Friday 23 July 2021


Real Estate by Deborah Levy            $26
The final volume of Levy's 'Living Autobiography' is a meditation on home, the spectres that haunt it and the possibilities it offers. Reconfiguring her life after her children leave home, how can Levy create a balance between her creative, political and personal lives and the demands of the world she lives in?
>>Read an extract.
>>Things I Don't Want to Know.
>>The Cost of Living

The Commercial Hotel by John Summers         $30
When John Summers moved to a small town in the Wairarapa and began to look closely at the less-celebrated aspects of local life - our club rooms, freezing works, night trains, hotel pubs, landfills - he saw something deeper. It was a story about his own life, but mostly about a place and its people. The story was about life and death in New Zealand. Combining reportage and memoir, The Commercial Hotel is a sharp-eyed, poignant yet often hilarious tour of Aotearoa: a place in which Arcoroc mugs and dog-eared political biographies are as much a part of the scenery as the hills we tramp through ill-equipped. We encounter Elvis impersonators, the eccentric French horn player and adventurer Bernard Shapiro, Norman Kirk balancing timber on his handlebars while cycling to his building site, and Summers's grandmother: the only woman imprisoned in New Zealand for protesting World War Two. And we meet the ghosts who haunt our loneliest spaces. As he follows each of his preoccupations, Summers reveals to us a place we have never quite seen before.
"A beautiful, robust collection of work. Every once in a while a book comes along that you read, reread, and treasure. This is one of those books." —Laurence Fearnley
"This book is an achievement of much clarity and grace, but more importantly it is a work of promise." —Landfall Review Online
Terminal Boredom by Izumi Suzuki            $25
The first English-language publication of a legend of Japanese science fiction and a countercultural icon. In a future where men are contained in ghettoised isolation, women enjoy the fruits of a queer matriarchal utopia—until a boy escapes and a young woman’s perception of the world is violently interrupted. The last family in a desolate city struggles to approximate twentieth- century life on Earth, lifting what notions they can from 1960s popular culture. But beneath these badly learned behaviours lies an atavistic appetite for destruction. Two new friends enjoy drinks on a holiday resort planet where all is not as it seems, and the air itself seems to carry a treacherously potent nostalgia. Back on Earth, Emma’s not certain if her emotionally abusive, green-haired boyfriend is in fact an intergalactic alien spy, or if she’s been hitting the bottles and baggies too hard. And in the title story, the tyranny of enforced screen-time and the mechanisation of labour foster a cold-hearted and ultimately tragic disaffection among the youth of Tokyo. Nonchalantly hip and full of deranged prescience, Suzuki’s singular slant on speculative fiction would be echoed in countless later works, from Neuromancer to The Handmaid’s Tale. In these darkly playful and punky stories, the fantastical elements are always grounded in the universal pettiness of strife between the sexes, and the gritty reality of life on the lower rungs, whatever planet that ladder might be on.
Snow, Dog, Foot by Claudio Morandini             $38
Adelmo Farandola doesn’t like people. In summer he roams the valleys, his only company a talkative, cantankerous old dog and a young mountain ranger who, Adelmo Farandola suspects, is spying on him. When winter comes, man and dog are snowed in. With stocks of wine and bread depleted, they pass the time squabbling over scraps, debating who will eat the other first. Spring brings a more sinister discovery that threatens to break Adelmo Farandola’s already faltering grip on reality: a man’s foot poking out of the receding snow.
it was both, and by Sasha da Silva             $30
"This text seeks to be a helpful addition to the growing argument for the architectonic validity of what it is to commune with the other. It takes its starting point of investigation to be changes and dynamics of our shared metaphysical landscape. The aim is to demonstrate that meaning matters, and too, always remains plural as it is caught in its own becoming. The concepts of relationality, speculativity, embodiment, low theory, and poetics are introduced and explored, as a poetry of the moment is put forward in all its messy reality. Perhaps things remain unfinished. The format is interdisciplinary and playful, and it seeks to remain attentive to the serendipity of the spontaneous patterns unfolding all around us. With the greatest of care, form is followed only sometimes." 
For more than four weeks in the autumn of 1962 the world teetered. The consequences of a misplaced step during the Cuban Missile Crisis could not have been more grave. Ash and cinder, famine and fallout; nuclear war between the two most-powerful nations on Earth. In Nuclear Folly, award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy tells the riveting story of those weeks, tracing the tortuous decision-making and calculated brinkmanship of John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro, and of their advisors and commanders on the ground. More often than not, Plokhy argues, the Americans and Soviets simply misread each other, operating under mutual distrust, second-guesses and false information.
Theatre of Ocean: Stories of performance between us by Alexa Wilson         $15
Theatre of Ocean is a memoir of outtakes from a performance artist moving backwards and forwards in space and time in a world recently past. Alexa Wilson offers us the interwoven remains of performance, love, art, culture, gender and politics. Juxtaposing real stories with art works and musings performed, scripted, staged, or improvised, Theatre of Ocean reveals an artist clawing at the possibilities for social-political change in a dynamic triumvirate of settings: New York, Berlin, New Zealand.
>>Dancing through the pandemic
Not to Read by Alejandro Zambra              $40
In Not to Read, Alejandro Zambra outlines his own particular theory of reading that also offers a kind of blurry self-portrait, or literary autobiography. Whether writing about Natalia Ginzburg, typewriters and computers, Paul Léautaud, or how to be silent in German, his essays function as a laboratory for his novels, a testing ground for ideas, readings and style. Not to Read also presents an alternative pantheon of Latin American literature – Zambra would rather talk about Nicanor Parra than Pablo Neruda, Mario Levrero than Gabriel García Márquez. His voice is that of a trusted friend telling you about a book or an author he’s excited about, how he reads, and why he writes. A standard-bearer of his generation in Chile, with Not to Read Alejandro Zambra confirms he is one of the most engaging writers of our time.
"When I read Zambra I feel like someone’s shooting fireworks inside my head. His prose is as compact as a grain of gunpowder, but its allusions and ramifications branch out and illuminate even the most remote corners of our minds." —Valeria Luiselli
"There is no writer like Alejandro Zambra, no one as bold, as subtle, as funny." —Daniel Alarcón
>>Read Thomas's review. 
Who Invented This? by Becky Thorns and Anne Ameri-Siemens         $48
Who invented the car, different types of vaccinations, the light bulb or the microwave? The things we are surrounded by didn't just appear out of nowhere, they were conceived by talented inventors, scientists, and engineers. While some inventions were the result of teamwork and a long time in the lab, some inventions just happened to be made by accident or by looking for something else. Unravel how classic inventions and creators paved the way for the modern tools and technology we have today.

Enough Horizon: The life and work of Blanche Baughan by Carol Markwell           $40
One of the first writers to speak with an authentic New Zealand voice, Blanche Edith Baughan (1870-1958) was known as a poet and local travel writer. Enough Horizon tells of Baughan's troubled upbringing with a mentally ill mother in London, and her emigration to New Zealand in 1900, where she embraced the freedom it gave her to write and think and enjoy the wilderness she grew to love. It was here, particularly in her beloved Akaroa, that Blanche's writing and interests in the environment and her advocacy for the vulnerable in society flourished. She was a botanist, conservationist, humanitarian and prison reformer, who strove for the effective and humane treatment of prisoners. Blanche met and corresponded with leading writers, thinkers and scientists of her day, including John Ruskin, and poets Jessie Mackay and Ursula Bethell.
Assembly by Natasha Brown            $22
Come of age in the credit crunch. Be civil in a hostile environment. Go to college, get an education, start a career. Do all the right things. Buy an apartment. Buy art. Buy a sort of happiness. But above all, keep your head down. Keep quiet. And keep going. The narrator of Assembly is a black British woman. She is preparing to attend a lavish garden party at her boyfriend's family estate, set deep in the English countryside. At the same time, she is considering the carefully assembled pieces of herself. As the minutes tick down and the future beckons, she can't escape the question: is it time to take it all apart? Assembly is a story about the stories we live within - those of race and class, safety and freedom, winners and losers. And it is about one woman daring to take control of her own story, even at the cost of her life. 
"Stunning." —Bernardine Evaristo
Chomsky exposes the problems of our world today, as we stand in this period of monumental change, preparing for a more hopeful tomorrow. 'For the left, elections are a brief interlude in a life of real politics, a moment to ask whether it's worth taking time off to vote . . . Then back to work. The work will be to move forward to construct the better world that is within reach.' He sheds light into the phenomenon of right-wing populism, and exposes the catastrophic nature and impact of authoritarian policies on people, the environment and the planet as a whole. He captures the dynamics of the brutal class warfare launched by the masters of capital to maintain and even enhance the features of a dog-eat-dog society. And he celebrates the recent unprecedented mobilisations of millions of people internationally against neoliberal capitalism, racism and police violence.
The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy             $38
“Feminism should terrify the patriarchy. It should put patriarchy on notice that we demand nothing short of its destruction. We need fewer road maps toward a peace treaty with patriarchy and more manifestos on how to destroy it. The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls is my manifesto.” —Mona Eltahawy
The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls identifies seven ‘sins’ women and girls are socialised to avoid – anger, attention, profanity, ambition, power, violence and lust. With essays on each, Mona Eltahawy creates a stunning manifesto encouraging women worldwide to defy, disobey and disrupt the patriarchy. The book draws on her own life and the work of intersectional activists from around the world, #MeToo and the Arab Spring.
The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls exhorts and advocates for more confidence, more clarity, more of a sense of value and rights, more pleasure and joy for women. With its gloriously energetic, rampaging prose, it also inspires those things." —Rebecca Solnit
An Historical Overview of Lambton Harbour by D.J. Pyle          $20
A brief history of Wellington's harbour written aboard The Sealion, a floating community space in the waters of Lambton Harbour.

A large-format book of stunning photography and expert geological and natural history information. "Karstified landscapes are among the most bizarre on our planet – both above and below ground. New Zealand Karst takes you on a visual journey across sublime karst scenery and into the subterranean wilderness of New Zealand caves. Accompanied by popular scientific texts, stunning images lead you from the sculptured limestone pavements of the alpine marble karst to the grassland and jungle karst of the foothills, onwards into the twilight zone and deeper into the caves. It explores the diversity of peculiar features and creatures of the underground, ventures back into the light of cave ruins, and concludes with karst-related Māori rock art. Learn about the life cycle of the endemic glowworm and the critically endangered Nelson cave spider. Explore the majesty of cave minerals forming speleothems of all types. Discover the many roles water plays in shaping karst and understand the vulnerability of these geotopes and biotopes. New Zealand Karst reveals how you can appreciate karst as a phenomenon where geological, biological, and archaeological beauty all come together in harmony."
Daughters of Kobani: The women who took on the Islamic State by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon           $37
In 2014, northeastern Syria might have been the last place you would expect to find a revolution centered on women's rights. But that year, an all-female militia faced off against ISIS in a little town few had ever heard of: Kobani. By then, the Islamic State had swept across vast swathes of the country, taking town after town and spreading terror as the civil war burned all around it. 

Brontë by Manuela Santoni              $29
A graphic novel of the lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë.
The Survival of Māori as a People by Whatarangi Winiata and Daphne Luke            $65
This collection of twenty-five papers by Professor Whatarangi Winiata and co-authors given over the last forty years, comment on Māori spirituality, social development, education and political affairs. They cover Winiata’s experiences of and thinking about reengineering the working of the Hahi Mihinare; driving the iwi development programme Whakatupuranga Rua Mano, which led to the foundation of the first contemporary whare wānanga; galvanising the New Zealand Māori Council to hold the Crown accountable over fisheries, forestry, language and broadcasting; and co-founding the Māori Party with Dame Tariana Turia and Sir Pita Sharples. The papers are organised into themes of iwi Māori, mātauranga Māori, tino rangatiratanga, and the survival and wellbeing of Māori people.
>>Read a sample

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