Just out and just in.
Out of the Woods: A journey through depression and anxiety by Brent Williams and Korkut Öztekin $40
When he was in his late 40s, anxiety and depression overwhelmed Wellingtonian Brent Williams and he walked away from his partner, four children and job. He tells the story of his journey back to the world in this graphic memoir illustrated by Turkish artist Korkut Oztekin.
>> Williams speaks with Kim Hill.
Worlds from the Word's End by Joanna Walsh $30
"Walsh toys with notions of realism versus fantasy and autobiography versus fiction. She exposes, and revels in, the absurdity of these boundaries, their indistinctness. Her clever, self-parodying stories capture the existential disarrangement of the writer, but also the existential disarrangement of anyone who finds real life strange and, at times, quite unreal." - Joanna Kavenna, Guardian
"A genuinely original collection, sharp and sparse." - Mike McCormack
>> Read an extract, 'Exes'.
Egyptomania by Emma Giuliani and Carole Saturno $45
How are mummies made? What's inside a pyramid? A beautifully drawn large-format lift-the-flap book, introducing the world of Ancient Egypt.
Illumanatomy by Silvia Quintanilla, Francesco Rugiand and Kate Davies $40
Wonderful large-format illustrations of the wonders of the human body. See 3 images at once, or use the filters to untangle them.
The Language of Cities by Deyan Sidjic $28
If the city is the largest human artefact, how can we 'read' this evidence of the society that produced it?
The Militant Muse: Love, war and the women of Surrealism by Whitney Chadwick $55
How Surrealism, female friendship, and the experiences of war, loss, and trauma shaped individual women's transitions from someone else's muse to mature artists in their own right. Includes Claude Cahun and Suzanne Malherbe, Lee Miller and Valentine Penrose, Leonora Carrington and Leonor Fini, Frida Kahlo and Jacqueline Lamba.
The Gritterman by Orlando Weeks $48
"Sometimes it feels like I might be the only person awake in the whole country. People might find that a lonely thought. Not me." On icy nights the gritterman spreads grit on the roads and footpaths to reduce the incidence of accidents during the day. Nobody notices this, but that's the way the gritterman would want it. An atmospheric graphic novel reminiscent of Raymond Briggs.
>> The Gritterman website (with music by Weeks).
Artists Who Make Books edited by Andrew Roth, Philip Aarons and Claire Lehmann $180
500 images, 32 varied and outstanding contemporary artists whose practice includes making books. Impressive, and full of interesting ideas.
>> Sample pages on our website!
Thornhill by Pam Smy $30
Ella is fascinated by the old house she sees from the window of her new room. "Keep Out" say the signs, but, after she sees a girl in the house's garden, Ella just has to go in. What does she find out about the house and its secrets? Will she ever be able to get back out? A chilling graphic novel.
Atlas of Untamed Places: An extraordinary journey through our wild world by Chris Fitch $45
A guide to places humans haven't been (much) or spoilt yet. Includes Te Urewera. Very browseable.
Nick Cave: Mercy on Me by Reinhard Kleist $33
"Reinhard Kleist, master graphic novelist and myth-maker has - yet again - blown apart the conventions of the graphic novel by concocting a terrifying conflation of Cave songs, biographical half-truths and complete fabulations and creating a complex, chilling and completely bizarre journey into Cave World. Closer to the truth than any biography, that's for sure! But for the record, I never killed Elisa Day." - Nick Cave
>> Live Mercy.
Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour $45
Delicious Middle-Eastern recipes, from breakfasts to feasts, from the author of the very popular Persiana.
Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason by David Harvey $37
A crystalline exposition of Marx's monumental work, Capital, considered in the context of the late nineteenth century, when it was written, and with consideration of whether its theses need revision for the twenty-first.
"One of the most perceptive and intelligent thinkers the progressive movement has." - Owen Jones
Humankind: Solidarity with non-human people by Timothy Morton $22
What is a person and what is not? If we rethink our notions of identity can we both include and overcome the notion of species and arrive at a more helpful model of our place on (or in) the planet?
"I have been reading Timothy Morton's books for a while and I like them a lot." - Bjork
Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides $40
Short stories from the author of Middlesex and The Virgin Suicides.
"An excellent collection." - Guardian
"Eugenides is blessed with the storyteller's most magical gift, the ability to transform the mundane into the extraordinary." - New York Times
A Life of Adventure and Delight by Akhil Sharma $33
Short stories fusing fiction and memoir from the author of Family Life.
"There's a great duality to these stories: simple, but complex, funny enough to laugh out loud at, but emotionally devastating, foreign, yet familiar. What a exciting and original writer." - David Sedaris
"He is truly the Chekhov of our time." - Yiyun Li
The Dun Cow Rib: A very natural childhood by John Lister-Kaye $45
A beautifully written memoir from Scotland's "high priest of nature writing" (The Times).
"No one writes more movingly, or with such transporting poetic skill about encounters with wild creatures." - Helen Macdonald (author of H is for Hawk)
A River Rules My Life by Mona Anderson $45
A lovely new edition of the New Zealand classic account of life on Mount Algidus, a high country station.
Friend of My Youth by Amit Chaudhuri $33
A novelist named Amit Chaudhuri visits Bombay, where he grew up, and is troubled by the absence of his childhood friend, his only connection to a city that has changed a great deal.
"Amit Chaudhuri has, like Proust, perfected the art of the moment. He is a miniaturist, for whom tiny moments become radiant, and for whom the complexities of the fleeting mood uncurl onto the page like a leaf, a petal." - Hilary Mantel
The Wonderling by Mira Bartok $28
In Miss Carbunkle's Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, the groundlings (part animal and part human) toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, a one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name - a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck - it is the only home he has ever known. A bird groundling named Trinket gives the Home's loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name and a best friend. The pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of Arthur's true destiny.
"Every now and then there is published a book that raises the bar in Children and Young adult literature. This is such a book." - Bob Docherty
>> Visit the Wonderling website.
Punk London, 1977. by Derek Ridgers $35
Zeitgeist-defining photographs taken at The Roxy, The Vortex, King's Road and elsewhere capture the underground counterculture at its most energetic.
>> Wire live at the Roxy, 1 April 1977.
La Mère Brazier: The mother of French cooking by Eugenie Brazier $65
La Mere Brazier was the most famous restaurant in France from the moment it opened in 1921. Eugenie Brazier, was the first woman ever to be awarded six Michelin stars. She was the inspiration and mentor for all modern French cooking. This book reveals over 300 of Brazier's recipes that stunned all of France - from her Bresse chicken in mourning (with truffles) to her lobster Aurora - as well as simple traditional recipes that anyone can easily follow at home.
>> et voila.
The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy $19
Set in the midst of a teenaged girl's mourning over the recent loss of her mother, The Disappearances is a mystery made up of literary clues, a mother's buried secrets, and a seven-year curse.
To the Back of Beyond by Peter Stamm $28
What happens when a man just walks away from his wife and children and doesn't come back? Beautifully translated by Michael Hofmann.
"This inscrutable novel is a haunting love story of subtlety and pathos. Everything is so thoughtfully put together, so gently and subtly observed, that the question of whether Thomas and Astrid will ever be reunited, if such a thing is even possible, gathers an extraordinary pathos." - Tim Parks, Guardian
Supra: A feast of Georgian cooking by Tiki Tuskadze $45
Bordered by Russia, Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, Georgia's history is a confluence of Western and Eastern influences, and this is reflected in its cuisine. Try Khachapuri (cheese bread), Kebabi (kebabs), Khinkali (dumplings), Ajapsandali (aubergine stew) and Ckmeruli (poussin in garlic and walnut sauce).
Justice: What's the right thing to do? by Michael Sandel $31
Is it always wrong to lie? Should there be limits to personal freedom? Can killing sometimes be justified? Is the free market fair? What is the right thing to do?
"One of the world's most interesting political philosophers." - Guardian
A Map of the Invisible: Journeys into particle physics by John Butterworth $40
Over the last sixty years, scientists around the world have worked together to explore the fundamental constituents of matter, and the forces that govern their behaviour. The result, so far, is the 'Standard Model' of elementary particles: a theoretical map of the basic building blocks of the universe. With the discovery of the Higgs particle in 2012, the map as we know it was completed, but also extended into strange and wonderful new realms.
Notes from Russia edited by Alexei Plutser-Sarno $44
A collection is ultra-low-tech handwritten notices seen on the streets of Russia and giving insight into the least glamorous strata of Russian society.
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol $11
Chichikov offers landowners to buy the rights to the souls of dead serfs, thus reducing their tax obligations. What is the reason for this slinter? Gogol's novel satirises what he saw as the philistinism, pomposity and self-interest of the Russian middle classes of his time.
>> And it's a film, too.
Sex, Botany, Empire: The story of Carl Linnaeus and Joseph Banks by Patricia Fara $25
Was the pursuit of scientific truth really what drove Enlightenment science? In Sweden and Britain, both imperial powers, Banks and Linneaus ruled over their own small scientific empires, promoting botanical exploration to justify the exploitation of territories, peoples and natural resources. Regarding native peoples with disdain, they portrayed the Arctic North and the Pacific Ocean as uncorrupted Edens, free from the shackles of Western sexual mores. Were Banks' trousers really stolen when he was visiting Queen Oberea of Tahiti?
Because of Sex: One law, ten cases, and fifty years that changed American women's lives at work by Gillian Thomas $28
An inspiring and instructional look at the key cases on the road towards employment equality in the US.
Islander by Patrick Barkham $45
The people who live on the smaller islands of Britain live on islands off the coast of an island. Are they insular or outward looking? Do they live on the past or in an opportunity for a future? Barkham takes island-hops and asks, is there a unifying factor to small islands or are they the supremely resistant to unifying factors?
Freud: The making of an illusion by Frederick Crews $60
An acidic revisionist biography, seeking to undermine Freudian psychoanalytic theory by concentrating on flaws in Freud's personality and practice.
"If Freud didn't exist, Frederick Crews would have had to invent him. In showing us a relentlessly self-interested and interminably mistaken Freud, it might be said he's done just that." - New York Times
The Genius of Judaism by Bernard-Henri Lévy $38
Lévy, reasonably, locates the wellspring of Jewish identity in traditions of discourse and argument embodied in the Talmud. His positions on Israel, Islam and politics, however, have been met with considerable argument both from within Jewish discourse and from without.
>> He has clashed several times with Michel Houellebecq.
>> BHL (embarrassingly) thought 'Jean-Baptiste Botul' was a real philosopher (rather than a spoof philosopher).
Sourdough by Robin Sloan $37
When the sandwich shop frequented by a software engineer closes, its proprietor gives him a sourdough culture. Little does he know this will lead him into a world of secret food markets and adventurers on the frontiers of food and technology. From the author of Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.
Chess by Stefan Zweig $16
“In chess, as a purely intellectual game, where randomness is excluded, for someone to play against himself is as paradoxical, as attempting to jump over his own shadow.”
In 1942, during the months of his exile in Brazil with his second wife, and during the time that he and she played out master chess games in their isolation, Stefan Zweig wrote his last book, completing it just days before he and his wife’s double suicide. The narrator of the book is a character in the story but not one of the two chess players and, like the author, he is in exile. The game he observes is played between the world champion Czentovic and a Dr. B., the game arranged on a steamer to Buenos Aires. The game between the two is climatic, one calculating on the board, one in his mind, but the dualities don’t end there. The parts of Chess are all aspects of Zweig’s life. When the game ends, life does not end for these characters, but it does for their author.
>> Schachnovelle (1960 (warning - takes longer than reading the book (even if you understand German)))
200 Women by Geoff Blackwell $75
What really matters to you? What would you change in the world if you could? What brings you happiness? What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? What single word do you most identify with? Two hundred women from around the world, both famous and nonfamous, answer these same five questions. What would your answers be? This monumental book includes photographic portraits of all 200 interviewees.