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The Paperback Bookshop Newsletter for October 2019

    • Fly Already, Keret,  Etgar
    Fly Already
    Etgar Keret

    A man is bribed to step into a courtroom to call an unknown defendant a murderer. A rich, lonely man hits on the idea of buying up people's birthdays so he'll always have friends calling. A writer agrees to write a story starring his friend so said friend can get a girl into bed. A father and son spot a stranger standing on the edge of a building, and the son shouts encouragement- fly already!.22 short stories of absurdity, despair, and love from Keret.. Find out more

    • Penny Wong: The Biography, Simons,  Margaret
    Penny Wong: The Biography
    Margaret Simons

    Senator Penny Wong is an extraordinary Australian politician. Resolute, self-possessed and a penetrating thinker on subjects from climate change to foreign affairs, she is admired by members of parliament and the public from across the political divide. Margaret Simons traces Wong's story from her early life in Malaysia, to her student activism in Adelaide, to her time in the turbulent Rudd and Gillard governments, to her key role in the polarising campaign to legalise same-sex marriage. What emerges is a picture of a leader for modern Australia, a cautious yet charismatic figure of piercing intelligence, with a family history linking back to Australia's colonial settlers and to the Asia-Pacific. Find out more

    • Cilka's Journey, Morris,  Heather
    Cilka's Journey
    Heather Morris

    In 1942 Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to a desolate, brutal prison camp in Siberia. Based on what is known of Cilka's time in Auschwitz, and on the experience of women in Siberian prison camps, Cilka's Journey is the sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Find out more

    • Coventry, Cusk,  Rachel
    Rachel Cusk

    Encompassing memoir and cultural and literary criticism, with pieces on gender, politics and writers such as D. H. Lawrence, Olivia Manning and Natalia Ginzburg, this collection of essays offers new insights on the themes at the heart of Cusk's work. The result is a cumulative sense of how the frank, deeply intelligent sensibility - so evident in her stories and novels - reverberates in the wider context of Cusk's literary process. Find out more

    • Narrow Corridor: States, Societies and the Fate of Liberty, The, Acemoglu,  Daron
    Narrow Corridor: States, Societies and the Fate of Liberty, The
    Daron Acemoglu

    Liberty is hardly the 'natural' order of things; usually states have been either too weak to protect individuals or too strong for people to protect themselves from despotism. There is also a happy Western myth that where liberty exists, it's a steady state, arrived at by 'enlightenment'. But liberty emerges only when a delicate and incessant balance is struck between state and society - between elites and citizens. Based on decades of research, The Narrow Corridor explains how some countries develop towards and provide liberty while others fall to despotism, anarchy or asphyxiating norms - and explains how liberty can still thrive despite new threats. Find out more

    • To Calais, In Ordinary Time, Meek,  James
    To Calais, In Ordinary Time
    James Meek

    Three journeys. One road. England, 1348. A gentlewoman is fleeing an arranged marriage, a Scottish proctor is returning to his monastery in Avignon and a young ploughman in search of adventure is on his way to volunteer with a company of archers. All come together on the road to Calais. Coming in their direction from across the Channel is the Black Death, the plague that will wipe out half of the population of Northern Europe. A tremendous feat of language and empathy, Meek summons a medieval world that is at once uncannily plausible, utterly alien and eerily reflective of our own. Find out more

    • Bruny, Rose,  Heather
    Heather Rose

    A right-wing US president has withdrawn America from the Middle East and the UN. Daesh has a thoroughfare to the sea and China is Australia's newest ally. When a bomb goes off in remote Tasmania, Astrid Coleman agrees to return home to help her brother before an upcoming election. But this is no simple task. Her brother and sister are on either side of politics, the community is full of conspiracy theories, and her father is quoting Shakespeare. Only on Bruny does the world seem sane. Subversive and of the moment Bruny is about family, love, loyalty and the new world order. Find out more

    • Europeans: Three Cosmopolitan Lives and the Making of a European Culture, Figes,  Orlando
    Europeans: Three Cosmopolitan Lives and the Making of a European Culture
    Orlando Figes

    The Europeans is both a highly original, panoramic account of how in the 19th century huge aesthetic, economic, technological and legal changes created, for the first time, a genuinely pan-European culture - and an intimate story of a great singer, Pauline Viardot, a great writer, Ivan Turgenev, and a great connoisseur, Pauline's husband Louis. Their passionate, ambitious lives caught up an astonishing array of writers, composers and painters all trying to navigate through an ever more prosperous, demanding and international culture. Find out more

    • Sea & Us, De Saint Phalle,  Catherine
    Sea & Us
    Catherine De Saint Phalle

    After many years spent living in Seoul, a young man called Harold drifts back to Australia and rents a room above a fish and chip shop called The Sea & Us.  Who he meets and what he experiences there propels him to question his own yearnings and failings, and to fight for meaning and a sense of place that can only be reached by facing what is lost. Catherine de Saint Phalle brilliantly captures a common human desire for community and connection.  Find out more

    • The Weekend, Wood,  Charlotte
    The Weekend
    Charlotte Wood

    Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three. Despite the three women knowing each other better than their own siblings, Sylvie's death opens up strange caverns of distance between them. The Weekend explores growing old and growing up, and what happens when we're forced to uncover the lies we tell ourselves. Sharply observed and funny, Wood's latest is a celebration of tenderness and friendship. Find out more

    • Red Hand: Stories, Reflections and the Last Appearance of Jack Irish, Temple,  Peter
    Red Hand: Stories, Reflections and the Last Appearance of Jack Irish
    Peter Temple

    Peter Temple started publishing novels late, when he was fifty, but then he got cracking. He wrote nine novels in thirteen years. Along the way he wrote screenplays, stories, dozens of reviews.
    When he died in March 2018 there was an unfinished Jack Irish novel in his drawer. It is included in The Red Hand, which also includes his short fiction, his reflections on the Australian idiom, a handful of autobiographical fragments, and a selection of his book reviews. Find out more

    • This is What A Feminist Looks Like, Maguire,  Emily
    This is What A Feminist Looks Like
    Emily Maguire

    Emily Maguire charts a course through the history of Australian feminism — from the First Wave to the Fourth, from suffragists to Riot Grrrls, from equal pay to #metoo. Along the way, she pays tribute to those who’ve spoken up and taken action in the face of ridicule, dismissal and violence. This Is What a Feminist Looks Like shows us how we got to where we are today — and reminds us that some battles must be fought over and over again. Find out more

    • Grand Union, Smith,  Zadie
    Grand Union
    Zadie Smith

    A mother looks back on her early forays into matters of the human heart, considering the ways in which desire is always an act of negotiation, destruction, and self-invention. A disgraced cop stands amid the broken shards of his life, unable to move forward into a future that holds no place for him. In these new stories and previously published pieces Zadie Smith presents a prescient collection about time and place, identity and rebirth, the persistent legacies that haunt our present selves and the uncanny futures that come to meet us. Find out more

    • Cosmic Chronicles, Watson,  Fred
    Cosmic Chronicles
    Fred Watson

    Watson presents the most up-to-date knowledge on everything from light echoing around the cosmos, the mechanics of black holes and how to navigate the hidden delights of nightfall, to the most profound questions facing humankind. With mind-bending stories from the frontiers of science, Cosmic Chronicles is an expert’s view of what we know and how we know it. Find out more

    • Gulpilil, Rielly,  Derek
    Derek Rielly

    It's been almost fifty years since a teenage David Gulpilil illuminated screens worldwide with his breakout role in Walkabout and quickly became the face of the Indigenous world to white Australian audiences - a charismatic, strong, mysterious man starring in films ranging from Crocodile Dundee to Rabbit-Proof Fence. Gulpilil belongs in two worlds: a Yolngu man, a hunter, a tracker, who grew up in the bush in Arnhem Land outside any white influence; and an international movie star. Rielly includes interviews with friends and colleagues in telling his remarkable story. Find out more

    • Other People's Houses, Mcphee,  Hilary
    Other People's Houses
    Hilary Mcphee

    In Other People's Houses Hilary McPhee exchanges one hemisphere for another. Fleeing the aftermath of a failed marriage, she embarks on a writing project in the Middle East, for a member of the Hashemite royal family, a man she greatly respects. Here she finds herself faced with different kinds of exile, new kinds of banishment. Ultimately though this is the story of returning home, of picking up the pieces, and facing the music as her house and her life takes on new shapes. Find out more

    • How to Be a Dictator: The Cult of Personality in the Twentieth Century, Dikotter,  Frank
    How to Be a Dictator: The Cult of Personality in the Twentieth Century
    Frank Dikotter

    In How to Be a Dictator, Frank Dikotter returns to eight of the most effective personality cults of the twentieth century. From carefully choreographed parades to the deliberate cultivation of a shroud of mystery through iron censorship, these dictators ceaselessly worked on their own image and encouraged the population at large to glorify them. At a time when democracy is in retreat, this timely study examines how a cult takes hold, grows, and sustains itself. It places the cult of personality where it belongs, at the very heart of tyranny. Find out more

    • Water Dancer, Coates,  Ta-nehisi
    Water Dancer
    Ta-nehisi Coates

    Every slave plantation is a house of spies and intrigue. No slave walks a straight line or has a single story - deep within their hearts is betrayal and insurrection. Hiram Walker is a man with a gift and a curse. He was born between worlds - his father a white plantation master, his mother a black slave. And he was born with a secret, special power. Sold to a new mistress as punishment for trying to escape, Hiram discovers her home is a secret hub of the underground railroad, a training ground for its agents. Coates' debut novel is s story of bondage, freedom and love. Find out more

    • Maybe the Horse Will Talk, Perlman,  Elliot
    Maybe the Horse Will Talk
    Elliot Perlman

    Stephen Maserov has problems. Despite toiling around the clock as a lawyer, he's in imminent danger of being downsized. To keep the job he hates, pay the mortgage and salvage his marriage, he will have to do something strikingly daring, something he never thought himself capable of. Maybe the Horse Will Talk is a love story, a reflection on contemporary marriage, and on friendship. It is also an examination of sexual harassment and an expose of corporate corruption that taps directly into the pulse of our times. Find out more

    • George Seddon: Selected Writings, Gaynor,  Andrea
    George Seddon: Selected Writings
    Andrea Gaynor

    George Seddon was renowned for championing a 'sense of place', giving that phrase a uniquely Australian substance. He was a connoisseur of landscapes, from the rugged Snowy Mountains to the humble domestic backyard. With wit and deep knowledge, he radically rethought our relationship with the environment, considering everything from water to mining, suburbs to wilderness. Seddon was a polymath- a professor of geology, the history and philosophy of science, and environmental science, who also taught English and philosophy. The highlights of his work are selected here by Andrea Gaynor, with an introduction by historian Tom Griffiths. Find out more

    • Heide, Pi.o.

    Heide is an epic poem that explores the influence of art, poetry and social class on the psyche, with a particular focus on the artists gathered around Sunday and John Reed at Heide. It begins with the foundation of Melbourne, and traverses the poets and artists who put their lives on the line, the Australian preoccupation with landscape, the dominance of a masculinist aesthetic, the sidelining and denigration of Indigenous art, the struggle of women artists to assert their influence and presence, and the impact of migration on Australian culture. Pi.O's previous work in a similar vein was Fitzroy: the biography. Find out more

    • The Body: A Guide for Occupants, Bryson,  Bill
    The Body: A Guide for Occupants
    Bill Bryson

    Bill Bryson turns his attention inwards to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body- A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up. Find out more

    • There Was Still Love, Parrett,  Favel
    There Was Still Love
    Favel Parrett

    Prague, 1938: Eva flies down the street from her sister. Suddenly a man steps out, Eva runs into him, he's angry and his hate and the war will change everything. Prague, 1980: No one sees Ludek. A young boy can slip right under the heavy blanket that covers this city - the fear cannot touch him. The world can go to hell for all he cares because Babi is waiting for him in the warm flat. Melbourne, 1980: Mala Li ka's grandma holds her hand as they climb the stairs to their third floor flat. Here, Mana and Bill have made a life for themselves and their granddaughter. A beautifully told story of memory and family and a love letter to the strong women who bind families together, despite dislocation and distance. Find out more

    • Act of Grace, Krien,  Anna
    Act of Grace
    Anna Krien

    Iraqi aspiring pianist Nasim falls from favour with Saddam Hussein and his psychopathic son, triggering a perilous search for safety. In Australia, decades later, Gerry is in fear of his tyrannical father, Toohey, who has returned from the Iraq War bearing the physical and psychological scars of conflict. Meanwhile, Robbie is dealing with her own father's dementia when the past enters the present. Crossing the frontiers of war, protest and reconciliation, Krien intertwines these stories in a brilliant narrative of guilt and reckoning, trauma and survival. Find out more

    • Night For Day, Flanery,  Patrick
    Night For Day
    Patrick Flanery

    Los Angeles, 1950. Over the course of a single day, two friends grapple with the moral and professional uncertainties of the escalating Communist witch-hunt in Hollywood. With as much to say about the early years of the Cold War as about the political and social divisions that continue to divide the country Night for Day conjures a feverish vision of one of the country's most notorious periods of national crisis, illuminating the eternal dilemma of both art and politics: how to make the world anew. Find out more

    • Rusty Brown, Ware,  Chris
    Rusty Brown
    Chris Ware

    Now, twenty years after Jimmy Corrigan, Ware is publishing Rusty Brown in book form. It is, he says, 'a fully interactive, full-colour articulation of the time-space interrelationships of six complete consciousnesses on a single Midwestern American day'. Ware tells each of their stories in minute detail producing another masterwork of the comics form that is at once achingly beautiful, heartbreakingly sad and painfully funny. Find out more

    • Whose Story Is This?, Solnit,  Rebecca
    Whose Story Is This?
    Rebecca Solnit

    Who gets to shape the narrative of our times? The current moment is a battle over that foundational power. Women, people of colour and non-straight people are telling other versions, and white men in particular are fighting to preserve their own centrality. In this collection of essays, Solnit appraises the voices that are emerging, why they matter and the obstacles they face in making themselves heard. Find out more

    • The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Zuboff,  Shoshana
    The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
    Shoshana Zuboff

    The first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control us. Zuboff explores this new capitalism's impact on society, politics, business, and technology, it exposes the struggles that will decide both the next chapter of capitalism and the meaning of information civilisation. Most critically, it shows how we can protect ourselves and our communities and ensure we are the masters of the digital rather than its slave. Find out more

    • Death of Jesus, Coetzee,  J. M.
    Death of Jesus
    J. M. Coetzee

    After The Childhood of Jesus and The Schooldays of Jesus, J. M. Coetzee completes his trilogy with a new masterwork, The Death of Jesus. David has grown to be a tall ten-year-old. He is a natural at soccer, and loves kicking a ball around with his friends. His father Sim n and Bolivar the dog usually watch. His mother Ines works in a fashion boutique. David still asks lots of questions. In dancing class at the Academy of Music he dances as he chooses. He refuses to do sums and will not read any books except Don Quixote. In The Death of Jesus, J. M. Coetzee continues to explore the meaning of a world empty of memory but brimming with question. Find out more

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