Friday, 29 June 2018
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 Punks. Kidnapped 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picture of the very fertile post-war period, based on an exceptionally deep well of firsthand interviews, often unpublished, with such artists as Victor Pasmore, John Craxton, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Allen Jones, R. B. Kitaj, Euan Uglow, Howard Hodgkin, Terry Frost, Gillian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 Song. Leira 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.