Friday 8 December 2017


These books have lined up for your attention. 

Charges by Elfriede Jelinek         $48
Nobel Prize-winning novelist Elfriede Jelinek offers a powerful analysis of the plight of refugees, from ancient times to the present. She responds to the immeasurable suffering among those fleeing death, destruction, and political suppression in their home countries and, drawing on sources as widely separated in time and intent as up-to-the-minute blog postings and Aeschylus's The Supplicants, Jelinek asks what refugees want, how we as a society view them, and what political, moral, and personal obligations they impose on us. 
Aberhart Starts Here by Laurence Aberhart and Lara Strongman     $40
An excellent selection of photographs from Aberhart's early career in the 1970s and 1980s, demonstrating his developing concerns and technique (and recording some extraordinary buildings and interiors). 

Chronicles of a Liquid Society by Umberto Eco           $50
 A crisis in ideological values, a crisis in politics, unbridled individualism: it is hard to find anything solid in contemporary society. Does this matter? Is this liberating? Eco's last collection of essays. 
"Eco brilliantly exposes all that is absurd and paradoxical in contemporary behaviour. His irony is disarming, his cleverness dazzling." - Tim Parks, Guardian 
>>Just a few of his books on shelves
The Camera in the Crowd: Filming New Zealand in pace and war, 1895-1920 by Christopher Pugsley        $80
Both filming and the showing of films transformed the way New Zealanders saw themselves and their world, and also how they saw the relationship between work and leisure. This book is the first time this subject has been fully documented.  
Say Something! Jacqueline Fahey by Felicity Milburn et al      $30
A survey of Fahey's remarkable paintings of the 1970s, depicting the private realities of New Zealand women, challenging accepted archetypes of female experience and ‘appropriate’ subjects for art.
Sad Topographies: A disenchanted traveller's guide by Damien Rudd and Kateryna Didyk      $52
What are the stories behind the most lugubrious places in the world? Beautifully drawn maps by Kateryna Didyk.
>> Sad online

How to by Juile Morstad        $35
How to feel the breeze, how to have a good sleep, how to make some music, how to be brave. Delightfully whimsical. 
The Purloining of Prince Oleomargerine by Mark Twain and Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead        $45
Johnny, forlorn and alone except for his pet chicken, meets a kind woman who gives him seeds that change his fortune, allowing him to speak with animals and sending him on a quest to rescue a stolen prince. Twain's fragmentary and never-completed tale is beautifully realised by Stead and Stead. 
Earthly Signs: Moscow Diaries, 1917-1922 by Marina Tsvetaeva        $35
Fragmented, poignant, revelatory observations, both personal and societal, of the social, economic and cultural upheavals of the Bolshevik revolution, from one of Russia's outstanding poets of the twentieth century. 
Studio kO by Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty        $150
An exquisitely produced volume surveying the raw minimalism and clean lines of the architecture of Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty.
>> The kO website (recommended).
Snow and Rose by Emily Winfield Martin       $30
Snow and Rose don't realise they are in a fairy tale, but who does? So different in temperament, the sisters must enter the forest, face dangers and meet both friendly and unfriendly characters in order to solve the mystery of their father's disappearance. 
Red Flag Unfurled: Historians, the Russian revolution and the Soviet experience by Ronald Suny         $43
Suny explores the historiographical controversies over 1917, Stalinism, and the end of 'Communism' and provides an assessment of the achievements, costs, losses and legacies of the choices made by Soviet leaders. A quarter century after the disintegration of the USSR, the story usually told is one of failure and inevitable collapse, but Suny reevaluates the promises, missed opportunities, achievements, and colossal costs of trying to build a kind of "socialism" in the inhospitable environment of peasant Russia. He ponders what lessons 1917 provides for Marxism and the alternatives to capitalism and bourgeois democracy.
Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa         $22
Sentaro has failed: he has a criminal record, drinks too much, and hasn't managed to fulfill his dream of becoming a writer. Instead, he works in a confectionery shop selling dorayaki, a type of pancake filled with a sweet paste made of red beans. One day an elderly, handicapped woman enters the shop. Tokue makes the best bean paste imaginable, and begins to teach Sentaro her art. But as their friendship flourishes, societal prejudices become impossible to escape. A quiet, subtle novel. 
The Least of all Possible Evils: Humanitarian violence from Arendt to Gaza by Eyal Weizman       $27
"This is a wonderful book, written with clarity, precision, and passion. It takes the reader into the heart of contemporary necro-politics and calculations of "lesser evils" by powerful states and their humanitarian accomplices. Deeply learned and informative on every page, this is essential reading for anyone who cares about contemporary conditions of warfare and state-controlled violence; about the spatial practices that reinforce and regulate systemic forms of violence, such as the calculation of minimal requirements for human survival. In the spirit of Doctors Without Borders, Weizman is at home in political philosophy, military history, 'just war' theory, and the spatial systems of controlled, calculated violence that constitute Israel/Palestine, and much of the world today." - W. J. T. Mitchell

New China Eye Witness: Roger Duff, Rewi Alley and the art of museum diplomacy edited by James Beattie and Richard Bullen        $60
A fascinating account of the 1956 visit to the People's Republic of China by a group of prominent New Zealanders - including Roger Duff, James Bertram, Evelyn Page, Angus Ross and Ormond Wilson - and of how Canterbury Museum came to acquire the largest collection of Chinese art in New Zealand. At the centre of the book is the eloquent diary kept by Canterbury Museum director Roger Duff, detailing his efforts to bring to Christchurch the collection of antiquities gifted to the museum by long-time China resident, New Zealander Rewi Alley. Through Alley's contacts with premier Zhou Enlai and Duff's diplomatic skills they obtained the sanction of the Chinese government to circumvent its own export ban on antiquities and permit the gifting of seven crates of treasures to Christchurch (here illustrated). 
A Citizen's Guide to Impeachment by Barbara A. Radnofsky       $23

All We Saw by Anne Michaels         $35

What does love make us capable of? What does it make us incapable of? What is love's relationship with loss? A long-awaited new poetry collection from the author of Fugitive Pieces
A Galaxy of Her Own: Amazing stories of women in space by Libby Jackson      $40
From Ada Lovelace in the nineteenth century, to the women behind the Apollo missions, from the astronauts breaking records on the International Space Station to those blazing the way in the race to get to Mars.

Time Twins by Sally Astridge and Arne Norlin          $25
Astrid thinks she is imagining the quiet boy who appears in her room in the middle of the night. He's called Tamati and lives in New Zealand. Astrid lives in Sweden. What's he doing here? And why does he keep turning up?

>> Come to the New Zealand launch of Time Twins. Sally Astridge (Nelson) and Aren Norlin (Sweden) will both be speaking. Tuesday 19 December, 6 PM at VOLUME, 15 Church Street, Nelson. Find out more
General Relativity for Babies by Chris Ferrie        $19
A clear and helpful board book. 
The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater        $55
Reading Nigel Slater's very personable food writing is a culinary experience in itself, and so is cooking from his recipes or applying his ideas and flavour combinations in ways of your own devising. The recipes in this book are suitable for Christmas, and suitable for the middle of winter, too: goose and turkey (and making the most of the leftovers), mincemeat and Christmas cake; ribsticker bread pudding with Comte and Taleggio, salt crust potatoes with blue cheese and goat's curd, and hot-smoked salmon, potatoes and dill; pink grapefruit marmalade, pear and pickled radish salad and rye, linseed and treacle bread. 
The Geometry of Hand-Sewing: A romance in stitches and embroidery from Alabama Chanin and The School of Making by Natalie Chanin      $40
An ingenious approach to stitching considered as a system of grids and variants, with wide applications to good effect.
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors by Mika Yoshitake      $110
Since 1965's Phalli's Field, Kusama has produced over twenty mirrored installations with an impression of infinite extent. This book surveys her career. 
>> Some infinity rooms
>> Obsessed with dots. 
>> Also new: Yayoi Kusama: From here to infinity by Sarah Suzuki   $35: A children's book on the Infinity Mirrors and their creator. 
Global Discontents: Conversations on the rising threats to democracy by Noam Chomsky         $35
Can we take action that will ensure democracy's survival in the face of populists, kakistocracies and financial oligarchies? 

What is Left Behind by Tom Weston           $25
Just long-listed for the Poetry prize in the 2018 Ockham Book Awards. 
"If Allen Curnow was the stony and austere godhead of New Zealand literary modernism, then Tom Weston [is] tending to the altar and ensuring the continuation of the elder's example. It is something of a study, to observe how Weston is able to sustain the seriousness of the task - the poem-as-act-of-sacred-communion - without ever breaking down into didactic sermonising or self-consciousness parody." - Michael Steven, Landfall 

David Bowie: A life by Dylan Jones      $40
Outdoes most other Bowie biographies in both scope and depth.
>> A man with a million identities.
The World of Moominvalley by Tove Jansson and Philip Ardagh       $65
At last, an encyclopedia of the world of the Moomins and all the other creatures who live alongside them. 
Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017 by Ian Black         $65
The inability to established a shared narrative of their histories makes a peaceful future even more difficult to attain. 

Trainwreck by Sady Doyle       $38
History is full of women who pressed against the boundaries that constrained them and then fell through. 

"Smart, compelling, persuasive. Doyle reminds us that we shouldn't be so quick to judge women in terms of degrading stereotypes or unrealistic expectations."- New York Times 
The Poetry Pharmacy: Tried and true prescriptions for the heart, mind and soul by William Sieghart       $40
A useful pharmacopoeia with poems arranged by condition.

The Excavation by Max Andersson         $49
A young couple is about to discover that nothing is as it seems: not their bodies; not the structures they inhabit (there are no doors); and not the police who wander in and out of their lives. And, no matter how many armed standoffs and car chases there are, you can never escape your parents - or the dead body under the kitchen table. Graphic novel. 
Terrorism and Communism by Leon Trotsky        $22
"To make the individual sacred we must destroy the social order which crucifies him. And this problem can only be solved by blood and iron." An impassioned defence of revolutionary dictatorship written during Russia's Civil War, here introduced by Slavoj Zizek.
Hello World Bingo Game by Jonathan Litton       $28
Learn to say hello in over 50 languages whist having fun playing this game with up to nine people. 

How Should We Live? Everyday ethics in Aotearoa New Zealand edited by Stephen Chadwick        $45
Abortion, poverty, online behaviour, commercial sex, pornography, internet downloading, recreational drug use, social inequality, animal rights, data protection, criminal justice. Our everyday lives are an ethical minefield. 

Made in North Korea: Graphics from everyday life in the NDPK by Nick Bonner     $60
In what way does the particular mind-set of North Korean society manifest itself in 'ordinary' graphic design. This book gives insight into a design culture unlike any other. Beautiful in a new way. 
"Leaving North Korea is not like leaving any other country. It is more like leaving another universe. I will never truly be free of its gravity, no matter how far I journey." - Hyeonseo Lee
>> A sampler 
Great Shakespearean Deaths: Card game by Chris Riddell with Spymonkey        $28
Who had the greatest last words, and what were they? Who enjoyed the slowest, most tedious death? Morbid and lots of fun. 

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