Friday, 10 July 2020

Dance Prone by David Coventry              $35
The much-anticipated new novel from the author of The Invisible MileDuring their 1985 tour, two events of hatred and stupidity forever change the lives of a band's four members. Neues Bauen, a post-hardcore Illinois group homing in on their own small fame, head on with frontman Conrad Wells sexually assaulted and guitarist Tone Seburg wounded by gunshot. The band staggers forth into the American landscape, investigating each of their relationships with history, memory, authenticity, and violence. With decades passed and compelled by his wife's failing health to track down Tone, Conrad flies to North Africa where her brother is rumoured to be hiding with a renowned artist from their past. There he instead meets various characters including his former drummer, Spence. Amongst the sprawl and shout of Morocco, the men attempt to recall what happened to them during their lost years of mental disintegration and emotional poverty.
"A gorgeous panegyric to the purity, poison and impossibly high stakes of punk. Funny, filthy, erudite and rude." —Carl Shuker
>>Read a sample
>>The Invisible Mile.
>>Transit at Marrakech
Lost Property by Laura Beatty           $23
In middle age, a writer finds herself despairing and uncomprehending at how modern Britain has become a place of such greed and indifference. In an attempt to understand her country and her species, she and her lover rent a van and journey across France to the Mediterranean, across Italy to the Balkans and Greece and on to the islands. To travel through space is also to travel through time: along the way, they drive through the Norman Conquest, the Hundred Years War, the wars with the Huguenots, the fragility of the Italian Renaissance, the Balkan wars of the 1990s and the current refugee crisis, meeting figures from Europe's political and artistic past — a Norman knight, Joan of Arc, Ariosto, d'Annunzio and Alan Moore's nihilistic Rorschach, each lending their own view of humanity at its best and at its very worst. 
"The closer they get to their destination, the further they are from finding any definitive answers, and even the questions have become elusive. But this shifting, unsure quality, made luminous with an extraordinary descriptive brilliance, emerges as the book’s strength." —Guardian
The Stone Giant by Anna Höglund        $27
When her father leaves to save people from a giant who turns them to stone with his gaze, a child in a red dress is left alone. Many days and many nights go by. Every evening the girl says good night to herself in her mirror. When the last light burns down, the girl takes her mirror and a knife and sets out to find her father. "I will save my father from the giant," she says. A beautifully illustrated version of a Swedish fairy tale. 
>>Artwork by Anna Hoglund
Machines in the Head: Collected stories by Anna Kavan          $36
This new selection of Kavan's stories gathers work from across the many decades of her career, including oblique and elegiac tales of breakdown and institutionalization from Asylum Piece (1940),  evocations of wartime from I Am Lazarus (1945), fantastic and surrealist pieces from A Bright Green Field (1958), and stories of addiction from Julia and the Bazooka (1970). 
>>The awful force of inanimate things. 
How Do You Make a Baby? by Anna Fiske        $33
A very effective and informative blend of good information and hilarious illustrations. 
>>See also Tell Me.
The U.S. Antifascism Reader edited by Bill V. Mullen and Christopher Vials         $43
Antifascism: as American as apple pie. Since the birth of fascism in the 1920s, well before the global renaissance of "white nationalism," the United States has been home to its own distinct fascist movements, some of which decisively influenced the course of US history. Yet long before Antifa became a household word in the United States, they were met, time and again, by an equally deep antifascist current. Many on the left are unaware that the United States has a rich antifascist tradition, because it has rarely been discussed as such, nor has it been accessible in one place. This reader reconstructs the history of US antifascism the twenty-first century, showing how generations of writers, organisers, and fighters spoke to each other over time.
Ocean by Steve Mentz        $22
The ocean comprises the largest object on our planet. Retelling human history from an oceanic rather than terrestrial point of view unsettles our relationship with the natural environment. Unlike familiar stories of agricultural settlements and conquering empires, an oceanic context immerses human bodies in alien waters. Our engagement with the world ocean can be destructive, as with today's deluge of plastic waste and acidification, but the mismatch between small bodies and vast seas also emphasises the frailty of human experience.
>>Some other books on the 'Object Lessons' series
Merchant, Miner, Mandarin: The life and times of the remarkable Chole Sew Hoy by Jenny Sew Hoy Agnew and Trevor Gordon Agnew        $50
A history and legacy of a businessman from China's Guangdong Province who arrived in Port Chalmers in 1869. Good insight into New Zealand race relations in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 
The Big Book of Blooms by Yuval Zommer         $30
Beautifully illustrated and highly informative. 
>>Other books by Yuval Zommer
Obsessive About Octopuses by Owen Davey         $33
...and silly about squid. Did you know that an octopus has three hearts and a doughnut-shaped brain? You'll discover that these incredible creatures are super-smart and have great survival skills.From the truly terrifying giant Pacific octopus to the inventive common octopus, find out where members of this eight-armed family live, what they eat and how we can protect them.
Madness in Civilisation: A cultural history of insanity by Andrew Scull        $35
From the Bible to Freud, from exorcism to mesmerism, from Bedlam to Victorian asylums, from the theory of humours to modern pharmacology, Scull questions what we mean by madness and what place this construct plays in the functioning of society through time. 
Run Me to Earth by Paul Yoon          $35
A novel of stories exploring the impact of American interference in Southeast Asia on three teenagers living in Laos.
"The chapters exercise hypnotic intensity, but the overall effect is even more profound. With his panoramic vision of the displacements of war, Yoon reminds us of the people never considered or accounted for in the halls of power." —The Washington Post
Turned On: Science, sex and robots by Kate Devlin           $25
An exploration of sexuality, technology, and humanity through the promises of artificial intelligence.

The Quick and the Dead: True stories of life and death from a New Zealand pathologist by Cynric Temple-Camp         $40
More from the author of the very popular The Cause of Death
Basquiat: Boom for Real by Eleanor Nairne, Dieter Buchhart and Lotte Johnson          $90
Basquiat first came to prominence when he collaborated with Al Diaz to spray-paint enigmatic statements under the pseudonym SAMO(c). From there he went on to work with others on collages, Xerox art, postcards, performances, and music before establishing his reputation as one of the most important painters of his generation. This book places his collaborations in a wider art historical context and looks at his career through the lens of performance.
Architek by Dominique Ehrhard         $55
An introduction to architectural creation, the 95 precut cardboard elements in this book can be combined in an infinite variety of ways to build all sorts of fantastical structures. Follow the full-color idea diagrams to create more than 20 unique projects, then disassemble them and try something different. Developing direction-following skills and 3-D creativity, this kit allows young architects to both learn traditional design rules and break them.

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