Friday 28 July 2017

These books have just arrived and are already lining up for a space on your shelf. 
Our Future is in the Air by Tim Corballis           $30
When the Soviets circulated images of 9/11 they had got by the use of time machines, the Twin Towers were never built, jet travel was abandoned and history veered off course. Time travel was made illegal, but it went underground and became the recourse of criminals, bankers and activists. It is 1975, and in New Zealand a few people are taking tentative steps (so to call them) into the future (so to call it).
>> Not perhaps quite as you remember 1975
Sky High: Jean Batten's incredible flying adventures by David Hill and Phoebe Morris          $25
In 1934 Batten flew from England to Australia and in 1936 from  England to New Zealand. What was it like up there all alone?
>> "One of the greatest flights in history."

Rooms of One's Own: 50 places that made literary history by Adrian Mourby       $28
How does the place where writing takes place affect what is written there? What can we learn about a book by visiting there? Mourby visits fifty rooms in which fifty writers wrote fifty books, and compares the locations with what ended up on the page.  

Two Stories by Virginia Woolf and Mark Haddon      $26
Published to mark the centenary of the first Hogarth Press printing, Woolf's original story 'The Mark on the Wall' is here paired with a new story by Haddon. All the pleasures and production qualities of the original have been retained. 
Love of Country: A Hebridean journey by Madeleine Bunting       $28
The far-flung Hebrides lie on the outer edge not just of Britain, but of Europe. Bunting's finely written insular psychogeography explores the relationship of the land not only to the people who have lived on it or visited it, but to those for whom it forms an island for the mind. 
"Bunting's crisp and luminous prose is the ideal medium to capture the ambiguities and dichotomies of the landscape; between ever-shifting sea and unfathomably old rock; between tradition and modernity; between wilderness and depopulation; between feudal subsistence and aristocratic profligacy." - The Scotsman
St Petersburg: Three centuries of murderous desire by Jonathan Miles        $38
"Of all cities St Petersburg is most like a novel. Conceived in the mind of a Tsar like a writer might give birth to a book,it has never ceased to be relentlessly dramatic, as if being like a novel is its destiny. Miles tells the tale magnificently." - Peter Pomerantsev

Inglorious Empire: What the British did to India by Shashi Tharoor         $38
A wonderfully unrelenting indictment of colonialism and the damage it did to what had been a thriving country. Two centuries of British rule devastated the economy, violated human rights, and introduced institutions and infrastructure that enabled Britain to thrive at India's expense. 
Letters from a Lost Uncle by Mervyn Peake         $40
Lost in the frozen polar wastes, an explorer huddles in his shelter, typing, with frozen fingers, the story of his lonely, extraordinary exploits, preparing to send the story to the nephew he has never seen. With his only companion, the tortoise-like mutant Jackson, the Uncle has gone in search of his ambition and his destiny: the awesome and mysterious White Lion. A wonderful facsimile edition of Peake's fully illustrated, weirdly weird tale. 

Decline and Fall on Savage Street by Fiona Farrell      $38
Under the house the earth moves according to its geological time, while upon it the lives and times of humans move by different rhythms. One house is the place where these forces interact. Farrell's new novel is a sort of counterpart to The Villa on the Edge of the Empire
Farewell to the Horse: The final century of our relationship by Ulrich Raulff          $65
"Any reader interested in horses, history, art, literature or language will love this book, and be stunned by its scope and stylish intellect. This is about the end of a relationship between man and horse that Raulff likens to the dissolution of an idiosyncratic workers’ union, and what is thrilling is that the horse becomes a subtext – a new way of considering history via the stable door. The book is beautifully and idiosyncratically illustrated, in keeping with the text." - Guardian

Making Trouble: life and politics by Lynne Segal      $27
What happens when angry young rebels become wary older women, ageing in a leaner, meaner time: a time which exalts only the 'new', in a ruling orthodoxy daily disparaging all it portrays as the 'old'? Delving into her own life and those of others who left their mark on it, Segal tracks through time to consider her generation of female dreamers, what formed them, how they left their mark on the world, where they are now in times when pessimism seems never far from what remains of public life.
War and the Death of News: Reflections of a grade B reporter by Martin Bell        $37
From Vietnam to Bosnia to Iraq, Bell has witnessed great changes both in the way wars are fought but even more in the way war is reported. He has seen the truth degraded and sanitised and groomed with specific audiences in mind. Is there a place for journalism in a 'post-truth', social media-saturated world? 
Blind Spot by Teju Cole       $45
In Known and Strange Things we learned of Cole's interest in the practices of photography, and in Blind Spot we can see what he sees from behind his camera. The results are impressive, and will add another dimension to your understanding of this interesting author. 
The Book of Circles: Visualising sphere of knowledge by Manuel Lima        $80
Since the most ancient times, Humans have chosen to organise information in circles. This profoundly illustrated book surveys the various types of circular device through history and around the world. 
Stalin's Meteorologist by Oliver Rolin         $40
Why was meteorologist Alexey Wangenheim, who had been hailed by Stalin as a national hero, arrested in 1934 and sent off to a gulag? How did an innocent man get caught up in state paranoia? 

Shadowless by Hasan Ali Toptas        $40
When a barber disappears from an Anatolian village over night and appears in a bar in a town far away, unable to explain how he got there, reality develops a fracture that has widening implications. 
“A poetic masterpiece of world literature. Toptas is an oriental Kafka, enriched with the literary achievements of Islamic mysticism” –  Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Granta 140: The Mind         $28
We know how the brain works, but do we understand the mind? In an age when we are finally taking mental health as seriously as physical health, this issue of Granta explores the conscious self: how it perceives, judges and lives in the world. 
A Strange Beautiful Excitement: Katherine Mansfield's Wellington by Redmer Yska         $40
"It's not enough to say I immensely enjoyed A Strange Beautiful Excitement; it's simply splendid." - Fiona Kidman
"The best account I have ever read of Wellington and Karori as they were in Mansfield's day. Vivid and vigorous, it is a pleasure to read." - K.M. biographer Kathleen Jones
Reading the Rocks: How Victorian geologists discovered the secrets of life by Brenda Maddox      $36
Was it a coincidence that geology has a pivotal science in an age of social and political repositioning? Maddox introduces us to the diverse range of geologists who kept focussed during the geology vs. Genesis showdown. 

The Guggenheim Mystery ('London Eye' #2) by Robin Stevens and Siobhan Dowd          $18
"I went on holiday to New York, to visit Aunt Gloria and Salim. While I was there, a painting was stolen from the Guggenheim Museum, where Aunt Gloria works. Everyone was very worried and upset. I did not see what the problem was. I do not see the point of paintings, even if they are worth millions of pounds. Perhaps that's because of my very unusual brain, which works on a different operating system to everyone else's. But then Aunt Gloria was blamed for the theft - and Aunt Gloria is family. And I realised just how important it was to find the painting, and discover who really had taken it."
The sequel to Dowd's The London Eye Mystery

Crossing the Lines by Sulari Gentill          $33
Two writers begin to realise that they are each other's fictional creations. Eeek. 
The Zoo by Christopher Wilson         $28
There are certain things that Yuri Zipit knows: that being Stalin's official food-taster requires him to drink too much vodka for a 12-year-old, and that you do not have to be an elephantologist to see that the great leader is dying. Just because his mind is damaged, this does not mean Yuri doesn't notice what goes on at state banquets. Perhaps this politics business is not too difficult after all... 
"A wonderfully inventive and slyly constructed novel, horrifying, horribly funny, and disgracefully entertaining." - John Banville
How to Be a Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci       $35
"How to Be a Stoic proves many things: that the ancient school of Stoicism is superbly relevant to our times; that profound wisdom can be delivered in lively, breezy prose; and that Massimo Pigliucci is uniquely gifted at translating philosophy into terms helpful for alleviating and elevating the lives of many." - Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
Travels with my Sketchbook by Chris Riddell        $40
A visual diary of Riddell's two years as Children's Laureate, including his travels around Britain and the development of his various illustrative projects. 

To Die in Spring by Ralf Rothmann       $40
Walter Urban and Friedich 'Fiete' Caroli work side by side as hands on a dairy farm in northern Germany. By 1945, it seems the War's worst atrocities are over. When they are forced to 'volunteer' for the SS, they find themselves embroiled in a conflict which is drawing to a desperate, bloody close. Walter is put to work as a driver for a supply unit of the Waffen-SS, while Fiete is sent to the front. When the senseless bloodshed leads Fiete to desert, only to be captured and sentenced to death, the friends are reunited under catastrophic circumstances. In a few days the war will be over, millions of innocents will be dead, and the survivors must find a way to live with its legacy.
"In this masterpiece, Ralf Rothmann manages the seemingly impossible. He describes the guilt of their fathers' generation from the viewpoint of the post-War generation without betraying it to a moralising know-it-all attitude." - Badische Zeitung 
"In contemporary German literature, there is nothing that can be compared to this book." - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vasquez     $22
A political cartoonist who finds his convictions tested when a traumatic past event returns to haunt him.
"One of the most original voices of Latin American literature." - Mario Vargas Llosa

Why does the animal world display such a range of characteristics that are superfluous to, and even hazardous to, individual survival? Is there an extent to which sexual selection is an evolutionary force over and above natural selection. If there is a criterion of beauty in mate selection, where does this criterion come from and what purposes does it serve? 

Pig/Pork: Archaeology, zoology, edibility by Pia Spry-Marques     $37
Pigs have been intimately involved in human culture since Palaeolithic  times. How has this relationship shaped both pigs and humans? 
The Regional Office is Under Attack by Manuel Gonzales        $26
The Regional Office's female assassins protect the world from evil forces, but is it under threat from within? A crazed, fast-paced piece of hyperkinetic cyberpunk.

Mezcal: The history, craft and cocktails of the world's ultimate artisanal spirit by Emma Janzen        $33
Probably it is time to introduce yourself to  the smoky flavourful spirit distilled from any of fifty varieties of agave in nine Mexican states. The procedure of distillation is so involved and labour-intensive that the possibilities for artisanal variation are immense. 
The House that Flew Away by Davide Cali and Catarina Sobral       $28
What do you do when you are on your way home and you see your house suddenly fly away?
The Way of the Hare by Marianne Taylor        $33
Hares are small animals with many predators but they have no burrow or tunnel to shelter them from danger. They survive by a combination of two skills honed to unimaginable extremes: hiding in plain sight, and running fast. This handsome book deals in detail with hares, both as they are, both biochemically and behaviourally, and as they are imagined in art, mythology and legend. 

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