Friday 23 August 2019

Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry         $33
Two middle-aged Irish gangsters in a Spanish port await a ferry from Tangier in their search for the wayward daughter of one of them. Barry is brilliant at catching the voices of the two, and at capturing lives that resonate with both pathos and humour. Charlie and Maurice are Barry's equivalents of Beckett's Vladimir and Estragon, opening depths of humanity despite their limitations as persons. 
Long-listed for the 2019 Booker Prize
"A true wonder." —Max Porter
"Visionary. What distinguishes the book beyond its humour, terror and the beauty of description is its moral perception." —Guardian
"Brilliantly funny and terrifying at once, I was completely lost inside its dark craziness. Barry blends glorious voluptuous prose with entrancing storytelling." —Tessa Hadley
>>Read Thomas's review of Barry's Beatlebone.

Imminence by Mariana Dimópulos      $30
Another wonderfully disconcerting, perfectly structured novel from the author of All My Goodbyes. When her son is born, the mother is unable to feel a bond with him, and we are led through a fugue-like account of her history of willful emotional detachment and (often failed) performative social roles. 
"Mariana Dimópulos's writing, with its delightfully strange perspectives, its selfishness, its iciness and its passion, its power and its vulnerability, seems somehow to condense the poetry of mathematics. Imminence posits an elegant formula for the experience of contemporary womanhood." —El País 
>>Read Stella's review of All My Goodbyes
28 Paradises by Patrick Modiano and Dominique Zehrfuss         $20
"The grand boulevard of palm trees led to the cloakroom of the angels". This is a tiny treasure of a book: 28 dreams exquisitely painted by Dominique Zehrfuss with texts by her husband Patrick Modiano (who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2014). 
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo         $40
A novel in which twelve interconnected stories chart the lives and experiences of black women in contemporary Britain.   
Long-listed for the 2019 Booker Prize.
"Bernadine Evaristo can take any story from any time and turn it into something vibrating with life." —Ali Smith
"Bernadine Evaristo is one of those writers who should be read by everyone, everywhere. Her tales marry down-to-earth characters with engrossing storylines about identity and the UK today." —Elif Shafak

Interior by Thomas Clerc         $0

What kind of story can be told from a careful description of a house and all its contents? This is the way to give the most rounded and exhaustive possible account of a still elusive life. Full of verbal tricks and unexpected references, Clerc's clever piece of sociology-posing-as-pseudo-sociology is an experiment with the potentials of the novel. Shelve with Life, A User's Manual by Georges Perec and A Journey Around My Room by Xavier de Maistre. 
Small in the City by Sydney Smith          $28
Being small can be overwhelming in a city. People don't see you. The loud sounds of the sirens and cyclists can be scary. And the streets are so busy it can make your brain feel like there's too much stuff in it. But if you know where to find good hiding places, warm dryer vents that blow out hot steam that smells like summer, music to listen to or friends to say hi to, there can be comfort in the city, too. We follow our little protagonist, who knows all about what its like to be small in the city, as he gives his best advice for surviving there. 
Sour: The magical element that will transform your cooking by Mark Diacono     $50
Sour foods have never been more fashionable, with the spotlight falling on foodstuffs as disparate as Belgian sour beer and Korean kimchi. But what is it that makes sourness such an enticing, complex element of the eating experience? And what are the best ways to harness sour flavours in your own kitchen?

Granta #148           $28
New fiction from Andrew O'Hagan, Elif Shafak, Adam Foulds, David Means, Jem Day Calder, Magododi OuMphela Makhene, Caroline Albertine Minor, Thomas Pierce, Adam O'Fallon Price, Amor Towles. And Tom Bamforth on the refugee camp in Bangladesh known as 'Cox's Bazaar'.

Manchester Happened by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi      $27
Vibrant, kaleidoscopic stories from the author of Kintu, re-imagining the journey of Ugandans who choose to make England their home.
Winner of the 2018 Windham Campbell Prize. 

The Japanese Table: Small plates for simple years by Sofia Hellsten     $40

Based on the ichijuu-sansai tradition — which literally means 'one soup, three dishes' — uncomplicated, delicious small plates are served with steamed rice, and can be enjoyed any time of day. 

Zed by Joanna Kavenna         $37
An ironic dystopia novel satirising our era of big-tech hyperconnectedness and ensuing corporate management of our personal interactions. 
"Zed is a novel that takes our strange, hall-of-mirrors times very seriously indeed. It is a work of delirious genius." —Guardian
The Unpunished Vice: A life of reading by Edmund White       $25
Literary icon Edmund White made his name through his writing but remembers his life through the books he has read. For White, each momentous occasion came with a book to match: Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, which opened up the seemingly closed world of homosexuality while he was at boarding school in Michigan; the Ezra Pound poems adored by a lover he followed to New York; the biography of Stephen Crane that inspired one of White's novels. But it wasn't until heart surgery in 2014, when he temporarily lost his desire to read, that White realized the key role that reading played in his life: forming his tastes, shaping his memories, and amusing him through the best and worst life had to offer.
Super Sourdough by James Morton     $45
An excellent guide through the science of sourdough and around its pitfalls, with more than 40 recipes for making superb bread at home. 
The Basis of Everything: Rutherford, Oliphant and the coming of the atomic bomb by Andrew Ramsey        $45
The intriguing story of the New Zealander and the Australian who met at the University of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory, collaborated on pivotal experiments using a particle accelerator, and, all in the name of science, happened to lay the groundwork for the development of nuclear weapons. 
The Immortal Jellyfish by Sang Miao       $28
When a young boy's grandfather dies suddenly, he feels overwhelmed and confused. They will never see each other again. To his delight, they meet again in a dream, where his grandfather takes him to Transfer City, where departed loved ones live on through our memories. In this modern telling of the afterlife, death is not an ending, but a new start to life, just like the Immortal Jellyfish which is constantly maturing and then regressing, staying as present as our deceased loved ones do in our memories.
First Map: How James Cook charted Aotearoa New Zealand by Tessa Duder and David Elliot        $50
Beautifully written, illustrated and presented, this book would be ideal as a family gift. 
>>Hear Tessa Duder speak about the book! Thursday 12 September, 6:15. Elma Turner Library, 27 Halifax Street

On Reading, Writing and Living with Books        $15
A compact collection of little pieces assembled by The London Library from the writings of past members such as Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, EM Foster, and Leigh Hunt.
>>Visit the London Library

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