Friday 21 October 2022


Making Space: A history of New Zealand women in architecture edited by Elizabeth Cox              $65
Overlooked, underpaid, and often undermined, New Zealand women architects have faced decades of struggle to maintain a position in a male-dominated profession yet their work has been both important and of significance. This groundbreaking new book tells the story of their contribution to the creativity, built environment and community of New Zealand. Written by leading women architects, both in practice and in academia, the book features dozens of remarkable women, including many whose careers had until now almost entirely been lost to the historical record. It canvasses the barriers women have faced, and continue to face, and explains the determined strategies many of them have adopted to make their way.
>>Have a look inside!
>>We see their work, but do we know their names? 
>>Making spaces and making space
The Five Lives of Hilma af Klint by Philipp Deines            $55
This graphic novel features key moments in the life of Swedish artist and pioneer of abstract painting Hilma af Klint (1862-1944). Long underrecognised, af Klint has recently seen a sensational rediscovery that continues to take art audiences by storm. Artist Philipp Deines traces the story of now world-famous af Klint's unique life and groundbreaking oeuvre through five chapters featuring her development as an artist, her family background, and her relationship to the 'spiritual'. Highlighting how she came to her distinctive paintings, her spiritual quest, and the friends who helped her, this is a story of the strength it took af Klint to continue as an artist against all odds.
>>Have  look inside!
Inside the Body: An extraordinary layer-by-layer guide to human anatomy by Joëlle Jolivet        $55
An astounding large-format lift-the-flap book covering the various body systems, full of good information and a delight to use. 
Rooms: Portraits of remarkable New Zealand interiors by Jane Ussher and John Walsh              $85
Over 300 stunning photographs by the consummate interiors photographer Jane Ussher, from a large number and variety of rooms of houses in Aotearoa, from colonial mansions to modern dwellings. Each room shows the influences of global movements in interior design, characteristics reflecting the New Zealand context, and lots of individual panache. Delectable and endlessly browsable.
>>Look inside.
The Pachinko Parlour by Elisa Shua Dusapin (translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins)              $30
Claire finds herself dividing her time between tutoring twelve-year-old Mieko in an apartment in an abandoned Tokyo hotel and lying on the floor at her grandparents: daydreaming, playing Tetris, and listening to the sounds from the street above. The heat rises; the days slip by. The plan is for Claire to visit Korea with her grandparents. They fled the civil war there over fifty years ago, along with thousands of others, and haven't been back since. When they first arrived in Japan, they opened Shiny, a pachinko parlour. Shiny is still open, drawing people in with its bright, flashing lights and promises of good fortune. And as Mieko and Claire gradually bond, their tender relationship growing, Mieko's determination to visit the pachinko parlour builds.
"In beautifully sparse prose, The Pachinko Parlour is a contemplation on language, history and trauma and how, in spite of the ineffable past, we eventually come to console one another." —Yan Ge
Commute: An illustrated memoir of female shame by Erin Williams          $45
 "As Virginia Woolf does in Mrs. Dalloway and Christopher Isherwood in A Single Man, Williams’ narrative takes place in a single day, chronicling her train journey from home to her workplace, her day at work, and then the ride home. But within this ordinary day is a lifetime of emotions and experiences. Throughout every quotidian activity, Williams does a deep dive through a myriad of memories and past relationships; readers are made privy to both her witty and/or withering observations, as well as her painful regrets. Eventually, her thoughts focus on her pre-recovery alcoholism, then zero in on the sexual traumas she has suffered. Williams’ ultimate subject is the misogyny and female objectification in our culture and the heavy psychic and physical toll it takes on women." —The Comics Journal
Refugee: A memoir by Emmanuel Mbolela            $40
Persecuted for his political activism, Emmanuel Mbolela left the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2002. His search for a new home would take six years. In that time, Mbolela endured corrupt customs officials, duplicitous smugglers, Saharan ambushes, and untenable living conditions. It is an experience both private and collective. As Mbolela testifies, the horrors of migration fall hardest upon female migrants, but those same women also embody the fiercest resistance to the regime of violence that would deny them their humanity. While still countryless, Mbolela becomes an advocate for those around him, founding and heading up the Association of Congolese Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Morocco to fight for migrant rights. Since obtaining political asylum in the Netherlands in 2008, he has remained a committed activist.
"Honest, infuriating, and raw, stories like Emmanuel Mbolela's should be compulsory reading. Here is the making of an activist, and a powerful chronicle of the tragedies and systematic deprivations that have become sadly routine for refugees. Recounted so plainly, with so little adornment or self pity, you'll shiver in his place." —Dina Nayeri, author of The Ungrateful Refugee
Small Holiday Houses: Designer hideaways across New Zealand by Catherine Foster            $55
Thoughtfully designed holiday homes in a variety of beautiful locations around New Zealand, from coast to bush to mountain top — with fabulous images taken by top photographers. The text examines how the designers responded to the needs of their clients and the opportunities offered by the locations. Plans, design notes, a fact file, and products and materials lists provide a practical aspect to this inspirational book.
>>Look inside!
The Book of Mother by Violaine Huisman (translated by Leslie Camhi)       $28
Huisman's remarkable novel is about a daughter's inextinguishable love for her magnetic, mercurial mother. Beautiful and charismatic, Catherine, aka 'Maman', smokes too much, drives too fast, laughs too hard and loves too extravagantly. During a joyful and chaotic childhood in Paris, her daughter Violaine wouldn't have it any other way. But when Maman is hospitalised after a third divorce and breakdown, everything changes. Even as Violaine and her sister long for their mother's return, once she's back Maman's violent mood swings and flagrant disregard for personal boundaries soon turn their home into an emotional landmine. As the story of Catherine's own traumatic childhood and coming of age unfolds, the pieces come together to form an indelible portrait of a mother as irresistible as she is impossible, as triumphant as she is transgressive.
Long-listed for the International Booker Prize. 
 "An indelible portrait of a brilliant, beautiful, mad and maddening woman, expressing the joy of holding her mercurial attention and also the terrible cost of that intimacy. This is an exquisite evocation of the passionate, reciprocal love that can illuminate its objects, or destroy them, or both. No one who reads this captivating book will ever forget Maman." —Andrew Solomon
"Violaine Huisman summons her late mother's voice in order to speak with and through and for her. The result is a charged portrait of a vibrant and destructive woman as imagined by the daughter who believed it was her job to save her. The prose has the unmistakable urgency and authority of love, producing an homage without idealization, an elegy without false consolation. The Book of Mother is at once an act of radical identification and a way of letting go." —Ben Lerner
Secrets of the Sea: The story of New Zealand's native sea creatures by Robert Vennell             $55
Vennell follows his fascinating and hugely popular The Meaning of Trees with this fascinating introduction to New Zealand's fish and shellfish, weaving together history, biology and culture to reveal how these creatures have shaped our lives. Ranging from sandy shores and rocky reefs to the open ocean and its cavernous depths, the book is illustrated with photographs and historical illustrations. 
The Voids by Ryan O'Connor             $37
In a condemned tower block in Glasgow, residents slowly trickle away until a young man is left alone with only the angels and devils in his mind for company. Stumbling from one surreal situation to the next, he encounters others on the margins of society, finding friendship and camaraderie wherever it is offered, grappling with who he is and what shape his future might take. The Voids is an unsparing story of modern-day Britain. 
"A wild and gratifying literary ride." —Guardian
Native Birds of Aotearoa by Michael Szabo           $27
A handbook with a retro feel, this guide features sixty species across various habitats, with ornithological notes and line drawings from the 1930s and by Pippa Keel. 
Native Plants of Aotearoa by Carlos Lehnebach and Heidi Meudt          $27
A handbook with a retro feel, this guide features fifty species across various habitats, with useful descriptions and line drawings from Te Papa's collection, after specimens collected by Solander and Banks. 

Everybody: A book about freedom by Olivia Laing          $28
Laing explores the capacities and vulnerabilities of the human body, and sees it as the locus of a political struggle for individual and collective freedom and authenticity. Laing uses the body as a way to consider significant and complicated figures of the past, and to understand their relevance today, when our bodies are facing both established and new threats and opportunities. Now in paperback!
>>The problems of inhabiting a body
>>William Reich and the 'sexual revolution'.
>>An interrogation of bodies.
>>The book came out of a moment of despair. 
>>Laing discusses the book with Maggie Nelson.
>>On writing the global story of liberation
>>Finding renewal in a precision haircut. 
>>Of course the book has a playlist!
>>Laing's reading piles are far from organised...
>>Other books by Olivia Laing

What Feelings Do When No One's Looking by Tina Oziewicz and Aleksandra Zajac         $28
What are feelings like? What do they do? How do they interact with the world around them? Find out in this thoughtful, unusual book. 
>>See what some feelings do!

Lacuna by Fiona Snyckers       $33
Lucie Lurie is the victim of an act of terrible sexual violence at her father's farmhouse in the Western Cape, South Africa. In the grip of debilitating PTSD, she becomes obsessed with JM Coetzee, author of the celebrated Disgrace, a novel based on the attack she suffered. Withdrawn and fearful of crowds, Lucy nonetheless makes occasional forays into the world of men in her search for Coetzee himself. She means to confront him. The character in his novel is passive and almost entirely lacking agency. The real Lucy means to right the record, for she is the lacuna that Coetzee left in his novel, the missing piece of the puzzle. She plans to put herself back in the story, to assert her agency and identity. 
Earth for All: A survival guide for humanity by Sandrine Dixson-Decleve et al       $40
An antidote to despair. Combining the global economy, population, inequality, food, and energy in a state-of-the art computer model, a group of scientists and economists present a plan of five system-shifting steps to achieve prosperity for all within planetary limits in a single generation. 
“Essential reading.” —Thomas Piketty
“For the first time we have a narrative about our future that is neither utopia nor collapse and that is endorsable across the political spectrum.” —Carlota Perez

Anderton: His life and times by David Grant         $50
From his position as the Labour Party's most outspoken president, Jim Anderton became a backbencher in David Lange's Labour Government when it was elected in 1984. He was soon leading the fight against Finance Minister Roger Douglas's top-down free market revolution ('Rogernomics'), and his campaign split the party and led to his decision to leave and launch New Labour in 1989. From 1991 he was leader of the Alliance, a grouping of parties which in the early to mid-1990s achieved wide popularity and ushered in proportional representation. Anderton steadfastly pursued his political goals, inspiring many but sometimes alienating those close to him, both politically and personally. 
Japan: A curated guide to the best areas, food, culture and art by Michelle Mackintosh and Steve Wide          $50
Japan is a country rich in cultural history and full of fascinating contrasts, from the ultra-traditional to the ultra-modern, from the frantic pace of Tokyo and Osaka to the wintry soul of Hokkaido in the north and the natural wonders of Kyushu in the south. Navigate the dynamic cities, walk the roads of old Japan in Kyoto, Nara, Kanazawa and Nikko, or go off-grid to smaller, far-flung towns, each with their own unique, traditions, crafts, sights, food and art.
The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier (translated by Adriana Hunter)        $37
What would you do, if there were two of you? When Air France flight 006 departed from Paris, the route to New York was just as it had always been. The skies were clear. The passengers were safe. Everything was going to plan. Until the event that would change everything. Amidst terrifying turbulence, the plane — somehow — was doubled. For every one person on board that day, there were now two. A double with the same body, the same mind, the same memories. When it's time for the doubles to meet, they must confront their extraordinary fate. And only one thing is certain — life as they know it, will never be the same.
"A really intriguing novel." —John Boyne
"This high-concept SF thriller is enormous fun: a French prize winner spiced with Oulipian theory and literary in-jokes, riddling away at existential questions in the guise of a breakneck page-turner." —Guardian
"An extraordinary mix of existential thriller and speculative fiction. Questions of philosophy, mathematics and astrophysics bend this novel far from the typical mold, and Le Tellier's characters must confront the deepest questions of existence. This thought-provoking literary work deserves a wide readership." —Publishers Weekly
"A delightfully confounding thriller. Le Tellier's prose is beautifully efficient and capable of quiet devastation." —London Review of Books 
Wawata: Moon dreaming by Hinemoa Elder             $30
Hina, the Maori moon goddess, has 30 different faces to help illuminate life's lessons — a different face and a different energy for each day of the month. And with her changing light, new insights are revealed. This book leads you through a full cycle of the moon, to consider 30 aspects of life. And lessons we thought we had learned come back around with each month's cycle and remind us of deeper layers and blind spots. And when we do find a growing awareness of place and harmony, there is a sense of release. From the author of Aroha
A father takes his two children on a thrilling out-of-this-world adventure into space and invites them to look back at Earth and the conflicts that have taken place since the beginning of time. This becomes a brief history of the world and a whistle-stop guide to the universe, all rolled into one — told with Oliver Jeffers's inimitable perspective, wit and artwork. A perfect companion to Jeffers's Here We Are and What We'll Build. 

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