Murmur by Will Eaves $23
A completely remarkable novel providing access to the mind of Alan Turing (here 'Alec Pryor') as he undergoes chemical castration after being convicted of homosexuality. Eaves's insights into the nature of consciousness and identity, and their implications for artificial intelligence, are subtle and humane. New edition. Highly recommended.
"A really extraordinary book, unlike any other." —Max Porter
"A shining example of the moral and imaginative possibilities of the novel." —The Guardian
Winner of the 2019 Wellcome Prize. Co-winner of the 2019 Republic of Consciousness Prize.
>>Read Thomas's review.
The Fox and Dr Shimamura by Christine Wunnicke $36
"A marvel, a wonder—a deeply strange little novel about medicine, memory, and fox possession. With her delicate prose, arch tone, and mischievous storytelling, Wunnicke proves herself a master of the form." —Kirkus
Surrender to Night: Collected poems by Georg Trakl, translated by Will Stone $33
Trakl, in his brief life (1887—1914), produced poems of awful visual power and symbolic density, distilling the horrors of existence, and of war, into verse that lies at the black heart of German expressionism. Hugely influential across genres through Europe, Trakl now has this crisp new English translation.
All the Juicy Pastures: Greville Texidor and New Zealand by Margot Schwass $40
Greville Texidor, one-time Bloomsbury insider, globetrotting chorus-line dancer, former heroin addict, anarchist militia-woman and recent inmate of Holloway Prison, became a writer only after arriving in New Zealand as a refugee in 1940. First in remote Paparoa, and then on Auckland's North Shore as a central member of Frank Sargeson's circle of writers and intellectuals, she recalled many of the events of her life in the novella These Dark Glasses and a dazzling series of stories. After Texidor left New Zealand for Australia and Spain in 1948 she continued to write but finished little. She killed herself in 1964. Her published and some unpublished fiction is collected in In Fifteen Minutes You Can Say a Lot. All the Juicy Pastures at last brings this important New Zealand writer into focus.
In Fifteen Minutes You Can Say a Lot by Greville Texidor $30
In Fifteen Minutes You Can Say a Lot begins with Texidor's most fully achieved piece of work, 'These Dark Glasses'. Distinguished by sophisticated writing and acute psychological insight, it is set on the south coast of France during the Spanish Civil War. The stories which follow range from Spain and England to New Zealand, where she writes unsentimentally and unerringly of the environment of the time. 'Goodbye Forever', the unfinished novel which concludes the volume, is Texidor's most sustained piece of writing on New Zealand. The central character, Lili, is a Viennese refugee who arrives amongst the writers of Auckland's North Shore. She is exotic and alone, and her slow collapse is plotted with minute observation.
The New Photography: New Zealand's first-generation contemporary photographers edited by Athol McCredie $70
An incisive look at the beginnings of contemporary or art photography in New Zealand. Interviews with Gary Baigent, Richard Collins, John Daley, John Fields, Max Oettli, John B Turner, Len Wesney and Ans Westra, and a superb range of images.
>>Athol McCredie answers some questions.
Motherhood by Sheila Heti $26
At once both fiction and non-fiction, Heti's novel, if it is a novel, confronts the central philosophical problem of prospective parenthood: should we bring new life into the world? If that wasn't difficult enough, how can we determine whether or not it is a suitable thing for us? Now in paperback (and also still in hardback (both covers by Leanne Shapton)).
>>Read this review by Sally Rooney.
>>"The only place you can be free is in your writing."
Bengali legend meets history meets politics meets adventure as Ghosh breaks new ground in this novel addressing crises of our time: climate change and migration. The novel is his first since The Great Derangement, his book that examines our inability — at the level of literature, history, and politics — to grasp the scale and violence of climate change.
Goliath, The boy who was different by Ximo Abadia $40
If you are much, much bigger than anyone else, is it possible to fit in?
Easy Peasy: Gardening for kids by Kirsten Bradley and Aitch $40
For the next generation of green fingers there are different ways to bring nature into the home. Make your own pots, build balcony boxes, create your own bird feeders and even get friendly with worms! Each activity has been carefully chosen to create living, renewable and sustainable environments for kids and their families. Each activity has been carefully written by Kirsten Bradley, a leading practitioner in permaculture for kids and co-founder of Milkwood permaculture farm in Australia, and the book is illustrated by Romanian folk artist Aitch.
Asghar and Zahra by Sameer Rahim $35
A funny, sympathetic and human novel about a couple born in the same British Muslim community in west London whose families are rivals involved in running two different mosques.
This Land is Our Land: An immigrant's manifesto by Suketu Mehta $38
Drawing on his family's own experience emigrating from India to Britain and America, and years of reporting around the world, Suketu Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. The West, he argues, is being destroyed not by immigrants but by the fear of immigrants. He juxtaposes the phony narratives of populist ideologues with the ordinary heroism of labourers, nannies and others, from Dubai to New York, and explains why more people are on the move today than ever before. As civil strife and climate change reshape large parts of the planet, it is little surprise that borders have become so porous. The book also stresses the destructive legacies of colonialism and global inequality on large swathes of the world. When today's immigrants are asked, 'Why are you here?', they can justly respond, 'We are here because you were there.' And now that they are here, as Mehta demonstrates, immigrants bring great benefits, enabling countries and communities to flourish.
Eyewitness 1917: The Russian revolution as it happened edited by Mikhail Zygar and Karen Shainyan $55
A remarkable collection of primary sources: letters, memoirs, diaries and other documents of the period, accompanied by images, many previously not published.
Tā Moko: Māori markings edited by Crispin Howarth $48
An excellent survey of documentary images: carvings, drawing, engravings, paintings, photographs.
Among the Living and the Dead by Inara Verzemnieks $23
Inara Verzemnieks's grandmother’s stories recalled the family farm left behind in Latvia, where, during WWII, her grandmother Livija and her grandmother’s sister, Ausma, were separated. They would not see each other again for more than 50 years. Raised by her grandparents in the USA, Inara grew up among expatriates, scattering smuggled Latvian sand over the coffins of the dead, singing folk songs about a land she had never visited. When Inara discovers the scarf Livija wore when she left home, this tangible remnant of the past points the way back to the remote village where her family broke apart. Coming to know Ausma and the trauma of her exile to Siberia under Stalin, and her grandfather’s own complex history, Inara pieces together Livija’s survival through the years as a refugee.
Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi by Toby Morris, Ross Calman, Mark Derby and Piripi Walker $20
A bilingual graphic novel accessibly exploring the history and importance of New Zealand's founding document.
The Brain: A user's manual by Marco Magrini $28
"Congratulations on the purchase of this exclusive product, tailor-made just for you. It will provide you with years of continuous existence." A fun and fascinating guide to the inner workings of one of nature's most miraculous but misunderstood creations: the human brain. This user-friendly manual offers an accessible guide to the 'machine' you use the most, deconstructing the brain into its constituent parts and showing you both how they function and how to maintain them for a longer life.
The Scottish Clearances: A history of the dispossessed by T.M. Devine $28
After Culloden and the ascendancy of new elites, the 'rationalisation' of land-use in Scotland (largely to serve the woollen trade) entailed the fracturing of social structures and the displacement of crofters and others. The resulting diaspora contributed to the European settlement of New Zealand in the nineteenth century. Devine's history is enlightening and overturns many myths.
Down Girl: The logic of misogyny by Katie Mann $28
Manne argues that misogyny should not be understood primarily in terms of the hatred or hostility some men feel toward all or most women. Rather, it's primarily about controlling, policing, punishing, and exiling the 'bad' women who challenge male dominance.
Child of St Kilda by Beth Waters $25
For over two thousand years, the inhabitants of St Kilda maintained a thriving, tightly-knit community on one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. Theirs was an isolated lifestyle completely dependent on the seasons and the elements for its survival. A lifestyle out of which developed a culture based on subsistence, resilience, mutual trust and caring. A culture that knew no crime, had no need of cash, and took care of its weakest members without question. This unique way of life came abruptly to an end in August 1930, when the now-depleted community of only thirty-six men, women and children begged the British Government to evacuate them to the mainland. Why did the islanders leave, and where did they go? What became of them? This beautiful picture book is told through the eyes of Norman John Gillies, the last child born on St Kilda.
The Secret World of Farm Animals by Jeffrey Masson $28
Shows the complex emotional and social lives of farmed animals.
"Unbelievably inspiring." —Peter Wohlleben
Appearance Stripped Bare: Desire and the object in the work of Marcel Duchamp and Jeff Koons, even edited by Massimiliano Gioni $120
In the first half of the 20th century, Marcel Duchamp redefined what we consider art and what it means to be an artist. Many of his ideas return, transformed, in the work of Jeff Koons, born when Duchamp was 68 years old and whose own career challenged the art world of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. This is the first book to explore the affinities between these two highly influential artists, whose creative universes similarly question the function of objects and the allure of commodities. International art historians, writers, and curators contribute their expertise on topics such as each artist's persona, as well as reflecting on the influence of technology and sexuality on their work.
New York: Day and night by Aurelie Pollet and Vincent Bergier $35
Sometimes your eyes can play tricks on you, especially in the dark. Transparent overlays turn night into day and reveal the actuality behind the impression.
The Tunnels Below by Nadine Wild-Palmer $19
On her twelfth birthday Cecilia goes out with her parents and sister to celebrate with a visit to a museum. On their way Cecilia drops the marble that her sister gave her as a present, and running to pick it up she is taken away on an empty underground train into a dark and deep tunnel. The fun family outing becomes a much more serious mission when Cecilia finds that she and her marble have a very important role to play in freeing the inhabitants of the tunnels from the tyrannical rule of the Corvus.
The Manet Girl by Charles Boyle $30
Stories exploring situations in which desire, cutting through the demands of daily life, blurs all rational distinctions between what is important and what is distraction. Boyle has also published as Jack Robinson and Jennie Walker, and is the publisher of CB Editions.
The Moth: Occasional magic, 50 true stories of defying the impossible edited by Catherine Burns $33
Fifty stories from people who faced their deepest fears, including Neil Gaiman, Adam Gopnik, Andrew Solomon, Rosanne Cash, and Cristina Lamb.
>> The Moth.