Friday 17 January 2020

Some Trick: Thirteen stories by Helen DeWitt           $32
How is it possible to live a life of the mind in a world that opposes even the slightest possibility of such a thing occurring? Is DeWitt the modern-day Gogol or Calvino? 
"DeWitt's style is brilliantly heartless, and cork-dry; original herself, she is a witty examiner of human and cultural eccentricity. She can take a recognisable social situation or fact and steadily twist it into a surrealist skein." —James Wood, The New Yorker
"Brilliant and inimitable Helen DeWitt: patron saint of anyone in the world who has to deal with the crap of those in power who do a terrible job with their power, and who make those who are under their power utterly miserable. Certain stories have something in common with dreams: they’re expressions of the creator’s wish-fulfillment. Helen DeWitt’s wishes are distinct in American literature — in world literature, as far as I know." —Sheila Heti
>>Helen DeWitt has your number
Arboretum by David Byrne          $45
In a wonderful series of eccentric annotated drawings — each in the form of a tree! — Byrne presents his thoughts about just about every human foible, habit and concept with the same gusto, irony and individual flair that he brings to both his music and his writing. 
>>Stop making sense
At the Pond: Swimming at the Hampstead Ladies' Pond by 
Ava Wong Davies, Margaret Drabble, Esther Freud, Nell Frizzell, Eli Goldstone, Amy Key, Jessica J. Lee, Sophie Mackintosh, So Mayer, Deborah Moggach, Nina Mingya Powles, Leanne Shapton, Lou Stoppard and Sharlene Teo       $25
Esther Freud describes the life-affirming sensation of swimming through the seasons; Lou Stoppard pays tribute to the winter swimmers who break the ice; Margaret Drabble reflects on the golden Hampstead days of her youth; Sharlene Teo visits for the first time; and Nell Frizzell shares the view from her yellow lifeguard’s canoe.
>>Three writers dive in. 
>>Read Esther Freud's piece
>>The best place in the world
Self-Portrait by Celia Paul        $55
"I'm not a portrait painter. If I'm anything, I have always been an autobiographer." From her move to the Slade School of Fine Art at sixteen, through a profound and intense affair with the older and better-known artist Lucian Freud, to the practices of her present-day studio, Paul meticulously assembles the surprising, beautiful, haunting scenes of a life. Paul brings to her prose the same qualities that she brings to her art: a brutal honesty, a delicate but powerful intensity, and an acute eye for visual detail.
"I had to make this story my own."

2040 AD (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #58) edited by Claire Boyle       $50
A special issue wholly focused on climate change with original speculative fiction from twelve noted contributors in collaboration with twelve scientists. Global in scope, each story is focused on one part of the dire warnings issued by the 2018 Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change. Featuring Tommy Orange, Elif Shafak, Luis Alberto Urrea, Asja Bakic, Rachel Heng, and more.
>>"Given the dire news surrounding climate change, are you hopeful for the future?"
How the Brain Lost its Mind: Sex, hysteria and the riddle of mental illness by Allan Ropper and B.D. Burrell         $33
In 1882, Jean-Martin Charcot was the premiere physician in Paris, having just established a neurology clinic at the infamous Salpetriere Hospital, a place that was called a 'grand asylum of human misery'. Assessing the dismal conditions, he quickly set up to upgrade the facilities, and in doing so, revolutionised the treatment of mental illness. Many of Carcot's patients had neurosyphilis (the advanced form of syphilis), a disease of mad poets, novelists, painters, and musicians, and a driving force behind the overflow of patients in Europe's asylums. The trend of neurology at the time, though, led towards hypnosis and the treatment of the mind and away from medicine and the treatment of the brain. Does the relationship between psychology and neurology mirror that between the mind and the body? 
Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese science fiction translated and edited by Ken Liu             $23
The anthology features works of hard science fiction, cyberpunk, science fantasy, and space opera, as well as genres with deeper ties to Chinese culture: alternate Chinese history, chuanyue time travel, satire with historical and contemporary allusions. Stories include: "Goodnight, Melancholy" by Xia Jia, "The Snow of Jinyang" by Zhang Ran, "Broken Stars" by Tang Fei, "Submarines" by Han Song, "Salinger and the Koreans" by Han Song, "Under a Dangling Sky" by Cheng Jingbo, "What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear" by Baoshu, "The New Year Train" by Hao Jingfang, "The Robot Who Liked to Tell Tall Tales" by Fei Dao, "Moonlight" by Liu Cixin, "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Laba Porridge" by Anna Wu, "The First Emperor's Games" by Ma Boyong, "Reflection" by Gu Shi, "The Brain Box" by Regina Kanyu Wang, "Coming of the Light" by Chen Qiufan, "A History of Future Illnesses" by Chen Qiufan. Essays: "A Brief Introduction to Chinese Science Fiction and Fandom," by Regina Kanyu Wang,
"A New Continent for China Scholars: Chinese Science Fiction Studies" by Mingwei Song, "Science Fiction: Embarrassing No More" by Fei Dao.
Nam June Paik by Sook-Kyung Lee and Rudolf Frieling        $55
An early adopter of digital technologies and new media, Nam June Paik (1932-2006) was in many ways the founder of video art. His cutting-edge, innovative, yet playfully entertaining work continues to be a major influence on art and culture.This ground-breaking publication focuses on Paik's role in the cross-germination of radical aesthetics and experimental practices.
>>Charlotte Moorman performs Nam June Paik's 'TV Cello' (1976). 
The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow         $38
It is a sad fact of life that if a young woman is unlucky enough to come into the world without expectations, she had better do all she can to ensure she is born beautiful. To be handsome and poor is misfortune enough; but to be both plain and penniless is a hard fate indeed. In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Mary is the middle of the five Bennet girls and the plainest of them all, so what hope does she have? Prim and pious, with no redeeming features, she is unloved and seemingly unlovable. The Other Bennet Sister, though, shows another side to Mary. An introvert in a family of extroverts; a constant disappointment to her mother who values beauty above all else; fearful of her father's sharp tongue; with little in common with her siblings - is it any wonder she turns to books for both company and guidance?
Immersive and engaging." —Guardian
Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco         $23
At the Almayer Inn, a remote shoreline hotel, an artist dips his brush in a cup of ocean water to paint a portrait of the sea. A scientist pens love letters to a woman he has yet to meet. An adulteress searches for relief from her proclivity to fall in love. And a sixteen-year-old girl seeks a cure from a mysterious condition which science has failed to remedy. When these people meet, their fates begin to interact.
The Existentialist's Survival Guide: How to live authentically in an inauthentic age by Gordon Marino        $37
What can Kierkegaard and the philosophers who came after him tell us about how to live now? 
"Brilliant. Gives existentialism a 21st-century presence that is gripping, nuanced and convincing. The prose is electric, illustrating that existentialism is also literary." —The Los Angeles Review of Books
A Political History of the World: Three thousand years of war and peace by Jonathan Holslag        $26
In three thousand years of history, China has spent at least eleven centuries at war. The Roman Empire was in conflict during at least 50 per cent of its lifetime. Since 1776, the United States has spent over one hundred years at war. The dream of peace has been universal in the history of humanity. So why have we so rarely been able to achieve it?

The Science of Being Human: Why we behave, think and feel the way we do by Marty Jopson          $27
Starting with evolutionary biology and what it physically means to be a human being, this book moves on to include a wide range of topics such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and how we are evolving as we interact with new technology. 

10 Voyages through the Human Mind edited by Catherine de Lange       $30
Undoubtedly the most complex material in the universe, the human brain makes us who we are, but how it works and why has long been a mystery. Through this series of fascinating lectures at The Royal Institution, spanning over a hundred years, experts in the fields of psychology, neurology and biology examine the workings of our most important organ, revealing a hidden and complex world.
Address Unknown by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor     $23
First published in 1938, this novel told in letters between a Jew in America and his German friend demonstrates the way in which society is poisoned at all levels by fascism. 
Nightmareland: Travels at the borders of sleep, dreams, and wakefulness by Lex Lonehood Nover       $37
Encompassing accepted medical phenomena such as sleep paralysis, parasomnias, and Ambien "zombies," and the true-crime casebook of those who kill while sleepwalking, to supernatural elements such as the incubus, alien abduction, and psychic attacks, Nover brings readers on an extraordinary journey through history, folklore, and science, to help us understand what happens when we sleep.

No comments:

Post a Comment