The Paperback Bookshop

  • 60 Bourke St
  • Melbourne
  • 9662 1396

The Paperback Bookshop Newsletter for April 2019

    • The Book of Chocolate Saints, Thayil,  Jeet
    The Book of Chocolate Saints
    Jeet Thayil

    The Book of Chocolate Saints follows the unforgettable Francis Newton Xavier and his journey towards salvation - or damnation - or perhaps both. Jeet Thayil paints a hallucinatory portrait of an ambiguous soul: a self-destructive figure living a wild existence of excess in pursuit of his uncompromising aesthetic vision. Approaching middle-age, Xavier leaves Manhattan following 9/11, and his journey home to India becomes a voyage into his past – his story shows how the artist's life itself can become the final monument. A strange, beautiful hymn to the artistic life lived fearlessly. Find out more

    • The Parade, Eggers,  Dave
    The Parade
    Dave Eggers

    Two Western men are sent to work far away from home, tasked with paving a road the length of a country. The country is dangerous and largely lawless, only just recovering from a devastating civil war, and the road will unite north and south. The road is Progress. The road is Hope. The two men follow a route from the outer villages to the capital, one man is highly experienced, reliable, focused, the other is chaotic, curious, forever joking with locals and breaking protocol. But when illness, corruption, and theft compromise their mission, the pair discover danger far greater than anything they had anticipated. Find out more

    • The Colonial Fantasy, Maddison,  Sarah
    The Colonial Fantasy
    Sarah Maddison

    A controversial argument for a radical rethink on government policies on Indigenous issues in Australia. Whatever the policy--from protection to assimilation, self-determination to intervention, reconciliation to recognition--government has done little to improve the quality of life of Indigenous people. In far too many instances, interaction with governments has only made Indigenous lives worse. Despite this, many Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders and commentators still believe that working with the state is the only viable option. The Colonial Fantasy calls for a radical restructuring of the relationship between black and white Australia . Find out more

    • Springtime in a Broken Mirror, Benedetti,  Mario
    Springtime in a Broken Mirror
    Mario Benedetti

    Santiago is trapped. Taken political prisoner in Montevideo after a brutal military coup, he can do nothing but write letters to his family, and try to stay sane. Far away, his nine-year-old daughter Beatrice wonders at the marvels of 1970s Buenos Aires, but her grandpa and mother struggle to adjust to a life in exile. From one of Latin America's most influential authors, Springtime in a Broken Mirror tells of the indelible imprint politics leaves on individual lives and asks whether the broken bonds of family and history can ever truly be mended. Find out more

    • The Parisian, Hammad,  Isabella
    The Parisian
    Isabella Hammad

    Midhat Kamal is the son of a wealthy textile merchant from Nablus, a town in Ottoman Palestine. In 1914 he leaves to study medicine in France, and embarks on a love affair that ends in catastrophe and alters him profoundly. A dreamer, a romantic, an aesthete-he returns to Nablus heartbroken to fins Palestine under British rule, and the entire region erupting with nationalist fervor. Midhat must find a way to cope with his conflicting loyalties and the expectations of his community, just as new tensions create fissures between-and within-families. The story of this young man?s life develops alongside the idea of a nation, as Midhat and those close to him confront what It means to strive for independence in a world that seems on the verge of ... Find out more

    • Place on Dalhousie, Marchetta,  Melina
    Place on Dalhousie
    Melina Marchetta

    When Rosie Gennaro first meets Jimmy Hailler, she has walked away from life in Sydney, leaving behind the place on Dalhousie that her father, Seb, painstakingly rebuilt for his family but never saw completed. Two years later, Rosie returns to the house and living there is Martha, whom Seb Gennaro married after the death of Rosie's mother. And so begins a stand-off between two women who refuse to move out of the home they both lay claim to. As the battle lines are drawn, Jimmy Hailler re-enters Rosie's life. Having always watched other families from the perimeters, he's now grappling with forming one of his own. A story about the interconnectedness of lives and the true nature of belonging. Find out more

    • Simpson Returns: A Novella, Macauley,  Wayne
    Simpson Returns: A Novella
    Wayne Macauley

    Ninety years after they were thought to have died heroically in the Great War, the stretcher-bearer Simpson and his donkey journey through country Victoria, performing minor miracles and surviving on offerings left at war memorials. They are making their twenty-ninth, and perhaps final, attempt to find the country's famed Inland Sea. On the road north from Melbourne, Simpson and his weary donkey encounter society's downtrodden, whom Simpson believes can be renewed by the healing waters of the sea. In a satire of Australian platitudes about fairness and egalitarianism, Macauley asks necessary questions about our national myths. Find out more

    • City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death and the Need for a Forest, Cunningham,  Sophie
    City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death and the Need for a Forest
    Sophie Cunningham

    How do we take in the beauty of our planet while processing the losses? In these moving, thought-provoking essays Sophie Cunningham considers the meaning of trees and our love of them. She chronicles the deaths of both her fathers, and the survival of P-22, a mountain lion in Griffith Park, Los Angeles; contemplates the loneliness of Ranee, the first elephant in Australia; celebrates the iconic eucalyptus and explores its international status as an invasive species. A powerful collection of nature, travel and memoir writing set in the context of global climate change. Find out more

    • Voices In The Evening, Ginzburg,  Natalia
    Voices In The Evening
    Natalia Ginzburg

    In a hushed, Italian town after the Second World War Elsa lives with her parents in the house where she was born. Twenty-seven and unmarried, she is of constant concern to her mother, whose status anxiety manifests itself in acute hypochondria. Elsa hopes to live a life different to the one she's always known and when she meets Tommasino, it seems possible. In an elegant, spare novel Ginzburg captures postwar Italy, and a new generation struggling against its legacy. Find out more

    • Einstein's Unfinished Revolution, Smolin,  Lee
    Einstein's Unfinished Revolution
    Lee Smolin

    Quantum physics is the basis of our understanding of everything from elemental particles to the behaviour of materials. Yet it is also beset by controversy and raging disagreement over which formulation best describes our world. The simple reason quantum physics is unsolvable, Lee Smolin argues, is that the theory is incomplete. In this radical new theory of reality, he aims to go beyond quantum mechanics to find a description of the world that makes sense to everyone- an alternative theory, based on the one that nature uses. Find out more

    • Resurrection of Winnie Mandela, Msimang,  Sisonke
    Resurrection of Winnie Mandela
    Sisonke Msimang

    The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela charts the rise and fall-and rise, again-of one of South Africa's most controversial political figures. 'Ma Winnie' fought apartheid with uncommon ferocity, but her implication in kidnapping, torture and killings-including the murder of 14-year-old Stompie Seipei-would later see her shunned. Sisonke Msimang argues that this complicated woman was not witch but warrior- that her violence, like that of the men she fought alongside, was a function of her political views rather than a descent into madness. Find out more

    • Mac and His Problem, Vila-matas,  Enrique
    Mac and His Problem
    Enrique Vila-matas

    Mac over sixty and recently unemployed lives on his wife?s earnings from her furniture restoration business. An avid reader, he decides at the age of sixty to keep a diary. Mac?s wife, Carmen, a dyslexic born of dyslexic parents, thinks he is simply wasting his time and risking sliding further into depression-but Mac persists, and is determined that this diary will not turn into a novel. However, one day, he has a chance encounter with a near neighbour, a highly successful author who once wrote a collection of enigmatic, wilfully obscure stories.... Enrique Vila-Matas is widely considered to be one of Spain's most important contemporary novelists. His work has been translated into 30 languages and has won numerous international liter ... Find out more

    • Outrages, Wolf,  Naomi
    Naomi Wolf

    Wolf illuminates a dramatic history - how a single English law in 1857 effectively invented modern obscenity. Before 1857 it wasn't 'homosexuality' - a term that didn't yet exist - that was a crime, but simply the act of sodomy. The law made not only love between men illegal, but anything referring to this love also became obscene, unprintable, unspeakable. Wolf traces how we arrived at our ideas of 'normalcy' and 'deviancy' - and the idea of the state's purported need and right to police speech – from the introduction of this influential law. Find out more

    • Growing Up African in Australia, Clarke,  Maxine Beneba
    Growing Up African in Australia
    Maxine Beneba Clarke

    People of African descent have been in Australia for at least 200 years, yet their stories are largely missing from Australian writing. In this anthology well-known authors and high-profile cultural and sporting identities sit alongside newly discovered voices of all ages, with experiences spanning regions, cities and generations. All of the pieces call for understanding, often times challenging stereotypes, always demanding respect. Growing Up African aims to defy, question or shed light on the many stereotypes that currently exist about the vibrant extended African community in Australia. Find out more

    • Memories of the Future, Hustvedt,  Siri
    Memories of the Future
    Siri Hustvedt

    Fresh from Minnesota and hungry for all New York has to offer, twenty-three-year-old S.H. embarks on a year that proves both exhilarating and frightening - from bruising encounters with men to the increasingly ominous monologues of the woman next door. Forty years on, those pivotal months come back to life when S.H. discovers the notebook in which she recorded her adventures alongside drafts of a novel. Hustvedt's latest is provocative, intellectually rigorous and absorbing. Find out more

    • Spring, Smith,  Ali
    Ali Smith

    What unites Katherine Mansfield, Charlie Chaplin, Shakespeare, Rilke, Beethoven, Brexit,  the present, the past, the north, the south, the east, the west, a man mourning lost times, a woman trapped in modern times? Spring. The great connective. With an eye to the migrancy of story over time and riffing on Pericles, one of Shakespeare’s most resistant and rollicking works, Ali Smith tells the impossible tale of an impossible time. In the third of her 'seasons quartet' and in a time of walls and lockdown, Smith opens the door. Find out more

    • Figuring, Popova,  Maria
    Maria Popova

    Figuring explores the complexities of love and the human search for truth and meaning through the interconnected lives of several historical figures across four centuries - beginning with the astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of planetary motion, and ending with the marine biologist and author Rachel Carson, who catalysed the environmental movement. Weaving through the narrative is a tapestry of themes spanning music, feminism, the history of science, the rise and decline of religion, and how the intersection of astronomy, poetry and Transcendentalist philosophy fomented the environmental movement. Find out more

    • Nature's Mutiny, Blom,  Phillip
    Nature's Mutiny
    Phillip Blom

    Philipp Blom chronicles the great climate crisis of the 1600s, a crisis that would transform the entire social and political fabric of Europe. While apocalyptic weather patterns destroyed entire harvests and incited mass migrations, Blom shows how they also gave rise to the growth of European cities, the appearance of early capitalism, and the vigorous stirrings of the Enlightenment. A sweeping examination of how a society responds to profound and unexpected change, Nature’s Mutiny contributes to the way we think about climate change in the twenty-first century and beyond. Find out more

    • Mouthful of Birds, Schweblin,  Samanta
    Mouthful of Birds
    Samanta Schweblin

    This collection of extraordinary stories by Samanta Schweblin follows on from here award winning novel Fever Dream, of 2017. Distinctive, dreamy yet spare stories. Find out more

    • Sun and Moon, Holborn,  Mark
    Sun and Moon
    Mark Holborn

    Published to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon landing, SUN AND MOON tells the story of that burning human need to comprehend the universe, from Neolithic observatories that mark the solstice to the latest space telescopes. It shows, for the first time, how the development of photography and cartography; the means of documenting other worlds; is linked indelibly to the charting of the heavens, from the first image on a glass plate to the Hubble Space Telescope. Find out more

    • Horizon, Lopez,  Barry
    Barry Lopez

    Taking us nearly from pole to pole - from modern megacities to some of the earth?s most remote regions -- and across decades of lived experience, Barry Lopez gives us his most far-ranging yet personal work to date, in a book that describes his travels to six regions of the world- from Western Oregon to the High Arctic; from the Galapagos to the Kenyan desert; from Botany Bay in Australia to finally, unforgettably, the ice shelves of Antarctica.Lopez also probes the long history of humanity's quests and explorations, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada, the colonialists who plundered Central Africa, an enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific, a Native American emissary who foun ... Find out more

    • Lanny, Porter,  Max
    Max Porter

    There is a village outside London, no different from many others. Everyday lives conjure a tapestry of fabulism and domesticity. This village belongs to the people who live in it and to the people who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England's mysterious past and its confounding present. But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort who has woken from his slumber and is listening, and watching the village as he searches, intently, for his favourite. Looking for the boy. Lanny. A devastating story told with anarchy, humour and enchantment. Find out more

    • Genesis, Wilson,  Edward O.
    Edward O. Wilson

    Asserting that religious creeds and philosophical questions can be reduced to purely genetic and evolutionary components, and that the human body and mind have a physical base obedient to the laws of physics and chemistry, Genesis demonstrates that the only way for us to fully understand human behaviour is to study the evolutionary histories of non-human species. Of these, Wilson demonstrates that at least seventeen have advanced societies based on altruism and cooperation.  Genesis is a pithy yet pathbreaking work of evolutionary theory. Find out more

    • Uninhabitable Earth, Wallace-wells,  David
    Uninhabitable Earth
    David Wallace-wells

    The signs of climate change are unmistakable already, but the real transformations have hardly begun. What will it be like to live on a pummelled planet? What will it do to our politics, our economy, our culture and sense of history? And what explains the fact we have done so little to stop it? These are not abstract questions but immediate and pressing human dilemmas.. David Wallace-Wells undertakes a new kind of storytelling and a new kind of social science to explore the era of human history on which we have just embarked. Find out more

    • Lord of All the Dead, Cercas,  Javier
    Lord of All the Dead
    Javier Cercas

    Lord of All the Dead is a courageous journey into Javier Cercas' family history and that of a country collapsing from a fratricidal war. Wartime epics, heroism and death are some of the underlying themes of this unclassifiable novel that combines road trips, personal confessions, war stories and historical scholarship, finally becoming an incomparable tribute to the author's mother and the incurable scars of an entire generation. Find out more

    • Machines Like Me, Mcewan,  Ian
    Machines Like Me
    Ian Mcewan

    Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding.Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. With Miranda?s assistance, he co-designs Adam?s personality. This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong and clever - a love triangle soon forms. These three beings will confront a profound moral dilemma ... Find out more

    • So Much Longing in So Little Space: The art of Edvard Munch, Knausgaard,  Karl Ove
    So Much Longing in So Little Space: The art of Edvard Munch
    Karl Ove Knausgaard

    In So Much Longing in So Little Space, Karl Ove Knausgaard explores the life and work of Edvard Munch. Setting out to understand the enduring power of Munch?s painting, Knausgaard reflects on the essence of creativity, on choosing to be an artist, experiencing the world through art and its influence on his own writing. As co-curator of a major new exhibition of Munch's work in Oslo, Knausgaard visits the landscapes that inspired him, and speaks with contemporary artists, including Vanessa Baird and Anselm Kiefer. Bringing together art history, biography and memoir, and drawing on ideas of truth, originality and memory, So Much Longing in So Little Space is a brilliant and personal examination of the legacy of one of the wor ... Find out more

    • Invented Lives, Goldsmith,  Andrea
    Invented Lives
    Andrea Goldsmith

    It is the mid-1980s. In Australia, stay-at-home wives jostle with want-it-all feminists, while AIDS threatens the sexual freedom of everyone. On the other side of the world, the Soviet bloc is in turmoil. Galina Kogan is twenty-four when she leaves Leningrad - forbidden ever to return – and arrives in Melbourne. While Galina grapples with being an immigrant in Australia, her presence disrupts the lives of each member of the Morrow family who have befriended her. No one is left unchanged. A story of exile- exile from country, exile at home, and exile from one's true self. Find out more

    • Clear Bright Future: A Radical Defence of the Human Being, Mason,  Paul
    Clear Bright Future: A Radical Defence of the Human Being
    Paul Mason

    Our world order is under pressure as never before. In this searching exploration of our crisis, Paul Mason argues that at its heart lies an attack on the idea of humanity itself. As the free-market system reduced us to two-dimensional consumers, genetics has stripped us of our belief in humans as agents of change. In response, Mason demands a radical defence of the human being - a reinvention of humanism; a re-assertion of the universality of human rights; and a struggle for a society where biologically determined hierarchies are abolished. Find out more

    • Penguin Book Of Japanese Short Stories, Jay Rubin (editor) and Haruki Murakami (introducti
    Penguin Book Of Japanese Short Stories
    Jay Rubin (editor) and Haruki Murakami (introducti

    From it's modern origins in the nineteenth century to the contemporary this collection celebrates the fantastic scope of Japanese short story writing. Authors already well-known to English-language readers are all included here - Tanizaki, Akutagawa, Murakami, Mishima, Kawabata - but also many surprising new finds. From Yuko Tsushima's 'Flames' to Yuten Sawanishi's 'Filling Up with Sugar', from Shin'ichi Hoshi's 'Shoulder-Top Secretary' to Banana Yoshimoto's 'Bee Honey. Curated by Jay Rubin, who has himself freshly translated several of the stories, and introduced by Haruki Murakami. Find out more

    • Seven Types of Atheism, Gray,  John
    Seven Types of Atheism
    John Gray

    John Gray's stimulating book describes the rich, complex world of the atheist tradition, a tradition which he sees as in many ways as rich as that of religion itself, as well as being deeply intertwined with what is so often crudely viewed as its 'opposite'.  The result is a book that sheds light on what it is to be human and on the thinkers who have, at different times and places, battled to understand this issue. Find out more

    • Blackout, Warren,  Matthew
    Matthew Warren

    Matthew Warren has worked for all sides of the energy industry, is regularly attacked for being too pro-coal and too pro-renewables, and writes without fear or favour. He has been lobbying for a national climate and electricity policy for over a decade. In Blackout he cuts through the politics to chart the disintegration of Australia's energy security, call out what is holding us back, and plot the way for a brighter future. An important and timely book. Find out more

Subscribe to our monthly E-Newsletter

Subscribe to the Paperback Monthly E-Newsletter and we'll send you our selection of the best books new to The Paperback each month. When we hold an event or a sale we'll email you with the details but otherwise your email address will be used solely for the newsletter. Please see our Privacy Policy.

To subscribe, just use the Subscribe form below to send us your email address.

Unsubscribe by adding your email address to the Unsubscribe form below and clicking submit.



The Paperback Quarterly Print Newsletter

We print a quarterly newsletter that's available at the shop. It contains details of our selection of the best new books for the quarter. The newsletter comes out in March, June, September and December.