Friday 4 October 2019


Colin McCahon: There is only one direction, 1919—1959 by Peter Simpson          $75
"New Zealand's foremost artist Colin McCahon is many things to many people: modernist, visionary, environmentalist, shaman, preacher, rustic provincialist, bicultural trailblazer, painter-poet, graffiti artist, teacher, maverick. Peter Simpson's account interrogates as well as accommodates all of these possibilities. Guiding us year by year through the artist's career, he offers a ground-breaking overview of the life's work of a tenacious, brilliant and endlessly fascinating figure." —Gregory O'Brien
"With a generous regard towards his subject, a magisterial command of the material, and scrupulous attention to detail, Peter Simpson has crafted an indispensable work of art-historical scholarship. Colin McCahon: There is Only One Direction draws upon diaries, letters and other contemporary sources to document the artist's life from 1919 until 1959, alongside a magnificent selection of his works, many of which have not been reproduced before. It is a remarkable achievement." —Martin Edmond
>>Come to an illustrated lecture by Peter Simspon: Colin McCahon in Nelson, 1938-1948: The Breakthrough years. The Suter Art Gallery theatre, Wednesday 13 November, 6 PM. Book at The Suter. 
$10 Friends of The Suter, members of NSAS; $15 general public.

The Divers' Game by Jesse Ball           $30
A strange, elegant and compelling new novel from the author of the Census (one of our favourite books of 2018). What happens when a society renounces the pretence of equality, when small acts of kindness are practically unknown, when what we would see as cruelty is sanctioned? This book is a subtle, spare and affecting meditation on violence, longing and beauty. 
>>"We labour under tyrants."
>>"An unnerving parable of a country that feigns innocence.
>>Read our reviews of Census

Wildlife of Aotearoa by Gavin Bishop            $40
Gavin Bishop's beautiful large-format book features the various animals (birds! fish! insects! mammals! reptiles!), both native and introduced, that live on land and in the waters and air of the cluster of islands that we share with them. Both browsable and readable, the book is an excellent source of information for a wide age-range, a guide to environmental concerns, and a handsome companion volume to the splendid Aotearoa: The New Zealand story

Coventry by Rachel Cusk         $37
Essays from one of today's sharpest writers on 'Driving as Metaphor', 'On Rudeness', on parenting, disintegrating relationships and the concept of 'home',on 'women's writing', on the insights that can be gained from a range of artists and writers, and on being sent to Coventry. We highly recommend Cusk's novels OutlineTransit and Kudos.  
>> Read the title essay.

>>On Driving as Metaphor.  
>>On Rudeness
>>Read Thomas's reviews of  OutlineTransit and Kudos.  
Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith          $33
Spend a year inside the head of this inspired and idiosyncratic thinker, writer and musician as she moves from performances towards the solitary places both outside and inside her head. 
>>2016 BTW
On the Street by Bill Cunningham           $120
Bill Cunningham was a contributor to the New York Times for many decades. He was also an incurable and eccentric chronicler of fashion, tirelessly snapping photos of and writing about interestingly attired celebrities and ordinary New Yorkers he spots on the street. This thoughtfully assembled book is the perfect record of an unparalleled eye. 
Louise Bourgeois, An intimate portrait by  Jean-François Jaussaud     $65
An outstanding collection of photographs of Bourgeois and her Brooklyn Studio and Chelsea house in New York. 
>>Now, Now, Louisson
We Are Here: An atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall      $70
This wonderful book will reconfigure your thinking about the country you live in. Each map shows data, from economic inequality to the movement of cats at night, in a completely absorbing way. Very impressive and endlessly fascinating. Interesting essays, too. 

The Beautiful Summer by Cesare Pavese        $26
"An astonishing portrait of an innocent on the verge of discovering the cruelties of love. There are whispers here of the future work of Elena Ferrante." —Elizabeth Strout
"Pavese, to me, is a constant source of inspiration." —Jhumpa Lahiri
"One of the few essential novelists of the mid-twentieth century."—Susan Sontag
"Pavese writes books of extraordinary depth where one never stops finding new levels, new meaning." —Italo Calvino
The Secret Commonwealth ('The Book of Dust' #2) by Philip Pullman        $35
In La Belle Sauvage, Lyra Belaqua, who featured in Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' series was a baby. In The Secret Commonwealth she is 20 years old and, with her daemon Pantalaimon, she is struggling to find a way through an increasingly complicated world, a world in which her loyalties and judgements are called constantly into question. Can Lyra keep her feet as her horizons expand at dizzying speed? 
Childhood by Tove Ditlevsen           $26
A beautifully written account of Ditlevsen's childhood in a working-class neighbourhood of Copenhagen. She went on to become one of Denmark's outstanding poets. 

Big Ideas for Small Houses by Catherine Foster       $50
An insightful look at a range of small houses around New Zealand, clearly showing design and construction considerations, and floorplans. From the author of Small House Living and several other superb books on New Zealand domestic architecture
The Death of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee        $37
Coetzee completes the trilogy that began with The Childhood of Jesus and continued with The Schooldays of Jesus with this evocation of a world empty of memory but brimming with questions. The trilogy has the intensity and clarity of an allegory without ever committing to what it might be an allegory of, which awakens and expands the reader's faculties. 
>>Read Thomas's review of The Childhood of Jesus.  
Breaking Ground: Architecture by women by Jane Hall      $75
"Would you still call me a diva if I were a man?" —Zaha Hadid
150 outstanding architects from the last 100 years. 
Nobody by Alice Oswald        $26
An astounding book-length poem from this excellent poet, collaging water-stories from the Odyssey with Oswalds own observations on the mutability that water embodies and to which all life tends. 
>>Read Thomas's review of Falling Awake
Aran: Recipes and stories from a bakery in the heart of Scotland by Flora Shedden     $50
Thoroughly delicious (no deep-fried battered Mars Bars).
Why You Should Read Children's Books, Even though you are so old and wise by Katherine Rundell      $15
A lively essay on the importance of children's literature. 
>>Which are Rundell's favourite books written for children? 

No comments:

Post a Comment