Saturday 9 January 2021


Mr Beethoven by Paul Griffiths          $38
"What would Beethoven have done with another seven years of life, and where, in the 1830s, might he have gone? The answer, in this audacious but exacting extension of the composer’s late period, is America, where an oratorio, Job, is completed (and performed) in Boston. Suffering and revelation are the subject-matter, but in Paul Griffiths’ hands, the Biblical sorrow undergoes a lasting modulation into a new key of delight in friendship, communication, and creativity." —Judges' citation shortlisting the novel for the Goldsmiths Prize
Red Comet: The short life and blazing art of Sylvia Plath by Heather Clark          $65
"Surely the final, the definitive, biography of Sylvia Plath. Takes its time in desensationalizing the life and the art; this lets Clark place both firmly in the literary and politically engaged contexts that formed them and simultaneously demonstrate how Plath’s work, in return, gifted the writing life unimaginable new sinew.” —Ali Smith, The Guardian 
“Mesmerizing. Comprehensive. Stuffed with heretofore untold anecdotes that illuminate or extend our understanding of Plath’s life. Clark is a felicitous writer and a discerning critic of Plath’s poetry. There is no denying the book’s intellectual power and, just as important, its sheer readability.” —Daphne Merkin, The New York Times
Surviving Autocracy by Masha Gessen             $33
Gessen's coverage of Trump's norm-smashing presidency has been essential reading for a world struggling to wrap their heads around the unimaginable. Thanks to the special perspective that is the legacy of a Soviet childhood and two decades covering the resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia, Gessen has a sixth sense for signs of autocracy—and the unique cross-cultural fluency to delineate its emergence. This incisive book provides an overview of the calamitous American trajectory of the past few years. Gessen not only highlights the corrosion of the media, the judiciary, and cultural norms, but is also lights a beacon to recovery.
Freud, IX. Vienna, Berggasse 19: The origin of psychoanalysis edited by Daniela Finzi and Monika Pessler            $120
A completely fascinating look at the objects and artworks at the Freud Museum (in the building where Freud developed his ideas of the unconscious). 
Health, Hedonism and Hypochondria: The hidden history of spas by Ian Bradley         $43
In their heyday, Europe's spas were the main meeting places for aristocracy, politicians and cultural elites. They were the centres of political and diplomatic intrigue, and were fertile sources of artistic, literary and musical inspiration. The spas epitomised style and were renowned for their cosmopolitan atmosphere in a glittering whirl of balls, gambling and affairs, as much as for their healing waters. Health, Hedonism & Hypochondria reveals the hidden histories of traditional spas of Europe, including such well-known resorts as the original Spa in Belgium; Bath, Buxton and Harrogate in Britain; Baden-Baden and Bad Ems in Germany; Vichy and Aix-les-Bains in France; Bad Ragaz in Switzerland; Bad Ischl and Baden bei Wien in Austria and Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Lázně in the Czech Republic.
Interaction of Colour by Joseph Albers          $45
A new edition of this seminal work, presenting a significantly expanded selection of close to sixty color studies alongside Albers's original text, demonstrating such principles as color relativity, intensity, and temperature; vibrating and vanishing boundaries; and the illusion of transparency and reversed grounds.
Political Sign by Tobias Carroll         $22
In an era of political polarisation and heated debate, what can be learned from studying how our personal space becomes the setting for both through the presence of political signs, badges and stickers? Understanding political signs can help us understand our current political moment—and how we might transcend it.
The Moth and the Mountain: A true story of love, war and Everest by Ed Caesar            $55
In the 1930s, as official government expeditions set their sights on conquering Everest, a little-known World War I veteran named Maurice Wilson conceived his own crazy, beautiful plan: he would fly a Gipsy Moth aeroplane from England to Everest, crash land on its lower slopes, then become the first person to reach its summit. 
"One of the best books ever written about the early attempts to conquer Everest. A fine, fine slice of history by a truly special writer who proves time and time again that he is among the best of his generation." —Dan Jones
The Bookseller's Tale by Martin Latham          $40
Taking us on a journey through comfort reads, street book stalls, mythical libraries, itinerant pedlars, radical pamphleteers, extraordinary bookshop customers and fanatical collectors, bookseller Martin Latham uncovers the curious history of our book obsession—and his own.

The Monsters of Rookhaven by  Pádraig Kenny (illustrations by Edward Bettison)        $30
Mirabelle has always known she is a monster. When the glamour protecting her unusual family from the human world is torn and an orphaned brother and sister stumble upon Rookhaven, Mirabelle soon discovers that friendship can be found in the outside world. But as something far more sinister comes to threaten them all, it quickly becomes clear that the true monsters aren't necessarily the ones you can see.

Shakespearean: On life and language in times of disruption by Robert McCrum           $40
Why do we return to Shaekspeare in times of crisis, and what can we learn from him about the times we are living through? 
Unwitting Street by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky          $35
A collection of philosophically weird and phantasmagorical fictions from the Russian master. Mostly written in the 1920s and 1930s, the stories were not published until 1989. Krzhizhanovsky takes us to the edge of the abyss and forces us to look into it. “I am interested,” he said, “not in the arithmetic but in the algebra of life.”

Five Seasons of Jam by Lillie O'Brien         $45
These innovative recipes are separated into 5 seasons:
ALIVE/spring- blossoming florals and awakenings (Peach & Fig leaf Jam, Salted Cherry Blossom, Wild Garlic Pesto)
HOT/summer - vivid sweetness (Nectarine & Thyme Jam, Strawberry & Wild Fennel Jam, Pickled Walnuts)
BLUSH/early autumn - smoky warmth and rich spice (Blackberry & Cocoa Nib Jam, Elderberry & Pomegranate Molasses, Tomato Jam, Marjoram Jelly)
BARB/late autumn - robust and bristling (Pear & Masala Jam, Pumpkin Jam, Damson Cheese)
FROST/winter - biting, dark and cosy (Salted Mandarins, Seville Orange & Chamomile Marmalade)
The Wild Life of the Fox by John Lewis-Stempel          $24
A beautifully written nature portrait of this fascinating predator. 
Sing New Zealand: The story of choral music in Aotearoa by Guy E. Jansen          $60

Anarchist Communism by Peter Kropotkin          $14
"Everywhere you will find that the wealth of the wealthy springs from the poverty of the poor." Fuelled by anger at injustice and optimism about humankind's ability to make a better, truly communal society, the anarchist writings of Peter Kropotkin have influenced radicals the world over, from nineteenth-century workers to today's activists.
Dutch Light: Christiaan Huygens and the making of science in Europe by Hugh Aldersley-Williams      $40
Europe's leading scientist in the latter part of the seventeenth century, Huygens made contributions in the fields of astronomy, optics, mechanics, and mathematics. Many of his innovations in methodology, optics and timekeeping remain in use to this day. He developed the theory of light travelling as a wave, invented the mechanism for the pendulum clock, and discovered the rings of Saturn, using a telescope that he had also invented.
Marie's Ocean: Marie Tharp maps the mountains under the sea by Josie James           $40
A very informative picture book about the woman who defied gender norms by pursuing a scientific career in the 1940s and 1950s, becoming the outstanding oceanic cartographer, mapping the ocean floor and discovering the Mid-Ocean Ridge and Rift Valley. Her discovery supported the theory of continental drift, which led to the theory of plate tectonics, yet she struggled to gain recognition for her achievements. 

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