Friday 16 August 2019

Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick         $23
First published in 1979, Sleepless Nights is a unique collage of fiction and memoir, letters and essays, portraits and dreams. Hardwick's experience of living in the twentieth century is indelibly presented in the most remarkable sentences. 
"A series of fleeting images and memories united by the high intelligence and beauty of Hardwick's prose." —Sally Rooney
"Extraordinary and haunting." —Joan Didion
""Brilliant, brittle and strange, unlike any preconceived notion of what a novel could be. Few new books have felt so revolutionary or so brave." —Lauren Groff
"A novel of mental weather that enchants by the scrupulousness and zip of the narrative voice, its lithe, semi-staccato descriptions and epigrammatic dash." —Susan Sontag
Seduction and Betrayal by Elizabeth Hardwick      $25
Sidelined. Betrayed. Killed off. Elizabeth Hardwick considers the history of women and literature. She imagines the lives of the Brontes, Woolf, Eliot and Plath; the fate of literary wives such as Zelda Fitzgerald and Jane Carlyle; and the stories of fictional heroines from Richardson's Clarissa to Ibsen's Nora. Hardwick mines their childhoods, marriages, and personalities to probe the costs of sex, love, and marriage.
"Hardwick's sentences are burned in my brain." —Susan Sontag
You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian      $35
An audacious short story collection dealing largely with power imbalances in sexual relationships and the ways in which the desirable and the undesirable can be hard to distinguish. Includes the viral sensation 'Cat Person'. 
>>Read 'Cat Person'. 
>>What it felt like when 'Cat Person' went viral
>>"Dating is caught up in ego, power and control."
Inland by Téa Obreht      $38
The Wild West might well be wilder than expected in this novel in which a woman waits with her youngest son and her husband's 17-year-old cousin for her husband to return from seeking water, and for her older sons to return after an argument. Is a mysterious beast stalking the land? What lies beyond the safety of the homestead? The decision is made to set off on an expedition that will change everything.
"This exquisite frontier tale from the author of The Tiger’s Wife is a timely exploration of the darkness beneath the American dream. Inland’s message is a rebuke to isolationist US policies written with a panache and heart." —Guardian
>>"I threw 1400 pages in the trash."
"Ruth Kinna's book will be the standard text on anarchism for the twenty-first century. Written with brio, quiet insight and clarity and taking us from the nineteenth century anarchist Proudhon to Occupy and Rojava, this offering will appeal to the novice student, the activist and the grizzled professor." —Carl Levy
Madam and Eve: Women portraying women by Liz Rideal and Kathleen Soriano         $85
An excellent survey of the many different media and approaches that women have used in the last 50 years to create images of themselves and other women.
Obedience to Authority: An experimental view by Stanley Milgram       $25
In the 1960s, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram carried out a series of experiments that forever changed our perceptions of morality and free will. The subjects—or "teachers"—were instructed to administer electric shocks to a human "learner," with the shocks becoming progressively more powerful and painful. Controversial but now strongly vindicated by the scientific community, these experiments attempted to determine to what extent people will obey orders from authority figures regardless of consequences. 
"Milgram's experiments on obedience have made us more aware of the dangers of uncritically accepting authority." —Peter Singer, New York Times
Mitochonrial Eve by Kirsten Warner      $15
May your heart leave your body like channel surfing, up a salt river you have to go days to find. May you look up from the good dark soil running through your fingers like melting ice caps and say: “Outside the sky there is sun.”
A poetry collection from the author of The Sound of Breaking Glass
In the Shadow of Wolves by Alvydas Šlepikas       $33
As the Russians advance into East Prussia, women and children are forced out of their homes to make way for the victorious troops. Their fight for survival is only just beginning. Facing critical food shortages and the onset of a bitterly cold winter, some of the older children, the 'wolf children' secretly cross the border into Lithuania, begging the local farmers for work or food they can take back to their starving families. 

What If...? by Thierry Lenain and Olivier Tallec     $40
The child sits and observes the troubles of the world. What if we made it different? The child decides to be born!
The Bad Boy of Athens: Classics from the Greeks to Game of Thrones by Daniel Mendelsohn        $53
Moving between the Latin classics and the modern likes of Virginia Woolf, Brideshead Revisited, Battlestar Galactica, and Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life, these essays expose the heart of antiquity — still beating in our art and our everyday lives. In some essays, Mendelsohn shows how readily we still call on the Greeks and Romans as role models. In others, he illuminates the surprising modernity of canonical works — including Homer's interest in artificial intelligence. We see Sappho alongside Girl, Interrupted, read the mythic side of Spider-Man, and come to understand a little better our relentless fascination with the Titanic. 
The Book of Imprudent Flora by Claudio Romo      $55
With stunning illustrations throughout, the book is written as a travel diary by Lazaro de Sahagun, eminent naturalist and explorer and concerns his voyage to a mysterious isle and subsequent cataloguing of the astonishing life forms, each with a unique history and mode of existence. Perhaps, as Lazaro muses, if the earth is a living organism as he believes, places like this island are necessary for the planet to safeguard these marvellous species from 'future periods of global decadence.'
Made in Japan: Awe-inspiring graphics from Japan today      $60
Japan's remarkable contemporary graphic and packaging design springs from cultural depths, melding history, traditional art and philosophy. A good survey. 

Words and Pictures: Writers, artists, and a peculiarly British tradition by Jenny Uglow          $28
Words & Pictures explores the relationship between verbal and visual storytelling through three encounters between writers and artists. It looks at how artists have responded to two great, contrasting works, Paradise Lost and Pilgrim's Progress; at Hogarth and Fielding, great innovators, sharing common aims; and at Wordsworth and Bewick, a poet and engraver, both working separately, but both imbued with the spirit of their age. A brief coda turns to a fourth relationship: writers and artists who collaborate from the start, like Dickens and Phiz, and Lewis Carroll and Tenniel.
Food: The history of taste by John Freedman         $30
Surveys the history of changing tastes in food and fine dining — what was available for people to eat, and how it was prepared and served — from prehistory to the present day. Since earliest times food has encompassed so much more than just what we eat — whole societies can be revealed and analysed by their cuisines. In this wide-ranging book, leading historians from Europe and America piece together from a myriad sources the culinary accomplishments of diverse civilisations, past and present, and the pleasures of dining.

Heads of the Coloured People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires     $26
A short story collection revealing the hypocrisies in a supposedly post-racial society.
"Her stories feel simultaneously like the poke of a stick and a comforting balm." —Bim Adewunmi, Guardian
>>"I wanted to see more stories about nerdy black people.
King and Emperor: A new life of Charlemagne by Janet L. Nelson      $65
Reinterpreting primary sources, Nelson provides new insights into Charlemagne's motivations and into how he was seen by his contemporaries, both commoners and nobles. 
My Museum by Joanne Liu          $32
Art is everywhere in the art gallery, from the visitor's tattoos to the way the light falls across the floor. While other visitors are busy trying to find their way through the museum's galleries, or fighting for room to view a masterpiece, the character in this book examines the gallery upside down from a bench, plays with his shadow, and makes friends with the custodian.
Mr Gumpy's Rhino by John Burningham          $30
Mr Gumpy is back! An orphaned rhinoceros needs looking after, but soon ends up helping everyone. 

Chopin's Piano: A journey through Romanticism by Paul Kildea        $28

Traces the history of Chopin's 24 Preludes through the instruments on which they were played, the pianists who interpreted them, and the traditions they came to represent. 

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