Saturday 30 September 2017

BOOKS@VOLUME   #43   (30.9.17)
Find out what we've been reading, find out about our next Book of the Week, find out what we've got planned for NZ Bookshop Day, find out where you'll be on Saturday 14th October, browse this week's NEW RELEASES, and enter our giveaway competition.
Click through for this week's NEWSLETTER.

This week's Book of the Week is Sara Baume's A Line Made by Walking, a novel of an artist's attempt to regain her mental footing by retreating from (or into) the world. 

>> Read Stella's review

>> There are no answers

>> "I always wanted to be an art monster."

>> "I actually hate writing."

>> A Line Made by Walking, as well as concerning itself with art (both as process and result), contains photographs taken by the character. Hear Baume discussing what illustrations can contribute to a novel.

>> Baume's previous book, Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither

>> She reads from this

>> A Line Made by Walking has just been shortlisted for the 2017 Goldsmiths Prize (awarded for "fiction at its most novel"). >> Hear the judges talk about the shortlisted books here
>> Find out more about the books on our website
Previous winners of the Goldsmiths Prize: 
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (2013)
How To Be Both by Ali Smith (2014)
Beatlebone by Kevin Barry (2015)
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (2016)

>> Baume's books were originally published by the tiny, wonderful Irish publisher Tramp Press (who also brought us Solar Bones). BTW: >> No Dear sirs, please

>> 'A Line Made by Walking' by Richard Long (1967 (>> recreated by children, 2011))

A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume   {Reviewed by STELLA}
A young artist is retreating into herself. She finds comfort face-down on the grotty carpet of her small bedsit in Dublin, miserably curled around herself, thinking about the carpets of her childhood and the failure of her adult life. Realising that she must quit her unsatisfactory job at the art gallery, she calls her mother, packs up, eschewing her seemingly few friends, and leaves the city to return to her childhood home. After a week or so in what she refers to as the ‘famine hospital’ - her childhood bedroom, packed with memories and mementos that she has a love/hate relationship with, she asks to stay in her Nan’s rundown cottage. Her grandmother died three years previously and the house with its tired 'For Sale' sign is still vacant. Staying here gives Frankie a sense of being centred, but she is still at odds with herself, and depression is forever on her back. She observes all the decaying mess that is nature and humanity, noticing the rundown, the broken, and the left behind. The nick-nacks of her Nan’s life on the sills of the windows both represent the pointless and the holders of memory - odd talismans. Frankie can’t quite seem to work up enthusiasm for much, but she has the observant eye of an artist. When she spots a dead robin on the roadside, she starts a project: photographs of dead things. Each chapter is entitled a dead animal, representing her finds: mouse, rabbit, fox, hedgehog, badger. The novel is set in rural Ireland: it’s both beautiful and bleak. Sara Baume’s A Line Made by Walking is an intimate portrait of mental illness, anxiety and acute awareness. While it is sometimes gruelling to be inside Frankie’s mind it is also fascinating: a mix between what we all hang onto in our lives (memories and safety nets), what we think but don’t say (Frankie has a tendency to speak ‘reality’ - she doesn’t hold back her thoughts - making observations which are like puncture wounds), and what it means to suffer the anxiety of being or trying to become an artist. Frankie’s issues lie in her deep uncertainty about her life and her inability to produce anything as an artist. Baume cleverly shapes the novel - it is written in the first person with clusters of capsule-like considerations, musings and memories, fleeting thoughts which build to capture this complex person. Interspersed within these deliberations are references to visual artworks - over 70. Frankie is constantly testing herself, drawing on her knowledge, trying to make herself relevant: “Works about Being, I test myself: On Kawara, beginning 1966. A series of paintings showing nothing but the date upon which they were made. He also sent missives to acquaintances and friends which simply read: I AM STILL ALIVE, followed by his signature.” If you know the works it adds further layers to the texture of the writing; if you don’t it leads to further discoveries. The chapters also feature the photographs of the dead animals. Baume isn’t interested in plot, she is investigating what it means to think and feel deeper, what sadness looks like, particularly inside the head of Frankie, a young woman stymied by her inability to act on her desires and overwhelmed by depression. It’s not all gloom; it is lifted by some wry observations, the lack of sentiment, and Baume’s excellent writing - sharp, astute and lyrical.

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison   {Reviewed by STELLA}
A woman is dealing with a virus - she’s a nurse, a midwife, and works in a large American city hospital. But this isn’t just any virus, it’s a plague, one that is fatal to nearly all women and children. Babies are stillborn or die soon after birth, their mothers not far behind them. As the authorities shut down borders and quarantine the sick, the medical teams work frantically to find a cure as they fall to the fever. Men are dying too, and the airborne virus is unstoppable. Our heroine awakes from her fever to find the hospital deadly quiet, bodies surrounding her. She leaves and walks home. The electricity is out, the roads quiet, cars abandoned, stores ransacked, no water - chaos, no people. When she wakes to find a stranger in her room, she fights him off and takes flight. And so begins her journey across America - a journey of survival. She quickly realises that she is one of very few women, and to hide she must disguise herself as a man. Groups of marauding men, gang-like in their behaviour, are out to seek every advantage, and women are in demand. Conversely, there are women (queens of a hive) who have their own male harems. There are religious cults. The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison is a disquieting post-apocalyptic novel about the aftermath of a catastrophic plague. It’s a sharp look at gender politics and at power structures, and the speed of collapse of a complex society is all too devastatingly convincing. The novel is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (not so bleak, but just as gritty), Naomi Alderman’s The Power and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, and it is very good. Gripping, intriguing, with a compelling main character who will hook you immediately. Her encounters with others make perfect foils for Elison to explore the strengths and weaknesses of humans in crisis, but it is the months that the midwife spends alone that are the highlights of the novel. Her contemplation of what she had previously and her connection with this ruined world and with the increasingly new world in which she must learn to live are captivating. The series is called 'The Road to Nowhere', and the second, The Book of Etta, takes place 100 years on. Elison is working on the third and final title, The Book of Flora.

Companions by Christina Hesselholdt    {Reviewed by THOMAS}
Identity is valent only in the eye of the beholder. Unseen we are lost. Any idea we have of ourselves is less stable than the idea others have of us, and we cannot even, in compensation for this instability, be confident that it has any greater accuracy. What we think of as personality is continually contested between the bearer and the perceiver of that identity, which makes the identity game both useful and fraught, ambivalent and ultimately irresolvable. To think of yourself is to be at once both inside and outside yourself, to experience the disjunction between description and the indescribable to which it has been attached, a project that leads, ultimately, past many useful discoveries, to self-destruction. To think of others, however, is to remain securely on the surface, the only place where footing may be firm (for what that’s worth). To describe another is to inscribe, prescribe or circumscribe a hypothetical space in which a postulated self, with postulated ‘depth’, postulated ‘personality’ and so forth, persists (there is no reason to think this actually to be so but reassurance (the best reason)). We can only ever be certain of a surface, if we can be certain of anything (and if we can’t, we must give certainty another meaning, one that resembles what we take it to mean). Fiction provides the possibility (or the illusion of possibility (which is quite sufficient (and, in any case, will do for possibility if there is otherwise no such thing as possibility))) of transgressing the surfaces that act as borders between the postulated persons that they describe (or prescribe or circumscribe), and to experience viewpoints from beyond, if there is a beyond, those surfaces, or, in any case, to catch in those surfaces the play of reflection that we take for evidence of something beyond those surfaces. Christina Hesselholdt, in her novel Companions, provides narratives and monologues from six viewpoints, those of six old friends now entering middle age, who are finding that the ideas the others have of them are becoming insufficient to contain the momentum of their frustrations and desires, but, at the same time, drawing comfort from their intimacy with those others of whom they have ideas. Although they each speak convincingly in the first person (though some, like Alwilda, exist primarily in the third person in her friends’ accounts of her), it becomes apparent that one voice, Alma, is the (fictional (if this is a work of fiction)) authorial voice, conjuring and postulating the voices of her friends (if our identity belongs to others, can they also use our voice?). Although there are some memorable passages in Alma’s voice, especially those in which she splices her experiences of place with those of (actual) writers, the main focus of the book is her friend Camilla, or, rather, a Camilla-as-postulated-by-Alma-as-postulated-by-the-author, whose habitual relationship with her husband Charles withstands his illness but is shown ultimately to be impermanent (is this, though, a projection by Alma, whose own relationship with Kristian disintegrates in the course of the book, and who seeks to understand the evanescence of feeling in others?). No detail or thought is too mundane or too personal or too uncomfortable to be acknowledged in these monologues (projected on these characters by their friend and creating an ambivalent tension through the intimacy of this transgression of identity). At the end of the book, Alma’s ‘Camilla’ asks:
“If I were to ask Alma if a person can take the liberty to write anything at all about another person, what would she say?
“‘I would say yes,’ Alma said, ‘it is only a matter of tactfulness. You have to be tactful - and put yourself on the line too, place yourself in exposed positions, pass judgement on yourself (Ibsen believed a person did that automatically when writing).’”

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce    {Reviewed by THOMAS}
Occasionally, usually when suffering from a fever, my mind takes words and phrases and pulls them apart and recombines them and distorts them and relates them to other words and phrases and hybridises them and separates them from their sense and plays around with their pronunciation. This is distressing. I used to think that this was caused by the neurotoxic side-effect of a pathogen or the delirium of fever, but soon came to believe that this is the nature of language: without our constant yet relatively feeble and fleeting attempts to coagulate it into meaning, language is a heaving sea of chaotic association and permutation, endlessly fertile but ultimately not compatible with sanity. We expend a lot of effort resisting language’s inherent tendency towards chaos, generally with good reason: we seek clarity and sanity. In Finnegans Wake, James Joyce pulls down all the dykes and lets the sea wash over the land. Herein lie all the linguistic symptoms it usually takes illness to induce. Joyce spent seventeen years compulsively holding the idea of the novel underwater, holding it in that moment of uncertainty when drowning and developing gills seem about equally likely. Having prescription for roxithromycin filled before reading this book is probably a good idea.

(Aside: my own copy of Finnegans Wake is of an edition that has 28 pages of ‘Corrections of Misprints’, which make enjoyable Joycean reading in themselves (too bad the misprints were corrected in later editions and this addendum not reproduced)).

Friday 29 September 2017

Take your pick.

Collected Poems by Allen Curnow, edited by Terry Sturm and Elizabeth Caffin       $60
Allen Curnow: Simply by Sailing in a New Direction, A biography by Terry Sturm, edited by Elizabeth Caffin      $70
"Simply by sailing in a new direction / You could enlarge the world." Curnow's 70-year career in the vanguard of New Zealand poetry involved the defining and redefining of poetic sensibilities, moving from an antipodean to an autochthonic focus. 
>> Landfall in Unknown Seas (with Lilburn)
>> Stead on Curnow

Threads: The delicate life of John Craske by Julia Blackburn        $48
John Craske, a Norfolk fisherman, was born in 1881, and in 1917 he fell seriously ill. For the rest of his life he kept moving in and out of what was described as 'a stuporous state'. In 1923 he started making paintings of the sea and boats and the coastline seen from the sea, and later, when he was too ill to stand and paint, he turned to embroidery, which he could do lying in bed. Julia Blackburn's account of his life is a quest which takes her in many strange directions - to fishermen's cottages in Sheringham, a grand hotel fallen on hard times in Great Yarmouth and to the isolated Watch House far out in the Blakeney estuary; to Cromer and the bizarre story of Einstein's stay there, guarded by dashing young women in jodhpurs with shotguns. Threads is a book about life and death and the strange country between the two.
"Oh, what a miraculous book this is: parochial, weird and inconclusive in a way that few books dare to be these days, and illustrated so generously, with something beautiful or interesting on every other page. Buy it, and let it take you out to sea, no sou'wester required." - Rachel Cooke, Observer
"Wonderful. I lay down her book without knowing the cause of the 'mental stupors' that defined Craske's life, or understanding his relationship to his complicated family, but feeling I had inhaled the cold salt of the East Anglian coastline from which he sailed when he was well, and run my fingers across the bright wool of the embroideries he made when he was not." - Telegraph
Aotearoa: The New Zealand story by Gavin Bishop      $40
A breathtakingly wonderful large-format visual history of New Zealand, drawn by the inimitable Gavin Bishop. One of the outstanding New Zealand books of the year. 

After Kathy Acker: A biography by Chris Kraus        $48
Who better than the author of I Love Dick to write a gossipy, insightful and memorable biography of the abject angel of the late twentieth century literary counterculture? 
"This is an anti-mythic artist biography which feels like it's being told in one long rush of a monologue over late-night drinks by someone who was there. As such, we learn as much much about Kathy Acker as we do about the mores of the artists and writers who surrounded her in the last three decades of the twentieth century. Acker emerges as an unlikely literary hero, but an utterly convincing one." - Sheila Heti
>> Who's afraid of Kathy Acker? 
Red Famine: Stalin's war on Ukraine by Anne Applebaum         $65
The Holodomor (man-made famine) of 1932-33 killed millions of Ukrainians by starvation, and amounts to genocide. To prevent an uprising, Stalin ensured food shortages, restricted movement, confiscated foodstuffs and prevented foreign aid. Applebaum's careful account makes for horrific reading. 
Long-listed for the 2017 Baillie-Gifford Prize. 

The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser       $37
Which undoes the present more, a shadow cast by the past or one cast by the future? De Kretser's new novel gauges the dissonances between individual and collective identities. 
"I so much admire Michelle de Kretser's formidable technique - her characters feel alive, and she can create a sweeping narrative which encompasses years, and yet still retain the sharp, almost hallucinatory detail." - Hilary Mantel
"Michelle de Kretser writes quickly and lightly of wonderful and terrible things. She is a master storyteller." - A.S. Byatt
A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge         $25
When a creature dies, its spirit can go looking for somewhere to hide. Some people have space inside them, perfect for hiding. Makepeace, a girl with a mysterious past, defends herself nightly from the ghosts which try to possess her. Then a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard for a moment. And now there's a ghost inside her. The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, but it may be her only defence in a time of dark suspicion and fear. As the English Civil War erupts, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession or death.
From the author of the Costa Award-winning The Lie Tree
"Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now." - Patrick Ness
The Illustrious House of Ramires bEça de Queirós        $35
Gonçalo Ramires, heir to a family so aristocratic that it predates the kings of Portugal, —charming but disastrously effete, idealistic but hopelessly weak—muddles through his pampered life, burdened by a grand ambition. In part to further his political aspirations, he is determined to write a great historical novel based on the heroic deeds of his fierce medieval ancestors. But the record of their valor is ironically counterpointed by his own chicanery. A combination of Don Quixote and Walter Mitty, Ramires is as endearing as he is frustrating. 
"A writer of mesmerizing literary power." Washington Post
"Portugal’s greatest novelist." - José Saramago
Anatomy: A cutaway look inside the human body by Helene Druvert and Jean-Claude Druvert       $45
Here's the human body as you've never seen it before. Clever laser cut-outs, flaps and overlays explore every detail of the organs, systems and senses. 

An Odyssey: A father, a son and an epic by Daniel Mendelsohn        $45
When Daniel's 81-year-old father enrolls in the course on the Odyssey Daniel teaches at Bard College, he is always ready to challenge Daniel's interpretations of the great work. When they then travel to the Mediterranean to visit the locations referred to by Homer, Daniel discovers he has much to learn from his difficult father, too. 
"A stellar contribution to the genre of memoirs about reading: literary analysis and the personal stories are woven together in a way that feels both artful and natural. A thoughtful book from which non-classicists will learn a great deal about Homer. A funny, loving portrait of a difficult but loving parent." - Guardian
Long-listed for the Baillie-Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction.
Baking with Kafka: Cartoons by Tom Gauld       $28
How do you get published during a skeleton apocalypse? What was the secret of Kafka's lemon drizzle cake? And what plot possibilities does the exploding e-cigarette offer modern mystery writers? All these questions and more are answered in this collection of Gauld's inimitable literary cartoons. 

Bird Words: New Zealand writers on birds by Elisabeth Easther      $35
An anthology of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, all concerned with the birds, both native and endemic, of New Zealand. 
>> 'Magpies' by Denis Glover.
>>> Arr. Bill Direen #1. 
>>>> Arr. Bill Direen #2.
>>>>> Arr. David Farquhar
>>>>>>  Arr. 6 Volts
DrawnonwarD: A back-to-front tale of hopelessness and hope by Meg McKinlay and Andrew Frazer       $30
The same situation can have quite different interpretations, depending on your perspective. Read in one direction, this piece of graphic invention is a dismal when read in one direction, but full of hope when read in the other. A change of perspective (or reading direction) is all you need to turn your life around.
The Necessary Angel by C.K. Stead     $38
Paris: books/conversation, love/politics, fidelity/infidelity. 
"Edgy and lyrical, acerbic and witty, intellectually incisive but also visceral and bawdy, disarmingly direct and intricately plotted." - Andrew Bennett
First Person by Richard Flanagan       $48
Can a penniless writer retain any certainty, even of his own identity, when he is commissioned to ghost-write the memoir of a conman? From the author of the Booker-winning Narrow Road to the Deep North
Andina, The heart of Peruvian food: Recipes and stories from the Andes by Martin Morales        $47
120 authentic and healthy recipes from the Peruvian uplands. 
>> Peru has, apparently, 492 national dishes

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward         $27
As 13-year-old Jojo approaches adulthood, how can he find his way in the U.S. South when all seems set for him and his family to fall foul of rural poverty, drug addiction, the penal system, the justice system, racism and illness? From the author of Salvage the Bones. 
"This wrenching new novel by Jesmyn Ward digs deep into the not-buried heart of the American nightmare. A must." - Margaret Atwood 
"A powerfully alive novel haunted by ghosts; a road trip where people can go but they can never leave; a visceral and intimate drama that plays out like a grand epic, Sing, Unburied, Sing is staggering." - Marlon James
Dinner at the Centre of the Earth by Nathan Englander      $38
Prisoner Z is being held at a black site in the Negev Desert with only his guard for company. How did a nice American Jewish boy become first an Israeli spy and then a traitor to his adopted country. What is loyalty worth, and what is worthy of loyalty? 
"Nathan Englander's latest is, as usual, superb: a work of psychological precision and moral force, with an immediacy that captures both timeless human truth as well as the perplexities of the present day." - Colson Whitehead
The Quantum Astrologer's Handbook by Michael Brooks       $38
Jerome Cardano, a Milanese of the sixteenth century was a gambler and blasphemer, inventor and chancer, plagued by demons and anxieties, astrologer to kings, emperors and popes. This stubborn and unworldly man was the son of a lawyer and a brothel keeper, a gifted physician and the hereforeto unacknowledged discoverer of the mathematical foundations of quantum physics. Fascinating science biography (and not an astrology book). 

Joseph Banks' Florilegium: Botanical treasures from Cook's first voyage edited by Mel Gooding et al         $130
Naturalist Joseph Banks accompanied Captain Cook on his first voyage around the world from 1768 to 1771. Banks collected exotic flora from Madeira, Brazil, Tierra del Fuego, the Society Islands, New Zealand, Australia, and Java, bringing back over 1,300 species that had never been seen or studied by Europeans. Upon his return, Banks commissioned more than 700 engravings between 1772 and 1784. Known collectively as Banks' Florilegium, they are some of the most precise and exquisite examples of botanical illustration ever created. The Florilegium was never published in Banks' lifetime, and it was not until 1990 that a complete set in color was issued in a boxed edition (limited to 100 copies) under the direction of the British Museum. The present selection makes these prints widely available for the first time.
The Empty Grave ('Lockwood & Co' #5) by Jonathan Stroud        $25
The final knuckle-whitening volume in this excellent series. Will Lucy, George and Lockwood solve the mystery of the plague of ghosts that has been afflicting London? Genuinely scary, genuinely funny, and with great characters, if you haven't read this, start with The Screaming Staircase
"Jonathan Stroud is a genius." - Rick Riordan
Invictus by Ryan Graudin       $20
Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 A.D. and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 A.D., Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history is all Far has ever wanted, but this future seems shattered when he fails his final time-traveling exam. Kicked out of the program with few prospects, Far takes a position commandeering a ship with his own team as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past. But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. She contains knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question. Far and his team must race against time and through it to discover the truth: history is not as steady as it seems. From the author of the outstanding 'Wolf by Wolf'. 
The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst          $38
From the time they meet at Oxford in 1940, David Sparsholt and Evert Dax are drawn together in a relationship which acts as a prism for many of the social changes of the following decades.
"Hollinghurst is a master storyteller. The book is thrilling in the rather awful way that the best Victorian novels are, so that one finds oneself galloping somewhat shamefacedly through the pages in order to discover what happens next." - John Banville
"Hollinghurst's great gift as a novelist is for social satire as sharp and transparent as glass, catching his quarry from an angle just an inch to the left of the view they themselves would catch in the mantelpiece mirror." - The New York Observer 
In Search of Stardust: Amazing micrometeorites and their terrestrial imposters by Jon Larson      $33
The solar system is a dusty place. Every day approximately 100 metric tons of cosmic dust collides with Earth, mainly in the form of micrometeorites. Most of these mineral particles (iron, nickel, etc.) are smaller than grains of sand, and they are falling down on us all the time and all over the globe. This book shows you how to find and identify (and collect!) micrometeorites, and how to distinguish them from other microstuff. 
>> Stardust found.
The Worm and the Bird by Coralie Bickford-Smith        $40
It's pretty cramped underground, and Worm wants more space. Up above, bird is wanting something too. When they meet, will they both get what they want? A beautiful illustrative book from the artist of The Fox and the Star
Victoria: The woman who made the modern world by Julia Baird     $37
When Victoria was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 20 June 1837, she was 18 years old. Her subjects were fascinated and intrigued; some felt sorry for her. Writer Thomas Carlyle, watching her gilded coach draw away from the coronation, said: 'Poor little Queen, she is at an age at which a girl can hardly be trusted to choose a bonnet for herself; yet a task is laid upon her from which an archangel might shrink.' But by the time of her Diamond Jubilee Procession in 1897, she reigned over a fourth of the inhabitable part of the world, had 400 million subjects, and had given birth to nine children. Suffrage, anti-poverty and anti-slavery movements can all be traced to her monumental reign, along with a profound rethinking of family life and the rise of religious doubt. What was her place in all of this? 
Can't Stand Up for Falling Down: Rock'n'roll war stories by Allan Jones      $30
Collected music journalism from the 1970s and 1980s. Great insight into the culture of rock fame as it never will be again. 
Riot Days by Maria Alyokhina       $45
Freedom doesn't exist unless you fight for it every day. The activist, Pussy Riot member and freedom fighter Maria Alyokhina gives a passionate account of her arrest, trial and imprisonment in Siberia.
>> Back to jail.
Igni by Aaron Turner       $65
After working in some of the world's outstanding restaurants, including Noma in Copenhagen and El cellar de can Roca in Girona, Turner opened his own restaurant in Australia. This book documents the tribulations and excitements of its first year, and is full of distinctive recipes and atmospheric photographs. 
>> A high-end degustation restaurant in a Geelong backstreet
Think Like an Anthropologist by Matthew Engelke        $28
Is there an anthropological approach that can help us not only to understand who we are and how we fit in whatever society we are in, but also understand others too? 
Mimicry 3 edited by Carolyn DeCarlo and Jackson Nieuwland      $15
Poetry! Other written stuff! Art! Contributors include J.M. Francis, Stacey Teague, Ruby Mae Hinepunui Solly, Emma Ng, Aimee Smith, Johnny McCaughan, Holly Childs, Rachel O’Neill, Vincent Konrad, Chris Stewart, Fresh and Fruity, Saskia Bunce-Rath, Nina Powles, Lee Posna, Chelsea Houghton, Annelyse Gelman, Courtney Sina Meredith, Jordana Bragg, Joan Fleming, Eleanor Rose King Merton, Helen Rickerby, Louise Compagnone, Estère, Blaek, Finn Johannson, Flo Wilson, WOMB, Maria McMillan, Briana Jamieson, Amy Leigh Wicks, Alison Glenny, Ines Almeida, Anna Jackson, Caroline Shepherd, Rose Lu, Thomasin Sleigh and Erica van Zon, Catarina de Peters, Eamonn Marra, Freya Daly Sadgrove and Hera Lindsay Bird.

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Actually, ten books about trees. Come and wander. There are plenty of other tree books in the shop, too. 

The Man Who Climbs Trees: A memoir by James Aldred       $35
Nature writing from a professional tree-climber whose work has taken him into the upper strata of forests around the world. Beautifully written.
Little Tree by Jenny Bowers      $29
A tiny seed grows into a pear tree. Lift the flaps to find our what animals live in the garden. 
Wise Trees by Diane Cook and Len Jensel       $60
How have 59 trees around the world been the foci of human history? From Luna, the Coastal Redwood in California that became an international symbol when activist Julia Butterfly Hill sat for 738 days on a platform nestled in its branches to save it from logging, to the Bodhi Tree, the sacred fig in India that is a direct descendant of the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment, Cook and Jenshel reveal trees that have impacted and shaped our lives, our traditions, and our feelings about nature.
Eagle's Complete Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand by Audrey Eagle       $250
A beautiful slip-cased edition of this masterpiece of botanical art. 
The Wood for the Trees: A long view of nature from a small wood by Richard Fortey      $25
This biography of an English 'beech-and-bluebell' wood through the seasons and through history both natural and human, is a portrayal of the relationships of humans to nature and a demonstration that poetic writing can be scientifically precise. 
"'His remarkable scientific knowledge, intense curiosity and love of nature mean entries erupt with the same richness and variety as the woods they describe. Fortey's enthusiasm for his new wonderland is infectious and illuminating, deep and interesting." - Guardian 
The Songs of Trees: Stories from nature's great connectors by David George Haskell       $38
A tree is part of a biological network involving other trees, fungi, bacteria, animals and other plants. The ability to widen the organism-model beyond the individual is rewarded with insights and warnings. 

One Thousand Trees by Kyle Hughes-Odgers         $30
Deep in the heart of the treeless city, Frankie dreams of one thousand trees. In her imagination she moves around, between and among them. An excellent introduction to prepositions. 

Trees by Lemniscates       $28
"Trees cannot change their place in the world so they are patient and learn to live where they are."

Witness Tree: Seasons of change with a century-old oak by Lynda V. Mapes      $35
How has history touched a single tree, both in an intimate and cyclical way, and in an epochal, linear way? 
The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees by Robert Penn        $30
Robert Penn  cut down an ash tree and decided to see how many things he could make from it. As he did so, he developed an understanding of our cultural reliance upon trees. 

Tōtara: A natural and cultural history by Philip Simpson            $75
Among the biggest and oldest trees in the New Zealand forest, the heart of Maori carving and culture, trailing no. 8 wire as fence posts on settler farms, clambered up in the Pureora protests of the 1980s: the story of New Zealand can be told through totara.