April 2015 - Gleebooks



April 2015 - Gleebooks
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Vol. 22 No. 3
April 2015
Vale Terry Pratchett
Reading & Viewing
& Longing
Thanks to all those who have responded to our request last
month to help celebrate Gleebooks' 40th Anniversary with
your own stories. We have read, and enjoyed, all of them.
Please, keep them coming. We'd like to reproduce them
where possible, at some stage this year. A special sale and a
week of dedicated readings are in our plans as well, so stay
I thought a fortnight in India would be conducive to a very
productive month of reading, but no such luck. It was my first
trip there, and, unsurprisingly, I spent almost all my waking hours transfixed by the experience. Since I've come back
I've been glued to Wolf Hall, just out on DVD in a fabulous
BBC production. I'm even hungrier now for book three from
Hilary Mantel (The Mirror and the Light is now scheduled
for 2016—held up by her 2014 short story collection, The
Assassination of Margaret Thatcher).
What limited time I've had has been given to an eclectic
range of books, both readings in progress, and just finished.
I'm loving Kate Grenville's memoir of her mother One Life:
My Mother's Story (April). It's a work full of Kate's imaginative sympathy and insight. I was intrigued and moved by Robyn Cadwallader's The Anchoress—a bold and original first
novel, set in a 13th century monastery, and centred on the
inner life of Sarah, a young anchoress. And I was very taken
with The Illuminations. In his latest novel, the wonderful Andrew O'Hagan presents a tough and confronting real
world that moves between a retirement home in coastal Scotland and war-ravaged Afghanistan (the principal characters
are grandmother and soldier/grandson). I think it occasionally strikes a false note in seeming a bit too researched in its
military vernacular, but it's an important and very good book
for all that—powerful, original and asking serious questions
about what it means to be true to oneself.
David Gaunt
Sentenced to Life by Clive James ($32.99, PB)
In the course of his new collection of poems Clive James
looks back over an extraordinarily rich life with a clear-eyed
and unflinching honesty. There are regrets, but no trace of selfpity in these verses, which—for all their open dealings with
death and illness—are primarily a celebration of what is treasurable & memorable in our time here. Again and again, James
reminds us that he is not only a poet of effortless wit & lyric accomplishment: he is also an immensely wise one, who delights
in using poetic form to bring a razor-sharp focus to his thought.
The Profilist by Adrian Mitchell ($23, PB)
By his training as a profilist—a silhouette painter—Ethan Dibble has learned to
take a sidelong view of life. When he arrives in early colonial South Australia he
has no idea of what to expect; but with his knack for observation and detachment, and a wry sense of humour, he finds that
the variety of activity and events provides colour in plenty.
There is no black and white here. First Adelaide, then the Victorian goldfields, then Sydney and Melbourne attract his wandering attentiveness. In The Profilist, Adrian Mitchell paints a
compelling picture of the early years of the Australian colonies,
in the imagined voice of the artist Samuel Thomas Gill—or
someone very like him.
Australian Literature
Black Rock White City by A. S. Patric ($29.99, PB)
During a hot Melbourne summer Jovan’s cleaning work at a bayside
hospital is disrupted by acts of graffiti and violence becoming increasingly malevolent. For Jovan the mysterious words that must be
cleaned away dislodge the poetry of the past. He and his wife Suzana were forced to flee Sarajevo and the death of their children. Black
Rock White City is an essential story of Australia’s suburbs now, of
displacement and immediate threat, and the unexpected responses of
two refugees as they try to reclaim their dreams. It is a breathtaking
roar of energy that explores the immigrant experience with ferocity, beauty and humour.
The Life of Houses by Lisa Gorton ($26.95, PB)
Lisa Gorton's novel explores the hidden tensions in an old established Australian family that has lived for generations in a
large house in a coastal town in south-eastern Australia. These
tensions come to the surface when the granddaughter Kit is sent
by her mother to spend a holiday with her grandparents, and the
unmarried aunt who looks after them, in their old and decaying
house by the sea. Kit barely knows them, because her mother is
estranged from the family and never talks to or visits them. Recently divorced from Kit’s father, she sends her daughter to her
parents now so she can pursue an affair with her new lover. Kit’s presence brings the old
quarrels to life as family memories take hold of the present, brought to a flashpoint by
the anger and resentment of Kit and her mother, and the dementia and sudden illness of
her grandparents. An award-winning poet, Gorton's style is reminiscent of Henry James
and Patrick White—perfectly suited to the social decorum and inhibition of her socially
elevated but unhappy subjects.
Something Special, Something Rare: Outstanding
Short Stories by Australian Women ($24.99, PB)
Brilliant, shocking and profound, these tales will leave you reeling
in ways that only a great short story can. Contributors: Kate Grenville, Mandy Sayer, Penni Russon, Favel Parrett, Tegan Bennett
Daylight, Sonya Hartnett, Isabelle Li, Gillian Essex, Brenda Walker,
Gillian Mears, Fiona MacFarlane, Joan London, Karen Hitchcock,
Charlotte Wood, Tara June Winch, Cate Kennedy, Alice Pung, Anna
Krien, Delia Falconer, Rebekah Clarkson.
The Bird's Child by Sandra Leigh Price ($33, PB)
Sydney, 1929: Three people find themselves washed up on the steps
of Miss Du Maurier's bohemian boarding house in a once grand
terrace in Newtown. Ari is a young Jewish man, a pogrom orphan,
who lives under the stern rule of his rabbi uncle, but dreams his
father is Houdini. Upon his hand he bears a forbidden mark—a tattoo—and he has a secret ambition to be a magician. Finding an injured parrot one day on the street, Ari is unsure of how to care for it,
until he meets young runaway Lily, a glimmering girl after his own
abracadabra heart. Together they form a magical act, but their lives
take a strange twist when wild card Billy, a charming and dangerous
drifter twisted by the war, can no longer harbour secret desires of his own.
Goodbye Sweetheart by Marion Halligan A successful lawyer, bon vivant, loving husband and father, has a heart attack and dies while swimming in the local pool. A man apparently
happily married, yet, with two divorces behind him and three puzzled children. In death it seems that he is not the person everyone
thought. As his extended family gathers to mourn, secrets and lies
unfold uncomfortably around them. Those pornographic images
on his laptop? An unexpected lover—is he still philandering? But
somewhere in the turmoil of mourning each of them has to find an
answer to the question—who was this man really? What mysteries
has he taken to the grave with him? ($29.99, PB)
Mothers & Others: Australian writers on why not
all women are mothers & not all mothers are the
same (eds) Natalie Kon-Yu et al ($33, PB)
When are you having children?' 'Why didn't you have another
child?' 'Well, I guess that's your choice, but...' They are questions
asked of women all the time. Beneath them is the assumption that
all women want to have children, and the judgement that if they
don't, they'll be somehow incomplete. With parenthood taking centre
stage in today's moral & consumer culture—yummy-mummies &
domestic goddesses the stars of the show—being a mother, or not being a mother, has
never been so complicated. In this collection of fiction and non-fiction stories tackles
everything from the decision not to have children to the so-called battle between working
& stay-at-home mums. From infertility and IVF, to step-parenting & adoption, to miscarriage & breastfeeding, child meltdowns & marriage breakdowns.
Heaps more April new releases at:
Hopscotch by Jane Messer ($29.99, PB)
Forced into an early retirement due to illness, Sam Rosen's frustration flares into rudeness & obstinacy frequently & bizarrely. His
wife Rhonda, confined to the carer role, is feeling her identity ebb
slowly away. Their eldest son Mark, over-invested, over-reaching
& overwrought, lurches towards financial disaster, unable to tell his
wife Ingrid that her dream of starting a family might be the collateral damage. Middle child Liza has always content to scrape through
on her child-care worker's wage in one of the most expensive cities
in the world, but when her biological clock goes off & she begins to
plan a nursery at her elusive boyfriend's inner city apartment, she uncovers a seedy secret
& ends up single, underpaid, undervalued. And angry. Baby of the family mild-mannered
Jemma wakes up after a party at her neighbours bruised, naked and with no memory
of what's happened. Her careful, uncurious life as a celibate finance lawyer falls away.
Frenetically paced Hopscotch captures contemporary urban life & asks why we think we
could ever find peace in a city that's roaring with dysfunction.
Paper Daisies by Kim Kelly ($29.99, PB)
As 1900 draws to a close, Berylda Jones, having completed her
university exams for entry to medicine is heading home to Bathurst
for Christmas. 'Home' is where she & her sister Greta live in terror,
under the control of their sadistic Uncle Alec. But she has a plan
to free herself and Greta from Alec for good. Then, on New Year's
Eve, just as Alec tightens his grip over the sisters, a stranger arrives
at their gate—Ben Wilberry, a botanist, travelling west in search
of a particular native wildflower, with his friend, the artist Cosmo
Thompson. Ben is at first oblivious to what depravity lies beyond
this threshold and what follows is a journey that will take him and Berylda, Greta and
Cosmo, out to the old gold rush town of Hill End in search of a means to cure evil and a
solution to what seems an impossible situation.
The Chocolate Promise by Josephine Moon
Christmas Livingstone has ten rules for happiness, the most important of which is 'absolutely no romantic relationships'. In The
Chocolate Apothecary, her artisan store in Tasmania, she tempers
chocolate and creates handmade delicacies. Surrounded by gifts
for the senses, in this shop chocolate isn't just good for you, it's
medicine. And then one day a stranger arrives at her front door—a
dishevelled botanist seeking her help. She really doesn't need Lincoln van Luc to walk into her life, even if he does have the nicest
blue eyes, the loveliest meddling grandmother and a gorgeous newly
rescued dog. She really doesn't need any of it. Or does she? Set across Tasmania, Paris
and Provence, this is a glorious novel of a creative woman about to find out how far in
life a list of rules will take her, with an enticing tangle of freshly picked herbs, pots of
flowers and lashings of chocolate scenting the air. ($29.99, PB)
A Blackheath Autumn Afternoon of Literary Delights
Saturday 16 May 2015 – 3.00 pm – 5.00 pm
Brandl & Schlesinger Publishers and Gleebooks invite you
to afternoon tea and literary conversation.
Damien Freeman — The Aunt's Mirrors
A memoir of how an immigrant family from Poland made a new life whilst
continuing an old one with values that sustained 7 generations of an Australian Jewish family. Damien Freeman has lectured at the Philosophy Faculty at Cambridge on ‘Beauty, Art a& Aesthetic Experience’ & at the Art
Gallery of NSW and is currently Director of the Governor-General’s Prize.
Vrasidas Karalis — The Demons of Athens
A personal journey of the author’s return to Athens during the current political turmoil, only to find the cherished scenes of his past have turned into
Dante’s Inferno. Professor Vrasidas Karalis holds the Sir Nicholas Laurantos’ Chair in Modern Greek Studies at Sydney University.
Kellinde Wrightson — The Notorious Frances Thwaites
Set in the 1890s in colonial Australia this is the true story of Frances
Thwaites who had a scandalous reputation for petty theft, baby farming
and finally murder and was, in her day, as infamous as Ned Kelly. Kellinde
Wrightson is an award-winning scholar, lawyer and published academic
researcher. She will be a guest at this year’s Sydney Writers Festival.
Chair — David Brooks
Honorary Associate Professor at the Department of English,
University of Sydney and a novelist, poet, essayist & animal rights activist.
Venue: Govett’s Café, Shop 5, 25 Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath
Cost: $10.00 includes afternoon tea (also BYO alcohol)
RSVP: [email protected] Phone: 4787 6340
Booking essential as seats are limited.
The Blokes'
It began as a bet. A few of us blokes were in the pub playing pool with our women
folk, who had started a book club. One of us suggested we should
form our own. This was met with such scorn and derision by the
women that a $20 bet was laid that we couldn't organise three
successful meetings. We began as a small group originally called 'The 5 Ps' (it stood
for—no not that! ....paperbacks, politics, pasta and pool in the
pub). Now fifteen years later, eleven of us meet monthly in a
pub or restaurant to eat, drink, laugh and discuss life, family,
politics, soccer and books. We read a variety of fiction from different genres, continents and centuries—with the occasional philosophy book thrown in. In those fifteen years we also became a
barely competent, but relatively literate, soccer team in the Over
35 league for the Hurlstone Park Wanderers until most of us got
too old or injured.
In 2009, to celebrate our 10th anniversary, we had a weekend
away in Bundeena and voted for our 'Book of the Decade'. Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible was a narrow winner
over The Outsider by Albert Camus. We had so much fun we
now repeat it every year and have just returned from our fourth
annual weekend getaway to the Southern Highlands where we
cooked, drank, laughed (uproariously at times) and voted The
Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan's Booker
winner, our illustrious Book of the Year prize. Each of the group
nominates their book for the following year. Hopefully this list
finds its way onto Xmas wish lists and provides sales for our local independent bookshops.
During these fifteen years we've all lived full lives complete with
the requisite joys and sorrows. Collectively we've had children,
grandchildren, break ups, new relationships, life threatening illnesses, various major operations, burnouts, retirements, troubled
kids, and lots of stress. But we've also travelled the world collectively and solo, and camped out in beautiful nature on several
continents. Sometimes we discuss difficult personal issues and
sometimes we don't, but our entertaining gatherings have provided a reliable source of humorous and supportive solace over
the years. For all of us the Blokes' Bookclub has been a huge 'up'
whenever we've been down. Mostly it’s been a lot of fun. We still
haven't collected on the bet.
TIPS for a not too serious Book Club 1. Find a bunch of acquaintances you think it would be fun to
meet on a regular basis who are interested in books.
2. Meet on neutral territory so no one has to cook or wash up.
3. Try not to choose really long books—for busy people anything
over 500 pages can start to seem like homework.
4. Find a strategy so that everybody gets to talk about the book—
not just the most talkative. We go around in a circle so that
everybody gets a turn.
5. Don't take it too seriously. It’s as much about having fun and
building a supportive community as it is about reading good
Trevor Payne (and the Blokes' Bookclub).
Now in B Format
In Certain Circles by Elizabeth Harrower, $23
Amnesia by Peter Carey, $22.99
What Came Before by Anna George, $20
Too Many Men by Lily Brett, $20
International Literature
The Four Books by Yan Lianke ($30, PB)
In the ninety-ninth district of a labour camp, the Author, Musician,
Scholar, Theologian and Technician undergo re-education, to restore
their revolutionary zeal. In charge of this process is the Child, who delights in enforcing draconian rules. Reminiscent of A Day in the Life
of Ivan Denisovich and Darkness at Noon, Yan Lianke's mythical tale
portrays the grotesque persecution during the Great Leap Forward.
These are the Names by Tommy Wieringa ($30, PB)
A small group of emaciated & feral refugees appears out of nowhere
in a border town on the steppe, spreading fear & panic. When police
commissioner Pontus Beg orders their arrest, evidence of a murder
is found in their luggage. As he begins to unravel the history of their
hellish journey, it becomes increasingly intertwined with his search
for his own origins. Now he becomes the group's inquisitor . . . and,
finally, something like their saviour. The likeable Beg's dry-eyed
musings considering the nature of religion both alleviate & underline
the apocalyptic atmosphere of the group's exodus across the steppes
—his character developing in synchronicity with this vivid journey.
Winner of the English PEN Award.
he little-known story
of Reg Saunders, the
first Indigenous Australian
to become an officer in the
Army, retold in action-packed
graphic format. Reg Saunders
MBE (1920–90) not only
survived the World War II
battlefields in the Middle East,
North Africa, Greece, Crete
and New Guinea, but excelled
as a military leader. What
happened during the war to
transform a determined young
man from country Victoria into a war hero –
one who would go on to serve with distinction
in the Korean War, and become a pioneering
figure for Indigenous rights?
Etta & Otto & Russell & James by Emma Hooper
Etta lives in the rolling farmland of Saskatchewan, & her greatest unfulfilled wish is to see the sea. So, at the age of 82, she gets up very early
one morning, takes a rifle, some chocolate & her best boots, and begins
walking the 2,000 miles to the water. But Etta is starting to forget things.
Her husband, Otto, remembers everything, and he loves her: surely they
can balance things out. Their neighbour Russell remembers too, but differently—and he still loves Etta as much as he did more than fifty years
ago, before she married Otto. The novel moves from the present of a
too-quiet-for-too-long Canadian farm to a dusty past of hunger, war,
passion and hope, from trying to remember to trying to forget, from prairie
to forest to mountain to sand, Etta walks. ($30, PB)
A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale ($29.99, PB)
A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed
convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous
affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence—until
the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest cost him everything.
Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry signs up for emigration
to the newly colonised Canadian prairies. Remote and unforgiving, his
allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the
golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is
here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war,
madness and an evil man of undeniable magnetism that the fight for survival will reveal in
Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before.
The Broken Mirrors: Sinalcol by Elias Khoury
s Australia’s first
industrial city,
Newcastle is also a natural
home of radicalism but until
now, the stories which reveal
its breadth and impact have
remained untold. Radical
Newcastle brings together
short illustrated essays
from leading scholars, local
historians and present day
radicals to document both
the iconic events of the
region’s radical past, and less
well known actions seeking social justice for
workers, women, Aboriginal people and the
w w w. n ews o u t h p u b l i s h i n g .co m
Also New
Granta 131 (ed) Sigrid Rausing, $24.99
Why did Karim leave his wife and children and the life he had built in
France to return to a Lebanon still reeling from war? It was not to answer
his brother Naseem's call and raise a hospital out the ashes; it was not to
pursue past sweethearts and father the son his wife never gave him. It
was to find a man, or the ghost of a man, a man known only as Sinalcol,
legendary hero of then civil war, and a broken mirror of himself. In
Beirut Karim will confront the fate of old comrades, the truth about
his father's death and a brother who is all but a twin in appearance but
shares nothing of his soul. And he will learn that peace is only ever
fleeting in a war without end. ($29.99, PB)
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George ($29.99, PB)
On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a 'literary apothecary', for this bookseller possesses a
rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his
customers. The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He
has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, 21 years ago, when the
love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has
never dared read. But the arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour in his
eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence,
in search of the past and his beloved.
The Novel Habits of Happiness
by Alexander McCall Smith ($29.99, PB)
Isabel Dalhousie is one of Edinburgh's most generous (but discreet) philanthropists—but should she be more charitable? She wonders, sometimes, if she is too judgemental about her niece's amorous exploits, too
sharp about her housekeeper's spiritual beliefs, too ready to bristle in
battle against her enemies. As the editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, she doesn't, of course, allow herself actual enemies, but she does
feel enmity—especially towards two academics who have just arrived
in the city. Isabel feels they're a highly destabilising influence; little
tremors in the volcanic rock upon which an Enlightened Edinburgh perches. Equally troubling is the situation of the little boy who is convinced he had a previous life. When Isabel is
called upon to help, she finds herself questioning her views on reincarnation. And the nature
of grief. And, crucially, the positioning of lighthouses.
Blood Brothers by Ernst Haffner ($30, PB)
Originally published in 1932 and banned by the Nazis one year later,
Blood Brothers is the only known novel by German social worker and
journalist Ernst Haffner, of whom nearly all traces were lost during the
course of World War II. Told in stark, unsparing detail, Haffner's story
delves into the illicit underworld of Berlin on the eve of Hitler's rise
to power, describing how these 'blood brothers' move from one petty
crime to the next, spending their nights in underground bars and makeshift hostels, struggling together to survive the harsh realities of gang
life, and finding in one another the legitimacy denied them by society.
Adeline by Norah Vincent ($29.99, PB)
This is a reimagining of the historical events that brought Virginia
Woolf to the riverbank, with a stunning denouement worthy of its protagonist. An ambitious work in the tradition of Woolf herself, Adeline
explores the interior consciousness of the most interior of authors from
the summer she began working on To The Lighthouse through to the
winter she finished Between the Acts.
Newspaper by Edouard Levé ($27.95, PB)
In his second 'novel' writer, photographer, and artist Edouard Levé
made perhaps his most radical attempt to remove himself from his own
work. Made up of fictionalised newspaper articles, arranged according to broad sections—some familiar, some not—Newspaper gives the
reader a tour of the modern world as reported by its supposedly impartial chroniclers. Much of this 'news' is quite sad, some is funny, but the
whole serves as a gory parody of the way we have been taught to see
our lives and the lives of our fellow human beings.
The Sense of an Elephant by Marco Missiroli
Pietro arrives in Milan with an old bicycle and a battered suitcase full
of tokens of the past. He takes up a post as concierge in a small apartment building, where it soon becomes apparent he has a deep-seated
reason to be there. Living in the palazzo is Luca, a doctor, whose wife
Viola carries a secret that could destroy their marriage; the bereaved
lawyer Poppi, kind and desperately lonely; and elderly Luciana and her
damaged son—both looking for impossible love. Pietro has a special
interest in Luca and his family, and soon he's using the concierge spare
keys to let himself into their apartment while the family is out. Told
in snatches and flashbacks, each prompted by one of the objects and
notes Pietro keeps in his suitcase, his story unveils what has brought
him, so late in life, to be guardian of these lost souls. ($30, PB)
Satin Island by Tom McCarthy ($41, HB)
From the author of Remainder and C (short-listed for the Man
Booker Prize), comes Satin Island', an unnerving novel that
promises the first and last word on the world—modern, postKit Noonan is an unemployed art historian with twins to help support
modern, whatever world you think you are living in. U., a 'corand a mortgage to pay—and a wife frustrated by his inertia. Raised
porate anthropologist', is tasked with writing the Great Report,
by a strong-willed, secretive single mother, Kit has never known the
an all-encompassing ethnographic document that would sum
identity of his father—a mystery that his wife insists he must solve
up our era. Yet at every turn, he feels himself overwhelmed by
to move forward with his life. Out of desperation, Kit goes to the
the ubiquity of data, lost in buffer zones, wandering through
mountain retreat of his mother's former husband, Jasper, a take-nocrowds of apparitions, willing them to coalesce into symbols
prisoners outdoorsman. There, in the midst of a fierce blizzard, Kit
that can be translated into some kind of account that makes
and Jasper confront memories of the bittersweet decade when their
sense. As he begins to wonder if the Great Report might refamilies were joined. Reluctantly breaking a long-ago promise, Jasmain a shapeless, oozing plasma, his senses are startled awake by a dream of an
per connects Kit with Lucinda and Zeke Burns, who know the answer he's looking for.
apocalyptic cityscape. Tom McCarthy captures the way we experience our world,
Julia Glass brings new characters together with familiar figures from her previous novel,
our efforts to find meaning (or just to stay awake) and discern the narratives we
Three Junes. ($28, PB)
think of as our lives.
The Beggar & the Hare by Tuomas Kyro ($20, PB)
The Discreet Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa
Vatanescu, an impoverished Romanian construction worker, wants a
Felicito Yanaque has raised himself from poverty to ownerfuture for himself and a pair of football boots for his son. He finds his
ship of a trucking business. His two sons work for him. When
way to Finland, takes up with Russian human trafficker Yegor Kugar
he receives a threatening letter demanding protection money
& joins the bottom rung of a begging ring. But Yegor has strict views
& refuses to pay up, he becomes a reluctant public hero. His
on what it means to be a beggar, and when Vatanescu enjoys a sumpfate is interwoven with the story of Rigoberto, a wealthy
tuous feast from the contents of a dumpster, a conflict ensues. Soon
Lima insurance executive. His boss and old friend, Ismael,
he is on the run from both an international crime organisation and
suddenly announces that he is marrying his housekeeper,
the Finnish police. Striking up a friendship with a fellow outcast,
a chola from Piura, to the consternation of his twin sons, a
a hare fleeing Helsinki pest control, Vatanescu travels the length and breadth of
pair of brutal wasters. Ismael escapes to Europe with his new bride, leaving
Finland, crashing into other people's lives, fumbling his way from the streets into the upper
Rigoberto to face the twins' threats, and their claims that he connived with a schemechelons of Finnish politics.
ing woman to rob an old man of his fortune. Rigoberto is hounded by the press and
TV. Meanwhile, his only son is having visions of a mysterious stranger who may or
The Death's Head Chess Club by John Donoghue
may not be the devil. ($30, PB)
SS Obersturmfuhrer Paul Meissner arrives in Auschwitz from the
And The Dark Sacred Night by Julia Glass
Russian front wounded & fit only for administrative duty. His most
pressing task is to improve camp morale & he establishes a chess
club, allowing officers & enlisted men to gamble on the games. Soon
Meissner learns that chess is also played among the prisoners, and
there are rumours of an unbeatable Jew known as 'the Watchmaker'.
Meissner's superiors demand that he demonstrate German superiority by pitting this undefeated Jew against the best Nazi players.
Meissner finds Emil Clement, the Watchmaker, and as the stakes rise the two men
find their fates deeply entwined. 20 years later, they meet again in Amsterdam. Meissner
has become a bishop, and Emil is playing in an international chess tournament. Having lost
his family in the horrors of the death camps, Emil wants nothing to do with the ex-Nazi
officer despite their history, but Meissner is persistent. 'What I hope', he tells Emil, 'is that
I can help you to understand that the power of forgiveness will bring healing'. As both men
search for a modicum of peace, they recall a gripping tale of survival & trust. ($28, PB)
The Boy Who Could See Death
by Salley Vickers ($35, HB)
Eli is not the only loner. Sarah Palliser, taking refuge in an isolated country hamlet, finds unexpected solace in the haunted
graveyard outside her window. Young Prince Mamillius, son
of the King of Sicily, watches horrified as his father loses
his mind. Cool-sighted artist Nan Maitland becomes obsessed
by a mysterious wolf roaming loose in Windsor Great Park.
And Eleanor Bishop, attending the funeral of an old friend,
discovers how little she has understood their shared intimacy. Salley Vickers is a
master of the uncanny and the unexpected. In this collection of stories she explores
bereavement and betrayal, closely guarded secrets and common gossip, unforeseen
endings and decidedly odd beginnings.
I recently watched Olive Kitteridge—the HBO
TV series based on Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer
prize winning book. Having watched (and loved)
the show, I had to reread the book, and was reminded of how much I loved it. Olive is a wonderful character—difficult, annoying, one who
speaks her mind for better or (mostly) for worse.
The book is full of profound insights into the
human condition—the conflicts, tragedies and
joys—and the endurance that is required to last
to the end. This is all as a lead into the one book
of Strout's I hadn't read, The Burgess Boys. The
eponymous Burgess boys, Jim and Bob, after a
terrible childhood accident that killed their father,
escaped to New York from their home town of
Shirley Falls, Maine. Jim, a successful corporate
lawyer, has always belittled his brother, calling
him derogatory names. Bob, a legal aid attorney, on the other hand, has always idolised Jim—something Jim
has always taken for granted. Their lives are turned upside down
when they receive a call for support from their sister Susan, who
stayed behind in Shirley Falls with her teenage son Zach. Zach,
is a loner, unhappy, lonely, introverted—and he is in big trouble
about a stupid act he's committed involving the local mosque. The
brothers return to Shirley Falls, and long-buried tensions begin to
surface. The town has had an influx of Somalis, hence the mosque.
As Zach's trouble deepens, the two brothers travel back & forth
between NY and Shirley Falls, becoming more and more a part of
the community, and the lives of Susan and Zach. This is a demanding read, but well worth it. It is a story, like Olive, that stays with
you—making you think of your place in the world and the part
you play in it, whether big or small.
The Grantchester Mysteries are a series of crime
novels by James Runcie, son of the late Archbishop of Canterbury. They are set in the village
of Grantchester outside Cambridge. The hero,
Sydney Chambers, is a Canon of Ely Cathedral. He is also attached to King's College Cambridge. The first book is called Sydney Chambers and the Shadow of Death, where Sydney
becomes unwittingly involved in his first case as
an amateur detective. Sydney has made friends
with the local police inspector, Geordie Keating, and is called in when a Cambridge solicitor
dies under suspicious circumstances. Geordie
feels that Sydney, as a priest, can go where police can't—that people may be more open when
talking to Sydney rather than a policeman. The
stories in the first book involve a jewellery theft
at a dinner party in London, the death of a jazz
promotor's daughter and art forgery. Sydney is
a great character—good looking, intelligent,
well-read and a war hero. He is also attractive
to women, with two in particular very interested
in him—the lovely London socialite, Amanda,
and Hildegard, the German widow of the solicitor, whose death Sydney is attempting to solve.
He is of course still a priest who takes his role
seriously, not letting his investigations get in
the way of his priestly duties—at least, not too much. The second
book in the series is called Sydney Chambers and the Perils of
the Night, the third, Sydney Chambers and the Problem of Evil.
These books are, as James Runcie says, a sort of Anglican Father
Brown. They are very entertaining—well-written with great characters. And happily they are now on ABC television, starring the
lovely James Norton as Sydney.
Janice Wilder
Crime Fiction
Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo ($30, PB)
Olav lives the lonely life of a fixer. When you ‘fix' people for a living—terminally—it's hard to get close to anyone. Now he's finally
met the woman of his dreams. But there are two problems. She's his
boss's wife. And Olav's just been hired to kill her.
Falling in Love by Donna Leon ($30, PB)
In the first of Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series, readers
were introduced to the glamorous & cut-throat world of opera to
soprano, Flavia Petrelli—then a suspect in the poisoning of a renowned German conductor. Now, many years after Brunetti cleared
her name, Flavia has returned to the illustrious La Fenice to sing
the lead in Tosca. As an opera superstar, Flavia is well acquainted
with attention from adoring fans and aspiring singers, but she seems
have attracted a potentially dangerous stalker. Flavia turns to an old
friend for help. Familiar with Flavia's melodramatic temperament,
Commissario Brunetti is at first unperturbed by her story, but when
another young opera singer is attacked he begins to think Flavia's
fears may be justified.
Woman of the Dead by Bernhard Aichner
Blum seems to have it all: the perfect husband, police detective
Mark, two beautiful little daughters, a thriving undertaker business
in the basement of her parents' villa in Innsbruck. But she is hiding
a dark secret: eight years earlier, she drowned her adoptive parents
while sailing in Turkey. When Mark is killed in what appears to be
a hit & run Blum, going through his personal effects, finds tapes of
conversations he had with a homeless woman, Dunja, who claims
she was abducted then kept in a cellar for 5 years near an idyllic
Austrian resort. Blum takes up where he'd left off but quickly crosses
the line between investigating and avenging. ($29.99, PB)
Death in the Rainy Season by Anna Jaquiery
Phnom Penh, Cambodia; the rainy season. Hugo Quercy, head of a
humanitarian organisation which looked after the area's neglected
youth, is found brutally murdered, & Commandant Serge Morel
finds his holiday drawn to an abrupt halt. He must navigate this complex and politically sensitive crime in a country with few forensic resources, and armed with little more than a series of perplexing questions: what was Quercy doing in a hotel room under a false name?
What is the significance of his recent investigations into land grabs
in the area? And who could have broken into his home the night of
the murder? ($29.99, PB)
The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer ($30, PB)
8 year-old Carmel has always been different—sensitive, distracted,
with a heartstopping tendency to go missing. When her mother takes
her for an outing to a local festival, her worst fear is realised: Carmel
disappears into the crowd. Unable to accept the possibility that her
daughter might be gone for good, Beth embarks on a mission to find
her. Meanwhile, Carmel begins an extraordinary and terrifying journey of her own. But do the real clues to Carmel's disappearance lie
in the otherworldly qualities her mother had only begun to guess at?
Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson ($20, PB)
Kolymsky Heights. A Siberian permafrost hell lost in endless nights,
the perfect setting for an underground Russian research station. It's
a place so secret it doesn't officially exist; once there, the scientists
are forbidden to leave. But one scientist is desperate to get a message
to the outside world. So desperate, he sends a plea across the wildness to the West in order to summon the one man alive capable of
achieving the impossible... 'Sensationally good. Cleverly conceived
and brilliantly executed. One of the great thrillers of the last century.'
—Charles Cumming
Dandy Gilver & the Reek of Red Herrings
by Catriona McPherson ($19.99, PB)
On the rain-drenched, wave-lashed, wind-battered Banffshire coast,
tiny fishing villages perch on ledges which would make a seagull
think twice & crumbly mansions cling to crumblier cliff tops while,
out in the bay, the herring drifters brave the storms to catch their
silver darlings. It's nowhere for a child of gentle Northamptonshire
to spend Christmas. But when odd things start to turn up in barrels of
fish—with a strong whiff of murder most foul—that's exactly where
Dandy Gilver finds herself. She & her trusty cohort Alec Osborne are
soon swept up in the mystery, and the fisherfolk's wedding season.
My Sunshine Away by M. O. Walsh ($30, PB)
When Lindy Simpson is raped just yards from her front door. No
one sees a thing and the perpetrator is not caught. Her 14-year-old
neighbour is determined to solve the crime—but before the long, hot
summer is out, it will become clear that the friendly community of
Baton Rouge has much to hide. Behind the picket fences & rocking
chairs on porches, behind the neighbourhood cookouts on sweltering
afternoons, the vats of cold beer and cauldrons of spicy crawfish, lies
a tangled web of darkness.
The Axe Factor by Colin Cotterill ($32.99, PB)
Jimm Juree misses her career as a journalist in Chiang Mai where she
was covering substantial stories & major crimes. But here in Maprao,
a rural village on the coast of Southern Thailand, Jimm has to scrape
assignments from the local online journal, the Chumphon Gazette.
Now they're sending her out to interview a local farang (European)
crime writer, Conrad Coralbank. Meanwhile several local women
have left town without a word to anyone, leaving their possessions
behind. This looks a little suspicious, to Jimm's ex-cop grandfather,
an ex-cop, who notices 50 year-old Coralbank's interest in Jimm with
a very jaundiced eye. With a major storm headed their way and a
potential serial killer on the loose, looks like Jimm may have a story.
The Dangerous Game by Mari Jungstedt ($33, PB)
When Jenny is spotted by a high-profile modelling agency, she goes
from ordinary schoolgirl to celebrity overnight. Suddenly her life is a
whirlwind of parties and glamour. Agnes used to be a model too—but
now she lies in a hospital bed, slowly being destroyed by an eating
disorder. Her father sits by her day after day, praying that his only
remaining daughter survives. An attempted murder during a lavish
photo shoot means that Jenny's and Agnes's lives will soon intersect
in the most terrifying of ways—because someone is watching them.
Someone with a plan. Can Detective Anders Knutas figure out who it
is in time to stop a terrible justice being served?
‘[A] rare novel
possessed with a sense
of place and a purpose
… it has cohesion
and urgency …
a bravura performance’
In this lost pulp crime novel by Gore Vidal Pete Wells is hired to
smuggle an ancient artefact out of Egypt and finds himself the target
of killers & femme fatales—and just one step away from triggering a
revolution that will set Cairo aflame! The cast of characters includes
Hastings, 'British subject, born to be hanged', and Helene, Contesse
de Rastignac, 'Parisienne, phony as a three-dollar bill, a lovely vulture'. Small wonder with a cutthroat crew like this on its register, the
world-famed Shepheard's Hotel is about to blow up.
Thieves Fall Out by Gore Vidal ($33, HB)
Whisky From Small Glasses by Denzil Meyrick
DCI Jim Daley is sent from the city to investigate a murder after the
body of a woman is washed up on an idyllic beach on the West Coast
of Scotland. Far away from urban resources, he finds himself a stranger in a close-knit community. Love, betrayal, fear and death stalk the
small town, as Daley investigates a case that becomes more deadly
than he could possibly imagine. ($22, PB)
Fake ID by Jason Starr ($20, PB)
A New York bar bouncer with dreams of being more, Tommy Russo
jumps at the chance to join a horse-owning syndicate. But to do so
he'll have to pony up $10,000—and that's money he hasn't got. So
what's an ambitious young man to do? Anything he has to. In the
tradition of The Killer Inside Me & The Talented Mr. Ripley, Jason
Starr has created a horrifying protagonist who will go to any extent to
achieve his 'deserved' portion of the American dream.
The Invisible Man from Salem: A Leo Junker case
by Christoffer Carlsson ($33, PB)
In the final days of summer, a young woman is shot dead in her apartment. Three floors above, the blue lights of the police cars awaken
disgrace ex-officer Leo Junker. Bluffing his way onto the crime scene,
he examines the dead woman and sees that she is clasping a cheap
necklace—a necklace he instantly recognises. As Leo sets out on a
rogue investigation to catch the killer, a series of frightening connections emerge linking the murder to his own troubled youth in Salem,
a suburb of Stockholm where social and racial tensions run high, and
forcing him to confront a long-ago incident that changed his life forever.
The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel
Edinburgh, 1888. A violinist is murdered in his home. The dead virtuoso's maid swears she heard three musicians playing in the night. But
with only one body in the locked practice room—and no way in or
out—the case makes no sense. Fearing a national panic over another
Ripper, Scotland Yard sends Inspector Ian Frey to investigate under
the cover of a fake department specialising in the occult. However,
Frey's new boss, Detective 'Nine-Nails' McGray, actually believes in
such supernatural nonsense. McGray's tragic past has driven him to
superstition, but even Frey must admit that this case seems beyond
reason. And once someone loses all reason, who knows what they
will lose next. ($23, PB)
Deadly Election by Lindsey Davis ($29.99, PB)
In the blazing July heat of imperial Rome, Flavia Albia inspects a
decomposing corpse. It has been discovered in lots to be auctioned by
her family business, so she's determined to identify the dead man and
learn how he met his gruesome end. The investigation will give her a
chance to work with the magistrate, Manlius Faustus, the friend she
sadly knows to be the last chaste man in Rome. But he's got other concerns than her anonymous corpse. It's election time and with democracy for sale at Domitian's court, tension has come to a head. Faustus
is acting as an agent for a 'good husband and father', whose traditional
family values are being called into question. Even more disreputable
are his rivals, whom Faustus wants Albia to discredit.
One Life: My Mother's Story by Kate Grenville
When Kate Grenville's mother died she left behind many fragments of memoir. These were the starting point for One Life,
the story of a woman whose life spanned a century of tumult &
change. In many ways Nance's story echoes that of many mothers & grandmothers, for whom the spectacular shifts of the 20th
century offered a path to new freedoms & choices. In other ways
Nance was exceptional. In an era when women were expected
to have no ambitions beyond the domestic, she ran successful
businesses as a registered pharmacist, laid the bricks for the family home, and discovered her husband's secret life as a revolutionary. One Life is an act of great
imaginative sympathy, a daughter's intimate account of the patterns in her mother's
life. It is a deeply moving homage by one of Australia's finest writers. ($30, PB)
Mannix by Brenda Niall ($50, HB)
Daniel Mannix, Archbishop of Melbourne from 1917 until his
death, aged 99, in 1963, was a towering figure in Melbourne's
Catholic community. But his political interventions had a profound effect on the wider Australian nation too. Brenda Niall
draws on some unexpected discoveries in Irish & Australian
archives & also on her own memories of meeting & interviewing Mannix to get to the essence of this man of contradictions,
controversies & mystery. Mannix is not only an astonishing new
look at a remarkable life, but a fascinating depiction of Melbourne in the first half last century.
The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll & The Secret
History of Wonderland
by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst ($39.99, PB)
Wonderland is part of our cultural heritage—a shortcut for all
that is beautiful & confusing; a metaphor used by artists, writers
& politicians for 150 years. But beneath the fairy tale lies the
complex history of the author & his subject: of Charles Dodgson, the quiet academic, and his 2nd self, Lewis Carroll—storyteller, innovator & avid collector of 'child-friends'. And of his
'dream-child', Alice Liddell, and the fictional alter ego that would never let her grow
up. Drawing on previously unpublished material, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst traces
the creation & influence of the Alice books against a shifting cultural landscape—
the birth of photography, changing definitions of childhood & sexuality & the tensions inherent in the transition between the Victorian & modern worlds.
Alfred Hitchcock by Peter Ackroyd ($33, PB)
Alfred Hitchcock was a strange child. Fat, lonely, burning with
fear & ambition, his childhood was an isolated one, scented with
fish from his father's shop. He would plan great voyages, using
railway timetables to plot an exact imaginary route across Europe. As an adult, Hitch rigorously controlled the press's portrait
of himself, drawing certain carefully selected childhood anecdotes into full focus and blurring all others out. Peter Ackroyd
reveals a lugubriously jolly man fond of practical jokes, who
smashes a once-used tea cup every morning to remind himself
of the frailty of life. Iconic film stars make cameo appearances, just as Hitch did in
his own films. Grace Kelly, Carey Grant & James Stewart despair of his detached
directing style, and, perhaps most famously of all, Tippi Hedren endures cuts &
bruises from a fearsome flock of birds.
Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske
by Julia Blackburn ($80, HB)
John Craske, a Norfok fisherman, born in 1881, fell seriously
ill at the age of 36 & for the rest of his life he kept moving in
& out of what was described as ‘a stuporous state'. In 1923 he
started making paintings of the sea & boats & the coastline
seen from the sea, and later, when he was too ill to stand &
paint, he turned to embroidery, which he could do lying in bed.
His embroideries were also the sea, including his masterpiece,
a huge embroidery of The Evacuation of Dunkirk. Julia Blackburn's biography travels to fishermen's cottages in Sheringham, a grand hotel fallen on hard times in
Great Yarmouth and to the isolated Watch House far out in the Blakeney estuary;
to Cromer and the bizarre story of Einstein's stay there, guarded by dashing young
women in jodhpurs with shotguns. This is a book about life & death & the strange
country between the two where John Craske seemed to live. It is also about life after
death, as Julia's beloved husband Herman, a vivid presence in the early pages of the
book, dies before it is finished.
A Curious Friendship by Anna Thomasson
The winter of 1924: Edith Olivier, alone for the first time at the
age of 51, thought her life had come to an end. For Rex Whistler, a 19 year-old art student, life was just beginning. Together,
they embarked on an intimate & unlikely friendship that would
transform their lives. Gradually Edith's world opened up and she
became a writer. Her home, the Daye House, in a wooded corner
of the Wilton estate, became a sanctuary for Whistler and the other brilliant & beautiful younger men of her circle: among them
Siegfried Sassoon, Stephen Tennant, William Walton, John Betjeman, the Sitwells
and Cecil Beaton—for whom she was 'all the muses'. ($45, HB)
Mawson's Remarkable Men: The Personal Stories
of the Epic 1911–14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition by David Jensen ($35, PB)
In 1911, the Australian Antarctic Expedition under Douglas Mawson
left Hobart on the Aurora, headed for Antarctica. The 32 land-based
members of the AAE of 1911–14 selected to explore part of the Antarctic continent where no person had set foot before, had an average
age of just 26. They included 3 doctors, 2 soldiers, engineers, sailors,
a Rhodes Scholar, a meteorologist, wireless operators, a photographer, a former 'female'
spy, a lawyer-cum-mountaineer, an architectural draftsman & scientists. Just three had
previously experienced the cold, loneliness, potential danger & isolation that only Antarctica offers. The remaining 29 could safely be described as enthusiastic novices; some
had probably never before seen snow. Two of them were not to return. This is a fascinating & illuminating memoir of the intrepid adventurers who helped shape the legend.
The Good Greek Girl by Maria Katsonis ($32.95, PB)
In the space of five years, I went from graduating at Harvard to becoming a psych patient. I overcame the stranglehold of depression and
chose not to die. Instead, I embraced life only to discover I am a good
Greek girl at heart, albeit an unconventional one. This is my story.
Maria Katsonis is the good Greek girl who grew up above her parents’
milk bar and shared a bedroom with her yiayia. That is until university
where she discovered her rebellious side, realised her true sexuality
and abandoned nine-tenths of an economics degree for a career in the
theatre. Furthering her studies later in life, Maria attended Harvard
University and left with a Masters of Public Administration. Little did she know, in five
years time, Maria would be alone on a bed in a white psych ward fighting for her life.
Settling Day: A Memoir by Kate Howarth ($32.95, PB)
Following on from her award-winning memoir Ten Hail Marys, Kate
Howarth's extraordinary life continues. Thrust out of her son's life
while he is still a toddler, teenaged Kate has to rely on her wits and
courage to start life anew. Filled with remorse & an unwavering determination to be reunited with her son, so begins Kate's journey as
she fights injustice & prejudice to create a better life. She amasses a
fortune helping to build one of Australia's most successful recruitment
companies, only to lose it all in a legal battle. Kate once again manages to rebuild her life after a major injury, but is always haunted by
her lost son.
The Porcelain Thief by Huan Hsu ($30, PB)
Among their antique furniture, jade & scrolls, was Liu's prized porcelain collection, one he had amassed over many years & which contained priceless imperial items. The vault was fill to its brim before
being covered with a false floor & replanted with vegetation. The
family's flight across war torn China, and the arrival of the Communists, would scatter them across the globe. Grandfather Liu's treasure
became family myth, from a time that no one wished to speak of—no
one ever returned to find it. Three years ago, Huan Hsu moved back
to China from the US & set out to discover the truth—his journey took through China's
cultural past & present. Memories of the China of another age from elderly relatives,
his family's flight from the Japanese, and the contradictions of contemporary China, and
perhaps the discovery of the secret hiding place of his grandfather's porcelain combine in
Hsu's fascinating record of his family history.
Travel Writing
The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth
of the Scandinavian Utopia by Michael Booth
The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest
taxes. 'Neutral' Sweden is one of the biggest arms manufacturers in
the world. Finns have the largest per capita gun ownership after the
US & Yemen. 54 per cent of Icelanders believe in elves. Norway is
the richest country on earth. Michael Booth, bemused by the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things Nordic that has engulfed the world, leaves his adopted home
of Denmark to embark on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover
who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, most intriguing of all, what
they think of each other. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of
a region plagued by taboos, characterised by suffocating parochialism & populated by
extremists of various shades. ($19.99, PB)
Between River and Sea: Encounters in Israel and
Palestine by Dervla Murphy ($40, HB)
Dervla Murphy describes with passionate honesty the experience of
living with & among Jewish Israelis & Palestinians in both Israel &
Palestine. In cramped Haifa high-rises, in homes in the settlements
& in a refugee camp on the West Bank, she talks with whomever
she meets, trying to understand them & their attitudes. Meeting the
wise, the foolish & the frankly deluded, she gradually knits together a
picture of the patchwork that constitutes both sides of the divide—Hamas & Fatah, rural & urban, refugee, indigenous inhabitant, Russian, Black Hebrew and
Kabbalist to name but a fraction—attempting to puzzle out what might be done to make
peace in the region a possibility.
Ransacking Paris by Patti Miller ($29.95, PB)
When Patti Miller arrives to write in Paris for a year, the world glows
'as if the light that comes after the sun has set had spilled gold on
everything'. But wasn't that just romantic illusion? Miller grew up on
Wiradjuri land in country Australia where her heart & soul belonged.
What did she think she would find in Paris that she couldn't find at
home? How could she belong in this city made of other people's stories? She turns to French writers, Montaigne, Rousseau, de Beauvoir
and other memoirists, each one intent on knowing the self through
gazing into the 'looking glass' of the great world. They accompany her as she wanders the
streets of Paris—they even have coffee together—and talk about love, suffering, desire,
motherhood, memory, the writing journey—and the joys and responsibilities of ransacking. Exploring truth and illusion, self-knowledge and identity, and family and cultures,
Miller evokes the beauty, the contradictions and the daily life of contemporary Paris
Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find
the Sunken City by Mark Adams ($33, PB)
A few years ago, Mark Adams made a strange discovery: everything we know about the famous city of Atlantis comes from the
work of Plato. Then he made a second, stranger discovery: amateur explorers are still actively searching for the sunken city all
around the world, based entirely on the clues Plato left behind.
Meet Me in Atlantis is Adams's enthralling account of his quest
to solve one of history's greatest mysteries. It is a travelogue
that takes readers to fascinating locations to meet irresistible characters, an
intriguing examination of ancient codes in Plato's writings, and a deep, often humorous look at the human longing to rediscover a lost world.
Siena: City of Secrets by Jane Tylus ($49.95, HB)
In a cultural history, intellectual memoir, travelogue, and
guidebook, Jane Tylus takes the reader on a quest of discovery
through the well- and not-so-well-traveled roads and alleys of
Siena—a town both medieval and modern. Siena can appear on
the surface standoffish & old-fashioned, especially when compared to its larger, flashier cousins Rome & Florence. But Siena
was an innovator among the cities of Italy: the first to legislate
the building & maintenance of its streets, the first to publicly fund
its university, the first to institute a municipal bank, and even the
first to ban automobile traffic from its city centre. Tylus writes about Siena’s great
artistic & architectural past, hidden behind centuries of painting & rebuilding, and
about the distinctive characters of its different neighbourhoods, exemplified in the
Palio, the highly competitive horserace that takes place twice a year in the city’s
main piazza & that serves as both a dividing and a uniting force for the Sienese.
A London Year: 365 Days of City Life in Diaries,
Journals and Letters ($30, PB)
This is an anthology of short diary entries, one or more for each
day of the year, which, taken together, provides an impressionistic portrait of life in the city from Tudor times to the twentyfirst century. There are more than two hundred featured writers,
with a short biography for each. The most famous diarist of all,
Samuel Pepys, is included, as well as some of today's finest
diarists like Alan Bennett and Chris Mullin. There are coronations and executions, election riots and zeppelin raids, duels,
dust-ups and drunken sprees, among everyday moments like Brian Eno cycling in
Kilburn or George Eliot walking on Wimbledon Common.
Now in B Format
The Land Where Lemons Grow: The Story of Italy and
Its Citrus Fruit by Helena Attlee, $25
A Field Guide To Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit, $23
Universal Man: The Seven Lives of John Maynard
Keynes by Richard Davenport-Hines ($40, HB)
John Maynard Keynes is the man who saved Britain from financial
crisis not once but twice, over the course of two World Wars, and
he remains a highly influential figure, nearly 70 years after his death.
Richard Davenport-Hines gives us the man behind the economics:
the connoisseur, intellectual, public official and statesman who was
equally at ease socialising with the Bloomsbury Group as he was persuading prime ministers and presidents. By exploring the desires &
experiences that made Keynes think as he did, Davenport-Hines reveals the aesthetic basis of Keynesian economics, & explores why the ideas of this Great
Briton continue to resonate so powerfully today.
Daughter of the Territory by Jacqueline Hammar
Born in Darwin in 1929, Jacqueline Hammar spent her childhood in
a succession of bush towns before she was sent to school in Darwin.
With the outbreak of WW 2, she moved to Brisbane to finish her education. Returning to her beloved Territory, Jacqueline met & married
stockman Ken Hammar, and they moved to a vast property in one of
the most inaccessible areas of Australia, transporting corrugated iron
& cutting down trees to build a crude hut to live in. With scant possessions Hammar lived a harsh & isolated existence—surviving many
hardships, including having to eat pigweed & sweet potato vines when
food was scarce, all the while supporting Ken as he turned huge tracts of wilderness into
a prosperous million-acre cattle station. ($33, PB)
Now in B Format
A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
by Ben Macintyre, $20
Childhood Memories and Other Stories
by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, $19.99
books for kids to young adults
picture books
compiled by Lynndy Bennett, our children's correspondent
House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser (ill) Jon Klassen ($16.95, PB)
Beautifully restrained, with a sort of poetic stoicism, Pulitzer prize-winning US poet Ted Kooser has written a very lyrical picture
book that captivates the imagination while it tells a simple story of nature versus man, of growing up, of moving on. A family of
two children and their father live in a simple house with a lawn planted on a piece of bare earth. The father is determined to discipline the lawn,
pulling out every errant seed and weed and flower, and mowing the lawn daily. Eventually the family moves on, and the house remains unsold,
and uninhabited, until it is reclaimed by nature. The story is about the house, not its owners, and we view its decline and ultimate redemption by
the trees, from the outside, never seeing inside (with the exception of one rather lonely view of a table set for one in the kitchen). Jon Klassen’s
pictures bring the story to life, with their quiet, muted colours, alive with spots and dots, and tiny leaves, not only reflecting the text but drawing
the reader into the story, with his use of straight and curved lines as vectors, changing points of perspective, and mysterious layers of colours and
shapes. An unpretentious atmosphere underlies the book, but there is no mistaking the triumph of nature and time that are shown here through
pictures and words. An outstanding book. Louise
Sun and Moon by Lindsey Yankey ($22, HB)
Lynndy and I were both dazzled by American author/illustrator Lindsey Yankey's latest book, Sun and Moon. I don't always enjoy overly illustrated children's books; more style than content annoys me, but this book, which is highly decorative and very beautiful, has as much content
as style, and a surprisingly strong, life affirming, message. The text reads like a fable: the Moon yearns to be in the sky in daytime, like the
Sun. The Sun agrees that the Moon can be in the sky for just one day, on two conditions—that it will be for ever, and that the Moon really looks
carefully about at the world at night, before he makes that change. The marvellous journey that follows is full of detail—intricate illustrations
that have been painted, lino-cut and collaged, creating a visual feast that more than captures the breadth of the subject. Lindsey Yankey excels at
capturing a sense of bounty—her explosions of flowers, fireworks, leaves and trees are entrancing, inviting the reader into the book, to be part
of the celebration. The pictures all bleed off the page, which helps the sensation of the reader being incorporated into the book, and the text is
unobtrusively placed, underlying the strength of the story. A fabulous picture book, highly recommended. Louise
The King and the Sea by Heinz Janisch, (ill) Wolf Erlbruch, translated by Sally-Ann Cooper ($17, PB / $25, HB)
Subtitled 21 Extremely Short Stories, this is more a collection of fables in that each story is both allegorical and enriching. Ranging from two
to twelve lines of text, the tales of a king interacting with the natural world and familiar objects show, through his realisation that he cannot
control elements outside himself, an open-mindedness and a deep appreciation of Nature. The book is ideal for family or school use for all ages
as a springboard to discussion of real or imaginary situations. Tiny perfect gems, these stories are simple yet philosophical, a potent reminder
of ourselves and our place in the world. Immediately the book resonated with me and multiple readings enhanced my admiration for the collaborators. Extremely short and
extremely impressive. Lynndy
The Books of Elsewhere series
by Jacqueline West ($13–14, PB)
I love books where people go into different worlds,
and this is one of those wonderful types. In these books Olive and her
friends go into the world of paint. I love Olive and her friends: Horatio, a bright orange cat, Leopold a sensible black cat,
and Harvey a multi-coloured green-eyed cat. At any
time Harvey thinks he is one of four different characters: Harry Houdini, Agent 1800, Captain Blackpaw
or Lancelot. He has costumes and props for each of
these characters—a tuna can breastplate, an eyepatch,
telephone wire and different coloured paint (Agent
1800 disguise). As Olive and her friends travel around
the world of paint, they find new enemies (who are
now dead but used to live in Olive’s house) who want their house back,
and new friends who they let out of their Arty traps and into the normal
world—where people like you and I live and see every day. The painted
people in the story are not able to get too hot or too cold or they will melt. I
think this book is much better to read than to be in! This is the type of book I
love. The names of the books in this series are: The Shadows, Spellbound, The
Second Spy, The Strangers and Still Life. Gemma (age 8)
lynndy's new release faves
As I fill this page it feels as though time has furtively accelerated. We booksellers
mentally juggle current stock and books yet to arrive, anything from 1 week to 4
months in the future. When you read this, we’ll be zooming towards our biggest
event of the year, the Sydney Writers’ Festival; after that, Christmas seems to
take over. With insufficient time and space to review the rest of my April recommendations, here are the highlights of my favourites.
Alice’s Food A-Z by Alice Zaslavsky (ill) Kat Chadwick
All the things you ever wanted to know about food and also some things you
probably didn't! Dip in and taste this edible adventure by Alice Zaslavsky—former MasterChef contestant,and the host of TV quiz show Kitchen Whiz. Packed
to the brim with funny food facts, clever cooking tips and kid-friendly recipes,
this is a book for the fact-hungry, food-obsessed, or those who like to mess about
in the kitchen. ($19.95, PB)
The Greatest Gatsby: A Visual Book of Grammar
by Tohby Riddle ($25, HB)
Introducing a new, visually engaging way of presenting grammar. Appealing to
the senses and the emotions with colour, texture, humour and drama, this book
seeks to make the subject of grammar not only more intelligible to more people,
but more memorable. Outstanding!
Little Red Riding Hood: Not Quite
by Yvonne Morrison
(ill) Donovan Bixley ($16, PB)
Their previous book, The Three Bears... Sort Of was a
multi-award winner, and now they twist another familiar
story. Take one traditional fairy tale and one infuriatingly
cheeky (albeit knowledgeable) child. Fracture the first, indulge the second, then mix for a serve of hilarity.
The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare ($23, PB)
The Iron Trial is an enthralling mix of friendships, mystery and danger merging
to create one of the best pieces of literature I've ever read (and I've read a few
books!). It starts off when school delinquent, Callum Hunt goes to magic school
try outs and his father tells him to attempt to fail the test. What is even more
surprising is that after Callum is selected, his father has to be wrestled away
because he won't let Callum go. What comes next is an amazing piece of writing
that draws you in completely. I had to wrench my eyes away from the page when
someone started talking to me. This is the first book in the series of Magisterium
fantasy novels. Finn Barker-Tomkins (age 10)
The Accidental Keyhand: Book 1 of The Ninja Librarians by
Jen Swann Downey ($13, PB)
Just the concept of ninja librarians was enough to have me begging the local
distributors to bring in this series, and the opening to this first volume vindicated
that step: 'Twelve-year-old Dorothea Barnes was thoroughly un-chosen, not particularly deserving, bore no marks of destiny, lacked any sort of criminal genius,
and could claim no supernatural relations. Furthermore, she’d never been orphaned, kidnapped, left for dead in the wilderness, or bitten by anything more bloodthirsty than her
little sister.' During their local library’s Pen & Sword Festival, Dorrie and her brother
Marcus, hurtling through the library in pursuit of their friend’s runaway mongoose, chase
it into a cupboard and drop from the C21st into the top-secret world of Petrarch’s Library
and the Lybrariad. Petrarch’s Library is the time-travelling hub of the Lybrariad – warrior
librarians who battle injustice and rescue those whose words endanger their lives, from
500 BCE to the present. The siblings enter training as well, thriving on the covert practices until they fall under suspicion of imperilling the entire Lybrariad, and they despair
of returning home. Mystery, madcap fantasy, adventure, humour and history combine in
a fast-paced novel peppered throughout with wit, swordplay and defenders (both real and
literary) of intellectual freedom. Where else in children’s fiction will you find Paracelsus
and John Stuart Mill, The Three Musketeers and Basho, Vitruvius and Hypatia consorting? I’ve no idea where book 2, The Sword in the Stacks, will take us but I’m very keen
to discover the Lybrariad’s next mission later this year. Lynndy
Home by Carson Ellis ($24.95, HB)
Influential artist Carson Ellis makes her solo picture-book debut with a whimsical tribute
to the many possibilities of home. Home might be a house in the country, an apartment in
the city, or even a shoe. Home may be on the road or the sea, in the realm of myth, or in the
artist's own studio. This is both a meditation on the concept of home and a visual treat that
invites many return visits.
My Pop-Up City Atlas by Jonathan Litton (ill) Stephen
Waterhouse, paper engineering by Andy Mansfield ($40, HB)
A bright, fact-packed collection of over 70 cities, from skyscraping to scenic, and from
historic to extreme. With interactive elements including pop-ups and flaps, little globetrotters are invited to scale the CN Tower in Toronto, sleep in a honeycomb hotel in Tokyo and
marvel at the 'Manhattan of the desert'!
Food & Health & Garden
Mothermorphosis (ed) Monica Dux ($28, PB)
Australian writers & storytellers share their own experiences of motherhood—articulating the complex internal conflicts, the exhilaration &
the absurdity of the transformation that takes place when we become
mothers. Contributors include Kate Holden, Kathy Lette, Lorelei Vashti, Rebecca Huntley, George McEnroe, Fatima Measham, Jo Case, Hilary Harper, Cordelia Fine, Jane Caro, Hannah Robert, Susan Carland,
Kerri Sackville, Catherine Deveny, Lee Kofman and Dee Madigan.
Origins: Early-life Solutions to the Modern Health
Crisis by Susan Prescott ($30, PB)
A poor start to life is associated with an increased risk of disorders
throughout life, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic disturbances, osteoporosis, chronic obstructive
lung disease, some forms of cancer & some mental illnesses. Dr Susan
Prescott, a leading childhood immunologist, shows how the application of epigenetics through Developmental Origins of Health & Disease (DOHaD) is changing scientific research and public health. Dr
Prescott explains the research and shows how a focus on early life in
health promotion, the exchange of knowledge between policymakers,
clinical & basic scientists & the wider public, and education & training,
will build capacity to assist a healthy start to life across populations.
Preventing Cancer by Beliveau & Gingras
Dr Richard Beliveau & Dr Denis Gingras, (Foods That Fight
Cancer, and Cooking With Foods That Fight Cancer) have for
the first time in book form brought together the sum of current
knowledge of the connection between lifestyle and cancer. Written without jargon for a non-medical audience, Preventing Cancer
aims to be an indispensable tool to remind the general public and
the medical community of the importance of the old proverb: an
ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. ($35, PB)
AWW Love to Bake ($55, HB)
Beautiful photography showcases lavish sweets & home baked savoury delights. Teaching everything from the basics for new bakers to more specialised subjects to delight those who can already
bake. Chapters include: the weekend baker, the lazy baker & best in
show—from towering cakes to a crusty chicken pie, all the recipes
in this book are utterly delicious.
The Larousse Book of Bread: Recipes to Make at
Home by Eric Kayser ($49.95, HB)
The Larousse Book of Bread explains complex techniques with illustrated step-by-step instructions and features 80 recipes for baking a vast array of classic artisanal breads including: The classics
(baguettes, boules); specialty breads (multigrains, rye, farmhouse,
gluten-free); yeast-free breads (spelt, 'millstone pie'); flavoured
breads (fig bread, orange, squid ink); oiled breads (ciabatta, opizz);
sweet bakery (croissant, brioche, pain au chocolat); rolls (poppy,
bacon and pecan, seaweed); regional breads (marguerite, vivarais);
world breads (focaccia, Turkish ekmek).
Spice I Am by Sujet Saenkham ($40, PB)
Sydney-based Thai chef Sujet Saenkham shares his family recipes
so you can enjoy authentic Thai food at home. Learn how to make
restaurant favourites such as Sujet's signature stir-fried crispy pork
belly with basil, roasted red duck curry with eggplant, tomato and
pineapple and crispy prawn and lemongrass salad, as well as traditional classics like pad Thai, fishcakes and a massaman beef curry
from scratch. Throughout, Sujet offers practical advice on finding
the ingredients & mastering the cooking techniques.
Secrets From My Indian Family Kitchen
by Anjali Pathak ($39.99, HB)
Anjali Pathak's first memories are of making chapatis with her
grandmother who founded the family business, doing her homework on the kitchen table as her mother presented her with dish
upon dish to test & her father's favourite phrase: 'can we get that
into a jar?' Her recipes included vary from light snacks, such as
the bombay nuts, spiced chicken wings and stuffed paneer bites, to
bigger bites like chilli beef with black pepper, vegetable biryani, or
the classic chicken tikka masala, baby apple tarte tatin with spiced
caramel & roast hazelnut & cardamom ice cream.
Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous
Flavour by Jennifer McLagan ($49.99, HB)
The world of the unused & under-loved ingredient is Jennifer
McLagan's speciality & her book will not only help you to discover the delights of the radicchio or the dandelion, but show
how you can use them to enhance the much sweeter palate we've
come to depend upon. Bitter takes you on a journey through the
broad range of the bitter scale, from the subtle to the very bitter
as well as a few ingredients that will surprise you. Accompanied
with various titbits on the history and science behind these flavours, McLagan's book brings you an astounding array of beautiful recipes that will entice even the most sweet-toothed to give them a try.
Vitamania: Our obsessive quest for nutritional
perfection by Catherine Price ($33, PB)
Despite a century of scientific research, there is little consensus
among experts around even the simplest of questions, whether
it's exactly how much we each require or what these 13 dietary
chemicals actually do. The one thing that they do agree upon is
that the best way to get our nutrients is in the foods that naturally contain them. From recounting the experiments of the great
explorers to visiting military testing kitchens, Catherine Price
reveals the surprising story of how our embrace of vitamins led
to today's Wild West of dietary supplements, and investigates the complicated psychological relationship we've developed with these mysterious chemicals. In so
doing, she both demolishes many of our society's most cherished myths about nutrition, and challenges us to re-evaluate our own beliefs.
Gennaro: Slow Cook Italian
by Gennaro Contaldoe ($40, HB)
Slow cooking draws out flavours and softens the texture of food
to create delicious, impressive, often inexpensive meals with little fuss. Gennaro is a traditional, rural Italian cook who uses lots
of inexpensive cuts of meat, as well as beans and pulses. This is
classic Italian food, such as Roast leg of lamb with baby onions,
Rich Tyrolean beef goulash, Lasagne with slow-cooked vegetable ragu and Meringue with zabaglione cream and custard, that
takes the hard work out of preparing supper.
History of Food in 100 Recipes
by William Sitwell ($30, PB)
The history of food & cooking is the history of civilisation. In
this richly entertaining book, food writer William Sitwell explores the fascinating history of cuisine from the first cookbook
to the first cupcake, from the invention of the sandwich to the
rise of food television. His engaging & witty narrative uncovers the earliest recipes tucked within Egyptian tomb walls &
medieval manuscripts & shines a light on the many trends &
technological innovations that have shaped the way we eat over
hundreds of years.
The New Kitchen Garden by Mark Diacono
A kitchen garden can be anything from a collection of pots to
a small farm. Mark Diacono, who was head of the gardening
team at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage, takes
ideas from gardens around the world, including that of his own
home, Otter Farm in Devon, with its unique blend of orchards,
vineyards, forest gardens, edible hedges, perennial garden &
veg patch. Inspired by a range of gardeners growing food on
allotments, on rooftops, in container gardens & in other edible
spaces, many of them urban, Mark shows you the full exciting
breadth of what a kitchen garden can be. ($49.99, HB)
Magic Soup by Nicole Pisani & Kate Adams
This book features over 100 innovative recipes helping you
to feel fuller and become healthier. Recipes such as salmon
poached in lemongrass tea, lemon chicken and mint with quinoa,
and the ultimate 'chicken soup for the soul' will redefine people's
expectations and put paid to the myth that soup cannot be hearty
a meal in itself. ($45, HB)
The Gourmet Farmer Goes Fishing
Matthew Evans, Nick Haddow & Ross O'Meara
Food critic turned farmer and sustainable seafood activist Matthew Evans, along with his two best chef mates, shows us how
seafood should be cooked. Simple recipes that demystify everything from abalone to sea urchin, snapper to octopus, as well
as inspiration if you want to catch your own dinner rather than
head to the fishmongers. This is all about the taste of real food
fresh from the sea, cooked with care and respect for the seafood
populations in your part of the world. ($50, HB)
Gumbo by Dale Curry
Recalling childhood visits to her grandmother's house in New
Orleans, where she would feast on shrimp and okra gumbo, Dale
Curry offers fifty recipes--for gumbos, jambalayas, and those little something extras known as lagniappe. Drawing historically
from French, African, Caribbean, Native American, Spanish,
Italian, and other culinary sources, the Creole and Cajun cooking featured in Gumbo embraces the best of local shellfish, sausages, poultry, and game. ($29.95, HB)
Great Gluten-free Baking by Louise Blair
Following a gluten-free diet needn't mean missing out on delicious cakes and bakes. Louise Blair supplies 80 easy recipes
that include feta & herb loaf, caraway & sunflower seed rolls,
truly decadent coconut & mango cake & passion cake squares
and snack-time favourites such as Garlic & Caramelised Onion bhajis and pizza scrolls. ($25, PB)
Eve nt
12 Launch—3.30 for 4
Mark Tredinnick
with translations by
Isabelle Li
Launch—6 for 6.30
Vince Vozzo
The Life & Work of Vince Vozzo
In conversation with Mabel Lee
Showcasing the work of Australian
sculptor, Vince Vozzo, book charts
the journey of a 2nd generation Italian kid from the Western suburbs
of Sydney—from dyslexic, cartoonobsessed school boy to sand sculptor
on Bondi beach, to art student, and
finally, prolific and acclaimed artist.
Almost Everything I Know
launched by Anthony Ackroyd
This book gathers 21 pieces, old &
new, of Mark Tredinnick’s poetry offering them in two languages—English and Chinese. It says them in two
voices: Mark’s and Isabelle Li’s.
Event—3.30 for 4
Launch—6 for 6.30
David Carlin
& Sosina Wogayehu
28 Event—6 for 6.30
Helen Razer & Bernard Keane
A Short History of Stupid:
The decline of reason and why public
debate makes us want to scream
in conv. with Mikey Robbins
The deteriorating quality of our
public debate & the dwindling of
common sense in media, politics &
culture drove writers Helen Razer &
Bernard Keane to the desperate act
of befriending each other for long
enough to write this book.
Event—6 for 6.30
Quentin Beresford
The Abyssinian Contortionist: Hope,
Friendship and Other Circus Acts
in conv. with Gill Minervini
Carlin’s sensitive, engaging and articulate portrait of the sassy somersaulting Sosina Wogayehu is a
delicate cross-cultural balancing act
which will surely be met with thunderous applause.
The Rise & Fall of Gunns Ltd
in conv. with Margot O'Neill
Fearless and forensic in its analysis, the book shows that Tasmania’s
decades-long quest to industrialise
nature fails every time. But the collapse of Gunns is the most telling of
them all—a must-read for anyone
interested in fairness and transparency in government.
Launch—6 for 6.30
Richard Denniss &
Brenton Prosser
Minority Policy: Rethinking Governance When Parliament Matters
This book explores the influence of
marginal parliamentarians both
within the major parties and on the
cross benches in the formations of
contemporary public policy.
Event—6 for 6.30
Fury: Women Write About
Sex, Power and Violence
Panel: Mandy Sayer, Ruth Hessey,
Anne Summers & Susan Chenery
Chair: Samantha Trenoweth (ed)
This is a fundraiser event, with $5
from the price of each ticket going to
a local women’s refuge.
$17/$14 & $5 Gleeclub
Event—6 for 6.30
Panel: Jane Caro, Kerri Sackville,
Dee Madigan & Rebecca Huntley
Chair: Monica Dux (ed)
This is a collection of essays on the
experience of motherhood as told
by some of Australia's most talented
writers and storytellers.
Starring: Terry Clarke, Bob Ellis,
Andrew Sharp, Monroe Reimers,
Mark Connelly & Bill Charlton
An evening of immense, influential
utterance (from Cicero to Jed Bartlet) that sometimes changed history,
with attendant songs & underscored
$28/$22 (incl. 2 glasses of wine)
90 minutes, plus 15 minute interval
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
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All events listed are $12/$9 concession. Book Launches are free.
Gleeclub members free entry to events at 49 Glebe Pt Rd
Event—6 for 6.30
Kate Grenville
One Life: My Mother’s Story
in conv. with Cath Keenan
One Life is an act of great imaginative sympathy, a daughter’s intimate account of the patterns in her
mother’s life. It is a deeply moving
homage by one of Australia’s finest
16 Launch—6 for 6.30
Ross Tapsell
By-Lines, Balibo, Bali Bombings:
Australian Journalists in Indonesia
Launched by Stephen Fitzpatrick
Brimming with fresh material from
interviews with Australian & Indonesian journalists & officials, this
book examines contemporary disputes with an historical perspective—fascinating to anyone interested in history, Australia-Indonesia
relations & press freedom.
Event—6 for 6.30
Tony Windsor
Windsor's Way
Traitor or saviour? Tony Windsor
has been called both in his 22-year
political career but never more often
than when he supported Julia Gillard to form government in 2010. By
staying true to his values & beliefs in
difficult & challenging times, Windsor has come to stand for integrity &
decency in Australian politics.
10 Launch—6 for 6.30
11 Launch—3.30 for 4
Adrian Mitchell
The Profilist
To be launched by Sue Woolfe
In The Profilist, Adrian Mitchell
paints a compelling picture of the
early years of the Australian colonies, in the imagined voice of the artist Samuel Thomas Gill—or someone very like him.
17 Launch—6 for 6.30
Amanda Third
Gender and the Political:
Deconstructing the Female Terrorist
Launcher: Ass.Prof. Natalya Lusty
This book analyses cultural constructions of the female terrorist,
arguing that she operates as a limit
case of both feminine and feminist
24 Launch—6 for 6.30
Toni Schofield
Paul Heywood-Smith
The Case for Palestine
to be launched by Bob Carr
Paul Heywood-Smith argues that it
is the responsibility of all adult and
thinking members of the world community to inform themselves of the
background to the Israel/Palestine
conflict and the current issues associated with its resolution.
18 Launch—4.30 for 5
Patti Miller
Ransacking Paris:
A year with Montaigne & friends
to be launched by Michelle de Kretser
This story, of a year spent writing
and reading in Paris, explores truth
and illusion, self-knowledge and
identity—and evokes the beauty, the
contradictions and the daily life of
contemporary Paris.
A Sociological Approach to
Health Determinants
This book is a comprehensive resource that provides a new perspective on the influence of social
structures on health, and how our
understanding of the social can ensure improved health outcomes for
people all over the globe.
d get free entry to
s, 10% credit ac
events he
, and FREE POS
anywhere in Aus
Australian Studies
Windsor's Way by Tony Windsor ($33, PB)
Traitor or saviour? Tony Windsor has been called both in his 22-year
political career, but never more often than when he supported Julia Gillard to form government in 2010. By staying true to his values and beliefs in difficult and challenging times, Tony Windsor has become an
emblem of integrity and decency in Australian politics. Born and bred
in north-western New South Wales, Tony Windsor has held the balance
of power in state and federal parliaments for nearly a third of his public
life. He has always stood as an Independent, believing it was the only way he could achieve
the attention country voters deserved from the major parties.
Fractured Families: Life On the Margins in Colonial
New South Wales by Tanya Evans ($40, PB)
From the bestselling author of the
Harry Hole series comes the first
instalment of a gripping diptych.
Olav lives the lonely life of a fixer. When
you ‘fix’ people for a living – terminally
– it’s hard to get close to anyone.
Now he’s finally met the woman of his
dreams. But there are two problems:
she’s his boss’s wife; and Olav’s just
been hired to kill her.
Slip into Nesbo’s new underworld
with Blood on Snow.
Most convicts arriving in New South Wales didn’t expect to make
their fortunes. Some went on to great success, but countless convicts
and free migrants struggled with limited prospects, discrimination and
misfortune. Many desperate people turned to The Benevolent Society,
Australia’s first charity founded in 1813, for assistance and sustenance.
Tanya Evans has collaborated with family historians to present the everyday lives of these people. We see many families who have fallen on
hard times because of drink, unwanted pregnancy, violence, unemployment or plain bad luck,
seeking help and often shunted from asylums or institutions. In the careful tracing of families,
we see the way in which disadvantage can be passed down from one generation to the next.
Radical Newcastle (eds) James Bennett et al ($39.99, PB)
The Star Hotel in Newcastle has become a site of defiance for the marginalised young & dispossessed working class. To understand the whole
story of the Star Hotel riot, it should be seen in the context of other moments of resistance such as the 1890 Maritime Strike, Rothbury miners'
lockout in 1929 & the recent battle for the Laman Street fig trees. As
Australia’s first industrial city, Newcastle is also a natural home of radicalism & this book brings together short illustrated essays from leading
scholars, local historians & present day radicals to document both the
iconic events of the region’s radical past, and less well known actions
seeking social justice for workers, women, Aboriginal people & the environment.
Over the Top: A Cartoon history of Australia at
War (ed) Tim Benson ($50, HB)
This book visually chronicles the fortunes & misfortunes of the
Australian military, as well as the civilian population at home,
from the Boer War, the two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and
Iraq, through to the present conflict in Afghanistan. With commentary throughout, with insights provided by the cartoonists
themselves, each cartoon is put into historical perspective.
Through the Wall: Reflections on Leadership,
Love and Survival by Anna Bligh ($40, HB)
Anna Bligh was raised by a single mother in the working class
Gold Coast, a young girl with a soon-to-be-estranged dad who
struggled with alcoholism. She spent over 17 years in the rough
and tumble of the Queensland Parliament (seven of them as either Deputy Premier or Premier) and she was the first woman
to be elected Premier of an Australian State in her own right.
When Labor lost the 2012 State election Anna stepped down to
start a new life, only to find herself diagnosed with cancer. Bligh
reflects candidly as a wife, mother, daughter, friend & political
leader about the challenges that public and private life have thrown her.
Bearing Witness: The Remarkable Life of Charles
Bean by Peter Rees ($32.99, PB)
Charles Bean was Australia's greatest and most famous war correspondent. He is the journalist who told Australia about the horrors of Gallipoli and the Western Front. As an historian he helped
create the Anzac legend & he was central to the establishment of
the Australian War Memorial. This is the first complete portrait
of Charles Bean. It is the story of a boy from Bathurst and his
search for truth: in the bush, on the battlefield and in the writing
of the official history of Australia's involvement in World War I.
Queenie, Letters from an Australian Army Nurse 1915–1917
by Pat Richardson & Anne Skinner ($25, PB)
'Queenie’ Avenell answered the call for nurses in 1915, and embarked on what she
thought would be a brief time away, nursing our Gallipoli wounded in Egypt—
went on to serve in France and England, nursing our Australian Amputees. I
found Queenie’s letters quite by accident in 1982 at the bottom of my mother’s
Glory Box—tied up in ribbon, with rusty old pins holding letters together. There
were one 107 letters in all, and I was struck by their vitality and humanity. In
the course of my research, I discovered the disgraceful treatment of the nurses
after the War by successive Australian Governments—especially those nurses
who were suffering as a result of illnesses they acquired while serving overseas.
Pat Richardson will be giving a talk Thursday 11 am, 23rd April.
St. Helen’s Community Centre—184 Glebe Pt Rd, Glebe
Near the Glebe Library
14 I’m sure my listeners will come to love Queenie as Anne and I have done.
The Coal Face by Tom Doig ($9.99, PB)
On 9 February 2014 a fire took hold in Victoria's Hazelwood coal
mine next to Morwell & burned for one & a half months. As the air
filled with toxic smoke & ash, residents of the Latrobe Valley became
ill, afraid—and angry. Up against an unresponsive corporation &
an indifferent government, the community banded together, turning
tragedy into a political fight. Tom Doig reveals the decades of decisions that led to the fire, and gives an intimate account of the first
moments of the blaze & the dark weeks that followed.
Australians at The Great War 1914–1918 ($29.99, PB)
Highly-illustrated and thoroughly researched, this book provides an accessible overview
of the contribution Australians made throughout the Great
War—from Gallipoli, through to Europe & the Middle East.
Fully revised & updated
Walking with the ANZACS: The Authoritative Guide to Australian Battlefields on the
Western Front by Mat McLachlan, $40 PB
Aboriginal Studies
A Journey Travelled: Aboriginal-European Relations at Albany and Surrounding Regions from First
Contact to 1926 by Murray Arnold ($40, PB)
How did Aboriginal & European people interact with each other for
the 100 years after the British territorial invasion of 1826? There has
always been a wealth of documentary & oral history available to
researchers prepared to write from a local history perspective, yet
very few Australian historians have accepted this challenge. What
has been lacking until quite recently is the sense among historians
& the general Australian public that the history of Aboriginal–European relations, not only for the first few years of contact but for a period of many decades,
is central to our nation’s story—a pivotal story long over-due for the telling
Reg Saunders: An Indigenous War Hero
by Hugh Dolan & Adrian Threlfall ($20, PB)
This is the little-known story of Reg Saunders, the first Indigenous
Australian to become an officer in the Army, retold in action-packed
graphic format. Reg Saunders MBE (1920–90) not only survived the
World War II battlefields in the Middle East, North Africa, Greece,
Crete & New Guinea, but excelled as a military leader. He was recommended for officer training and, in 1944, returned to New Guinea
as a platoon commander—the first Aboriginal Australian to serve as
a commissioned officer. He went on to serve with distinction in the
Korean War, and became a pioneering figure for Indigenous rights.
Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime—From Global Epidemic to Your Front Door
by Brian Krebs ($29.99, HB)
There’s an online epidemic that costs governments billions & threatens the personal security of consumers everywhere. This book is an
insider look at the global drug-spam problem—how it works, who
buys & who profits—through the story of the world's two largest
pharmacy spam operations. Blending cutting-edge research & first-hand interviews,
award-winning reporter & cybercrime expert Brian Krebs delivers a riveting account of
this spam empire & proposes concrete solutions for stopping it.
The Great Divide by Joseph Stiglitz ($50, HB)
This book gathers Joseph Stiglitz's most provocative reflections to date
on the subject of inequality, probing for answers to the greatest threat
to American prosperity & explaining the role it has played in the country's ongoing malaise. Divided into sections that variously analyse the
causes of, consequences of, and cures for inequality, Stiglitz stresses
that the widening gap between rich & poor leaves both—and the entire economy—worse off. But as he argues, a healthy economy & a
fairer democracy are within our grasp, if we can put aside misguided
interests & abandon failed policies. In its insistence on the restoration of true democracy
& tempered markets, The Great Divide makes the urgent case that we must come together
& solve inequality now.
Now in B Format
HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton
by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, $20
Flash Boys: Cracking the Money Code by Michael Lewis, $23
Austerity: The Great Failure by Florian Schui
Austerity is at the centre of political debates today. Its defenders praise
it as a panacea that will prepare the ground for future growth and stability. Critics insist it will precipitate a vicious cycle of economic decline, possibly leading to political collapse. Florian Schui shows that
arguments in favour of austerity were—and are today—mainly based
on moral & political considerations, rather than on economic analysis.
He examines thinkers who have influenced ideas about abstinence
from Aristotle through such modern economic thinkers as Smith,
Marx, Veblen, Weber, Hayek & Keynes, as well as the motives behind specific 20th
century austerity efforts—and finds that austerity has failed intellectually & in economic
terms every time it has been attempted. ($29.95, PB)
Why Nudge? The Politics of Libertarian Paternalism
by Cass R. Sunstein ($29.95, PB)
Cass R. Sunstein combines legal theory with behavioural economics
to make a fresh argument about the legitimate scope of government,
bearing on obesity, smoking, distracted driving, health care, food safety, and other highly volatile, high-profile public issues. Against those
who reject paternalism of any kind, Sunstein shows that 'choice architecture'—government-imposed structures that affect our choices—is
inevitable, and hence that a form of paternalism cannot be avoided.
Sunstein argues for a new form of paternalism, one that protects people
against serious errors but also recognises the risk of government overreaching and usually preserves freedom of choice.
The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni
Revolution by Patrick Cockburn ($22, PB)
Out of the failures of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Arab Spring & Syria, a
new threat emerges. While Al-Qaeda is weakened, new jihadi movements, especially ISIS, are starting to emerge. In military operations
in June 2014 they were far more successful that Al Qaeda ever were,
taking territory that reaches across borders & includes the city of Mosul. The reports of their military coordination & brutality to their victims are chilling.
While they call for the formation of a new caliphate once again the West becomes a target.
How could things have gone so badly wrong? Patrick Cockburn analyses the reasons for
the unfolding of US & the West's greatest foreign policy debacle & the impact that it has
on the war torn & volatile Middle East.
Dealing With China: An Insider Unmasks the New
Economic Superpower by Hank Paulson ($35, PB)
Hank Paulson has dealt with China unlike any other foreigner. As head
of Goldman Sachs, Paulson had a pivotal role in opening up China
to private enterprise. Then, as US Treasury Secretary, he created the
Strategic Economic Dialogue with what is now the world's secondlargest economy. While negotiating with China on needed economic
reforms, he safeguarded the teetering US financial system. Over his
career, Paulson has worked with scores of top Chinese leaders, including Xi Jinping, China's most powerful man in decades. How can the West negotiate
with and influence China given its authoritarian rule, its massive environmental concerns,
and its huge population's unrelenting demands for economic growth and security? Written in an anecdote-rich, page-turning style, Dealing With China is certain is a definitive
examination of unlocking, building & engaging an economic superpower.
The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the
Middle East, 1914–1920 by Eugene Rogan
For some 4 centuries the Ottoman Empire had been one of the
most powerful states in Europe as well as ruler of the Middle
East. By 1914 it had been drastically weakened & circled by
numerous predators hoping to finish it off. With stalemate on
the Western Front & the Ottomans joining the Central Powers, the British, French & Russians hatched an audacious plan to destroy their
weakest opponent & carve out huge new empires for themselves: an ambitious
& unprecedented invasion of Gallipoli. Eugene Rogan recreates a theatre of war
which proved in its different way just as remorseless as any other. Despite fighting
back with great skill & determination against the Allied onslaught—humiliating
the British both at Gallipoli & in Mesopotamia (now Iraq)—the Ottomans were
ultimately defeated, clearing the way for a new Middle East which has endured to
the present—with consequences that still dominate our lives. ($49.99, HB)
The Italians by John Hooper ($45, HB)
Sublime yet exasperating, Italy is a country of riddles. How
can a culture that gave us the Renaissance have produced the
Mafia? Why does a nation of strong family affiliations have
one of the world's lowest birth rates? And what made a people so concerned with bella figura—with what others think of
them—choose Silvio Berlusconi as their leader, not just once
but three times? John Hooper digs deep into Italian culture,
religion & a history even more violent than is generally realised, and offers keys to understanding everything from the
Italians' love of life & beauty to their reluctance to use dishwashers. Looking at
the facts that lie behind—and often belie—the stereotypes, he sheds new light on
many aspects of Italian life: football & Freemasonry, sex, symbolism & why Italian has 12 words for a coat hanger, yet none for a hangover.
Defending the Motherland: The Soviet Women
Who Fought Hitler's Aces
by Lyuba Vinogradova ($32.99, PB)
Plucked from every background, the new recruits of the 586th
Fighter Regiment, the 587th Heavy-bomber Regiment & the
588th Regiment of light night-bombers who boarded a train in
Moscow on 16th October 1941 were the first all-female active
combat units in modern history. Drawing on original interviews with surviving airwomen, Lyuba Vinogradova weaves
together their untold stories from that first train journey to the last tragic disappearance. Her panoramic account of these women's lives follows them from society
balls to unmarked graves, from landmark victories to the horrors of Stalingrad.
Battling not just fearsome Aces of the Luftwaffe but also patronising prejudice
from their own leaders. Women such as Lilya Litvyak & Ekaterina Budanova are
brought to life by the diaries & recollections of those who knew them, and who
watched them live, love, fight & die.
A Million Years in a Day by Greg Jenner
Who invented beds? When did we start cleaning our teeth?
How old are wine and beer? Which came first: the toilet seat or
toilet paper? What was the first clock? Structured around one
ordinary day, A Million Years in a Day reveals the astonishing origins and development of the daily practices we take for
granted. In this gloriously entertaining romp through human
history Greg Jenner explores the gradual and often unexpected evolution of our daily routines. ($35, HB)
KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration
Camps by Nikolaus Wachsmann ($35, PB)
Dr Nikolaus Wachsmann has written a complete history of the
Nazi concentration camps. Combining the political & the personal, he examines the organisation of such an immense genocidal machine, whilst drawing a vivid picture of life inside the
camps for the individual prisoner. His book also gives a voice
to those typically forgotten in Nazi history: the 'social deviants', criminals & unwanted ethnicities that all faced the terror
of the camps. He pulls together a wealth of in-depth research,
official documents, contemporary studies & the evidence of survivors themselves,
to provide a complete but accessible narrative.
Dispatches from Dystopia: Histories of Places
Not Yet Forgotten by Kate Brown ($49.95, HB)
Kate Brown wanders the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation, first
on the Internet & then in person, to figure out which version—
the real or the virtual—is the actual forgery. She also goes to
the basement of a hotel in Seattle to examine the personal possessions left in storage by Japanese-Americans on their way
to internment camps in 1942. In Uman, Ukraine, we hide with
Brown in a tree in order to witness the annual male-only Rosh
Hashanah celebration of Hasidic Jews, she even returns home to Elgin, Illinois,
in the midwestern industrial rust belt to investigate the rise of 'rustalgia'. Visiting
these & other unlikely locales, Brown delves into the very human & often fraught
ways we come to understand a particular place, its people & its history.
Etta’s greatest unfulfilled wish is to
see the sea. And so, at the age of
eighty-two, she gets up very early
one morning, takes a rifle, some
chocolate and her best boots, and
begins walking the 2,000 miles to the
water… Etta and Otto and Russell and
James moves from the present of a
too-quiet-for-too-long Canadian farm
to a dusty past of hunger, war, passion
and hope, from trying to remember
to trying to forget as, from prairie to
forest to mountain to sand, Etta walks.
To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern
Science by Steven Weinberg ($40, HB)
Pre-eminent theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg offers a rich & irreverent history of science from a unique perspective—that of a scientist.
Moving from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad to Oxford, and from
the Museum of Alexandria to the Royal Society of London, he shows
that the scientists of the past not only did not understand what we understand about the world—they did not understand what there is to understand. Yet eventually, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as
the backward movement of the planets & the rise and fall of tides, the
modern discipline of science emerged.
How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of
De-Extinction by Beth Shapiro ($49.95, HB)
Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought
back to life? Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in 'ancient DNA' research, walks readers through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should
be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived
populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the
extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used today to resurrect
the past. Shapiro also considers de-extinction's practical benefits & ethical challenges. Would
de-extinction change the way we live? Is this really cloning? What are the costs and risks?
And what is the ultimate goal?
Where do the ideas on which modern
western states are built — equality
and individual freedom — really come
from? What does ‘liberalism’ mean?
Why does it matter? Larry Siedentop’s
sweeping history offers a radical new
perspective on the surprising origins of
the beliefs that made us who we are.
Road to Relativity: The History & Meaning of Einstein's The Foundation of General Relativity—Featuring the Original Manuscript of Einstein's Masterpiece by Hanoch Gutfreund & Jurgen Renn ($61, HB)
‘An engrossing book of ideas…
Illuminating, beautifully written and
rigorously argued.’ — The Independent
For centuries the Ottoman Empire had
been one of the most powerful states
in Europe, and ruler of the Middle East.
By 1914 it was circled by numerous
predators hoping to finish it off.
This remarkable book recreates
one of the most important but little
understood fronts of the First World
War. Despite defeating the British at
Gallipoli and in what is now Iraq, the
Ottomans were ultimately defeated,
paving the way for a new Middle
East — with consequences that still
dominate our lives today.
This richly annotated facsimile edition of The Foundation of General
Relativity introduces a new generation of readers to Albert Einstein’s
theory of gravitation. Written in 1915, this remarkable document is
a watershed in the history of physics & an enduring testament to the
elegance & precision of Einstein’s thought. Presented here is a beautiful facsimile of Einstein’s original handwritten manuscript, along with
its English translation & insightful page-by-page commentary that places the text in historical
and scientific context. Gutfreund & Renn’s concise introduction traces Einstein’s intellectual
odyssey from special to general relativity, and their essay The Charm of a Manuscript provides a delightful meditation on the varied afterlife of Einstein’s text.
Territories of Science & Religion by Peter Harrison
The conflict between science and religion seems indelible, even eternal.
Surely two such divergent views of the universe have always been in
fierce opposition? Actually, that’s not the case, says Peter Harrison: our
very concepts of science and religion are relatively recent, emerging only
in the past three hundred years, and it is those very categories, rather than
their underlying concepts, that constrain our understanding of how the
formal study of nature relates to the religious life. By tracing the history
of these concepts for the first time in parallel, Peter Harrison illuminates
alternative boundaries & little-known relations between them—thereby making it possible
for us to learn from their true history, and see other possible ways that scientific study & the
religious life might relate to, influence, and mutually enrich each other. ($59.95, HB)
Louisa Atkinson's Nature Notes ($34.99, PB)
19th century writer & journalist Louisa Atkinson was the author,
at the age of 23, of the first novel penned by a native-born woman
to be published in Australia. She was also a keen naturalist, whose
close observations & detailed knowledge of the natural world found
expression in the articles she wrote for Sydney newspapers. Presented in the style of a sketchbook, and organised by season, this
volume teams Louisa’s beautiful drawings and paintings of Australian plants, animals and birds with short extracts from her nature
writings. The book includes an essay about Louisa Atkinson’s life
and milieu by nature and science writer Penny Olsen.
Sublime yet exasperating, Italy is a
country of riddles. How can a culture
that gave us the Renaissance have
produced the Mafia? Why does a
nation of strong family affiliations
have one of the world’s lowest birth
rates? And what made a people so
concerned with bella figura — what
others think of them — choose Silvio
Berlusconi as their leader, not just
once but three times? A delightfully
entertaining and perceptive analysis of
an exceptional nation.
Why Are We Waiting?: The Logic, Urgency, and Promise of Tackling Climate Change by Nicholas Stern
Science & Nature
The risks of climate change are potentially immense. The benefits of taking action are also clear: we can see that economic development, reduced
emissions, and creative adaptation go hand in hand. A committed and
strong low-carbon transition could trigger a new wave of economic and
technological transformation and investment, a new era of global and
sustainable prosperity. Why, then, are we waiting? In this book, Nicholas
Stern explains why, notwithstanding the great attractions of a new path,
it has been so difficult to tackle climate change effectively. He makes a compelling case for
climate action now and sets out the forms that action should take. ($59.95, HB)
Now in B Format
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, $25
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, $23
We Are Our Brains: From the Womb to Alzheimer's by Dick Swaab, $23
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield, $19.99
Beasts: What Animals Can Teach Us About the Origins of Good and Evil by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, $20
Philosophy & Religion
The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism
Is Changing Ideas about Living Ethically
by Peter Singer ($32.99, PB)
Peter Singer presents a challenging new movement in the search for
an ethical life, one that has emerged from his own work on some of
the world's most pressing problems. Effective altruism involves doing
the most good possible. It requires a rigorously unsentimental view of
charitable giving, urging that a substantial proportion of our money
or time, should be donated to the organisations that will do the most
good with those resources, rather than to those that tug the heartstrings.
Singer introduces the reader to an array of remarkable people who are restructuring their
lives in accordance with these ideas to show how effective altruism often leads to greater
personal fulfilment.
Deleuze & the Naming of God: Post-Secularism & the
Future of Immanence by Daniel C. Barber ($50, PB)
Gilles Deleuze's philosophy of immanence vigorously denies that there
is anything beyond our direct experience. For this reason, people often
presume that there is a deep divide between Deleuze's philosophy &
religion. But according to Daniel Barber religion & Deleuze's thought
share the same motivation: to find new ways to exist. Barber develops
the idea of immanence into a way of escaping the stale binary between
religion and the secular. He draws on the thought of Adorno & Yoder in
addition to Deleuze to change the perception of Deleuze's philosophy from simple affirmation to one in which themes such as suffering become central.
Significant Life: Human Meaning in a Silent Universe
by Todd May ($44.95, PB)
What makes for a good life, or a beautiful one, or, perhaps most important, a meaningful one? Throughout history most of us have looked to
our faith, our relationships, or our deeds for the answer. But in A Significant Life, philosopher Todd May offers an exhilarating new way of
thinking about these questions, one deeply attuned to life as it actually
is: a work in progress, a journey—and often a narrative. Offering moving accounts of his own life and memories alongside rich engagements
with philosophers from Aristotle to Heidegger, he shows us where to
find the significance of our lives: in the way we live them.
Necessity of Social Control by Istvan Meszaros
István Mészáros is one of the greatest philosophers that the historical materialist tradition has yet produced. His work stands practically
alone today in the depth of its analysis of Marx’s theory of alienation,
the structural crisis of capital, the demise of Soviet-style post-revolutionary societies, and the necessary conditions of the transition to
socialism. His dialectical inquiry into social structure and forms of consciousness—a systematic critique of the prevailing forms of thought—
is unequalled in our time. Author of magisterial works like Beyond Capital and Social
Structures of Forms of Consciousness, his work can seem daunting to those unacquainted
with his thought. This is a concise and accessible overview of Mészáros’ ideas, designed
by the author himself and covering the broad scope of his work, from the shortcomings of
bourgeois economics to the degeneration of the capital system to the transition to socialism. ($57.95, PB)
Rhythm of Thought: Art, Literature, and Music after
Merleau-Ponty by Jessica Wiskus ($37.95, PB)
Between present and past, visible and invisible, and sensation and idea,
there is resonance—so philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty argued and
so Jessica Wiskus explores in The Rhythm of Thought. Holding the
poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé, the paintings of Paul Cézanne, the prose
of Marcel Proust, and the music of Claude Debussy under MerleauPonty’s phenomenological light, she offers innovative interpretations
of some of these artists’ masterworks, in turn articulating a new perspective on Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy.
On Forgiveness: How Can We Forgive the Unforgivable? by Richard Holloway ($23, PB)
Richard Holloway tackles the great theme of forgiveness, drawing on
the great philosophers and writers such as Frederick Nietzsche, Jacques
Derrida and Nelson Mandela. On Forgiveness is a pertinent and fascinating discourse on how forgiveness works, where it came from and
how the need to embrace it is greater than ever if we are to free ourselves from the binds of the past.
A Brief Guide to Philosophical Classics: From Plato
to Winnie the Pooh by James M. Russell ($23, PB)
In this wide ranging introduction, James M. Russell takes the fear out
of philosophy and selects 76 works—from Plato, Descartes & Wittgenstein to Philip K. Dick & the Moomins as well as contemporary
thinkers such as Peter Singer & John Rawls. Dividing into accessible
sections—history, contemplation, happiness, and -isms, Russell gives
us the lives as well as the lessons of the great thinkers, including a
digest of their key ideas. A perfect antidote to the complex life. Topics cover include: Traditional Philosophy, Outsiders, Contemplation as
Philosophy, The Continental Tradition, How to Live Your Life, Political & Personal Issues
& Modern Philosophy
History of a Suicide: My Sister's Unfinished
Life by Jill Bialosky ($35, HB)
On the night of April 15, 1990, Jill Bialosky's 21 year-old sister Kim came home from a bar in downtown Cleveland. She
argued with her boyfriend on the phone. Then she took her
mother's car keys, went into the garage, and closed the garage
door. Her body was found the next morning. For 20 years Bialosky has lived with
the grief, guilt, questions & confusion unleashed by Kim's suicide. In this remarkable work of literary non-fiction, she recreates with unsparing honesty her sister's
inner life, opening a window on the nature of suicide itself, our own reactions and
responses to it—especially the impact a suicide has on those who remain behind.
Drawing on the works of doctors & psychologists as well as a range of writers from
Herman Melville & Emily Dickinson to Sylvia Plath & Wallace Stevens, Bialosky
gives us a haunting exploration of human fragility & strength.
The Village Effect: Why Face-to-Face Contact
Matters by Susan Pinker ($29.99, PB)
Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre wrote 'hell is other people', but
new evidence shows that he was utterly wrong. Beginning from
the first moments of life & at every age & stage, close contact
with other people, especially with women, affects how we think,
whom we trust, and where we invest our money. Our social ties
powerfully influence our sense of life satisfaction, our cognitive
skills, and how resistant we are to infections & chronic disease.
Developmental psychologist, Susan Pinker, tells the story of the ways face-to-face
human contact changes our minds, literally. She draws on the latest discoveries in
social cognition, social networks & neuroscience, salted with profiles of real people
& their relationships, explaining why we are driven to trust other people & form lifelong bonds, and why we ignore these connections at our peril.
The Wandering Mind: What the Brain Does
When You're Not Looking by Michael Corballis
Does the fact that as much as 50% of our waking hours find
us failing to focus on the task at hand represent a problem?
Michael Corballis doesn’t think—rehabilitating woolgathering
and revealing its incredibly useful effects. Drawing on the latest research from cognitive science and evolutionary biology,
Corballis shows how mind-wandering not only frees us from
moment-to-moment drudgery, but also from the limitations of
our immediate selves. Mind-wandering strengthens our imagination, fuelling the
flights of invention, storytelling & empathy that underlie our shared humanity; furthermore, he explains, our tendency to wander back and forth through the timeline
of our lives is fundamental to our very sense of ourselves as coherent, continuing
personalities. ($39.95, HB)
Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control
in Your Intimate Relationship by Lisa A. Fontes
When a man showers all of his attention on a woman, it can
feel incredibly romantic, and can blind her to hints of problems
ahead. But what happens when that attentiveness becomes
domination? For certain people, the desire to control leads to
jealousy, threats, micromanaging—even physical violence.
Fontes draws on both professional expertise & personal experience to provide practical guidance & support for readers who
find themselves trapped in a web of coercive control. Understanding this destructive
pattern & why it occurs is the first step toward repairing or ending a relationship that
has become toxic. Readers get vital tools for determining if they are in danger & if
their partner can change—and for getting their freedom back. ($31.95, PB)
Thirteenth Step: Addiction in the Age of Brain
Science by Markus Heilig ($59.95, HB)
The past 25 years have witnessed a revolution in the science
of addiction, yet we still rely upon sorely outdated methods of
treatment. Clarifying the cutting-edge science of addiction for
practitioners & general readers, Markus Heilig pairs stories of
real patients with explanations of key concepts relating to their
illness. A police chief who disappears on the job illustrates the
process through which a drug can trigger the brain circuits mediating relapse. One person's effort to find a burrito shack in a
foreign city illuminates the reward prediction error signalled by the brain chemical
dopamine. Heilig paints a vivid, relatable portrait of drug seeking, escalation & other
aspects of addiction, suggesting science-based treatments that promise to improve
troubling relapse rates. Merging science & human experience,
he offers compassionate, valuable answers to anyone who hopes
for a better handle on a pernicious and confounding disease.
How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh ($12.99, PB)
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh introduces beginners and reminds
seasoned practitioners of the essentials of mindfulness practice—this time bringing his signature clarity, compassion, and
humour to the thorny question of how to love—with sections on
Love vs. Need, Being in Love, Reverence, Intimacy, Children
and Family, Reconciling with Parents, and more.
Jane and More
The Jane Austen Project continues. I have now read the first
three of Austen's book that are being 'reimagined' (silly
word) into contemporary times, by contemporary authors.
Emma, by Alexander McCall Smith is the third novel in
the project, and its original is one I do know well. Smith
is not an author I've read before, so I had a certain trepidation about reading this recaptured book. It was fabulous.
Emma Woodhouse, still clever, handsome and rich, comes
alive in this book. She is now a nascent interior decorator
by training, and still a meddler at heart. Her social engineering is painful to
behold, but her motivations are understandable—she likes things to be just
so, in her work as in life. Like the original, this Emma undergoes a fairly
painful transformation, as she gains insight into both herself, and those close
to her. The secondary characters are as engaging as Emma. McCall Smith's
Mr Woodhouse (the original is one of my least favourite book characters of
all time) is far more sympathetic. A health obsessed vegetarian, whose love
of vitamins knows no bounds, he fits in well with the modern landscape, he's
far more sensitive and much less simpering than the first Mr W, and a much
more interesting person because of that. Harriet is still rather foolish, and Mr
Knightley rather commanding. The talkative Miss Bates is very well meaning,
and exasperating, and Jane Fairfax is still beautiful and reserved. One thing
that has really hit me reading all the books in the 'Project' is that there really
is nothing new under the sun; the more things change, the more they stay the
same. We all want love, we all need money, and people do care what others
think of them. Emma has been my favourite so far—like all the books in this
confection of reimagination, it is accessible, respectful of the original, and
fun. Looking forward to reading Pride and Prejudice by the American author,
Curtis Sittenfeld, due in July, I believe.
Speaking of accessible, Elizabeth Gilbert's Signature of
All Things, really delighted and surprised me. An epic
tale of a botanist named Alma Whittaker, the story takes
place at the end of the 18th, and early years of the 19th
centuries. Alma's father Henry, a hugely successful botanic explorer, started his career as a thief of botanical
specimens for well known botanists. He carefully packs
the plants in moss, before sending them across the
globe, and is rewarded accordingly. When he is discovered, he is punished by being sent on the Endeavour, as
a representative of Joseph Banks. This part of the story is fascinating, not least for introducing motifs that pop up through the book. Like the
stolen specimens, Henry travels across the world, meeting his extraordinary
bride in Amsterdam, and ending up in Philadelphia. The stalwart Alma is born
into a life of not only money, but enormous privilege—she is taught how to
learn, how to be curious, and how to persevere. Another daughter is brought
into the family, in a most curious manner—Polly who becomes Prudence,
who serves as counterpoint to Alma. Their childhood is fascinating, the mysterious Prudence seems to leave the domain as quietly as she enters it, with
several other characters walking in, and out of Alma's life.
This is a huge novel, it's only in reviewing it that I've really felt it's scope and
breadth—it feels quite relaxed when reading it. Elizabeth Gilbert collapses
time quite blithely, at one point twenty years pass in the length of one sentence. On the other hand she can stretch out the smallest detail over pages,
and still hold the reader's interest. Alma herself seems to grow, then shrink—
like Lewis Carroll's Alice. She can observe at length the minute domains of
moss, and still embrace the most unlikely, enormous voyages, if not with
grace, then with a kind of bullish determination. There is some really beautiful
imagery in this book, as well as very memorable characters, not the least being
the indomitable Alma Whittaker herself.
Louise Pfanner
Girl Trouble: Panic and Progress in the History
of Young Women by Carol Dyhouse ($34.95, PB)
Cultural Studies & Criticism
Since the suffrage movement, young women’s actions have
been analysed and decried exhaustively by mass media. Each
new bad behaviour—bobbing one’s hair, protesting politics,
drinking, swearing, twerking—is held up as yet another example of moral decline in women. Carol Dyhouse studies this
phenomenon throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, looking at
interviews, news pieces & articles to show the perpetuation of
this trend & the very real effects that it continues to have—on
the girlhood experience. She demonstrates the value of feminism & other liberating
cultural shifts & their necessity in expanding girls’ aspirations & opportunities in
spite of the controversy that has accompanied these freedoms.
Politics and Letters: Interviews with New Left
Review by Raymond Williams ($32.99, PB)
This is a volume of interviews with Raymond Williams, conducted by members of the New Left Review editorial committee,
that is designed to bring into clear focus the major theoretical &
political issues posed by his work. The collection ranges across
his biographical development, the evolution of his cultural
theory & literary criticism, his work on dramatic forms & his
fiction, and an exploration of British & international politics.
Is Shame Necessary? New Uses for an Old Tool
by Jennifer Jacquet ($40, HB)
In our individualistic world, is shame an outdated, moralising concept—or is it something that we can rediscover & use in a new way?
Jennifer Jacquet argues that, if we want to make large-scale fixes, we
need to become active citizens, ready to find creative ways to shame
those who have the power to bring about political & social change
but aren't. From the mimes hired by the mayor of Bogotá in the fight
against bad driving behaviour to the online list published by the state
of California singling out the top five hundred businesses and individuals who aren't paying their taxes, Jacquet uses real-life examples to show how shaming is
relevant to the 21st century. She outlines seven habits of highly effective shaming that will
allow citizens to make companies act ethically, hold governments to account when they
ignore laws, and get more people to cast their vote.
Authenticity is a Con by Peter York ($19.99, HB)
From motivational speakers to PR consultants, music entrepreneurs
to devoted foodies, bearded hipsters to earnest YouTubers, and, sadly,
politicians too, 'authentic' has become the buzzword of our age. But its
meaning has changed & become corrupted: every advertising agency,
micro-connoisseur and charlatan going has re-tooled the language of
authenticity for our changing market & it is now practically impossible for us to differentiate between authentic & 'authentic'. Drawing on
witty anecdotes and analysing various spheres of everyday life, Peter
York has set out to uncover the truth behind authenticity—the ultimate
con of our generation.
The Madness of Modern Parenting
by Zoe Williams ($19.99, HB)
As Zoe Williams discovers, the madness of modern parenting begins
before the baby has even arrived: hysteria is rife surrounding everything from drinking alcohol and eating cheese to using a new frying
pan. And it only gets worse. Combining laugh-out-loud tales of parenthood with myth-busting facts & figures, Williams provides the antithesis of all parenting discussions to date. After all, parents managed
perfectly well for centuries before this modern madness, so why do today’s mothers & fathers make such an almighty fuss about everything?
Headscarves & Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs
a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy ($29.99, PB)
In November 2011, Mona Eltahawy came to worldwide attention
when she was assaulted by police during the Egyptian Revolution.
She responded by writing a groundbreaking piece in Foreign Policy
entitled Why Do They Hate Us; 'They' being Muslim men, 'Us' being
women. It sparked huge controversy. In this book Eltahawy takes her
argument further. Drawing on her years as a campaigner and commentator on women's
issues in the Middle East, she explains that since the Arab Spring began, women in the
Arab world have had two revolutions to undertake: one fought with men against oppressive regimes, and another fought against an entire political and economic system that
treats women as second-class citizens in countries from Yemen and Saudi Arabia to Egypt,
Tunisia & Libya.
Curiosity by Alberto Manguel ($44.95, HB)
The question 'Why?' has appeared under a multiplicity of guises &
in vastly different contexts throughout the chapters of human history.
Why does evil exist? What is beauty? How does language inform us?
What defines our identity? What is our responsibility to the world? In
this book, Alberto Manguel’s tracks his own life of curiosity through
the books that have mapped his way. He dedicates each chapter to a
single thinker, scientist, artist, or other figure who demonstrated in a
fresh way how to ask 'Why?' Leading the reader through a full gallery of inquisitives, among them Thomas Aquinas, David Hume, Lewis Carroll, Rachel
Carson, Socrates, and, most importantly, Dante, Manguel affirms how deeply connected
our curiosity is to the readings that most astonish us, and how essential to the soaring of
our own imaginations.
Jane Austen's Names: Riddles, Persons, Places
by Margaret Doody ($72, HB)
In Jane Austen’s works, a name is never just a name. In fact, the names
Austen gives her characters and places are as rich in subtle meaning
as her prose itself. Wiltshire, for example, the home county of Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey, is a clue that this heroine is not
as stupid as she seems: according to legend, cunning Wiltshire residents caught hiding contraband in a pond capitalised on a reputation
for ignorance by claiming they were digging up a 'big cheese'—the
moon’s reflection on the water’s surface. It worked. Margaret Doody offers a fascinating
and comprehensive study of all the names of people and places—real and imaginary—in
Austen’s fiction. Austen’s creative choice of names reveals not only her virtuosic talent for
riddles and puns. Her names also pick up deep stories from English history, especially the
various civil wars, and the blood-tinged differences that played out in the reign of Henry
VIII, a period to which she often returns. Considering the major novels alongside unfinished works & juvenilia, Doody shows how Austen’s names signal class tensions as well
as regional, ethnic & religious differences. Austen’s technique of creative anachronism,
which plays with and against her skillfully deployed realism has the conflicts of the past
swirl into the tensions of the present, transporting readers beyond the Regency.
The Blame Business: The Uses and Misuses of
Accountability by Stephen Fineman ($40, PB)
Blame infuses society in myriad ways. At its worst it sours & destabilises relationships: it divides lovers, co-workers, communities &
nations. It breeds rancour & the desire for revenge. In the hands
of skilled propagandists blame is a potent tool for persecution; in
the hands of the media it is a vehicle for creating victims & social
unease. Yet blame, appropriately placed & managed, safeguards
moral order & legal culpability. Blame is thus a curious construction, destructive on the one hand, necessary on the other. Stephen
Fineman takes a journey through the landscape of blame, deepening our understanding
of blame & how it shapes our lives. He examines the roots of blame & its enduring
manifestations today, from ancient witch-hunts to modern corporate whistleblowers.
In the Family Way: Illegitimacy Between the
Great War and the Swinging Sixties
by Jane Robinson ($39.99, HB)
Only a generation or two ago, illegitimacy was one of the most
shameful things that could happen in a family. Unmarried mothers
were considered immoral, single fathers feckless & bastard children inherently defective. Today, the concept of illegitimacy no
longer exists in law, and babies' parents are as likely to be unmarried as married. This revolution in public opinion makes it easy
to forget what it was really like to give birth, or be born, out of
wedlock in the years between World War One & the dawn of the Permissive Age. By
speaking to those involved—many of whom have never felt able to talk about their experiences before—Jane Robinson reveals a story not only of shame & appalling prejudice, but also of triumph & the every-day strength of the human spirit.
Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation
by Dan Fagin ($24.99, PB)
The true story of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution,
Tom's River won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
and has been hailed by The New York Times as 'a new classic of
science reporting'. Now available in paperback with a new afterword by author Dan Fagin, the book blends hard-hitting investigative journalism, scientific discovery & unforgettable characters.
Rooted in a centuries-old scientific quest this is an epic of dumpers
at midnight & deceptions in broad daylight, of corporate avarice
& government neglect, and of a few brave individuals who refused to keep silent until
the truth was exposed.
Without You, There Is No Us: My secret life teaching the sons of North Korea’s elite by Suki Kim
It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down
for an entire year, except for the all-male Pyongyang University of
Science & Technology. Suki Kim has accepted a job there teaching English where she will struggle to teach her young charges to
write, all under the watchful eye of the regime. Life at the university is lonely & claustrophobic. Her letters are read by censors & she
must hide her notes & photographs—not only from her minders
but also from her colleagues, evangelical Christian missionaries,
whose faith she does not share. As the weeks pass she discovers how easily her students
lie, and how total is their obedience to Kim Jong-il. She also, bravely, hints at the existence of a world beyond their own: the internet, free travel, democracy, and other ideas
forbidden in a country where torture and execution are commonplace. ($20, PB)
The Ancient Art of Growing Old by Tom Payne
Translator Tom Payne turns to Cicero, Ovid, Seneca, Hippocrates,
Plato, Aristotle, and Aristophanes to learn what the wisest minds
of antiquity could tell us about the pleasures and pains of old age.
His discoveries are not always palatable (old age is an incurable
disease) or inspiring (you'll live longer if you don't go to dinner
parties), but in the surviving works of the classical world there
is also comforting, invigorating and poignant counsel on mental
decline, medicine, late love affairs, death and legacy. ($25, HB)
The Hoarders: Material Deviance in Modern
American Culture by Scott Herring ($44.95, HB)
Scott Herring provides an in-depth examination of how modern
hoarders came into being, from their onset in the late 1930s to the
present day. What counts as an acceptable material life—and who
decides? Is hoarding some sort of inherent deviation of the mind,
or a recent historical phenomenon grounded in changing material
cultures? Herring opts for the latter, explaining that hoarders attract attention not because they are mentally ill but because they
challenge normal modes of material relations.
Asylum and Exile: The Hidden Voices of London
by Bidisha ($36.95, HB)
Asylum and Exile is the result of several months of personal
outreach to refugees and asylum seekers that goes behind the
headlines, to offer moving stories of refugees who have fled war,
violent persecution, or civil unrest in countries as diverse as Cameroon, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Malawi, Burundi, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, and their struggle to find a foothold in London without
money and papers.
2 H R
The Strange
Strange Case
Case of
of T.
T. Lobsang
Lobsang Rampa
(or Cyril
Cyril the
the Lama)
Bringing you more 70s zeitgeist to celebrate Gleebooks' 40th birthday. On 13
June 1949 Cyril Hoskin (1910–1981), a British born plumber and struggling author living in Ireland, fell off a ladder in his garden while pruning a tree and was
knocked unconscious. When Mr. Hoskin came to, he discovered that his body
had been taken over by the spirit of a ancient Tibetan monk—T. (for Tuesday,
the day of his birth) Lobsang Rampa—a venerated spiritual teacher. Or so Cyril
said. This (literally) life changing accident led the now transformed Lobsang/
Cyril to pen nineteen books over the next quarter century outlining his previous
reincarnation, religious training and experiences as a Tibetan Buddhist.
His first work, The Third Eye: Autobiography of a Tibetan Lama (1956) gives a
graphic account of the arcane surgery undertaken to unlock Lobsang's mystical
clairvoyant 'third eye':
The instrument penetrated the bone. A very hard, clean sliver of wood had been
treated by fire and herbs and was slid down so that it just entered the hole in my
head. I felt a stinging, tickling sensation apparently in the bridge of my nose. It
subsided and I became aware of subtle scents which I could not identify. Suddenly there was a blinding flash. For a moment the pain was intense. It diminished,
died and was replaced by spirals of colour. As the projecting sliver was being
bound into place so that it could not move, the Lama Mingyar Dondup turned to
me and said: 'You are now one of us, Lobsang. For the rest of your life you will
see people as they are and not as they pretend to be.'
Among numerous other experiences recounted in Lobsang/Cyril's books are his
meeting with a Yeti, and an encounter with a mummified body of himself from
an even earlier incarnation. During his initiation ceremony he also learns that
Earth once collided with another planet, forming the Himalayas as we know
When 'Lobsang' was unmasked as Cyril Hoskin, he weathered a storm of critical
scorn for the rest of his life—Tibetan scholars and Buddhist adepts denounced
his writings as frauds and fakes. Despite this his books became worldwide bestsellers. The 1970s paperback reprints on offer here—from 1972, 1976 and 1979
—respectively announce sales of 3.5 million books.
But why? Opening one book after a (very) long interval, I was surprised at how
exciting and easy to read it was. Scenes of Tibetan monks flying over the Himalayan peaks on giant kites, the detailed descriptions of the rigours of mystical
training and initiation. All presented in undemanding, entertaining prose that
claims to offer 'profound' insights for those millions of readers—among them
1970s teenagers—searching for mystical enlightenment.
Over time Lobsang/Cyril's books became progressively odder. Perhaps the fall
from the tree had other less beneficial side effects. Among his later works were
Living with the Lama (1964), Lobsang's life story as narrated by his cat and
My Visit to Venus (1966) a fragment of a manuscript describing an intergalactic
odyssey in which Lobsang meets the cosmic rulers of several planets. Lobsang/
Cyril eventually emigrated to Calgary, Canada, and established an ashram in
The current Dalai Lama has gently dismissed Lobsang/Cyril's works as 'highly
imaginative fiction', yet a current website (of course) continues to espouse Lobsang's philosophical teachings to a new generation.
We have three titles of Lobsang's writings at Gleebooks 2nd Hand:
The Rampa Story (1960); The Cave of the Ancients (1963); As It Was! (1976).
All are Paperbacks. Good Condition. Price $10.00 each.
Until next month. Stephen Reid
P.S. 'It's got to be true! It's written down!' was the crushing, logical rejoinder
that was used continuously in the 1970s to defend the contents of any nonfiction
book that one believed in—no matter how nutty the premise or content. But now
in these enlightened 21st century days merely substitute the words: '... It's on the
Net!' So please excuse me while I investigate the current prevalence of Satanic/
Illuminati symbolism found in Katy Perry music videos on YouTube ....
Gallipoli Centenary
A Classic Account Back in Print
Gallipoli by Alan Moorehead ($59.99, HC; $35, PB)
The Anniversary is upon us. This year's number of books on
the Allied Gallipoli landing in the Dardanelles is about to turn
from a trickle of titles into a flood. Already there has been the
(almost inevitable) Peter FitzSimons account Gallipoli, Harvey Broadbent's imposing Gallipoli: The Turkish Defence
and a reissue of Les Carlyon's elegant Gallipoli (originally
published in 2001).
Alan Moorehead's book is the one I re-read with most pleasure. Originally published almost six decades ago, it was last
in print in Australia in 1989.
Alan Moorehead (1910–1983) born in Melbourne, became the most celebrated war
correspondent of the Second World War, a star travel writer for The New Yorker
and author of numerous best-selling biographies and popular histories that inspired a
generation of writers—among them renowned military writer Sir Max Hastings who
contributes a new introduction to this reissued classic.
The subject of the Dardanelles campaign originally seemed a most unlikely topic for
the already famed writer. Moorehead's original attitude to what he saw as 'the dreary
solemnity' of ANZAC Day commemorations was that it had been 'torture' to him as
a schoolboy. His view reflected that of many of his generation: 'All my life I was
brought up hearing about this campaign ... we thought all these old men boring ...
ANZAC Day parades seemed to end in drunken sprees.'
Domiciled in Italy, a visit to Australia in 1952 at the request of newspaper owner
Keith Murdoch (father of Rupert) alerted Moorehead to the role Murdoch had played
in World War I, when as a young journalist he had visited Gallipoli en route to London. Witnessing the terrible military stalemate, Murdoch wrote a famed 8,000 word
Gallipoli Letter in September 1915 outlining his critical views of the whole operation
to both the British and Australian Prime Ministers.
A further spur to write an account of the ill-fated campaign was the death of one of
Moorehead's war-injured uncles who had served there. In 1954, an English friend,
journalist and broadcaster Lionel Fielden, visited Moorehead in Italy and produced
his personal diary of the Gallipoli campaign. Moorehead was 'absolutely captivated'
—he would dedicate Gallipoli to Fielden in gratitude—and suddenly viewed an overly familiar story through fresh eyes. Inspired, he began reading military histories,
official reports and memoirs as well as collecting private papers and diaries.
In early 1955 Moorehead visited Turkey and was given access to their military archives. He had famed military leader Kemal Atatürk's diary translated. The Turkish
Army provided specially prepared maps and a military guide for his tour of the battlefield. He interviewed Turkish veterans. At Anzac Cove, Moorehead visited the
grave of another uncle, 24 year old Frank, who was killed in the first hours of the
landing. Absorbing 'the harsh landscape with its wild, precipitous hills, its clear light,
the blue Aegean Sea and its compelling sense of peace', Moorehead came to view
the journey as a pilgrimage. It was the moment the Gallipoli campaign 'moved from
legend through, to the point where it almost seemed to have become a personal experience of my own'.
Gallipoli was written in nine months on the Greek island of Spetses. Into the work
Moorehead was able to bring his matchless ability to describe places and dramatic
events as well as his understanding of men in battle, gleaned from his wartime experiences. Moorehead sets the story in its historical context by describing the parlous
state of the weakened Ottoman Empire by 1914, the rise of the ruling reform movement of The Young Turks and the ceaseless political intrigue and diplomatic bargaining that eventually saw Turkey ally itself with Germany.
In February 1915—committed to aiding Russia—the British launched a naval assault
they hoped would destroy the Turkish forts lining the Dardanelles, enter the Sea of
Marmara, capture Constantinople and knock Turkey out of the war. When the initial
assault failed, with six battleships of the original eighteen either sunk or critically
damaged, plans were made in March 1915 for an infantry attack on the peninsula.
British, Australian, New Zealand, French and colonial African and Indian troops,
numbering in total 75,000 were assembled for landings in April 1915.
Here is Moorehead's vivid eyewitness description of the landscape to be fought over:
More than halfway down the Gallipoli Peninsula the hills rise up into a series of
jagged peaks ... Only the steepest and roughest tracks lead to this spot ... Yet the view
from the central crest that is called Chunuk Bair is perhaps the grandest spectacle
in the whole Mediterranean. On first reaching the summit one is quite unprepared
for the extreme closeness of the scene which seemed so distant on the map and so
remote in history. To the South in Asia, lie Mt. Ida and the Trojan plain ... To the West
the islands of Imbros and Samothrace come up out of the sea with the appearance
of mountain tops seen above the clouds on a sunny morning. The Dardanelles dividing Europe and Asia are no more than a river at your feet. On a fine day all this is
presented to the eye ... the Gallipoli Peninsula is laid out before you with the intimate
detail of the reef uncovered by the tide ... Every bay, every inlet is exactly defined
and the ships on the sea float below you like toys on a pond ... This illusion of nearness is helped by the fact that through the centuries hardly anything has been done
to change the landscape. There are no new towns and highroads, no advertisements
or tourist haunts…
An array of individual portraits are also presented throughout the book: First Sea
Lord, John Fisher, who wanted the military operation to go totus porcus—the whole
hog; Winston Churchill the energetic, young First Lord of the Admiralty; the lively
Admiral de Roebeck; the aloof British commander Sir Ian Hamilton and the calm and
solitary Turkish commander, Lieutenant Colonel Mustapha Kemal—'this one junior
commander of genius'.
Also memorably conveyed are the descriptions of 'the ant heap life' of the soldiers—
eating, sleeping, fighting, dying—living within metres of the enemy. Moorehead's
descriptions of the fierce battles that took place between April and December 1915,
are delivered in spare, unembellished prose:
A company of Turks was seen advancing down a ravine known as Wire Gully... shadowy forms in the half-darkness and the long line of bayonets. The Australians opened
fire from either side of the gully... the oncoming enemy had to cross two or three
hundred yards before they reached the Anzac entrenchments, and so there was half
a minute when they were exposed in the open...Very few of them survived even that
amount of time.
Stephen Reid
Waiting for the Past by Les Murray ($25, PB)
Les Murray's new volume of poems – his first in five years –
continues his use of molten language. From 'The Black Beaches'
to 'Radiant Pleats, Mulgoa', from 'High Speed Trap Space' to
'1960 Brought the Electric', this is verse that renews and transforms our sense of the world. 'No poet has ever travelled like
this, whether in reality or simply in mind … Seeing the shape
or hearing the sound of one thing in another, he finds forms.'
—Clive James
Summer Requiem by Vikram Seth ($35, HB)
Summer Requiem traces the immutable shifting of the seasons,
the relentless rhythms of a great world that both 'gifts and
harms'. Luminous, resonant & profound, these poems trace the
dying days of summer, 'the hour of rust', when memory is haunted by loss & decay. But in the silence that follows, as the soul
is cast adrift, there is also reconciliation with the transience of
all things; the knowledge that there is a place, 'changeable, that
will not betray'.
Deep Lane by Mark Doty ($35, PB)
Deep Lane is a book of descents: into the earth beneath the garden, into the dark substrata of a life. But these poems seek repair,
finally, through the possibilities that sustain the speaker above
ground: gardens and animals; the pleasure of seeing; the world
tuned by the word. Time and again, an image of immolation and
sacrifice is undercut by the fierce fortitude of nature: nature that
is not just a solace but a potent antidote and cure. Ranging from
agony to rapture, from great depths to hard-won heights, these
are poems of grace and nobility.
The Days of Surprise by Paul Durcan ($35, HB)
muses upon the ‘pre-crucifixion scenario' of being prepared
for surgery, the gift of a malacca cane, the joy of retail therapy,
the horror that is wheel-clamping, the ‘starry mystique' of the
weather forecaster Jean Byrne, suicide, bird-watching, stammering, art, Mayo, New York City, New Zealand, murder in Syria
and the commemoration of 1916. Perhaps the greatest surprise
is the voice of the late Seamus Heaney coming down his chimney: ‘Are you all right down there, Poet Durcan?' The Days of
Surprise is proof that the great poet of contemporary Ireland is
in fine fettle.
Was $22.99
Now $10.95
Collected Poems:
Dylan Thomas, PB
Was $113
Now $29.95
Poems and Prose
Elizabeth Bishop, HB
Was $26
Now $18.95
Dictionary of Word Origins:
The Histories of More Than
8,000 English-Language Words,
John Ayton, PB
Gulp: Adventures on the
Alimentary Canal
Mary Roach, HB
Was $49.50
Now $16.95
Raymond Chandler:
A Mysterious Something
in the Light
Tom Williams, HB
Bodies of Modernity: Figure &
Flesh in Fin-de-Siècle France
Tamar Garb, PB
Now $15.95
Now $16.95
Rena Patten, PB
Hyperactive: The Controversial
History of ADHD
Matthew Smith, HB
Was $24.95
Now $11.95
Was $77
Now $26.95
Now $18.95
Now $18.95
Sourdough: From Pastries to
Gluten-free Wholegrain Breads
Yoke Mardewi, PB
Was $24.99
Now $11.95
Was $30
Now $16.95
Capturing the Light:
The Birth of Photography
Roger Watson, PB
Was $49
Was $35
A Brief History of Diaries:
From Pepys to Blogs
Alexandra Johnson, PB
The Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo, and the Artistic Duel That
Defined the Renaissance
Jonathan Jones, HB
Was $29.95
Was $40
The History of the World
J. M. Roberts et al, HB
Was $40
Now $18.95
Memoirs of a Novelist
Virginia Woolf, PB
Was $46
Now $12.95
Was $50
Now $18.95
The Kings Grave:
The Search For Richard Ill
Langley & Jones, HB
Was $29.95
Now $14.95
Traditional Indian Cooking
Ramola Parbhoo, PB
Rue Traversière by Yves Bonnefoy ($34.95, HB)
Praised by Paul Auster as 'one of the rare poets in the history of
literature to have sustained the highest level of artistic excellence throughout an entire lifetime', Yves Bonnefoy is widely
considered the foremost French poet of his generation. A mixture of genres—the prose poem, the personal essay, quasi-philosophical reflections on time, memory, and art—this is a book
of both epigrammatic concision and dreamlike narratives that
meander with the poet’s thought as he struggles to understand
and express some of the undercurrents of human life. The book’s
layered texts echo and elaborate on one another, as well as on
aspects of Bonnefoy’s own poetics and thought.
Was $50
Now $22.95
The Travels of
Marco Polo, HB
Was $50
Now $18.95
The Sunflowers are Mine: The Story
of Van Gogh's Masterpiece
Martin Bailey, HB
Was $70
Now $24.95
Modern Furniture
Classics: Postwar to
Post-modernism, PB
Was $85
Now $2495
Ceramics: A World Guide to
Traditional Techniques, HB
The Arts
Outland by Roger Ballen ($79.95, HB)
Art Labor, Sex Politics: Feminist Effects in
1970s British Art and Performance
by Siona Wilson ($45, PB)
Siona Wilson investigates the charged relationship of sex &
labor politics as it played out in the making of feminist art
in 1970s Britain. Her exploration of works of experimental
film, installation, performance & photography maps the intersection of feminist
& leftist projects in the artistic practices of this heady period. Collective practice,
grassroots activism & iconoclastic challenges to society's sexual norms are all fundamental elements of this theoretically informed history. The book provides fresh
assessments of key feminist figures & introduces readers to less widely known artists such as Jo Spence & controversial groups like COUM Transmissions. Wilson's
interpretations of two of the best-known (and infamous) exhibitions of feminist
art--Mary Kelly's Post-Partum Document and COUM Transmissions' Prostitution—supply a historical context that reveals these works anew.
Zhang Xiaogang: Disquieting Memories
This title is the first major monograph on Zhang Xiaogang
(b. 1958), a leading Chinese contemporary artist, worldrenowned for his haunting, surrealist works. It is both biography, and a retrospective of his work. This luxurious
volume also includes an illustrated chronology featuring
personal photographs from the artist's archive along with
never-before-published correspondence dating from the
early 1980s with his closest friends, offering an inside view
of everyday life in China as well as historic movements and
political events. ($150, HB)
Experimental Photography: A Handbook of
Techniques by Marco Antonini et al
Photography has always been about experimentation, and
anyone who thinks the advent of digital imaging might have
stopped photographers from inventing new ways to impress
their film is in for a big surprise. Experimental Photography presents the most interesting and creative modifications
for low-cost film cameras, manual printing techniques and
unconventional use of the medium. The book accompanies
the reader through the world of photography special effects and manipulations
documenting techniques, approaches, experimenters, camera makers and their extraordinary creations. One picture at a time, Experimental Photography compiles a
manifesto against visual homogenisation. ($45, HB)
Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops: A Bend-the-Rules Primer ($39.99, HB)
Rebecca Ringquist teaches everything from the 'proper'
way to form a French knot & transfer a design to a canvas
to new ways to stitch three-dimensionally, work with nontraditional threads & fabrics, draw with thread freeform,
and mix & match machine- and hand-stitching. Also featured are instructions for 20 innovative projects, including
a cloth sampler designed especially for the book, table linens, wall art, and clothing embellishments.
Mr Turner, Region 2 Import $34.95
In February Mike Leigh won a BAFTA for this biopic of
English artist William Turner (or more accurately a lifetime achievement award for this, his latest film). A few
months earlier Timothy Spall, in the title role, won Best
Actor at Cannes. Mr Turner was nominated for numerous other awards, including four Oscars, but has won no
other major gongs to date. Go figure! I think it's brilliant.
Minor quibbles about the characterisation of John Ruskin as an upper class twit and of inaccuracies in the representation of Turner's painting technique are soon forgotten as you
enter Leigh's wonderfully atmospheric evocation of 19th century
England and encounter for the first time the portly grunting eccentric. Mr T. Spall has played some memorable roles in a long
and distinguished career (in fact I can't think of a dud) but this
must surely be his best—a blustering yet nuanced portrait of an
intriguingly complicated man. This 2 disc special edition comes
packed with making-of footage, interviews and biographical material. A must-have that will reward repeating viewings.
Sacred Spaces: Contemporary Religious Architecture by James Pallister ($79.95, HB)
Contemporary religious buildings have a profound influence
on the architectural mainstream and offer an outlet for a more
unrestrained approach to form and space making. Unshackled
by functional constraints, the 30 iconic projects in this book,
by some of todays best-known architects alongside innovative
emerging designers, explore architectonic themes in sacred structures, whilst setting them in a modern historical context.
Phaidon Classics: Rembrandt; Van Gogh; Raphael ($190 each, HB)
These sumptuously produced volumes feature Tipped-on image plates, luxurious tinted
pages and a beautifully elegant design to make them true collector's editions.
My Dear BB . . . The Letters of Bernard Berenson
and Kenneth Clark, 1925–1959 ($69, HB)
In 1925, the 22 year-old Kenneth Clark (1903–1983) & the legendary art critic & historian Bernard Berenson (1865–1959) met in Italy.
From that moment, they began a correspondence that lasted until
Berenson's death at age 94. This is the complete correspondence
between two of the most influential figures in the 20th century art
world, and gives a new & unique insight into their lives & motivations. The letters are arranged into ten chronological sections, each
accompanied by biographical details & providing the context for the
events & personalities referred to. Their letters are informative, spontaneous, humorous,
gossipy, exchanging news & views about art & politics, friends & family life, collectors,
connoisseurship, discoveries, travel, books read & written. Above all, these letters trace
the development of a deep and intimate friendship.
Bento's Sketchbook by John Berger ($30, PB)
Also New from Design Museum, $20 each, HB
50 Fashion Designers that Changed the World
by Lauren Cochrane
50 Modern Buildings that Changed the World by Deyan Sudjic
DVDs with Scott Donovan
The seminal work from photographer & artist Roger Ballen,
Outland is now available again in an expanded edition with
more than 50 never-before-seen images & new commentary
from the artist himself. The culmination of nearly 20 years of
work, this book marked Ballen's move from documentary photography into the realms of fiction and propelled him into the international spotlight. His black-and-white photographs of South
Africans on the fringes of society are powerful psychological
studies: disturbing, exciting and impossible to forget.
The 17th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza, also known as Benedict or Bento de Spinoza, spent the most intense years of his short life
writing. A sporadic draughtsman, he also carried with him a sketchbook. After his sudden death, his friends rescued letters, manuscripts,
notes—but no drawings. For years, John Berger has imagined finding Bento's sketchbook without knowing what its pages might hold,
but wanting to see the drawings alongside his surviving words. When
one day a friend gave Berger a virgin sketchbook, Berger began to
draw, taking his inspiration from the philosopher's vision. The result
is an exploration of the practice of drawing and a meditation on how
art guides our gaze to the world: to flowers, to the human body, to the pitilessness of the
new world order and the forms of resistance to it.
The Legacy, $65
From the makers of The Killing comes the compelling new Danish series
The Legacy (Arvingerne)—a contemporary family drama about four siblings
trying to come to terms with their mother's death. But their's is no ordinary
mum! Veronika Gronnegaard, internationally famous contemporary artist
and sixties wild child, dies unexpectedly leaving the family mansion to an
illegitimate daughter abandoned years before. What follows are messy legal battles, marriage breakups, destroyed careers, wrecked families, mental
breakdowns, drug arrests, art fraud .... it's got the lot! What might have been
stock melodrama in less skilled hands is here tight and gripping storytelling which will
keep you guessing at every turn. Great acting and a lavish budget have not hurt either.
Series 2 has just been screened overseas but yet to be released on DVD. I can't wait!
Olive Kitteridge, $32.95
Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Olive Kitteridge has been brilliantly
adapted for television by HBO with an all-star cast including Frances McDormand in
the title role, Bill Murray and Richard Jenkins. Olive, a straight-talking maths teacher
at a New England high school, is married to the local pharmacist Bill, a pathologically
pleasant man loved by everyone but maddening to his wife. Bored with her marriage and
her sullen teenage son Christopher, Olive takes out her frustration with an acid tongue
on everyone who crosses her path while dreaming of escape with hard-drinking, chainsmoking, poetry-quoting colleague Jim. But with old age, a sick husband & an estranged grown-up
son Olive is forced to reassess her life and the people in it. Funny, moving & highly recommended!
Winton's Paw Prints
I first took up the Discworld challenge at the beginning of this century. At a loss after finishing
Harry Potter book 3 with book 4 yet to be released,
I was casting about for some serial fantasy fiction
to occupy me when my eyes lighted on the rows of
Terry Pratchett on the science fiction shelves. Three
months later I had consumed all of the Discworld
novels (and reread a couple). There were up to about
25 volumes at that time. I am particularly fond of the City Watch and the Witches series within the series. Commander of the Night Watch, recovering dipsomaniac Samuel
Vimes, gimlet-eyed witch Granny Weatherwax, and Lord Havelock Vetinari, Patrician
of Ankh-Morpork and machiavellian master of the subtle manipulation, are characters
that, once met, never leave you. J. K. Rowling may have eclipsed Sir Terry in sales, but
in length, breadth and depth of subject matter, character and pure hilarity, Rowling is not
only eclipsed, but in Pratchett's debt. That Pratchett died in his own bed with a cat by his
side is music (something sweetly sorrowful) to my ears. If indeed he had the good luck
to meet DEATH, another of his indelible characters, peacefully at home with no 'assistance', I still salute his campaign to legalise assisted suicide on request for those suffering
from terminal illness. I look forward to the release of his last Discworld offering, The
Shepherd’s Crown—an instalment of teen witch Tiffany Aching's journey, finished last
year. He wrote 70 books over 44 years, they were translated into 37 languages, and sold
a total of 70 million. So if, as Pratchett said, 'Writing is the most fun anyone can have by
themselves', he must have lived an extraordinarily pleasurable life.
One of the books I often suggest when attempting to pass my Discworld addiction on is
Pyramids. Number 7 in the series, it's a stand-alone set in Djelibeybi—a country that is
more than a nod to Ancient Egypt. Plotwise, there's a dead pharoah musing on the divine
whilst watching his organs being placed in jars, an evil high priest who of course has
no belief in anything except power, a gigantic pyramid that's about to warp the space
time continuum, and the greatest living mathematician, You Bastard, the camel—who's
steaming head is theorising the damage. Because of his prolific nature, I assume Pratchett had research assistants for the many subjects and 'issues' he deals with in his books,
and Cédric Villani would I'm sure have been happy to help Pratchett construct You Bastard's calculations. I've always had a fascinated antipathy towards mathematics—fascinated because it is a language that clearly has a beauty and poetics all its own, antipathy
because, short of plus, minus and times tables, I don't get it. I'd like to say reading Cédric
Villani's Birth of a Theorem has lifted the veil but sadly I'm no more capable of parsing
a partial differential equation than ever I was—but Villani's book does give great insight
into the working life of a mathematician. In this case, his pursuit of 'regularity for the
inhomogeneous Boltzmann'. 'Conditional regularity? You mean, modulo minimal regularity bounds?' says his partner, Clément Mouhot. 'No, Unconditional.' 'Completely? Not
even in a perturbative framework? You really think it's possible?' gasps Mouhot. Ah, the
Boltzmann! The most beautiful equation in the world—Villani has been under its spell
since his doctoral thesis (which I bet he wrote when he was 11). Thus the battle to wrestle
the mysterious and beastly 'Landau damping' into line is joined, and Villani chronicles
his year co-writing the theorem with short bios of all the mathematicians past and present
involved. I still don't understand, but it's fascinating. Winton
Performing Arts
Journey to the Centre of the Cramps
by Dick Porter ($24.95, PB)
American punk rock band, The Cramps, formed in 1976. They band
split after the death of lead singer Lux Interior in 2009. Their line-up
rotated much over their existence, with the husband and wife duo of
Interior and lead guitarist and occasional bass guitarist Poison Ivy
the only permanent members. They were part of the early CBGB
punk rock movement that had emerged in New York, noted as influencing a number of musical styles including garage punk & psychobilly. Ace This book is based on work and materials compiled
for the now much sought after 2007 Cramps biography, A Short History of Rock'n'Roll
Psychosis, Journey To The Centre Of The Cramps, but goes far beyond being a revised
& updated edition.
Mad as Hell: The Making of Network & the Fateful
Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies ($20, PB)
'I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Those
words, spoken by an unhinged anchorman named Howard Beale,
took America by storm in 1976, when the film Network became a
sensation. With a superb cast (including Faye Dunaway, William
Holden, Peter Finch, and Robert Duvall), directed by Sidney Lumet,
the film won four Academy Awards and indelibly shaped how we
think about corporate and media power. Dave Itzkoff of The New
York Times recounts the surprising and dramatic story of how Network made it to the screen. The movie was the creation of Paddy Chayefsky, the tough,
driven, Oscar-winning screenwriter whose vision—outlandish for its time—is all too real
today. Itzkoff uses new interviews with the cast and crew, as well as Chayefsky's notes,
letters, and drafts to re-create the action in front of and behind the camera. He also speaks
with today's leading broadcasters and filmmakers to assess Network's lasting impact on
television and popular culture. They testify to the enduring genius of Paddy Chayefsky,
who foresaw the future and whose life offers an unforgettable lesson about the true cost
of self-expression..
what we're reading
Jack: Of Walking in Ice by Werner Herzog
Too long out of print, Werner Herzog's 1974
diary of his walk from Munich to Paris,is
back to astonish. Herzog's friend (and mentor to a generation of German film-makers),
Lotte Eisner, was seriously ill and 'would
probably die'. Why not hop on a Lufthansa to
Paris? Herzog believed that walking would
'bring her back to life. When I'm in Paris she will be alive. She must not die. Later,
perhaps, when we allow it'. Walking as reverie is now a literary genre—cf. Iain
Sinclair or Robert Macfarlane never dragged a steamship up a mountain. 'My steps
are firm,' he continues. 'And the earth trembles. When I move, a buffalo moves.
When I rest, a mountain reposes'. ( PS: I crave an audio version....so please buy
it in multitudes, and send pleading emails/texts to Random House to release a
recording. Thank you.)
John: Nadia Dalbuono's The Few is a first novel set against a backdrop of the
streets of Rome and the islands of Tuscany. Young detective Leone Scamarcio is a
rising star of Rome's Flying Squad whose parallel investigation into a missing girl
and the murder of a rent boy intersect with a paedophile ring which has connections to Italy's elite. I am looking forward to second book in this series. Already
reviewed by Morgan & David, I just want to add my recommendation to Useful
by Debra Oswald—another (fine) first novel from someone who (like Dalbuono)
has worked in television.
Judy: I Put a Spell on You by John Burnside—Think of the Nina Simone version of this song: impassioned, spiteful, desperate and you have something of the
flavour of John Burnside’s plea throughout this memoir for space & attention for
'the dark end of the fair', where resides the beautiful imperfect. He argues with all
the strength of his own experience of love as entrapment against a social system
that sells young men and women into a slavery of work where there is no space
for the anarchy of deep pleasure, for glamour and digression. Pop music and the
consolations of longing and boredom and alcohol help keep a resentful workforce
poor in the service of the wealthy.
John Burnside is a man keeping himself (almost) sane—balancing between the experience of deep connection and the
need to be free to feel himself free. Happiness as walking
away; happiness as anticipation. I found myself suspending my prejudices in order to follow him here. The prose is
sometimes dense and rambling, but it is worth the re-reading.
In many ways, this book inhabits a similar space to some
of Rebecca Solnit’s work, but the insights are harder won,
the struggle to make meaning, coherence, inclusion is on the
borderline. There is much tenderness here, and much humility—alongside the outrage. John Burnside & his memoir can
get under your skin like a powerful song.
The Hard Problem by Tom Stoppard ($22.99, PB)
This is Tom Stoppard's first play for the stage since Rock 'n' Roll
in 2006. Hilary, a young psychology researcher at a brain-science
institute, is nursing a private sorrow and a troubling question at
work, where psychology and biology meet. If there is nothing but
matter, what is consciousness? This is 'the hard problem' which
puts Hilary at odds with her colleagues who include her first mentor Spike, her boss Leo and the billionaire founder of the institute,
Jerry. Is the day coming when the computer and the MRI scanner
will answer all the questions psychology can ask? Meanwhile Hilary needs a miracle, and she is prepared to pray for one.
In the All Night Cafe: A Memoir of Belle & Sebastian's Formative Year by Stuart David
Belle & Sebastian have been making critically acclaimed music
since 1996—their unsettling, often surreal, songs, delicate melodies & alternative approach to pop stardom has earned them armies of fans all over the world. Founder member, Stuart David,
gives a charming and evocative account of Belle & Sebastian's
early history. A fascinating portrait of the group, it is also a story
that will resonate with anyone who has put together (or thought of
putting together) a band. Set against a vivid background of early
90s Glasgow, the story begins with the fortuitous meeting of Stuart Murdoch and
Stuart David on a course for unemployed musicians. David tells of their adventures in
two early incarnations of Belle & Sebastian, ending with the recording of the band's
much-loved debut album, Tigermilk. ($35, HB)
All the Discworld's a Stage: Unseen Academicals, Feet of Clay and The Rince Cycle
Terry Pratchett, adapted by Stephen Briggs
A collection of three of Terry Pratchett's most popular Discworld
Novels, adapted for the stage by long time friend and collaborator Stephen Briggs, this is the perfect collection for amateur
dramatic companies. Contains the plays Unseen Academicals,
Feet of Clay and The Rince Cycle. ($37.95, PB)
Also available
The Rince Cycle Terry Pratchett ($22.95, PB)
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Bestsellers Non-fiction
1. Bad Feminist: Essays Roxane Gay
2. The Wife Drought: Why Women Need Wives & Men
Need Lives
Annabel Crabb
3. Overwhelmed: Work, Love & Play When No-one
Has the Time
Brigid Schulte
4. This House of Grief: The Story of a Murder Trial? Helen Garner
5. The Fictional Woman
Tara Moss
6. The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable
Recoveries & Discoveries From the Frontiers of
Norman Doidge
7. Demystifying Sustainability: Towards Real
Solutions Haydn Washington
8. Making Peace with the Earth: Beyond Resource,
Land & Food Wars
Vandana Shiva
9. The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS & The New Sunni
Patrick Cockburn
10. The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival
Guide to Raising Adolescents & Young Adults
Frances E Jensen
Bestsellers Fiction
1. The Buried Giant
Kazuo Ishiguro
2. Clade
James Bradley
3. The First Bad Man
Miranda July
4. The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins
5. The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Ah, I do love a cat cartoon—thanks Coopes. A big month looming
for some crime reading with a new Jo Nesbo, a new Donna Leon
and one of my personal favourites, a new book from the highly
entertaining Colin Cotterill—not featuring my favourite coroner
Dr Siri, but it's time I introduced myself to crime reporter Jimm Juree and her exile in Southern Thailand. Gore Vidal's rediscovered
pulp crime novel looks good too. I'm looking forward to the next
instalment of Kate Howarth's autobiography. Her award-winning
Ten Hail Marys was both an eye-opening testament to the virtually
apartheid state of race relations and the truly Dickensian treatment
of pregnant teens in 60s Australia. I'll definitely be at Gleebooks
on the 26th of March when she's launching Settling Day. I'll also
be in attendance in April when Tony Windsor is here to talk about
his 'way', when Helen Razer and Bernard Keane get together to bemoan the state of public debate in Australia, and most importantly,
I'll be there for the women's refuge fundraiser on the 15th when
Mandy Sayer, Ruth Hessey, Anne Summers, Susan Chenery and
Samantha Trenoweth are empanelled to express their Fury. Viki
Richard Flanagan
Winton’s Paw Prints
6. Trigger Warning
....... and another thing
8. The Goldfinch
9. A Spool of Blue Thread
10. Gun Street Girl
Neil Gaiman
Debra Oswald
For more April new releases go to:
Donna Tartt
Anne Tyler
Adrian McKinty
Main shop—49 Glebe Pt Rd; Ph: (02) 9660 2333, Fax: (02) 9660 3597. Open 7 days, 9am to 9pm Thur–Sat; 9am to 7pm Sun–Wed
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www.gleebooks.com.au. Email: [email protected], [email protected]