Friday 24 May 2019

Frankissstein: A love story by Jeanette Winterson        $37
In this playful and inventive reimagining of Mary Shelley's 1818 classic, Winterson explores the possibilities of love in a world of artificial intelligence, cryogenics and robotic simulacra. 
>>"I did worry about looking at sexbots."
The Porpoise by Mark Haddon        $37
In this playful and inventive reimagining of Shakespeare's and Wilkins's Pericles, Haddon explores the possibilities of storytelling and the power of the imagination in a world distorted by abuse and tradition. 
"The extraordinary force and vividness of Haddon’s prose ensure that The Porpoise reads not as a metatextual game but as a continually unfolding demonstration of the transporting power of stories. The Porpoise is also about humanity stripped down to its starkest elements by forces beyond its comprehension and control; about damage and survival, and the balancing act between the two." - Guardian
The World in a Grain: The story of sand and how it transformed civilisation by Vince Beiser       $50
After water and air, sand is the natural resource that we consume more than any other - even more than oil. Every concrete building and paved road on Earth, every computer screen and silicon chip, is made from sand. 

Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America by Craig Childs      $35

The lower sea levels of the Ice Age exposed a vast land bridge between Asia and North America, but the land bridge was not the only way across. Different people arrived from different directions, and not all at the same time. The first explorers of the New World were few, their encampments fleeting. The continent they reached had no people but was inhabited by megafauna-mastodons, giant bears, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, five-hundred-pound panthers, enormous bison, and sloths that stood one story tall. The first people were hunters-Paleolithic spear points are still encrusted with the proteins of their prey-but they were wildly outnumbered and many would themselves have been prey to the much larger animals. 
Losing Earth: The decade we could have stopped climate change by Nathaniel Rich          $38
By 1979, we knew all that we know now about the science of climate change - what was happening, why it was happening, and how to stop it. Over the next ten years, we had the very real opportunity to stop it. Why was nothing done? What does this mean for us now? 
I've Been Meaning to Tell You: A letter to my daughter by David Chariandy        $27
Chariandy draws upon his personal and ancestral past, including the legacies of slavery, indenture, and immigration, as well as the experience of growing up as a visible minority in the land of his birth to explain to his daughter the politics of race. 

The Buried: An archaeology of the Egyptian revolution by Peter Hessler       $40
A narrative non-fiction account of Egypt after the 'Cairo Spring', speculating on parallels between contemporary life and Egyptian lives in ancient history.  
"Nuanced and deeply intelligent—a view of Egyptian politics that sometimes seems to look at everything but and that opens onto an endlessly complex place and people." - Kirkus
>> A visit to Abydos
I Will Never See the World Again by Ahmet Altan          $25
A resilient Turkish writer's account of his imprisonment that provides crucial insight into political censorship amidst the global rise of authoritarianism.
"Read this - it will explain why you ever read anything, why anyone ever writes." - A.L. Kennedy

The Missing of Clairdelune ('The Mirror Visitor' #2) by Christelle Dabos     $26
When our heroine Ophelia is promoted to Vice-storyteller by Farouk, the ancestral Spirit of Pole, she finds herself unexpectedly thrust into the public spotlight and her special gift is revealed to all. Ophelia knows how to read the secret history of objects and there could be no greater threat to the nefarious denizens of her icy adopted home than this. The second book in this intriguing YA series, following A Winter's Promise.
>>Read Stella's review of the first book
A World on Edge: The end of the Great War and the dawn of a new age by Daniel Schönpflug     $28
At the end of hostilities in 1918, a radical new beginning was not only possible but unavoidable. Now in paperback.
Madame Fourcade's Secret War: The daring young woman who led France's largest spy network against Hitler by Lynne Olson      $50
 Marie-Madeleine Fourcade's group's name was Alliance, but the Gestapo dubbed it Noah's Ark because its agents used the names of animals as their aliases. No other French spy network lasted as long or supplied as much crucial intelligence as Alliance - and as a result, the Gestapo pursued its members relentlessly, capturing, torturing, and executing hundreds of its three thousand agents. 

Amundsen's Way: The race to the South Pole by Joanna Grochowicz      $19
Amundsen's South Polar conquest is an extraordinary tale that combines risk, intrigue and personal conflict. A man of striking intelligence and a single-minded thirst for world records, Amundsen's astute planning and shrewd strategy propelled him into first place. Such a man, with everything to lose, will stop at nothing to secure his goal. Told for children. 

Renaissance Woman: The life of Vittoria Colonna by Ramie Targoff     $28
As an educated, married noblewoman whose husband was in captivity, Colonna was able to develop relationships within the intellectual circles of Ischia and Naples, and became a confidante of Michelangelo, Charles V, Pope Clement VII and Pope Paul III, Pietro Bembo, Baldassare Castiglione, Pietro Aretino, Queen Marguerite de Navarre, Reginald Pole, Isabella d'Este, and others. Her early poetry began to attract attention in the late 1510s and she ultimately became one of the most popular female poets of sixteenth-century Italy.
Autumn Light: Japan's season of fire and festivals by Pico Iyer        $33
For decades now, Pico Iyer has been based for much of the year in Nara, Japan, where he and his Japanese wife, Hiroko, share a two-room apartment. But when his father-in-law dies suddenly, calling him back to Japan earlier than expected, Iyer begins to grapple with the question we all have to live with: how to hold on to the things we love, even though we know that we and they are dying. In a country whose calendar is marked with occasions honouring the dead, this question has a special urgency and currency.

"An exquisite personal blend of philosophy and engagement, inner quiet and worldly life. It's Iyer's keen ear for detail and human nature that helps him populate his trademark cantabile prose." - Los Angeles Times 
The Earth is Singing by Vanessa Curtis        $20
"My name is Hanna. I am 15. I am Latvian. I live with my mother and grandmother. My father is missing, taken by the Russians. I have a boyfriend and I'm training to be a dancer. But none of that is important any more. Because the Nazis have arrived, and I am a Jew. And as far as they are concerned, that is all that matters. This is my story."
Fascism and Dictatorship: The Third International an the problem of fascism by Nicos Poulantzas      $27
Poulantzas's book was the first major Marxist study of German and Italian fascism to appear since the Second World War. It carefully distinguishes between fascism as a mass movement before the seizure of power and fascism as an entrenched machinery of dictatorship. It compares the distinct class components of the counter-revolutionary blocs mobilzed by fascism in Germany and Italy; analyses the changing relations between the petty bourgeoisie and big capital in the evolution of fascism; discusses the structures of the fascist state itself, as an emergency regime for the defense of capital; and provides a sustained and documented criticism of official Comintern attitudes and policies towards fascism in the fateful years after the Versailles settlement. 
The Greek Vegetarian Cookbook by Heather Thomas     $60
With recipes drawn from throughout Greece. 
Fire Islands: Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford       $55
The world's largest archipelago of spices. 
Mama's Last Hug: Animal emotions and what they teach us by Frans de Waal         $37
There is a continuity between humans and other species, and, in fact, the characteristics that we generally consider the most human are those most widely shared with other species. 
Island Song by Madeleine Bunting     $33
A striking novel about secrets on occupied Guernsey in 1940 and their repercussions fifty years later, from the author of The Model Occupation - The Channel Islands under German Rule, 1940-1945 and Love of Country
The Diary of a Superfluous Man, And other novellas by Ivan Turgenev        $23
Driven to his deathbed by an incurable disease, the thirty-year-old impoverished gentleman Chulkaturin decides to write a diary looking back on his short life. After describing his youthful disillusionment and his family's fall from grace and loss of status, the narrative focuses on his love for Lisa, the daughter of a senior civil servant, his rivalry with the dashing Prince N- and his ensuing humiliation. These pages helped establish the archetype of the 'superfluous man', a recurring figure in nineteenth-century Russian literature.
Arnica the Duck Princess by Ervin Lázár, illustrated by Jacqueline Molnár            $19
Princess Arnica is so sweet and gentle that when she smiles even wolves and bears forget their fierceness. Everyone loves her, but she loves only Poor Johnny. Luckily, he loves her too, and even more luckily she has a very sensible king for a father, who is happy for her to marry whomever her heart desires. Just one problem: the Witch with a Hundred Faces has cast a spell on Arnica and Johnny which means that one of them, at any one time, must always be a duck, and the other human Who can help them? Only the Seven-headed Fairy!

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