Friday 18 March 2022

Just click on the books to have them delivered to your door. 

Notes from an Island by Tove Jansson and Tuulikki Pietilä (translated by Thomas Teal)       $35
In 1963, Tove Jansson and her partner Tuulikki Pietilä (with the help of Brunström, a local fisherman) built a cabin on Klovharun, a barren skerry in the Gulf of Finland. Here, for the next 26 summers, they found solitude, creative inspiration, and a closeness with nature. This beautiful book conveys their experience of the island, evocatively combining Jansson's memories, observations and journal entries, intercut with Brunström's terse and lively diary entries and illustrated with 24 copperplate etchings and wash drawings of the island by Pietilä. The whole intimates something central to Jansson's world. 
>>Some notes.
>>Visit Klovharun
>>Tove and Tuulikki.          
Allegorizings by Jan Morris             $33
Feeling intimations of mortality, Jan Morris embarked on a series of high-minded letters to her late daughter, but these quickly transformed themselves into a potpourri of mini-essays and vibrant reminiscences, organised around experiences both majestic and mundane, from traveling the world with her lifelong partner, Elizabeth, to sneezing and kissing and simply growing old. Featuring essays largely written in the early twenty-first century, Allegorizings reflects, above all, Morris's steadfast conviction that nothing is only what it seems. In fact, she observes, everything is allegory. 

Free Love by Tessa Hadley             $38
"A woman turns her life upside down and feels the allure of swinging 1960s London in this poignant tale of mid-life desire. Hadley’s drawing together of a situation that’s ‘as fatally twisted as a Greek drama’ shows a writer with boundless compassion. She offers insightful and sensitive understanding of the quiet compromises people make to survive in a deeply compromised world. Almost every page struck me anew with some elegant phrasing, feline irony or shrewdly sympathetic insight." —Guardian
Iris Murdoch, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley and Elizabeth Anscombe were great friends and comrades in the intellectual trenches, rethinking the possibilities of moral philosophy during the Second World War and taking on the establishment, ultimately embodied by President Truman.
Oppositions: Selected essays by Mary Gaitskill                $40
Gaitskill takes on a broad range of topics from Nabokov to horse-riding with her unique ability to tease out unexpected truths and cast aside received wisdom. Written with startling grace and linguistic flair, and delving into the complicated nature of love and the responsibility we owe to the people we encounter, the work collected here inspires the reader to think beyond their first responses to life and art. 
Confronting Leviathan: A history of ideas by David Runciman             $45
While explaining the most important and often-cited ideas of thinkers such as Constant, De Tocqueville, Marx and Engels, Hayek, MacKinnon and Fukuyama, David Runciman shows how crises — revolutions, wars, depressions, pandemics — generated these new ways of political thinking. What new ideas, practices and social forms will arise from the crises facing us today? 
Frantumaglia: A writer's journey by Elena Ferrante (translated by Ann Goldstein)          $33
Consisting of over twenty years of letters, essays, reflections, and interviews, this volume is a unique depiction of the author whose 'true' identity is unknown. In these pages, Ferrante answers many of her readers' questions. She addresses her choice to stand aside and let her books live autonomous lives. She discusses her thoughts and concerns as her novels are being adapted into films. She talks about the challenge of finding concise answers to interview questions. She explains the joys and the struggles of writing, the anguish of composing a story only to discover that that story isn't good enough. She contemplates her relationship with psychoanalysis, with the cities she has lived in, with motherhood, with feminism, and with her childhood as a storehouse for memories, impressions, and fantasies.
In the Margins: Essays on reading and writing by Elena Ferrante (translated by Ann Goldstein)                $28
"Four essays illuminate the mind of Ferrante in this dazzling new collection. The collection's strength comes from Ferrante's beautiful prose, as well as the fascinating look at where she finds inspiration. The author's legions of fans are in for a treat." —Publishers Weekly
Song of Less by Joan Fleming               $25
"The crisis is upon us, but abstraction is a bulwark. Deafness, everywhere. We have come to an edge. I want to find a way of taking the truth into my body, and then putting it down into the ground. From somewhere offstage, a misery of voices begins to murmur in the scrounge. What starts up is a grief work."
A dystopian verse novel from a New Zealand poet, exploring ritual and the limits of language in the ruins of ecological collapse.
Beats of the Pa'u by Maria Samuela           $30
The pa‘u is the pulse of the Cook Islands, a rhythm carrying narratives of a culture to its people. But beyond the reach of its sound, on another shore, a community is working over the course of decades to build a new life. Kura lands in the footsteps of his father, whose twenty-year estrangement has come to a head. Katerina starts planning for a future, but must bend to the whim of another. Ana is received into a sacred sisterhood. And an Island Mama sets out the rules for love. Beats of the Pa‘u is a collection of stories about first- and second-generation Cook Islands New Zealanders living in 1950s to modern-day New Zealand. 
Bauhaus Postcards (Invitations to the first exhibition, Weimar, 1923)          $45
In 1923, Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius commissioned 20 postcards from artists such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky to use as promotional flyers for the school's first exhibition. Issued here for the first time in their original format, these postcards perfectly express the spirit of the early Bauhaus. The box contains 60 cards (3 of each of the 20).
Looking for Trouble by Virginia Cowles           $40
Madrid in the Spanish Civil War Prague during the Munich crisis, Berlin the day Germany invaded Poland, Helsinki as the Russians attacked Moscow betrayed by the Nazis, Paris as it fell to the Germans, London on the first day of the Blitz— Virginia Cowles saw it all. As a pioneering female correspondent, she reported from Europe from the 1930s into the Second World War, watching 'the lights in the death-chamber go out one by one' from the frontline.

An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris by Georges Perec (translated by Marc Lowenthal)           $30
One overcast weekend in October 1974, Georges Perec set out in quest of the 'infraordinary': the humdrum, the non-event, the everyday—"what happens," as he put it, "when nothing happens." His choice of locale was Place Saint-Sulpice, where, ensconced behind first one cafe window, then another, he spent three days recording everything to pass through his field of vision: the people walking by; the buses and driving-school cars caught in their routes; the pigeons moving suddenly en masse; a wedding (and then a funeral) at the church in the center of the square; the signs, symbols and slogans littering everything; and the darkness that finally absorbs it all. In An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, Perec compiled a melancholic, slightly eerie and oddly touching document in which existence boils down to rhythm, writing turns into time and the line between the empirical and the surreal grows surprisingly thin. 
Everyday Play: A campaign against boredom edited by Julian Rothenstein           $48
Are you bored by daily routine? Learn how to restore play to the everyday, with games and life tips from artists, writers and thinkers from Louise Bourgeois and Hunter S. Thompson to Lydia Davis and Karl Lagerfeld. "Life must be lived as play," said Plato, and this book will help you rediscover the wonder in the weekly grind, and the extraordinary in the ordinary. Learn how to be someone else for a day; explore how to draw a poem, paint a book and reorient your library; enjoy writers using constraints or languages they don't understand; play the Edible Book Game or become a living sculpture; become a writer and play word games to find new ways of saying what you mean. Everyday Play is the essential compendium of artists' games, philosophers' inquiries and manifestos against the banal. They will challenge our perceptions of work, rest and play, with contributions from, among others, Joan Acocella, Luis Buñuel, Lewis Carroll, Robert Creeley, Adam Dant, Lydia Davis, Jeremy Deller, Dashiell Hammett, Will Hobson, Nina Katchadourian, Andrei Monastyrski, Francis Ponge, Erik Satie and Marc Wahlberg.
The Wolf Age: The Vikings, the Anglo-Saxons, and the battle for the North Sea empire by Tore Skeie (translated by Alison McCullough)               $55
In the eleventh century, the rulers of the lands surrounding the North Sea were all hungry for power. To get power they needed soldiers, to get soldiers they needed silver, and to get silver there was no better way than war and plunder. This vicious cycle drew all the lands of the north into a brutal struggle for supremacy and survival that shattered kingdoms and forged an empire. The Wolf Age takes the reader on a thrilling journey through the bloody shared history of England and Scandinavia, and on across early medieval Europe, from the wild Norwegian fjords to the wealthy cities of Muslim Andalusia.
From Manchester with Love: The life and opinions of Tony Wilson (a.k.a. Anthony H. Wilson) by Paul Morley           $45
To write about Tony Wilson, a.k.a. Anthony H. Wilson, is to write about a number of public and private characters and personalities, a clique of unreliable narrators, constantly changing shape and form. At the helm of Factory Records and The Hacienda, Wilson unleashed landmark acts such as Joy Division, THe Durutti Column and OMD  into the world as he pursued myriad other creative endeavours, appointing himself a custodian of Manchester's legacy of innovation and change. To Paul Morley he was this and much more: bullshitting hustler, flashy showman, aesthetic adventurer, mean factory boss, self-deprecating chancer, intellectual celebrity, loyal friend, shrewd mentor, insatiable publicity seeker. 
Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming by László Krasznahorkai (translated by Ottilie Mulzet)            $28
Nearing the end of his life, Baron Bela Wenckheim decides to return to the provincial Hungarian town of his birth. Having escaped from his many casino debts in Buenos Aires, where he was living in exile, he wishes to be reunited with his high-school sweetheart Marika. What follows is an endless storm of gossip, con men and local politicians, vividly evoking the small town's alternately drab and absurd existence. Spectacular actions are staged, death and the abyss loom, until finally doom is brought down on the unsuspecting residents of the town.
"Baron Wenkcheim's Homecoming is a fitting capstone to Krasznahorkai's tetralogy, one of the supreme achievements of contemporary literature. Now seems as good a time as any to name him among our greatest living novelists." —Paris Review
The Greeks: A global history by Roderick Beaton           $55
The way we think, the way we learn; the forms of entertainment we seek and the systems by which we allow ourselves to be ruled - all of this finds its roots in a small group of people who first emerged in Mycenae over 3,000 years ago. The story of the Greeks is a story that covers the entire globe and four millennia, from the mythical 'Age of the Heroes' to the complex European state of today. For all the fame of the Greek Byzantine Empire and the glorifications of the ancient culture during the Renaissance, this is not a simple, victorious history of a single enduring culture. It is littered with peril and disasters, with oppression and near obliteration.
Granta 157: Should we have styed at home? edited by William Atkins          $28
In 1984, Granta published its first issue devoted to travel writing. Nearly forty years after that genre-defining volume, a new generation of writers from around the globe offers a new vision of what travel writing can be. From Antarctica and the deserts of the US-Mexico border, to a Siberian whale-killing station and the alleyways of Taipei, these dispatches describe a world in perpetual motion (even when it is 'locked-down'). To travel, we are reminded, is to embrace the experience of being a stranger — to acknowledge that one person's frontier is another's home. In this issue: Jason Allen-Paisant remembers the trees of his childhood Jamaica from his home in Leeds; Carlos Manuel Alvarez navigates Cuba's customs system, translated by Frank Wynne; Eliane Brum travels from her home in the Brazilian Amazon to Antarctica in the era of climate crisis, translated by Diane Grosklaus Whitty; Francisco Cantu and Javier Zamora: a former border guard travels to the US-Mexico border with a former undocumented migrant who crossed the border as a child; Jennifer Croft's richly illustrated essay on postcards and graffiti, inspired by Los Angeles; Bathsheba Demuth visits a whale-hunting station on the Bering Strait, Russia; Sinead Gleeson visits Brazil with Clarice Lispector; Kate Harris with the Tinglit people of the Taku River basin, Alaska; Artist Roni Horn on Iceland; Emmanuel Iduma returns to Lagos in his late father's footsteps, Nigeria; Kapka Kassabova among the gatherers of the ancient Mesta River, Bulgaria; Taran Khan with Afghan migrants in Germany and Kabul; Jessica J. Lee in the alleyways of Taipei, Taiwan, in search of her mother's home; Ben Mauk among the volcanoes of Duterte's Philippines; Pascale Petit tracks tigers in Paris and India; Photographer James Tylor on the legacy of whaling in Indigenous South Australia, introduced by Dominic Guerrera.
A Bad Business, Essential stories by Fyodor Dostoevsky (translated by Nicolas Slater Pasternak and Maya Slater)             $28
The stories in this collection range from impossible fantasy to scorching satire. A civil servant finds a new passion for his work when he's swallowed alive by a crocodile. A struggling writer stumbles on a cemetery where the dead still talk to each other. An arrogant but well-intentioned gentleman provokes an uproar at an aide's wedding, and in the marital bed. And a young boy finds unexpected salvation on a cold and desolate Christmas Eve.
Each of the 150 cheeses on Palmer's cheeseboard is accompanied by a morsel of history or a dash of folklore, a description of its flavours, and an illustration.

I Would Prefer Not To, Essential stories by Herman Melville          $28
A lawyer hires a new copyist, only to be met with stubborn, confounding resistance. A cynical lightning rod salesman plies his trade by exploiting fears in stormy weather. After boarding a beleaguered Spanish slave ship, an American trader's cheerful outlook is repeatedly shadowed by paralyzing unease.
"Some of the most brilliant stories of his or any other century. From proto-existentialist Bartleby-whose dry, ironic voice of resistance chimes with our own times-to the dark ocean gothic of Benito Cereno, he surpasses any expectation'." —Philip Hoare

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