08/17/2018 05:36 AM


Women in the Field, One and two by Thomasin Sleigh         $29
A young British woman in post-war London is tasked with recommending acquisitions for New Zealand's National Art Gallery. When she ventures into the basement of a charismatic Russian painter three decades her senior, she discovers a solution that reconciles her idea of that far-away country and her own modernist sensibilities. Women in the Field, One and Two explores two women’s creativity and freedom against the backdrop of art history's patriarchal biases. From the author of Ad Lib
Interior by Thomas Clerc         $40
What kind of story can be told from a careful description of a house and all its contents? This is the way to give the most rounded and exhaustive possible account of a still elusive life. Full of verbal tricks and unexpected references, Clerc's clever piece of sociology-posing-as-pseudo-sociology is an experiment with the potentials of the novel. Shelve with Life, A User's Manual by Georges Perec and A Journey Around My Room by Xavier de Maistre. 
The Long Take by Robin Robertson          $28
Walker is a D-Day veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder; he can’t return home to rural Nova Scotia, and looks instead to the city for freedom, anonymity and repair. As he moves from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco we witness a crucial period of fracture in history, one in which America is beginning to come apart: deeply paranoid, doubting its own certainties, riven by social and racial division, spiralling corruption and the collapse of the inner cities. 
The Long Take is like a film noir on the page. A book about a man and a city in shock, it’s an extraordinary evocation of the debris and the ongoing destruction of war even in times of peace. In taking a scenario we think we know from the movies but offering a completely different perspective, Robin Robertson shows the flexibility a poet can bring to form and style.” - the judges' comment, on long-listing this book for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne            $37
Is authenticity personal property? Writer Maurice Swift takes his stories from wherever he finds them, regardless of whose they are. Swift makes his literary name by appropriating the life story of Erich Ackermann, a celebrated novelist he meets by chance in a Berlin hotel. Thereafter he stops at nothing to live upon the stories of others. How far will he be prepared to go? A taut and thoughtful literary psychological thriller from the author of, most recently, The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Death of Truth by Michiko Kakutani           $27
The most revered and feared literary critic of The New York Times turns her sharp eye upon the cultural forces that have combined to devalue truth in modern society and provide the world with a worrying set of leaders who have advanced authoritarianism in the absence of truth. A retreat from reason is a retreat from democracy.
"Destined to become the defining treatise of our age." - David Grann

Eleanor Marx: A biography by Yvonne Kapp        $65
Karl Marx's daughter was a remarkable figure in her own right: public intellectual, 'new woman', union organiser, aspirant to the stage. Kapp's exemplary biography draws all the strands of Eleanor Marx's life into a portrait not only of herself but of her family, associates and milieu. 
>> Eleanor Marx, pioneer of Marxist feminism (or feminist Marxism)
Joyce in Court: James Joyce and the law by Adrian Hardiman       $28
James Joyce was obsessed with the legal system, and both Ulysses and Finnegans Wake are full of references to trials and proceedings. This is the first book to give full and fascinating treatment to a neglected facet of Joyce's oeuvre, recreating a legal climate in which injustice loomed over every trial. 
"This tremendously well-researched and marvellously insightful book is a delight for lawyers and lovers of literature alike." - Irish Independent
In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne         $38
For Selvon, Ardan and Yusuf, growing up under the towers of Stones Estate, summer means what it does anywhere: football, music, freedom. But now, after the killing of a British soldier, riots are spreading across the city, and nowhere is safe. While the fury swirls around them, Selvon and Ardan remain focused on their own obsessions, girls and grime. Their friend Yusuf is caught up in a different tide, a wave of radicalism surging through his local mosque, threatening to carry his troubled brother, Irfan, with it.
“An ambitious mosaic of virtuosic ventriloquism, Guy Gunaratne’s book is an inner city novel for our times, exploring the endurance of social trauma across generations, and conveying the agony and energy of the marginalised, the outsider, and the oppressed. Both a social panorama and a thriller, it contains a vibrant energy and some extraordinary plot twists that go against what might be our cultural expectations. Gunaratne gracefully moves the large and small ambitions of his characters on an expressionist chessboard of a council estate.”- Judges' comment, on long-listing the book for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan         $34
Farouk's country has been torn apart by war. Lampy's heart has been laid waste by Chloe. John's past torments him as he nears his end. The refugee. The dreamer. The penitent. From war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, three men, scarred by all they have loved and lost, are searching for some version of home. Each is drawn towards a reckoning that will bring them together in an unexpected way.
Long-listed for the 2018 Man Booker Prize. Judges' comment: “A portrait of three men in one landscape, From A Low and Quiet Sea holds its narratives in perfectly sustained equilibrium, then brings them together without cliché. A deft, unshowy novel about manhood and momentous contingency, it evokes the way in which real lives unfold and wrap around each other.”
Trip: Psychedelics, alienation and change by Tao Lin       $36
While reeling from one of the most creative - but at times self-destructive - outpourings of his life, Tao Lin discovered the work of Terence McKenna. McKenna, the leading advocate of psychedelic drugs since Timothy Leary, became for Lin both an obsession and a revitalizing force. In Trip, Lin's first book-length work of nonfiction, he charts his recovery from pharmaceutical drugs, his surprising and positive change in worldview, and his four-year engagement with some of the hardest questions: Why do we make art? Is the world made of language? What happens when we die? And is the imagination more real than the universe?
How to Change Your Mind: The new science of psychedelics by Michael Pollan        $55
When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. Thus began a singular adventure into various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists. Pollan sifts the historical record to separate the truth about these mysterious drugs from the myths that have surrounded them since the 1960s, when a handful of psychedelic evangelists inadvertently catalysed a powerful backlash against what was then a promising field of research.
The Impostor by Javier Cercas            $28
But who is Enric Marco? A veteran of the Spanish Civil War, a fighter against fascism, an impassioned campaigner for justice, and a survivor of the Nazi death camps? Or, is he simply an old man with delusions of grandeur, a charlatan who fabricated his heroic war record, who was never a prisoner in the Third Reich and never opposed Franco; a charming, beguiling and compulsive liar who refashioned himself as a defender of liberty and who was unmasked in 2005 at the height of his influence and renown?
Winner of the European Book Prize. 

Arbitrary Stupid Goal by Tamara Shopsin           $28
An often hilarious pointillist time-travel trip to the Greenwich Village of Shopsin's bohemian 1970s childhood, a funky, tight-knit small town in the big city. Shopsin's father, Kenny, operated a dining cafe, with a notorious range of eccentric dishes, including 'Slutty Cakes' (pancakes with peanut butter in the middle), and Tamara's charming memoir is packed with her idiosyncratic drawings and anecdotal vignettes. 
>> Visit Shopsin's.
>> "A huge event of incompetence." (a clip from the 2004 documentary on Shopsin's, I Like Killing Flies)
>> Tamara Shopsin in The New Yorker
The Diary of Mary Berg: Growing up in the Warsaw Ghetto       $27
Mary Berg was 15 in 1939 when the Germans invaded Poland. She kept a diary throughout the four years she survived in the Warsaw Ghetto. It remains an astounding document, and the first such account published. 

In Montparnasse: The emergence of Surrealism, from Duchamp to Dali by Sue Roe         $55

"We shall not have succeeded in destroying everything unless we destroy even the runs, but the only way I can see of doing this is to use them to put up a lot of fine, well constructed buildings." - Ubu
Athena: The story of a goddess by Imogen and Isabel Greenberg         $30
Wonderful graphic novel presentation of one of the staunchest and smartest of the Greek gods and goddesses. 

New Dark Age: Technology and the end of the future by James Bridle         $33
The prevailing idea that quantitative data will give a useful view of the world has overwhelmed our capacity to make sense of the data we receive. Is the Information Age antagonistic to knowledge? 
>> The author speaks
Old Gods, New Enigmas: Marx's lost theory by Mike Davis         $33
Is revolution possible in the age of the Anthropocene? Marx has returned, but which Marx? Recent biographies have proclaimed him to be an emphatically nineteenth-century figure, but in this book a thinker comes to light who speaks to the present as much as the past.
Sharp: The definitive guide to knives, knife care, and cutting techniques, with recipes from great chefs by Josh Donald and Molly DeCoudreaux      $55
As it says. 

Artivism by Arcadi Poch and Daniela Poch          $45
How can modes of visual and performance art be used effectively in protest and other political action? This is a good survey of art on the front lines of activism. 

Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh          $28
Fourteen-year-old Ahmed is stuck in a city that wants nothing to do with him. Newly arrived in Brussels, Belgium, Ahmed fled a life of uncertainty and suffering in Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey to the shores of Europe. Now Ahmed's struggling to get by on his own, but with no one left to trust and nowhere to go, he's starting to lose hope. Then he meets Max, a thirteen-year-old American boy. Lonely and homesick, Max is struggling at his new school and just can't seem to do anything right. But with one startling discovery, Max and Ahmed's lives collide and a friendship begins to grow.
Buzz: The nature and necessity of bees by Thor Hanson    $33
From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. What would happen if bees became extinct?
Ants Among Elephants: An untouchable family and the making of modern India by Sujatha Gidla         $33
In changing times, members of one untouchable family overcame the weight of tradition to become teachers, a poet, a revolutionary. 
The Meaning of Birds by Simon Barnes       $25
The uses of feathers, the drama of raptors, the slaughter of pheasants, the infidelities of geese.

08/10/2018 05:35 AM


These books have just arrived. Come and meet them. 
Notes to Self by Emilie Pine           $37
Startling essays on addiction, infertility, feminism, depression, rape and other 'unmentionable' subjects from a remarkable new Irish writer.
"I’ve never read anything quite like these essays. Pine’s fluent intelligence flows through each question, each dilemma, in its own inimitable way. It’s the kind of book you want to give to everyone, especially young women and men, so that we can learn together to take ourselves and each other more seriously." - Irish Times
"Do not read this book in public: it will make you cry." - Anne Enright
>> Emilie Pine on her father's alcoholism
A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen           $38
In the summer of 2008, Andrei Kaplan moves from New York to Moscow to look after his ageing grandmother, a woman who survived the dark days of communism and witnessed Russia’s violent capitalist transformation. She welcomes Andrei into her home, even if she can’t always remember who he is. Andrei learns to navigate Putin’s Moscow, still the city of his birth, but with more expensive coffee. He looks after his elderly – but surprisingly sharp! – grandmother, finds a place to play hockey, a café to send emails, and eventually some friends, including an activist named Yulia. A Terrible Country is a compelling novel about ageing, radical politics, Russia at a crossroads, and the difficulty – or impossibility – of actually changing one’s life.
"By turns sad, funny, bewildering, revelatory, and then sad again, A Terrible Country recreates the historical-psychological experience of returning, for twenty-first-century reasons, to a country one’s parents left in the twentieth century. It’s at once an old-fashioned novel about the interplay between generational roles, family fates, and political ideology, and a kind of global detective mystery about neo-liberalism (plus a secret map of Moscow in terms of pickup hockey). Gessen is a master journalist and essayist, as well as a storyteller with a scary grasp on the human heartstrings, and A Terrible Country unites the personal and political as only the best novels do." — Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot 
"Like Primo Levi’s masterpiece If Not Now, When?, A Terrible Country makes the emotional case for an unfamiliar politics. Its critique of the Russian mafia state is balanced by a deeply humanistic attention to common decency. I would not hesitate to recommend this novel to a busy person who otherwise refuses to touch fiction. The only up-to-the-minute, topical, relevant, and necessary novel of 2018 that never has to mention Trump." — Nell Zink, author of The Wallcreeper
We Can Make a Life by Chessie Henry     $35
Hours after the 2011 Christchuch Earthquake, Kaikoura-based doctor Chris Henry crawled through the burning CTV building to rescue those who were trapped. Six years later, his daughter Chessie interviews him in an attempt to understand the trauma that led her father to burnout, in the process unravelling stories and memories from her own remarkable family history. A remarkable interrogation of the personal fractures wrought by trauma.
>> The other side of bravery.
Doing Our Bit: The campaign to double the refugee quota by Murdoch Stephens         $15
How can a personal conviction build into a national campaign, and how can a campaign lead to a change in government policy? 
>> Small steps
 Dictator Literature: A history of despots through their writing by Daniel Kalder      $37
The crimes of tyrants against their people have been well documented, but what of their crimes against literature? Theoretical works, spiritual manifestos, poetry collections, memoirs and even romance novels - what relationship do these books have to their despotic authors' other spheres of action? Fascinating, surprisingly funny. 
Wrestliana by Toby Litt        $32
Toby Litt's ancestor, William Litt, was a champion Cumberland Wrestler but also almost certainly a smuggler - and definitely published poet and novelist. A huge and fascinating man, William was also troubling: he ended his life in poverty and exile. Using the nineteenth century as a guide, Wrestliana asks vital questions about modern-day masculinity, competition, and success. 
>> Read an extract.
>> William Litt's Wrestliana (1860).
>> Podcast
A Matter of Fact: Talking truth in a post-truth world by Jess Berentson-Shaw       $15
In an age when the only thing that spreads faster than information is misinformation, how should we think about and communicate about contentious issues? Berentson-Shaw has some advice. 

Treasures of Tāne: Plants of Ngāi Tahu by Rob Tipa       $50
A guide to the traditional uses of native plants in the South Island, and to the traditions, folklore, stories and histories surrounding their gathering and use. 

Nowhere Nearer by Alice Miller      $25
Is nowhere a place we can get closer to? How does history prevent us from seeing the present? These poems are a fertile and dangerous confluence of cultural streams. 
"Alice Miller looks hard at history's terrifying straight lines, yet time and again turns to the obsessive, sometimes redemptive circlings of art. She knows that in a universe ruled by time and death, words can both rescue and destroy us, sometimes in a single utterance." - Bill Manhire
Paper: Material, medium, magic edited by Nicola von Velsen and Neil Holt       $95
This excellent book covers every aspect of paper: its history, composition, production, application, and trade. Beginning with the anatomy of paper and its earliest forms, this book looks at paper as a symbol of political and economic importance and as a carrier of ideas, from literature to art, design, and music. It looks at the different surfaces, opacities, weights and volumes of paper and how it is used for printing, typography, graphics, and maps as well as a vehicle for origami, architecture, and fashion.

The Dress and the Girl by Camille Andros and Julie Morstad         $30

A beautiful picture book telling of a Greek girl who loses the trunk containing her dress on arrival in a new country, and how, when the dress finally finds the girl again, although the girl is now to big for the dress, the dress is just the right size for her daughter. 
Sweet Days of Discipline by Fleur Jaeggy          $30
Set in post-war Switzerland, Jaeggy's novel begins simply and innocently enough: "At fourteen I was a boarder in a school in the Appenzell". But there is nothing truly simple or innocent here. The narrator describes life as a captive of the school and her designs to win the affections of the seemingly perfect new girl, Frederique. As she broods over her schemes as well as on the nature of control and madness, the novel gathers a suspended, unsettling energy. 
"Dipped in the blue ink of adolescence, Fleur Jaeggy's pen is an engraver's needle depicting roots, twigs, and branches of the tree of madness, growing in the splendid isolation of the small Swiss garden of knowledge into full leaf until it obscures every perspective. Extraordinary prose. Reading time is approximately four hours. Remembering time, as for its author: the rest of one's life." - Joseph Brodsky
>> The austere fiction of Fleur Jaeggy.
>> Read Thomas's reviews of some of Jaeggy's other books
The Circus: A visual history by Pascal Jacob          $66
Using over 200 circus-related artworks from the French National Library's collections, Pascal Jacob tells the story of travelling entertainers and their art and trade. From nomadic animal tamers of the Dark Ages to European jugglers and acrobats of the 1800s, from the use of the circus as Soviet propaganda to the 20th-century Chinese performance art renaissance, this is a fascinating and attractive book. 
>> The horrific and the entertaining are never far apart
Sport and the New Zealanders: A history by Greg Ryan and Geoff Watson       $65
"Those two mighty products of the land, the Canterbury lamb and the All Blacks, have made New Zealand what she is," wrote Dick Brittenden in 1954. To what extent was this true? Have things changed since then? How important is sport to New Zealanders' idea of themselves? Is there something suspect about professionalism? What role does sport play on a personal and social level? How has this changed and how is it changing? 
Sports are Fantastic Fun! by Ole Könnecke     $35
Animals, however, are untroubled by such considerations: for them, sports are entirely about enthusiasm and participation. 

Pathway of the Birds: The voyaging achievements of Maori and their Polynesian ancestors by Andrew Sharp          $50

New World, Inc.: How England's merchants founded America and launched the British Empire by John Butman and Simon Targett        $55
In the mid-sixteenth century, England was a small and relatively insignificant kingdom on the periphery of Europe, and it had begun to face a daunting array of social, commercial and political problems. Struggling with a single export - woollen cloth - a group of merchants formed arguably the world's first joint-stock company and set out to seek new markets and trading partners. It was a venture that relied on the very latest scientific innovations and required an extraordinary appetite for risk. At first they headed east, and dreamed of Cathay, with its silks and exotic luxuries. Eventually, they turned west, and so began a new chapter in history. 
I Am Out With Lanterns by Emily Gale      $23
Year Ten begins with a jolt for best friends and neighbours Wren and Milo. Along with Hari, Juliet, Ben and Adie, they tell a story of friendship, family, wild crushes, bitter feuds, and the power of a portrait.
Fashioned from Nature by Edwina Ehrman and Emma Watson     $53
An interesting and well illustrated survey of ways in which fashion design has been influenced by the natural world. 
2062: The world that A.I. made by Toby Walsh        $40
Walsh considers the impact AI will have on work, war, economics, politics, everyday life and even death. Will automation take away most jobs? Will robots become conscious and take over? Will we become immortal machines ourselves, uploading our brains to the cloud? How will politics adjust to the post-truth, post-privacy digitised world? When we have succeeded in building intelligent machines, how will life on this planet unfold?

A Long Island Story by Rick Gekoski         $37
A family is subjected to pressures from within and from without in this novel set in McCarthy-era suburban Long Island. 

Coming To It: Selected poems by Sam Hunt         $30
>> On the road in 1980
>> Catching the tide in 1988. 
>> Ordinary People (2014).
VUP Classics!
Victoria University Press have re-issued four highlights from their list. Click through to find out more:
End of the Golden Weather by Bruce Mason      $20
Lifted by Bill Manhire       $20
Breakwater by Kate Duignan     $25
Nga Uruora by Geoff Park        $35

08/03/2018 05:39 AM

(They're new.)
Our Life in the Forest by Marie Darrieusecq           $35
A novel that challenges our ideas about the future, about organ-trafficking, about identity, clones, and the place of the individual in a surveillance state. In the near future, a woman writes from the depths of a forest. Her body, like the world around her, is falling apart - she's down to one eye, one kidney, one lung. Before she was a psychotherapist, treating patients who had suffered trauma. Every two weeks she visited her 'half' ' a comatose double, whose body parts were available whenever needed. As a form of resistance the woman flees, along with other fugitives and their halves. But life in the forest is disturbing too - the reanimated halves behave like uninhibited adolescents, and when she sees a shocking image of herself on video, are her worst fears confirmed?
"‘Once again, Darrieusecq gives us a passionate investigation into the deficiencies, transformations and lapses in our humanity. A little like Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451, she shows how literature is our best means to disrupt functionality." - Focus Vif
>> Read an extract
>> A dream of the forest
The Trilogy of Two by Juman Malouf         $25
Identical twins Sonja and Charlotte are musical prodigies with extraordinary powers. Born on All-Hallows-Eve, the girls could play music before they could walk. They were found one night by Tatty, the Tattooed Lady of the circus, in a pail on her doorstep with only a note and a heart-shaped locket. They've been with Tatty ever since, roaming the Outskirts in the circus caravans, moving from place to place.But lately, curious things have started to happen when they play their instruments. During one of their performances, the girls accidentally levitate their entire audience, drawing too much unwanted attention. Soon, ominous Enforcers come after them, and Charlotte and Sonja must embark on a perilous journey through enchanted lands in hopes of unlocking the secrets of their mysterious past. A wonderful illustrated story.
"Full of wonders. Vivid and attractive." - Philip Pullman
>> Watch the trailer, meet the characters and read the sample
Other People's Houses by Lore Segal           $20
An autobiographical novel of Segal's experience of leaving Austria for Britain on the Kindertransports, and of living as a refugee and finally getting visas for her parents to join her. 
"Moving and newly relevant. if you translate Segal's beautiful, elliptical prose into today’s terms, her story becomes both radical and unsettling." - Guardian
Wild Land by Peter and Beverly Pickford         $90
A stunning large-format book of stunning large-format photographs of stunning large-format landscapes devoid of even the slightest human impact. You will want this. 
The Button War by Avi        $28
World War One. A small village in Poland. After the Germans bomb the schoolhouse and the long-residing Russian soldiers prepare to leave the area, Patryk’s small, isolated village is suddenly a whirlwind of activity. Inspired by the frequent comings and goings of military men, Jurek, the cruel, conniving leader of Patryk’s group of classmates, declares a daring challenge: whoever procures the best button from a soldier’s uniform gets to be king. Patryk is determined to beat Jurek at his own game, but he is no match for Jurek’s determination to win at all costs, even as the game turns deadly. 
The Wind at My Back by Paul Maunder           $35
In this personal and lyrical exploration of what it means to ride a bicycle, Maunder explores how our memories have a dialogue with landscape and how cycling and creativity are connected. 
>> Flann O'Brien's atomic theory
What We Think About When We Think About Football by Simon Critchley       $18
What happens when Critchley's pointy head is focused on the inflated sphere of a football? How can the 'beautiful game' be a way of thinking about philosophy, society, identity and poetics? 
Bogotá 39 - New Voices from Latin America        $27
39 authors under 40 years old, from 15 countries, some known; many to discover. Exciting. Gabriela Jauregui, Juan Pablo Roncone, Diego Zúñiga, Martin Felipe Castagnet, Lolita Copacabana, Diego Erlan, Mauro Libertella, Samanta Schweblin; Luciana Sousa, Carlos Manuel Álvarez, Frank Báez, Laia Jufresa, Jesús Miguel Soto, Mauro Javier Cardenas, Mónica Ojeda, Natalia Borges Polesso, Mariana Torres, Liliana Colanzi, Damián González Bertolino, Valentin Trujillo, María José Caro, Juan Manuel Robles, Brenda Lozano, Claudia Ulloa Donoso, Giuseppe Caputo, Juan Cárdenas, Juan Esteban Constaín, Daniel Ferreira, Felipe Restrepo Pombo, Cristian Romero, Sergio Gutiérrez Negrón, Carlos Fonseca, Alan Mills, Valeria Luiselli, Emiliano Monge, Eduardo Rabasa, Daniel Saldaña Paris, Gonzalo Eltesh, Eduardo Plaza.
Inappropriation by Lexi Freiman         $33
A search for belonging turns into a riotous satire of identity politics in this wildly irreverent coming-of-age story.
"Lexi Freiman is a savage writer, hilarious and brilliant, and in Inappropriation, she has reframed the traditional coming-of-age story, tackling it with irreverence and acid wit. This is a daring book, thrillingly of our moment." - Emma Cline, author of The Girls
"Inappropriation is sly and risky, but also sweet, a wickedly funny machine built to make us laugh and think. The comic novel has a bold new voice in Lexi Freiman, and she could not have come along at a better time." - Sam Lipsyte, author of The Fun Parts
Alone by Christophe Chabouté     $37
An outstanding graphic novel. On a tiny lighthouse island far from the rest of the world, a hermit lives out his existence. Every week a supply boat leaves provisions, yet the fishermen never leave their boat, and never meet him.Years spent on this deserted rock, with imagination his sole companion, has made the lighthouse keeper something more than alone, something else entirely. For him, there is nothing beyond the horizon. But, one day, a new boatman steps onto the island...  

Cloud Hotel by Julian Hanshaw         $40
Remco knows he is special. He was chosen. He thinks that God took a shine to him, when a bright light in a clear northern sky brought him to the incredible Cloud Hotel. It’s a palace of wonders, an escape from the world, and a place to be alone. Well, almost alone. But now it’s time to check out, and the hotel’s last two guests must race against time to find what’s been lost, before they overstay their welcome. Graphic novel. 
"Crisp of line and hypnotically peculiar, Hanshaw deftly suspends us between dream and reality, as good comics do. As in life, the harder we look the more we see, and the stranger things invariably become." — Shaun Tan
>> From Julian's brain
>> Not to be confused with this "luxury budget" hotel
Family: New vegetable classics to comfort and nourish by Hetty McKinnon        $40
Build a repertoire of enjoyable vegetarian food loved by families of varying backgrounds. The family stories and then-and-now photographs are delightful, too. 
Sharp: The women who made an art out of having an opinion by Michelle Dean          $38
A sharp group biography of writers who demonstrated and importance and benefits of not holding their tongues. Includes Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, Hannah Arendt, Susan Sontag and Joan Didion. 
"This is such a great idea for a book, and Michelle Dean carries it off, showing us the complexities of her fascinating, extraordinary subjects, in print and out in the world. Dean writes with vigor, depth, knowledge and absorption, and as a result Sharp is a real achievement." - Meg Wolitzer, New York Times 
The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid by Oliver Byrne       $45
First published in 1847, Byrne's book of coloured illustrations of Euclid's Elements remains a design exemplar (and preceded Mondrian's investigations into colour geometry by almost a century. 
Floral Contemporary: The renaissance of flower design by Olivier Dupon        $60
38 floral designers. 
Tyrant: Shakespeare on power by Stephen Greenblatt     $45
As an ageing, tenacious Elizabeth I clung to power, a talented playwright probed the social and psychological roots and the twisted consequences of tyranny. What Shakespeare discovered in his characters remains remarkably relevant today. He shone a spotlight on the infantile psychology and narcissistic appetites of demagogues and imagined how they might be stopped. 
"Scholarly and highly entertaining." - The Guardian
Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds by Jeremy Lachlan            $23
Jane's father disappears during an earthquake and Jane must enter a dangerous place between worlds, a place with shifting rooms and magical traps, to search for him. But she is not the only one tracking her father, whose secrets have drawn the attention of sinister powers. Can Jane and her new friends prevail? The start of an exciting new series. 

Imperial Tea Party: Family, politics and betrayal, The ill-fated British and Russian royal alliance by Frances Welch            $33
Apart from the marriage of Tsarevich Nicholas to Victoria's favourite granddaughter Alix, the royal families met three times: in Balmoral, in Revel and on the Isle of Wight before Revolution removed the Russians from the equation. King George denied his Romanov cousins refuge in Britain in 1917. 

Bonkers About Beetles by Owen Davey       $30
Lots of insect information illustrated in an appealing retro style. 
>> Others in the same series
Tove Jansson: Life, art, words by Boel Westin         $33
Moomins! Sculpture! Painting! Design! Relationships! Fiction! An island!
When Galaxies Collide by Lisa Harvey-Smith        $37
The Andromeda Galaxy is rushing towards us at 400,000 kilometres an hour. This book is a guide to the night sky and its wonders (black holes, pulsars, red stars, blue stars) with a fresh urgency - when the Andromeda Galaxy collides with ours in 5.86 billion years, will we be prepared? 
Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig        $30
The societies we live in are increasingly making our minds ill, making it feel as though the way we live is engineered to make us unhappy. What can we do about this? 
Watched by Marina Budhos         $21
Naeem is a Bangledeshi teenager living in Queens, New York, who thinks he can charm his way through anything. But then mistakes catch up with him. So do the cops, who offer him an impossible choice - spy on his Muslim neighbours and report back to them on shady goings-on, or face a police record.
 “Watched will pull you into its world with magnetic, graceful power, and deeply touching scenes of immigrant life and relationships. A hauntingly perfect, potent story for this moment.”—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Habibi 

Milkman by Anna Burns         $33
Set in an unnamed city but with an astonishing, breath-shorteningly palpable sense of time and place, Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. The story of inaction with enormous consequences and decisions that are never made, but for which people are judged and punished.
Long-listed for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
Front Desk by Kelly Yang         $20
Ten year-old Mia Tang moved from Hong Kong to the US for a better life, a freer life, but so far, it's a life where she runs the front desk of a motel while her parents clean rooms. And she's not even allowed to use the swimming pool. Based on the author's experience as an immigrant. 
No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Island by Behrouz Boochani          $38
Since 2013, Kurdish jounralist Boochani has been held by the Australian government of Manus island in contravention of international law. While there he has managed to surreptitiously write this book about his experiences. 
>> Boochani has also been involved in the making of this film
The Accidental Memoir by Eve Makis and Anthony Cropper        $28
A workbook of approachable prompts and exercises for life writing. 

07/27/2018 05:38 AM


Just out of the carton...

Caroline's Bikini by Kirsty Gunn          $33
"Is it possible for something NOT to happen in a novel?" asks Emily, who has been persuaded by her friend Evan to write the story of his love affair with glamorous former horsewoman Caroline Beresford, an account which becomes Caroline's Bikini (i.e. this book). A playful exploration of the responsibilities of fiction from the author of The Big Music, which was named Book of the Year at the 2013 New Zealand Post Book Awards. 
>> Read an extract
>> Read Thomas's review of The Big Music
>> Kirsty Gunn's top ten books on unrequited love

OK, Mr Field by Katharine Kilalea        $28
A concert pianist whose wrists are damaged in a train accident uses his insurance payout to buy a house identical to Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye overlooking False Bay, in Cape Town. When his wife leaves him after only a few weeks in the house, the ex-pianist, lacking a personality of his own, begins to be inhabited by the house itself in unusual ways. "A perfectly poised and mad book about chronic loneliness; enigmatic, often dream-like and brilliantly funny." - Irish Times
>> Read an excerpt.
Lala by Jacek Dehnel       $35
Born in Poland just after the First World War and brought up to be a perfect example of her class and generation - tolerant, selfless and brave - Lala is an independent woman who has survived some of the most turbulent events of her times. As she senses the first signs of dementia, she battles to keep her memories alive through her stories, telling her grandson tales of a life filled with love, faithlessness and extraordinary acts of courage. Sweeping from nineteenth-century Kiev to modern-day Poland, Lala is a novel tracking Polish one Polish family through the twentieth century. 
"The prehensile magic of Lala lies in the art of retelling. Dehnel’s work is drawn from life and enriched with intent, with a kind of aesthetic cohesion that bare facts lack." - The Quarterly Conversation
Winner of the Paszport Polityka Award. 
The Big Questions: What is New Zealand's future?         $38
Whatever concerns face us as a country, the decisions we make now, under urgency, will determine the kind of lives future generations will lead. Anne Salmond, Andrew Becroft, Rod Oram, Jacinta Ruru, Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Tim Watkin, Derek Handley, Jarrod Gilbert, Stuart McNaughton, David Brougham, Jarrod Haar, Yumiko Olliver-Gray, Golriz Ghahraman, Theresa Gattung, Peter O'Connor, and Leonie Freeman.
History of Violence by Édouard Louis       $37
An encounter between two men turns from attraction to violence, revealing the layers of dispossession, racism, misery, desire and trauma in contemporary French society. Another blistering autobiographical novel from the author of The End of Eddy
>> "Macron will lead voters to the far right.
>> "There is a political violence toward the poor, which existed under Thatcherism and that is today in the process of returning."
Wait, Blink by Gunnhild Øyehaug      $40
Sigrid is a young literature student trying to find her voice as a writer when she falls in love with an older, established author, whose lifestyle soon overwhelms her values and once-clear vision. Trine has reluctantly become a mother and struggles to create as a performance artist. The aspiring movie director Linnea scouts locations in Copenhagen for a film she will never make. As these characters' stories collide and intersect, they find that dealing with the pressures of their lives also means coming to grips with a world both frightening and joyously ridiculous. From the author of the outstanding story collection Knots
"Interior psychological monologues play as if a neuroscientist exploring the conscious mind had reset a functional fMRI to fictional. Wait, Blink is a witty and cerebral braid of events both real and fictional, driven by self-talk, undergirded by literary criticism, and sprinkled with factoids." - World Literature Today
View from the South by Owen Marshall      $40
A very presentable collection of poems, many tagged to specific locations in the South Island, with photographs by Graeme Sydney. 
"Marshall's poems are an exquisite marriage of musicality, observation, elegance and economy. Certain words stand out in his lines like the glint of light on wet ground." - Paula Green

The Storm Keeper's Island by Catherine Doyle         $17
When Fionn Boyle sets foot on Arranmore Island, it begins to stir beneath his feet. Once in a generation, Arranmore Island chooses a new Storm Keeper to wield its power and keep its magic safe from enemies. The time has come for Fionn 's grandfather, a secretive and eccentric old man, to step down. Soon, a new Keeper will rise. But, deep underground, someone has been waiting for Fionn. As the battle to become the island 's next champion rages, a more sinister magic is waking up, intent on rekindling an ancient war.

"So magical and wild that it 's like being swept away by the sea." - Katherine Rundell

Zaitoun: Recipes and stories from a Palestinian kitchen by Yasmin Khan        $49
Yasmin Khan harvests black olives from the groves of Burquin in the West Bank, hand-rolls maftool - the plump Palestinian couscous - in home kitchens in Jenin and finds time to enjoy a pint with workers at the Taybeh brewery, which is producing the first Palestinian craft beer. As she feasts and cooks with Palestinians of all ages and backgrounds, she learns about the realities of their everyday lives. Zaitoun includes herb-filled salads, quick pickles, fragrant soups, tender roasted meats and rich desserts, and has a special focus on vegetarian versions of Palestinian classics. 
"A moving, hugely knowledgeable and utterly delicious book." -Anthony Bourdain
Reporter: A memoir by Seymour Hersh         $55
This book gives great insight into the mind of this outstanding journalist, and, through that, further insights into the people and stories he brought to the world's attention, including the Mai Lai massacre and the atrocities at Abu Graib.
"Reporter is just wonderful. Truly a great life, and what shines out of the book, amid the low cunning and tireless legwork, is Hersh's warmth and humanity. This book is essential reading for every journalist and aspiring journalist the world over." - John le Carré

Joining the Dots: A woman in her time by Juliet Gardiner          $25
A fascinating account of the social, political and cultural changes in Britain since World War 2, especially for women, as focused on the life of a particularly keen and involved observer. 
"Refreshingly unconcerned with self-excavation, the beauty of it is in its flow from the particular to the general. The vast consolation and pleasure of this generous book is its conviction that we are all more than one life allows." - Times Literary Supplement

The Archipelago: Italy since 1945 by John Foot        $35
From the silent assimilation of fascists into society after 1945 to the troubling reign of Silvio Berlusconi, and from the artistic peak of neorealist cinema to the celebration of Italy's 150th birthday in 2011, Foot examines both the corrupt and celebrated sides of the country. 

"A lively and meticulously researched account." - Guardian

The Recovering: Intoxication and its aftermath by Leslie Jamison        $45
Who would have thought that account of recovery from addiction could be as fascinating as the account of the train-wreck itself. At the heart of the book is Jamison's ongoing conversation with literary and artistic geniuses whose lives and works were shaped by alcoholism and substance dependence, including John Berryman, Jean Rhys, Billie Holiday, Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson, and David Foster Wallace. From the author of The Empathy Exams.
"Perceptive and generous-hearted. Uncompromising, Jamison is a writer of exacting grace." - Washington Post
Rendezvous with Oblivion by Thomas Frank         $30
Frank takes on on a tour of the US, a country in the late stages of disintegration, and shows us the results of the mechanisms of inequality, empty status and circumstantial anxiety that have, among other things, delivered Trump to office. 
The Little Swedish Kitchen by Rachel Khoo       $55
100 authentic and achievable recipes, with hints on how to enjoy your life in a Swedish way. 
Eye of the Shoal: A fish-watcher's guide to life, the ocean, and everything by Helen Scales      $33
What is it like to be a fish? Their way of life is radically different from our own, in part because they inhabit a buoyant, sticky fluid in which light, heat, gases and sound behave in odd ways. Fish have evolved many tactics to overcome these challenges, and, in doing so, they have become a way in which we can learn to see the ocean, and life in general, in more profound ways. (Her real name, apparently.)

The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela Brown         $17
The inspiring story (first published in 1941) of a group of children who start their own theatre company.

The Immeasurable World: Journeys into desert places by William Atkins        $37
One-third of the earth's surface is classified as desert. Restless, and unhappy in love, William Atkins decided to travel in eight of the world's driest, hottest places: the Empty Quarter of Oman, the Gobi Desert and Taklamakan deserts of northwest China, the Great Victoria Desert of Australia, the man-made desert of the Aral Sea in Kazkahstan, the Black Rock and Sonoran Deserts of the American Southwest, and Egypt's Eastern Desert. What draws humans to deserts?
Slow Down and Grow Something. Cultivate. Cook. Share. by Byron Smith and Tess Robinson        $45
A blueprint for living the good life in the city - how to grow the easiest food plants in small spaces and recipes to make the most of them. 

Wild Sea: A history of the Southern Ocean by Joy McCann        $40
Completely encircling the Earth, the Southern Ocean stretches from Antarctica to the costs of New Zealand, Australia, Africa and South America. It contains a spattering islands, each more remote and wild than the last, and a rich history of explorers, whalers, scientists and settlers, as well as remarkable natural history. The ocean has become an important barometer of climate change and ecological depredation. This book considers this little-known ocean.
 The Finder by Kate Hendrick       $24
When Lindsay meets Elias the signs aren't promising. She's a grungy introvert who doesn't want to talk to anyone. He's a teen fashionista who can't shut up. But since Lindsay tracked down a runaway kid, word has got around that she knows how to find people. And Elias is looking for his birth mother. And he has money. But Lindsay wasn't actually trying to find the runaway. It's just how she looks at the world. That's because someone is missing in Lindsay's life - her identical twin Frankie, who disappeared when they were eight. YA novel. 

Future Days: Krautrock and the building of modern Germany by David Stubbs          $28
The groups that created Krautrock (Faust, Popol Vuh, Neu , Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel, Amon Düül II, Can, Kraftwerk) considered in the context of a society attempting to come to terms with the atrocities and legacies of World War 2.
>> Popol Vuh, 1971
>> Kraftwerk, 1971
>> Amon Düül II, 1973

Is It Bedtime Yet? Parenting: the hilarious, the hair-raising, the heart-breaking by Emily Writes and friends         $35
There may be no answers, but there are no end of helpful anecdotes. From the NZ author of Rants in the Dark and the blog Emily Writes.
The Spinning Magnet by Alanna Mitchell          $39
Without electromagnetism, life on Earth would not be possible. The quest to understand it began with the idea that the magnet was a physical embodiment of the heavens, possessing as it did its own North and South poles. Is the discovery that, every once in a long while, the Earth 's magnetic poles switch places, significantly weakening the field 's protective power, something we should worry about?
The Biggerers by Amy Lilwall          $33
An unscrupulous scientist is cloning and manipulating embryos to produce miniature humans for a huge and greedy government-backed corporation that tortures them, drugs them with memory suppressants, and sells them as pets—ostensibly to teach 22nd-century children to care lovingly about something other than themselves. What happens when the 'littlers' start to communicate with the 'biggerers' and to develop human capacities? 

Resist! How to be an activist in the Age of Defiance by Michael Segalov        $35
The People Awards by Lily Murray      $25
Celebrate equality with 50 people who changed the world in their own ways. 

07/20/2018 05:39 AM

Out of the carton and waiting for you.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh        $38
Fed up with her vapid life, despite all her privileges, a young woman decides to spend a year in narcotic hibernation, supervised by a very unsafe psychiatrist. Is alienation a threat to our personal wellbeing or its safeguard? From the author of the Booker-shortlisted Eileen
"Matter of fact, full of bravado yet always wryly observational. One of the pleasures of reading Moshfegh is her relentless savagery." - Guardian
>> Read an excerpt
>> Another excerpt (with photos!).
>> "I say too much."
>> What's in Moshfegh's fridge? 
A Life of My Own by Claire Tomalin          $28
The outstanding biographer and literary editor writes an exacting and fascinating book about her own life.
"Moving and beautifully written." - Guardian

The Book by Amaranth Borsuk          $45
In attempting to define what constitutes a 'book' in an age when technology is helping us to re-examine the definitions of many cultural entities, Borsuk covers much interesting ground, both historical and speculative, approaching books as physical objects, as content, as ideas and as interface. 
>> 'The Hand and the Page in the Digital Age.
The Barber's Dilemma, And other stories from Manmaru Street by Koki Oguma          $30
Meet the people who live on Koki Oguma's street in Tokyo. Each sparks a quirky story and a very quirky drawing. A delightful book. 
>> See some of Koki Oguma's drawings
Colours of a Life: The life and times of Douglas MacDiarmid by Anna Cahill         $80
One of the outstanding members of Christchurch's 'The Group' in the 1940s but realising there was no place for him in New Zealand, MacDiarmid moved to Paris in 1952 and pretty well disappeared from view in this country. He continued (and continues, at the age of 95) to produce and develop, and has had a remarkable career. Only recently has this important expatriate artist been recognised as a missing link in the story of New Zealand art: the 'one that got away'. 
>> Visit Douglas MacDiarmid's website
Before Dawn to Bluff Road / Hollyhocks in the Fog by August Klenzahler          $33
Selected San Francisco poems and selected New Jersey poems from this poet whose work is "ferociously on the move, between locations, between forms, between registers" (Griffin Prize judges' citation).
>> Read a few of his poems here
The Visitor by Antje Damm         $30
Will the little boy who visits Elise in pursuit of his paper plane help her to overcome her anxieties and make her life less drab? (Yes.)
New Wave Clay: Ceramic design, art and architecture by Tom Morris      $65
The unprecedented surge in popularity of ceramics in the last five years has helped forge a new type of potter: the ceramic designer. Part-craftsman, part designer, they bridge ceramic craft, collectable design, and fine art. These ceramicists include product designers who use clay as a means of creative expression, and classically trained potters who create design-led pieces, in addition to interior decorators, illustrators, and graphic designers.
A Journey into the Phantasmagorical Garden of Apparatio Albinus by Claudio Romo         $55
Explore the flora and fauna and other wondrous phenomena of a miraculous garden filled with denizens as small as symbiotic insects, made up of both plant and animal life forms, and as large as a planet, Atanasius Uterinus, that contains a sun within its very core. Beautifully illustrated. 
>> Peep into the garden
Type Deck: 54 iconic typefaces curated by Steven Heller and Rick Landers      $28
A striking set of index cards surveying the history of type design. 
Auschwitz, A history by Sybille Steinbecker        $28
How Auschwitz was conceived, how it grew and mutated into an entire dreadful city, how both those who managed it and those who were killed by it came to be in Poland in the 1940s, and how all this was allowed to happen.
He is Mine and I Have No Other by Rebecca O'Connor            $33
In 1990s-small-town Ireland, amid the sweaty school discos and first fumblings of adolescence, fifteen-year-old Lani Devine falls in love with Leon Brady, whose mother is buried in the cemetery next to Lani's house. Lani is haunted by the stories of thirty-five orphaned girls, buried in an unmarked grave near Leon's mother. As the love story unfolds, and then unravels, it becomes clear that Leon too is haunted - by a brutal family tragedy that has left scars much more than skin-deep.
"A tender portrait of cider-drinking adolescence in all its rawness and sensitivity." - Irish Times

Mayhem by Sigrid Rausing         $28
Rausing looked on helplessly as her brother and his wife succumbed to drug addiction, leading to the death of her sister-in-law. Rausing delivers a remarkable portrait of a family coping with stress, trauma and grief, and asks searching questions about our society's inability to provide support. Rausing depicts addiction as lying somwhere between culpability and insanity. 
Great Expectations by Kathy Acker           $26
A new edition of Acker's 1983 punk riff on Dickens's classic. Fun.
We Begin Our Ascent by John Mungo Reed         $33
A lean novel intimating the pressures of competition in the Tour de France (and attendant doping) on a young couple's relationship and shared goals.
The Good Bohemian: The letters of Ida John edited by Rebecca John and Michael Holroyd      $22
Ida Nettleship married the painter Augustus John and tolerated his relationship with style icon Dorothy "Dorelia" McNeill. Ida John's letters reveal much of life in the bohemian artistic set of the time.
Fascism: A warning by Madeleine Albright          $33
"A fascist is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals he or she might have." Relevant. 

Zami: A new spelling of my name (A biomythography) by Audre Lorde         $26
"If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive." Lorde's memoir of growing up in 1930s Harlem, her early experiments in self-determination, and the formulation of her fierce yet poetic feminist and civil rights platforms. New edition. 
Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag         $23
A young man's close-knit family is nearly destitute when his uncle founds a successful spice company, changing their fortunes overnight. As they move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house on the other side of Bangalore, and try to adjust to a new way of life, the family dynamic begins to shift. Allegiances realign; marriages are arranged and begin to falter; and conflict brews ominously in the background. An unsettling portrait of contemporary India. 
A Little Piece of Ground by Elizabeth Laird         $18
Twelve-year-old Karim Aboudi and his family are trapped in their Ramallah home by a strict curfew. Israeli tanks control the city in response to a Palestinian suicide bombing. Karim longs to play football with his friends - being stuck inside with his teenage brother and fearful parents is driving him crazy. When the curfew ends, he and his friend discover an unused patch of ground that's the perfect site for a football pitch. What happens when he stays out too long?

The Wisdom of Trees by Max Adams        $23
A wander among the trees of the world, their history and mythology, with illustrations from John Evelyn's Sylva.

Vacationland: True stories from painful beaches by John Hodgman         $35
Disarmed of falsehood, he was left only with the awful truth. John Hodgman is an older white male monster with bad facial hair, wandering like a privileged Sasquatch through three wildernesses - the hills of Western Massachusetts where he spent much of his youth; the painful beaches of Maine that want to kill him (and some day will); and the metaphoric haunted forest of middle age that connects them.

Evolution for Babies by Chris Ferrie and Cara Florance       $19
The best and clearest primer for evolutionary biology available as a board book. The Baby University motto: "It only takes a small spark to ignite a child's mind."

07/13/2018 04:36 AM


Your lucky day.
Crudo by Olivia Laing             $35
Crudo charts in real time what it was like to live and love in the horrifying summer of 2017, from the perspective of a commitment-phobic peripatetic artist who may or may not be Kathy Acker. From a Tuscan hotel for the super-rich to a Brexit-paralysed UK, Kathy spends the first summer of her forties trying to adjust to marriage as Trump tweets the world into nuclear war. But it’s not only Kathy who’s changing. Political, social and natural landscapes are all in peril. Fascism is on the rise, truth is dead and the planet's hotting up. Is it really worth learning to love when the end of the world is nigh? 
>> The Crudo playlist.

The Years by Annie Ernaux             $40
Considered by many to be the iconic French memoirist’s defining work, The Years is a narrative of the period 1941 to 2006 told through the lens of memory, impressions past and present, cultural habits, language, photos, books, songs, radio, television, advertising and news headlines. Ernaux invents a form that is subjective and impersonal, private and communal, and a new genre – the collective autobiography – in order to capture the passing of time. 
"A Remembrance of Things Past for our age of media domination and consumerism." - New York Times
"The Years is a revolution, not only in the art of autobiography but in art itself. Annie Ernaux’s book blends memories, dreams, facts and meditations into a unique evocation of the times in which we lived, and live." — John Banville
"One of the best books you’ll ever read." — Deborah Levy
"Ravishing and almost oracular with insight, Ernaux’s prose performs an extraordinary dance between collective and intimate, 'big' history and private experience. The Years is a philosophical meditation paced as a rollercoaster ride through the decades. How we spend ourselves too quickly, how we reach for meaning but evade it, how to live, how to remember – these are Ernaux’s themes. I am desperate for more." — Kapka Kassabova
"A book of memory, of a life and world, staggeringly and brilliantly original." — Philippe Sands
Lucia by Alex Pheby         $32
"She is about thirty-three, speaks French fluently. Her character is gay, sweet and ironic, but she has bursts of anger over nothing when she is confined to a straightjacket," write James Joyce of his daughter, Lucia. Whose story is Lucia's story? Lucia Joyce was a lover of Samuel Beckett and an avant-garde dancer. From her twenties she was treated for schizophrenia and spent the last thirty years of her life in an asylum. After her death her letters were destroyed and references to her were removed from archives. Alex Pheby, who is superb at mapping the workings of minds outside the norm (read Thomas's review of Playthings here), fills in the erasures and lacunae in this fascinating novel, not appropriating Lucia's story but shining beams of light towards her from multiple points of view. 
"Brilliant, compelling, profoundly disturbing." - Literary Review
"An emotionally powerful and constantly questioning novel, Lucia probes speculation, truth and the fraught ethics of history, biography and narrative itself." - Irish Times
>> The lost story of a Parisian dancer
Aliens and Anorexia by Chris Kraus            $23
Following I Love Dick and Torpor to complete her trilogy of detonations under the wall that lies between fiction and memoir, Aliens and Anorexia unfolds like a set of Chinese boxes, using stories and polemics to travel through a maze that spirals back into itself. Its characters include Simone Weil, the first radical philosopher of sadness, the artist Paul Thek, Kraus herself, and her virtual S&M partner who’s shooting a big-budget Hollywood film in Namibia while Kraus holes up in the Northwest Woods for the winter to chronicle the failure of Gravity & Grace, her own low-budget independent film. Kraus argues for empathy as the ultimate perceptive tool, and reclaims anorexia from the psychoanalytic girl-ghetto of poor “self-esteem.” Anorexia, Kraus writes, could be an attempt to leave the body altogether: a rejection of the cynicism this culture hands us through its food.
>>"I'm just a channel for all that shit."
>> "This female consciousness."
Fully Coherent Plan (For a new and better society) by David Shrigley          $33
Possibly the most miserable set of cartoons ever assembled. 
"With a casual gesture Shrigley points to that hideous shape whose name I've never known - and then he names it. And the name is profoundly, embarrassingly familiar. I'm laughing while frantically searching for a pen, so desperate to capture the feeling he has unearthed in me." - Miranda July
"On the kink of his line Shrigley can shift effortlessly from pathos to paranoia. And his work is funny - very funny; his timing devastatingly effective." - Will Self
>> Have a look at this
Poūkahangatus by Tayi Tibble           $20
"This collection speaks about beauty, activism, power and popular culture with compelling guile, a darkness, a deep understanding and sensuality. It dives through noir, whakamā and kitsch and emerges dripping with colour and liquor. There’s whakapapa, funk (in all its connotations) and fetishisation. The poems map colonisation of many kinds through intergenerational, indigenous domesticity, sex, image and disjunction. They time-travel through the powdery mint-green 1960s and the polaroid sunshine 1970s to the present day. Their language and forms are liquid—sometimes as lush as what they describe, other times deliberately biblical or oblique. It all says: here is a writer who is experiencing herself as powerful, restrained but unafraid, already confident enough to make a phat splash on the page." —Hinemoana Baker
>> "I always assumed Denis Glover was talking about some other Johnsonville."
>> 'For a Cigarette and a Blanket.'
People from the Pit, Stand Up by Sam Duckor-Jones         $30
This is the voice of someone who is both at home and not at home in the world. Sam Duckor-Jones’s fresh, funny, dishevelled poems are alive with art-making and fuelled by a hunger for intimacy. Giant clay men lurk in salons, the lawns of poets overgrow, petrolheads hoon along the beach, birds cry ‘wow-okay, wow-okay, wow-okay’.
"Gorgeous and contrary." —Jenny Bornholdt
"If attention is an act of love, then this is a collection that attends to art and life in such a way as to collapse any distinction between the two." —Chris Price
>> Hear Duckor-Jones on the radio and look at some of his sculptures
Albert Einstein Speaking by R.J. Gadney         $40
"If everybody lived a life like mine, there would be no need for novels." - Albert Einstein. 
An interesting novelistic treatment of Einstein's life, mixing documentary and fictional sources, springing from a chance telephone call that occurred near the end of Einstein's life. Princeton. New Jersey. 14th March 1954: 'Albert Einstein speaking.' 'Who?' asks the girl on the telephone. 'I'm sorry, ' she says. 'I have the wrong number.' 'You have the right number,' Albert says. So began a friendship. 
Capitalism by Nancy Fraser and Rahel Jaeggi           $46
Fraser and Jaeggi take a fresh look at the big questions surrounding the peculiar social form known as 'capitalism', upending many of our commonly held assumptions about what capitalism is and how to subject it to critique. They show how, throughout its history, various regimes of capitalism have relied on a series of institutional separations between economy and polity, production and social reproduction, and human and non-human nature, periodically readjusting the boundaries between these domains in response to crises and upheavals. 
Edgeland by David Eggleton           $28
Eggleton's new collection "possesses an intensity and driven energy, using the poets recognisable signature oratory voice, strong in beat and measure, rooted in rich traditions of chant, lament and ode. Mashing together the lyrical and the slangy, celebrating local vernaculars while simultaneously plugged in to a global zeitgeist of technobabble and fake news, Eggleton recycles and repurposes high visual culture and demotic aural culture."

Flying Too Close to the Sun: Myths in art, from Classical to contemporary by James Cahill        $90
A beautifully presented and thoughtfully selected survey of the persistence of myths in visual culture. 

Poverty Safari: Understanding the anger of Britain's underclass by Darren McGarvey         $28
A modern-day counterpart, perhaps, to George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London, this book was awarded the 2018 Orwell Prize for political writing. “It’s not just a lament against austerity but as much a hymn in praise of the power of the individual. It’s both a big social critique and a big call to individual liberty and empowerment. McGarvey says individuals matter and people really do have control of their own destiny, but they are also caught in a social condition that can be a trap.” (Orwell Prize judges). McGarvey grew up living in poverty. He suffered domestic abuse, his mother died young, leaving her school-age children behind her, and Darren fell into a trap of drug and alcohol addiction. But he managed to pull himself out of this. Now, Darren is a successful columnist and advocate for change, representing many NGOs and organisations in the Third Sector.
>> About the author
>> a.k.a. Loki the Scottish Rapper.
There There by Tommy Orange           $37
A remarkable multivocal novel depicting the results of centuries of disenfranchisement and racism on Native American communities in the US. 
"This is a novel about what it means to inhabit a land both yours and stolen from you, to simultaneously contend with the weight of belonging and unbelonging. There is an organic power to this book, a revelatory, controlled chaos. Tommy Orange writes the way a storm makes landfall." - Omar El Akkad, author of American War
There There has so much jangling energy and brings so much news from a distinct corner of American life that it’s a revelation." - New York Times
>> "There is a monolithic version of what a Native American is supposed to be."
Body of Art          $90
The most comprehensive survey of the representation of, and meanings of, the human body in art of all periods and cultures. Thoughtful, provocative, and frequently surprising.
Modern Nature by Derek Jarman         $28
In 1986 Derek Jarman discovered he was HIV positive and decided to make a garden at his cottage on the barren coast of Dungeness. Facing an uncertain future, he nevertheless found solace in nature, growing all manner of plants. While some perished beneath wind and sea-spray others flourished, creating brilliant, unexpected beauty in the wilderness. Modern Nature is both a diary of the garden and a meditation by Jarman on his own life: his childhood, his time as a young gay man in the 1960s, his renowned career as an artist, writer and film-maker. It is at once a lament for a lost generation, an unabashed celebration of gay sexuality, and a devotion to all that is living. A new edition, with an introduction by Olivia Laing.
>> Visit the gardens at Prospect Cottage
>> Meet Derek Jarman
>> Some of Jarman's remarkable films
>> Olivia Laing, Philip Hoare and Sarah Wood discuss Derek Jarman
The Dead Still Cry Out by Helen Lewis           $38
As a child, Helen Lewis discovered a suitcase in a cupboard at home. It contained horrific photographs taken by her father, a combat photographer, of the atrocities committed at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Lewis charts her father's upbringing in the East End of London, where he and his family experienced English anti-Semitism, his career documenting humanity at its worst, and the impact this had on him in the years afterwards. 
>> Visions of hell

Rise Up, Women! The remarkable lives of the suffragettes by Diane Atkinson          $48
Clear and detailed. 
"A thrilling and inspiring read! For too long these extraordinary women have been hidden from history. Rise Up, Women! should be a standard text in all schools. And it will be a treasured handbook for today's feminists." - Harriet Harman (British MP and QC)
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler           $37
A bittersweet, hope-filled look at two quirky families that have broken apart and are trying to find their way back to one another. 

Rare Books Uncovered: True stories of fantastic finds in unexpected places by Rebecca Rego Barry          $28
The London Lover: My weekend that lasted thirty years by Clancy Sigal         $40
Hugely enjoyable and bristling with personalities and anecdotes, this book perfectly captures the decades of the high and low life of the crazed American who arrived in London in 1957, plugged into the literary and arts scene through his affair with Doris Lessing, had therapy with R.D. Laing, got involved with the CND and with more subversive movements, and indulged in pretty much everything that could be indulged in. Sigal's anxieties and insecurities, together with his wonderful style, make this memoir deeply human and enjoyable.

Hotel Silence by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir          $23
Everything that doesn't work is a mark of our humanity. Jonas is starting to feel that life hasn't worked out the way he thought it would. Divorced and lonely, with nothing much to live for, he decides to buy a one-way ticket somewhere, anywhere, with no intention of coming back.When he arrives at the strangely deserted airport, in the barren holiday resort (the cheapest last-minute deal he could find), and ends up on the doorstep of Hotel Silence, which has definitely seen better days, it seems the ideal place to put an end to it all. There isn't any dinner, the plumbing barely works, and the hotel staff seem somewhat distracted. But as his relationship with May and her small son Adam grows into friendship, he begins to understand the traumatic story of this war-torn country, Jonas discovers reasons to carry on. 
Out of My Head: On the trail of consciousness by Tim Parks       $40
Who better than Tim Parks to ask us along on his enquiry into what consciousness is, consciousness's relationship to matter, who and what might be conscious, and how technology is changing our ideas about it. 

Letterforms: Typeface design from past to future by Timothy Samara        $45
Remarkably good analysis of the evolution and design considerations of fonts. 

Search and Find: Alphabet of Alphabets by Alan Sanders     $33

Each fascinating illustrated letter of the alphabet contains another alphabet: An alphabet of Alphabets, an alphabet of Birds, an alphabet of Creepy-crawlies, an alphabet of Dinosaurs, &c, &c. Fun. 

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx, Frederich Engels and Martin Rowson         $30
At last - the Communist Manifesto as a graphic novel!

07/06/2018 05:56 AM

Some of them are very new. 
Pamper Me to Hell and Back by Hera Lindsay Bird        $22
"Love, death, Bruce Willis, public urination, being a woman, love, The Nanny, love. This pamphlet of poetry by Hera Lindsay Bird is a startling departure from her bestselling debut Hera Lindsay Bird by defying convention and remaining exactly the same, only worse. This collection, which focuses on love, childish behaviours, 90’s celebrity references and 'being a woman', is sure to confirm all your worst suspicions and prejudices."
Selected by Carol Ann Duffy: "Without doubt the most arresting and original new young poet - on page and in performance - to arrive."
The Iliac Crest by Cristina Rivera Garza        $30
On a dark and stormy night, an unnamed narrator is visited by two women: one a former lover, the other a stranger. They ruthlessly question their host and claim to know his greatest secret: that he is, in fact, a woman. In increasingly desperate attempts to defend his masculinity, perplexed by the stranger's dubious claims to be the writer Amparo Davila, he finds himself spiralling deeper into a haunted past that may or may not be his own. 
"An intelligent, beautiful story about bodies disguised as a story about language disguised as a story about night terrors. Cristina Rivera Garza does not respect what is expected of a writer, of a novel, of language. She is an agitator." - Yuri Herrera
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata        $30
For nearly twenty years Keiko (like the author of this book) has been working in a convenience store, a role that both gives her purpose in life and, after initially allowing her to pass as a 'normal' person in a very conformist society, gives her a place from which to defy conformist expectations, especially concerning personal relationships, and to isolate herself from the pressures of social life. 
“The novel borrows from Gothic romance, in its pairing of the human and the alluringly, dangerously not. It is a love story, in other words, about a misfit and a store. Keiko’s self-renunciations reveal the book to be a kind of grim post-capitalist reverie: she is an anti-Bartleby, abandoning any shred of identity outside of her work. It may make readers anxious, but the book itself is tranquil—dreamy, even—rooting for its employee-store romance from the bottom of its synthetic heart.” —Katy Waldman, New Yorker
>> Odd is the new normal
>> An interview with the author
Trans-Europe Express: Tours of a lost continent by Owen Hatherley      $40
Over the past twenty years European cities have become the envy of the world: a Kraftwerk Utopia of historic centres, supermodernist concert halls, imaginative public spaces and futuristic egalitarian housing estates which, interconnected by high-speed trains traversing open borders, have a combination of order and pleasure which is exceptionally unusual elsewhere. How and why do European cities differ so markedly from the cities of the developer-oriented, car-centred Anglo-Saxon norm? 
"The latest heir to Ruskin." - Boyd Tonkin, Independent 

"Hatherley is the most informed, opinionated and acerbic guide you could wish for." - Hugh Pearman
The Hospital by Ahmed Bouanani           $35
"When I walked through the large iron gate of the hospital, I must have still been alive." In this novel based on Bouanani’s own experiences as a tuberculosis patient, the hospital begins to feel increasingly like a prison or a strange nightmare: the living resemble the dead; bureaucratic angels of death descend to direct traffic, claiming the lives of a motley cast of inmates one by one; childhood memories and fantasies of resurrection flash in and out of the narrator’s consciousness as the hospital transforms before his eyes into an eerie, metaphorical space. Somewhere along the way, the hospital’s iron gate disappears. The Hospital is a nosedive into the realms of the imagination, in which a journey to nowhere in particular leads to the most shocking places.
>> Read an excerpt.
Scenes from a Childhood by Jon Fosse         $32
For clarity and efficiency and resonance of prose, few contemporary writers can outdo Norway's Jon Fosse. 
"Fosse’s prose builds out of an ambiguity and sparseness and moves with a slow poetic intensity. The collection has all the hallmarks of Fosse’s signature brooding manner where lyrical precision is used to paint unmoored psyches. Scenes from a Childhood is a welcome – if overdue – introduction to a singular literary voice." — Tank
"Fosse has been compared to Ibsen and to Beckett, and it is easy to see his work as Ibsen stripped down to its emotional essentials. But it is much more. For one thing, it has a fierce poetic simplicity." — New York Times
>> Read an excerpt
White Plains: Pieces and witherlings by Gordon Lish          $38
Against the backdrop of White Plains hospital, Lish skewers together memories of long-past infidelities and betrayals, on-going friendships, the death of his wife and the relative comfort of household chairs, to forge a series of interlinked hypnotic and hilarious narratives to pick away at what we thought was our idea of memory. Lish was the editor who 'made' Raymond Carver. 
"Closer to a snarling rant than a work of fiction. Reads like the freewheeling wordplay of a mad person." – TLS
"These are stories for the neurotic state of our times, stories for insomnia, stories for those who wake in discontent. There will never be another like Gordon Lish." – Berfrois
Ruth Asawa by Tiffany Bell and Robert Storr        $115
Known for her intricate and dynamic wire sculptures, the American sculptor, educator and arts activist Ruth Asawa challenged conventional notions of material and form through her emphasis on lightness and transparency. Asawa began her now iconic looped-wire works in the late 1940s while still a student at Black Mountain College. 
>> The Ruth Asawa website (recommended). 
>> Of forms and growth.
>> Objects and apparitions
The Pisces by Melissa Broder         $33
A woman completing a thesis on Sappho finds herself deeply attracted to a merman. 
"Through the eyes of our merman-obsessed anti-heroine, we become attuned to both the poignancy and pointlessness of the human experience-from illusory ambition to unruly erotic fantasy." - Molly Prentiss
>> Meet the author.
The Toy Catalogue by Sandra Petrignani         $30
A series of exquisite, compactly written pieces exploring the the wonder and sadness of children's toys and their capacity to stir both unsettling and comforting memories in adults. 
My Purple Scented Novel by Ian McEwan         $6
Actually, it's a short story. "You will have heard of my friend the once celebrated novelist Jocelyn Tarbet, but I suspect his memory is beginning to fade. You'd never heard of me, the once obscure novelist Parker Sparrow, until my name was publicly connected with his. To a knowing few, our names remain rigidly attached, like the two ends of a seesaw. His rise coincided with, though did not cause, my decline. I don't deny there was wrongdoing. I stole a life, and I don't intend to give it back. You may treat these few pages as a confession."
A Weekend in New York by Benjamin Markovits        $33
Tolstoy claimed: 'All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way'. But what if the happy families are actually the most unusual of all? What does it mean to be a family? To be an individual? And how do we deal with the responsibilities these roles impose upon us? A Weekend In New York intertwines the politics of the household and the state to forge a luminous national portrait on a deceptively local scale. 

The Mapmakers' Race by Erlys Hunter           $25
Four children temporarily lose their parents just as they are about to begin the race that offers their last chance of escaping poverty. Their task is to map a rail route through an uncharted wilderness. They overcome the many obstacles posed by nature—bears, bees, bats, river crossings, cliff-falls, impossible weather—but can they survive the treachery of their competitors?

Out in the Open by Javi Rey, based on the novel by Jesús Carrasco       $35
A stunning graphic novel. After suffering violence and betrayal at home, a young boy flees into an uncompromising landscape ravaged by drought. Without food or water, exposed to the heat of the sun and the violence of his pursuers, the boy sets out across the Spanish plains. An encounter with an elderly goatherd offers hope of survival. The old man can help him stay ahead of the dangers that lie outside - but he can't fix the internal drama that plays out in the boy's mind. Nightmares are a constant reminder of a traumatic past and an unstable present.
Conversations about Indigenous Rights: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Aotearoa New Zealand edited by Selwyn Katene and Rawiri Taunui         $45
Shows the alignment between the Treaty of Waitangi and the Declaration, and examines how the Declaration assists the interpretation and application of Treaty principles of partnership, protection and participation.

In these Days of Prohibition by Caroline Bird         $28
Bird's poems hold their subjects in an unflinching grip, addressing faces behind the veneer, asking what it is that keeps us alive. 
"Her poems burst with linguistic energy." - TLS
>>Some poems by Caroline Bird.

XYZ of Happiness by Mary McCallum          $25
Poems of happiness - as it comes, when it’s missing and when it is hoped for. 

Three Balls of Wool by Henriqueta Cristina and Yara Kono     $30
In search of a freer place where every child can go to school, a family moves from Fascist Portugal to Communist Czechoslovakia. Different as this new country is, however, it is far from ideal. In this new, grey world, the lack of freedom is felt in the simplest things, such as the colours one can and cannot wear.
Around the World in 80 Trees by Jonathan Drori and Lucille Clerc      $40
This beautifully illustrated book uses plant science to illuminate how trees play a role in every part of human life, from the romantic to the regrettable. Includes the New Zealand kauri. 
How Democracy Ends by David Runciman         $37
Democracy has died hundreds of times, all over the world. We think we know what that looks like: chaos descends and the military arrives to restore order, until the people can be trusted to look after their own affairs again. However, there is a danger that this picture is out of date. Until very recently, most citizens of Western democracies would have imagined that the end was a long way off, and very few would have thought it might be happening before their eyes as Trump, Brexit and paranoid populism have become a reality.
Days of Awe by A.M. Homes           $33
 A.M. Homes exposes the heart of an uneasy America in her new collection - exploring people's attachments to each other through characters who aren't quite who they hoped to become, though there is no one else they can be.
"Furiously good." - Zadie Smith
Last Stories by William Trevor         $35
A posthumous collection from one of the subtlest short-story stylists.

Ahed Tamimi: A girl who fought back by Paul Morris, Paul Heron, Peter Lahti and Manal Tamimi      $40
"We only want to live a peaceful life. We want to play like other children. My dream is to become a football player." The story of the 16-year-old girl imprisoned by the Israeli army for slapping a soldier in defiance of the Zionist occupation in her village in the West Bank. "She should have gotten a bullet." - Deputy Knesset Speaker Bezalel Smotrich. The book helps the Palestine Legal Defence Fund.
>> Living resistance
Quantum Mechanics: The theoretical minimum by Leonard Susskind        $26
This book will give you the best possible handle on quantum theory - enough to fully grasp the concepts but nothing extraneous to occlude them. 
Because I Come from a Crazy Family: The making of a psychologist by Edward M. Hallowell        $40

When Edward M. Hallowell was eleven, a voice out of nowhere told him he should become a psychiatrist. 
May Day Manifesto, 1968 edited by Raymond Williams      $25
Is a 1968 vision for a socialist future a useful tool today? 

06/29/2018 04:33 AM


Release yourself with these books:

Room to Dream by David Lynch and Christine McKenna        $40
Unprecedented insight into the creative life of one of the most consistently unsettling living film directors. Lynch's free-form memoir sections are interspersed with long-time close collaborator McKenna's more traditionally biographical (but no less fascinating) sections. 
>> "I like to tell stories."
>> A trailer for Eraserhead (1977). 
This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman         $38
One of the last judicial executions in New Zealand was of Albert Black, the so-called 'Jukebox Killer', convicted of murdering another young man in a fight at a milk bar in Auckland in July, 1955. Kidman casts a novelist's eye upon the events surrounding the death and the trial, and evokes the forces and prejudices at play in society at the time. 
>>Black's friend remembers
Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas by Ant Sang and Michael Bennett         $30
A new graphic novel from the creative genius of The Dharma PunksKidnapped by time-travelling ninjas, Helen is thrust into the year 2355 - a ruined future with roving gangs and 'Peace Balls', giant humming devices that enslave and control people's minds. The Go-Go Ninjas have one goal - to destroy the Peace Balls. They believe that Helen knows how. Can Helen use her knowledge of the past to help them save the future? 
>> A glimpse.
Cicada by Sean Tan       $30
After 17 years Cicada is tired of being unappreciated by his bosses and bullied by his co-workers. He quits and goes to the top of the building, where an astonishing thing happens...
>> How the book was made

Modernists and Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters, 1945-1970 by Martin Gayford      $55
A remarkably\e picture of the very fertile post-war period, based on an exceptionally deep well of firsthand interviews, often unpublished, with such artists as Victor Pasmore, John Craxton, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Allen Jones, R. B. Kitaj, Euan Uglow, Howard Hodgkin, Terry Frost, Gillian Ayres, Bridget Riley, David Hockney, Frank Bowling, Leon Kossoff, John Hoyland, and Patrick Caulfield.

The Fear and the Freedom: How the Second World War changed us by Keith Lowe       $28
A very readable book using individual testimonies to view the impact of the conflict with out the myths, contexts and overarching narratives commonly placed upon it. How did the trauma change how people decided what was possible in their lives and societies? 
White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock          $19
Seventeen-year-old Peter Blankman is a maths prodigy. He also suffers from severe panic attacks. Afraid of everything, he finds solace in the orderly and logical world of mathematics and in the love of his family: his scientist mum and his tough twin sister Bel, as well as Ingrid, his only friend. However, when his mother is found stabbed before an award ceremony and his sister is nowhere to be found, Pete is dragged into a world of espionage and violence where state and family secrets intertwine. Armed only with his extraordinary analytical skills, Peter may just discover that his biggest weakness is his greatest strength.
Ayiti by Roxanne Gay          $35
Her debut collection of short stories exploring the Haitian diaspora experience.

The Human Planet: How we created the Anthropocene by Simon L. Lewis and Mark A. Masin        $24
Our actions have driven Earth into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. For the first time in our home planet's 4.5-billion year history a single species is dictating Earth's future. To some the Anthropocene symbolises a future of superlative control of our environment. To others it is the height of hubris, the illusion of our mastery over nature. 
How Do We Look / The Eye of Faith ('Civilisations') by Mary Beard        $40
The idea of 'civilisation' has always been debated. At the heart of those debates lies the big question of how people - from prehistory to the present day - have depicted themselves and others, both human and divine. Distinguished historian Mary Beard explores how art has shaped, and been shaped by, the people who created it. How have we looked at these images? What has been their relationship to religion? A companion volume to the BBC 'Civilisations' series. 
>>Also available: First Contact / The Cult of Progress by David Olusoga.
The New Sorrows of Young W. by Ulrich Plenzdorf          $23
Edgar W, teenage dropout, unrequited lover, unrecognised genius, dead, tells the story of his brief, spectacular life. It is the story of how he rebels against the petty rules of communist East Germany to live in an abandoned summer house, with just a tape recorder and a battered copy of Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther for company. Of his passionate love for the dark-eyed, unattainable kindergarten teacher Charlie. And of how, in a series of calamitous events (involving electricity and a spray paint machine), he meets his untimely end.
The Art of Losing Control: A philosopher's search for ecstatic experience by Jules Evans         $25
The heightened relinquishment of self-concept has been a source of personal creativity, social cohesion and so-called spiritual experience ever since self-concept appeared. It has also been the mechanism of mental illness, mob mentality and mind-control. 
How to Love Brutalism by John Grindrod          $30
Brutalist architecture, which flourished in the 1950s to mid-1970s, gained its name from the term ' Beton-brut', or raw concrete - the material of choice for the movement. British architectural critic Reyner Banham adapted the term into 'brutalism' (originally 'New Brutalism') to identify the emerging style. The architectural style - typified by buildings such as Trellick Tower in London and Unite d'Habitation in Marseille - is controversial but has an enthusiastic fan base, including the author, who is on a mission to explain his passion.
Behold, America: A history of America First and the American Dream by Sarah Churchwell            $33
What does America mean? Is it a land of opportunity for all, a melting pot, a democracy, or a xenophobic, nativist antidemocracy? How does the clash of these tendencies explain the America of today? 
Mapping the Bones by Jane Yolen       $24
Chaim and Gittel Abromowitz, 14-year-old twins connected by a secret language and a fierce love for each other. Their Jewish family has been relocated to the Lódz ghetto in Poland, stuffed into a small apartment with another family, the difficult Norenbergs, including children Sophie and Bruno. As the situation in the ghetto worsens and Dr. Norenberg disappears, Chaim pawns his mother’s engagement ring so both families can make a dangerous escape into the forest and, eventually, across the border into the Soviet Union. Before long, the children are separated from their parents.
In the Mouth of the Wolf by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Barroux        $33
Francis and Pieter are brothers. As shadow of one war lingers, and the rumbles of another approach, the brothers argue. Francis is a fierce pacifist, while Pieter signs up to fight. What happens next will change the course of Francis’s life forever - and throw him into the mouth of the wolf. Based on the true story of Morpurgo's uncles during World War 2. 
Hive by A.J. Betts        $20
A community lives in a constrained post-apocalyptic hexagonal world. Hayley tends her bees and all is as it 'should' be, until she notices a drip from the ceiling. What lies beyond the confines of her world? How is her community complicit? 
See No Evil: New Zealand's betrayal of the people of West Papua by Maire Leadbetter           $50
In the 1950s, New Zealand back self-determination for the former Dutch colony, but from 1962 New Zealand began to support Indonesia's annexation of the territory. The consequence of Indonesian rule has been a slow genocide of West Papuans. What has been, and what still is, New Zealand's complicity with the repressive Indonesian rule? 

Swallow's Dance by Wendy Orr        $19
A Bronze-Age adventure from the author of Dragonfly SongLeira is about to start her initiation as a priestess when her world is turned upside down. A violent earthquake leaves her home - and her family - in pieces. And the earth goddess hasn't finished with the island yet. With her family, Leira flees across the sea to Crete, expecting sanctuary. But a volcanic eruption throws the entire world into darkness. After the resulting tsunami, society descends into chaos; the status and privilege of being noble-born are reduced to nothing. With her injured mother and elderly nurse, Leira must find the strength and resourcefulness within herself to find safety.
Where the Line is Drawn: Crossing boundaries in occupied Palestine by Raja Shehadeh      $25
As a boy, Raja Shehadeh was entranced by a forbidden Israeli postage stamp in his uncle's album, intrigued by tales of a green land beyond the border. He couldn't have known then what Israel would come to mean to him, or to foresee the future occupation of his home in Palestine. Later, as a young lawyer, he worked to halt land seizures and towards peace and justice in the region. 
"A courageous and timely meditation on the fragility of friendship in dark times, illuminating how affiliation and love can have a profound political power." - Madeleine Thien 
"Written with fierce clarity and unusual compassion, this book touches the human heart of a political tragedy." - Gillian Slovo
Collision, Compromise and Conversion: A critical study of Hokianga Maori, missionary and kauri merchant interactions by Gary Clover        $70
Early Hokianga was a unique blend of Ngapuhi Maori, kauri milling settlers and Wesleyan missionaries. Drawing upon modern scholarly insights, Methodist historian Gary Clover investigates the nature of culture change and Maori 'conversion' from 1827-1855, during New Zealand's early contact era. He explores how Hokianga Maori, amidst immense turmoil and change, adopted and 'Maorified' European technology, culture, and religion. 
Spying on Whales: The past, present and future of the world's largest animals by Nick Pyenson       $35
What can humans learn about surviving in a changing world from these creatures who for millennia have survived on a planet where oceans rose and fell and land masses shifted?

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell         $12
An 1855 novel tracing the ills of contemporary labour relations in a textile mill in industrialising northern England. Gaskell's novels frequently have a protofeminist perspective. 
She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The powers, perversions and potential of heredity by Carl Zimmer       $40
Heredity isn't just about genes that pass from parent to child. Heredity continues within our  bodies, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of cells that make up our bodies. We say we inherit genes from our ancestors but we inherit other things as well. How do we need to rethink heredity? 
The Endsister by Penni Russon        $19
"I know what an endsister is," says Sibbi again.We are endsisters, Else thinks, Sibbi and I. Bookends, oldest and youngest, with the three boys sandwiched in between.Meet the Outhwaite children. There's teenage Else, the violinist who abandons her violin. There's nature-loving Clancy. There's the inseparable twins, Oscar-and-Finn, Finn-and-Oscar. And then there is Sibbi, the baby of the family. They all live contentedly squabbling in a cottage surrounded by trees and possums...until a letter arrives to say they have inherited the old family home in London. Outhwaite House is full of old shadows and new possibilities. The boys quickly find their feet in London, and Else is hoping to reinvent herself. But Sibbi is misbehaving, growing thinner and paler by the day, and she won't stop talking about the mysterious endsister. Meanwhile Almost Annie and Hardly Alice, the resident ghosts, are tied to the house for reasons they have long forgotten, watching the world around them change, but never leaving.The one thing they all agree on - the living and the dead - is never, ever to open the attic door.
How to Be Famous by Caitlin Moran     $37
A young woman finds that fame in the BritPop 1990s comes at a cost.
>> Moran talks and waves her arms about
Geometry #3       $18
A journal of New Zealand letters. Includes Paula Morris, Chris Holdaway, C.K. Stead, Cathy Adams, Edith Amituanai, Rachel Smith, Caoimhe McKeogh, Jennifer Ruth Jackson, Elena Alexander, Ant Sang, Brian Walpert, Brandon Timm, Mingpei Li, Benjamin Work, Sneha Subramanian Kanta, Lorraine Wilson, Jan Everard, Piet Nieuwland, Shannon Novak, Gina Cole, Adedayo Agarau and Selena Tusitala Marsh.
>> Other issues on-line

06/22/2018 04:03 AM

Just out of the carton at VOLUME.
Click on the covers to buy from our website.
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner           $37
The much anticipated new novel from the author of The Flame ThrowersIt is 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at a women's prison. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth, and her young son. Inside is a world operating on its own mechanisms: thousands of women scrabbling to survive, and a power structure based on violence and absurdity. 
"The Mars Room is so sensually convincing it leaves its imprint of steel mesh on your forehead, while its compassion embraces baby-killer and brutal cop alike in the merciless confines of the American justice system. An extraordinary literary achievement." - Adam Thorpe
"Mysterious and irreducible. The writing is beautiful - from hard precision to lyrical imagery, with a flawless feel for when to soar and when to pull back." - Dana Spiotta
"Her best book yet." - Jonathan Franzen
>> "Prisons should exist only in fiction."
Break.up by Joanna Walsh            $33
In this 'novel in essays', a brief romantic dalliance, a fizzle, is bookended by lengthy digital correspondence and speculative fretting and regret. Is this delusion or romance? Is this the blueprint of modern relationships? Has the balance between the actual and the virtual aspects of our lives altering to the point where it is becoming impossible to (actually) have a relationship with another (actual) person? 
"A smart, allusive meditation on longing, on solitude, on the lure of cities and on the sheer fragility of experience and feeling." - Colm Toibin
"Reminiscent of Marcel Schwob, Clarice Lispector, Roland Barthes and Lydia Davis." - Paris Review
>> Read an excerpt.
>> Walsh reads and talks
Things to Make and Break by May-Lan Tan         $28
The eleven stories in this book seem (quite reasonably and refreshingly) preoccupied with what may (to the mind at least) be termed ‘the body problem’, which is (of course) not a problem but a number of interrelating problems (or potentials) clustered around the disjunction between the kinds of relationships had by bodies and the kinds of relationships had by their correlated minds. Minds and bodies are subject here to differing momentums, and one bears the other away before the two can coalesce. Tan is concerned also with the interchangeability of persons, and with the contortion of persons, physically or psychologically, that enables this interchangeability. Whether it is twins who both fall in love with the same amnesiac, or the narrator of ‘Legendary’ who discovers photographs of her boyfriend’s previous partners in his drawer and becomes obsessed with one, an ex-aerialist once badly injured in a fall, stalking her and attempting to enter her experience using a playground swing, the stories have a raw elegance and precision and are full of intense and sometimes surprising images. 
Medieval Bodies: Life, death and art in the Middle Ages by Jack Hartnell       $55
Dripping with blood and gold, fetishised and tortured, gateway to earthly delights and point of contact with the divine, forcibly divided and powerful even beyond death, there was no territory more contested than the body in the medieval world. Hartnell investigates the complex and fascinating ways in which the people of the Middle Ages thought about, explored and experienced their physical selves, and the ways in which they left evidence of this. Beautifully illustrated. 
Shapeshifters: On medicine and human change by Gavin Francis          $37
What we think of as our selves is held in its precarity by contrary forces, some within our control, some not, some intrinsic to our natures, some visited upon us, which are constantly changing us. To be human is to be subject to innumerable tendencies to change. This book surveys, fascinatingly, some of the notable ones, both beneficial and malign. From the author of the excellent Adventures in Human Being
The Happy Reader #11              $8
A bookish interview with pop star Olly Alexander, and riffs (including from Deborah Levy) on the ramifications of the floricultural thriller The Black Orchid by Alexandre Dumas. 
The Inner Level: How more equal societies reduce stress, restore sanity and improve everybody's wellbeing by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett            $55
From the  authors of the hugely influential The Spirit Level, this new book looks at the horrendous impacts of inequality on the individual. 
Street Fighting Years: An autobiography of the sixties by Tariq Ali       $23
Ali revisits his formative years as a young radical. Through his own story, he recounts a counter history of the 60s rocked by the effects of the Vietnam war, the aftermath of the revolutionary insurgencies led by Che Guevara, the brutal suppression of the Prague Spring and the student protests on the streets of Europe and America. It is a story that takes us from Paris and Prague to Hanoi and Bolivia, encountering along the way Malcolm X, Bertrand Russell, Marlon Brando, Henry Kissinger, and Mick Jagger. 
The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder         $38
Today's Russia is an oligarchy propped up by illusions and repression. But it also represents the fulfilment of tendencies already present in the West. What will happen?
Plundering Beauty: A history of art crime during war by Arthur Tompkins        $70
War has always provided the opportunity for crimes either against art or against its established ownership structures. A well illustrated survey, from Classical antiquity to the present. New Zealand author. 
>> Tompkins talks with Kim Hill
Made in London: The cookbook by Leah Hyslop        $55
Every neighbourhood in London has its own cuisine. This book is the culinary London A-Z

A Reluctant Warrior by Kelly Brooke Nicholls      $30
A novel based on the author's experiences among ordinary people in remote areas of Colombia whose lives are impacted by the jostling between paramilitaries, guerrillas and drug cartels.
Riot Days by Maria Alyokhina      $28
A Pussy Riot member's account of her arrest, trial and imprisonment for feminist punk anti-State protests in Russia. 
"One of the most brilliant and inspiring things I've read in years. Couldn't put it down. This book is freedom." - Chris Kraus
"A women's prison memoir like no other! One tough cookie!" - Margaret Atwood
>> A short cut to Siberia

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh         $35
Three men washed up on the beach create a dreadful intrusion on the inhabitants of the island: three sisters and their mother. 
"Extraordinary.' - The Guardian

>> A review by Jessie Bray Sharpin on Radio New Zealand

The Nine-Chambered Heart by Janice Pariat        $23
How has the same woman attracted the love of nine very-different people? In the absence of her own story, do their nine very-different accounts form a useful picture of the person at their centre? 

Hara Hotel: A tale of Syrian refugees in Greece by Teresa Thornhill        $33

A chronicle of everyday life in a makeshift refugee camp on the forecourt of a petrol station in northern Greece. In the first two months of 2016, more than 100,000 refugees arrived in Greece. Half of them were fleeing war-torn Syria, seeking a safe haven in Europe. As the numbers seeking refuge soared, many were stranded in temporary camps, staffed by volunteers like Teresa Thornhill.
In the Dark Spaces by Cally Black         $23
Tamara has been living on a star freighter in deep space, and her kidnappers are terrifying Crowpeople - the only aliens humanity has ever encountered. No-one has ever survived a Crowpeople attack, until now - and Tamara must use everything she has just to stay alive.
Short-listed for the 2018 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults
Sleepy Head: Narcolepsy, neuroscience and the search for a good night by Henry Nicholls         $37
Henry Nicholls's inability to stay awake led him into the world of sleep science. How bad is it really, not to get eight hours of sleep? What happens to our brain when we're sleep deprived? How much sleep should we really be getting?
Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper            $37
Newfoundland, Canada, 1992. When all the fish vanish from the waters, and the cod industry abruptly collapses, it's not long before the people begin to disappear from the town of Big Running as well. As residents are forced to leave the island in search of work, 10-year-old Finn Connor suddenly finds himself living in a ghost town. There's no school, no friends and whole rows of houses stand abandoned. And then Finn's parents announce that they too must separate if their family is to survive. But Finn still has his sister, Cora, with whom he counts the dwindling boats on the coast at night, and Mrs Callaghan, who teaches him the strange and ancient melodies of their native Ireland. That is until his sister disappears, and Finn must find a way of calling home the family and the life he has lost. From the author of Etta and Otto and Russell and James
Pale Rider: The Spanish flu of 1918 and how it changed the world by Laura Spinney          $28
With a death toll of between 50 and 100 million people and a global reach, the Spanish flu of 1918-1920 was the greatest human disaster, not only of the twentieth century, but possibly in all of recorded history. And yet, in our popular conception it exists largely as a footnote to World War I. Spinney recounts the story of an overlooked pandemic, tracing it from Alaska to Brazil, from Persia to Spain, and from South Africa to Odessa. She shows how the pandemic was shaped by the interaction of a virus and the humans it encountered; and how this devastating natural experiment put both the ingenuity and the vulnerability of humans to the test. The Spanish flu was as significant as two world wars in shaping the modern world; in disrupting, and often permanently altering, global politics, race relations, family structures, and thinking across medicine, religion and the arts.
Desert Solitaire: A season in the wilderness by Edward Abbey      $30
A 50th anniversary edition of this stunning classic of American nature writing, evoking the time Abbey spent in the canyonlands of Moab, Utah, a world of terracotta earth, empty skies, arching rock formations, cliffrose, juniper, pinyon pine and sand sage.
"My favourite book about the wilderness." - Cheryl Strayed
Freelove by Sia Figiel          $35
Inosia, a fan of science and Star Trek, accepts a ride to Apia from her favourite high school teacher to buy thread for White Sunday.  This sparks an intimate relationship between the two as they discover much more about each other through science, knowledge and love. A story about taboos, loyalty and the lingering impact of colonialism in Samoa. 
>> An interview with the author
>> "Reclaiming colonised attitudes towards the sexuality of Samoans."
Natural World: A compendium of of wonders from nature by Amanda Wood, Mike Jolley and Owen Davey         $40
Reads like a book of make-believe. The hook is: it is all true." - The New York Times

Designed in the USSR, 1950-1989       $60
This survey of Soviet design from 1950 to 1989 features more than 350 items from the Moscow Design Museum's collection. From children's toys, homewares, and fashion to posters, electronics, and space-race ephemera, each object reveals something of life in a planned economy during a fascinating time in Russia's history. 

>> Visit the Moscow Design Museum

Evening Descends Upon the Hills: Stories from Naples by Anna Maria Ortese          $23
The stories that inspired Elena Farrente's 'Neapolitan Quartet'. Beautifully translated by Ferrante's translator Ann Goldstein.

Balcony on the Moon: Coming of age in Palestine by Ibtisam Barakat     $20
An account for teen readers of the author's childhood and adolescence in Palestine from 1972-1981, in the aftermath of the Six-Day War.
Conundrum by Jan Morris        $25
A grippingly honest account of her ten-year transition from man to woman - its pains and joys, its frustrations and discoveries. First published in 1974. 

The Menagerie: An alphabet book by M.B. Stoneman     $30
A beautiful set of etchings with the feel of 17th century bestiaries. 
>> Click through and look at the etchings.

 The Goat by Anne Fleming       $19

A child names Kid and a dog named Cat live among the eccentric denizens of a New York apartment building. The goat lives on the roof. 

Inner City Pressure: The story of Grime by Dan Hancox           $33
DIZZEE RASCAL. WILEY. KANO. STORMZY. SKEPTA. JME. SHYSTIE. WRETCH 32. GHETTS. LETHAL BIZZLE. TINCHY STRYDER. DURRTY GOODZ. DEVLIN. D DOUBLE E. CRAZY TITCH. ROLL DEEP. PAY AS U GO. NASTY CREW. RUFF SQWAD. BOY BETTER KNOW. The year 2000. As Britain celebrates the new millennium, something fluorescent and futuristic is stirring in the crumbling council estates of inner city London. Making beats on stolen software, spitting lyrics on tower block rooftops and beaming out signals from pirate radio aerials, a group of teenagers raised on UK garage, American hip-hop and Jamaican reggae stumble upon a new genre. 
>> SKEPTA - 'No Security'.
People of Peace: Meet 40 amazing activists by Sandrine Mirza and Le Duo         $22
From Immanuel Kant to Rosa Luxemburg to Sophie Scholl to Joan Baez to Daniel Barenboim to Malala Yousafzai - meet 40 people who stood up for what they believed in to make the world a better place for all. 
The Last Interview, And other conversations: Hunter S. Thompson with David Streitfield          $35
He never took his foot off the accelerator. 
>> Hunter S. Thompson's America
>> Other 'Last Interviews'.

06/15/2018 05:06 AM

Some excellent books await your attention. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Consolation of Maps by Thomas Bourke          $35

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

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

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

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

06/08/2018 05:30 AM


These books have just arrived at VOLUME.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

06/01/2018 05:16 AM


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

05/25/2018 05:46 AM

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

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

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

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

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

The 5 Misfits by Beatrice Alemagna         $18

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

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

Marx and Marxism by Gregory Claeys         $28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

05/18/2018 05:07 AM

Newly released. 
Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood          $28
In turns funny, angry and insightful, Lockwood's memoir of growing up with a father several times larger than life in a world several sizes too small for them both is not quite like anything else. Lockwood's Motherland, Fatherland, Homelandsexuals positioned her as an American approximation of Hera Lindsay Bird.  
"Lockwood's prose is cute and dirty and innocent and experienced, Betty Boop in a pas de deux with David Sedaris." - The New York Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

05/11/2018 03:37 AM


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

05/04/2018 04:57 AM


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Big Book of the Blue by Yuval Zommer      $30

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

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

>> Buruma performed with the Dairakudakan butoh company.

Book of Colours by Robyn Cadwallader       $37

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

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

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

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

>> Nanogirl is a good name for a superhero.

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

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

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

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

04/27/2018 05:46 AM


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

04/20/2018 02:00 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Marzipan Pig by Russell Hoban and Quentin Blake       $20

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

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

04/13/2018 05:50 AM


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

04/06/2018 06:55 AM


("Read us!")

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

03/29/2018 06:33 AM


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

03/23/2018 04:24 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

03/16/2018 01:59 AM


Release these books and, with them, yourself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

03/09/2018 04:15 AM


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

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