola: Love, literature and the Dreyfus case by Michael Rosen       $37
In January 1898 the newspaper l'Aurore published 'J'accuse', an open letter from Zola accusing the French government of anti-Semitism in the treatment and unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus. The letter was successful in provoking the government to sue Zola for libel, thus reopening the Dreyfus case, and, following his conviction and to avoid jail, Zola fled to London, where he continued to defend Dreyfus until his death from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a blocked chimney. Rosen fills in all the details and the colour.  
The Attention Merchants: From the daily newspaper to social media, how our time and attention is harvested and sold by Tim Wu        $37
"I couldn't put this fascinating book down. Gripping from page one with its insight, vivid writing, and panoramic sweep,it is also a book of urgent importance, revealing how our preeminent industries work to fleece our consciousness rather than help us cultivate it." - Amy Chua
"A profoundly important book. Attention itself has become the currency of the information age, and, as Wu meticulously and eloquently demonstrates, we allow it to be bought and sold at our peril." - James Gleick
>> Who is creating your reality?

02/10/2017 10:10 AM


Helper and Helper ('Snake & Lizard' #3) by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Gavin Bishop      $20
Snake and Lizard are back, negotiating their life together and finding out what the world has to offer. These wry, warm tales, beautifully illustrated by Bishop, are perfect for reading aloud or as an early chapter book. 
>> You will like the other 'Snake and Lizard' books, too!
>> Not to mention Frog and Toad.

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on art, sex and the mind by Siri Hustvedt      $40
As well as being an admired novelist, Hustvedt's knowledge of neurology, psychology and art make her an incisive feminist critic. In this book she explores the genderisation of visual culture with reference to Bourgeouis, Mapplethorpe, Almodovar, Wenders and Bausch, and also the relationship between brain function and subjective experience.
>> An interview with Hustvedt.
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders      $33
Is this The American Book of the Dead? Abraham Lincoln's 11-year-old son Willie died of typhoid in 1862. This inventive and much-anticipated novel from the author of the Folio Prize-winning Tenth of December has a president, "freshly inclined toward sorrow," driven by grief into communion with the disembodied spirits of the dead in what becomes a meditation on the force of death in personal and collective histories, notably the American Civil War. 
>> Read the review in The New York Times
>> Saunders speaks.
The Big Picture: On the origins of life, meaning and the universe itself by Sean Carroll        $43 
Carroll does a great job of the pretty-near-impossible task of synthesising the various fields of scientific discovery, from the cosmic to the quantum to the neurological scale, into a systematic view of the nature of reality.
"Carroll beautifully articulates the world view suggested by contemporary naturalism. Thorny issues like free will, the direction of time, and the source of morality are clarified with elegance and insight. This is a book that should be read by everybody.' - Carlo Rovelli
A Card from Angela Carter by Susannah Clapp      $23
We have noticed a renewal of interest in the work of Angela Carter, with pleasing new editions of The Bloody Chamber and her Fairy Tales. And what an outstanding writer she was: unconventional, agile, playful, strident, and a notable stylist. Susannah Clapp was a close friend of Carter's, and is her literary executor. This brief, evocative biography is hung upon a series of postcards sent by Carter to Clapp during their friendship. It is a delight to read and, I think, really captures Carter's personality: "She snarled and she frolicked: the combination made her strong meat." 
>>We also have Edmund Gordon's excellent recent biography The Invention of Angela Carter available. 
>> Are there wolves in the forest?
The Holocaust: A new history by Laurence Rees       $40
Rees' book is remarkable for the amount of new information gathered from 25 years worth of interviews with Holocaust survivors and perpetrators. This research enables not only a reassessment of the social mechanisms that induced and permitted genocide but also of the range of the victims' responses. Also recorded here is the resistance, albeit ultimately futile, of individual stories to the overwhelming story that subsumed them.
>>> Also arrived this week: Denying the Holocaust: The growing assault on truth and memory by Deborah Lipstadt ($30), which asks why Holocaust deniers like David Irwin are on the rise in a post-factual world.
Urban Acupuncture: Celebrating principles of change that enhance city life by Jaime Lerner        $32
Changes to a community don't need to be large-scale and expensive to have a transformative impact. In fact, one street, park, or a single person can have an outsized effect on life in the surrounding city. Imagine the Church Street Bohemian Quarter closed to traffic and becoming a model for a new way (for Nelson) of thinking about community-focused urban use!
The Dialogue of the Dogs by Muguel de Cervantes      $21
Is this the first talking-dog story in Western literature? All Cervantes' concerns, both with structure and content, here writ small and going about on all fours.
This Is Memorial Device: An hallucinated oral history of the post-punk music scene in Airdrie, Coatbridge and environs, 1978-1986 by David Keenan        $37
A novel capturing the immense creative freedom unleashed in the aftermath of punk upon youths in a small Scottish town. Memorial Device is the name of the band, and the mechanism of the book.
"Looks set to be the first best thing you read in 2017." - The Skinny
>> "It isn't easy being Iggy Pop in a small town in the west of Scotland."
Revolutionary Yiddishland: A history of Jewish radicalism by Alain Brossat and Sylvie Klingberg        $37
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.
Forbidden Line by Paul Stanbridge       $36
Imagine Don Quixote set in modern Essex and London, somehow adhered to residues of the Peasants' Revolt and so full of every possible brilliant and stupid thought that it comprises an assault not only upon the realist novel but upon reality itself. Not really much like anything else.

The Rose by Brent Elliot      $75
Compiled by the historian at the Royal Horticultural Society, this solander box contains not only an illustrated history of forty rose species and hybrids and a survey of the cultivation and cultural significance of roses, but also an exquisite print of each of the forty roses, which you could frame if you felt so inclined. 

02/04/2017 02:59 AM

The Severed Land by Maurice Gee    {Reviewed by STELLA}
With a striking cover and a map of a divided world, I knew I was hooked. Maurice Gee’s new novel for children is a thoughtful, fast-paced adventure with a wonderful heroine. The novel opens with Fliss observing some soldiers and their cannon. Never able to break through the invisible wall, they have become increasingly frustrated with their inability to colonise the other side. As mayhem breaks loose, a drummer boy runs from the soldiers only to find himself stuck between the wall and the barrel of a gun. Fliss, for reasons unknown to her, is able to pull the drummer boy through the wall. Not that he’s grateful, but the Old One who holds the wall in his mind has been expecting him and he has a mission for Fliss and Kirt: they must rescue the Nightingale - to save the wall, which is in peril, and so keep their land protected from the warring families that wish to take it all. Going back through the wall is dangerous and uncertain: to be caught by the ruling elites would be certain death, and rescuing the Nightingale and bringing her to the Old One has many obstacles.The relationship between Fliss and Kirt has just the right amount of tension, each not quite sure of the other, but their mission relies on trust and courage. The underlying references to colonisation, to the power and passion of a people to resist, and the symbolism of the wall are pitched just right, lending layers of meaning beyond the action. The great story-line and compelling characters, Fliss - daring and passionate and Kirt - brave and stubborn, and their interactions with friends and foes will keep you entranced and leave you wanting more.