Friday, 1 March 2019

Rufus Marigold by Ross Murray        $35
Rufus Marigold is a primate with a problem. He suffers acutely from anxiety and every social encounter is a harrowing ordeal. A budding artist, Rufus spends his days working in an office. As life become increasingly more of a struggle, Rufus yearns to be defined as something other than a complete nervous wreck. An intensely funny and tragic New Zealand graphic novel. Highly recommended.
 "Ruefully, familiar, hilarious. Rufus Marigold delights and horrifies in equal measures in equal measure. A must-read for anyone who's ever felt award in social situations, and anyone who's had a dream." - Sarah Laing       
Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg       $33
Reimagining the criminal and jail-breaker Jack Sheppard (the model for Macheath in The Beggars' Opera and then in The Threepenny Opera) as a transgender rebel exposing the double standards of eighteenth-century London, whose 'true' life story is revealed in a manuscript unearthed by an equally fluid modern academic Professor R. Voth, Confessions of the Fox is a crazed, erudite adventure with postmodern inflections and stunning audacity. 
"Quite simply extraordinary. Imagine if Maggie Nelson, Daphne du Maurier and Daniel Defoe collaborated." - Sarah Perry
"Extraordinary and brilliant. At once a queer love story, a history of horrors, and a thrilling page-turner, Confessions of the Fox is a vitally important work of our time." - China Mieville
"A hat tip to Moby-Dick, a running footnote hall of mirrors to rival Borges, one of the most trenchant calls for progressive action that I have read in a very long time.” —The New York Times                                          
How to Disappear: Notes on invisibility in a time of transparency by Akiko Busch         $48
The modern era is remarkable for the degree to which the personal is available to the public. What are the refuges of the personal? Can we escape having our every thought and action known by friends, companies, governments and who knows who else? What are the beauties of inscrutability? 
"What a stunning, intelligent book! And timely in these times of endless exposure. Akiko Busch leaves no pebble unturned in her contemplation of invisibility in all of its myriad guises, many of which will surprise you, and in the course of things her contemplation becomes a search for one’s place in nothing less than the flow of life itself." - Mary Ruefle
>> The beauty of invisibility
Eileen Mayo: Nature, art and poetry by Peter Vangiani      $35
Eileen Mayo (11 September 1906 – 4 January 1994) was an English-born artist and designer who worked in England, Australia and New Zealand in almost every available medium — drawings, woodcuts, lithographs on stone and tempera, tapestry and silk screening. In addition to being a printmaker, illustrator, calligrapher and muralist, she designed coins, stamps, tapestry and posters, and wrote and illustrated eight books on natural science. She lived in New Zealand from 1962 until her death. The book is beautifully illustrated and produced.
>> Works at Te Papa
Granta 146: The Politics of Feeling edited by Devorah Baum and Josh Appignanesi        $28
We're living through hysterical times. Rage, resentment, shame, guilt and paranoia are everywhere surfacing, as is the intemperate adoration or hatred of popular but divisive public figures. Political discourse suffers when people seem to trust only what they feel and can no longer be swayed by reason or facts. If extreme feelings are a contagion within the political cultures of today, so too is the spread of a kind of affectlessness, as if we're starting to resemble the very technologies that threaten to replace us.
The Turkish Cookbook by Musa Dağdeviren      $75
Definitive, delicious, beautifully presented. 550 recipes covering a vast range of regional cuisines, street and family food. 
Memento Park by Mark Sarvas         $28
In order to recover a painting he believes was stolen from his family by the Nazis, the novel's protagonist ends up learning a lot more about his Hungarian roots and Jewish heritage than he ever could have imagined. 
Everything Under by Daisy Johnson       $26
"The single word that sums up this beautifully written debut novel is 'fluidity'. It’s set in a world of waterways; nobody’s character remains fixed from start to finish; gender and memory are as fluid as the waters themselves; the flow of myth and folklore runs through it; and even words themselves slither away from attempts to pin down their meaning. Gretel, the young woman at the heart of the book, is a lexicographer. But the true definition she seeks is the restoration of her relationship with her mother, who abandoned her to foster care so she could make a fresh start with a new lover. When they are finally reunited, that desire is complicated and confounded by her mother’s dementia. The past encroaches on the present as we gradually unravel their personal mythologies. It’s a modern variation on Sophocles’s Oedipus, and the twists and turns of the book’s stories braid this together with European folk tales to create a strong narrative river that carries us to a conclusion laced with tantalising possibilities. The natural world is evoked with sinister sensitivity and through it all runs the shadow of our imagined monsters." - Judges' commendation, 2018 Man Booker Prize short list. Now in paperback.
"Daisy Johnson is a new goddamn swaggering monster of fiction." -Lauren Groff
The Strange Order of Things: Life, feeling and the making of cultures by Antonio Damasio         $35
Homeostasis brings stability to organisms and provides a way of tracing our physiological and sociological characteristics back as far, even, as the needs of our single-cell ancestors. 
Art in Book Form           $100
A beautifully presented celebration of the history and design possibilities of the physical book, with special consideration of  LU Jingren, Stefan Sagmeister and Hubert & Fischer. 
>> See some sample pages
Leon: Fast vegan by John Vincent, Rebecca Seal and Chantal Symons        $55
Great flavours, easy recipes, good nutrition. 
Book of Cohen: David Cohen on Leonard Cohen      $30
Part memoir, part travelogue, part biography, part philosophical reflection, Book of Cohen is as stimulating, eclectic and surprising as its subject, full of sharp-eyed observation and hard-won wisdom. You will enjoy this book, even its gaps and silences. After all, as the man himself might say, that’s how the light gets in. — Jonathan Freedland
From the Hutt to Tel Aviv, music writing to memoir, David Cohen takes an intimate, erudite voyage around that other Cohen, the immortal Leonard. Questions of identity — Jewishness, lost fathers — are at the heart, the gravelly undertow of well-earned weltschmerz always backlit by both Cohens’ dry-as-desert-dust humour. — Diana Wichtel
>> Two Cohens, one of them obscure
>>Farewell to a beautiful loser
>> Cohen's favourite Cohen
Art and Queer Culture by Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer     $70
An in-depth illustrated historical overview of art that has contested received notions of sexuality and sexual identity. 
An Orchestra of Minorities by Chicozie Obioma          $35
In a contemporary twist of Homer's Odyssey in the mythic style of the Igbo tradition, Obioma follows his Booker-shortlisted The Fishermen with an epic about the tension between destiny and determination.
Tu Casa Mi Casa: Mexican recipes for the home cook by Enrique Olvera et al             $70
Clearly presented, achievable and authentic Mexican food.  
Notes on a Shipwreck: A story of refugees, borders and hope by Davide Enia         $35
On the island of Lampedusa, the southernmost part of Italy, between Africa and Europe, Enia looks in the faces of those who arrive and those who wait, and tells the story of an individual and collective shipwreck. On one side, a multitude in motion, crossing entire nations and then the Mediterranean Sea under conditions beyond any imagination. On the other, a handful of men and women on the border of an era and a continent, trying to welcome the newcomers.
Happiness by Alain Badiou            $29
Rehabilitates happiness from the dead ends of consumerism and the self-help industry, distinguishes it from satisfaction, and liberates it as a perilous, adventurous, radical personal and political force. 
Architecture Can! Hollwich Kushner HWKN, 2007-2017 by Matthias Hollwich, Marc Kushner and Gina Tsarouhas      $45
A look at the projects, inspiration and presence of the New York architectural firm. Architecture must "empower people to engage with others, to produce memorable experiences, and to live with a sense of wonder."
>> Some projects
Big Ideas for Curious Minds: An introduction to philosophy from The School of Life        $40
Moves from children's natural curiosity to develop philosophical enquiry. 
Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber      $28
Why do we spend so much time and ebergy doing jobs that just aren't necessary? Whose interests do these jobs serve? Incisive. Now in paperback. 
"Spectacular and terrifyingly true." - Owen Jones 
Seven Signs of Life: Stories from an intensive care doctor by Aoife Abbey       $38
Tells of urgent doctoring through chapters dedicated to the seven emotions that Abbey regards as the seven signs of life: distraction, fear, grief, joy, hope, anger and disgust.
>> "I take a lot of baths." 

Music from Big Pink by John Niven        $30
A novel recreating the period when the Band, fresh from touring with Bob Dylan, created their debut album Music from Big Pink in 1968. With its distinctive blend of country, rock, folk, classical, R&B, and soul, the album has gone on to influence generations of songwriters and musicians. 
"Smoky, ravishing magic." - Caitlin Moran
>> The Band's Music from Big Pink (1968, full album).
I Want to Be a Machine: Andy Warhol and Eduardo Paolozzi by Keith Hartley        $20
Through the early works of Andy Warhol and Eduardo Paolozzi, this book traces the development of their deep fascination with the machine. Looking at the way that both artists began in the late 1940s and the years following, the book illustrates their fascination with popular culture and the methods that they used in creating their art. Common to all their methods of making works was their hand-made quality. Only in the 1960s did the artists make the step to mechanical means to create their own artworks, resulting in the iconic images that are integral to our culture. As Warhol said of himself, there is only surface, with nothing underneath. 
Bookends: Collected intros and outros by Michael Chabon         $33
"One of contemporary literature's most gifted prose stylists." - Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
Tokyo Stories: A Japanese cookbook by Tim Anderson       $45
From subterranean department store food halls to luxurious top-floor hotel restaurants, and all the noodle shops, sushi bars, and yakitori shacks in between. Exciting. 
Magrit by Lee Battersby, illustrated by Amy Daoud       $17
Magrit lives in an abandoned cemetery. She is as forgotten as the tiny graveyard that surrounds her. One night a passing stork drops a strange bundle into the graveyard. Master Puppet, her friend and advisor, tells her it is an awful, ugly, terrible thing and that she should get rid of it. But Magrit has other ideas.
"A triumph of originality." - The Times
When Montezuma Met Cortés: The true story of the meeting that changed history by Matthew Restall       $40
A re-evaluation of the Spanish seizure and settlement of Mexico in the light of a new examination of Aztec and Spanish primary sources. 

Vitamin T: Threads and textiles in contemporary art by Jenelle Porter        $120
A global survey of more than 100 artists, chosen by art-world professionals for their work with threads, stitching, and textiles.
The Dawn of Eurasia: On the trail of the new world order by Bruno Maçães     $28
Makes the case for the emergence of a pan-continental economic power bloc driven by Moscow and Beijing. 

Tell Me the Planets: Stories of brain injury and what it means to survive by Ben Platts-Mills           $28
What if you remembered things that never happened? Or you forgot everything every few seconds? Or one side of your body stopped working?
"Extraordinary." - Nature

Loyalties by Delphine de Vigan        $33
Thirteen-year-old Théo and his friend Mathis have a secret.Their teacher, Hélène, suspects something is not right with Théo and becomes obsessed with rescuing him, casting aside her professionalism to the point of no return. She uncovers (and stirs up) unforeseeable depths of familial and personal harm and sadness, barely held in check by facades of respectability. 
"Bleak and poignant." - The Guardian
Circle by Mac Barnett and John Klassen          $28
When Circle, Square and Triangle play hide-and-seek, Triangle hides against the rules - in the dark. Who else is hiding there?

When the Stars Come Out by Nicola Edwards and Lucy Cartwright       $38
How does the world at night reveal itself to us? Beautifully illustrated. 

Mouth Full of Blood by Toni Morrison       $40
"To what do we pay greatest allegiance? Family, language group, culture, country, gender, religion, race? And, if none of these matter, are we urbane, cosmopolitan or simply lonely? In other words, how do we decide where we belong? What convinces us that we do?" Four decades of essays. 
Letter to Survivors by Gébé      $38
In the blasted ruins of what was once a picture-perfect suburb, nothing stirs - except the postman. Clad in a hazmat suit and mounted on a bicycle, he is still delivering the mail, nuclear apocalypse or no nuclear apocalypse. One family has taken refuge in an underground fallout shelter, and to them he brings - or, rather, shouts through the air vent - a series of odd, anonymous letters. 

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