Friday 6 July 2018

Some of them are very new. 
Pamper Me to Hell and Back by Hera Lindsay Bird        $22
"Love, death, Bruce Willis, public urination, being a woman, love, The Nanny, love. This pamphlet of poetry by Hera Lindsay Bird is a startling departure from her bestselling debut Hera Lindsay Bird by defying convention and remaining exactly the same, only worse. This collection, which focuses on love, childish behaviours, 90’s celebrity references and 'being a woman', is sure to confirm all your worst suspicions and prejudices."
Selected by Carol Ann Duffy: "Without doubt the most arresting and original new young poet - on page and in performance - to arrive."
The Iliac Crest by Cristina Rivera Garza        $30
On a dark and stormy night, an unnamed narrator is visited by two women: one a former lover, the other a stranger. They ruthlessly question their host and claim to know his greatest secret: that he is, in fact, a woman. In increasingly desperate attempts to defend his masculinity, perplexed by the stranger's dubious claims to be the writer Amparo Davila, he finds himself spiralling deeper into a haunted past that may or may not be his own. 
"An intelligent, beautiful story about bodies disguised as a story about language disguised as a story about night terrors. Cristina Rivera Garza does not respect what is expected of a writer, of a novel, of language. She is an agitator." - Yuri Herrera
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata        $30
For nearly twenty years Keiko (like the author of this book) has been working in a convenience store, a role that both gives her purpose in life and, after initially allowing her to pass as a 'normal' person in a very conformist society, gives her a place from which to defy conformist expectations, especially concerning personal relationships, and to isolate herself from the pressures of social life. 
“The novel borrows from Gothic romance, in its pairing of the human and the alluringly, dangerously not. It is a love story, in other words, about a misfit and a store. Keiko’s self-renunciations reveal the book to be a kind of grim post-capitalist reverie: she is an anti-Bartleby, abandoning any shred of identity outside of her work. It may make readers anxious, but the book itself is tranquil—dreamy, even—rooting for its employee-store romance from the bottom of its synthetic heart.” —Katy Waldman, New Yorker
>> Odd is the new normal
>> An interview with the author
Trans-Europe Express: Tours of a lost continent by Owen Hatherley      $40
Over the past twenty years European cities have become the envy of the world: a Kraftwerk Utopia of historic centres, supermodernist concert halls, imaginative public spaces and futuristic egalitarian housing estates which, interconnected by high-speed trains traversing open borders, have a combination of order and pleasure which is exceptionally unusual elsewhere. How and why do European cities differ so markedly from the cities of the developer-oriented, car-centred Anglo-Saxon norm? 
"The latest heir to Ruskin." - Boyd Tonkin, Independent 

"Hatherley is the most informed, opinionated and acerbic guide you could wish for." - Hugh Pearman
The Hospital by Ahmed Bouanani           $35
"When I walked through the large iron gate of the hospital, I must have still been alive." In this novel based on Bouanani’s own experiences as a tuberculosis patient, the hospital begins to feel increasingly like a prison or a strange nightmare: the living resemble the dead; bureaucratic angels of death descend to direct traffic, claiming the lives of a motley cast of inmates one by one; childhood memories and fantasies of resurrection flash in and out of the narrator’s consciousness as the hospital transforms before his eyes into an eerie, metaphorical space. Somewhere along the way, the hospital’s iron gate disappears. The Hospital is a nosedive into the realms of the imagination, in which a journey to nowhere in particular leads to the most shocking places.
>> Read an excerpt.
Scenes from a Childhood by Jon Fosse         $32
For clarity and efficiency and resonance of prose, few contemporary writers can outdo Norway's Jon Fosse. 
"Fosse’s prose builds out of an ambiguity and sparseness and moves with a slow poetic intensity. The collection has all the hallmarks of Fosse’s signature brooding manner where lyrical precision is used to paint unmoored psyches. Scenes from a Childhood is a welcome – if overdue – introduction to a singular literary voice." — Tank
"Fosse has been compared to Ibsen and to Beckett, and it is easy to see his work as Ibsen stripped down to its emotional essentials. But it is much more. For one thing, it has a fierce poetic simplicity." — New York Times
>> Read an excerpt
White Plains: Pieces and witherlings by Gordon Lish          $38
Against the backdrop of White Plains hospital, Lish skewers together memories of long-past infidelities and betrayals, on-going friendships, the death of his wife and the relative comfort of household chairs, to forge a series of interlinked hypnotic and hilarious narratives to pick away at what we thought was our idea of memory. Lish was the editor who 'made' Raymond Carver. 
"Closer to a snarling rant than a work of fiction. Reads like the freewheeling wordplay of a mad person." – TLS
"These are stories for the neurotic state of our times, stories for insomnia, stories for those who wake in discontent. There will never be another like Gordon Lish." – Berfrois
Ruth Asawa by Tiffany Bell and Robert Storr        $115
Known for her intricate and dynamic wire sculptures, the American sculptor, educator and arts activist Ruth Asawa challenged conventional notions of material and form through her emphasis on lightness and transparency. Asawa began her now iconic looped-wire works in the late 1940s while still a student at Black Mountain College. 
>> The Ruth Asawa website (recommended). 
>> Of forms and growth.
>> Objects and apparitions
The Pisces by Melissa Broder         $33
A woman completing a thesis on Sappho finds herself deeply attracted to a merman. 
"Through the eyes of our merman-obsessed anti-heroine, we become attuned to both the poignancy and pointlessness of the human experience-from illusory ambition to unruly erotic fantasy." - Molly Prentiss
>> Meet the author.
The Toy Catalogue by Sandra Petrignani         $30
A series of exquisite, compactly written pieces exploring the the wonder and sadness of children's toys and their capacity to stir both unsettling and comforting memories in adults. 
My Purple Scented Novel by Ian McEwan         $6
Actually, it's a short story. "You will have heard of my friend the once celebrated novelist Jocelyn Tarbet, but I suspect his memory is beginning to fade. You'd never heard of me, the once obscure novelist Parker Sparrow, until my name was publicly connected with his. To a knowing few, our names remain rigidly attached, like the two ends of a seesaw. His rise coincided with, though did not cause, my decline. I don't deny there was wrongdoing. I stole a life, and I don't intend to give it back. You may treat these few pages as a confession."
A Weekend in New York by Benjamin Markovits        $33
Tolstoy claimed: 'All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way'. But what if the happy families are actually the most unusual of all? What does it mean to be a family? To be an individual? And how do we deal with the responsibilities these roles impose upon us? A Weekend In New York intertwines the politics of the household and the state to forge a luminous national portrait on a deceptively local scale. 

The Mapmakers' Race by Erlys Hunter           $25
Four children temporarily lose their parents just as they are about to begin the race that offers their last chance of escaping poverty. Their task is to map a rail route through an uncharted wilderness. They overcome the many obstacles posed by nature—bears, bees, bats, river crossings, cliff-falls, impossible weather—but can they survive the treachery of their competitors?

Out in the Open by Javi Rey, based on the novel by Jesús Carrasco       $35
A stunning graphic novel. After suffering violence and betrayal at home, a young boy flees into an uncompromising landscape ravaged by drought. Without food or water, exposed to the heat of the sun and the violence of his pursuers, the boy sets out across the Spanish plains. An encounter with an elderly goatherd offers hope of survival. The old man can help him stay ahead of the dangers that lie outside - but he can't fix the internal drama that plays out in the boy's mind. Nightmares are a constant reminder of a traumatic past and an unstable present.
Conversations about Indigenous Rights: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Aotearoa New Zealand edited by Selwyn Katene and Rawiri Taunui         $45
Shows the alignment between the Treaty of Waitangi and the Declaration, and examines how the Declaration assists the interpretation and application of Treaty principles of partnership, protection and participation.

In these Days of Prohibition by Caroline Bird         $28
Bird's poems hold their subjects in an unflinching grip, addressing faces behind the veneer, asking what it is that keeps us alive. 
"Her poems burst with linguistic energy." - TLS
>>Some poems by Caroline Bird.

XYZ of Happiness by Mary McCallum          $25
Poems of happiness - as it comes, when it’s missing and when it is hoped for. 

Three Balls of Wool by Henriqueta Cristina and Yara Kono     $30
In search of a freer place where every child can go to school, a family moves from Fascist Portugal to Communist Czechoslovakia. Different as this new country is, however, it is far from ideal. In this new, grey world, the lack of freedom is felt in the simplest things, such as the colours one can and cannot wear.
Around the World in 80 Trees by Jonathan Drori and Lucille Clerc      $40
This beautifully illustrated book uses plant science to illuminate how trees play a role in every part of human life, from the romantic to the regrettable. Includes the New Zealand kauri. 
How Democracy Ends by David Runciman         $37
Democracy has died hundreds of times, all over the world. We think we know what that looks like: chaos descends and the military arrives to restore order, until the people can be trusted to look after their own affairs again. However, there is a danger that this picture is out of date. Until very recently, most citizens of Western democracies would have imagined that the end was a long way off, and very few would have thought it might be happening before their eyes as Trump, Brexit and paranoid populism have become a reality.
Days of Awe by A.M. Homes           $33
 A.M. Homes exposes the heart of an uneasy America in her new collection - exploring people's attachments to each other through characters who aren't quite who they hoped to become, though there is no one else they can be.
"Furiously good." - Zadie Smith
Last Stories by William Trevor         $35
A posthumous collection from one of the subtlest short-story stylists.

Ahed Tamimi: A girl who fought back by Paul Morris, Paul Heron, Peter Lahti and Manal Tamimi      $40
"We only want to live a peaceful life. We want to play like other children. My dream is to become a football player." The story of the 16-year-old girl imprisoned by the Israeli army for slapping a soldier in defiance of the Zionist occupation in her village in the West Bank. "She should have gotten a bullet." - Deputy Knesset Speaker Bezalel Smotrich. The book helps the Palestine Legal Defence Fund.
>> Living resistance
Quantum Mechanics: The theoretical minimum by Leonard Susskind        $26
This book will give you the best possible handle on quantum theory - enough to fully grasp the concepts but nothing extraneous to occlude them. 
Because I Come from a Crazy Family: The making of a psychologist by Edward M. Hallowell        $40

When Edward M. Hallowell was eleven, a voice out of nowhere told him he should become a psychiatrist. 
May Day Manifesto, 1968 edited by Raymond Williams      $25
Is a 1968 vision for a socialist future a useful tool today? 

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