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Vol. 22 No. 2
March 2015
Out this month - Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in a decade ...
THE BURIED GIANT
A Gleebooks History
Call for Submissions
As reported last month 2015 is the 40th anniversary of Gleebooks. We're working on some creative and interesting ways
to celebrate the landmark by way of events and some special sales. And we also thought that it was worth exploring
the idea of a modest 'Gleebooks History'. To this end, we
are inviting you, our loyal customers, to send us any brief
anecdote, story or reflection you might have of Gleebooks
and the experience of your relationship with us (up to 200
words). Anything will be considered, from best to worst, silliest to most serious, to give us an idea of whether we should
proceed. At the very least, we could include material in upcoming Gleaners, and/or on our website. Send them in any
way you like, email/letter or through the website. Thanks for
considering the idea.
My reading time has been sorely circumscribed by the ridiculously short amount of
time I've taken off since Christmas, although
by the time the March Gleaner is published
I will have enjoyed another break, and am
bound to have devoured more new books.
In the meantime, can I say that I have been
haunted, in quite different ways, by two
books. I picked up Still Alice by neuroscientist and novelist Lisa Genova because
the wonderful Julianne Moore was due to star
in the film of the book. It was as painful and
unrelenting as you'd expect any book on the
subject of early-onset Alzheimer's to be. It's a
stark and rewarding account of a heartbreaking and cruel circumstance in living, which
deserves the wide readership it's getting. I recommend it, as I do, unreservedly, last year's Miles Franklin
winner, All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld. I've only just
caught up with it. It's a brilliant, powerful, luminous piece
of writing. It's told in the first voice, and alternating chapters
are set in a past remote outback Australia, and present remote
island somewhere off the coast of Britain. It's dark, but not
bleak; it's solemn and still wry and witty, and has beautifully
observed writing about the natural world and the world of
working with nature. It will stay with you.
David Gaunt
WINNER!
Winner of the Summer Reading Guide competition
is Sue Tulloch of South Australia.
Answers were—
1. John Olsen 2. Hans Eijkelboom 3. Sicily, Italy
4. Student of the art of fine dining 5. Penelope Fitzgerald
6. Mark Twain 7. Stephen Fry 8. William Gibson 9. Ada Lovelace
10. William Moulton Marston.
Broken Rhythms by Rosamund Dallow
2
The hopes & aspirations of Beth, born in the sleepy town of
Napier in 1903, and then her daughter Laura, born in 1939,
are played out against the stifling social atmosphere of
post-war NZ. When Laura falls pregnant to the young poet
& journalist Louis, life takes an unpredictable turn, leading inexorably to a horrific tragedy. Surrounding Mother
& daughter is a cast of other vividly drawn characters: Jeffrey Langton, Beth's Australian suitor; Joseph Manton the
poet; Beryl Blair, who suffers childhood disfigurement &
the disgrace of an illegitimate pregnancy; and the Maori artist Wiremu,
whose serenity & patience help Beryl to overcome her past. ($30, PB)
Australian Literature
A Short History of Richard Kline: A Novel
by Amanda Lohrey ($30, PB)
All his life, Richard Kline has been haunted by a sense that something
is lacking. He envies the ease with which others slip into contented
suburban life or the pursuit of wealth. As he moves into middle age,
Richard grows angry, cynical, depressed. But then a strange event
awakens him to a different way of life. He finds himself on a quest,
almost against his will, to resolve the 'divine discontent' he has suffered since childhood. From pharmaceuticals to New Age therapies
to finding a guru, Richard's journey dramatises the search for meaning in today's world.
The Ash Burner by Kári Gíslason ($29.95, PB)
Growing up with his father in a small coastal town, all Ted knows
about his mother is that she died when he was a boy. His father has
brought them halfway across the world to start anew, but her absence
defines and haunts their lives. When Ted meets Anthony and Claire,
an intense friendship begins, carrying them to Sydney and university.
They introduce him to poetry and art, and he feels a sense of belonging at last. But as the trio's friendship deepens over the years, Ted
must learn to negotiate the boundaries of love, and come to terms
with a legacy of secrets and silence.
Hot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman ($29.99, PB)
This debut collection contains nine funny, confronting and pitchperfect stories about stumbling on the fringes of innocence, and
the marks desire can leave. Anya, in her fake-leather sneakers and
second-hand clothes, just wants to fit in at her Melbourne school. Ramona, with her suburban family and clique of friends, is just starting
to stand out. Sascha is on the brink of discovery; Elise and Jenni are
well beyond it. Amelia will do absolutely anything to avoid writing
her book. And Kira wants to capture the world, exactly as she sees it,
with her brand-new camera. 'These stories connect to both the child
and the adult in these girls, and in the reader too—I found myself lurching
between embarrassed recognition and distant familiarity'. Ceridwen Dovey
Seasons of War: One Year in Gallipoli
by Christopher Lee ($25, PB)
Packed into tiny boats, Michael, his brother Dan and their mates
think only of what is to come, choking in fear. After the surreal panic
of the first dawn charge up the Turkish beaches, when nothing is as
they were told, they dig in. For the next eight months, each will play
his part in the epic battle of Gallipoli. Trying to survive in the lottery
of close warfare and watching as the seasons change, Michael comes
to wonder whether the men he fights are so different from himself.
Wedged in the trenches, soldiers of both sides will be irrevocably
changed by two relentless forces—the turning seasons and the grinding machine of war. Even if they survive, what will they become?
A Time of Secrets by Deborah Burrows ($30, PB)
In wartime Melbourne loose lips sink ships, so when Australian
Women's Army sergeant Stella Aldridge overhears soldiers whispering about a revenge killing, she follows her instincts to investigate,
despite finding herself drawn to one of the soldiers—Staff Sergeant
Eric Lund. Someone in the Australian Intelligence Bureau is trading secrets & it's up to Stella & her uncompromising superior officer, Lieutenant Nick Ross, to find the traitor. When Eric's team is
scheduled to be deployed in a dangerous mission to the South West Pacific, Stella races
to uncover the truth or risk not only Eric's life, but the security of Australia itself. Torn
between protecting the ones she loves and her duty to her country, Stella chooses to pursue the truth at all costs.
Feet of Wax: Love & War on the Eastern Front
1914–1918 by Joanna Hempel ($35, PB)
Entrusted with the care of her frail father & taking refuge with a
wealthy uncle in St Petersburg, Wanda falls in love with George,
a radical student from Warsaw. Conscripted into the tsarist infantry, George is caught up in revolutionary currents at the front, while
Wanda witnesses a city turning from fashionable glitter to peaceful protest, then revolution, as the effects of war & hunger set
in.When the German Front advances through Polish & Lithuanian
lands, Russia's Empire is in meltdown, Lenin, the leader of the Bolsheviks, & Pilsudski,
the leader of the Poles, are poised to make their mark on history. Wanda & George are
forced to decide: become Bolsheviks, or flee through a landscape ravaged by war. Joanna
Hempel brings her skills as a dramatist to a novel informed by family journals—based on
her grandparents' lives during the disintegration of the Russian Empire & the re-birth of
Poland, Feet of Wax reveals Eastern Europe as it changes forever.
New Text Classic $12.95
Isobel on the Way to the Corner Shop by Amy Witting
(intr. by Maria Takolander)
Now in B Format
Only the Animals by Ceridwen Dovey, $20
Set in the lush
Australian subtropics,
this taut emotional
drama poses questions
about moral courage
and accountability
and asks whether
love means always
telling the truth.
Anchor Point by Alice Robinson ($24.99, PB)
As her parents clash over unwashed dishes and unlit fires, 10 year-old
Laura works hard to keep the household running. When her mother
disappears into the bush, Laura finds a farewell note and makes an
impulsive decision that alters the course of her family’s life. Despite
her anger and grief, Laura helps her father clear their wild acreage to
carve out a farm. But gradually they realise that while they may own
the land, they cannot tame it—nor can they escape their past.
The Painted Sky by Alice Campion ($33, PB)
Nina never knew what happened to her father, the celebrated artist Jim
Larkin. One minute he was her devoted dad, the next he'd disappeared
without trace. 17 years later, she's still haunted by the mystery. Until a
call from outback Wandalla changes everything. At first, Nina's inheritance of a waterless property & a farmhouse stuffed with junk seems
more like a burden than a gift. But this was her father's childhood
home—and possibly her last chance to discover the truth. So what is
the local solicitor, Harrison Grey, not telling her as he hands over the
keys? Why does the area's wealthiest resident, Hilary Flint, seem to
hate her so much? What is the significance of the gold locket with
cryptic engravings that Nina always wears?
Australian Dreams 1: Southerly 74/2 ($26.95, PB)
A country where ‘it’s ok to be a bigot’. A country of refugees, refusing
asylum. A country violating human rights, ignoring the pleas of the
United Nations. A country ‘open for business’, with its trees, its coal,
its uranium on the counter, its Reef and World Heritage areas on the
line. How are your dreams of Australia going? Essays on the state of
higher education, on ethnic minority, on the politics of fear; brilliant
new work from major and emerging Australian writers; a troublesome
feast of poetry, fiction, ideas and revelations, not all of them guaranteed
to produce a good night’s sleep. Contributors include Mudrooroo, Jim
Everett, Frank Moorhouse, Hannah Forsyth, Judith Rodriguez, Joshua Mostafa Michelle
Cahill, Jill Jones, Moreno Giovannoni Laurie Duggan, M. G. Michael, Kevin Hart Rowena Lennox, Ouyang Yu and many more.
The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader ($29.95, PB)
Set in the twelfth century, The Anchoress tells the story of Sarah, only
seventeen when she chooses to become an anchoress, a holy woman
shut away in a small cell, measuring seven paces by nine, at the side
of the village church. Fleeing the grief of losing a much-loved sister
in childbirth and the pressure to marry, she decides to renounce the
world, with all its dangers, desires and temptations, and to commit
herself to a life of prayer and service to God. But as she slowly begins
to understand, even the thick, unforgiving walls of her cell cannot keep
the outside world away, and it is soon clear that Sarah's body and soul
are still in great danger.
Resistance by John Birmingham ($30, PB)
A dragon brings down the Vice President's plane, a monster army is
camped outside Omaha, and an empath demon springs an undercover
operation in New York. New Orleans was just the beginning. New and
different demons are breaking through all over America, and while
Dave Hooper's agent fields offers for movies & merchandise, Dave is
tasked with ending a siege in Omaha, saving his friends & deciphering
the underrealms' plans to take over the earth. As an ancient and legion
evil threatens to destroy mankind, Dave has to decide what kind of man
he wants to be and the nature of his role in this new world.
On D'Hill
As 2015 moves into gear with the children settled into school and
holidays a distant memory, we begin a new phase at gleebooks
on D’Hill. Welcome to Mandy Clarke, our new children’s buyer
who comes to us from HQ in Glebe where she has been manager of our educational export arm, Austral Education for more
than four years. Prior to that Mandy was children’s buyer at Better Read Than Dead and has extensive knowledge of children’s
books. Just as well as I have been winging it for the last year.
In typically Gleebooks family fashion, Mandy has swapped jobs
with our previous children’s buyer, Liesel Enoch. Change is as
good as a holiday! Many customers have asked after Liesel and
I’m sure join me in wishing her all the best in her new role. Parttimers Tim and Jodie will remain with us.
Our apologies to everyone who had to suffer the hideous smell
emanating from the front of the shop in January and February.
God, it was awful and not fun to work with. It was a serious damp
problem which has now been fixed and I’ve used the opportunity
to revamp the front window with a rather inviting (even if I do
say so myself) gift nook. Journals and mags have moved up to
the front counter in case you’re looking.
There’s some terrific new books from Australian novelists coming out over the next few months. Amanda Lohrey has her first
novel out in over a decade—A Short History of Richard Kline,
Jane Messer offers Hopscotch (which I’ve just started and is
showing great promise) and Marion Halligan publishes Goodbye
Sweetheart, to name a few. I’ll report in on those next month.
I’ve been moved and awed by The Dept. of Speculation by
American writer Jenny Offill—an astounding discourse on what
happens to a woman after discovering her husband’s infidelity. In
spare, compact prose, Offill evokes philosophers, poets and even
Russian cosmonauts to paint a picture of marriage, parenthood,
friendship, love and despair. At once funny and profound, the
novel is non-linear, fragmentary, short, with carefully calibrated
white spaces on the page denoting what is left unsaid. An unforgettable and highly original novel, though nodding perhaps
to Roland Barthes’ A Lover's Discourse, it also reminds me of
the soon to be reissued masterpiece of prose poetry, Elizabeth
Smart’s By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept. I only
wish I was going to Adelaide Writers’ Week to hear Jenny Offill
speak.
Delightfully, Offill’s children’s picture book Sparky! has just
been released in Australia and is in store now. It’s the charming
story of a child who orders a pet sloth online, only to find it’s not
very good at games or indeed anything much. But Sparky has
other, hidden charms for a pet-loving child. And now I want to
track down Offill’s earlier picture book, 17 Things I’m Not Allowed To Do Anymore, which also looks beautifully illustrated
and very funny.
Morgan Smith
God Was Wrong: Tales of the divine, the devil & the deep
blue sea by Geoffrey Lambert ($19.95, PB)
A stranger informs the particle collider's chief scientist that God was wrong ...
The old priest may believe in the power of prayer, but Morozov knows better ...
Over lunch, former war correspondents Susan & Beth reminisce about their time in Iraq, when God seemed to be everywhere and yet nowhere
... The God of Battle doesn't play favourites ... What if God was wrong? Or God is a woman? Or God's just the devil in a good mood? And
does God really exist? Such questions are explored in this compelling collection of stories about good, evil and everything in between. These
tales of love, hate, murder, trickery & blind chance are a entertaining as they are provoking.
3
International Literature
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro ($30, PB)
The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country
have ceased. The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice,
set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding
a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards—some strange and other-worldly—but they cannot yet foresee
how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of
their love for one another. Sometimes savage, often intensely moving,
Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love,
revenge and war.
Aquarium by David Vann ($30, PB)
‘ . . . a novelist, poet and essayist
whose imaginative achievement
for this country is second only to
Patrick White’s.’ The Sun-Herald
Following the critically acclaimed
A First Place and The Writing Life comes
a new collection from one of Australia’s
most internationally celebrated authors.
In Being There, the erudite and always
entertaining David Malouf reflects on a
wide range of subjects, illuminating one
man’s connection to the world of art,
ideas and culture.
randomhouse.com.au
Barbarian Spring by Jonas Luscher ($32.95, PB)
On a business trip to Tunisia, Preising, a leading Swiss industrialist, is invited to spend the week with the daughter of a local
gangster. He accompanies her to the wedding of two London city
traders at a desert luxury resort that was once the site of an old
Berber oasis. With the wedding party in full swing and the bride
riding up the aisle on a camel, no one is aware that the global
financial system stands on the brink of collapse. As the wedding
guests nurse their hangovers, they learn that the British pound has
depreciated tenfold, and their world begins to crumble around
them.
The Sacrifice by Joyce Carol Oates ($30, PB)
When a 14 year-old girl is the alleged victim of a terrible act of
racial violence, the incident shocks and galvanises her community, exacerbating the racial tension that has been simmering in
this New Jersey town for decades. Joyce Carol Oates explores the
uneasy fault lines in a racially troubled society revealing that there
must always be a sacrifice—of innocence, truth, trust, and, ultimately, of lives. Unfolding in a succession of multiracial voices,
in a community transfixed by this alleged crime and the spectacle
unfolding around it, Oates exposes what—and who—the 'sacrifice' actually is, and
what consequences are.
Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum ($29.99, PB)
Anna Benz lives in comfort and affluence with her husband and
three young children in Dietlikon, a picture-perfect suburb of Zurich. An American expat, she has chosen this life far from home;
but, despite its tranquility and order, inside she is falling apart.
Unable to connect with her husband or his family; with the fellow
expatriates who try to befriend her; or even, increasingly, her own
thoughts and emotions, Anna attempts to assert her agency in the
only way that makes sense to her: by engaging in short-lived but
intense sexual affairs. But adultery, too, has its own morality, and when Anna finds
herself crossing a line, she sets off a terrible chain of events that end in unspeakable
tragedy—to discover where one must go when there is no going back.
The Emperor of Ice-Cream by Dan Gunn
This is the tale of an Italian family living in Scotland during the
rise of Mussolini, told from the point of view of the daughter,
Lucia, who, at 83, reflects on her childhood. Her tale leads inexorably through the rise of Fascism to the terrible moment in
June 1940 when Mussolini declared war on Britain, resulting in
the internment of British Italians. Her brothers Giulio & Emilio
are judged to be 'enemy aliens' & forced aboard the ship Arandora
Star that is to lead them into exile. However, the ship is sunk by a
U-boat. Lucia writes to reconcile herself to her past, and as
4 a tribute to her beloved lost brother. ($46.95, HB)
12 year-old Caitlin lives alone with her mother in subsidised housing
next to an airport in Seattle. Each day, while she waits to be picked
up after school, Caitlin visits the local aquarium to study the fish.
Gazing at the creatures within the watery depths, Caitlin accesses a
shimmering universe beyond her own. When she befriends an old
man at the tanks one day, who seems as enamoured of the fish as
she, Caitlin cracks open a dark family secret and propels her onceblissful relationship with her mother towards a precipice of terrifying
consequence.
The Iron Necklace by Giles Waterfield ($30, PB)
The society wedding of Thomas, an idealistic German architect, and
Irene, an English artist, brings together the Curtius & Benson families. Thomas & Irene settle into marital life in Berlin, until their lives
are shattered by the outbreak of the WW1. While Irene struggles to
survive in a country where she is the enemy, her sister Sophia faces
the war as a nurse on the Western Front. For their brother Mark, diplomatic service sees him moving between London, Washington & Copenhagen, all the while struggling to confront his own identity.
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler ($29.95, PB)
‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…' This is
the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she & Red
fell in love that day in July 1959. The whole family on the porch,
relaxed, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have
heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different. Abby
& Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best
to look after them & their beloved family home. They've all come,
even Denny, who can usually be relied on only to please himself.
From that porch Anne Tyler spools back through 3 generations of the
Whitshanks, witnessing the events, secrets & unguarded moments that have come to define who & what they are.
The Ghost Estate by John Connell ($30, PB)
Gerard McQuaid has been waiting for his start in life: his house, his girl,
his land. And with rural Ireland being swept up by the Celtic Tiger & villages becoming towns, the electrician's moment has finally arrived. With
the chance to run a big job, McQuaid finds himself on Birchview Manor,
a decrepit estate where the dreams of modern Ireland crash up against the
weight of history. As McQuaid gets further into the restoration, he falls
deeper into the story of the estate's previous owner, Lord Henry Lefoyle,
whose fate begins to loom ghost-like over McQuaid's own. John Connell's
debut novel treads the footsteps of an ordinary man's rise & fall through
the boom & bust of contemporary Ireland, deftly weaving past & present
together in a devastating journey.
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma ($30, PB)
In a small town in western Nigeria, four young brothers—the youngest is
nine, the oldest fifteen—use their strict father's absence from home to go
fishing at a forbidden local river. The encounter a dangerous local madman who predicts that the oldest brother will be killed by another. This
prophesy breaks their strong bond, and unleashes a tragic chain of events
of almost mythic proportions.
The Faithful Couple by A. D. Miller ($29.99, PB)
California, 1993: Neil Collins and Adam Tayler, two young British men
on the cusp of adulthood, meet at a hostel in San Diego. They strike up
a friendship that, while platonic, feels as intoxicating as a romance; they
travel up the coast together, harmlessly competitive, innocently collusive, wrapped up in each other. On a camping trip to Yosemite they lead
each other to behave in ways that, years later, they will desperately regret. The story of a friendship built on a shared guilt and a secret betrayal,
The Faithful Couple follows Neil and Adam across two decades, through
girlfriends and wives, success and failure, children and bereavements, as
power and remorse ebb between them..
Melnitz by Charles Lewinsky ($33, PB)
1871. Jewish Cattle-dealer Solomon Meijer has made a reputation for
himself in Endingen, a rare Swiss town in which Jews are allowed to
reside. His largely untroubled life is set to end when he answers a knock
at the door in the middle of the night. On the doorstep stands his young
distant cousin, Janki, half-dead and begging for refuge. The pitiful figure
is invited in and given a coveted place in the bosom of the family, but
when Janki recovers and regains his ambition and his fine-looks, he will
change the Meijer family's lives for generations to come. In the tradition
of the great family romances of the 19th century, this European best seller
is the saga of the Swiss-Jewish Meijer family, spanning five generations from the FrancoPrussian War to World War II.
Dancing in the Dark: My Struggle Book 4
by Karl Ove Knausgaard ($33, PB)
18 years old and fresh out of high school, Karl Ove Knausgaard moves to a tiny fisherman's village far north of the polar
circle to work as a school teacher. He has no interest in the
job itself—or in any other job for that matter. His intention
is to save up enough money to travel while finding the space
and time to start his writing career. But as the darkness of the
long polar nights start to cover the beautiful landscape, Karl
Ove's life also takes a darker turn. The stories he writes tend to
repeat themselves, his drinking escalates and causes some disturbing blackouts,
his repeated attempts at losing his virginity end in humiliation and shame. Along
the way, there are flashbacks to his high school years and the roots of his current
problems. And then there is the shadow of his father, whose sharply increasing
alcohol consumption serves as an ominous backdrop to Karl Ove's own lifestyle.
Adult Onset by Anne-Marie Macdonald
Mary Rose McKinnon has two children with her partner Hilary and a fractured relationship with her mother Dolly; she
also has issues with anger management and lives in fear of
hurting the children, these feelings seem somehow rooted in
a part of her childhood she has trouble remembering. Is Dolly—the kind of big personality who makes all Mary Rose's
friends, and even waiters in coffee shops, exclaim 'I love your
Mum!'—really harbouring a dark secret about what caused
Mary Rose's childhood injuries, and is Mary Rose doomed to
follow the same path with her own children? ($29.99, PB)
Soil by Jamie Kornegay ($29.99, PB)
An idealistic environmental scientist moves his wife and
young son off the grid, to a stretch of river bottom farmland
in the Mississippi hills, hoping to position himself at the forefront of a revolution in agriculture. Within a year, he is ruined.
When a corpse appears on his family's property, the farmer is
convinced he's being set up. And so begins a journey into a
maze of misperceptions and personal obsessions, as the farmer, his now-estranged wife, a predatory deputy, and a backwoods wanderer, all try to uphold a personal sense of honour.
Now in B Format
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee, $20
Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro, $20
Some Luck by Jane Smiley, $19.99
The Meritocracy Quartet by Jeffrey Lewis
Jeffery Lewis' quartet— Meritocracy: A Love Story, The Conference of
the Birds, Theme Song for an Old Show and Adam the King—follows
Louie, a Yale graduate from a modest background with a gift for forging connections in high & low places. Beginning in the 60s, as he documents a going-away party for a fellow Yalie on his way to Vietnam,
the quartet continues through his spiritual encounters with a 70s group
of city misfits, his turn to television writing in the 80s, & a tragic love
story between two of his close friends in the 90s. Louie chronicles not
only his own personal struggles, but also the attitudes, events & people
that marked his generation. From the Vietnam War to George W. Bush, from television
trends to the divide between the haves & have-nots, The Meritocracy Quartet is a moving
witness to America in the latter part of the 20th century. ($54.95, PB)
She Will Build Him a City by Raj Kamal Jha
Night falls in Delhi as a mother lies beside her sleeping daughter in a
house filled with the rustle of strange creatures, spinning tales from her
past. Meanwhile, the last train from Rijiv Chowk Station pulls away
and a young man with darkness in his heart rides the metro and dreams
of murder. In another corner of the city, a woman steps off an autorickshaw, to leave her newborn baby wrapped in a blood-red towel on
the doorstep of an orphanage. These stories, of a secret love that blossoms in the shadows of grief, of a corrosive guilt that taints the soul,
and of an orphaned boy in a land of orphaned girls who maps out his
own destiny, weave into the lives of those around them to form a dazzling kaleidoscope
of modern India in all its complexity. ($29.99, PB)
A Stranger in My Own Country: The 1944 Prison
Diary by Hans Fallada ($41.95, HB)
'I lived the same life as everyone else, the life of ordinary people, the
masses.' Sitting in a prison cell in the autumn of 1944, Hans Fallada
sums up his life under the National Socialist dictatorship, the time of
'inward emigration'. Under conditions of close confinement, in constant
fear of discovery, he writes himself free from the nightmare of the Nazi
years. His frank and sometimes provocative memoirs were thought for
many years to have been lost. They are published here in English for the
first time. The confessional mode did not come naturally to Fallada the
writer of fiction, but in the mental and emotional distress of 1944, self-reflection became
a survival strategy.
5
THE WILDER AISLES
Anyone who follows my column would know that a key part of my
enjoyment of my favourite crime novels is all the food—the cooking
of, the eating of, and of course, the accompanying alcoholic beverages. The Martin Walker books featuring Chief Inspector Bruno are
set in the Dordogne county of Périgord in France, and the food and
wine of the region are characters in themselves. The plot of one of
these books involves Foie Gras, a speciality of the Périgord, and the
(unfortunate) geese which provide it. A scramble of some of these
geese blocks a road, which causes chaos for police and criminals
alike. Chief Inspector Bruno Courrèges is a wonderful cook (there's
even a Bruno Cookbook, sadly only published in German as yet),
and he likes nothing better than providing his friends with delicious
meals and great wine, in between solving the odd crime or two. Enjoying these culinary delights are the fantastic characters that make
all Walker's book so readable. I think it is best to start with the first,
Bruno, Chief of Police, but it is not absolutely necessary. They are
all good. The latest, Children of War (No. 7), was released in June
last year so I'm hoping Martin Walker is hard at work on number 8.
Unlike Bruno, Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti, Donna Leon's
hero, is no cook. However, he's never too busy to miss a relaxed lunch
at home with his wife Paola and his children (accompanied always
with a glass of wine or two). Again, it is the sort of person that Guido
is—his humanity, concern for people, and his pursuit of justice—that
makes reading Leon's books so enjoyable. As I love Italy, especially
Venice, Leon's books are very special to me, and I must mention a
new Donna Leon called Gondola. This is a very nice little hardcover
that tells the history of that most romantic means of transport, the
gondola. Full of illustrations and complete with a CD of Venetian
Barcarole sung by gondolieri (and Cecilia Bartoli) this book would
make a special present for any lover of all things Venetian.
Then, of course, there's Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano
from the fictional town of Vigata in Sicily. Another non-cook, Montalbano leaves the kitchen to his wonderful Adelina who can be trusted to leave great meals for him to enjoy when he comes home from
a day of fighting crime. He also has a favourite restaurant, which he
frequents mostly for lunch. Often after one of these lunches, he is
forced to take a stroll along the waterfront to aid his digestion. Apart
from Montalbano, all the other characters in his department are great,
my favourite being Catarella, the office clerk, who mostly gets everything wrong, but occasionally just by a fluke, gets something right.
His use of language is wonderful, and reading of how his boss works
out his meaning is great fun.
I know I've written about these books before, but having recently
discovered the crime novels by M. L. Longworth where the pleasures
of the table also play a great part, I thought I would remind readers
of the joys of the wonderful combination of great characters, crimes,
food and drink. There are four titles so far in Longworth's series, and
they are very entertaining. Set in the lovely area of Aix-en-Provence
(a city-commune in the south of France, about 30 km north of Marseille), they feature Chief Magistrate, Antoine Verlaque—who has
similar powers to an inspector of police. The first book in the series
is Death at the Chateau Bremont. It introduces Verlaque and his
girlfriend, law professor Marine Bonnett. The story involves Etienne
de Bremont and his brother, Francois. Etienne lives in the title's Chateau, along with caretaker, Jean-Claude, who has spent most of his
life there. However, Etienne's brother Francois leads a very different
life in Marseilles. Verlaque is called in when Etienne falls to his death
from the second floor of the Chateau. This is first thought to be either
accident or suicide, but the magistrate is not at all sure about this,
suspecting it far more likely that foul play was involved in Etienne's
death. On learning that his girlfriend, Marine, had been a childhood
friend of the Bremonts, he asks for her help. What follows is a story
of wealth, crime, family quarrels and the matter of rightful inheritance. The setting is of course delightful, and it is full of delicious
food and drink, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Antoine,
very attractive and seductive, Marine very beautiful and clever, make a great couple. The only
jarring note for me was the smoking of cigars, in
restaurants and during meals. Verlaque actually
belongs to a cigar club, where the men sit around
and smoke! Unbelievable!
Janice Wilder
6
Crime Fiction
Bad Seed by Alan Carter ($30, PB)
When wealthy property developer Francis Tan and his family are
found slain their mansion, Cato Kwong is forced to recall a personal
history that makes his investigation doubly painful. The killer is elusive and brutal, and the investigation takes Cato to Shanghai. In a
world of spoilt rich kids and cyber dragons, Cato is about to discover
a whole lot more about the Chinese acquisition of Australian land—
about those who play the game and those who die trying.
Second Life by S. J. Watson ($30, PB)
How well can you really know another person? And how far would
you go to find out the truth about them? When Julia learns that her
sister has been violently killed, she knows she must get to the bottom
of things. Even if it means jeopardising her relationship with her husband & risking the safety of her son. Getting involved with a stranger
online. Losing control. Perhaps losing everything. Set in Paris and
London, Second Life is about the double lives people lead—and the
dark places they can end up in.
The Brewer of Preston by Andrea Camilleri
1870s Sicily. Much to the displeasure of Vigàta's stubborn populace,
the town has just been unified under the Kingdom of Italy. They're
now in the hands of a new government they don't understand, and
they definitely don't like. Eugenio Bortuzzi has been named Prefect
for Vigàta, a regional representative from the Italian government
to oversee the town. But the rowdy and unruly Sicilians don't care
much for this rather pompous mainlander nor the mediocre opera
he's hell-bent on producing in their new municipal theatre. The
Brewer of Preston, it's called, and the Vigàtese are revving up to
wreak havoc on the performance's opening night. ($30, PB)
The Scent of Almonds and other Stories
by Camilla Lackberg ($15, PB)
It's less than a week until Christmas and policeman Martin Mohlin
is begrudgingly accompanying his girlfriend to a family reunion on
the tiny island of Valon outside of Fjallbacka. The connection to the
mainland is cut off by a snowstorm and when the domineering patriarch Ruben collapses during Christmas dinner, Martin is forced to
intervene. He soon establishes that Ruben was murdered and since
they are completely isolated on the island, one of the family members must be murderer... A charming novella in the style of Agatha
Christie, closely linked to the Fjallbacka-series.
Gun Control: Cliff Hardy 40 by Peter Corris
Is Sydney gun city? It certainly seems so when Cliff Hardy is hired by
entrepreneur & one-time pistol-shooting champion Timothy Greenhall to investigate the violent death of his troubled son. Soon Hardy
is pitched into a world of crooked cops—former members of the Gun
Control Unit—outlaw bikies & honest police trying to quietly clean
the stables. After 2 more murders, Hardy hooks up with a determined
policewoman & forms an unlikely alliance with a charismatic bikie
chief. Uncovering the tangled conspiracy behind the murders takes
Hardy to the Blue Mountains and Camden, to plush legal chambers
and a confrontation in an inner-west park—all against the roar of
750cc engines. ($29.99, PB)
Mightier than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer ($40, HB)
Harry Clifton has been elected the new president of English PEN, and
immediately launches a campaign for the release of a fellow author,
Anatoly Babakov, who's imprisoned in a Russian gulag in Siberia.
Emma Clifton, now the chairman of Barrington Shipping, is facing
the repercussions of the IRA attack on the Buckingham. Sir Giles
Barrington is now a minister of the Crown, and looks set for even
higher office, until an official trip to Berlin does not end as a diplomatic success. Then his old adversary, Major Alex Fisher, who, for
the second time, is selected to stand against him at the general election. But who wins this time?
Behind God's Back by Harri Nykanen ($18, PB)
There are two Jewish cops in all of Helsinki. One of them, Ariel
Kafka, a lieutenant in the Violent Crime Unit, identifies himself as a
policeman first, then a Finn & lastly a Jew. Kafka is a religiously nonobservant 40-something bachelor who is such a stubborn, dedicated
policeman that he’s willing to risk his career to get an answer. Murky
circumstances surround his investigation of a Jewish businessman’s
murder. Neo-Nazi violence, intergenerational intrigue, shady loans—
predictable lines of investigation lead to unpredictable culprits. But
a 2nd killing strikes closer to home, and the Finnish Security Police
come knocking. The tentacles of Israeli politics & Mossad reach surprisingly far, once again wrapping Kafka in their sticky embrace.
Nothing Sacred by David Thorne ($30, PB)
Nothing Personal by Jason Starr ($20, PB)
In his dark and fetid prison cell, serial killer Daniele de Robertis plans
his retribution, and one night, he escapes. In a small village in the
Tuscan countryside a prominent lawyer & his wife are murdered. As
the police inspect the scene they find 9 terrifying photographs: nine
women, slaughtered. It is Florentine Police Chief Michele Ferrara's
worst nightmare: a case involving the untouchable men & women
at the top of Italian society, a dark and powerful cult which knows
no bounds, and mounting victims. Amongst a web of obsession, manipulation and violence, Ferrara must face his demons. ($29.99, PB)
The DePinos are miserable, living in a tiny rundown apartment
above a deli on Tenth Avenue. The Sussmans live in a posh building on the Upper East Side. When Joey DePino loses his job & is
threatened by his bookies & loan shark, he involves the Sussmans
in a sick, desperate plan to pay off his gambling debts. But ad exec
David Sussman has his own problems, trying to stop his suddenly
psychopathic Asian mistress from ruining him, and won't go down
without a fight. As the lives of the DePinos & the Sussmans become
increasingly intertwined, Joey & David plunge their families into a
immoral world where anything is possible & nothing is personal.
The Burning Gates by Parker Bilal ($24.99, PB)
In Cairo, Private Investigator Makana is called into the office of
his new client, a powerful art dealer known as Kasabian. Kasabian
wants him to track down a famous painting that went missing from
Baghdad during the US invasion. The world of art is a far cry from
the shady streets & dirty alleyways of the Cairo that Makana knows,
but he soon finds out that this side of the city has its own dark underbelly. Those involved in the case begin to die in horrifying ways
& Makana finds himself on a trail will leading back to the dark days
of the war.
Blood, Wine and Chocolate by Julie Thomas
Hidden away in a witness protection programme on an idyllic island
vineyard in New Zealand, Vinnie Whitney-Ross could be forgiven
for thinking he has escaped the clutches of the childhood friend—a
ruthless London mobster—he helped convict for a gruesome double
murder. But old grudges die hard, cops are bent, and the finest wines
and chocolates find new and unexpected uses when Vinnie's present
runs headlong into his secret past. ($30, PB)
A startling portrait of one of America’s
most esteemed and fascinating cultural
and intellectual figures. Susan Sontag
was already a legendary literary figure,
known for her blinding intelligence and
edgy personal style, when the novelist
Sigrid Nunez began dating Sontag’s son.
Here, Nunez looks back on how Sontag’s
many cultural and intellectual passions
influenced her and others, profoundly
and inevitably.
‘The best thing written about Sontag’ Edmund White, author of City Boy.
The Prince by Vito Bruschini ($30, PB)
Based on a true story, Vito Bruschini narrates the spellbinding life of
Prince Ferdinando Licata, the fictional founding father of the Sicilian
Mafia. Spanning more than two decades, The Prince travels from Sicily to the Bronx and back as the notorious mafiaso builds his power
behind a veneer of honesty and elegance. Bruschini depicts in visceral
detail the dark underbelly of the notorious Italian Mafia—replete with
all the blood, guts and glory.
A mother's nightmare: her children taken from her because of unexplained injuries all over their bodies. Who will believe her story?
When lawyer Daniel Connell receives a visit from his trouble-making old flame Victoria pleading for his help, he looks for any excuse
not to get involved. But no one else believes her pleas of innocence
and Daniel can see she is terrified. As he enters Vick's life once more,
Daniel's search for truth leads from the dark heart of Essex to the
mountains of Afghanistan, and a terrifying world where monsters are
real—and nothing is sacred.
Australia’s most prolific historian retells
the story of Indigenous and early
British history of Australia, returning to
the subject of celebrated works from
earlier in his career. In light of the latest
research, Geoffrey Blainey has changed
his view about some vital aspects,
and looked at others for the first time.
The first part of a two-volume work,
it is compelling, groundbreaking and
brilliantly readable.
Death Under a Tuscan Sun by Michele Giutari
The Hot Country by Robert Olen Butler ($18, PB)
War correspondent Christopher Marlowe ‘Kit’ Cobb arrives in Vera
Cruz, Mexico, to cover the country's civil war. A passionate believer
in the power of a free press & the moral superiority of the US, Kit
is no mere observer. He assumes a false identity to pursue German
diplomat Friedrich von Mensinger en route to a meeting with revolutionary leader Pancho Villa, and the correspondent soon finds himself
up to his neck in political intrigue. Along the way he's nearly shot by
a mysterious sniper, joins forces with a double agent & falls in love
with a young Mexican woman who may be mixed up in the revolutionary plot.
No Known Grave by Maureen Jennings ($14.99, PB)
DI Tom Tyler has made a new start in Ludlow, where on the outskirts
of town stands a hospital for war victims. When a double murder is
discovered in the grounds, Tyler must figure out how it could have
occurred, when most of the patients are unable to walk or see. Then
he starts receiving letters recounting terrible crimes. The horrors of
war are closing in on a place of refuge, and he alone can protect its
inhabitants.
In fundamentalist Iran, unmarried
women beg Dr Kooshyar Karimi to save
their lives by ending pregnancies that,
if discovered, will see them stoned to
death. One such woman is 22-year-old
Leila. She seeks his help for a reason
that will haunt him for years afterwards,
and inspire an impossible quest from
faraway Australia. A spellbinding and
heartbreaking story from a country
where it can be a crime to fall in love.
Why do disaster stories titillate?
Why obsess over love lives of the
famous? Why smile when a politician
falls from grace? Alain de Botton,
“purveyor of serious but playful manuals
for living” (GQ), examines archetypal
news stories - a plane crash, a murder,
a political scandal, a celebrity interview
- from a fresh perspective to bring clear
understanding to a force which, above
all others, informs our view of reality.
The Exit by Helen FitzGerald ($25, PB)
23 year-old Catherine is mainly interested in Facebook & flirting, but
she reluctantly takes a job at a local care home after her mother puts
her foot down—and soon discovers that her new workplace contains
many secrets. One of the residents at the home, 82 year-old Rose,
is convinced that something sinister is going on in Room 7 & that
her own life is under threat. But Rose has dementia—so what does
she actually know, and who would believe her anyway? As Catherine
starts investigating Rose's allegations, terrible revelations surface
about everyone involved.
penguin.com.au
Now in B Format
Abattoir Blues by Peter Robinson, $19.99
A Lovely Way to Burn by Louise Welsh, $19.99
7
Cato Kwong is back.
This time it’s personal.
Biography
A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Story of North Korea
and the Most Audacious Kidnapping in History
by Paul Fischer ($30, PB)
Before becoming the world's most notorious dictator, Kim Jong-Il ran
North Korea's film industry. He directed every film made in the country but knew they were nothing compared to Hollywood. Then he hit
on the perfect solution: order the kidnapping of South Korea's most
famous actress and her ex-husband, the country's most acclaimed director. In a jaw-dropping
mission the couple were kidnapped, held hostage and then 'employed' to make films for
the Dear Leader, including a remake of Godzilla. They gained Kim's trust—but could they
escape? An extraordinary tale from the world's most bizarre country.
Fraying: Mum, Memory Loss, the Medical Maze and
Me by Michele Gierck ($30, PB)
Praise for the Cato Kwong series:
‘It’s a winner’ Sydney Morning Herald
‘riveting reading’ The Examiner
‘atmospheric and sharply written’ The Saturday Age
‘confident, witty, entertaining’ Sunday Times
UNIQUELY AUSTRALIAN STORIES
Mistakes Were Made by Liam Pieper
Liam Pieper's made some poor life choices, but he's (usually)
meant well. He's tried to write important stories, fight racial
prejudice and rescue traumatised puppies. And he's ended
up with life-threatening infestations, a punch in the face at
a Leonard Cohen concert and brief detention by counterterrorism experts. Taking us from Nimbin to US border security to the star-studded Chateau Marmont in LA, these
four essays are insightful and very funny. ($10, PB)
Bad Behaviour by Rebecca Starford
It was supposed to be a place where teenagers would learn
resilience, confidence & independence, where long hikes in
the bush would make their bodies strong & foster a connection with the natural world. Living in bare wooden huts, cut
off from the outside world, the students would experience
a very different kind of schooling, one intended to have a
strong influence over the kind of adults they would eventually become. 14 year-old Rebecca Starford spent a year
at this school in the bush. In her boarding house 16 girls
were left largely unsupervised, a combination of the worst
behaved students & some of the most socially vulnerable. As everyone tried to
fit in and cope with their feelings of isolation & homesickness, Rebecca found
herself joining ranks with the powerful girls, becoming both a participant—and
later a victim—of various forms of bullying & aggression. ($33, PB)
The Match Girl & the Heiress by Seth Koven
Nellie Dowell was a match factory girl in Victorian London
who spent her early years consigned to orphanages and hospitals. Muriel Lester, the daughter of a wealthy shipbuilder,
longed to be free of the burden of money and possessions.
Together, these unlikely soulmates sought to remake the
world according to their own utopian vision of Christ's
teachings. The Match Girl and the Heiress paints an unforgettable portrait of their late-nineteenth-century girlhoods
of wealth and want, and their daring 20th century experiments in ethical living in a world torn apart by war, imperialism, and industrial capitalism. ($69, HB)
Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon
Telling the story of her family, her life in visual art, her move
to New York City, the men in her life, her marriage, her relationship with her daughter, her music, and her band, Girl
in a Band is a rich and beautifully written memoir. Gordon
takes us back to the lost New York of the 1980s and 90s that
gave rise to Sonic Youth, and the Alternative revolution in
popular music the band helped usher in—paving the way
for Nirvana, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins and many other acts. ($30, PB)
Fraying chronicles a mother’s & a daughter’s journey through memory
loss & the medical maze. Michele Gierck finds herself suddenly thrust
into the role of primary carer, with no map to navigate the world of
aged care and medical bureaucracy. The relationship between the spirited, determined 88-year-old protagonist—who refuses to passively
accept medical pronouncements—and her daughter is at times difficult, yet always respectful and loving, warm and upbeat. Together they
must develop practical coping strategies, draw on a lifetime with each other and hold onto
their sense of humour. Michele Gierck offers wisdom and very practical advice about two of
the certainties of life—change and loss.
Hello, Beautiful! Scenes From a Life
by Hannie Rayson ($29.99, PB)
Hannie Rayson—writer, mother, daughter, sister, wife, romantic, adventuress, parking-spot optimist—has spent a lifetime giving voice to
others in the many roles she has written for stage & television. This
collection of autobiographical range from a childhood in Brighton to
a urinary tract infection in Spain, from a body buried under the house
to a play on a tram, capturing a life behind the scenes—a life of tender
moments, hilarious encounters and, inevitably, drama.
Leila's Secret by Karimi Kooshyar ($32.99, PB)
Born in a slum to a Muslim father & a Jewish mother, Kooshyar Karimi
has transformed himself into a successful doctor, an award-winning
writer, and an adoring father. His could be a comfortable life but his
conscience won't permit it: he is incapable of turning away the unmarried women who beg him to save their lives by ending the pregnancies
that, if discovered, would see them stoned to death. One of those women is 22-year-old Leila. Beautiful, intelligent, passionate, she yearns to
go to university but her strictly traditional family forbids it. Returning
home from the library one day—among the few trips she's allowed
out of the house—she meets a handsome shopkeeper, and her fate is sealed. Kooshyar has
rescued countless women, but Leila seeks his help for a different reason, one that will haunt
him for years afterwards and inspire an impossible quest from faraway Australia. Spellbinding and heartbreaking. Leila's Secret shows us everyday life for women in a country where
it can be a crime to fall in love.
Young Tagore: The Makings of a Genius
by Sudhir Kakar ($20, PB)
A seamless blend of intelligent analysis with real empathy, Young
Tagore is a first-of-its-kind psychobiography that deepens our understanding of Rabindranath Tagore. By carefully reconstructing the crucial years of Tagore's childhood and youth, preeminent psychoanalyst
Sudhir Kakar examines the young prodigy's formative experiences and
unravels how they shaped his creative genius. In laying bare the inner
workings of Tagore's brilliance, Kakar reveals the real man behind the
luminary.
Passing Clouds: A Winemaker's Journey
by Graeme Leith ($30, PB)
Graeme Leith-electrician, Italophile and jack of all trades-joined Melbourne's theatre collective at Carlton's famously innovative Pram
Factory theatre and said, 'Let there be light.' And there was: Graeme
Blundell, Jack Hibberd, Max Gillies and many others produced over
140 new Australian plays in ten years. But Graeme had also fallen for
the idea of making wine, and in the mid-1970s he and his partner Sue
Mackinnon established Passing Clouds, a vineyard in Victoria's Spa
Country that produced award-winning wines from the beginning. Then
tragedy struck in 1984 when Graeme's daughter Ondine and her boyfriend David were murdered en route to the South Coast of New South Wales. Passing Clouds tells of a life fully
lived-a life embracing the experience of fatherhood, of triumph and disaster, of joy and tragedy, of ingenuity and sheer hard work and, above all, an unquenchable optimism.
Now in B Format & paperback
Little Failure: A memoir by Gary Shteyngart, $23
Sempre Susan: A memoir of Susan Sontag by Sigrid Nunez, $20
Those Wild Wyndhams: Three Sisters at the Heart of Power
by Claudia Renton, $23
William S. Burroughs: A Life by Barry Miles, $30
8
Travel Writing
The Boatman: An Indian Love Story
by John Burbidge ($29.95, PB)
The six years John Burbidge spent in India as a community development worker changed him in many ways, but one stands out from all
the rest. It led him to confront a deeply personal secret—his attraction
to his own sex. After taking the plunge with masseurs on a Bombay
beach, he found himself on a rollercoaster ride of sexual adventuring.
A complicating factor in his journey of self-discovery was the tightly knit community in
which he lived and worked, with its highly regimented schedule and minimal privacy that
forced him to live a double life. Burbidge takes hold of India as few have done before, deftly
interweaving the search for selfhood with an intimate exploration of Indian life and society.
Visitants by Dave Eggers ($30, PB)
Visitants begins at 140kph, with Eggers being driven across the deserts of Saudi Arabia by a hired driver who declares, 'American, boom
boom!' This opening sets the stage for the Egger's first collection of
travel writing. From Saudi Arabia, he takes the reader further on freewheeling sojourns in Cuba & Thailand, followed by brief stopovers
in Croatia & Syria, and a meditative exposition on South Sudan. Both
globetrotters and Eggers fans will find a faithful companion in his
unique combination of humour, humanism and empathy.
A new town, a new
set of murders for
Detective Joe Sable …
‘A dazzling mix of elegant prose,
convincing period detail,
and heart-stopping violence.’
Angela Savage
The Fish Ladder: A Journey Upstream
by Katharine Norbury ($29.95, PB)
Katharine Norbury was abandoned as a baby in a Liverpool convent.
Raised by a loving adoptive family, she was always a wanderer, a
roamer, drawn to the ancient paths of the British countryside. One summer, following the miscarriage of a much-longed-for child, Katharine
sets out, often accompanied by her nine year old daughter, Evie, to
follow watercourses from the sea to their source. But what begins as
a diversion from grief soon evolves into a journey to the source of life
itself, and to the door of the woman who abandoned her. Combining
travelogue with memoir, exquisite nature writing and fragments of poems and tales from
Celtic mythology, The Fish Ladder explores the relationship between adoptee and adoptive
family, motherhood & marriage, life-threatening illness & the extraordinary majesty of the
natural world.
Kaleidoscope City: A Year in Varanasi
by Piers Moore Ede ($35, HB)
Piers Moore Ede first fell in love with Varanasi when he passed through
it on his way to Nepal in search of wild honey hunters. In the decade
that followed it continued to exert its pull on him, and so he returned
to live there, to 'press his ear to its heartbeat' and to discover what it is
that makes the spiritual capital of India so unique. In this intoxicating
'city of 10,000 widows', where funeral pyres smoulder beside the river
in which thousands of pilgrims bathe, and holiness & corruption walk
side by side, Piers encounters sweet-makers & sadhus, mischievous
boatmen & weary bureaucrats, silk weavers & musicians & discovers
a remarkable interplay between death & life, light & dark.
In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar
Voyage of the USS Jeanette by Hampton Sides
In 1879 the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering
crowds and a frenzy of publicity. The ship and its crew, captained by
the heroic George De Long, were heading for glory and the last unmapped area of the globe: the North Pole. But it was not long before the
Jeannette was trapped in crushing pack ice. Amid the rush of water and
the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew found themselves marooned a thousand
miles north of Siberia with only the barest supplies. Facing a seemingly impossible trek
across the endless ice, they battled everything from snow blindness and polar bears to ferocious storms and starvation, in their desperate struggle for survival. ($35, HB)
Smile of the Midsummer Night: A Picture of Sweden
by Lars Gustafsson and Agneta Blomqvist (41.95, HB)
On a very personal journey through their Swedish homeland, author
Lars Gustafsson & Agneta Blomqvist set off from the far South, heading up to Norrland. They visit the farms of Scania and then go to
Laponian, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But it is the idyllic fjord in
Bohulän, located in the Västmanland region, as well as Mälar Lake &
Stockholm that they call home. Throughout, Gustafsson & Blomqvist
are full of entertaining suggestions for excursions, including journeys
through forests & moors where you can take in the odd elk or wolf
along the way and visits to Strindberg’s & Kurt Tucholsky’s graves.
Praise for THE HOLIDAY MURDERS
‘[A]s close to perfect as a mystery
can be.’
Sunday Age
‘[A] fascinating cautionary
tale that explores the wonderful
bond between crime fiction and
the shadows lurking in our
collective past.’
Australian Book Review
Geckos of Bellapais: Memories of Cyprus
by Joachim Sartorius (43.95, HB)
Coveted by a succession of foreign powers, Cyprus has been repeatedly occupied: the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, crusaders, Venetians, Genoese, Ottomans & British have all left their mark.
Joachim Sartorius shares the cultures & legends, colours & lights of the
Levant. He explores Cyprus' history—including its division after the
Turkish invasion of 1974 and the difficulties that followed. This is both
a revealing exploration of Cyprus after the Turkish partition and an evocative account of a
poet’s life on one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean.
9
books for kids to young adults
compiled by Lynndy Bennett, our children's correspondent
picture books
Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka & Mac Barnett
(ill) Matthew Meyers ($15.95, PB)
This extremely inventive book is the creation of Jon Scieszka
(author of The Stinky Cheese Man), and like that seminal picture book it also overturns the paradigm, so to speak. Overtly
a sweet, old fashioned little picture book about a Birthday Bunny, it has
been recreated into a subversive, funny book about a Battle Bunny, using
the device of scribble and crossing out words, somewhat like a 'blackout'
poem. Normally I’m not one to promote defacing a book—and this has
not been defaced, it’s designed that way, but I love this book. It’s original,
anarchic, and basically harmless fun, (and it’s also rather reminiscent of my
own children’s creative doodling, in books that were NOT meant to be drawn
on). It’s my guess that this book will spark a whole lot of imitators. Louise
Fiction for Younger Readers
Fire!: Book 1, Dragon Knight series
by Kyle Mewburn (ill) Donovan Bixley ($5, PB)
For confident young readers or those at primary level who just
haven’t yet formed a reading habit, this new series is sure to be a
winner. Passing as a human boy, Merek is a shapeshifting dragon who
longs to be a knight, and his ambition seems to be under way when he
is chosen to attend Knight School. As in every group, there is another
student who seems determined to quell the eager young unknown;
and Merek also faces the difficulty in keeping his identity secret, especially when
his control of fire is imperfect, plus he’s in a profession that slays dragons. This
novel is great fun, crammed with wordplay, 'facts', humour, surprises and action.
Much of the wit will appeal to adults as well, eg Withering Heights Mountain, Isle
Bebak Castle (say it aloud), and the handy information panels that play with medieval history. At the introductory price of $5 for an illustrated adventure how can you
resist? Soon to follow is Rats! book 2 in this series. Lynndy
non fiction
Because I Am a Girl I Can Change the World
by Rosemary McCarney, Jen Albaugh &
Plan International ($29, PB)
Part of the Plan International aid movement, Because I Am
a Girl is a global initiative to advocate for girls’ rights—
ending gender inequality and helping girls achieve their
rightful human potential. Based on the 8-point Canadian manifesto, this book
is both illuminating and inspiring in its depiction of girls in undeveloped
countries. Through biographical segments girls share their stories, each of
which speaks of deprivation, marginalisation and repression, yet each transcends obstacles such as poverty, slavery and culture to empower themselves
and others. There is additional information about the plight of girls within
their socioeconomic structure, and gradual changes being wrought. Invoking
our social conscience, this is ultimately a book engendering hope. Lynndy
CRAFT
With the weather getting cooler, and the days drawing in, why
not start a few craft projects? We now have a small collection
of colourful carded wools for felting, dry felting needles and mats for dry felting projects. Children’s wooden knitting needles from Tasmania are coming
back in store soon, and we have several types of wooden knitting dolls and
mushrooms. As well, we have a selection of modelling waxes in beautiful colours, (so much nicer than plasticine) for model-making and candle decorating,
and a range of toy-making kits. Louise
Stitched Paper Art for Kids:
22 Cheeky Pickle Sewing Projects
by Ali Benyon ($23, PB)
Australian Ali Benyon is well known for her ecologically sound gift range, and now she is guiding crafters aged
8+ through colourful designs for sewn papercraft. Frivolous
and functional projects encourage skills with
sewing and art, so you can unleash your imagination on these creative items with a personal touch. Banish
boredom with these simple projects, or hold a craft party! Lynndy
10
Once a Shepherd by Glenda Millard (ill) Phil Lesnie ($27.95, HB)
A story of love and loss, war and peace, Once a Shepherd covers the complexities
of war in a very short space of time. The watercolour illustrations are particularly
powerful in their softness, adding an ethereal quality to a scene most often shown in
mired in mud and darkness. Set during World War I, it tells the story of a pregnant
young bride whose new husband leaves for the trenches, and dies helping a German
soldier. There is a strong theme of duty in both the shepherd going to war
and the enemy soldier who returns to give thanks to the shepherd's family.
Also obvious are the qualities of resilience, forgiveness and hope. It is at once
heartbreaking and a reminder that for all the grand scale of war it is the individual stories of kindness in a time of great horror that give us hope. Elissa
Classics
Life seems so hectic and pressured and it seems that so much children’s fiction is high paced, very dramatic and fast moving. While my kids enjoy reading a thrilling fast paced adventure story as much as the next child, they
also enjoy quieter books. It was such a pleasure to read two quietly paced
beautiful books out loud to my two children: The Wheel on the School by
Meindert De Jong ($12, PB), which was the 1955 Newbery Medal winner
and The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B.White ($15, PB). White also wrote
the beloved Charlotte’s Web & Stuart Little. We must have read these
books a few years ago, but both my children (now age 8 & 10) have mentioned them numerous times, and have read them by themselves as they
enjoyed them so much. Both of these charming books are beautifully written, with language that deserves to be read aloud. The Trumpet of the Swan,
originally published in 1970, tells the story of Louis, a Trumpeter swan who
is born without a voice and Sam, a young boy who befriends him. Illustrated
by Maurice Sendak, The Wheel on the School tells the story of six school
children in a small fishing village in Holland who are puzzled to discover that
storks once nested each year in their village, until fifty years ago they stopped
coming. The book details their attempts to discover why the storks stopped
coming and their efforts to bring the storks back. This is a lovely story with
a message about community, perseverance and working together—a great gently
engaging read before bed. Sally T.
Teen Fiction
The Flywheel by Erin Gough ($19.95, PB)
Erin Gough’s debut novel The Flywheel is a beautiful coming of age
story set in Sydney’s Inner West. Throughout the novel you will be familiar with many of the geographical landmarks including a brief mention
of Gleebooks!
Seventeen-year-old Delilah is struggling with her last year of high school
after a brief relationship with a popular girl at school leaves Del as the
school joke. While her father is abroad Del is helping run his café. When the
manager is deported Del drops out of school to run the business, with the help
of her best friend Charlie. The highlight of Del’s day is secretly watching Rosa
dance the flamenco every evening at the tapas bar. One of Del’s concerned teachers is making periodical visits to the café to try and find Del, suspecting that she
is living alone. Del keeps dodging the teacher, as she wants to keep running the
café and not be sent to live with her mother and her new boyfriend in Melbourne.
Charlie finds himself in trouble with the law after a plan to locate his mature-aged crush
goes incredibly wrong. Del is soon faced with the possibility of shutting down her father’s
struggling café, as a new café franchise opens taking many of their customers. Del enlists
café patrons along with a few of her school friends, Charlie, and Rosa, to start a grassroots
campaign against the franchise. With everything out of control Del’s biggest struggle is
finding the guts to ask Rosa out on a date. Jodie
(We were thrilled to have a completely sold-out launch for Flywheel here in our Glebe
shop. LB). Lynndy
All Fall Down by Ally Carter ($20, HB)
The latest from best-selling author Ally Carter, All Fall Down is the start of the exciting and fast paced series Embassy Row—bound to attract a large following. Centred
around 16-year-old Grace Blakely, the story follows her unwavering quest in solving
her mother's murder and bringing the killer to justice. Entertaining and easy to read, and
with a great mix of tension, politics, power and mystery, this is the perfect book for the
young reader who is transitioning from teenage to young adult literature. Hannah L.
It’s widely agreed that a vital step to a better future is education. Even if you aren’t
a ‘clicktivist’, you can contribute to a more equitable future and improve the lives of
hundreds. Cost is zero in finance; in time, maybe 10 seconds each day, and you won’t
receive spam or any other advertising. By clicking daily on www.theliteracysite.
greatergood.com you can help change the future! (Maybe you’ll choose to aid rainforest preservation or fight hunger while you’re at it—this is an easy way to bring about
positive change.) Lynndy
Food & Health & Garden
The Silver Spoon Puglia ($49.95, HB)
The two sister regions of Puglia & Basilicata live side by side and,
as always with neighbouring regions, they share many of the ingredients and flavours. Featuring more than 50 simple and authentic recipes this volume examines the key produce and ingredients
found in each area, such as creamy burrata from Andria and mussels
from Taranto. It features beautiful and diverse landscape of the two
regions, their produce and people and each recipe is accompanied
by a stunning image of the finished dish.
Amina's Home Cooking by Amina Elshafei
Amina Elshafei is blessed with a rich family history—her mum
is Korean & her dad is Egyptian. Her unique culinary adventure
explores the best cuisine from both cultures: there are recipes for
traditional Middle Eastern dishes such as Lamb, Prune & Fig Tagine & Korean staples such as Kimchi, as well as exciting new recipes, such as Sumac-crusted Trout with Heirloom Tomato Salsa &
Harissa Chicken. ($35, PB)
The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival
Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults
by by Frances E. Jensen MD ($30, PB)
We used to think that erratic teenage behaviour was due to a sudden
surge in hormones, but modern neuroscience shows us that this isn't
true. Our brains are wired back to front, with the most important parts,
the parts that we associate with good judgement, concentration, organisation & emotional & behavioural control being connected last of
all. The teenage brain is a powerful animal primed for learning, but
this creates problems—for example, addiction is a form of learning.
Frances Jensen, Professor of Pediatric Neurology at the teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School reveals exactly what lies behind all
aspects of teenage behaviour & its lasting effects—from drugs, lack of sleep & smoking
to multi-tasking & stress. As a mother & a scientist, Professor Jensen offers both exciting science & practical suggestions for how parents, teens & schools can help teenagers
weather the storms of adolescence, and get the most out of their incredible brains.
Rosa's Thai Café by Saiphin Moore ($40, HB)
Born in the East. Raised in the East End. In keeping with its contemporary twist on authentic Thai cuisine (sometimes based on
western ingredients), this book celebrates traditional Thai cooking
techniques and features over 100 recipes, including dishes from
the menu at Rosa's as well as family favourites and regional dishes
from founder Saiphin Moore's regular trips back home. Recipes
range from the aromatic Beef Massaman Curry to the Soft Shell
Crab Salad, Larb Spring Rolls, homemade Sriracha Sauce and Mangoes with Sticky Rice.
Dementia: The One-Stop Guide by June Andrews
Across the world, 44.4 million people suffer with dementia. Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the dementia of parents,
partners, siblings or friends. With clear and sensible information
about recognising symptoms, getting help, managing financially,
staying at home, treatment, being a carer and staying positive, this
guide will help dementia sufferers and their families to make sure
that they can stay well and happy as long as possible. ($25, PB)
New in Reaktion's Botanical History Series
$35, HB each
Apple by Marcia Reiss
Cannabis by Chris Duvall
Also New:
Lucky Peach Issue 14
Stuart Rattle's Musk Farm
In 1998 Australian designer Stuart Rattle
purchased the dilapidated Musk schoolhouse and surrounding
grounds. Over the following few decades it was to become his
most enduring project—a true labour of love, with every detail
of the buildings and grounds carefully considered. A sanctuary
where Rattle could freely express his own taste. Now, this tribute to the much-loved designer takes you through every room
and garden, All royalties from sales of this book go to Friends of
Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens. ($39.99, HB)
Vertical Vegetable Gardening
by McLaughlin Chris ($19.99, PB)
With a little creativity—and some sturdy trellises or hanging,
stacking, and vertical planters—readers can grow their own vegetables up instead of out. Written by a Master Gardener, Vertical
Vegetable Gardening gives readers tons of tips and techniques for
growing all types leafy, root, and other vegetables vertically, saving space, protecting from pests, and making harvesting easier.
The Gardener's Year ($40, HB)
This book celebrates the pleasures of gardening and combines it with practical advice. Sections include: Plant Science—featuring practical background advice about plant
systems and basic botany to illustrate the processes at
work in each season, for annuals, perennials and shrubs;
Grow—with step-by step instructions, clearly showing
how to make a success of projects such as growing potatoes in bags, or growing micro-greens; and Jobs to do—
including illustrated instructions for each season's tasks,
for example, autumn pruning, spring sowing & controlling pests in summer.
Grains as Mains by Laura Agar Wilson
Ancient grains such as teff, quinoa and buckwheat, first
cooked thousands of years ago, are now back on the
menu. This comprehensive cookbook has over 150 easy
healthy recipes with step-by-step preparation techniques
showing you how to prepare & cook key ancient grains,
from the familiar, like quinoa and polenta, to unexpected
delights, such as teff and freekeh. ($35, HB)
The Happy Cookbook by Lola Berry
These recipes are gluten- and wheat-free, with very little
dairy and no refined sugar. High-energy breakfasts include
Crunchy Paleo Granola, Vanilla & Blueberry Oaty Pikelets
& 18 different smoothie combos. Vegans, vegetarians &
meat-eaters alike will find exciting new lunch & dinner options, from Raw Falafel with Cashew Aioli or Spicy Pepita,
Kale & Buckwheat salad to Chicken Mole with Lime Quinoa
& an Aussie beef burger on a paleo bun. ($35, PB)
Eat Real Food: The Only Solution to Permanent
Weight Loss & Disease Prevention
by David Gillespie ($29.99, PB)
In the last 100 years, we've become fatter and sicker with millions of people developing serious diseases from diabetes to
cancer. Health and consumer advocate David Gillespie shares
the simple secret of weight loss and wellbeing: swap processed
food for real food. The book features: An explanation of why diets don't work & shows what does; Information on how to lose
weight permanently, not just in the short-term; Evidence-based science explaining
the real culprits of ill health & weight gain; Advice on how to read food labels; Easy
recipes to replace common processed items & meal plans that show how simple it
is to shop, plan & cook Real Food; Tips for lunchboxes, parties & recipes for food
kids actually like.
Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight
by Peter Walsh ($35, HB)
A houseful of clutter may not be the only reason people pack on
extra pounds, but research proves that it plays a big role. A recent study showed that people with supercluttered homes were 77
percent more likely to be overweight or obese! Organising guru
Walsh comes to the rescue with a simple 6-week plan to help readers: Clear their homes of excess 'stuff' & discover their vision for
their personal space; Clear their bodies of excess pounds & follow
a healthy, supersimple eating and exercise plan; Clear their minds
& spirits of the excess weight of too many possessions. Walsh offers a 6-week program that leads readers step-by-step through decluttering their homes, their bodies,
and their lives.
How to Get a Good Job After 50: A Step-by-Step
Guide to Job Search Success by Rupert French
People are having to stay in the workforce longer—this book is
a step-by-step guide to finding & winning the sort of job most
likely to give job satisfaction & success. It encourages people
to adopt a pro-active, 'self-employed' approach, building selfesteem and promoting a time-efficient, self-managed job search
program, and explains the importance of: Concentrating on no
more than two or three job leads at any one time; Using proven
marketing techniques to win good jobs; Writing résumés that
grab the employer's interest in the first few sentences; Finding jobs before they are
advertised; Building an effective job search network; Using social media to support
the job search; Maintaining a positive self-image; Effective preparation for the job
interview. Specimen résumés are included in the book and are available for download as templates from the linked website. ($29.99, PB)
The Best of Spirit House ($35, HB)
Spirit House first opened its restaurant doors in 1995 and
has grown into an iconic destination for lovers of Asian
food. This book is an eclectic selection of the restaurant's
best loved dishes from the past 20 years. Featuring more
than 50 mouthwatering recipes from Steamed Sesame and
Ginger Prawns, Tom Yum Goong to Hang Lae Pork Curry
and Whole Crispy Fish with Roasted Chilli Paste and Lemongrass, these are just some of the culinary treats their expert chefs show you how to prepare and cook.
11
events
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SUNDAY
1
MONDAY
2
TUESDAY
3
All events listed are $12/$9 concession. Book Launches are free.
Gleeclub members free entry to events at 49 Glebe Pt Rd
March
2015
Events are held upstairs at #49 Glebe Point Road unless otherwise noted.
Bookings—Phone: (02) 9660 2333, Email: [email protected], Online: www.gleebooks.com.au/events
WEDNESDAY
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THURSDAY
5
FRIDAY
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8 Free Event—3.30 for 4
Joanna Hempel
9
10
11
Haydn Washington
Demystifying Sustainability:
Towards Real Solutions
Launched by Prof. Stuart Hill
The terms ‘sustainability’ & ‘sustainable development’ have become
buried under academic jargon. This
book aims to demystify sustainability so that the layperson can understand the key issues, questions and
values involved.
22
Rebecca Starford
Bad Behaviour: A Memoir of Bullying
& Boarding School
in conv. with Benjamin Law
Painfully honest, this extraordinary
memoir shows how bad behaviour
from childhood, in all its forms, can
be so often and so easily repeated
throughout our adult lives.
Feet of Wax: Love & War on the
Eastern Front 1914–18
in conv. with Dorothy Hoddinott
A blend of romance, political and
military strategy, intrigue and suspense, Feet of Wax portrays Russia’s
Empire in meltdown and the re-birth
of Poland during World War I.
15 Launch—3.30 for 4
Event—6 for 6.30
16
17
18
Event—6 for 6.30
Karen Hitchcock
Quarterly Essay 57—
Dear Life: On Caring for the Elderly
In this essential Quarterly Essay, doctor and writer Karen Hitchcock explores the humane treatment of the
elderly and dying through some unforgettable cases.
23
24
25 Event—6 for 6.30
Amanda Lohrey
A Short History of Richard Kline
This audacious novel is an exploration of masculinity, the mystical and
our very human yearning for something more. It is hypnotic, nuanced
and Amanda Lohrey's finest offering yet—a pilgrim's progress for the
here and now.
29 Launch—3.30 for 4
Maria Zarimis
12
Darwin’s Footprint: Cultural
Perspectives on Evolution in Greece
(1880–1930s)
Launched by Prof. John Gascoigne
and Dr Alfred Vincent
This book deals with the impact of
Darwinism in Greece—how it has
shaped the country in terms of its
cultural and intellectual history, and
in particular its literature.
30
31
Event—6 for 6.30
Inside Australia’s
Anti-Terrorism Laws and Trials
Panel: Andrew Lynch, Nicola
McGarrity & George Williams
Did Australia need to enact anti-terrorism laws, let alone add to them?
Do the new laws pose increased
threats to freedom of speech of the
press? Do these laws protect the
community, or threaten the health of
Australian democracy?
12 Event—6 for 6.30
James Bradley
Clade
in conv. with James Tierney
A provocative, urgent novel about
time, family and how a changing
planet might change our lives, from
James Bradley, acclaimed author of
The Resurrectionist and editor of The
Penguin Book of the Ocean.
19 Launch—6 for 6.30
Amal Awad
This Is How You Get Better
Launched by Randa Abdel-Fattah
In recovery mode after a messy divorce from a non-Muslim man, Lara
Abdel-Aziz is estranged from her
family & comfortably on autopilot
until a near-assault at work forces
her into counselling and she must
start to unpack the events of her life
and make peace with the past.
26 Launch—6 for 6.30
Kate Howarth
Settling Day: A Memoir
This book follows on from Kate
Howarth's award-winning memoir
Ten Hail Marys. Thrust out of her
son's life while he is still a toddler,
Kate builds a successful recruitment
company, loses all in a legal battle, &
rebuilds her life again in a remarkable story of resilience.
SATURDAY
13 Launch—6 for 6.30
Michael Hogan
Cradle of Australian Political Studies
Launched by Hon. Michael Kirby
The Department of Government has
fostered research and taught political science to students under various
names since two lecturers were appointed to teach Public Administration in 1917. Its story is a reflection
of the general history of university
education over the last century.
20 Launch—6 for 6.30
My Mother & Other Catastrophes
by Rivka Hartman
Starring Elaine Hudson,
Anne Tenney, Florette Cohen, John
Grinston, Madeleine Withington &
Taylor Owynns
choreography by Christine Mearing.
75 minutes with a 10 minute interval
tickets $20: www.stickytickets.com.
au/ popuptheatre
14 PLAY READING
6 for 6.30
My Mother & Other Catastrophes
by Rivka Hartman
Starring Elaine Hudson,
Anne Tenney, Florette Cohen, John
Grinston, Madeleine Withington &
Taylor Owynns
choreography by Christine Mearing.
75 minutes with a 10 minute interval
tickets $20: www.stickytickets.com.
au/ popuptheatre
21 Launch—3.30 for 4
Isaac Bacirongo &
Michael Nest
Peri Hoskins
Millennium: A Memoir
It’s December 1999, the cusp of a
new millennium. The tiny Pacific
Kingdom of Tonga will be first nation in the world to usher it in. Our
narrator takes us there to see the sun
set on the old and the dawn rise on
the new. We discover much more.
27 Launch—6 for 6.30
Irene Strodthoff
Still a Pygmy
This is the inspiring and true story
of one man’s transformation from
hunter-gatherer to prosperous businessman to Australian resident, and
advocate for the rights of his people’s
identity. It is the first memoir by a
Pygmy author ever published.
28
Chile and Australia: Cont. Transpacific Connections from the South
Launch—3.30 for 4
Exploring bilateral narratives of
David Stavanger
identity at a socio-discursive level
The Special
from 1990 onwards, this book proWith
a
guest
reading by Felicity
vides a new approach to understanding how Chile and Australia imagine Plunkett & music by Hannah Jane.
and discursively construct each other in light of the bilateral Free Trade
Agreement signed in 2008.
Sunday 29th, 10am
Easter Childrens Sewing Workshop
With Trixi Symonds
Sew Together, Grow Together
Tickets: $35
Ticket price includes a copy of the book
Children must be five years or older & accompanied by an adult.
All materials included. No sewing experience required.
Bookings essential, limited places available.
Remember!
Join the Gleeclub and get free entry to ALL
events held at our shops, 10% credit accrued
with every purchase, and FREE POSTAGE
anywhere in Australia.
13
Australian Studies
Quarterly Essay 57: Dear Life—On Caring for the
Elderly by Karen Hitchcock ($23, PB)
Dr Karen Hitchcock explores the humane treatment of the elderly
and dying through some unforgettable cases. She looks at end-of-life
decisions, acute care of the frail & the demented, big pharma, overtreatment & attitudes to ageing & death among doctors, patients &
their families. Hitchcock reveals a creeping ageism, often disguised,
which threatens to turn the elderly into a 'burden'—difficult, hopeless, expensive
& homogenous. Thanks to health-dollar hysteria, the elderly are the only group of medical
patients for whom we are trying to limit treatment, hospital stays, interventions & expense.
We are justly seeking ways to determine when medical care may be futile, harmful or against
a patient's wishes, but this can easily morph into limitations on care that suit the system rather
than the patient. Hitchcock argues that we need to plan for the new future when more of us
will be old, with an aim of making that time better, not shorter. And that we must change our
institutions to fit the needs of an ageing population.
Van Diemen's Land: An Aboriginal History
by Murray Johnson & Ian McFarlane ($40, PB)
The first Tasmanians lived in isolation for as many as 300 generations
after the flooding of Bass Strait. Their struggle against almost insurmountable odds is one worthy of respect & admiration, not to mention
serious attention. This broad-ranging book is a comprehensive & critical account of that epic survival up to the present day. Starting from antiquity, the book examines the devastating arrival of Europeans & subsequent colonisation, warfare & exile. It emphasises the regionalism &
separateness, a consistent feature of Aboriginal life since time immemorial that has led to
the distinct identities we see in the present, including the unique place of the islanders of Bass
Strait. Using the findings of archaeologists & extensive documentary evidence, some only
recently uncovered, this book fills a long-time gap in Tasmanian history.
Crime & Punishment: Offenders and Victims in a Broken Justice System by Russell Marks ($20, PB)
Emporium: Selling the Dream in Colonial
Australia by Edwin Barnard ($50, PB)
A new wonder cure….the latest fashion…a revolutionary
gadget….few can resist the siren song of advertising, and
our colonial ancestors were as susceptible as we are. Perhaps that electric hair brush really could help to cure baldness, and wouldn’t it be wonderful if those strange new
cannabis cigarettes did relieve asthma? Advertisements
appeared in the first issue of Australia’s first newspaper
in 1803, as unscrupulous manufacturers & retailers vied
with each other in making more & more outrageous claims. Emporium explores
the highways & byways of this neglected aspect of 19th century life taking readers on a fascinating journey into the hearts & homes of colonial Australians. Advertisements for condoms? It was just a matter of knowing what to look for.
Latham at Large by Mark Latham ($29.99, PB)
Mark Latham pulls no punches as he scrutinises the Australian political landscape, looking at everything from climate
change to Clive Palmer, to what went wrong with Rudd–
Gillard and what's now wrong with Abbott. Beyond politics,
Latham dabbles in his other great interests, such as critiquing the modern media and explaining his fascination with
horse racing. His hilarious Henderson Watch columns and
other satirical writing also feature in this volume.
City Limits: Why Australia's Cities are Broken and
How We Can Fix Them by Kelly & Donegan ($32.99, PB)
Our bush heritage helped to define our identity, but today Australia is a nation
of cities. A higher proportion of Australians live in cities than almost any other
country, and most of our national wealth is generated in
them. For most of the 20th century, our cities gave us some
of the highest living standards in the world, but they are no
longer keeping up with changes in how we live and how our
economy works. The distance between where people live
and where they work is growing fast. The housing market
isn't working, locking many Australians out of where &
how they'd like to live. The daily commute is getting longer,
putting pressure on social & family life & driving up living costs. Instead of bringing us together, Australia's cities
are dividing Australians—between young and old, rich and
poor, the outer suburbs & the inner city. Using stories & case studies to show
how individuals, families & businesses experience life in cities today, City Limits
reveals why Australia's cities are broken, and how we can fix them.
14
According to conventional wisdom, severely punishing offenders reduces the likelihood that they'll offend again. Why, then, do so many
who go to prison continue to commit crimes after their release? What
do we actually know about offenders & the reasons they break the law?
Russell Marks argues that the lives of most criminal offenders —and
indeed of many victims of crime—are marked by often staggering disadvantage. For many offenders, prison only increases their chances of
committing further crimes. And despite what some media outlets & politicians want us to
believe, harsher sentences do not help most victims to heal. Drawing on his experience as
a lawyer, Marks eloquently makes the case for restorative justice & community correction,
whereby offenders are obliged to engage with victims & make amends. This is a provocative
call for change to a justice system in desperate need of renewal.
The Story of Australia's People Volume 1: The Rise
and Fall of Ancient Australia by Geoffrey Blainey
The vast continent of Australia was settled in two main streams, far apart
in time & origin. The 1st came ashore some 50,000 years ago when
the islands of Australia, Tasmania & New Guinea were one. The 2nd
began to arrive from Europe at the end of the 18th century. The long
Aboriginal occupation of Australia witnessed spectacular changes. The
rising of the seas isolated the continent & preserved a nomadic way
of life, while agriculture was revolutionising other parts of the world.
Over millennia, the Aboriginal people mastered the land's climates,
seasons & resources. Traditional Aboriginal life came under threat the moment Europeans
crossed the world to plant a new society in an unknown land. That land in turn rewarded,
tricked, tantalised & often defeated the new arrivals. The meeting of the two cultures is one
of the most difficult & complex meetings in recorded history. Geoffrey Blainey revisits his
celebrated works on Australian history, Triumph of the Nomads (1975) & A Land Half Won
(1980), retelling the story of our history up until 1850 in light of the latest research. ($50, HB)
The Strangers Who Came Home: The First Australian
Cricket Tour of England, 1878 by John Lazenby
The majority of the first representative Australian cricket team to tour
England in 1878 regarded themselves as Englishmen. In May of that
year when they stepped onto English ground to begin the inaugural firstclass cricket tour of England the intrepid tourists, or 'the strangers' as
they were referred to in the press, encountered arrogance & ignorance,
cheating umpires & miserable weather. But by defeating a powerful
MCC side which included W. G. Grace himself in a single afternoon's
play, they turned English cricket on its head. The Lord's crowd, having
openly laughed at the tourists, wildly celebrated a victory that has been described as 'arguably
the most momentous six hours in cricket history' and claimed the Australians as their own.
This book brings that momentous summer to life, telling the story of how these men from the
colonies provided the stimulus for Australian nationhood through their sporting success and
brought unprecedented vitality to international cricket. ($30, PB)
Newly Updated: Retro Sydney
This is a fantastic visual throwback to the 'Harbour City' in the 1950s and 60s, with never
before seen images gathered by vintage photograph collector Ian Collis. Breathtaking photos of Sydney's most valuable landmarks provide a retrospective insight into the architecture, automobiles, fashions and popular pastimes of Sydneysiders of the time. ($45, HB)
Politics
Alter-Politics: Critical Anthropology and the
Radical Imagination by Ghassan Hage ($60, PB)
This book is a contribution to a long history of critical writing
against an increasingly destructive global order marked by an
excessive instrumentalisation, exploitation & degradation of the
human & non-human environment, and ridden with unacceptable,
but also, importantly, avoidable, forms of inequality, injustice &
marginalisation. Alter-Politics is concerned with the way anthropological critical writing
in particular aims to weave oppositional concerns (anti-politics) with a search for alternatives (alter-politics): alternative economies, alternative modes of inhabiting and relating to
the earth, alternative modes of thinking and experiencing otherness.
Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe
by George Friedman ($30, PB)
Europe is ready to explode. Where will the explosion take place and
what will the damage be? George Friedman zooms in on Europe and
examines the dry tinder of the region: culture. Walking the faultlines
that have existed here for centuries, he inspects all the dormant social & political fissures still smouldering just beneath the continent's
surface, and identifies those likely to erupt first. Beginning with a
history of the events leading up to the World Wars, he shows how
modern efforts to overcome Europe's geopolitical tensions—including the formation of the European Union—have largely failed, and reveals a new yet
familiar political landscape in what is at once a gripping history lesson and a terrifying
forecast of the potential devastation ahead.
Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money
are Challenging the Global Economic Order
by Paul Vigna & Michael Casey ($35, PB)
Not so long ago the internet was a new & alien concept—now the
world would collapse without it. Today, cryptocurrency is a new and
little-used concept. Tomorrow, will the world collapse without it?
We sit at the cusp of a revolution in global commerce at the heart of
which lies the groundbreaking technology of cryptocurrencies. With
the advent of bitcoin in 2008 the term ‘cryptocurrency' crept into our
lives. But whether bitcoin triumphs or fails, the technology it unleashed is here to stay and
will only get stronger. It's cheaper, faster, easier, more democratic and safer than paper
money & credit cards & people—and governments—are catching on fast. This book questions what money is & how it functions in society, & envisages how it could change our
lives beyond recognition.
The Modi Effect: Inside Narendra Modi's Campaign to Transform India by Lance Price ($32.99, PB)
How did a 'chai wallah' who sold tea on trains as a boy become
Prime Minister of India? Narendra Modi's campaign was a masterclass in modern electioneering. His team created an election machine that broke new ground in the use of social media, the Internet,
mobile phones & digital technologies. Modi took part in thousands
of public events, but in such a vast country it was impossible to visit
every town and village. The solution? A 'virtual Modi'—a life-size
3D hologram —beamed to parts he could not reach in person. These pioneering techniques
brought millions of young people to the ballot box—the holy grail of election strategists
everywhere—and Modi trounced the governing Congress Party led by the Gandhi dynasty. With exclusive access to Modi and his team of advisers Lance Price details Modi's
rise to power, the extraordinary election victory & its aftermath.
Conflict in Ukraine: The Unwinding of the PostCold War Order by Menon & Rumer ($44.95, HB)
The current conflict in Ukraine has spawned the most serious crisis
between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War. It has
undermined European security, raised questions about NATO's future, and put an end to one of the most ambitious projects of US foreign policy - building a partnership with Russia. This book puts the
conflict in historical perspective by examining the evolution of the
crisis and assessing its implications both for the Crimean peninsula
and for Russia's relations with the West more generally.
Confidence Trap: A History of Democracy in Crisis
from WW I to the Present by David Runciman
Why do democracies keep lurching from success to failure? The
current financial crisis is just the latest example of how things continue to go wrong. In this wide-ranging book David Runciman tells
the story of modern democracy through the history of moments of
crisis, from the First World War to the economic crash of 2008. A
global history with a special focus on the United States, The Confidence Trap examines how democracy survived threats ranging from
the Great Depression to the Cuban missile crisis, and from Watergate to the collapse of
Lehman Brothers. It also looks at the confusion and uncertainty created by unexpected
victories, from the defeat of German autocracy in 1918 to the defeat of communism in
1989. Breeding complacency rather than wisdom, crises lead to the dangerous belief that
democracies can muddle through anything—a confidence trap that may lead to a crisis that
is just too big to escape, if it hasn't already. The most serious challenges confronting democracy today are debt, the war on terror, the rise of China, and climate change. If democracy is to survive them, it must figure out a way to break this confidence trap. ($45.95, PB)
History
Mr Selden's Map of China: The spice trade, a
lost chart & the South China Sea ($22.99, PB)
In 1659, a vast & unusual map of China arrived in the Bodleian
Library, Oxford. It was bequeathed by John Selden, a London
business lawyer, political activist, former convict, MP & the
city's first Orientalist scholar. Largely ignored, it remained in the
bowels of the library, until called up by an inquisitive reader.
When Timothy Brook saw it in 2009—the Selden Map was an
exceptional artefact, so unsettlingly modern-looking it could almost be a forgery. It
shows China, not cut off from the world, but a participant in the embryonic networks
of global trade that fuelled the rise of Europe—and which now power China's ascent.
How did John Selden acquire it? Where did it come from? Who re-imagined the
world in this way? What can it tell us about the world at that time? From the Gobi
Desert to the Philippines, from Java to Tibet and into China itself, Brook uses the
map (actually a schematic representation of China's relation to astrological heaven)
to tease out the varied elements that defined this crucial period in China's history.
The Bletchley Girls by Tessa Dunlop
Although critical to the success of the project to break the German and Japanese codes in the WW2, the women of Bletchley
Park's contribution has been consistently overlooked & undervalued. Through unprecedented access to surviving veterans,
this book reveals how life at 'The Park' and its outstations was far
removed from the glamorous existence usually portrayed. The
women speak vividly of their lives in the 1930s, why they were
selected to work in Britain's most secret organisation, and the
challenges of re-entry into civilian life. Forbidden to talk about
their vital war work, they often found it hard to adjust to the expectations of both their
immediate families and society as whole. ($35, PB)
A Higher Form of Killing: Six Weeks in World
War I That Forever Changed The Nature of
Warfare by Diana Preston ($33, HB)
In six weeks during April and May 1915, as World War I escalated, Germany forever altered the way war would be fought.
On April 22, at Ypres, German canisters spewed poison gas at
French and Canadian soldiers in their trenches; on May 7, the
German submarine U-20, without warning, torpedoed the passenger liner Lusitania, killing 1,198 civilians; and on May 31, a
German Zeppelin began the first aerial bombardment of London and its inhabitants.
Each of these actions violated rules of war carefully agreed at the Hague Conventions
of 1898 and 1907. Diana Preston places the attacks in the context of the centuries-old
debate over what constitutes just war, and shows how, in their aftermath, the other
combatants felt the necessity to develop extreme weapons of their own.
Rise of Thomas Cromwell: Power and Politics
in the Reign of Henry VIII, 1485–1534
by Michael Everett ($64, HB)
How much does the Thomas Cromwell of novel & TV resemble
the real Cromwell? Michael Everett's study of Cromwell's early
political career expands & revises what has been understood
concerning the life & talents of Henry VIII's chief minister. He
provides a new account of Cromwell's rise to power, his influence on the king, his role in the Reformation, and his impact on
the future of the nation—depicting Cromwell not as the fervent
evangelical, Machiavellian politician, or revolutionary administrator that earlier historians have perceived. Instead he reveals Cromwell as a highly capable & efficient
servant of the Crown, rising to power not by masterminding Henry VIII's split with
Rome but rather by dint of exceptional skills as an administrator.
Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels: How Human Values Evolve by Ian Morris ($61, HB)
Most people in the world today think democracy & gender
equality are good, and that violence & wealth inequality are
bad. But most people who lived during the 10,000 years before
the 19th century thought just the opposite. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, biology, and history, Ian Morris offers a
compelling new argument about the evolution of human values,
one that has far-reaching implications for how we understand the
past—and for what might happen next. Originating as the Tanner
Lectures delivered at Princeton University, the book includes challenging responses
by novelist Margaret Atwood, philosopher Christine Korsgaard, classicist Richard
Seaford, and historian of China Jonathan Spence.
King John: England, Magna Carta & the Making of a Tyrant by Stephen Church ($55, HB)
No English king has suffered a worse press than King John: but
how to disentangle legend and reality? Drawing on thousands of
contemporary sources, Stephen Church tells John's story—from
boyhood and the succession crises of his early adulthood, to accession, rebellion and civil war. In doing so, he reveals exactly
why John's reign went so disastrously wrong and how John's failure led to the great cornerstone of Britain's constitution: Magna
Carta. Vivid and authoritative, this is history at its visceral best.
15
Science & Nature
Water 4.0: The Past, Present, and Future of the World's
Most Vital Resource by David Sedlak
Most of us give little thought to the hidden systems that bring us water &
take it away when we're done with it. But these underappreciated marvels
of engineering face an array of challenges that cannot be solved without
a fundamental change to our relationship with water. To make informed
decisions about the future, it's necessary to understand the 3 revolutions
in urban water systems that have occurred over the past 2,500 years &
the technologies that will remake the system. Robert Sedlak starts by
describing Water 1.0, the early Roman aqueducts, fountains & sewers
that made dense urban living feasible. He then details the development of drinking water &
sewage treatment systems—the 2nd & 3rd revolutions in urban water. He offers an insider's
look at current systems that rely on reservoirs, underground pipe networks, treatment plants
& storm sewers to provide water that is safe to drink, & looks at how these water systems will
have to be reinvented. ($36.95, PB)
The Desert: Lands of Lost Borders by Michael Welland
T
he English language
arrived in Australia
with the first motley bunch
of European settlers on 26
January 1788. Today there is
clearly a distinctive Australian
regional dialect with its own
place among the global family
of ‘Englishes’. How did this
come about? A lively narrative,
Kel Richards tells the story of
the birth, rise and triumphant
progress of the colourful dingo
lingo that we know today as
Aussie English.
Lands of extremes, contrasts and constant change, deserts cover a quarter
of our planet’s land area and are home to some half a billion people.
Though generally seen as arid and infertile, deserts have been the birthplaces of critical evolutionary adaptations, civilisations, ideologies and
agricultural and social progress. Deserts play active roles in the continued evolution of our climate and societies, demanding that we think seriously about these barren lands and their future. From scorching seas of
sand to glacial polar expanses, The Desert: Lands of Lost Borders relates
the tales, truths, folklore and facts of the desert in an analysis that is at once informative and
surprising. ($60, HB)
Finding Zero: A Mathematicians Odyssey to Uncover
the Origins of Numbers by Amir D. Aczel
This is the adventure filled saga of Amir Aczel's lifelong obsession: to
find the original sources of our numerals. His history begins with the
early Babylonian cuneiform numbers, followed by the later Greek and
Roman letter numerals. Then Aczel asks the key question: where do
the numbers we use today, the so-called Hindu-Arabic numerals, come
from? It is this search that leads him to explore uncharted territory, to
go on a grand quest into India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and ultimately
into the wilds of Cambodia. There he is blown away to find the earliest
zero—the keystone of our entire system of numbers—on a crumbling, vine-covered wall of a
seventh-century temple adorned with eaten-away erotic sculptures. ($35, HB)
The Moral Arc: How Science & Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice & Freedom
by Michael Shermer ($40, HB)
O
ver ten years after
Australia’s first national
laws were enacted to combat
the threat of terrorism, yet
more anti-terrorism laws
were passed in the Australian
Parliament in late 2014.
The first laws were often
introduced in great haste
and were stunning in scope
and number. The latest laws
are similarly extensive and
controversial. Yet again,
powers and sanctions once
thought to lie outside the rules of a liberal
democracy except during wartime have
become part of Australian law. Timely and
piercing this book asks whether Australia
really needed to enact anti-terrorism laws in
the first place, let alone add to them?
w w w. n ews o u t h p u b l i s h i n g .co m
16
Now in B Format
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
Elizabeth Kolbert, $20
From Galileo & Newton to Thomas Hobbes & Martin Luther King, Jr,
thinkers throughout history have consciously employed scientific techniques to better understand the non-physical world. The Age of Reason
and the Enlightenment led theorists to apply scientific reasoning to the
non-scientific disciplines of politics, economics & moral philosophy. Instead of relying on the woodcuts of dissected bodies in old medical texts,
physicians opened bodies themselves to see what was there; instead of
divining truth through the authority of an ancient holy book or philosophical treatise, people
began to explore the book of nature for themselves through travel & exploration; instead of the
supernatural belief in the divine right of kings, people employed a natural belief in the right
of democracy. In this provocative book, Michael Shermer explains how abstract reasoning,
rationality, empiricism, skepticism—scientific ways of thinking—have profoundly changed
the way we perceive morality and, indeed, move us ever closer to a more just world.
Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure
by Cédric Villani ($35, PB)
Cédric Villani takes us on a mesmerising journey as he wrestles with a
new theorem that will win him the most coveted prize in mathematics.
Along the way he encounters obstacles and setbacks, losses of faith and
even brushes with madness. Discover how it feels to be obsessed by a
theorem during your child's cello practise and throughout your dreams,
why appreciating maths is a bit like watching an episode of Columbo,
and how sometimes inspiration only comes from locking yourself away
in a dark room to think. Blending science with history, biography with
myth, Villani conjures up an inimitable cast of characters including the omnipresent Einstein,
mad genius Kurt Gödel, and Villani's personal hero, John Nash.
The Vital Question: Why is Life the Way It Is?
by Nick Lane ($50, HB)
Bacteria evolved into complex life just once in four billion years of life
on earth—and all complex life shares many strange properties, from sex
to ageing and death. If life evolved on other planets, would it be the same
or completely different? Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a cogent solution to conundrums that have troubled
scientists for decades. The answer, he argues, lies in energy: how all life
on Earth lives off a voltage with the strength of a bolt of lightning. In
unravelling these scientific enigmas, making sense of life's quirks, Lane's
explanation provides a solution to life's vital questions: why are we as we are, and why are
we here at all?
Philosophy & Religion
Drone Theory by Gregoire Chamayou ($20, PB)
Employed in both areas of armed conflict & countries officially at
peace, the use of armed drones has become emblematic of US antiterrorist doctrine—'kill rather than capture'—and has placed entire populations under potentially permanent lethal surveillance. Drone Theory
is a rigorous polemic against the increasing use of robot warfare around
the world. Drawing on philosophical debate, moral lessons from Greek
mythology & transcripts of conversations between drone operators,
Gregoire Chamayou re-evaluates the socio-political impact of drone
warfare on the world—and its people. He travels through Nevada, Pakistan & arresting philosophical terrain to reveal how drones are changing the landscape
of war theory and to highlight the profound moral implications of our own silence in the
face of drone warfare.
Heidegger on Being Uncanny by Katherine Withy
There are moments when things suddenly seem strange objects in the
world lose their meaning, we feel like strangers to ourselves, or human existence itself strikes us as bizarre and unintelligible. Through a
detailed philosophical investigation of Heidegger's concept of uncanniness (Unheimlichkeit), Katherine Withy explores what such experiences reveal about us. She argues that while others (such as Freud, in his
seminal psychoanalytic essay, The Uncanny) take uncanniness to be an
affective quality of strangeness or eeriness, Heidegger uses the concept
to go beyond feeling uncanny to reach the ground of this feeling in our 'being' uncanny.
Withy tracks this concept from his early analyses of angst through his later interpretations
of the choral ode from Sophocles' Antigone. Her interpretation uncovers a robust continuity in Heidegger's thought & in his vision of the human being as uncanny, and it points the
way toward what it is to live well as an uncanny human being. ($78, HB)
Deepest Human Life: An Introduction to Philosophy
for Everyone by Scott Samuelson ($29.95, PB)
Scott Samuelson takes philosophy back from the specialists and restores it to its proper place at the centre of our humanity, rediscovering
it as our most profound effort toward understanding, as a way of life
that anyone can live. He starts with Socrates, working his most famous
assertion—that wisdom is knowing that one knows nothing—into a
method, a way of approaching our greatest mysteries. He ruminates on
Epicurus against the sonic backdrop of crickets & restaurant goers in
Iowa City. He follows the Stoics into the cell where James Stockdale
spent 7 years as a prisoner of war. And he gets the philosophy education of his life when
one of his students, who authorised a risky surgery for her son that inadvertently led to his
death, asks with tears in her eyes if Kant was right, if it really is the motive that matters &
not the consequences. Interludes like On Wine and Bicycles or On Zombies and Superheroes, invest philosophy with the personal & vice versa
Does Altruism Exist?: Culture, Genes & the Welfare
of Others by David Sloan Wilson ($39.95, HB)
Evolutionist, David Sloan Wilson, argues that the key to understanding
the existence of altruism is by understanding the role it plays in the
social organisation of groups. Groups that function like organisms indubitably exist, and organisms evolved from groups. Evolutionists largely
agree on how functionally organised groups evolve, ending decades of
controversy, but the resolution casts altruism in a new light: altruism exists but shouldn’t necessarily occupy centre stage in our understanding
of social behaviour. After laying a general theoretical foundation, Wilson surveys altruism
& group-level functional organisation in our own species in religion, in economics, and in
the rest of everyday life. He shows that altruism is not categorically good & can have pathological consequences. Finally, he shows how a social theory that goes beyond altruism by
focusing on group function can help to improve the human condition in a practical sense.
Ransom of the Soul: Afterlife and Wealth in Early
Western Christianity by Peter Brown ($49.95, HB)
Peter Brown explores a revolutionary shift in thinking about the fate
of the soul that occurred between 250 to 650 CE. He describes how
this shift transformed the Church's institutional relationship to money
& set the stage for its domination of medieval society in the West. Early
Christian doctrine held that the living & the dead, as equally sinful beings, needed each other in order to achieve redemption. In the 3rd century, money began to play a decisive role in these practices, as wealthy
Christians took ever more elaborate steps to protect their own souls—
they secured privileged burial sites & made lavish donations to churches, & Church doctrine concerning the afterlife evolved from speculation to firm reality, prompting stormy
debates about money that resonated through the centuries and kept alive the fundamental
question of how heaven and earth could be joined by human agency.
How to Do Things with Pornography by Nancy Bauer
Feminist philosophers have made important strides in altering the overwhelmingly male-centric discipline of philosophy. Yet, in Nancy Bauer’s view, most are still content to work within theoretical frameworks
that are fundamentally false to human beings’ everyday experiences.
This is particularly intolerable for a species of philosophy whose central
aspiration is to make the world a less sexist place. How to Do Things
with Pornography models a new way to write philosophically about
pornography, women’s self-objectification, hook-up culture, and other
contemporary phenomena. ($61, HB)
Psychology
Creatures of a Day: and other tales of psychotherapy by Irvin Yalom ($27.99, PB)
Irvin D. Yalom has always pressed his patients & readers to grapple with life's two greatest challenges: that we all must die, and
that each of us is responsible for leading a life worth living. As he
& his patients confront the difficulty of these challenges, Yalom
not only gives an enthralling glimpse into their personal desires
and motivations but also tells us his own story as he struggles to reconcile his emotional life with the demands placed on him, and reckons with his own life's inevitable
end. The process of psychotherapy can create some of the most engrossing human
dramas imaginable, and this book provides an intelligent, compassionate, and yet
unflinching look at the human soul & all the pain, confusion & hope that go with it.
Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry
by Jeffrey A. Lieberman ($32.99, PB)
Psychiatry has come a long way since the days of chaining 'lunatics' in cold cells and parading them as freakish marvels before a gaping public. But, as Jeffrey Lieberman reveals the path
to legitimacy for 'the black sheep of medicine' has been anything
but smooth. Lieberman traces the field from its birth as a mystic
pseudo-science through its adolescence as a cult of 'shrinks' to its
late blooming maturity since WW2 as a science-driven profession
that saves lives. With fascinating case studies & portraits of the
luminaries of the field, from Sigmund Freud to Eric Kandel, Shrinks is a gripping
read, and also an urgent call-to-arms to dispel the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Analytical Psychology in Exile: The Correspondence of C. G. Jung and Erich Neumann ($68, HB)
C. G. Jung & Erich Neumann first met in 1933, at a seminar Jung
was conducting in Berlin. Jung was 57 years old and internationally acclaimed for his own brand of psychotherapy. Neumann, 28,
was a psychotherapist in training. The two men struck up a correspondence that would continue until Neumann's death in 1960.
Presented here in English for the first time are letters that provide
a rare look at the development of Jung's psychological theories
from the 1930s onward, shedding light on not only Jung's political attitude toward Nazi Germany, his alleged anti-Semitism, and his psychological
theory of fascism, but also his understanding of Jewish psychology & mysticism.
They affirm Neumann's importance as a leading psychologist of his time & paint
a fascinating picture of the psychological impact of immigration on the German
Jewish intellectuals who settled in Palestine & helped to create the state of Israel.
Beyond the Brain: How Body & Environment
Shape Animal & Human Minds by Louise Barrett
Removing our human-centred spectacles, Louise Barrett investigates the mind & brain, offering an alternative approach for understanding animal & human cognition. Drawing on examples
from animal behaviour, comparative psychology, robotics, artificial life, developmental psychology & cognitive science, Barrett
provides remarkable new insights into how animals & humans
depend on their bodies & environment­—not just their brains—to
behave intelligently. Showing that the brain's evolutionary function guides action in the world, she looks at how physical structure contributes to
cognitive processes, and she demonstrates how these processes employ materials &
resources in specific environments. Arguing that thinking & behaviour constitute a
property of the whole organism, not just the brain, Barrett illustrates how the body,
brain, and cognition are tied to the wider world. ($71, HB)
The Obsessive Joy of Autism by Julia Bascom
Julia Bascom's depiction of the joy of autistic obsessions
tells a story about autism that is very rarely told. It tells of a
world beyond impairments and medical histories, where the
multiples of seven can open a floodgate of untranslatable joy,
where riding a train can make everything feel perfectly sized
and full of light, and where flapping your hands just so amplifies everything you feel. This book will resonate powerfully
with other autistic people, and encourage those who have a person with autism in
their lives to look out for that joy, to chase it, to get obsessed. ($21.95, HB)
Forgetting: Myths, Perils and Compensations
by Douwe Draaisma ($46.95, HB)
Far from being a defect that may indicate Alzheimer’s or another
form of dementia, Douwe Draaisma claims, forgetting is one of
memory’s crucial capacities. In fact, forgetting is essential. Is a
forgotten memory lost forever? What makes a colleague remember an idea but forget that it was yours? Draaisma explores 'first
memories' of young children, how experiences are translated into
memory, the controversies over repression and 'recovered' memories, and weird examples of memory dysfunction. He movingly
examines the impact on personal memories when a hidden truth comes to light. In
a persuasive conclusion Draaisma advocates the undervalued practice of 'the art of
forgetting'—a set of techniques that assist in erasing memories, thereby preserving
valuable relationships and encouraging personal contentment.
17
The Project Continues...
This month I proceeded with some reluctance along
my 'Jane Austen Project' reading project. Each of her
six books are being 'reimagined' by contemporary authors in contemporary settings, and next on the list was
Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid. This is the one
Austen I have not read, and neither had I read anything
by McDermid, and I have to say it’s got quite an off
putting cover (a spooky house with weather swirling
around it). Like the other books in the project, it stays
very true to the characters and plot, but in this reimagining, the setting in the first part of the book has been
changed from Bath, to the Edinburgh Festival. Our heroine, Catherine, is
a modern day ingénue, home-schooled, dreamy and undirected, and very
happy to be led. Val McDermid really captures the feeling of a festival, the
excitement and the sense of possibility for Catherine. However she unfortunately meets the shallow Isabella fairly early in the proceedings, and
being easy to manipulate by both Isabella and her ghastly brother, that’s
the end of a possibly interesting cultural education. Happily, Catherine also
meets the Tilneys—dashing Henry, who twinkles with promise, and his
lovely sister Eleanor—and she soon finds herself as a visitor in their rambling family home, Northanger Abbey. In the original, I believe Catherine
is a reader of Gothic novels. In McDermid's version she's a fan of the Twilight series, and so the unsuspecting Tilneys become the beautiful vampire
family, so familiar to readers of that genre. It’s all quite silly, but so well
written, with a light touch and cracking pace, that the reader can certainly
sympathise with Catherine’s delusions, if not fully believe in them. The
resolution is of course predictable, but satisfying—that’s one thing that
doesn’t change, we do like true love to find its way in fiction as in life.
I find it so interesting to see how tastes change,
and how our awareness and collective eye are refined and re-educated. The beautiful book Imperfect Home, by Mark & Sally Bailey, is a collection
of different interiors, furnishings and fabrics that
demonstrate this phenomenon. What would have
previously been perceived as rather drab, dark and
incomplete now appears as extremely desirable,
and quite aspirational. Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese
aesthetic that celebrates imperfection and impermanence, is shown in the simple, slightly rough,
frayed look throughout the many rooms photographed, most of them in
Japanese houses and some shops (although there are a few from the UK).
Wonderful old wooden furniture, fabulous simple ceramics, worn linens
and a prolific amount of fabulous indigo fabrics. In fact, there is a definite
indigo atmosphere pervading the book—indigo and grey abound, and after
finishing the book, I found myself convinced they were the most appealing
of colours. I also love the fact that there are no people in the photos, we see
their possessions and environments, but it is like they have just stepped out
of the frame, so the reader can picture themselves in the rooms ... or not.
Louise Pfanner
The Outsourcer: The Story of India's IT
Revolution by Dinesh C. Sharma ($58.95, HB)
The rise of the Indian information technology industry is a
remarkable economic success story. Software and services
exports from India amounted to less than $100 million in
1990, and today come close to $100 billion. But, as Dinesh
Sharma explains in The Outsourcer, Indian IT's success has
a long prehistory; it did not begin with software support, or
with American firms' eager recruitment of cheap and plentiful programming labour, or with India's economic liberalisation of the 90s. The foundations of India's IT revolution were laid long ago,
even before the country's independence from British rule in 1947, as leading
Indian scientists established research institutes that became centres for the development of computer science and technology. The 'miracle' of Indian IT is
actually a story about the long work of converting skills and knowledge into
capital and wealth.
The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion by Meghan Daum ($44, HB)
Nearly fifteen years after her debut collection, My Misspent
Youth, captured the ambitions and anxieties of a generation,
Meghan Daum returns to the personal essay—her old encounters with overdrawn bank accounts & oversised ambitions in the big city giving way to a new set of challenges.
In this new collection, she pushes back against the false
sentimentality & shrink-wrapped platitudes that surround
so much of contemporary American experience and considers the unspeakable
thoughts many of us harbour—that we might not love our parents enough, that
'life's pleasures' sometimes feel more like chores—she weighs the decision to
have children, opting for a more fulfilling path as a court-appointed advocate for
foster children, skewers the marriage-industrial complex and recounts a harrowing near-death experience following a sudden illness.
18
Cultural Studies & Criticism
Being There by David Malouf ($30, HB)
After exploring the idea of home, where and what it is in A First Place,
what does it mean to be a writer and where writing begins in The Writing Life, David Malouf moves on in this collection to words and music
and art and performance. With pieces on the Sydney Opera House—
then and now—responses to art, artists and architects, and including
Malouf's not previously published libretti for Voss and a translation
of Hippolytus, this is an unmissable and stimulating collection of his
connection to the world of art, ideas and culture.
On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss
When Eula Biss became a mother, she stepped into a new world of
fear: fear of the government, the medical establishment, the contents
of her child's air, food, mattress—and vaccines. In this bold, fascinating book, Biss investigates the metaphors and myths surrounding our
conception of immunity, and its implications for the individual and the
social body. Weaving her personal experiences with an exploration of
classical and contemporary literature, Biss considers what vaccines,
and the debate around them, mean for her own child, her immediate
community and the wider world. ($30, PB)
Refusing the Veil by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
As a Shia Muslim woman, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown will never accept
that the veil is a legitimate choice for any woman. Her mother’s generation threw them off in the 20s and stamped their mark on history.
Alibhai-Brown argues that what they did was as serious and brave as
the struggles of western suffragettes. The Koran does not command
full veiling. In Refusing the Veil, she makes an argument for reclaiming female human rights and freedoms. ($20, HB)
So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
In 2012, Jon Ronson's online identity was stolen. He publicly confronted the imposters, a trio of academics who had created a Jon Ronson Twitter bot obsessed by unlikely food combinations & weird sex.
At first, Jon was delighted to find strangers all over the world uniting
to support him in his outrage. The wrongdoers were quickly shamed
into stopping. But then things got out of hand. This encounter prompted Jon to explore the phenomenon of public shaming & he learned
just how quickly public ridicule, often delivered from anonymous or
distant sources, can devastate its victim. How big a transgression really justifies someone losing their job? What about the people who
become global targets for doing nothing more than making a bad joke
on Twitter, do they deserve to have their lives ruined? How is this renaissance of shaming changing the world and what is the true reason behind it? ($30, PB)
Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights by Katha Pollitt
40 years after the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, 'abortion' is still a
word that is said with either outright hostility or vague discomfort
by many, this despite the fact that one in three American women will
have terminated at least one pregnancy by the time they reach menopause. Even those who support a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy often qualify their support by saying abortion is a 'bad thing',
an 'agonising decision', thereby placing the medical procedure on a
pedestal so remote & radioactive that it takes it out of the world of the
everyday, turning an act that is often necessary, and often welcomed,
into something shameful & secretive. Katha Pollitt reframes abortion as a common part
of a woman's reproductive life, one that should be accepted as a moral right with positive
social implications. In clear, concise arguments, Pollitt takes on the 'personhood' argument, reaffirms the priority of a woman's life & health, and discusses why terminating a
pregnancy can be a force for social good. ($39.99, HB)
One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik & the Massacre in Norway by Åsne Seierstad ($35, PB)
On 22 July 2011 Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 of his fellow Norwegians in a terrorist atrocity that shocked the world. How could this
happen? Why did it happen? And who was Anders Breivik? War correspondent Åsne Seierstad has collected extensive testimonies and
interviews to give a definitive account of the massacres and the subsequent trial. More than the compelling story of Anders Breivik and a
select group of his victims, this is also a story about community versus
isolation, hope versus rejection, love versus bigotry—and a powerful
memorial to those who lost their lives.
The Fall of Language in the Age of English
by Minae Mizumura ($56.95, HB)
Winner of the Kobayashi Hideo Award, this book lays bare the struggle to retain the brilliance of one's own language in this period of English-language dominance. Minae Mizumura acknowledges the value
of a universal language in the pursuit of knowledge, yet also embraces
the different ways of understanding offered by multiple tongues. She
warns against losing this precious diversity. In the globalised world
of the Internet, English is fast becoming the sole common language
of humanity. The process is unstoppable, and striving for total language equality is delusional—and yet, particular kinds of knowledge can be gained only through writings in
specific languages. Only through literature, and more fundamentally through the diverse
languages that give birth to a variety of literatures, can we nurture and enrich humanity.
On Elizabeth Bishop by Colm Tóibín ($39.95, HB)
In a compelling double portrait, novelist Colm Tóibín offers a
deeply personal introduction to the work and life of one of his
most important literary influences—the American poet Elizabeth
Bishop. For Tóibín, the secret of Bishop’s emotional power is in
what she leaves unsaid. Exploring Bishop’s famous attention to
detail, Tóibín describes how Bishop is able to convey great emotion indirectly, through precise descriptions of particular settings,
objects, and events. He examines how Bishop’s attachment to the
Nova Scotia of her childhood, despite her later life in Key West
and Brazil, is related to her early loss of her parents—and how this connection finds
echoes in Tóibín’s life as an Irish writer who has lived in Barcelona, NY & elsewhere.
Provocations: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought ($99, HB)
The first collection of its kind, this volume is historically organised
& transnational in scope, highlighting key ideas, transformative
moments, and feminist conversations across national & cultural
borders. Emphasising feminist cross-talk, transnational collaborations & influences, and cultural differences in context, this anthology heralds a new approach to studying feminist history. From
political manifestos to theoretical & cultural analysis to poetry and
fiction, the texts range from those of classical antiquity to others
composed during the Arab Spring—representing Asia, the Middle East, Latin America,
Western Europe & the US. Each section begins with an introductory essay that presents
central ideas & explores connections among readings, placing them in historical, national & intellectual contexts and concluding with questions for discussion & reflection.
The Internet of Things by Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard offers a guided tour through the emerging
world of the Internet of Things (IoT)—Smart phones, cloud
computing, RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology,
sensors, and miniaturisation that are converging to make possible a new generation of embedded & immersive technology.
He traces the origins of the IoT from the early days of personal
computers & the Internet & examines how it creates the conceptual & practical framework for a connected world. He explores
the industrial Internet & machine-to-machine communication,
the basis for smart manufacturing & end-to-end supply chain visibility; the growing
array of smart consumer devices & services—from Fitbit fitness wristbands to mobile
apps for banking; the practical & technical challenges of building the IoT; and the
risks of a connected world, including a widening digital divide & threats to privacy &
security. Finally, he considers the long-term impact of the IoT on society, narrating an
eye-opening 'Day in the Life' of IoT connections circa 2025. ($28.95, PB)
Now in B Format
The News: A User's Manual by Alain de Botton, $23
A First Place by David Malouf, $20
Language & Writing
The Story of Australian English by Kel Richards
The English language arrived in Australia with the first motley
bunch of European settlers on 26 January 1788. Today there is
clearly a distinctive Australian regional dialect with its own place
among the global family of ‘Englishes’. How did this come about?
Where did the distinctive pattern, accent & verbal inventions that
make up Aussie English come from? A lively narrative, this book
tells the story of the birth, rise & triumphant progress of the colourful dingo lingo that we know today as Aussie English. ($30, PB)
Shady Characters: Ampersands, Interrobangs and
other Typographical Curiosities by Keith Houston
What does the hashtag have to do with ancient Romans & Isaac
Newton? How did a dash almost bring down the British establishment? Why is the @ symbol called a strudel in Hebrew & rollmop
herring in Czech? How do you express sarcasm with a punctuation
mark? This book is all about the symbols we use every day, and the
incredible stories behind why they mean what they mean. Taking
in ancient graffiti, Medieval shorthand, New York advertising men,
great orators, rogues, rebels & pioneers, Shady Characters reveals
how a series of strange signs, shapes and squiggles have (often literally) shaped our
language. ($29.99, PB)
One Day in the Life of the English Language: A
Microcosmic Usage Handbook by Frank L. Cioffi
This antihandbook handbook, uses some 300 sentences drawn
from the printed works of a single, typical day in the life of the
language—December 29, 2008—to give students the motivation to
apply grammatical principles correctly & efficiently. Frank Cioffi
emphasises the evolving nature of English usage & debunks some
cherished but flawed grammar precepts. Is it acceptable to end a
sentence with a preposition? It is. Can you start a sentence with a
conjunction? You can. OK to split an infinitive? No problem. The
book also includes a glossary, a teachers' guide, and a section refuting some myths
about digital-age English. ($48.95, HB)
19
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The 1970s was a decade full of mysteries, especially for teenagers (like me)
with enquiring minds. So, in further recognition of Gleebooks 40th Anniversary
we present two more bestselling titles from that decade. No 70s bookshelf was
complete without :
Chariots of the Gods? by Erich von Daniken 1972. $8
'It took courage to write this book, and it will take courage
to read it. Because its theories do not fit into the mosaic of
traditional archaeology, scholars will call it nonsense…' After an opening like that, who could resist reading on? Swiss
author Erich von Daniken (b.1935) hit the jackpot with his
worldwide bestselling book (six reprints in Australia in 1972
alone) that claimed extraterrestrial beings were responsible
for the development of human culture and the building of
such monuments as the pyramids, Stonehenge, Mayan, Inca
and Aztec structures and the Easter Island statues. This work
also claims that various cultures left diverse pictorial and literary records of
these space visitors.
The book's title itself is also mysterious. The title of the original 1968 German
edition actually translates as 'Memories of the Future' (Huh?). The English edition carries the subtitle 'Was God an Astronaut?' I recall our high school science
class being herded into the Assembly Hall in 1973 to watch a very well made
film based on the book. Our science teacher, impressed by its impact upon us,
organised a class debate.
Being a 16 year old archaeology enthusiast, I was among a very small group who
dared to doubt von Daniken's theories. 'We're sending astronauts to the Moon!
Surely we could manage to build the pyramids!', was what I thought a brilliant
debating point. 'Just proves astronauts could have come to Earth, TOO!', my opponents laughingly replied. Oh well. Pseudoscience 1, archaeology 0.
Yet truth, though crushed to earth, shall rise again. Even though von Daniken
churned out a dozen more books over the following decade, all reiterating his
basic theory, by 2012 forty years of advances in archaeological knowledge of
ancient cultures have put paid (I trust) to his bizarre ideas. However he maintains a website and between 2003–2006 operated a 'Chariots of the Gods' theme
park near Interlaken, Switzerland.
The Prophecies of Nostradamus. Translated, edited and
interpreted by Erika Cheetham. 1978. Paperback. $10.00.
In 1555 the French seer, Michel de Nostredame— Latinised
as Nostradamus (1503–1566), published a series of prophecies as quatrains—a literary device consisting of four lines.
I can do no better than quote the back cover of this book:
'From the 16th century came visions of life today... Four
hundred years ago Michel de Nostredame sat alone in the
dark, secret room studying the forbidden books on witchcraft and the occult. By his side stood a brass tripod and
placed on that was a simple bowl of water. But the water
shimmered and grew cloudy and from within its depths came visions of the past
and the future... visions which told of the great fire of London, the Second World
War, air travel and even the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy. (This is)
a medieval guide to the future of the world...'
In 1991, I worked in a secondhand bookshop in Newtown. On 17 January, four
customers came in within the first hour of opening that morning to ask for a copy
of this book. I had sold our only one to the first enquirer and asked the fourth
person the reason for this sudden demand for Nostradamus. His reply: 'He predicted it! War in Persia!' Ah yes. That very day saw the opening of 'Operation
Desert Storm' a military campaign of the First Gulf War, involving a coalition
of 34 nations (including Australia) and led by the United States, undertaken in
response to Iraq's (Persia's) invasion of Kuwait the previous August.
Let's have a look at this prophecy: Century I, Quatrain 70: Rain, famine and war
will not cease in Persia; too great a faith will betray the monarch. Those (actions) started in France will end there, a secret sign for one to be sparing. Our
editor, Ms Cheetham, is frankly puzzled by this verse, noting: 'France and Persia
have been at war on several occasions, but it is difficult to relate this to a specific
incident'. In 1978 perhaps... but in 1991, it's a different story!
Perhaps the most famous quatrain is one interpreted as predicting the outbreak
of World War II: Century II, Quatrain 24: Beasts wild with hunger will cross the
River, the greater part of the battlefield will be against Hitler. He will drag the
leader in a cage of iron, where the child of Germany observes no law. Sounds
promising. Unfortunately the word 'Hister' in the original—which many translators assume is 'Hitler'—is the Latin name for the Danube River. Not so promising after all.
I see there were also predictions given for a Third World War in 1986, 1993 and
1996. Lucky we missed those. Yet Nostradamus' prophecies are nothing if not
adaptable. Catastrophes forecast, but avoided, in the 20th century are merely
updated to the 21st. This allows us, if we wish, to account for 9/11, the Second
Gulf War, Hurricane Katrina, the South East Asian tsunami and the onset of the
Global Financial Crisis—although I am of the opinion that forecasting the future
workings of our modern day financial alchemists would have defeated even the
prophetic powers of the famed French mystic. Stephen Reid
19
New Music Bio's
The flood of new music books continues unabated. Here are a selection released in
the last few months...
Hole: Live Through This by Anwen Crawford ($20, PB)
My former Gleebooks colleague Anwen Crawford adds new lustre to the renowned
33 1/3 series of monographs on landmark albums. Her contribution, No. 103, details
the enduring musical and cultural impact of Courtney Love's first album, released in
1994, four days after her partner Kurt Cobain's suicide. It does so in exquisitely written, punchy prose. Not only did yours truly, a rock music dinosaur of the 1970s and
80s, enjoy reading it, it also gave me a revealing insight into the musical achievement
of a female artist about whom I knew very little. No small achievement, Anwen!
Rating: Five Stars
Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Bragg ($33, PB)
'Goodness, Gracious!.. Great Balls of Fire!'... At age 79, Jerry Lee (b.1935) shows no
signs of slowing down, so this well written account of a born musical hell raiser is
especially welcome. Breech born and pulled out feet first by his Papa, Elmo (because
the doctor had passed out after drinking too much bootleg whiskey from the Lewis
family still), the new arrival was 'comprised mostly of whalebone and hell'. At age
four, Jerry depressed a key on his aunt's piano and picked out Silent Night. Certain
that this natural ability was a divine gift, Elmo mortgaged the family farm to buy his
son's first piano.
Various youthful 'escapades' are recounted: the seventh grade student who tried to
strangle a teacher, earning the nickname 'The Killer'; Jerry routinely stealing cars and
visiting black clubs to enjoy their 'forbidden' music. At a bible college in Texas, teenage Jerry (still wanting to become a preacher) was asked to play a few gospel tunes
at a school talent show. He did so. After the student audience had finally stopped
howling and shrieking with frenzied enthusiasm, Lewis was expelled. 'You've ruined
a great Christian college', fumed the dean.
His recording career began at Sun Records Studio, Tennessee, under the guidance
of the legendary producer, Sam Phillips. Crazy Arms, a minor hit in 1956, was followed in 1957 by two big ones Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On and Great Balls of
Fire. Eighteen months later he was ruined at 22, when it was revealed he had married
Myra Brown, his 13 year old second cousin.
Blacklisted on US radio, his records banned, Lewis spent the decade on the road
playing bars and dives in a ceaseless bid to regain his lost audience. During the 1970s
he reinvented himself as a honky tonk country artist and achieved a second stardom
even greater than the first.
Jerry Lee does not come across as particularly likeable, but author Rick Bragg offers
a clear eyed recounting of the later personal havoc and misfortune Lewis was to suffer. Of his seven marriages, one (possibly two) were bigamous. One wife took her
own life with an overdose, another drowned. Two of his six children died young in
tragic accidents. Accusations of alcoholism, drug and spouse abuse also dogged him.
Yet through five decades, Lewis endures. The book concludes with him recovering
from his latest operation, still seeking another musical hit and reiterating his simple
vow: 'Jerry Lee Lewis don't disappear'. Rating: Three Stars
Unbreak My Heart: A Memoir by Toni Braxton ($45, HB)
I had Toni Braxton's hits on repeat play as I wrote this piece. Out they rolled: Breathe
Again, Unbreak My Heart, You're Makin' Me High, You Mean the World to Me... I
needed to hear that luscious voice at its best, if only to counteract the numerous distressing life events she describes in this slender 260 page memoir. This is an account
of her 'rocky past', the times when the 'distressing moments' became 'too burdensome
and enough to take me to the brink'.
We join her in her 'tumultuous journey' and the problems begin early. Born in 1967
and raised with five siblings in an extremely strict Pentecostal church sect 'The Pillar of Truth', she endured the inevitable tensions and conflicts with her unyielding
parents (see Chapter 3—Pillar of Deceit). Teenage Toni would sneak out and listen
to forbidden 'secular' music (Fleetwood Mac, the Grease soundtrack), or borrow the
records from school friends and smuggle them back home to play in secret.
By the late 1980s, their parents religious strictures having eased a little, the five
Braxton sisters, Toni, Tamar, Towanda, Trina and Traci, honed by years of gospel
singing, formed a group, The Braxtons. A recording contract followed. A pleasant
single The Good Life was released in 1990. It flopped but Toni's standout vocal talent
landed her a solo contract—to the long lasting enmity of her sisters. The first of many
psychological burdens she must bear.
Worldwide success arrived in 1993 with her self-titled debut album, which sold 15
million copies. Eleven pages are given to recalling this happy time, then the book
reverts to one of more struggle and new challenges in chapters revealing personal
and professional betrayals, an unwanted abortion, bankruptcy (twice), the birth of an
autistic son in 2003 and her announcement in 2010 that she suffers from the autoimmune disease, lupus.
Thankfully, the book ends on a tentatively hopeful note—her successful arrival to
'self-healing' and reconciliation with her sisters. This was aided in part by their reality
TV show Braxton Family Values, and in 2013 the release of a successful duets album
with the singer Babyface. Toni Braxton is a fine singer. Artists such as Anita Baker,
Barbra Streisand and Missy Elliott have all testified to that. So let's hope that having
found the courage to purge her personal demons within these pages, that her glorious
voice soars once more. Rating: Two and a half Stars.
20
Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin by David Ritz ($50, HB)
'It's a very trashy book—all lies!'—The Queen of Soul in Rolling Stone Magazine
(December 2014) when asked to comment on David Ritz's new biography of her.
Ritz is the author/co-author of three earlier, acclaimed biographies: Brother Ray:
The Story of Ray Charles (2004), Smokey Robinson: Inside My Life (1989) and (my
favourite) the superb Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye (1985). He also ghost
wrote Aretha Franklin's 1999 autobiography, From These Roots. However, as Ritz
explains in the introductory chapter to this new book, he was always unsatisfied
with the result. At Franklin's insistence, Ritz was forced to write a carefully sanitised
'fairytale' of his subject's life: 'self scrutiny is not her way—self denial has been perfected over a lifetime. Idealising the past is her way of hiding pain'. Unable 'to make
a dent in her armour', he felt compelled to write this new book without his subject's
participation.
It is basically an oral history narrated by those closest to her—family (her cousin,
niece and sister-in-law all make contributions), friends, musicians, producers and
managers. Several 'sensitive areas' discussed are the rampant offstage promiscuity of
the Fifties Gospel circuit (Aretha was a mother of two by the age of 15), and a detailed account of her troubled, abusive marriage to Ted White her business manager
until their divorce in 1969.
From each of the interviews emerges the same portrait: the Queen of Soul is 'a Gospel prodigy, a tortured genius, an ambitious, tough, uncompromising artist who has
continually fought for control of her life and career'. David Ritz has written a fine,
genuinely honest, respectful and loving biography. Rating: Five Stars.
Stephen Reid
E W
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Was $51
Was $30
The Guardians by Lucy Dougan ($24, PB)
Lucy Dougan is interested in the ways in which the past re-enters
the present, particularly through the secrets of family life, in all
kinds of atavism, and in pockets of wildness in the suburbs and
the city which are a source of liveliness and a dark sort of energy.
Her poems feature old houses, ruins, revisited places; they focus on the bonds between the generations, between children and
adults, humans and animals, and humans and the physical world.
Cocky's Joy by Michael Farrell ($24, PB)
Michael Farrell was born & raised in rural NSW & as its title
suggests, many of the poems in this collection are rooted in the
bush, which they present as a surreal wonderland, connected to
the world in magical & often hilarious ways. There are love poems too, and gay riffs on such figures as the cowboy, the waiter &
the ‘romantic woman’. Farrell’s experimentalism doesn’t prevent
him from offering really moving tributes, to parents & lovers, and
scenes remembered from the past. His eye for metaphor & for
punning and word play gives his poetry a humour & energy.
Love, Sex and Death in the Poetry of Boleslaw
Lesmian by Boleslaw Lesmian ($26.95, PB)
Bolesław Leśmian (born Bolesław Lesman, 1877–1937) was a Polish poet, artist and member of the Polish Academy of Literature.
In his poems, in a fantastical, mythical and fabulous environment,
often related to Polish folklore and traditions, he described his life
philosophy. Protagonists of his works are usually handicapped humans, struggling between their culture and Nature, unable to accept
their fate. He was also the creator of a unique stylised Polish folk
ballad and personal lyrics, and he is frequently mentioned as the
most notable poet to write erotic poetry in Polish.
The Nick Enright Songbook ($49.95, PB)
This volume brings together 50 of the best songs from 10 musicals for which Enright wrote the lyrics; and the music of 5 gifted
composers—Terence Clarke, Glenn Henrich, Alan John, David
King & Max Lambert. The book includes songs from The Venetian Twins, Variations, Summer Rain, Buckley’s!, Orlando Rourke, The Betrothed, Mary Bryant, The Good Fight, Miracle City
and On the Wallaby.
The Unknown University by Roberto Bolaño
Perhaps surprisingly to some of his fiction fans, Roberto Bolaño
touted poetry as the superior art form. When asked, 'What makes
you believe you're a better poet than a novelist?' Bolaño replied, 'The
poetry makes me blush less'. With poems written in prose, stories
in verse, and flashes of writing that can hardly be categorised, this
collection is a showcase of Bolano's gift for freely crossing genres.
($19.99, PB)
Literary Rogues: A Scandalous
History of Wayward Authors
Andrew Shaffer, PB
Was $40
Was $43
Now $18.95
Now $16.95
A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind:
What Neuroscience Can and Cannot
Tell Us About Ourselves
Robert Burton, HB
Hallucinations
Oliver Sacks, HB
Was $36.99
Was $34.99
Now $15.95
Now $16.95
The People's Bible:
The Remarkable History
of the King James Version
Derek Wilson, HB
Was $68
The Blood of Free Men:
The Liberation of Paris, 1944
Michael Neiberg, HB
Now $24.95
The New Smithsonian Book of
Comic Book Stories, HB
Was $130
Now $39.95
Look: ContemporaryAustralian
Photography since 1980, HB
L
A
Was $68
Now $19.95
Horace's Odes and the
Mystery of Do-Re-Mi
Stuart Lyons, PB
Was $43
S
Was $51
Now $16.95
Republic of Words:
The Atlantic Monthly and Its
Writers, 1857-1925
Susan Goodman, HB
The Faber Book of
Nursery Stories
(ill) Shirley Hughes, HB
Now $12.95
Morning, Noon, and Night:
Finding the Meaning of Life's
Stages Through Books
Arnold Weinstein, HB
I
Now $15.95
Object Lessons: The Paris Review
Presents the Art of the Short Story
(ed) Lorin Stein, HB
Now $16.95
C
Was $35
Now $16.95
Was $49.95
Poetry
E
P
Was $54.95
Now $16.95
The Valley of Amazement
Amy Tan, HB
S
Was $51
Now $18.95
An Autobiography
Agatha Christie, HB
Now $15.95
Was $12.95
Now $6.95
The NYT Crosswords to
Gypsy Boy on the Run:
Exercise Your Brain:
My Escape from a Life Among
75
Brain-Boosting
Puzzles, PB
the Romany Gypsies
Mikey Walsh, HB
Was $38
Now $18.95
After the Fall: The End
f the European Dream and the
Decline of a Continent
Walter Laqueur, HB
Was $94
Now $29.95
Was $59.95
Now $18.95
Napoleon & the Art of
Diplomacy: How War and
Hubris Determined the Rise
and Fall of the French Empire
William Nester HB
Was $54.95
Now $18.95
40 Years of Chez Panisse, HB
The Complete Vegetarian, P B
21
The Arts
The Companion ($34.95, HB)
This collection of work from the National Portrait Gallery,
Canberra is not just an anthology of significant faces, but
a detailed, lively compendium documenting the history
of portraiture and the various ways—formal or informal,
public or private, doting or irreverent—in which the genre
has been explored in Australia. Works of art from recent years in The Companion
include portraits in new media: Warwick Thornton’s 2013 portrait of musician Paul
Kelly, and David Rosetzky’s video depiction of actor Cate Blanchett.
BARGAIN ! !
Was $500 now $119.95
Eva Hesse Catalogue Raisonné
V1 Paintings, V2 Sculpture: Boxed, HB
During her career, Eva Hesse (1936–1970), created
135 paintings and 176 sculptures, objects & test pieces.
As her paintings are less well known that her sculptures, Volume I is a revelation. Revealed here are 28
previously unknown paintings, including works that date from her time as an
art student at Yale University. Hesse's sculpture is more widely known but
is presented here anew with many recently commissioned photographs and
fascinating archival images. 21 previously unknown sculptures are presented
in Volume II, including two painted wooden boxes presumably made in New
York in 1964, in which the first signs of Hesse's shift from painting to sculpture
occurred, and numerous previously unknown test pieces.
James Turrell: A Retrospective ($50, PB)
To encounter a work by American artist James Turrell is to
enter another world—a realm where eye and mind meet.
The artist engages the viewer in order to make them witnesses of his focus on nature through scientific means. By
making us watch and contemplate for extended periods,
Turrell also makes the viewer part of his artistic practice.
Included in this publication is an interview with James
Turrell by Michael Govan, Director of the Los Angeles
County Museum of Art, an essay by E. C. Krupp, astronomer and Director of
the Griffin Observatory, Los Angeles, as well as discussions on Turrell’s works.
Lucy Williams: Pavillion ($55, PB)
British artist Lucy Williams is known for redefining the
concept of collage through her intricate, mixed media basreliefs of unpopulated mid-century Modernist architecture. In a new departure for the artist, Pavilion presents 16
new works within a striking modular structure variously
inspired by architects and designers such as Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer and Manfred Lehmbruck. Williams
has softened the original references by rendering the grid
structure in soft wood with peg-board inserts, reminiscent
of contemporary children’s furniture and suggesting a more homespun aesthetic.
DVDs with Scott Donovan
RoGoPaG (Masters of Cinema) Region 2, $24.95
Legendary Italian producer Alfredo Bini, the multi-director portmanteau film Let's Wash Our Brains: RoGoPaG brought together
four giants of European cinema to contribute comic episodes reflective of the swinging post-'boom' era. Roberto Rossellini's Illibatezza (Virginity) follows an airline stewardess plagued by an obsessed American tourist whose 8mm camera enables the indulgence
of a personal, and solipsistic, vision of the Ideal. Jean-Luc Godard's
Il nuovo mondo (The New World) takes place in an Italian-dubbed
Paris beset by nuclear fallout, and chronicles the changes that take
place in the lives, and medicine cabinet, of a handsome young couple.
Pier Paolo Pasolini's scandalous La ricotta presents the goings-on
around a film shoot devoted to the Crucifixion and presided over by
none other than Orson Welles (playing a kind of stand-in for Pasolini himself); it is this episode that landed Pasolini with a suspended
four-month prison sentence. Lastly, Ugo Gregoretti's Il pollo ruspante
(Free-Range Chicken) depicts a middle-class Milanese family flirting
with the purchase of real-estate & engaging catastrophically with an
antagonistic consumerist infrastructure.
Nick Cave: 20,000 Days on Earth, $32.95
Defying traditional rock documentary aesthetics, directors Iain Forsyth
and Jane Pollard push the genre to unexplored territory, presenting a
vision of Nick Cave in a way that is unconventional yet undeniably
intimate, while also exploring more universal themes of creativity and how
we choose to spend our time on the Earth.
22
Aka Marcel Duchamp
by Anne Collins Goodyear ($70, HB)
With scholarship addressing the full range of Duchamp's career,
these essays examine how Marcel Duchamp's influence grew &
impressed itself upon his contemporaries & subsequent generations of artists. He provides an illuminating model of the dynamics of play in construction of artistic identity & legacy, which
includes both personal volition & contributions made by fellow
artists, critics & historians. This volume is not only important for its contributions to
Duchamp studies and the light it sheds on the larger impact of Duchamp's art & career
on modern & contemporary art, but also for what it reveals about how the history of art
itself is shaped over time by shifting agendas, evolving methodologies & new discoveries.
Painting Beyond Pollock by Morgan Falconer
Morgan Falconer tells the story of painting beginning with Jackson Pollock & the Abstract Expressionists on both sides of the
Atlantic, proceeds through postwar abstraction in France, social
realism in East Germany, the end of geometric abstraction in Europe, American post-painterly abstraction, the handmade readymades of Rauschenberg & Johns, Pop's rise in Britain & the US,
painting's confrontations with photography in the 60s & beyond,
the return of expressionism in the 80s, new approaches to Pop in
the 90s & 2000s, and the continued variety of some of the most
recent paintings to be made by a younger, 'post-medium' generation of artists. ($95, HB)
Brick by William Hall ($59.95, HB)
This book is a celebration of brick: collating fascinating and beautiful images of brick structures from the ancient remains of Tepe
Sialk ziggurat in Iran, dating from 3,000 BC to the functional solidity of Battersea and Bankside power stations in London, Brick
will engage anyone interested in architecture and encourage them
to think about the sculptural qualities of buildings. Familiar 20th
century icons by Mies van der Rohe and Louis Kahn are featured
alongside vernacular structures such as the conical grain silos of
central Mexico, the sublime Bagan Temples in Myanmar and the
world-famous Great Wall of China.
The Art of CFA Voysey: English Pioneer Modernist Architect & Designer by David Cole
CFA Voysey is regarded as one of the pioneers of the Modern movement of architecture & design—he designed over
60 houses throughout England, from small cottages & gate
lodges to suburban houses & substantial country house commissions. Voysey was the 'complete designer'; he designed
all manner of objects, from wallpaper to cutlery, textiles to
furniture, war memorials to stained glass windows, and bookplates. As a leading figure of
the Arts & Crafts movement in Britain his fame & influence extended to the US to the next
generation of American Arts and Crafts architects & early Modernists, notably Greene
& Greene, Bernard Maybeck & Frank Lloyd Wright. In Europe, fundamental aspects of
Voysey's design approach were embraced by the Dutch De Stijl group during the 1920s,
& eventually also by the German Bauhaus movement. ($95, HB)
Now in paperback
Breakfast with Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist by Geordie Greig, $45
Jimmy's Hall: Dir. Ken Loach (Region 2, $24.95)
In the 1920s, political activist and free-thinker Jimmy Gralton built a
dance hall in rural Ireland as a place for young people dance, play music and learn. As the hall grew in popularity its socialist and free-spirited
reputation brought it to the attention of the church and politicians who
forced Jimmy to flee and the hall to close. A decade later, at the height of
the Depression, Jimmy returns to Co. Leitrim from the US and vows to
live the quiet life. The hall stands abandoned but as Jimmy sees the poverty and growing cultural oppression within the community, the leader and
activist within him is stirred. He makes the decision to reopen the hall, and
in doing makes himself an enemy of the establishment.
The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came To Eden, $29.95
is a fascinating documentary portrait of a 1930s murder mystery as
strange and alluring as the famous archipelago itself. Fleeing conventional society, a Berlin doctor and his mistress start a new life on uninhabited Floreana Island. But after the international press sensationalises
the exploits of the Galapagos Adam and Eve, others flock there including
a self-styled Swiss Family Robinson and a gun-toting Viennese Baroness and her two lovers. Things would never be the same.
Goodbye to Language: Dir. Jean Luc Godard
2014 Winner of the Jury prize at the Cannes, this film is an experimental visual and
sensory experience, shot in 3D. A married woman & a single man meet. They love,
they argue, fists fly. A dog strays between town & country. The seasons pass. The man
& woman meet again. The dog finds itself between them. The other is in one, the one
is in the other & they are three. The former husband shatters everything. A second film
begins: the same as the first, and yet not. From the human race we pass to metaphor. This ends
in barking and a baby’s cries. (Region 2, $39.95)
Winton's Paw Prints
I didn't realise I'd started a new collection until I
wandered past Meghan Daum's new book of essays,
The Unspeakable, the other day and had to have
it. At which point I realised I've got almost a shelf
of books dedicated to the personal essay. And this
led me to ask, why is Phillip Lopate's edited collection, the fetishistically fat volume, The Art of the
Personal Essay, not among them? Gleebooks being
Gleebooks, Lopate's tome was on the shelf, and now it's on mine. A personal essayist
himself, Lopate's introduction to the personal essay is a great place to start for someone
about to enter a serious study of the genre. I relate to his first criterion in choosing the
essays: that they were the ones 'I fell in love with or that I could not seem to shake off',
and also to his preference 'for the ironic over the solemn, the crusty over the sugary'.
With selections from the Classical era to the present, Seneca through 'the fountainhead',
de Montaigne, to the likes of Joan Didion the book is divided by era and national grouping. But it also has a directory of theme and form—perfect for programming a shorter
read before sleep. Personal essays differ from the formal essay thus (according to Lopate
via Harmon's A Handbook to Literature): The formal (sometimes called impersonal)
essay is characterised by 'seriousness of purpose, dignity, logical organisation, length
... The technique of the formal essay is now practically identical with that of all factual
or theoretical prose writing in which literary effect is secondary to serious purpose.'
The informal essay, is characterised by 'the personal element (self-revelation, individual
tastes and experiences, confidential manner), humour, graceful style, rambling structure,
unconventionality or novelty of theme, freshness of form, freedom from stiffness and affectation, incomplete or tentative treatment of topic.' A sort of stream of connected ideas,
starting from some niggling point of self-disclosure, that might whirl around one's head
on a hot, sleepless night—which the talented essayist is able to corral into a cogent trail
that leads from the writer's singular 'I' to a point of comfortable companionship with the
reader. Lopate again: At the core of the personal essay is the supposition that there is
a certain unity to human experience. As Michel de Montaigne, the great innovator and
patron saint of the personal essayist, put it, 'Every man has within himself the entire human condition' ... implicitly democratic, [the personal essay] places value on experience
rather that status distinctions. 'And on the loftiest throne in the world we are still sitting
only on our own rump', wrote Montaigne.
John Jeremiah Sullivan's essay from his collection Pulphead on the Christian rock scene
never becomes as ridiculing as you expect, and suddenly, surprisingly, it segues into a
personal confession of his evangelising years at high school, and a general discussion
of faith and religion in America. Terry Castle's eponymous essay The Professor is both
an hilarious confession of thwarted obsessive first love and a dark exploration of power
in relationships. To return to my newest acquisition, Meghan Daum's essay Matricide
begins: People who weren't there like to say that my mother died at home surrounded by
loving family. This is technically true, though it was just my brother and me and he was
looking at Facebook and I was reading a profile of Hillary Clinton... What follows is a
marvellous puncturing of the fantasy of deathbedside maternal reconciliation and a dissection, both hilarious and moving, of a 'fragile maternal line'—grandmother, mother &
Daum—all 'forming furious fists in the presence of their mother'. Winton
Performing Arts
Acting Shakespeare's Language by Andy Hinds
In this inspirational new manual, Andy Hinds shares what he has learnt
over 30 years of teaching the speaking & acting of Shakespeare's texts.
In simple steps he brings the reader to a full understanding of how
Shakespeare's language 'works', lucidly outlines a number of practical guidelines, and provides simple, test-proven exercises to put each
guideline into practice. Key points include: Acting solo speeches, pronunciation, imagery
& imagistic language, acting Shakespeare's verse & prose, breathing. The essential guide
for all actors, students, teachers or directors tackling Shakespeare's plays or speeches &
wishing to release the full dramatic power of his words. ($33.95, PB)
Johnny Depp: Anatomy of an Actor
by Corinne Vuillaume ($59.95, PB)
This series from world-renowned cinema magazine Cahiers du Cinéma, focuses on 10 key performances from a single actor. Once
a teen idol, Johnny Depp (b. 1963) has led an incredibly diverse
career, playing eccentric characters in now-classics like Edward
Scissorhands, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Pirates of the Caribbean and Alice in Wonderland. An accessible text combines both
a narrative and analytical dimension and is illustrated by 300 film
stills, set photographs and film sequences..
The B Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song ($30, PB)
Everybody knows and loves the American Songbook. But it's a bit
less widely understood that in about 1950, this stream of great songs
more or less dried up. All of a sudden, what came over the radio wasn't
Gershwin, Porter & Berlin. What happened, and why? Ben Yagoda
conducts a fascinating piece of detective work that draws on previously untapped archival sources & on scores of interviews, illuminating broad musical trends through a series of intertwined stories—the
battle between ASCAP & Broadcast Music, Inc.; the revolution in jazz after World War II;
the impact of radio and then television; and the bitter, decades-long feud between Mitch
Miller and Frank Sinatra.
what we're reading
Steve: The Secret History of Wonderwoman
by Jill Lepore—a 1970s teenager I admit I
gave more than a passing glance to Lynda
Carter as the Amazon Princess super-heroine in the TV series Wonder Woman (19751979). However, unlike the origins and creators of Superman and Batman, with which I
was familiar, I was completely ignorant of
the mighty Amazonian's genesis. Four decades later, Jill Lepore's obsessively researched book has solved that problem. Wonder Woman first appeared in 1941,
and was the creation of Dr William Marston (1893–1947), a psychologist from
Harvard, inventor of the lie detector, lifelong polygamist and an ardent feminist
who was inspired by his wife, Elizabeth, and their live-in girlfriend, Olive Byrne.
Jill Lepore explores the origin story of Wonder Woman in this very entertaining
cultural history/biography and sees her as 'the missing link in understanding the
struggle for women's rights...the suffragist as pinup'—red bustier, high heeledboots and all.
Andrew: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro—A new novel by one of Britain's literary giants (no pun intended) is always an exciting thing, and Faber and
Faber have done a wonderful job of building a sense of excitement in advance
of its release this month. The advance copy that I received in January came with
no description of its contents other than a single beguiling sentence from the first
chapter: 'There's a journey we must go on—and no more delay'. It's a bolshie
technique—to try to entice a jaded bookseller by telling them absolutely nothing
about the book—but I must say it paid off beautifully, and what a joy it was to
dive headlong into a book knowing nothing about where I was headed. I really
loved this book; and am reluctant to speak too much about it, in case you want to
take a similar leap of faith. What can I say? It is not set in the dystopian future, of
Never Let Me Go, but rather a post-Arthurian Anglo-Saxon Britain. Fable-like in
style and tone, it dwells on memory and loss, and the place of honour in a war-torn
society. Profound, and as moving in its own way as Remains of the Day, it is nevertheless a corker of a page-turner. Hugely accessible, I reckon it will be a popular
read for the Game of Thrones generation.
Viki: I'm reading Johann Hari's Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of
the War on Drugs. So far I'm not a big fan of Hari's writing—a bit too earnest in
his assigning of emotions to players in this spurious 'war'—but the history is fascinating. A war on drugs has always seemed a bit ridiculous to me—an expensive
waste of time when the stats constantly support the fact that legalising all drugs
and spending money on rehabilitating those with addiction issues (rather than jailing them), whilst not a manly 'tough on crime' election posture is a far more cost
effective use of taxpayers' money. That the early 20th century war on drugs was
more a race war conducted by panicked white (America) men (encouraged and
possibly payrolled by organised crime) is an interesting reframing of the usual
equation: drug problems in the West and their former colonies as the end result of
imperialist misadventure. I'm reading on.
Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the
Record Industry by Gareth Murphy ($33, PB)
Combining colourful behind-the-scenes stories with tales about
the business of marketing and selling music, Cowboys and Indies covers all the most important recordings of the past 150
years and the companies that brought them to us. Industry insider Gareth Murphy draws on archival material & over a hundred
exclusive interviews with the legends of the music business to
bring us the riveting stories of how the industry crashed with
the arrival of the radio, the British Invasion, John Hammond's discoveries of Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Cohen & much more.
Million Years of Music: The Emergence of Human Modernity by Gary Tomlinson ($61, HB)
What is the origin of music? In the last few decades this centuries-old puzzle has been reinvigorated by exciting new archaeological evidence and by developments in the fields of
cognitive science, linguistics, and evolutionary theory. Musicologist Gary Tomlinson draws from these areas to construct
a new narrative for the emergence of human music. Starting
at a period of human prehistory long before Homo sapiens or
music existed, Tomlinson describes the incremental attainments that, changing the
communication and society of prehuman species, laid the foundation for musical behaviours in more recent times. He traces in Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens the
accumulation and development of these capacities, and he details their coalescence
into modern musical behaviour across the last 100 millennia.
Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the
Second World War by Mark Harris ($30, PB)
Before WW2 the Hollywood box office was booming, but the
business was accused of being too foreign, too Jewish, too 'unAmerican'. Then with Pearl Harbor came the opportunity for
Hollywood to prove its critics wrong. America's most legendary directors played a huge role in the war effort: John Ford,
William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra & George Stevens.
Between them they shaped the public perception of almost every major moment of the war. Harris tells the untold story of how Hollywood changed
World War II, and how World War II changed Hollywood.
23
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Bestsellers Non-fiction
1. Love in the Time of Contempt: Consolations for
Parents of Teenagers 2. Hole's Live Through This
Joanne Fedler
Anwen Crawford
3. Paul Keating: The Biography
4. The Wit of Whitlam
David Day
(ed) James Carleton
5. The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable
Recoveries & Discoveries From the Frontiers
of Neuroplasticity
Norman Doidge
6. Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found
Cheryl Strayed
7. My Story Julia Gillard
8. Everything You Need to Know About the
Referendum to Recognise Indigenous Australians
Megan Davis & George Williams
9. This House of Grief: The Story of a Murder Trial
Helen Garner
10. Gallipoli
Peter Fitzsimons
Bestsellers Fiction
1. Trigger Warning: Short Fictions & Disturbances
Neil Gaiman
2. King of the Road
Nigel Bartlett
3. The Narrow Road to the Deep North
4. The Goldfinch 5. The Strange Library
6. Useful
7. Nora Webster
8. The Golden Age
9. Clade
10. A Spool of Blue Thread
Richard Flanagan
Donna Tartt
Haruki Murakami
Debra Oswald
Colm Toibin
....... and another thing
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran may still be alive by the time this issue of
the Gleaner reaches you (as of today they've been granted a month's stay for family time!), but at the risk of sounding like I'm a victim of the cult of Guy Rundle, I
quote him again from the Crikey-sphere. Let’s offer Indonesia some moneyyyyyy.
Not a bribe. Not a direct payment. Not a payoff. But money as reparation for their
crimes, paid by their country of citizenship.... Pick a development project that’s
on the shelf in Indonesia.... The project is offered as reparation by one nation to
another, for the damage two of our citizens did to them... Make no comment on the
morality of the death penalty.... For more see Crikey, Tuesday 17th—hopefully
Julie Bishop has a subscription. This month I'll be looking at the new translated
and decoded volume of Hans Fallada's diary written in a Nazi mental institution.
His book Every Man Dies Alone (retitled, I don't know why, for the UK market as
Alone in Berlin) remains one of my favourite discoveries of the 2000s. The new
Peter Corris/Cliff Hardy calls from the crime pages, and for a taste of the regional
specialties of Aix-en-Provence, seasoned with a dash of crime Chateau-style I'm
going to give Janice's new discovery, M. L. Longworth a try. I'm hoping The Fish
Ladder's (p.9) mix of grief and nature writing will be as good as H is for Hawk, and
I'm intrigued by The Match Girl and the Heiress on page 8. A match-factory girl
in Victorian London combining forces with the daughter of a wealthy shipbuilder
to 'inaugurate a grassroots revolution that took the Sermon on the Mount as a guide
to achieving economic and social justice for the dispossessed' is sure to have some
pointers for when the welfare state has been completely dismantled. And for a purely pleasurable tale of historical mystery and cartographic detection I've reserved a
few days for Mr Selden's Map of China (p. 15). Viki
For more March new releases go to:
Joan London
James Bradley
Anne Tyler
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