Friday 26 April 2019

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli        $37
A family from New York take a road trip into the parts of the US that used to be Mexico as a convoy of children approach the dangerous US border from the Mexican side, and an inhumane reception.
"Beautiful, pleasurable, engrossing, beguiling, brilliantly intricate and constantly surprising." - James Wood, New Yorker
"A mould-breaking new classic. The novel truly becomes novel again in Luiselli's hands - electric, elastic, alluring, new." - New York Times
"Valeria Luiselli offers a searing indictment of America's border policy in this roving and rather beautiful form-busting novel. Among the tale's many ruminative ideas about absences, vanished histories and bearing witness, it offers a powerful meditation on how best to tell a story when the subject of it is missing." - Daily Mail
"A novelist of a rare vitality." - Ali Smith
>> Writing as a vehicle for political rage
The Meaning of Trees: The history and use of New Zealand's native plants by Robert Vennell         $55
A well-illustrated survey of native flora and its significance in culture, history, medicine, craft and cuisine. 
Hotel Tito by Ivana Bodrožić      $30
When the Croatian War of Independence breaks out in her hometown of Vukovar in the summer of 1991 the narrator of The Hotel Tito is nine years old, nestled within the embrace of family with her father, her mother, and older brother. She is sent to a seaside vacation to be far from the hostilities. Meanwhile, her father has disappeared while fighting with the Croatian forces. By the time she returns at summer’s end everything has changed. Against the backdrop of genocide (the Vukovar hospital massacre) and the devastation of middle class society within the Yugoslav Federation, our young narrator, now with her mother and brother refugees among a sea of refugees, spends the next six years experiencing her own self-discovery and transformation amid unfamiliar surroundings as a displaced person. As she grows from a nine-year old into a sparkling and wonderfully complicated fifteen-year-old, it is as a stranger in her own land.
>>Read an extract.
>>Another extract
The Train Was On Time by Heinrich Böll      $26
First published in 1949, Böll's novel centres on the story of a German soldier, Andreas, taking a train from Paris (France) to Przemyśl (Poland). The story focuses on the experience of German soldiers during the Second World War on the Eastern Front where fighting was particularly vicious and unforgiving.
Darwin: An exceptional voyage by Fabien Grolleau and Jérémie Royer         $35
An exceptionally good graphic novel account of the voyage of the Beagle. From the creators of the equally wonderful Audubon: On the wings of the world
Genesis: The deep origins of societies by Edward O. Wilson          $48
The only way for us to fully understand human behaviour, Wilson argues, is to study the evolutionary histories of nonhuman species. Of these, he demonstrates that at least seventeen - from the African naked mole rat and the sponge-dwelling shrimp to one of the oldest species on earth, the termite - have been found to have advanced societies based on altruism, cooperation and the division of labour. These rare eusocial species form the prehistory to our human social patterns, even, according to Wilson, suggesting the possible biological benefits of homosexuality and elderly grandmothers.
Nits! by Stephanie Blake       $19
Simon is in love with Lou. He doesn't care that she has nits - or does he?

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo          $23
A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother's religion and her own relationship to the world.
"Poignant and real, beautiful and intense." - Kirkus
Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor          $35
"The shape-shifting protagonist of this magic-realist novel, twenty-two-year-old Paul Polydoris, belongs to 'all the genders', able to change his body at will. Exploring the malleability of gender and desire, and paying homage to Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, the book follows Paul—sometimes Polly—as s/he searches for love and the 'uncontaminated truest' self. The quest leads through New York City at the height of the AIDS crisis, Iowa City’s queer punk scene, off-season Provincetown, a womyn’s festival in Michigan, and, finally, San Francisco. Lawlor successfully mixes pop culture, gender theory, and smut, but the great achievement here is that Paul is no mere symbol but a vibrantly yearning being, 'like everybody else, only more so'." - The New Yorker
Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black by Marcus Sedgwick, Julian Sedgwick and Alexis Deacon            $30
A wonderful combination of prose, verse and illustration, telling the story of two brothers in conflict in London during World War 2. 

Tallest Tower, Smallest Star by Kate Baker      $33
Some things are very big, others very small. All are interesting.
Gravity's Pull ('Life on Earth' #2) by Marinaomi        $19
Claudia Jones was missing for months - possibly abducted, possibly by aliens. When she returns to Blithedale High School, questions still surround her disappearance, and her presence has a strange effect on the students around her. Follows Losing the Girl 
Einstein's Unfinished Revolution: The search for what lies beyond the quantum by Lee Smolin           $38
While quantum mechanics is currently our best theory of nature at an atomic scale, it has many puzzling qualities - qualities that appear to preclude realism and therefore give an incomplete description of nature. Smolin is convinced that there must be a realist atomic theory that avoids these problems. 
Bazaar: Vibrant vegetarian recipes by Sabrina Ghayour          $45
Delicious Middle-Eastern food from the author of Persiana and Feasts
A World to Win: The life and works of Karl Marx by Sven-Eric Liedman     $33
Building on the work of previous biographers, Liedman creates a definitive portrait of Marx and the depth of his contribution to the way the world understands itself. He shines a light on Marx’s influences, explains his political and intellectual interventions, and builds on the legacy of his thought. Liedman shows how Marx’s Capital illuminates the essential logic of a system that drives dizzying wealth, grinding poverty, and awesome technological innovation to this day. Now in paperback. 
Everything In Its Place: First loves and last tales by Oliver Sacks     $40
Essays covering everything from his passion for ferns, swimming, and horsetails, to his final case histories exploring schizophrenia, dementia, and Alzheimer's. 

The Long '68: Radical protest and its enemies by Richard Vinen     $28
1968 saw an extraordinary range of protests across much of the western world. Some of these were genuinely revolutionary - around ten million French workers went on strike and the whole state teetered on the brink of collapse. Others were more easily contained, but had profound longer-term implications: terrorist groups, feminist collectives, gay rights activists.
>>Come and choose something from our ever-changing Read & Resist display
The Knife's Edge: The heart and mind of a cardiac surgeon by Stephen Westaby           $35
"Although Professor Stephen Westaby was born with the necessary coordination and manual dexterity, it was a head trauma sustained during university that gifted him the qualities of an exceptional heart surgeon: qualities that are frequently associated with psychopathy." 

Jump! by Tatsuhide Matsuoka        $18
How do various animals jump? How do you jump?

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