Friday 10 January 2020

A Woman in the Polar Night by Christiane Ritter        $28
In 1934, the Austrian painter Christiane Ritter travelled to the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen to spend a year with her husband, an explorer and researcher. They lived in a tiny ramshackle hut on the shores of a lonely fjord, hundreds of miles from the nearest settlement. At first, Christiane is horrified by the freezing cold, the bleak landscape the lack of equipment and supplies, but as time passes, and after encounters with bears and seals, long treks over the ice and months on end of perpetual night, she finds herself falling in love with the Arctic's harsh, otherworldly beauty, gaining a sense of inner peace and a new appreciation for the sanctity of life. A rediscovered classic. 
Vertigo & Ghost by Fiona Benson         $30
Benson says that the terrifying sequence of Zeus poems that form the first half of Vertigo & Ghost emerged from ‘a long buried experience, and then a sudden pouring-in of words, that I can only explain as coming out of the woods’. The sequence makes palpable the sexualised violence latent in Greek mythology, with Zeus as abuser-in-chief, abetted and feared. It is followed by an exploration of the complex and ambivalent terrain of early motherhood.
Winner of the 2019 Forward Prize.
>>In conversation with Daisy Johnson.  
A Māori Phrase a Day: 365 phrases to kickstart your reo by Hemi Kelly         $30
Really good. See also A Maori Word a Day
Gypsies by Josef Koudelka          $50
109 photographs taken between 1962 and 1971 in what was Czechoslovakia (Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia), Romania, Hungary, France and Spain. A unique record of a vanished world.
Agatha by Anne Cathrine Bowmann        $28
A lonely psychiatrist in 1948 is preparing fro retirement when he is drawn to a seemingly fragile woman who comes to him as a patient.
"A shrewd, skilful tale of loneliness, the search for meaning and a place in the world, and the problems of truly relating to another human being.” —Independent

The Summer Isles: A voyage of the imagination by Philip Marsden       $45

The Summer Isles are a sporadically inhabited archipelago off the west coast of the Scottish Highlands. Marsden reached them by sailing along the exposed western coasts of Ireland and Scotland. It is a course that has been followed for centuries by explorers and adventurers, fishermen and monks, all drawn to the western seas and their distant horizons. Combining travel writing, memoir and cultural history, this is a book about the search for real places, for imagined places, and for places that might always exist somewhere in between. Beautifully written. 
Imagine Moscow: Architecture, propaganda, revolution by  Ezster Steierhoffer, Richard Anderson and Deyan Sudjic       $35
A record of how a future Moscow was envisioned by a bold generation of architects in the 1920s and early 1930s. Through a wealth of rarely seen material, this book provides a window into an idealistic fantasy of the Soviet capital that was never realised and has since been largely forgotten. Focusing on six unbuilt architectural landmarks, Imagine Moscow explores how these projects reflected changes in everyday life and society following the Revolution.
Galileo's Error: A new science of consciousness by Philip Goff      $40
“The material universe and consciousness are made out of the same stuff.” —Ernst Schrödinger
Is consciousness one of the fundamental properties of all matter? How would our understanding of our universe be altered if we took this to be the case? 
"An illuminating introduction to the topic of consciousness. It addresses the real issue — unlike almost all recent popular books on this subject. It stands a good chance of delivering the extremely large intellectual jolt that many people will need if they are to get into (or anywhere near) the right ballpark for thinking about consciousness. This is a great thing." —Galen Strawson, Guardian
The Breeze Block Book by Sam Marshall et al       $95
Breeze block is back. This surge of interest in the material, though, is more than a nostalgic yearning for the golden years of modernism. Contemporary designers are not only rediscovering the forgotten qualities that made it such an appealing medium for mid-century architects, but finding new ways to enhance and exploit them.

The Marquise of O— by Heinrich von Kleist            $28
A crisp new translation by Nicholas Jacob of Kleist's comic novel of the clash between sexuality and respectability, set in northern Italy during the Napoleonic Wars.
Hundred: What you learn in a lifetime by  Heike Faller and Valerio Vidali        $48
How does our perception of the world change in the course of a lifetime? When Heike Faller's niece was born she began to wonder what we learn in life, and how we can talk about what we have learnt with those we love. And so she began to ask everyone she met, what did you learn in life? Out of the answers of children's writers and refugees, teenagers and artists, mothers and friends, came 99 'lessons' — each here delightfully illustrated by Valerio Vidali. 
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris         $20
A hilarious collection of essays from "the premier observer of our world and its weirdnesses." —Adam Kay
Ready, Set, Draw! by Hervé Tullet        $30
 Showcasing Hervé's signature bold colours and minimalist shapes and lines, this wildly graphic and highly intuitive card game will unlock every young (and old) artist's creative potential. Select WHAT to draw from one deck and HOW to draw it from the other; then flick the colourful spinner wheel to randomise the options. From "draw a tree with your eyes closed" to "draw a friend... upside down!", the combinations are endless — and endlessly fun!

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