Fascinating and well-written investigations of the fraught interface between the personal and the collective, springing from an interrogation of five axioms: 'Give Me a Child Before the Age of 7 and I'll Give You the (Wo)Man', 'History Repeats Itself...', 'Those Who Forget the Past are Condemned to Repeat It', 'You Can't Enter The Same River Twice', and 'Time Heals All Wounds' - finding all to be both true and untrue, helpful and unhelpful, liberating and restricting.
>>The drowned and the saved.
Isinglass by Martin Edmond $33
A man is washed ashore on the Australian coast and ends up in the Darwin detention centre. He doesn't speak, but paints a dream city on the wall of his cell. When finished, he utters the single word: 'Isinglass'. Who is he? What is his story? Edmond's beautifully written and widely resonant novel is an indictment of Australia's desert gulag.
To Leave with the Reindeer by Olivia Rosenthal $34
The life of a girl progressing through womanhood is contrasted with the lives of animals domesticated or affected by humans. Both humans and animals are imprisoned, raised, educated and protected, both formed and deformed by society. What would be the price of freedom?
2018 PEN Translates Award winner.
Proleterka by Fleur Jaeggy $30
The fifteen-year-old protagonist and her distant, financially ruined, yet somehow beloved father, Johannes, take a cruise together to Greece on the SS Proleterka. With a strange telescopic perspective, narrated from the day she suddenly decides she would like to receive her father’s ashes, our heroine recounts her youth. Her remarried mother, cold and far away, allowed the father only rare visits with the child who was stashed away with relatives or at a school for girls. On board the SS Proleterka, she has a violent, carnal schooling with the sailors. Mesmerized by the desire to be experienced, she crisply narrates her trysts as well as her near-total neglect of her father.
"'Incorruptible crystal' is an apt description of Jaeggy's style. Her sentences are hard and compact, more gem than flesh. Images appear as flashes, discontinuous, arresting, then gone. This feels appropriate for a writer who is a 'stranger' and an 'enemy' to the familial." - Sheila Heti, The New Yorker
Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford $32
Ada, a girl who hasn’t gone quite to plan, and Father live a quiet life together, in a clearing in the woods outside of town. They spend their years tending to local Cures – the human folk who come to them, cautiously, with various ailments, and for whom they care little.
Ada embarks on a disquieting relationship with a local Cure named Samson, much to the displeasure of her father and Samson’s widowed, pregnant sister. When Ada is forced to choose between her old and new lives, what she does will change the town – and The Ground itself – forever.
"Rainsford writes beautifully with a lyrical, earthy prose which is evocative and eviscerating yet mesmerising. She gives Ada a unique voice which fills and haunts the narrative. One of the strangest books I’ve read in a long time, it is utterly compelling and will linger, uninvited, in your consciousness long after you’ve turned the last page." – Irish Independent
"Reminiscent of the work of Alexandra Kleeman, Carmen Maria Machado, and Han Kang, it’s a sinister, sensual, haunted book." – Lithub
Failure ('Documents of Modern Art') edited by Lisa Le Feuvre $54
Can failure be a mode of resistance in an increasingly intolerable world? To what extent can failure be seen as a productive, or at least dynamic, mode? Can any new space be claimed for art without doubt, error, and the refusal of (or recognition of the insufficiency of) existing dogma? Can failure be a strategy of cultural production as well as a world view? A stimulating anthology of art writing and cultural theory.
Checkpoint by David Albahari $27
Atop a hill, deep in the forest, an army unit is assigned to a checkpoint. The commander doesn't know where they are, what border they're protecting, or why. Their map is useless and the radio crackles with a language no one can recognize. A soldier is found dead in a latrine and the unit vows vengeance--but the enemy is unknown. Refugees arrive seeking safe passage to the other side of the checkpoint, however the biggest threat might be the soldiers themselves.
The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge $19
Martha can tell things about a person just by touching their clothes, as if their emotions and memories have been absorbed into the material. It started the day she fell from the tree at her grandma's cabin and became blind in one eye. Determined to understand her strange ability, Martha sets off to visit her grandmother, Mormor - only to discover Mormor is dead, a peculiar boy is in her cabin and a terrifying creature is on the loose.
"A stunning intermingling of Norse mythology, horror, and an unusual coming of age. Hauntingly beautiful descriptions, juxtaposed against a ramping relentless sense of peril." - Bookbag
Bear and Wolf by David Salmieri $40
A young bear meets a young wolf. Their worlds may be different, but they are in some way aligned. A beautifully illustrated book.
>> Take a peek.
Origins: How the Earth made us by Lewis Dartnell $40
Everything we do is the manifestation of a vast web of cause and effect reaching right back to the most primal forces of the planet. Dartnell traces our behaviours back through our genetic and cultural evolution to the engine houses of the Earth.
The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker $35
A town is struck by a strange epidemic of perpetual sleeping. The sleeping women's brains are very active - what are they dreaming?
"Frighteningly powerful, beautiful, and uncanny, The Dreamers is a love story and also a horror story. A symphonic achievement, alternating intimate moments with a panoramic capture of a crisis in progress." - Karen Russell
Egon Schiele: The making of a collection by Stella Rollig and Kerstin Jesse $85
An interesting and in depth look into the Schiele's work, through the collection at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna.
The Demon in the Machine: How hidden webs of information are solving the mystery of life by Paul Davies $40
Davies argues that life as we know it should be considered as a means of information storage. Does the way in which information is structured tell us more than the content?
Waitangi: A living treaty by Matthew Wright $40
View the treaty as a foundational document, the significance of which has changed through history.
>> Wright speaks.
Life with a Capital L by D.H. Lawrence $26
Essays chosen and introduced by Geoff Dyer. Subjects include art, morality, obscenity, songbirds, Italy, Thomas Hardy, the death of a porcupine in the Rocky Mountains and the narcissism of photographing ourselves.
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas $20
The highly anticipated new YA novel from the author of The Hate U Give. Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill. But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty.
>> Angie Thomas answers a few questions.
Germany's Hidden Crisis: Social decline in the heart of Europe by Oliver Nachtwey $35
The gears the German 'elevator society' have ground to a halt. In the absence of the social mobility of yesterday, widespread social exhaustion and anxiety have emerged across mainstream society. Nachtwey analyses the reasons for this social rupture in post-war German society and investigates the conflict potential emerging as a result.
Previously uncompiled pieces from 'the queen of not-nice', many from the interface between politics and the arts, mostly from The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books.
"Janet Malcolm is a ruthless, dazzling journalist." - Guardian
>> "Why have a library and not use it?"
Spomeniks by Jonathan Jimenez $45
A wonderful photographic record of these bizarre brutalist Yugoslavian monuments, built from the 1960s in often remote locations and now often abandoned to nature.
>> Spomenik Monument Database.
Past Caring: Women, work and emotion edited by Barbara Brookes, Jane McCabe and Angela Wanhalla $40
Society is held together by various forms of care, which are hard to quantify and hence often omitted from historical and political analyses. This book seeks to redress that omission.
The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble $23
Ella and her brother Emery are alone in a city that's starving to death. If they are going to survive, they must get away, upcountry, to find Emery's mum. But how can two kids travel such big distances across a dry, barren, and dangerous landscape? Well, they've got five big dogs and a dry-land dogsled... From the author of How to Bee, winner of the 2018 Esther Glen award for NZ children's fiction.
The Electric War: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the race to light the world by Mike Winchell $33
AC v. DC - who will win?
Hitler's British Traitors: The secret history of spies, saboteurs and fifth columnists by Tim Tate $45
The British far right supported Hitler, even after the outbreak of the second world war. Drawing on recently declassified archival material, Tate offers a reappraisal of their sympathies, revealing the widespread existence of a fifth column in Britain.
Beyond Weird: Why everything you thought you knew about quantum physics is different by Philip Ball $28
"I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics," Richard Feynman wrote in 1965 - the year he was awarded the Nobel prize in physics for his work on quantum mechanics. Over the past decade, the enigma of quantum mechanics has come into sharper focus. We now realise that quantum mechanics is less about particles and waves, uncertainty and fuzziness, than a theory about information- about what can be known and how. The quantum world isn't a different world- it is our world, and if anything deserves to be called 'weird', it's us. This exhilarating book is about what quantum maths really means - and what it doesn't mean.
The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders $25
January is a dying planet--divided between a permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Humanity clings to life, spread across two archaic cities built in the sliver of habitable dusk. But life inside the cities is just as dangerous as the uninhabitable wastelands outside. Sophie, a student and reluctant revolutionary, is supposed to be dead, after being exiled into the night. Saved only by forming an unusual bond with the enigmatic beasts who roam the ice, Sophie vows to stay hidden from the world, hoping she can heal. But fate has other plans...
"This generation's Ursula Le Guin." - Andrew Sean Greer
Tobermory, And other stories by Saki $19
Subtlety and wit drawn with a scalpel by this master of the short story.
The Destiny Thief: Essays on writing, writers and life by Richard Russo $40
"Russo the nonfiction writer is a lot like Russo the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. He is affably disagreeable, wry, idiosyncratic, vulnerably bighearted, a craftsman of lubricated sentences." - The New York Times
The Limits to Capital by David Harvey $33
The Limits to Capital provides a broad theoretical guide to the history and geography of capitalist development. In this new edition, Harvey updates his classic text with a substantial discussion of the turmoil in world markets today. In his analyses of 'fictitious capital' and 'uneven geographical development' Harvey takes the reader step by step through layers of crisis formation, beginning with Marx's controversial argument concerning the falling rate of profit, moving through crises of credit and finance, and closing with an analysis of geopolitical and geographical considerations.
What's Your Type? The type dating game by Sarah Hyndman $30
Learn about fonts, and about your friends, with this enjoyable card game featuring 50 fonts to date, ditch or friend.
>> Type tasting.
How We Win: A guide to nonviolent direct action campaigning by George Lakey $28