Friday 15 January 2021


Girls Against God by Jenny Hval            $33

Welcome to 1990s Norway. White picket fences run in neat rows and Christian conservatism runs deep. But as the Artist considers her past, her practice and her hatred, things start stirring themselves up around her. In a corner of Oslo, a coven of witches begins cooking up some curses. A time-travelling Edvard Munch arrives in town to join a black metal band, closely pursued by the teenaged subject of his painting 'Puberty', who has murder on her mind. Meanwhile, out deep in the forest, a group of school girls get very lost and things get very strange. Awful things happen in aspic. Jenny Hval’s latest novel is a radical fusion of feminist theory and experimental horror, and a unique treatise on magic, gender and art.
"By the close of Girls Against God, the boundaries between reality and film, the corporeal and the fantastic, the coagulated and the fertile have all dissolved. The novel has journeyed from melodramatic teenscape to horror-saturated social panorama. A story that had seemed pointedly provincial has now sprouted universal wings." —Guardian
Whose Futures? edited by Anna-Maria Murtola and Shannon Walsh         $30
Contributors from Economic and Social Research Aotearoa challenge dominant narratives of the future by bringing together a broad collection of voices and perspectives on the question of possible futures. Chapters interrogate whose lives are at stake in different visions and projects of the future, whose voices and visions count, and what elements are at play in the unfolding of certain futures over others. The chapters highlight the need to be attentive to how various social technologies and institutions invite certain ways of being, thinking and acting and exclude others. In doing so, they offer a series of reflections on futures ‘from below’ to amplify voices and fight for alternatives. Many of us have become accustomed to speaking of what comes next in terms of a singular ‘future’. Such accounts of the future tend to operate within the narrow confines of colonial capitalism and assume continued economic growth. But there is no ‘one’ future; there are many. As contributions to this book attest, irreconcilable and interrelated futures are already playing out in the present. When futures are approached in this way – in the plural and in relation – they open to questions of which futures and whose futures. In other words, they open to politics. Contributors: Hana Burgess, Luke Goode, Kassie Hartendorp, Aitor Jiménez González, John Morgan, Anna-Maria Murtola, Te Kahuratai Painting, Anisha Sankar, Sy Taffel, Arcia Tecun, Samuel Te Kani, Shannon Walsh, Toyah Webb. From the group who brought us New Forms of Political Organisation
Reality, And other stories by John Lanchester           $28
Household gizmos with a mind of their own. Constant cold calls from unknown numbers. And the creeping suspicion that none of this is real. Reality, and Other Stories is a gathering of chilling entertainments to be read amidst the ghstly shlock of everyday life.

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut         $33
The great mathematician Alexander Grothendieck tunnels so deeply into abstraction that he tries to cut all ties with the world, terrified of the horror his discoveries might cause. Erwin Schrodinger and Werner Heisenberg battle over the soul of physics after creating two equivalent yet opposed versions of quantum mechanics. Their fight will tear the very fabric of reality, revealing a world stranger than they could have ever imagined. Using extraordinary, epoch-defining moments from the history of science, Benjamin Labatut plunges us into exhilarating territory between fact and fiction, progress and destruction, genius and madness.
"A monstrous and brilliant book." —Philip Pullman
"Wholly mesmerising and revelatory. Completely fascinating." —William Boyd

Featherhood by Charlie Gilmour         $30
Gilmour's developing relationship with a magpie leads him to deeply consider his relationship with his father, anarchist poet and absconder Heathcote Williams, and also Williams's relationship with a jackdaw. What repeats across generations? Can birds 'run in the blood'? What else 'runs in the blood'?
"The best piece of nature writing since H is for Hawk, and the most powerful work of biography I have read in years." —Neil Gaiman
"Wonderful - I can't recommend it too highly." —Helen Macdonald
"Essex Girls" are disreputable, disrespectful and disobedient. They speak out of turn, too loudly and too often, in an accent irritating to the ruling classes.Their bodies are hyper-sexualised and irredeemably vulgar. They are given to intricate and voluble squabbling. They do not apologise for any of this. And why should they? In this exhilarating feminist defence of the Essex girl, Sarah Perry re-examines her relationship with her much maligned home county. She summons its most unquiet spirits, from Protestant martyr Rose Allin to the indomitable Abolitionist Anne Knight, sitting them alongside Audre Lorde, Kim Kardashian and Harriet Martineau, and showing us that the Essex girl is not bound by geography. She is a type, representing a very particular kind of female agency, and a very particular kind of disdain.
War: How conflict shaped us by Margaret MacMillan          $45
There is always a war in progress somewhere—is it an essential part of being human? What is the relationship between society and war? Economies, science, technology, medicine, culture: all are instrumental in war and have been shaped by it—without conflict it we might not have had penicillin, female emancipation, radar or rockets. Throughout history, writers, artists, film-makers, playwrights, and composers have been inspired by war—whether to condemn, exalt or simply puzzle about it. If we are never to be rid of war, how should we think about it and what does that mean for peace?
Avocado Baby by John Burningham         $18
The Hargraves want their new baby to grow up big and strong. But the puny mite will hardly eat a thing. One day Mrs Hargraves finds an avocado in the fruit bowl and the baby gobbles it up. Soon, the strangest things start to happen... One of our favourite children's books is now back in print as a board book.

Beowulf translated by Maria Dahvana Headley           $35
A radical new verse translation of the epic poem by Maria Dahvana Headley—author of the contemporary Grendel-positive adaptation The Mere Wife—which brings to light elements never before translated into modern English. A man seeks to prove himself as a hero. A monster seeks silence in his territory. A warrior seeks to avenge her murdered son. A dragon ends it all. These familiar components of the epic poem are seen with a novelist's eye toward gender, genre, and history. Beowulf has always been a tale of entitlement and encroachment—of powerful men seeking to become more powerful and one woman seeking justice for her child—but this version brings new context to an old story. While writing The Mere Wife, Headley unearthed significant shifts lost over centuries of translation. 
The Undying: A meditation on modern illness by Anne Boyer         $24
When Anne Boyer was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer in her early forties, it was an initiation into a whole new way of thinking about herself, about illness, and about mortality. Her harrowing, beautifully written memoir of survival explores the experience of illness as mediated by digital screens, weaving in ancient Roman dream diarists, cancer hoaxers and fetishists, cancer vloggers, corporate lies, John Donne, pro-pain 'dolorists', the ecological costs of chemotherapy, and the many little murders of capitalism. It excoriates the pharmaceutical industry and the bland hypocrisies of 'pink ribbon culture' while also diving into the long literary line of women writing about their own illnesses and ongoing deaths: Audre Lorde, Kathy Acker, Susan Sontag, and others. Now in paperback. Winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction. Winner of the 2020 Windham-Campbell Prize for Non-Fiction. 
"Profound and unforgettable." —Sally Rooney
"A classic. I have long thought of Boyer as a genius." —Patricia Lockwood
"An outraged, beautiful, and brilliant work of embodied critique." —Ben Lerner
"Some of the most perceptive and beautiful writing about illness and pain that I have ever read." —Hari Kunzru
Prosopagnosia by Sònia Hernàndez         $30
Fifteen-year-old Berta says that beautiful things aren’t made for her, or that she isn’t destined to have them, or that the only things she deserves are ugly. It’s why her main activity, when she’s not at school, is playing the ‘prosopagnosia game’ — standing in front of the mirror and holding her breath until she can no longer recognise her own face. An ibis is the only animal she wants for a pet. Berta’s mother is in her forties. By her own estimation, she is at least twenty kilos overweight, and her husband has just left her. Her whole life, she has felt a keen sense of being very near to the end of things. She used to be a cultural critic for a regional newspaper. Now she feels it is her responsibility to make her and her daughter’s lives as happy as possible. A man who claims to be the famous Mexican artist Vicente Rojo becomes entangled in their lives when he sees Berta faint at school and offers her the gift of a painting. This sets in motion an uncanny game of assumed and ignored identities, where the limits of what one wants and what one can achieve become blurred.
Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah        $33
Restless, ambitious Ilyas was stolen from his parents by the Schutzruppe askari, the German colonial troops in East Africa. After years away, he returns to his village to find his parents gone, and his sister Afiya given away. Hamza was not stolen, but was sold; he has come of age in the army, at the right hand of an officer whose control has ensured his protection but marked him for life. Hamza does not have words for how the war ended for him. Returning to the town of his childhood, all he wants is work, however humble, and security and the beautiful Afiya. 
"A remarkable novel, by a wondrous writer, deeply compelling, a thread that links our humanity with the colonial legacy that lies beneath, in ways that cut deep." —Philippe Sands
"To read Afterlives is to be returned to the joy of storytelling. The story of Hamza and Afiya is one of simple lives buffeted by colonial ambitions, of the courage it takes to endure, to hold oneself with dignity, and to live with hope in the heart." —Aminatta Forna
Harro Schulze-Boysen had already shed blood in the fight against Nazism by the time he and Libertas Haas-Heye began their whirlwind romance. She joined the cause, and soon the two lovers were leading a network of antifascists that stretched across Berlin's bohemian underworld. Harro himself infiltrated German intelligence and began funnelling Nazi battle plans to the Allies, including the details of Hitler's surprise attack on the Soviet Union. 
From the author of Blitzed
Laws of Chaos: A probabilistic approach to political economy by Emmanuel Farjoun and Moshé Machover     $33
A groundbreaking attempt to construct a non-deterministic theoretical framework for the study of mechanisms of exchange, price and profit. It relies on probabilistic and statistical methods of the kind used in the modern foundations of several other sciences, introducing scientific modelling into economics.
In the Shadow of Vesuvius: A life of Pliny by Daisy Dunn          $28
A readable exploration of the relationship between Pliny the Elder, author of the first natural history encyclopedia and casualty of Vesuvius, and his nephew Pliny the Younger, lawyer, senator, poet, collector of villas, curator of drains.

How to Grow Your Own Poem by Kate Clanchy          $40
An introduction to writing poetry, using other poems as guidance and inspiration. 
The Loop by Ben Oliver         $22
It's Luka Kane's sixteenth birthday and he's been inside The Loop for over two years. Every inmate is serving a death sentence with the option to push back their execution date by six months if they opt into "Delays", scientific and medical experiments for the benefit of the elite in the outside world. But rumours of a war on the outside are spreading amongst the inmates, and before they know it, their tortuous routine becomes disrupted. The government issued rain stops falling. Strange things are happening to the guards. And it's not long until the inmates are left alone inside the prison. Were the chains that shackled Luka to his cell the only instruments left to keep him safe? In a thrilling shift, he must overcome fellow prisoners hell-bent on killing him, the warden losing her mind, the rabid rats in the train tunnels, and a population turned into murderous monsters to try and break out of The Loop, save his family, and discover who is responsible for the chaos that has been inflicted upon the world. An exciting YS dystopia. 
Let's Play Outside: Exploring nature for children by Carla McRae and Catherine Ard         $40
Nature activities for a new generation of environmentally conscious children. 

A Long Time Coming: The story of Ngai Tahu's Treaty settlement with the Crown by Mark Fisher             $40
"The Ngai Tahu settlement, like all other Treaty of Waitangi settlements, was more a product of political compromise and expediency than measured justice." The Ngai Tahu claim, Te Kereme, spanned two centuries, from the first letter of protest to the Crown in 1849 to the final hearing by the Waitangi Tribunal between 1987 and 1989, and then the settlement in 1998.
The Treaty of Waitangi / Te Tiriti o Waitangi: An illustrated history by Claudia Orange          $50
Claudia Orange's writing on the Treaty of Waitangi has played a central role in national understanding of this foundational document. This fully revised and updated and illustrated edition takes the narrative into the twenty-first century, with a new chapter recounting the Treaty history of the last ten years, covering major developments such as the Tuhoe settlement, territory `personhood', and issues around intellectual property and language. 

Grown Your Own Spices: Harvest homegrown ginger, turmeric, saffron wasabi, vanilla, cardamom, and other incredible spices—no matter where you live by Tasha Greer and Greta Moore         $37
Well, why not?

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