Friday 24 January 2020

Virtuoso by Yelena Moskovich         $38

A novel tracing the trajectories of two Prague schoolfriends and one-time lovers, Jana and Zorka, as they move to the west and shape lives for themselves there. From the author of The Natashas
"A hint of David Lynch, a touch of Elena Ferrante, the cruel absurdity of Antonin Artaud, and the fierce candour of Anaïs Nin." —The Guardian
"A bold feminist novel." —TLS

Nudibranch by Irenosen Okojie         $38
"Microdosing LSD has become fashionable over the last few years, with some users reporting improvements to mood and productivity. Reading Irenosen Okojie’s stories is more like taking an old‑fashioned megadose: familiar reality peels away to reveal a world of bizarre transformations, stutters in time, encounters between gods and humans, and the fragmentation, or even the dissolution, of the self." —Chris Power, Guardian
>>By the author of Speak Gigantular
Braised Pork by An Yu            $34
bathroom of her Beijing apartment to find her husband - with whom she had been breakfasting barely an hour before - dead in the bathtub. Next to him a piece of paper unfolds like the wings of a butterfly, and on it is an image that Jia Jia can't forget. Troubled by what she has seen, even while she is abruptly released from a marriage that had constrained her, Jia Jia embarks on a journey to discover the truth of the sketch. Starting at her neighbourhood bar, with its brandy and vinyl, and fuelled by anger, bewilderment, curiosity and love, Jia Jia travels deep into her past in order to arrive at her future.
"Wild and distinctive." —Guardian
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins           $35
A highly anticipated and controversial novel on the sufferings of Mexican migrants into the United States. 
Hide and Seek City by Agathe Demois and Vincent Godeau       $30
Use the special red-filter 'magnifying glass' to look through the walls and see all the strange things the inhabitants of the buildings are up to! [Doesn't work on real buildings, BTW]
Time for Lights Out by Raymond Briggs          $48
In his customary pose as the grumpiest of grumpy old men, Raymond Briggs contemplates old age and death... and doesn't like them much. Illustrated with Briggs's inimitable pencil drawings, Time for Lights Out is a collection of short pieces, some funny, some melancholy, some remembering his wife who died young, others about the joy of grandchildren, of walking the dog... He looks back at his schooldays and his time as an evacuee during the war, and remembers his parents and the house in which he grew up.
Mac's Problem by Enrique Vila-Matas       $38
When Mac finds himself unemployed, he decides, of course, to become a writer. His wife thinks he is wasting his time. Finding that the stories written long ago by his neighbour are considerably better than his own, Mac decides that, rather than write his own stories, he will read, revise, and improve his neighbour's, which are mostly narrated by a ventriloquist who has lost the ability to speak in different voices. But Mac finds that the stories have a strange way of imitating life. Or is life imitating the stories?

The Doll by Ismail Kadare           $33
At the centre of young Ismail's world is the enigmatic figure of his mother, the Doll: naïve and unchanging,she appears lost in her husband's great stone house and is constantly at odds with her wise and thin-lipped mother-in-law. As her son grows, his writing career flourishes; he uses words she doesn't understand, publishes radical poetry and falls in love outside of marriage. Ismail seems to be renouncing everything his mother embodies of old-world Gjirokastra. Most of all, the Doll fears that one day her intellectual, free-thinking son will exchange her for a better mother.
Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener             $33
An incisive memoir of life among the young and wealthy of Silicon Valley, and how it became unbearable. 
"A definitive document of a world in transition: I won't be alone in returning to Uncanny Valley for clarity and consolation for many years to come." —Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror
>>Beggars and tech millionaires
The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah by Benjamin Zephaniah           $27
From 1980s anarchist street activist dub poet to contemporary anarchist street activist dub poet, performer and YA author, Zephaniah has remained sharp, political and humane. 
"The Life and Rhymes has a performative quality reminiscent of Zephaniah's poetry — honest, unshowy and ultimately unthreatening. It matches the man.' —The Guardian
Where Architects Sleep: The most stylish hotels in the world by Sarah Miller        $40
A companion of sorts to Where Chefs Eat

The Wolf and the Fly by Antje Damm         $17
Gulp, gulp, gulp: one toy after another disappears into the mouth of the hungry wolf. Now he's almost full, just a last little fly for dessert...
The Wolf and the Fly combines story and guessing game. Together you can guess which object on the shelf will be eaten next, then, when everything re-emerges, the game starts anew. Fun.

When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullers          $33

A powerful memoir from one of the founders of Black Lives Matter
All the Dear Little Animals by Ulf Nilsson and Eva Eriksson       $18
Esther was very brave. I was little and scared. One summer’s day we started a business called Funerals Ltd, to help all the poor dead animals in the world. Esther did the digging, I wrote the poems, and Esther’s little brother, Puttie, cried.
An excellent, gentle, unsentimental book about death, from a child's perspective. 
A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum         $25
A novel in which three generations of Palestinian-American women struggle to express their individual desires within the confines of their Arab culture in the wake of shocking intimate violence in their community.

You Can Only Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time: Rules for couples by Patricia Marx and Roz Chast       $35
e.g. "It is easier to stay inside and wait for the snow to melt than to fight about who should shovel." Roz Chast is, well, Roz Chast. 
>>Some samples!

Dangerous Experiments for After Dinner by Kendra Wilson, David Hopkins and Angus Hyland         $30
Bored of the same old dinner-party chitchat? Spice up your soirees, impress your guests and show up your brother-in-law with these hilarious, and sometimes dangerous, after-dinner tricks and challenges. 21 cards display the step-by-step instructions and explanations of the science behind the tricks. From sabring a bottle of champagne to hammering a needle through a coin, each of these tricks is guaranteed to wow your guests.
>>Look inside the tin!

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