Friday 23 November 2018

Blush by Jack Robinson, with photographs by Natalia Zagórska-Thomas     $36
A blush is a gulp, a glitch, a stammer, a flutter, a flinch. A blush is hot. A blush is an index of confusion. A blush, according to Darwin, is "the most peculiar and the most human of all expressions". This essay by Jack Robinson, exploring the cultural and social history of the blush from the 18th century to the present, is illustrated with witty and often unsettling images by Natalia Zagórska-Thomas.
>> See some of Zagórska-Thomas's work

Māui Street my Morgan Godfrey           $15
"Everyone lives a messy, unusual life. There is no normal. The sooner our politics understands this, the better off we will all be." Morgan Godfrey's incisive thinking and eschewing of easy label-based thinking has brought him to the forefront of rethinking our social and political paradigms. This book brings together some of the sharpest and best of his writing. 

Just Kids (Illustrated edition) by Patti Smith       $78
Smith's revered account of living in New York with Robert Mapplethorpe as the 1960s pushed itself into the 1970s is here presented in a beautiful hardback edition, full of fascinating photographs and illustrations.
 Fight for the Forests: The pivotal campaigns that saved New Zealand's native forests by Paul Bensemann         $70
The greatest success stories of the modern environmental movement in New Zealand were the public campaigns to save our native forests, beginning in the 1960s with the battle to stop Lake Manapouri being drowned. By 2000, all the significant lowland forest in South Westland had become part of a World Heritage Area, the beech forests of the West Coast had largely been protected, Paparoa National Park had been established, the magnificent podocarp forests of Pureora and Whirinaki in the central North Island had been saved from the chainsaw, and many other smaller areas of forest had been included into the conservation estate. Fight for the Forest tells how a group of young activists became aware of government plans to mill vast areas of West Coast beech forest, and began campaigning to halt this. From small beginnings, a much larger movement grew, mainly centred around the work of the Native Forests Action Council, who drew public support and changed the course of environmental history. 
Emmett and Caleb by Karen Hottois and Delphine Renon     $28
Emmett and Caleb and different creatures and they like to do things in different ways, but they live next door to each other and they are the best sort of friends. This book is about the experiences they share in just one year. "Emmett slid a single sheet of blank paper under Caleb's door. He whispered through the keyhole: 'My poem is invisible to the eye!' Caleb read Emmett's invisible poem. There were no crossings out, no spelling mistakes."
The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a global world by Maya Jasanoff        $28
Migration, terrorism, the tensions between global capitalism and nationalism, and a communications revolution: Conrad's portrayal of these forces the dawn of the twentieth century make him, in this new interpretation, a prophet of globalisation. 
"An extraordinary and profoundly ambitious book, little short of a masterpiece." - Guardian
Dante's Divine Comedy: A journey without end by Ian Thomson         $40
A very enjoyable survey of the ongoing life of Dante's masterpiece and its influence on literature, art, film, &c. Well illustrated, too. 
>>Inferno (1911).
Landfall 236              $30
Results and winning essay from the Landfall Essay Competition 2018; Results from Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize 2018; ARTISTS: John Z Robinson, Justin Spiers, Susan Te Kahurangi King; WRITERS Philip Armstrong, Jane Arthur, Tusiata Avia, Antonia Bale, Tony Beyer, Victor Billot, Madeleine Child, Thom Conroy, Jodie Dalgleish, Doc Drumheller, Breton Dukes, Ciaran Fox, David Gregory, Michael Hall, René Harrison, Siobhan Harvey, Trevor Hayes, Kerry Hines, Joy Holley, Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod, Megan Kitching, Jessica Le Bas, Therese Lloyd, Jess MacKenzie, Frankie McMillan, Alice Miller, Michael Mintrom, Lissa Moore, James Norcliffe, Heidi North, Jilly O’Brien, Vincent O’Sullivan, Aiwa Pooamorn, John Prins, Lindsay Rabbitt, essa may ranapiri, Sudha Rao, Richard Reeve, Harry Ricketts, Alan Roddick, Derek Schulz, Di Starrenburg, Jillian Sullivan, John Summers, Jasmine Taylor, Angela Trolove, Iain Twiddy, Bryan Walpert, Susan Wardell, Rose Whitau, C.A.J. Williams, Briar Wood, Helen Yong; reviews.

Granta 145: Ghosts        $28
Ghosts: the ghosts of our past selves, the shadows of past injuries, the ghosts of history, the ghosts in the machine. André Aciman remembers Rome. Ahmet Altan writes from prison in Turkey. Bernard Cooper on Ambien and sleep-eating. Maggie O’Farrell on living with chronic back pain. Vasily Grossman’s Stalingrad, a companion to his epic Life and FateAmos Oz in conversation with Shira Hadad. Inigo Thomas on the fall of Singapore. PLUS  NEW FICTION from Anne Carson, Steven Dunn, Sheila Heti, Eugene Lim, Sandra Newman, Maria Reva and Jess Row; POETRY from Cortney Lamar Charleston and Jana Prikryl; PHOTOGRAPHY from Monika Bulaj, with an introduction by Janine di Giovanni.
Japan Story: In search of a nation, 1850 to the present by Christopher Harding         $60
A fascinating, surprising account of Japan's culture, from the 'opening up' of the country in the mid 19th century to the present, through the eyes of people who always had their doubts about modernity, who greeted it not with the confidence and grasping ambition of Japan's familiar modernisers and nationalists, but with resistance, conflict, distress. 
Insomnia by Marina Benjamin          $35
Instead of viewing insomnia as a disorder, Benjamin sees it as an existential state, a state with experiences and accomplishments and possibilities that could not otherwise be reached. 
>>How she learned to stop worrying and love insomnia
>> Siding with the dark.
Brick Who Found Herself in Architecture by Joshua David Stein and Julia Rothman      $25
When Brick was just a baby, tall buildings amazed her. Her mother said, "Great things begin with small bricks. Look around and you'll see." Brick sets off to visit famous brick buildings around the world. Where will she find her place?
 The Penguin Classics Book by Henry Eliot          $75
Since 1946 the Penguin Classics series have provided affordable access to 4000 years of world literature in accessible but authoritative editions. This book is a sumptuous guide to the range, its contributors and the designs. 
China Dream by Ma Jian        $37
In seven dream-like episodes, Ma Jian, the 'Chinese Solzhenitsyn', charts the psychological disintegration of a Chinese provincial leader who is haunted by nightmares of his violent past.

The Oblique Place by Caterina Pascual Söderbaum     $35
The discovery of photographs in an album ­- of her Spanish grandfather who joined Hitler's Wehrmacht and her father in the uniform of Franco's army - led Caterina Pascual Söderbaum to explore her family's links to - and involvement in - some of the most abhorrent passages of twentieth-century history. What was the extent of her family's involvement, and what what the extent to which this involvement was hidden after the fact? Why do the threads she follows lead to the Austrian Schloss Hartheim extermination 'clinic'. 
>> A dark Nazi past
Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism, And other arguments for economic independence by Kristen R. Ghodsee        $40
The book suggests that unregulated capitalism is bad for women, and that, if we adopt some ideas from socialism, women will have better lives. If done properly, socialism leads to economic independence, better labour conditions, better work/family balance, and, yes, even better sex. If you like the idea of such outcomes, this book will show how we might change things. If you are dubious because you don't understand why capitalism as an economic system is uniquely bad for women, and if you doubt that there could ever be anything good about socialism, this book will provide some illumination. 
Little Wise Wolf by Gijs Van der Hammen and Hanneke Siemensma      $28
Little Wise Wolf is so busy learning from books that he hasn't time for others. When the king falls ill and Little Wise Wolf is called to his bedside, he will need not only his book learning but the help of others if he is to travel to the capital and provide a cure. 
Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau       $28
On the edge of Fort de France, the capital of Martinique, squats a shanty town. It goes by the name of Texaco. One dawn, a stranger arrives - an urban planner, bearing news. Texaco is to be razed to the ground. And so he is lead to Marie-Sophie Laborieux, the ancient keeper of Texaco's history, who invites her guest to take a seat and begins the true story of all that is to be lost.
"One of the major fictional achievements of our century." - The Times

Middle England by Jonathan Coe         $37

A sharp, bittersweet novel set in the Midlands in the approaches to Brexit. 
It All Adds Up: The story of people and mathematics by Mickael Launay       $37
"Fascinating." - Simon Winchester
Filming the Colonial Past: The New Zealand Wars on screen by Annabel Cooper        $50
Representation of defining events in New Zealand's history have changed in parallel with other cultural and political developments. 

The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon          $40
A young woman at an elite American university is drawn into a cult's acts of terrorism.
"A dark, absorbing story of how first love can be as intoxicating and dangerous as religious fundamentalism." - New York Times Book Review
"Religion, politics, and love collide in this powerful novel reminiscent of Donna Tartt's The Secret History, with menace and mystery lurking in every corner." - People Magazine
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, adapted and illustrated by Fred Fordham           $40
Now a graphic novel!

Our Woman in Havana: Reporting Castro's Cuba by Sarah Rainsford        $43
Sixty years ago, Graham Greene watched as the Cuban revolution unfolded and Batista's regime collapsed. Now, as the Castro era comes to a close, Sarah Rainsford, formerly the BBC's 'woman in Havana', reports on the lives shaped by Fidel's giant social experiment and the feelings of a nation as his brother Raul steps down.
In the Restaurant by Christoph Ribbat      $25

The deliciously cosmopolitan story of the restaurant, from eighteenth-century Paris to El Bulli. What does eating out tell us about who we are?

The Crimes of Grindelwald: The original screenplay by J.K. Rowling       $40

How can small details 'open' works of art for the viewer? 

Rage Becomes Her: The power of women's anger by Soraya Chemaly     $38

Why repress it? 

Nothing is Real: 'The Beatles were underrated' and other sweeping statements about pop by David Hepworth         $40
Why do we like pop music? Just what is our relationship with it? Can we take pop seriously without draining the life out of it? Of all unimportant things, is pop music the most important? 

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: A puzzle adventure by Aleksandra Artymowska      $40
Underwater puzzles! Underwater mazes! Shipwrecks! Submarines! Giant squid! A huge amount of fun (even on dry land). 

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