A few of the books that have come in this week looking for you.
Tess by Kirsten McDougall $25
What binds a family together tears a family apart. On the run, Tess is picked up on the side of the road by middle-aged father Lewis Rose, and drawn into the complexity of his life. Tess is a gothic love story set in Masterton at the turn of the millennium.
"I love novels about amelioration, about people trying to mend and fix themselves. Kirsten McDougall's brave and brilliant Tess is one of these. A novel of tender observation and deftly judged suspense, Tess imagines what it might mean for someone to really know what goes on inside others." - Elizabeth Knox
True Stories by Sophie Calle $40
A collection of autobiographical photographs and stories from this boundary-pushing artist.
He Reo Wahine: Maori women's voices from the nineteenth century edited by Lachy Paterson and Angela Wanhalla $50
"This book presents a rich and ranging collection of Maori women speaking from the nineteenth-century archive. The hopes, the persistence, the effort to set down a cause are all apparent in the words of women presented in these pages. It is in various measures an inspiring, instructive and agonising read." - Charlotte Macdonald, Victoria University of Wellington
I Can't Sleep by Stephanie Blake $20
Simon's little brother can't sleep without his special blanket. Simon usually just tells Casper what to do, but what can he do to solve this problem?
The Fuse Box: Essays on creative writing from Victoria University's International Institute of Modern Letters edited by Emily Perkins and Chris Price $35
Contributions from James Brown, Elizabeth Knox, Tina Makereti, Damien Wilkins, Bill Manhire. Charlotte Wood, Ashleigh Young and Hera Lindsay Bird.
A Moral Truth: 150 years of investigative journalism in New Zealand edited by James Hollings $45
Spanning the wars in the Waikato to the present day, and including pieces from Robyn Hyde and Pat Booth to Sandra Coney and Phillida Bunkle, Mike White, Jon Stephenson, Nicky Hager and Phil Kitchin, the pieces in this anthology are fresh whatever their age, and remind us of the importance of the contribution made by journalists to public knowledge and discourse.
Love in a Bottle by Antal Szerb $23
A selection of stories from the outstanding Hungarian author who was beaten to death in a concentration camp in 1945.
"Szerb is a master whose powers transcend time and language." - Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
"A writer of immense subtlety and generosity. Can literary mastery be this quiet-seeming, this hilarious, this kind? Antal Szerb is one of the great European writers." - Ali Smith
Joyce in Court by Adrian Hardiman $40
James Joyce was obsessed with the legal system, and Ulysses and Finnegans Wake is 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 and recreates a legal climate where 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
Bad Things by Louise Wallace $25
"No one can imagine how bad things must be. They sprout in the dark, damp folds of my mind. They grow there - a forest of tiny umbrellas. They flourish - a crown of terrible heads."
How do people survive?
Sugar, Rum and Tobacco: Taxes and public health in New Zealand by Mike Berridge and Lisa Marriott $15
Can a sugar tax improve public health? Even if it can, is it the right thing to do? Considers the New Zealand situation in the light of case studies from around the world.
Tightrope by Selina Tusitala Marsh $28
Built around the abyss, the tightrope, and the trick that we all have to perform to walk across it, Pasifika 'poetry warrior' Selina Tusitala Marsh brings to life in Tightrope her ongoing dialogue with memory, life and death to find out whether stories really can cure the incurable.
>> This video of Marsh launching her previous collection, Dark Sparring, is worth watching again.
Nabokov's Favourite Word is Mauve: The literary quirks and oddities of our most-loved authors by Ben Blatt $40
Does every writer have their own stylistic footprint? How can a statistician help us to understand how authors thought and wrote? Blatt brings big data to bear on the literary canon. Interesting.
RisingTideFallingStar by Philip Hoare $33
Hoare wraps his remarkable prose for a third time around a watery subject, this time tracing poets', artists', utopians',and adventurers' all-consuming and sometimes fatal attraction to the sea.
The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon $30
Archer B. Helmsley wants an adventure. No, he needs an adventure. His grandparents were famous explorers (until they got stuck on an iceberg). Now Archer's mother barely lets him out of the house. As if that would stop a true Helmsley. Archer enlists Adelaide—the girl who, according to rumor, lost her leg to a crocodile—and Oliver—the boy next door—to help him rescue his grandparents. Quite delightful, and with illustrations by the author. New series.
Motor Miles by John Burningham $20
When a neighbour builds Miles, a "very difficult dog", his own car, he can provide young Norman with some very formative experiences of independence.
Madame Zero by Sarah Hall $33
"Great short stories are the shape of themselves: image, voice and plot dovetailed to the chosen form. Hall’s stories are vixen-shaped: urban and rural, feral and natural, female and stinky, beautiful and tough. They slide quietly into view and stare at us with their citrine eyes; exceptional, compelling, frightening and authentic." - Guardian
Human Anatomy: Stereoscopic images of medical specimens by Jim Naughten $100
Fascinating, unsettling, wonderful. The specimens are all drawn from the Vrolik Museum in Amsterdam. Includes stereoscope.
Ordinary Time by Anna Livesey $25
"Ordinary Time wonderfully gets the warm, heated, swaddled feeling of early parenthood. In these poems there's closeness, damp, suspension in a state of intensity and the thingishness of life. All is urgent, present and fiercely intimate." - Jenny Bornholdt
A Universe of One's Own by Antonia Hayes $13
Why stop at a room of one's own? Hayes takes Woolf's call to the ultimate sphere, and intimates a life in which language is the governing force.
Reading with Patrick by Michelle Kuo $35
When English teacher Kuo learned that one of her ex-students had been jailed for murder in the Mississippi delta, she began visiting him and reading and discussing literature. This is a true account of how a life can be turned around by books.
New People by Danzy Senna $35
As the 20th century draws to a close, Maria is at the start of a life she never thought possible. She and Khalil are planning their wedding. They are the perfect couple, living together in a black bohemian enclave in Brooklyn. They've even landed a starring role in a documentary about 'new people' like them, who are blurring boundaries as a new era dawns. Everything Maria knows she should want lies before her - yet she can't stop daydreaming about another man. As fantasy escalates to fixation, it dredges up secrets from the past and threatens to unravel Maria's life.
The Mighty Franks by Michael Frank $30
"An utterly magical book. Michael Frank inherits Truman Capote's glorious ability to recreate the past in an act of exquisite, knowing retrieval. Set on the glamorous, conflicted fringes of 20th century Hollywood, Frank's memoir is a glittering, happy-sad evocation of his elegant, tyrannical, stylish aunt and the rest of his extraordinary family. I hung on every word, spying through his child's eyes. This is intense and lyrical prose: I never wanted it to stop." - Philip Hoare
The Sorrows of Mexico: An indictment of their country's failings by seven exceptional writers by Lydia Cacho, Sergio Gonzalez Rodriguez, Anabel Hernandez, Diego Enrique Osorno, Emiliano Ruiz Parra, Marcela Turati and Juan Villoro $28
Seven leading journalists express their anger and compassion over the sad fate of so many of their fellow citizens due to the poverty, corruption and violence than has their country in its grip.
100 Years of Fashion Illustration by Cally Blackman $28
400 illustrations reveal changes in thinking about fashion in the last century.
The Seven Moods of Craft Beer by Adrian Tierney-Jones $30
Social beers, adventurous beers, poetic beers, bucolic beers, imaginative beers, gastronomic beers, and contemplative beers. Where in the world can you find such beers?
Small Pieces: A book of lamentations by Joanne Limburg $33
"My mother, my family and Judaism are nested inside each other. I am Jewish and always Jewish; it's analogous with family, however hard it is, and however strained, it can never be disavowed. I remain, as my therapist put it, 'enmeshed', all tangled up in the family hoard. This book has been both a continuation of my conversations with them, and an attempt to untangle myself." Limburg's brother's suicide triggered for her a re-examination of her genetic and cultural heritage, as she attempted to hold onto her individual identity.
Unquiet Time: Aotearoa/New Zealand in a fast-changing world by Colin James $40
The veteran political commentator looks at the way the certainties upon which New Zealand has built its identity are becoming less certain. How will we respond?
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow $30
The American founding father catapulted into modern celebrity status by a Broadway musical was an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean who overcame the odds to become George Washington's aide-de-camp and the first Treasury Secretary of the United States. He was controversial in his lifetime and has remained so since.
Beautiful Animals by Lawrence Osborne $37
Two privileged young women at Greek Island resort come across a young Arab man washed up on the beach. A casualty of the refugee crisis, he becomes for them a 'project', with disastrous consequences.