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The Paperback Bookshop Newsletter for August 2019

    • The Memory Police, Ogawa,  Yoko
    The Memory Police
    Yoko Ogawa

    Hat, ribbon, bird, rose. To the people on the island, a disappeared thing no longer has any meaning. It can be burned in the garden, thrown in the river or handed over to the Memory Police. Soon enough, the island forgets it ever existed. When a young novelist discovers that her editor is in danger of being taken away by the Memory Police, she desperately wants to save him. For some reason, he doesn't forget, and it's becoming increasingly difficult for him to hide his memories. The Memory Police is a provocative fable about the power of memory and the trauma of loss.. Find out more

    • The First Wave, Dooley,  Gillian,   Clode,  Danielle
    The First Wave
    Gillian Dooley, Danielle Clode

    The European maritime explorers who first visited the bays and beaches of Australia brought with them diverse assumptions about the inhabitants of the country, most of them based on sketchy or non-existent knowledge. Mutual misunderstanding was almost universal. The First Wave brings together a variety of contributions, including both original research and creative work, that explore the dynamics of these early encounters, from Indigenous cosmological perspectives and European history of ideas, from representations in art and literature to the role of animals, food and fire in mediating first contact encounters. Find out more

    • In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin, Hilsum,  Lindsey
    In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin
    Lindsey Hilsum

    Marie Colvin was glamorous, hard-drinking, braver than the boys, with a troubled and rackety personal life. She reported from the most dangerous places in the world and her anecdotes about encounters with figures like Colonel Gaddafi and Yasser Arafat were incomparable. She was much admired, and famous for the extraordinary lengths to which she went to tell the story. Fellow foreign correspondent Lindsey Hilsum draws on unpublished diaries and interviews with friends, family and colleagues to produce a story of one of the great war correspondents. Find out more

    • New Dark Age, Bridle,  James
    New Dark Age
    James Bridle

    We live in times of increasing inscrutability. Our news feeds are filled with unverified, unverifiable speculation, much of it automatically generated by anonymous software. As a result, we no longer understand what is happening around us. Underlying all of these trends is a single idea- the belief that quantitative data can provide a coherent model of the world. Yet the sheer volume of information available to us today reveals less than we hope. Rather, it heralds a new Dark Age- a world of ever-increasing incomprehension. James Bridle offers us a warning against the future in which the promise of a new technologically assisted Enlightenment may just deliver its opposite- an age of complex uncertainty, predictive algorithms, surveillance, ... Find out more

    • On Drugs, Fleming,  Chris
    On Drugs
    Chris Fleming

    On Drugs explores Chris Fleming’s experience of drug addiction, which begins while he is a student before escalating into a life-threatening compulsion. A philosopher by training, Fleming combines meticulous observation of his life with a keen sense of the absurdity of his actions. He describes the intricacies of drug use and acquisition, their impact on the intellect and emotions, and the chaos of arrests, hospitalisations and family breakdown. In confronting the pathos and comedy of drug use, On Drugs also opens out into meditations on the self and its deceptions, on popular culture, religion and mental illness, and the tortuous path to recovery. Find out more

    • Last Witnesses, Alexievich,  Svetlana
    Last Witnesses
    Svetlana Alexievich

    What did it mean to grow up in the Soviet Union during the Second World War? In the late 1970s, Svetlana Alexievich started interviewing people who had experienced war as children, the generation that survived and had to live with the trauma that would forever change the course of the Russian nation. With great care and empathy, Alexievich gives voice to those whose stories are lost in the official narratives and offers a portrait of the human consequences of the war. Published in the USSR in 1985 and now available in English for the first time. Find out more

    • New Horizons, Various
    New Horizons

    The citizens of Karachi wake up and discover the sea missing from their shores, the last Parsi on Earth must escape to other worlds when debt collectors come knocking, and a family visiting a Partition-themed park gets more entertainment than they bargained for. These stories and others showcase the epic scope of science fiction from the South Asian subcontinent. Offering a fresh perspective on our hyper-global, often alienating and always paranoid world, New Horizons brings together tales of masterful imagination where humanity may triumph yet. Find out more

    • Inside the Greens: The True Story of the Party, the Politics and the People, Manning,  Paddy
    Inside the Greens: The True Story of the Party, the Politics and the People
    Paddy Manning

    Inside the Greens exposes the workings of a divided, defensive organisation reckoning with structural and strategic challenges. Reeling from a series of shocking seat losses, the dual-citizenship crisis, dramatic factional showdowns and suggestions of internal sabotage, can the party hang together? Can the Greens do politics differently and still succeed at the polls? Drawing on archival material, conferences and interviews with party friends and foes, and with Greens past and present, Manning weaves a compulsively readable account of where the Greens are heading, and what that means for Australia. Find out more

    • Banking Bad: How Corporate Greed and Broken Governance Failed Australia, Ferguson,  Adele
    Banking Bad: How Corporate Greed and Broken Governance Failed Australia
    Adele Ferguson

    Against all the odds, Australia held a royal commission into the banking and financial services industries. Its revelations rocked the nation. Even defenders of the banks were blindsided. Few people were more instrumental in bringing about the commission than journalist Adele Ferguson. Through her exposes in print and on television, she pursued the truth about funds mismanagement, fraud, lack of probity, and the hard-sell culture that took over the finance industry after deregulation in the 1980s. In Banking Bad, Ferguson looks at the outcomes of the royal commission. Finally she asks where to from here? Find out more

    • Blueprint, Enzensberger,  Theresia
    Theresia Enzensberger

    Luise Schilling is young, inquisitive and has a promising future ahead of her. At the beginning of the twenties, she arrives at Weimar's Bauhaus University. She takes classes with professors such as Gropius and Kandinsky and throws herself into the dreams and ideas of her epoch. From technology to art, communism to the avant-garde, populism to the youth movement, Luise encounters the social utopias that still shape us to the present day. As if looking at the headlines of today's newspapers, what becomes clear is that the greater fight for freedom never stops at our own individual lives. Find out more

    • Jack Charles: A Born-again Blakfella, Charles,  Jack
    Jack Charles: A Born-again Blakfella
    Jack Charles

    Stolen from his mother and placed into institutional care when he was only a few months old, Uncle Jack was raised under the government's White Australia Policy. The loneliness and isolation he experienced during those years had a devastating impact on him that endured long after he reconnected with his Aboriginal roots and discovered his stolen identity. Jack Charles has worn many hats throughout his life- actor, cat burglar, musician, heroin addict, activist, even Senior Victorian Australian of the Year. But the title he's most proud to claim is that of Aboriginal Elder. By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, his memoir reveals the 'ups and downs of this crazy, drugged up, locked up, fucked up, and at times unbelievable, life'. Find out more

    • Growing Up Queer in Australia, Law,  Benjamin
    Growing Up Queer in Australia
    Benjamin Law

    Compiled by celebrated author and journalist Benjamin Law, Growing Up Queer in Australia assembles voices from across the spectrum of LGBTIQA+ identity. Spanning diverse places, eras, ethnicities and experiences, these are the stories of growing up queer in Australia. Contributions from David Marr, Fiona Wright, Nayuka Gorrie, Steve Dow, Holly Throsby, Sally Rugg, Tony Ayres, Christos Tsiolkas, Rebecca Shaw, Nic Holas and many more. Find out more

    • The Pillars, Polites,  Peter
    The Pillars
    Peter Polites

    Don't worry about the housing bubble, she would say. Don't worry about the fact that you will never be able to afford a home. Worry about the day after. That's when they will all come, with their black shirts and bayonets, and then you will see the drowned bodies and slit necks. And I would stand there and say, But Mum, why are you telling me this when I'm ten years old. Working as a writer hasn't granted Pano the financial success he once imagined, but lobbying against a mosque being built across the road from his home helps to pass the time. He's also found himself a gig ghostwriting for a wealthy property developer. A novel of dark desires and moral gray areas. Find out more

    • Politics of the Common Good, Goodall,  Jane R.
    Politics of the Common Good
    Jane R. Goodall

    ‘The Earth is a Common Treasury’, proclaimed the English Revolutionaries in the 1640s. Does the principle of the commons offer us ways to respond now to the increasingly destructive effects of neoliberalism?  With insight, passion and an eye on history, Jane Goodall argues that the principle of the commons should be restored to the heart of our politics. Many ordinary citizens seem prepared to support governments that increase national debt while selling off publicly owned assets and cutting back on services. This important book calls for a radically different kind of economy, one that will truly serve the common good. Find out more

    • Salt: Selected Essays and Stories, Pascoe,  Bruce
    Salt: Selected Essays and Stories
    Bruce Pascoe

    This volume of Bruce Pascoe's stories and essays, collected here for the first time, traverses his long career and explores his enduring fascination with Australia's landscape, culture and history. Featuring new fiction alongside Pascoe's thought-provoking nonfiction - including from his modern classic Dark Emu - Salt distils the intellect, passion and virtuosity of his work. Find out more

    • Sludge: Disaster on Victoria's Goldfields, Lawrence,  Susan
    Sludge: Disaster on Victoria's Goldfields
    Susan Lawrence

    Everyone knows gold made Victoria rich but the legacy of gold mining was disastrous for the land, engulfing it in floods of sand, gravel and silt – a devastation that still affects our rivers and floodplains. Victorians had a name for this mining waste- 'sludge'. Sludge submerged Victoria's best grapevines near Bendigo, filled Laanecoorie Reservoir on the Loddon River and flowed down from Beechworth over thousands of hectares of rich agricultural land. Children and animals drowned in sludge lakes. Mining effluent contaminated three-quarters of Victoria's creeks and rivers. Sludge exposes the dirty secret of Victoria's mining history and and shows how the battle against sludge helped lay the ground for the modern environmental movemen ... Find out more

    • Out of Time, Hawke,  Steve
    Out of Time
    Steve Hawke

    Anne and Joe have at long last found the sweet spot in their relationship - they have overcome conflict and difficulties and the challenges of growing towards old age together, and now appreciate each other's company, a great sex life, and are looking forward to what retirement brings. But inexplicably, Joe - a gifted architect - finds himself losing things, making miscalculations and blanking out parts of his day. A love story, and family story, that explores the difficult ethical and emotional terrain of dementia, and each person's right to decide when it is their time to die. Find out more

    • Critic as Artist, Oscar,  Wilde
    Critic as Artist
    Wilde Oscar

    Subtitled Upon the Importance of Doing Nothing and Discussing Everything, the essay takes the form of a leisurely dialogue between two characters: Ernest, who insists upon Wilde’s own belief in art’s freedom from societal mandates and values, and a quizzical Gilbert. Writing in 1891, he foresaw that criticism would have an increasingly important role as the need to make sense of what we see increases with the complexities of modern life. It is only the fine perception and explication of beauty, Wilde suggests, that will allow us to create meaning, joy, empathy, and peace out of the chaos of facts and reality. Find out more

    • Inland, Obreht,  Tea
    Tea Obreht

    Nora is an unflinching frontiers-woman awaiting the return of the men in her life - her husband who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home. Lurie is a former outlaw and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires a momentous expedition across the West. Tea Obreht subverts and reimagines the myths of the American West. Find out more

    • Returns, Salom,  Philip
    Philip Salom

    Elizabeth posts a 'room for rent' notice in Trevor's bookshop and is caught off-guard when Trevor answers the ad himself. She expected a young student not a middle-aged bookseller whose marriage has fallen apart. But Trevor is attracted to Elizabeth's house because of the empty shed in her backyard and the chance to revive the artistic career he abandoned years earlier. The Returns is a story about the eccentricities, failings and small triumphs that humans are capable of, a novel that pokes fun at literary and artistic pretensions, while celebrating the expansiveness of art, kindness and friendship.  Find out more

    • Wolfe Island, Treloar,  Lucy
    Wolfe Island
    Lucy Treloar

    Kitty Hawke, the last inhabitant of a dying island sinking into the wind-lashed Chesapeake Bay, has resigned herself to annihilation... Until one night her granddaughter blows ashore in the midst of a storm, desperate, begging for sanctuary. For years, Kitty has kept herself to herself - with only the company of her wolfdog, Girl. But blood cannot be turned away in times like these. And when trouble comes following her granddaughter, Kitty fights fiercely to save her. A mythic parable of home and kin. Find out more

    • Unrequited Love, Altman,  Dennis
    Unrequited Love
    Dennis Altman

    Dennis Altman first travelled from Australia to the United States when Lyndon Johnson was President, beginning a long obsession with the US. In the early 1970s he was involved in New York Gay Liberation; his 1971 study Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation, is widely regarded as a classic work in its field. In the 1980s Altman lived in San Francisco during the onset of the AIDS epidemic. The election of Donald Trump took place while Altman was back in California on one of his frequent visits. This diarised memoir, moving between Australia, the United States, Europe and parts of Asia, tells a story of a half century of activism, intellectualism, friendship and conflict. Find out more

    • Enchantment of the Long-haired Rat: A Rodent History of Australia, Bonyhady,  Tim
    Enchantment of the Long-haired Rat: A Rodent History of Australia
    Tim Bonyhady

    The Enchantment of the Long-haired Rat tells the story of a small Australian rodent known for its fast and prodigious spread after big rains – which brought plagues for the European colonists who feared and loathed all rats; and an abundance of food for the indigenous peoples who feasted with delight in these times of plenty. Tim Bonyhady's account,from the earliest evidence found in caves to its most recent boom triggered by the immense rains across Australia of 2010-11 presents a fascinating view of Australia's history, illuminating a species, a continent, its climate and its people. Find out more

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