No Maori Allowed: New Zealand's forgotten history of racial segregation by Robert Bartholomew $26
There was a time when Maori were barred from public toilets, segregated at the cinema and swimming pools, refused alcohol, haircuts and taxi rides, forced to stand for white bus passengers and not allowed to attend school with other students. It happened in the South Auckland town of Pukekohe in the twentieth century. Using records from the National Archives and first-hand interviews, No Maori Allowed looks at what happened in Pukekohe and the extent of racial intolerance across the country at this time. In Hamilton, stores refused to let them try on pants, on Karangahape Road in Auckland, shop signs read No Credit for Maori. Councils jacked up prices for state houses to keep them out of white neighbourhoods, hospitals had segregated maternity wards and gave them less expensive cutlery, and banks and shops held official policies of not hiring Maori.
>>The book was apparently rejected by publishers for being "too pro-Maori".
Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld $37
What if Hilary Rodham had turned down Bill Clinton's proposal of marriage? How might things have turned out for them, for America, for the world itself, if Hillary Rodham had really turned down Bill Clinton?
"Brilliantly re-imagined and enjoyable." —Guardian
Last Vanities by Fleur Jaeggy $32
These seven stories do not take long to read but the images in them will be embedded in your mind for a long time, so precisely sharp are Jaeggy’s tiny burrs of observed detail. The stories typically begin in the fantastic but resolve in what may be the actual, the actual as experienced on many levels at once, the small made large and the large made small, perhaps as Jaeggy alone experiences the actual.
Humankind: A hopeful history by Rutger Bregman $35
From 'the folk hero of Davos', Fox News antagonist and author of the international bestseller Utopia for Realists comes a radical history of our innate capacity for kindness. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, human beings are taught that we are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest. Providing a new historical perspective on the last 200,000 years of human history, Humankind makes a new argument — that it is realistic, as well as revolutionary, to assume that people are good. When we think the worst of others, it brings out the worst in our politics and economics too.
"Humankind challenged me and made me see humanity from a fresh perspective." —Yuval Noah Harari
Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty $37
From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, 15-year-old Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries of his intense connection to the natural world, and his perspective as a teenager juggling exams and friendships alongside a life of campaigning. "In writing this book," Dara explains, "I have experienced challenges but also felt incredible joy, wonder, curiosity and excitement. In sharing this journey my hope is that people of all generations will not only understand autism a little more but also appreciate a child's eye view on our delicate and changing biosphere."
>>Taking the world by storm.
Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami $38
A novel exploring the inner conflicts of an adolescent girl who refuses to communicate with her mother except through writing. Through the story of these women, Kawakami paints a portrait of womanhood in contemporary Japan, probing questions of gender and beauty norms and how time works on the female body.
>>Kawakami gives a feminist critique of Haruki Murakami's novels.
I Don't Expect Anyone to Believe Me by Juan Pablo Villalobos $38
"I don't expect anyone to believe me," warns the narrator of this novel, a Mexican student called Juan Pablo Villalobos. He is about to fly to Barcelona on a scholarship when he's kidnapped in a bookshop and whisked away by thugs to a basement. The gangsters are threatening his cousin, who is gagged and tied to a chair. The thugs say Juan Pablo must work for them. His mission? To make Laia, the daughter of a corrupt politician, fall in love with him. He accepts, though not before the crime boss has forced him at gunpoint into a discussion on the limits of humour in literature. Bonkers.
The Motion of the Body through Space by Lionel Shriver $35
Shriver's new novel draws on her own experience as an exercise obsessive, and is also shot through with her contrarian views on cultural appropriation.
"Scabrously funny. The Motion of the Body Through Space is proof, if it were needed, that Shriver’s natural response to an open wound is to pour on more salt. Few authors can be as entertainingly problematic as Shriver." —Guardian
Night Thoughts by Wallace Shawm $35
Although he is guided and inspired by the people he respects, and despite the insufficiency of his knowledge and experience — an insufficiency shared by most (or all) other humans, Wallace Shawn can't see any real alternative to trying to figure out his own answers to the most essential questions about the world he lives in.Having recently passed the age of seventy, before which he found it difficult to piece together more than a few fragments of understanding, Shawn would like to pass on anything he's learned before death or dementia close down the brief window available to him, but he may not be ready yet.
>>Wallace Shawm talks with Paula Morris.
>>My Dinner with Andre.
Necropolis by Boris Pahor $25
Pahor spent the last fourteen months of World War II as a prisoner and medic in the Nazi camps at Bergen-Belsen, Harzungen, Dachau and Natzweiler-Struthof. Twenty years later, as he visited the preserved remains of a camp, his experiences came back to him: the emaciated prisoners; the ragged, zebra-striped uniforms; the infirmary reeking of dysentery and death.
Yes to Life — In spite of everything by Viktor E. Frankl $30
Available in English for the first time, this collection of talks delivered just months after Frankl's liberation from Auschwitz reveal how he developed his life-affirming philosophies in the most horrific circumstances.
Days in the Caucasus by Banine $30
In her extraordinary memoir of an 'odd, rich, exotic' childhood — of growing up in Azerbaijan in the turbulent early twentieth century, caught between East and West, tradition and modernity. Banine remembers her luxurious home, with endless feasts of sweets and fruit; her beloved, flaxen-haired German governess; her imperious, swearing, strict Muslim grandmother; her bickering, poker-playing, chain-smoking relatives. She recalls how the Bolsheviks came, and everything changed. How, amid revolution and bloodshed, she fell passionately in love, only to be forced into marriage with a man she loathed — until the chance of escape arrived. First published in 1945 and only now translated into English.
The Address Book: What our street addresses tell us about identity, race, wealth and power by Deirdre Mark $40
From Ancient Rome to Kolkata today, from cholera epidemics to tax hungry monarchs, Mask discovers the different ways street names are created, celebrated, and in some cases, banned. Filled with fascinating people and histories, this incisive, entertaining book shows how addresses are about identity, class and race. But most of all they are about power: the power to name, to hide, to decide who counts, who doesn't, and why.
Just Another Mountain by Sarah Jane Douglas $27
When her mother died of breast cancer when Sarah Jane Douglas was 24, she set off to walk the mountains of Scotland in her mother's footsteps. As she walked, she came to accept her grief and her own troubled past, and to come to a new and deeper relationship with nature.
I Want You to Know We're Still Here by Esther Safran Foer $38
The child of parents who were each the sole survivors of their respective families, for Esther the Holocaust loomed in the backdrop of daily life, felt but never discussed. Even as she built a successful career, married, and raised three children, Esther always felt herself searching. So when Esther's mother mentions that her father had a previous wife and daughter, both killed in the Holocaust, Esther resolves to find out who they were, and to learn how her father survived.
The Garden of Inside-Outside by Chiara Mezzalama $30
In the summer of 1981, Chiara and her family join their father in Iran. At their beautiful palace, there is an inside and an outside, separated by a wall. Inside, there is a wild garden where princes and princesses used to walk. Outside, in the black city, there are soldiers with heavy boots and bombs. One day, a boy from outside climbs the wall into the garden. The garden no longer feels inpenetrable but Chiara has made a friend, Massoud, who will keep the secret of the inside-outside. Inspired by the childhood of the author, whose father was appointed Italian ambassador to Tehran in 1980, this picture book is a beautiful evocation of a country struck by war, where friendship arises despite the rising walls.
The Other's Gold by Elizabeth Ames $33
As they move through their university years to their days as new parents, each of four friends make a terrible mistake. With one part of the novel devoted to each mistake — the Accident, the Accusation, the Kiss, and the Bite — this novel reveals the ways life-defining turning points prompt our relationships to unravel and re-knit, as the women discover what they and their loved ones are capable of, and capable of forgiving.
>>The intersection of obliteration and power.
El Deafo by Cece Bell $20
A funny, deeply honest graphic novel memoir for middle graders. It chronicles the author's hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with a powerful and very awkward hearing aid called the Phonic Ear. It gives her the ability to hear--sometimes things she shouldn't--but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her, Phonic Ear and all. Finally, she is able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become 'El Deafo, Listener for All'. And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she's longed for.
Alphamaniacs: Builders of 26 wonders of the word by Paul Fleischman and Melissa Sweet $30
Jean-Dominique Bauby wrote his memoirs by blinking his left eyelid, unable to move the rest of his body. Frederic Cassidy was obsessed with the language of place, and after posing hundreds of questions to folks all over the United States, amassed (among other things) 176 words for dust bunnies. Georges Perec wrote a novel without using the letter e (so well that at least one reviewer didn't notice its absence), then followed with a novella in which e was the only vowel. A love letter to all those who love words, language, writing, writers, and stories, Alphamaniacs is a illustrated collection of mini-biographies about the most daring and peculiar of writers.
This Searing Light, the Sun and Everything Else: Joy Division, the oral history by Jon Savage $45
Jon Savage's oral history of Joy Division is the last word on the band that ended with the suicide of Ian Curtis in Macclesfield on 18 May, 1980. It weaves together interviews conducted by the author, but never used in the making of the film Joy Division (2007) which told the story of the band in their own words, as well as those of their peers, collaborators, and contemporaries. Now in paperback.
>>'I Remember Nothing'.
Unorthodox: The scandalous rejection of my Hasidic roots by Deborah Feldman $33
The memoir of a young woman's escape from the repressive Satmar Hasidic sect that became a Netflix series.
Every Now and Then I Have Another Child by Diane Brown $30
A mysterious doppelgänger sister, a newborn baby, a boy in a mural, a detective, a former lover, a student stalker... are they real or imagined? Building on Diane Brown's tradition of extended poetic narratives, Every Now and Then I Have Another Child is a meditation on motherhood, the creative impulse and the blurred line between imagination and reality.