Wild Milk by Sabrina Orah Mark $36
Like Borscht Belt meets Leonora Carrington; like Donald Barthelme meets Pony Head; like the Brothers Grimm meet Beckett in his swim trunks at the beach, the stories in Wild Milk make the reader lose their footing is unexpectedly pleasurable ways.
>> Read the title story.
>> Mark on Bruno Schulz, fairy tales and the Holocaust.
Headlands: New stories of anxiety edited by Naomi Arnold $30
What is the topography of anxiety in Godzone? This excellent collection of essays, personal accounts and stories, from Ashleigh Young, Sarah Lin Wilson, Kirsten McDougall, Anthony Birt, Hinemoana Baker, Bonny Etherington, Kate Kennedy, Holly Walker, Kerry Sunderland, Eamonn Marra, Tusiata Avia, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Rebecca Priestly, Donna McLeod and others, reveals both the breadth and the depth of New Zealand's anxiety epidemic - and suggests that there are veins of light to be found in that darkness.
>>Naomi talks on Radio NZ.
Melmoth by Sarah Perry $33
The much-anticipated novel from the author of The Essex Serpent. Twenty years ago Helen Franklin did something she cannot forgive herself for, and she has spent every day since barricading herself against its memory. But her sheltered life is about to change. A strange manuscript has come into her possession. It is filled with testimonies from the darkest chapters of human history, which all record sightings of a tall, silent woman in black, with unblinking eyes and bleeding feet: Melmoth, the loneliest being in the world.
>>Draws on legends of eternal wanderers, epitomised in Charles Maturin's 1820 Gothic masterpiece Melmoth the Wanderer.
>>Perry on writing under the influence of drugs.
>>What toll does an atrocity exact upon its witnesses?
The Ice Shelf by Anne Kennedy $30
Who's the fridge? Is there no end to acknowledgements? Are acknowledgements a form of revenge? Is love a non-renewable resource? Is global warming a form of defrosting? Do relationships start to go off as soon as they start to warm up? Read The Ice Shelf and laugh your way past no end of serious issues.
>> Is this the only novel ever published to have a fridge as one of its main characters?
The Taiga Syndrome by Cristina Rivera Garza $36
An unnamed Ex-Detective searches for a couple who has fled to the far reaches of the earth. A betrayed husband is convinced by a brief telegram that his second ex-wife wants him to track her down. He hires the Ex-Detective, who sets out with a translator into a snowy, hostile forest where strange things happen and translation betrays both sense and one's senses. Tales of Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood haunt the Ex-Detective's quest, though the lessons of her journey are more experiential than moral: that just as love can fly away, sometimes unloving flies away as well.
>> Failures weigh people down.
>> The Unusual: A manifesto.
Yours Truly: Art, human rights, and the power of writing a letter by Ai Weiwei, David Spalding et al $50
Participants in Weiwei's installation sent 92,829 postcards to prisoners of conscience around the world. The well-documented book includes statements from five recipients of postcards, and an encouragement to readers to send the postcards included in the book.
In Memoriam: To Vilnius and Kaunas Ghetto survivors by Antanas Sutkus $22
A remarkable set of portraits of Lithuanian Jewish survivors of the Nazi occupation, during which over 200,000 Lithuanian Jews were murdered.
>> A few images from the book.
The Noma Guide to Fermentation, Including koji, kombuchas, shoyus, misos, vinegars, garums, lacto-fermented vegetables, and black fruits by René Redzepi and David Zilber $90
Four times named the world's best restaurant, Noma has its own fermentation laboratory (headed by Zilber). Here world fermentation traditions are tested, understood and enhanced. This is an astounding book.
Dopesick: Dealers, doctors and the drug company that addicted America by Beth Macy $37
Macy's subtle and angry investigation reveals how the active encouragement by the Perdue corporation for small-town doctors in Appalachia to over-prescribe OxyContin, a highly addictive opioid painkiller, has led to a ballooning of heroin addiction and attendant social ills. An expose of the part cynically played by corporations in the undermining of the public good.
Unearthing Ancient Nubia by Lawrence Burman $60
Specially trained Egyptian photographers were an integral part of the pioneering Harvard-MFA expedition during the first half of the twentieth century. Their photographs documented the excavations with thousands of images, as the riches of a great ancient civilization in northern Sudan were uncovered. These photographs bring to life the dramatic landscapes of the Nile Valley and the excitement of archaeological discovery.
The Model Occupation: The Channel Islands under German rule, 1940-1945 by Madeline Bunting $45
What would have happened if the Nazis had invaded Britain? How would the British people have responded: with resistance or collaboration? Though rarely remembered today, the Nazis occupied the British Channel Islands for much of World War II. In piecing together the fragments left behind - from the love affairs between island women and German soldiers, the betrayals and black marketeering, to the individual acts of resistance - Madeleine Bunting has brought this uncomfortable episode of British history back into view.
Call Them By Their True Names: American crises (and essays) by Rebecca Solnit $28
"The war taking place in America is a war with so many casualties that we should call it by its true name, this war with so many dead by police, by violent ex-husbands and partners and lovers, by people pursuing power and profit at the point of a gun or just shooting first and figuring out who they hit later."
How to Build a Boat by Jonathan Gornall $40
When Jonathan Gornall decided to build a wooden boat for his newborn daughter, he had no experience and no practical skills. This is an account of what he learned about himself and about the world, emotionally as well as practically.
>> Gornall on Radio NZ.
The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, betrayal, and the quest for the earth's ultimate trophy by Paige Williams $38
Williams uses the story of fossil enthusiast Eric Prokopi to illuminate the murky world of modern fossil hunting in this fascinating account. The story begins with Prokopi’s discovery, around age five, of a fossilized shark tooth off the coast of Florida, which sparked a lifelong fascination with prehistoric life. Prokopi’s passion led him to take a cataloguing position with the Florida Museum of Natural History, and later to teach himself how to prepare fossils for exhibition. Williams carries this tale through Prokopi’s starting a business to sell his acquisitions, to his prosecution in 2012 by the federal government for smuggling into the U.S. and auctioning off Tarbosaurus bones deemed the rightful property of Mongolia, where they were found.
Literary Landscapes: Charting the worlds of classic literature $55
What can finding out more about the places in which books are set help us to appreciate those books more deeply? Well illustrated and documented.
Lasting Impressions: The story of New Zealand's newspapers, 1840-1920 by Ian F. Grant $70
A work of stupendous detail, scale and research.
The Murderer's Ape by Jacob Wegelius $19
Sally Jones is not only a loyal friend, she's an extraordinary individual. In overalls or in a maharaja's turban, this unique gorilla moves among humans without speaking but understands everything. She and the Chief are devoted comrades who operate a cargo boat. A job they are offered pays big bucks, but the deal ends badly, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder. For Sally Jones this is the start of a harrowing quest for survival and to clear the Chief's name. Powerful forces are working against her, and they will do anything to protect their secrets. Now in paperback.
>> Watch this.
The Cake Tree in the Ruins by Akiyuki Nosaka $28
In 1945, Akiyuki Nosaka watched the Allied firebombing of Kobe kill his adoptive parents, and then witnessed his sister starving to death. The shocking and memorable stories of The Cake Tree in the Ruins are based on his own experiences as a child in Japan during the Second World War.
Once and Forever by Kenji Miyazawa $35
Miyazawa's whimsical, sly and enchanting stories have earned him comparison with Robert Walser.
Social Mobility, And its enemies by Lee Elliot Major and Stephen Machin $28
This book analyses research into how social mobility has changed in Britain over the years, the shifting role of schools and universities in creating a fairer future, and the key to what makes some countries and regions richer in opportunities, bringing a clearer understanding of what works and how we can better shape our future.
Bogdanović by Bogdanović: Yugoslav memorials through the eyes of their architect by Bogdan Bogdanović $65
Bogdan Bogdanovic (1922-2010) was a Yugoslav architect, theorist, professor and a one-time mayor of Belgrade. His idiosyncratic memorials to the victims and heroes of World War II, scattered around the former Yugoslavia, continue to attract attention today, more than 25 years after the country's collapse. The monuments, cemeteries, mausoleums, memorial parks, necropolises, cenotaphs and other sites of memory Bogdanovic designed between the early 1950s and late 1970s occupy a unique place in the history of modern architecture, redrawing the boundaries between architecture, landscape and sculpture in varied and unexpected ways.
>> See also the Spomenik Monument Database.
>>Take a quick tour.
No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen $23
Felix Knutsson is nearly thirteen, lives with his mother and pet gerbil Horatio, and is brilliant at memorising facts and trivia. So far, pretty normal. But Felix and his mom Astrid have a secret- they are living in a van. Astrid promises it's only for a while until she finds a new job, and begs Felix not to breathe a word about it. So when Felix starts at a new school, he does his very best to hide the fact that most of his clothes are in storage, he only showers weekly at the community centre, and that he doesn't have enough to eat. When his friends Dylan and Winnie ask to visit, Felix always has an excuse.But Felix has a plan to turn his and Astrid's lives around- he's going to go on his favourite game show Who, What, Where, When and win the cash prize. All he needs is a little luck and a lot of brain power. From the author of We Are All Made of Molecules.
The Element in the Room: Investigating the atomic ingredients that make up your home by Lauren Humphrey and Mike Barfield $35
Most of the building blocks of the universe can be found around the house.
Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking $35
How did it all begin? Can we predict the future? What is inside a black hole? Is there other intelligent life in the universe? Will artificial intelligence outsmart us? How do we shape the future? Will we survive on Earth? Should we colonise space? Is time travel possible? Can we receive instruction from beyond the grave?
Tin by Pádraig Kenny $19
In an alternative England of the 1930s where the laws of mechanics govern even the most talented engineers, a mismatched group of mechanicals want nothing more than to feel human. Under the guardianship of the devious and unlicensed Gregory Absalom, an engineer who creates mechanical children, they have no choice but to help him in his unlawful practice. But through his unethical work, Absalom winds up creating a loyal and lively group of friends who will go to the ends of the Earth for one another.
Children of the Furnace by Brin Murray $26
When the Revelayshun kills his father, Wil discovers through savage inquisition that he’s marked as a Heater, one of the old-time heretics who burned up the world. But Wil holds the key to a secret: Sekkerland’s Shame, the Atrocity, is a great lie — and the Revelayshun will use fire, blood and death to hide the truth.
Hitler's American Friends: The Third Reich's supporters in the United States by Bradley W. Hart $45
Until the attack on Pearl Harbor, America was deeply, dangerously divided. This book exposes the antagonists who sought to protect and promote Hitler, leave Europeans (and especially European Jews) to fend for themselves, and elevate the Nazi regime.
La Boca Loca: Mexican cooking for New Zealanders by Lucas Putnam and Marianne Elliott $50
Fresh, authentic dishes from the Wellington restaurant.
What Does the Crocodile Say? by Eva Montanari $22
The first day of starting school is hard for everyone, even for a crocodile. And on top of this, there are just so many sounds and noises to be heard! How does a little Crocodile deal with it all?
>> Someone turns the pages.