Friday 20 May 2022


Otherlands: A world in the making by Thomas Halliday          $54
An exhilarating journey into deep time, showing us the Earth as it used to exist, and the worlds that were here before ours. Travelling back in time to the dawn of complex life, and across all seven continents, Halliday gives us a mesmerizing up close encounter with eras that are normally unimaginably distant. Halliday immerses us in a series of ancient landscapes, from the mammoth steppe in Ice Age Alaska to the lush rainforests of Eocene Antarctica, with its colonies of giant penguins, to Ediacaran Australia, where the moon is far brighter than ours today. We visit the birthplace of humanity; we hear the crashing of the highest waterfall the Earth has ever known; and we watch as life emerges again after the asteroid hits, and the age of the mammal dawns. These lost worlds seem fantastical and yet every description—whether the colour of a beetle's shell, the rhythm of pterosaurs in flight or the lingering smell of sulphur in the air—is grounded in the fossil record. Otherlands is an imaginative feat: an emotional narrative that underscores the tenacity of life—yet also the fragility of seemingly permanent ecosystems, including our own. To read it is to see the last 500 million years not as an endless expanse of unfathomable time, but as a series of worlds, simultaneously fabulous and familiar.

Wivenhoe by Samuel Fisher              $40
A young man is found brutally murdered in the middle of the snowed-in village of Wivenhoe. Over his body stands another man, axe in hand. The gathered villagers must deal with the consequences of an act that no-one tried to stop. Wivenhoe is a haunting novel set in an alternate present, in a world that is slowly waking up to the fact that it is living through an environmental disaster. Taking place over twenty-four hours and told through the voices of a mother and her adult son, we see how one small community reacts to social breakdown and isolation. Fisher imagines a world, not unlike our own, struck down and on the edge of survival. If society as we know it is lost, what would we strive to save? At what point will we admit complicity in our own destruction?
"Quiet, fable-like menace radiates from every page of Wivenhoe. Elegant and searching, it asks vital questions about what it means to be part of a community — about integrity, belonging, and how darkness can go unchecked when isolation and suspicion sets in — questions that now feel more relevant than ever." —Sophie Mackintosh

Landfall 243 edited by Lynley Edmeades           $30
Words by Vincent O’Sullivan, Bill Direen, Louise Wallace, David Eggleton, Emma Neale, Janis Freegard, Tim Upperton, Erik Kennedy, Rebecca Hawkes, and many others. Images by Sione Monū, Kim Pieters, and James R. Ford. This issue also announces the 2022 winner of the Charles Brasch Young Writers’ Essay Competition.
The Rooftop by Fernanda Trías (translated from the Spanish by Annie McDermott)          $34
'The world is this house,’ says Clara while she is trying to protect her beloved ones from the world – yes, that one outside their house walls – which seems to threaten them more and more. Clara entrenches herself with her father and her daughter Flor in a dark apartment that inevitably crumbles on them. The roof becomes their last recess of freedom. A caged bird is the only witness of Clara’s fear and resistance against those she thinks are trying to destroy her. Are threats and pain external or inside our own bodies? Where is violence’s root? What are we afraid of? Is there a possibility to find a roof to finally being able to breathe? What are our umbilical cords? Fernanda Trías does not answer these questions – impossible for anyone – about instinct, civilization and taboos, instead she gives them shape and dives deep into them a with a grotesque and forceful history written with agility and a Kafkaesque sense of humour. The Rooftop is a claustrophobic novel about freedom, and also about fear, violence, motherhood and loss. 
"One of the most interesting authors writing in Spanish today." —Mario Levrero
Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov (translated by Angela Rodel)           $38
An enigmatic flâneur named Gaustine opens a 'clinic for the past' that offers a promising treatment for Alzheimer's sufferers: each floor reproduces a decade in minute detail, transporting patients back in time. As Gaustine's assistant, the unnamed narrator is tasked with collecting the flotsam and jetsam of the past, from 1960s furniture and 1940s shirt buttons to scents and even afternoon light. But as the rooms become more convincing, an increasing number of healthy people seek out the clinic as a 'time shelter', hoping to escape from the horrors of our present — a development that results in an unexpected conundrum when the past begins to invade the present.
"In equal measure playful and profound, Georgi Gospodinov's Time Shelter renders the philosophical mesmerizing, and the everyday extraordinary." —Claire Messud
Love in the Big City by Sang Young Park (translated by Anton Hur)          $38
“Sang Young Park’s sharp, funny picaresque follows Young, our charming hero, through his rakish college days and into his still-insouciant thirties, as he drifts through boyfriends, jobs, friends, and most of all, through Seoul. Among the many pleasures of this wonderful novel are Young’s running commentaries about work, class, sex, queer domestic life, contemporary Korean family dynamics, and the literary world he finds himself in. I’m obsessed with this book.”—Andrea Lawlor
Long-listed for the 2022 International Booker Prize
The New Adventures of Helen by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (translated by Jane Bugaeva)               $35
'Adult fairy tales' asking deep questions about gender, love, history, memory, and the future, taking place in times between history and the now.
"Her tales inhabit a borderline between this world and the next." —The New York Times Book Review
"Petrushevskaya has a ringleader's calm mastery of the absurd." —The New Yorker
"Petrushevskaya is the Tolstoy of the communal kitchen. She is not, like Tolstoy, writing of war, or, like Dostoevsky, writing of criminals on the street, or, like poet Anna Akhmatova or novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, noting the extreme suffering of those sent to the camps. Rather, she is bearing witness to the fight to survive the everyday. She is dazzlingly talented and deeply empathetic." —Slate
The Passenger: Rome              $33
"Fresh and diverting, informative and topical without being slight or ephemeral. This supremely well-edited combination of current affairs, journalism, commentary, and fun facts is perfect for our pause-button moment." —AFR. If you believe what's currently being said about Rome, the city is on the verge of collapse. Each year, it slips further down the ranking of the world's most liveable cities. To the problems faced by all large capitals, Rome has added a list of calamities of its own: a string of failing administrations, widespread corruption, the resurgence of fascist movements, rampant crime. A seemingly hopeless situation, perfectly symbolised by the fact that Rome currently leads the world in the number of self-combusting public buses. If we look closer this narrative is contradicted by just as many signs that point in the opposite direction. Above all, the lack of the mass emigration one would except in these circumstances: the vast majority of Romans don't think for a second of 'betraying' their hometown, and the many newcomers who have populated it in recent decades are often indistinguishable from the natives in the profound love that binds them to the city. Rome is a place of contradictions: an "incredibly deceptive city", always different from what it appears to be. 
Other destinations in the excellent 'The Passenger' series: Greece; Berlin; India; Japan; Paris; Ireland
The Land Gardeners — Cut Flowers by Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld         $55
The Land Gardeners show you how to establish organic garden beds and sow, grow and harvest over 100 varieties of cut flowers. 
"With their instinctive flair, Elworthy and Courtauld established cutting gardens that bring the deep poetry of organic flowers to their enthusiastic customers." —Patrick Kinmonth
Trespasses by Louise Kennedy            $33
Cushla Lavery lives with her mother in a small town near Belfast. At twenty-four, she splits her time between her day job as a teacher to a class of seven-year-olds, and regular bartending shifts in the pub owned by her family. It's here, on a day like any other — as the daily news rolls in of another car bomb exploding, another man shot, killed, beaten or left for dead — that she meets Michael Agnew, an older (and married) barrister who draws her into his sophisticated group of friends. When the father of a young boy in her class, becomes the victim of a savage attack, Cushla is compelled to help his family. But as her affair with Michael intensifies, political tensions in the town escalate, threatening to destroy all she is working to hold together.
"Dazzling." —Guardian
The Island of Extraordinary Captives: The true story of an artist, a spy and a wartime scandal by Simon Parkin           $38
In May 1940, faced with a country gripped by paranoia, Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered the internment of all German and Austrian citizens living in Britain. Most, like artist Peter Fleischmann , were refugees who had come to the country to escape Nazi oppression. They were now imprisoned by the very country in which they had staked their trust. The Island of Extraordinary Captives tells, for the first time, the story of the internment camp in the Isle of Man, and of how a group of world-renown artists, musicians and academics came to be seen as 'enemy aliens'. It reveals how Britain's treatment of refugees during the Second World War was a series of shameful missteps.
The Politics of Design: Privilege and prejudice in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and South Africa edited by Jane Venis, Frederico Freschi, and Farieda Nazier         $50
Taking a broad definition of design and drawing on the shared histories and legacies of settler colonialism in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, The Politics of Design offers a wide-ranging comparative study that focuses specifically on the role of design in creating and perpetuating the privileges and prejudices of racial hierarchies. This provocative volume raises long-overdue questions about the problematic histories and effects of design in the context of these settler-colonial societies. The authors draw on a range of subjects and themes, including various manifestations of visual culture and urban and design technologies, from both an historical and contemporary perspective. Indigenous voices are prominent, enabling a recovery of knowledge that was erased through colonial systems of integration and assimilation. In the current context of globalism, resurgent nationalism and calls for decolonisation The Politics of Design challenges us to think comparatively across disparate but conceptually similar cultural and geographical contexts. In drawing attention to the role of design in sustaining the prejudices and privileges of whiteness and in rendering visible its complexities and contradictions that have long been hidden in plain sight this book makes the argument for a new kind of restorative knowledge.
This Woman's Work: Essays on music edited by Sinead Gleeson and Kim Gordon         $38
Published to challenge the historic narrative of music and music writing being written by men, for men, This Woman's Work seeks to confront the male dominance and sexism that have been hard-coded in the canons of music, literature, and film and has forced women to fight pigeon-holing or being side-lined by carving out their own space. Contributions by Anne Enright, Fatima Bhutto, Jenn Pelly, Rachel Kushner, Juliana Huxtable, Leslie Jamison, Liz Pelly, Maggie Nelson, Margo Jefferson, Megan Jasper, Ottessa Moshfegh, Simone White, Yiyun Li, and Zakia Sewell.
"What binds these writers is their emotional connection to music, and their experience of songs as a portal to memories – whether painful or joyful – and a broader understanding of the world. This Woman’s Work is a collection of music writing, but in the loosest possible sense. Here, music is the soil in which all manner of stories take seed and bloom." —Guardian
Seven Pillars of Science: The incredible lightness of ice, and other scientific surprises by John Gribbin            $25
The seven fundamental - and surprising - scientific truths of our existence. These 'pillars of science' also defy common sense. For example, solid things are mostly empty space, so how do they hold together? There appears to be no special 'life force', so how do we distinguish living things from inanimate objects? And why does ice float on water, when most solids don't? You might think that question hardly needs asking, and yet if ice didn't float, life on Earth would never have happened.
The Lost Whale by Hannah Gold           $23
Rio has been sent to live with a grandmother he barely knows in California, while his mum is in hospital back home. Alone and adrift, the only thing that makes him smile is joining his new friend Marina on her dad's whale watching trips. That is until an incredible encounter with White Beak, a gentle giant of the sea changes everything. But when White Beak goes missing, Rio must set out on a desperate quest to find his whale and somehow save his mother.
Trust by Hernán Diaz       $38
Even through the roar and effervescence of the 1920s, everyone in New York has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask. He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top of a world of seemingly endless wealth—all as a decade of excess and speculation draws to an end. But at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? This is the mystery at the center of Bonds, a successful 1937 novel that all of New York seems to have read. Yet there are other versions of this tale of privilege and deceit. Trust puts these competing narratives into conversation with one another—and in tension with the perspective of one woman bent on disentangling fact from fiction. The result is a novel that spans over a century and becomes more exhilarating with each new revelation. At once an immersive story and a literary puzzle, Trust engages the reader in a quest for the truth while confronting the deceptions that often live at the heart of personal relationships, the reality-warping force of capital, and the ease with which power can manipulate facts.
“Intricate, cunning and consistently surprising.” —New York Times
“An absolutely brilliant novel." —Los Angeles Times
London Clay: Journeys in the deep city by Tom Chivers          $48
Tom Chivers follows hidden pathways, explores lost islands and uncovers the geological mysteries that burst up through the pavement and bubble to the surface of the city streets. From Roman ruins to a submerged playhouse, from an abandoned Tube station to underground rivers, Chivers leads us on a journey into the depths of the city he loves. A lyrical interrogation of a capital city, a landscape and our connection to place, London Clay celebrates urban edgelands: in-between spaces where the natural world and the metropolis collide.
Nothing But the Truth: Stories of crime, guilt, and the loss of innocence by 'The Secret Barrister'             $40
Just how do you become a barrister? And why do only 1 per cent of those who study law succeed in joining this mysteriously opaque profession? If it's such a great occupation, how come you work 100-hour weeks for what works out as a very low rate? And why might a practising barrister come to feel the need to reveal the lies, secrets, failures and crises at the heart of this world of wigs and gowns? Read about those lies, secrets, failures and crises in this book.
"Excellent. At once a vicious polemic, a helpful primer and a cringe-inducing account of one barrister's travails." —Daily Telegraph
Tales from the Tillerman: A life-long love affair with Britain's waterways by Steve Haywood        $28
"Haywood conjures up a picture of a different world, filled with interesting and eccentric people. A cross-section of the best of middle England, in fact." —The Oxford Times
Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams by Sylvia Plath            $23
From her mid-teens Sylvia Plath wrote stories, twenty-four of which are collected here, along with works of journalism and extracts from her journal. An office assistant in a hospital pursues a secret vocation. A girl endures a series of initiation ceremonies to join her high school sorority. A married woman seeks relief from the dull realities of daily life. New edition.
"all the pieces presented here are revealing. It ought to round out one's knowledge of the writer, and, perhaps, offer some surprises. Luckily it does both." —Margaret Atwood, New York Times

Rebel Skies by Ann Sei Lin          $20
Kurara has never known any other life than being a servant on board the Midori, but when her party trick of making paper come to life turns out to be a power treasured across the empire, she joins a skyship and its motley crew to become a Crafter. Taught by the gruff but wise Himura, Kurara learns to hunt shikigami – wild paper spirits who are sought after by the Princess. But are these creatures just powerful slaves for the Crafters and the empire, or are they beings with their own souls – and yet another thing to be subjugated by the powerful Emperor and his Princess?
The Colony of Good Hope by Kim Leine          $38
1728: The doomed Danish King Fredrik IV sends a governor to Greenland to establish a colony, in the hopes of exploiting the country's allegedly vast natural resources. A few merchants, a barber-surgeon, two trainee priests, a blacksmith, some carpenters and soldiers and a dozen hastily married couples go with him. The missionary priest Hans Egede has already been in Greenland for several years when the new colonists arrive. He has established a mission there, but the converts are few. Among those most hostile Egede is the shaman Aappaluttoq, whose own son was taken by the priest and raised in the Christian faith as his own. Thus the great rift between two men, and two ways of life, is born. The newly arrived couples - composed of men and women plucked from prison - quickly sink into a life of almost complete dissolution, and soon unsanitary conditions, illness and death bring the colony to its knees. Through the starvation and the epidemics that beset the colony, Egede remains steadfast in his determination - willing to sacrifice even those he loves for the sake of his mission.
The Dance Tree by Kiran Millwood Hargrave              $38
In Strasbourg, in the boiling hot summer of 1518, a plague strikes the women of the city. First it is just one - a lone figure, dancing in the town square - but she is joined by more and more and the city authorities declare an emergency. Musicians will be brought in. The devil will be danced out of these women. Just beyond the city's limits, pregnant Lisbet lives with her mother-in-law and husband, tending the bees that are their livelihood. Her best friend Ida visits regularly and Lisbet is so looking forward to sharing life and motherhood with her. And then, just as the first woman begins to dance in the city, Lisbet’s sister-in-law Nethe returns from six years penance in the mountains for an unknown crime. No one - not even Ida - will tell Lisbet what Nethe did all those years ago, and Nethe herself will not speak a word about it. It is the beginning of a few weeks that will change everything for Lisbet – her understanding of what it is to love and be loved, and her determination to survive at all costs for the baby she is carrying. Lisbet and Nethe and Ida soon find themselves pushing at the boundaries of their existence – but they're dancing to a dangerous tune.
Brittle With Relics: A history of Wales, 1962—1997 by Richard King           $55
A history of the people of Wales undergoing some of the country's most seismic and traumatic events: the disasters of Aberfan and Tryweryn; the rise of the Welsh language movement; the Miners' Strike and its aftermath; and the narrow vote in favour of partial devolution.
"Richly humane, viscerally political, generously multi-voiced, Brittle with Relics is oral history at its revelatory best: containing multitudes and powerfully evoking that most remote but also resonant of times, the day before yesterday." —David Kynaston
First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami           $24
All told in the first person by a classic Murakami narrator, these stories challenge the boundaries between our minds and the exterior world. Occasionally, a narrator may or may not be Murakami himself. Now in paperback.

Hedgewitch by Skye McKenna           $25
Witches aren't born, they're made... It has been seven years since Cassie Morgan last saw her mother. Left at a dreary boarding school, she spends her days hiding from the school bully and reading forbidden story books about the world of Faerie. Certain that her mother is still alive, Cassie is determined to find her, whatever the dangers, and runs away from school. Lost and alone, she is chased by a pack of goblins but, to her surprise, escapes with the help of a flying broom and a talking cat named Montague, who takes her to the cosy village of Hedgely. Here she discovers that she comes from a family of witches, women who protect Britain from the denizens of Faerie, who are all too real and far more frightening than her story books suggest. The first book in a new series. 
Auto Erotica: A grand tour through classic car brochures of the 1960s to 1980s by Jonny Trunk             $55
Car brochures of the era had fabulous photography, dazzling colour charts, daring typography, strange fold outs and inspiring styles symbolising the automobile aspirations of their generations. 

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