Friday, 13 March 2020

Mezzaluna: Selected poems by Michele Leggott         $35
Mezzaluna gathers work from critically acclaimed poet Michele Leggott's nine collections, from Like This? (1988) to Vanishing Points (2017). Leggott's poetry covers a wide range of topics rich in details of her New Zealand life, full of history and family, lights and mirrors, the real and the surreal. Leggott writes with tenderness and courage about the paradoxes of losing her sight and remaking the world in words. 
Figuring by Maria Popova          $33
“How, in this blink of existence book-ended by nothingness, do we attain completeness of being?” From the creator of the hugely popular Brainpickings blog.
"A highly original survey of life, love and creativity; an intellectual odyssey that challenges easy categorisation. It interweaves the 'invisible connections' between pioneering scientists, artists and writers to create a tapestry of ideas and biographies. Her approach subverts the idea that lives 'unfold in sensical narratives'. Popova’s unique act of 'figuring' in this book is to create resonances and synchronicities between the lives of visionary figures." —Guardian
Nancy by Bruno Lloret            $33
In a small city in northern Chile, between the Pacific Ocean and the Atacama Desert, a dying woman relives her childhood and adolescence in vivid detail. In the trance induced by her illness, she recalls the breakup of her family, the disappearance of her brother, the defection of her mother, her father’s conversion to Mormonism, scenes of sexual discovery, violence and poverty played out in a degraded landscape, against the oppressive and ecstatic backdrop of religious belief. ‘This world is a desert of crosses,’ Nancy’s father tells her – and crosses in bold make up the very fabric of the novel: X marks which can be read as multiplication symbols, scars, locations on a treasure map; or as signs of erasure and the approach of death, like the cancer that threatens Nancy’s life and memories.
Sado by Mikaela Nyman          $30
Friday 13 March, 2015: Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam makes landfall with devastating consequences. Vanuatu is bruised but not broken. Reeling from the loss of livelihood and struggling to meet basic human needs, people start to reassemble their lives. Cathryn is an NGO worker from New Zealand who has a ruined home, a teenage son and a Ni-Vanuatu boyfriend she hasn’t heard from since the phone lines went dead. Faia is a community organiser, a radio journalist and a survivor who fights for women to be heard. Together and apart they navigate their places in the complex cultural and social systems of Vanuatu, where tradition clashes with modern urban life.
The Sweet Indifference of the World by Peter Stamm        $28
A writer haunted by his double blurs the line between past and present, fiction and reality, in his attempt to outrun — or to accept —the unknown. Is Christof living his life a second time, with a twenty-year lag? 
"Everything Peter Stamm turns his hand to is highly disturbing, acutely perceptive, and unfathomably gripping." —Rupert Thomson
Low by Jeet Thayil          $33
In the new novel from the author of Narcopolis and The Book of Chocolate Saints, a man’s journey to Mumbai to sprinkle his beloved’s ashes turns into a drug-fuelled trip to oblivion. 
"Jeet Thayil delights not just in pushing the bounds of possibility, but in smashing them to smithereens." —John Burnside

To the Lake: A Balkan journey of war and peace by Kapka Kassabova         $40
Kassabova journeys to the Macedonian lakes of Ohrid and Prespa, which she had visited as a child and which she associates particularly with her grandmother, and contrasts her own peripatetic history with the endlessly dramatic history of the "nerve centre of the Balkans". 
Sun and Rain by Ana Roš       $95
A personal chef monograph, and the first book, from globally-acclaimed chef Ana Roš of Hisa Franko in Slovenia. Set near the Italian border in Slovenia's remote Soča valley, in the foothills of mountains and beside a turquoise river full of trout, Ana Roš tells the story of her life. Through essays, recollections, recipes, and photos, she shares the landscape that inspires her, the abundant seasonal ingredients from local foragers, the tales of fishing and exploring, and the evolution of her recipes. 
>>Visit Hisa Franko
Xenofeminism by Helen Hester         $24
In an era of accelerating technology and increasing complexity, how should we reimagine the emancipatory potential of feminism? How should gender politics be reconfigured in a world being transformed by automation, globalization and the digital revolution?
Specimen by Madison Hamill         $30
Shape-shifting personal essays probing the ways in which a person’s inner and outer worlds intersect and submit to one another. Discomfiting, vivid and funny. 
"I never felt that I was looking at fine writing — only at astonishing writing." —Elizabeth Knox
>>'Ethnography of a Ranfurly Man'

Mihaia: The prophet Rua Kenana and his community at Maungapohatu by Judith Binney, Gillian Chaplin and Craig Wallace       $50
A new edition of this important book, recording key elements of the Tuhoe resistance in the Urewera, and featuring documentary photographs. 

Our Bodies Their Battlefield: What war does to women by Christina Lamb        $40
An important and angry book about rape used as a weapon of war, and about history's airbrushing of their plights. 
>>"Required reading." —Peter Frankopan, Guardian
Poetry New Zealand Yearbook, 2020 edited by Johanna Emeney        $35
133 new poems (including by this year's featured poet, rising star essa may ranapiri, and C.K. Stead, Elizabeth Smither, Kevin Ireland, Chris Tse, Gregory Kan, Fardowsa Mohammed and Tracey Slaughter); essays (including a graphic essay by Sarah Laing); and reviews of new poetry collections.
The One that Got Away by Jennifer Palgrave [Hilary Lapsley & Lois Cox]        $34
Wellingtonian Lauren Fraser is easing into a comfortable retirement when her historian friend Ro reveals a shocking secret. Ro’s research has uncovered the attempted poisoning of a New Zealand prime minister. Why has the plot been covered up? As they get closer to the truth, Lauren and Ro find themselves in danger. Set as Jacinda Ardern’s government comes to power, one death follows another, and a cold case is not all they have on their hands.
Dark Empire: Wellington, 1916 by John Horrocks        $35
Katherine Mansfield created some of literature’s most chilling characters, not least Harry Kember and his wife. They seemed out of place among the families enjoying summer holidays at Wellington’s Days Bay. Some of the women at the Bay thought that one day Harry would commit a murder. Twenty years later, Harry controls Wellington’s criminal underworld. It is wartime, but business is brisk at his complex of sly grog shops and brothels. His financial dealings have also begun to ensnare more upright citizens such as Stanley Burnell. When Detective Sergeant Tom Guthrie is asked to investigate the drowning of a prisoner from Somes Island, he learns that the man is Burnell’s brother-in-law, who worked for both him and Kember. Neither wants to talk about him, while Kate Benson, a journalist at Truth, finds it is dangerous to ask questions about the dead man.
Women Artists by Linda Nochlin, edited by Maura Reilly          $60
Linda Nochlin was one of the most accessible, provocative, and innovative art historians of our time. In 1971, she published 'Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?' — a dramatic feminist call to arms that questioned traditional art historical practices and led to a major revision of the discipline. Women Artists brings together twenty-nine essential essays from throughout Nochlin's career. Included are 'Women Artists After the French Revolution' and 'Starting from Scratch: The Beginnings of Feminist Art History', as well as her landmark 1971 essay and its rejoinder, 'Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?' Thirty Years After.' These appear alongside monographic entries focusing on a selection of major women artists, including Mary Cassatt, Louise Bourgeois, Cecily Brown, Kiki Smith, Miwa Yanagi, and Sophie Calle.
Diamond Dogs by Glenn Hendler         $22
After his breakthrough with Ziggy Stardust and before his US pop hits Fame and Golden Years David Bowie produced a dark and difficult concept album set in a post-apocalytic 'Hunger City populated by post-human 'mutants'. Diamond Dogs includes the great glam anthem 'Rebel Rebel' as well a variety of other songs such as one of Bowie's best piano ballads, a Moog-centered tune that sounds like Emerson Lake and Palmer, and a cool funk groove. But it also contains grinding discordant guitar experimentation, a noise collage, a weird repetitive chant, and utterly unique songs that combine lush romantic piano and nearly operatic singing with scratching, grungy guitars, creepy, insidious noises, and dark, pessimistic lyrics that reflect the album's origin as a projected Broadway musical version of Orwell's 1984. In this book Glenn Hendler shows that Diamond Dogs was an experiment with the intimate connection Bowie forged with his audience. Each song on Diamond Dogs shifts the ground under you as you listen, not just by changing in musical style, but by being sung by a different "I" who directly addresses a different "you." 
AUP New Poets 6: Ben Kemp, Vanessa Crofskey Chris Stewart       $30
We shift from Kemp's slow-paced attentive readings of place and people in a selection moving between Japan and New Zealand, to the velocity of Vanessa Crofskey's fierce, funny, intimate and political poetry, which takes the form of shopping lists, Post-it notes, graphs, erasures, a passenger arrival card and even "poetry", and finally to Chris Stewart's visceral take on the domestic, the nights cut to pieces by teething, the gravity of love and the churn of time.
Justice and Race: Campaigns against racism and abuse in Aotearoa New Zealand by Oliver Sutherland         $35
In 1973 Sutherland founded ACORD (Auckland Committee on Racism and Discrimination) in an attempt to expose and address the institutional racism of the New Zealand police, justice and social welfare systems. It laid the groundwork for a national duty solicitor scheme and gained protections for children incarcerated by the state. 
The Irish Cookbook by Jp McMahon          $75
500 home-cooking recipes celebrating the range and quality of Ireland's bounty, from oysters and seaweed on its west coast to beef and lamb from its lush green pastures, to produce and forage from throughout the island. 
The Bell in the Lake by Lars Mytting          $38
The new novel from the author of The Sixteen Trees of the Somme (and Norwegian Wood), is fitted together live the staves of a Norwegian stave church. As long as people could remember, the stave church's bells had rung over the isolated village of Butangen, Norway. Cast in memory of conjoined twins, the bells are said to ring on their own in times of danger. In 1879, young pastor Kai Schweigaard moves to the village, where young Astrid Hekne yearns for a modern life. She sees a way out on the arm of the new pastor, who needs a tie to the community to cull favor for his plan for the old stave church, with its pagan deity effigies and supernatural bells. When the pastor makes a deal that brings an outsider, a sophisticated German architect, into their world, the village and Astrid are caught between past and future, as dark forces come into play.
False Value ('Rivers of London' #8) by Ben Aaronovitch         $35

Peter Grant, detective and apprentice wizard, returns to solve magical crimes in the city of London. Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner's brand new London start up, the Serious Cybernetics Company. Drawn into the orbit of Old Street's famous 'silicon roundabout', Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians and geekier than he is. Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC, a technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence — a secret that is just as magical as it technological (and just as dangerous).

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