Friday 29 May 2020


Funny Weather: Art in an emergency by Olivia Laing             $50
We’re often told art can’t change anything. Laing argues that it can: it changes how we see the world, makes plain inequalities and offers fertile new ways of living. This wide-ranging collection of essays on the arts and letters in both their 'high' and 'popular' forms is an urgent response to these times of funny political weather. 
"I yield to absolutely no one in my admiration of Olivia Laing; her essays are magical liberations of words and ideas, art and love; they're the essence of great 21st century literature: brilliantly expressed, wildly uncontained, willful and wonderfully unbound." —Philip Hoare
"Laing is to the art world what David Attenborough is to nature." —Irish Times
>>Feeling overwhelmed?
>>Unfixable elements.  
>>A discussion
>>Productivity through pain
>>Other books by Olivia Laing
handiwork by Sara Baume        $38
"This little book is a love-child of my art and writing practices, or a by-product of novels past and coming. It’s about the connection between handicraft and bird migration, as well as simply the account of a year spent making hundreds of small, painted objects in an isolated house." —Sara Baume

handiwork is a contemplative short narrative from writer and visual artist Sara Baume (author of Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither and A Line Made by Walking). It charts her daily process of making and writing, and her interactions with her partner and with the place she lives. handiwork offers observations at once gentle and devastating, on the nature of art, grief and a life lived well. Baume’s first work of non-fiction offers readers a glimpse into her creative process and is written with the keen eye for nature and beauty as well as  for the fragility of experience.
>>Baume and her dog read from the book. 
>>The new book is a love-child
>>Flights of thought
Older Brother by Daniel Mella         $38
During the summer of 2014, on one of the stormiest days on record to hit the coast of Uruguay, 31-year old Alejandro, lifeguard and younger brother of our protagonist and narrator, dies after being struck by lightning. This marks the opening of a novel that combines memoir and fiction, unveiling an intimate exploration of the brotherly bond, while laying bare the effects that death can have on those closest to us and also on ourselves.
"This slim and vital novel is a tour de force; it will floor you, and lift you right the way up—I adored it." —Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell         $38
Set in a plague-stricken Elizabethan England, O'Farrell's tender and incisive novel looks at the effects on William Shakespeare and his wife Agnes of the death of their son Hamnet. 
Short-listed for the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction. 
"Dazzling. Devastating." —Kamila Shamsie
>>"I wanted to give this boy a voice.

The Table by Francis Ponge        $30

Written from 1967 to 1973 over a series of early mornings in seclusion in his country home, The Table offers a final chapter in Francis Ponge's interrogation of the unassuming objects in his life: in this case, the table upon which he wrote. In his effort to get at the presence lying beneath his elbow, Ponge charts out a space of silent consolation that lies beyond (and challenges) scientific objectivity and poetic transport. This is one of Ponge's most personal, overlooked, and—because it was the project he was working on when he died—his least processed works. It reveals the personal struggle Ponge engaged in throughout all of his writing, a hesitant uncertainty he usually pared away from his published texts that is at touching opposition to the manufactured "durable mother" of the table on and of which he here writes.
The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel         $35
The long-awaited new novel from the author of Station Eleven is set in a hotel on Vancouver Island and in New York, and explores the fragility of both capital and esteem when crises both financial and personal are triggered by the collapse of a ponzi scheme. A devastating look at emotional turbulence in the age of late capitalism.
"The Glass Hotel is a masterpiece, just as good — if not better — than its predecessor." —NPR
>>Read an excerpt.

>>EStJM in conversation
Hinton by Mark Blacklock         $40
A fascinating novel set somewhere between fact and fiction, concerning the mathematician Howard Hinton, who fled to Japan following a bigamy scandal and developed the concepts that underlie quantum geometry.
"Blacklock weaves a distinct and original fiction, a fittingly four-dimensional representation of lived reality. Questions of societal convention versus individual freedom and Classical enlightenment versus Romantic self-expression play themselves out against a backdrop that, as we familiarise ourselves with its complexities, jumps glowingly to life. Blacklock’s attention to detail, his imaginative reach, not to mention his willingness to wrestle with problems of geometry, have produced a singular literary achievement." —Guardian
Faces of the Tip of My Tongue by Emmanuelle Pagano     $38
The late wedding guest isn’t your cousin but a drunken chancer. The driver who gives you a lift isn’t going anywhere but off the road. Snow settles on your car in summer and the sequins found between the pages of a borrowed novel will make your fortune. Pagano’s stories weave together the mad, the mysterious and the dispossessed of a rural French community with  honesty and humour. 
Long-listed for the 2020 Booker International Prize. 
"Pagano succeeds because of the range of her insight and the skill with which she shifts register: from wistfulness to blunt force, or from fantasy to naturalism." — Chris Power, Guardian
The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes by Janet Malcolm      $28
Is it ever possible to know 'the truth' about Sylvia Plath and her marriage to Ted Hughes, which ended with her suicide? In this compelling metabiography, Malcolm Malcolm examines the biographies of Plath, with particular focus on Anne Stevenson's Bitter Fame, to discover how Plath became an enigma in literary history.
>>Read Plath's letters
Europe Against the Jews, 1880—1945 by Götz Aly     $58
An important book, examining the wider roots of the Holocaust throughout Europe. Drawing upon a wide range of previously unpublished sources, Aly traces the sequence of events that made persecution of Jews an increasingly acceptable European practice.

Ultimately, the German architects of genocide found support for the Final Solution in nearly all the countries they occupied or were allied with.
The Ratline: Love, lies and justice on the trail of a Nazi fugitive by Philippe Sands          $38
As Governor of Galicia, SS Brigadesführer Otto Freiherr von Wächter presided over an authority on whose territory hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles were killed, including the family of the author's grandfather. By the time the war ended in May 1945, he was indicted for 'mass murder'. Hunted by the Soviets, the Americans, the Poles and the British, as well as groups of Jews, Wächter went on the run. He spent three years hiding in the Austrian Alps before making his way to Rome and being taken in by a Vatican bishop. He remained there for three months. While preparing to travel to Argentina on the 'ratline' he died unexpectedly, in July 1949, a few days after having lunch with an 'old comrade' whom he suspected of having been recruited by the Americans. Sands, author of the magisterial East West Street unravels the mysteries and implications of the story. 
>>Sands talks with Paula Morris
>>Sands talks with Kim Hill
The Vegetarian Silver Spoon: Classic and contemporary Italian recipes        $75
Over 200 authentic and achievable recipes. 

The Apartment: A century of Russian history by Alexandra Litvina and Anna Desnitskaya         $40
A wonderful large-format picture book illustrating a century of Russian history through the lives of the residents in an apartment in Moscow. Beautifully done. 
Now! Painting in Germany today edited by Stephan Berg, Frédéric Bußmann and Alexander Klar      $100
Now! brings together their selection of fifty-three artists who are breaking artistic ground in their work. Showcasing the artwork of the next generation of young artists taking over the modern-day painting scene in Germany, this book presents two hundred illustrations that speak to the diversity of the current work.
Notes from an Apocalypse: A personal journey to the end of the world and back by Mark O'Connell            $33
Meet the people preparing for the end of the world In the remote mountains of Scotland, in high-tech bunkers in South Dakota, and in the valleys of New Zealand: environmentalists who fear the ravages of climate change, billionaire entrepreneurs dreaming of life on Mars, and right-wing conspiracists yearning for a lost American idyll. One thing unites them: their certainty that we are only years away from the end of civilisation as we know it.

I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf by Grant Snider        $30
One- and two-page comics skewering bibliophilia and related phenomena from the New Yorker cartoonist. 
>>Incidental comics. 

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