Friday 23 April 2021


Mrs Death Misses Death by Salina Godden            $33
"Salena Godden breathes new life into the well-worn subject of death. Using an antique desk as a conduit, harried East London writer Wolf Willeford communicates with Death herself, who appears in his flat, not as the foreboding and heavy-hooded reaper, but as an elderly, working-class black woman eager to talk about her work. Together they travel across time and space, swapping stories and mapping her memoirs in this unexpectedly comforting page-turner. It can be difficult to write about a subject like death without invoking platitudes that end up flattening a book. Godden’s writing bypasses tired adages, zooming in on specifics that become loaded and devastating, be it an abandoned pile of clothes on the shore, or the way in which “the most ordinary objects have value: a hair clip in an old make-up bag will take you back twenty years, you didn’t even wear it much, but once you did and there you are again”. Godden’s background as a poet and performer enriches this debut as she alternates between poetry and prose in telling Mrs Death’s stories. She has elegantly wrangled the energy of her work into a new medium. Where her prose is often frank and conversational, her poetry is sparse and raw. —Irish Times
"A modern-day Pilgrim’s Progress leavened with caustic wit." —Guardian
The Swallowed Man by Edward Carey             $30
"I am writing this account, in another man's book, by candlelight, inside the belly of a fish. I have been eaten. I have been eaten, yet I am living still." Drawing upon the Pinocchio story while creating something entirely his own, Carey tells an unforgettable tale of fatherly love and loss, pride and regret, and of the sustaining power of art and imagination, told from the point of view of Geppetto during the years he spent within the belly of a sea beast. 
"Art objects live in the belly of this marvellous novel, images swallowed by text, sustained by a sublime and loving imagination. Like all Edward Carey's work The Swallowed Man is profound and delightful. It is a strange and tender parable of two maddening obsessions; parenting and art-making." —Max Porter
"A beautiful and dark meditation on fatherhood, mercy, redemption and the alchemy of isolation. Strange, moving and musical, it's a delight." —A. L. Kennedy
Climate Aotearoa: What's happening and what we can do about it edited by Helen Clark         $37
Contributions from a range of climate scientists and commentators Rob Bell, Jason Boberg, Adelia Hallett, Sophie Handford, Rhys Jones, Haylee Koroi, Matt McGlone, Jamie Morton, Rod Oram, Jim Salinger, Kera Sherwood-O'Regan, Simon Thrush and Andrew Jeffs. Climate Aotearoa outlines the climate situation as it is now, and as it will be in the years to come. It describes the likely impact on the environment and on our day-to-day living situation. It suggests the changes you can make for maximum impact, what we should be asking of our government and what we should be asking of our business community. In doing so, this is a hopeful book—actions can make a difference.
>>"Time for action."
Life? or Theatre? by Charlotte Salomon, edited by Evelyn Benesch and Judith Belinfante              $80
When German artist Charlotte Salomon (1917 1943) handed her vast gouache series Life? or Theater? over to a friend, she beseeched him to "take good care of it, it is my entire life". A few months later, the five months pregnant Charlotte was picked up by a Gestapo truck, deported to Drancy, and then on to Auschwitz, where she died upon arrival at the age 26. Born of a family plagued by depression, the work is a cycle of nearly 1,300 autobiographical gouaches, combining creative force with pioneering personal narrative into one shattering graphic document of self expression unlike anything else. 
>>The most remarkable graphic memoir
The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard             $25
The fight for equality begins in the streets. The history of inequality is a long and terrible one. The War of the Poor tells the story of a brutal episode from sixteenth-century Europe: the Protestant Reformation takes on the powerful and the privileged. Peasants, the poor living in towns, who are still being promised that equality will be granted to them in heaven, begin to ask themselves: and why not equality now, here on earth? There follows a violent struggle. Out of this chaos steps Thomas Müntzer: a complex and controversial figure, who sided with neither Martin Luther, nor the Roman Catholic Church. Müntzer addressed the poor directly, encouraging them to ask why a God who apparently loved the poor seemed to be on the side of the rich.
>>Short-listed for the 2021 International Booker Prize
When the Earth Had Two Moons: The lost history of the night sky by Erik Asphaug           $37
In 1959, the Soviet probe Luna 3 took the first photos of the far side of the moon. Even in their poor resolution, the images stunned scientists: the far side is an enormous mountainous expanse, not the vast lava-plains seen from Earth. Subsequent missions have confirmed this in much greater detail. How could this be, and what might it tell us about our own place in the universe? As it turns out, quite a lot. Fourteen billion years ago, the universe exploded into being, creating galaxies and stars. Planets formed out of the leftover dust and gas that coalesced into larger and larger bodies orbiting around each star. In a sort of heavenly survival of the fittest, planetary bodies smashed into each other until solar systems emerged. Curiously, instead of being relatively similar in terms of composition, the planets in our solar system, and the comets, asteroids, satellites and rings, are bewitchingly distinct. So, too, the halves of our moon. Planetary geologist Erik Asphaug takes us on an exhilarating tour through the farthest reaches of time and our galaxy to find out why.
Taxi: Journey through my windows, 1977—1987 by Joseph Rodriguez             $65
The photographs Rodriguez took in the decade he worked as a taxi driver in New York record the lesser-seen but deeply human aspects of the city, especially the life of the working class and the marginalised in all boroughs. 
The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne, Being an account of their daring exploits and audacious crimes by Jonathan Stroud          $22
New from the author of the wonderful 'Lockwood & Co' and 'Bartimaeus' series. England has been radically changed by a series of catastrophes – large cities have disappeared and London has been replaced by a lagoon. The surviving population exists in fortified towns where they cling to traditional ways, while strangely evolved beasts prowl the wilderness beyond. Conformity is rigidly enforced and those who fall foul of the rules are persecuted: some are killed, others are driven out into the wilds. Only a few fight back – and two of these outlaws, Scarlett McCain and Albert Browne, display an audacity and talent that makes them legends.
Eating with My Mouth Open by Sam van Zweden             $35
Sam van Zweden offers a millennial response to classic food writers, revelling in body positivity on Instagram, remembering how Tupperware piled high with sweets can be a symptom of spiralling mental health, dissecting wellness culture and all its flaws, sharing the joys of living in a family of chefs and seeing a history of migration on her dinner plate. 
Cathedral by Ben Hopkins            $40
The construction of a cathedral in the 12th and 13th centuries in the Rhineland town of Hagenburg unites a vast array of unforgettable characters whose fortunes are inseparable from the shifting political factions and economic interests vying for supremacy. From the bishop to his treasurer to local merchants and lowly stonecutters, everyone, even the town's Jewish denizens, is implicated and affected by the slow rise of Hagenburg's Cathedral, which in no way enforces morality or charity. Around this narrative center, Hopkins has constructed a novel that is rich with the vicissitudes of mercantilism, politics, religion, and human enterprise.
The Narrow Corridor: How nations struggle for liberty by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson          $32
From the authors of Why Nations Fail, a big-picture framework that looks at how liberty flourishes in some states but falls to authoritarianism or anarchy in others—and explains how it can continue to thrive despite new threats.
Learning to Talk to Plants by Marta Orriols            $23
A novel about complex grief: a woman attempts to rebuild her life after her boyfriend leaves her for another women then dies hours later. Navigating the unsettled nature of her grief, obsessing over Mauro's infidelity and pursuing fraught affairs with a new colleague and a charismatic stranger, she struggles to make sense of her world anew.

In the Reign of King John: A year in the life of Plantagenet England by Dan Jones             $55
1215 is chiefly remembered for King John attaching his seal to Magna Carta in a quiet Thames-side water-meadow. But it was also a year of crusading and church reform, of foreign wars and dramatic sieges—a year in which London was stormed by angry barons and England invaded by a French army. As well as describing these upheavals, Jones introduces us to the ordinary people of thirteenth-century England—how and where they worked, what they wore, what they ate, and what role the church played in their lives.
Felt by Johanna Emeney           $25
Poems from the realm of the felt: couples in last-chance therapy, friends unfriending, racist trolls trawling the comments section for game. Poems on teaching, animals and how emotions and “the things that have hit me hard over the past decade” are felt in the body
The Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card               $35
Stanford Solomon's shocking, thirty-year-old secret is about to change the lives of everyone around him. Stanford has done something no one could ever imagine. He is a man who faked his own death and stole the identity of his best friend. Stanford Solomon is actually Abel Paisley. And now, nearing the end of his life, Stanford is about to meet his firstborn daughter, Irene Paisley, a home health aide who has unwittingly shown up for her first day of work to tend to the father she thought was dead. These Ghosts are Family revolves around the consequences of Abel's decision and tells the story of the Paisley family from colonial Jamaica to present-day Harlem. 
Ripe Figs: Recipes and stories from the eastern Meditierranean by Yasmin Khan          $59
Traveling by boat and land through Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, Yasmin Khan traces recipes that have spread from the time of Ottoman rule, to the influence of recent refugee communities. At the kitchen table, she explores what borders and identity mean in an interconnected world. Featuring more than 80 recipes that put vegetables centre stage and unite around thickets of dill and bunches of oregano, zesty citrus and sour pomegranates, sweet dates and soothing tahini.
"Food writing at its best, a moving and beautiful book." —Nigella Lawson
Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ people who made history by Sarah Prager           $35
Illustrated biographies for the edification of the young. Includes Adam Rippon, Alan L. Hart, Alan Turing, Albert Cashier, Alberto Santos-Dumont, Alexander the Great, Al-Hakam II, Alvin Ailey, Bayard Rustin, Benjamin Banneker, Billie Jean King, Chevalier d'Éon, Christina of Sweden, Christine Jorgensen, Cleve Jones, Ellen DeGeneres, Francisco Manicongo, Frida Kahlo, Frieda Belinfante, Georgina Beyer, Gilbert Baker, Glenn Burke, Greta Garbo, Harvey Milk, James Baldwin, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, José Sarria, Josephine Baker, Juana Inés de la Cruz, Julie d'Aubigny, Lili Elbe, Ma Rainey, Magnus Hirschfeld, Manvendra Singh Gohil, Marsha P. Johnson, Martine Rothblatt, Maryam Khatoon Molkara, Natalie Clifford Barney, Navtej Johar, Nzinga, Pauli Murray, Renée Richards, Rudolf Nureyev, Sally Ride, Simon Nkoli, Stormé DeLarverie, Sylvia Rivera, Tshepo Ricki Kgositau, Wen of Han, We'Wha.
Suggested Reading by Dave Connis          $23
Clara Evans is horrified when she discovers her principal's "prohibited media" hit list. The iconic books on the list have been pulled from the library and aren't allowed anywhere on the school's premises. Students caught with the contraband will be sternly punished. Many of these stories have changed Clara's life, so she's not going to sit back and watch—she's going to strike back. So Clara starts an underground library in her locker, doing a shady trade in titles like Speak and The Chocolate War. But when one of the books she loves most is connected to a tragedy she never saw coming, Clara's forced to face her role in it. YA. 

The Italian Deli Cookbook by Theo Randall            $55
100 delicious family recipes transforming favourite ingredients into superlative Italian delicatessen dishes. 

Summer Brother by Jaap Robben              $33
13-year-old Brian lives in a trailer on a forgotten patch of land with his divorced and uncaring father. His older brother Lucien, physically and mentally disabled, has been institutionalised for years. While Lucien’s home is undergoing renovations, he is sent to live with his father and younger brother for the summer. Their detached father leaves Brian to care for Lucien’s special needs. But how do you look after someone when you don’t know what they need? How do you make the right choices when you still have so much to discover?
Follow This Line by Laura Ljungkvist        $27
Starting on the front cover of this board book, the line zigs and zags across scenes both urban and pastoral, playfully spiraling into the shapes of animals, faces, buildings, vehicles and more, all without breaking its stride. 

No comments:

Post a Comment