Friday 8 November 2019


We are Made of Diamond Stuff by Isabel Waidner      $22
A linguistically and formally inventive novel taking issue with constraining concepts of Britishness, class, power and genderisation. 
Short-listed for the 2019 Goldsmiths Prize
>>Read an extract
>>Read Thomas's review
>>Read Thomas's review of Isabel Waidner's Gaudy Bauble.
It Gets Me Home, This Curving Track by Ian Penman       $38
"Penman summons the lives and times of several extravagantly damaged musical geniuses and near-geniuses in (mainly) the brutal context of mid-century America – its racial atrocities, its venality, its murderous conformities. Penman writes an exact, evocative prose as surprising as improvised jazz in its fluid progress from music criticism to social commentary to biography and back. He’s found a way to be erudite without pedantry, entertaining without pandering. His ear for mesmerizing nuance is unmatched by any music critic alive." —Gary Indiana
"Ian Penman is popular music’s Hazlitt – its chief stylist – and his sound is often equal to what he writes about. Each of his essays is an event, so this book is indispensable." —Andrew O’Hagan
"Written with love and joy and squirt gunner’s accuracy with the adjective." —Nicholson Baker
>>Read an extract
Whose Story is This? Old conflicts, new chapters by Rebecca Solnit      $30
Who gets to shape the narrative of our times? The current moment is a battle royale over that foundational power, one in which women, people of colour, non-straight people are telling other versions, and white people and men and particularly white men are trying to hang onto the old versions and their own centrality. 
Sport 47 edited by Tayi Tibble, with Fergus Barrowman, Kirsten McDougall and Ashleigh Young        $30
A Wānanga with Patricia Grace and Anahera Gildea; new fiction, poetry and essays by Aimee-Jane Anderson-O’Connor, Hana Pera Aoake, Tusiata Avia, Airini Beautrais, Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle, Vanessa Crofskey, Alayne Dick, Sam Duckor Jones, Anahera Gildea, Eliana Gray, Isabel Haarhaus, Jordan Hamel, Rebecca Hawkes, Nicole Titihuia Hawkins, Emma Hislop, Joy Holley, Patrick Hunn, Nadine Anne Hura, Ash Davida Jane, Claudia Jardine, Erik Kennedy, Catarina de Peters Leitão, Talia Marshall, Anna McAllister, Eleanor Rose King Merton, Fardowsa Mohamed, Mikaela Nyman, Rebecca Tobo Olul, Rachel O’Neill, Sinead Overbye, Aiwa Pooamorn, Meg Prasad, Michelle Rahurahu Scott, essa may ranapiri, Amanda Jane Robinson, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Charlotte Simmonds, Carin Smeaton, Ruby Solly, Michelle Tayler, Anne Marie Te Whiu, Chris Tse, Oscar Upperton, Faith Wilson, Eefa Yasir Jauhary; cover by Miriama Grace-Smith. 
The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes          $45
Barnes brings his novelist's perspicacity and his deep interest in French history to the fore in this rich and rewarding portrait of Belle Epoque, its artists, libertines and narcissists, focused on the life of pioneering surgeon and free-thinker Samuel Pozzi.

Goethe Dies by Thomas Bernhard          $27
Four stories exemplary of Bernhard's literary approaches: the undermining of all statements (including the narrators' own), the resentment of traditional and reactionary powers, the ultimately harmful tendency of human thought and all other endeavour — and (not least) wonderful sentences.
>>Read Thomas's review
Masks by Fumiko Enchi         $24
Following the death of her son, Mieko Toganō takes an increasing interest in the personal affairs of her widowed daughter-in-law, Yasuko. Devastated by her loss, she skillfully manipulates the relationships between Yasuko and the two men who are in love with her, encouraging a dalliance that will have terrible consequences. Meanwhile, hidden in the shadows, is Mieko’s mentally-handicapped daughter, who has her own role to play in her mother’s bizarre schemes. The novel is split into three sections, each named for a particular noh mask: Ryō no Onna, Masugami and Fukai, and the whole draws on elements of The Tale of Genji
McCahon Country by Justin Paton           $75
Curator Justin Paton talks us through over 200 works from the full span of McCahon's production, explaining the development of both his themes and his techniques. 
>>Come to Peter Simpson's illustrated lecture on Colin McCahon's Nelson years at The Suter: Wednesday 13 November, 6 PM. >>Find out more
A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar          $30
After finishing The Return, Matar, seeking solace, travelled to Siena, Italy. Always finding comfort and clarity in art, Matar immersed himself in eight significant works from the Sienese School of painting, which flourished from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries. Artists whom he had admired throughout his life, such as Duccio and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, evoke earlier engagements he has had with works by Caravaggio and Poussin, and the personal experiences that surrounded those moments. Complete with full-colour reproductions of the artworks, A Month in Siena is about what occurred between Matar, those paintings, and the city. That month would be an extraordinary period in Matar's life: an exploration of how art can console and disturb in equal measure. 
>>"Writing is both the easiest and the most difficult thing."
Hungry: Eating, road-tripping, and risking it all with René Redzepi, the Greatest Chef in the World by Jeff Gordinier        $40
Noma away from homa. Feeling stuck in his work and home life, writer Jeff Gordinier happened into a fateful meeting with Danish chef René Redzepi, whose restaurant, Noma, has been called the best in the world. A restless perfectionist, Redzepi was at the top of his game but was looking to tear it all down, to shutter his restaurant and set out for new places, flavours, and recipes. This is the story of the subsequent four years of globe-trotting culinary adventure, with Gordinier joining Redzepi as his Sancho Panza.
"Gordinier takes us into the fabulously obsessive realm of the world's most fascinating chef—and he does it with the voice of a poet." —Ruth Reichl
Protest / Tautohetohe: Objects of resistance, persistence and defiance by Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams and Puawai Cairns          $70
A superbly illustrated history of 250 years of resistance and persistence in New Zealand as told through artefacts created to further a variety of causes. 
>>Look inside!

Hoihoi Turituri by  Soledad Bravi, translated by Ruia Aperahama     $25
The te reo Māori edition of The Noisy Book is even more fun than the English-language version!
Lampie and the Children of the Sea by Annet Schaap      $19
Every evening Lampie the lighthouse keeper’s daughter must light a lantern to warn ships away from the rocks. But one stormy night disaster strikes. The lantern goes out, a ship is wrecked and an adventure begins. In disgrace, Lampie is sent to work as a maid at the Admiral’s Black House, where rumour has it that a monster lurks in the tower. But what she finds there is stranger and more beautiful than any monster. Soon Lampie is drawn into a fairytale adventure in a world of mermaids and pirates, where she must fight with all her might for friendship, freedom and the right to be different.

The End of the Ocean by Maja Lunde         $38
From the author of The History of Bees comes another remarkable novel dealing with environmental catastrophe, this time a global shortage of water. Parallel narratives in 2019 and 2041 chart depths of human resilience, and reveal a love story, too. 

Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah         $33
The story of the body of Bwana Daudi, 'the Doctor', the explorer David Livingstone — and the sixty-nine men and women who carried his remains for 1,500 miles so that he could be borne across the sea and buried in his own country. In Petina Gappah's novel, it is those in the shadows of history — those who saved a white man's bones; his faithful retinue on an epic funeral march — whose voices are conjured. 
"Engrossing, beautiful and deeply imaginative." —Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing

The Last Bell by Johannes Urzidil         $28
Unbelieveably, this is the first time that the work of Urzidil, a friend of Kafka's whose work has been long acclaimed in Czechoslovakia, has appeared in English. These stories chart the insurmountable ethical upheavals resulting from unexpected events or the forces of history. 

>>Immortalised in an asteroid
Pig Iron by Benjamin Myers     $23
An unflinching depiction of contemporary Traveller culture from the Gordon Burn Prize-winning author of The Gallows Pole
"His poetic vitality brims with that quality most sadly lost — humanity." —Guardian
Crafting Aotearoa: A cultural history of making in Aotearoa and the wider Moana by  Karl Chitham, Kolokesa Mahina-Tuai and Damian Skinner        $85
Records the craft practices of Maori, Pakeha and the peoples of the Pacific. 
The Heart and Other Viscera by Félix J. Palma         $30
Mesmerising, morbid and melancholy short stories: a young girl receives letters from her lost doll; a cat falls madly in love with her human neighbour; a bored office worker escapes his monotonous life by travelling on his grandfather's model train; a man gives all of himself to the woman he loves, piece by piece.
Bright in the Night by Lena Sjöberg     $35
Come on a journey and visit the dark forest, the deep ocean, and the shadows of the city, and discover everything that glows, glitters, and shines in the night.

The Toll ('Arc of a Scythe' #3) by Neal Shusterman        $19
Shusterman brings his gripping and thoughtful YA series to a stunning conclusion. It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared, since Scythe Goddard came into power, since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver. Will the algorithm that governs society be subverted? Will this be a good or a bad thing?
>>Read the whole series
The Light that Failed: A reckoning by Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes       $50
In the early 1990s, hopes for the eastward spread of liberal democracy were high. And yet the transformation of Eastern European countries gave rise to a bitter repudiation of liberalism itself, not only there but also back in the heartland of the West.

"The most original explanation I've read of the self-destruction of the liberal West as universal utopia. Its analysis is rooted in an unparalleled understanding of the resentment fuelled revolt (and revolting resentment) of political elites who sought to ape the West, and ended up loathing it for that very reason. Scathing but fair." —Peter Pomerantsev
Moral Sloth by Nick Ashcroft          $25
"We don't need your whataboutery and moral prevarication. It's time to stand up and own your own culpability, complicity and . . . but I joke. Sit thee down. Hoist up that unethical hamburger and deploy your face into it. Some people are part of the solution and the rest of us find the people who are part of the solution to be annoying. We are the problem. We will not be moved. We will be moved if you shout at us, but we're not going to like it. These poems whistle while Rome burns. They whistle with words in a language plump with shoulds and oughts and sorries and shouldn't'ves. They whistle Beethoven so badly the old man's bones are transformed into a sustainable turbine. They only stop whistling to consider whether cheap comic cynicism is the kind of wry and arch whimsy no one needs, least of all this doomed world of human apologists. The poems lift their chins with pride. The poems remain unapologetic. No. I am mistaken. They are desperate, sickening, in their apology."
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern          $38
A strange old book in the library stacks sends its finder on a perplexing quest, including to a subterranean library. From the author of The Night Circus
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout          $35
Strout's new novel follows the lovably blunt Olive Kitteridge through the second half of her life, as she responds to changes both in her own life and in the wider community of Crosby, Maine. 
"Writing of this quality comes from an attention to reality so exact that it goes beyond a skill and becomes a virtue." —Hilary Mantel 

The Spinoff Book edited by Toby Manhire and illustrated by Toby Morris     $38
A sampler of New Zealand cultural life and opinion from the NZ Website of the Year. Also features a few non-Tobies. 

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