Lambs a-leaping! Pollen antagonising your allergies! New-season spring onions pepper the garden! But what to read while waiting for the daffodils to pop out of their little shells?
Don’t worry. We’ve got this.
(Click on the images to be taken direct to our online store – we can send books out so that you can watch those buds bloom.)
Eleanor Catton (VUP) pb $35.00
This hefty labyrinthine astrological murder mystery set during the 1866 goldrush in New Zealand has earned Eleanor Catton a spot in the Man Booker Prize Longlist. Walter Moody arrives in Hokitika after sensational events have occurred in the town. With characters each aligned with a sign of the zodiac, this intricate novel is dazzlingly multilayerd and absorbing.
Sarah Laing (Vintage) pb $38.00
The frustrations of being a creative-for-hire and the challenges of obtaining a work/life balance are explored with a dry, deadpan humour in The Fall of Light which also features whimsical ink wash drawings by the author. Workaholic architect and Italo Calvino obsessive Rudy must take stock of what is important to him when he is forced to recuperate after a Vespa accident.
Carl Nixon (Random) pb $38.00
In this romance set in 1919, Elizabeth works as a nurse while waiting for her husband to return from war even though he is missing, presumed dead. In order to keep him alive for their son, she creates narratives about him, re-inventing him as a balloonist who drifts in and out of exotic lands.
Craig Cliff (Random) pb $38.00
Window dresser Colton Kemp has a knack for creating wonderful window displays but falls short when it comes to carving mannequins. And then a silent master of the craft arrives in town in this mysterious gothic tale of art, deception, strength and folly set in small-town New Zealand in the early 1900s.
Vincent O’Sullivan (VUP) pb $28.00
One of our most treasured poets, Vincent O’Sullivan returns with this expressive collection of 78 poems presented in three sections. The poems in Us, Then are beautifully pitched and finely tuned. While they are sharply crafted, O’Sullivan’s voice is warm and friendly. A welcome treat for poetry fans.
Selina Tusitala Marsh (AUP) $28.00 pb
Five days after her mother passed away, Selina Tusitala danced the ‘fatele’ for the first time. Then, after the funeral she took up Muay Thai kickboxing. Both forms of movement taught her new things – and over months of grief, these movements began to echo each other and take the shape of words. This lucidly realised journey comes with an accompanying CD.
Damien Wilkins (VUP) $30.00 pb
As Thomas Hardy lies dying at Max Gate, his house in Dorset, a fight is brewing amongst his literary cronies and possessive local worthies. The fate of his house, his remains and his legacy are at stake. Narrated by housemaid Nellie Titterington, this novel explores the conflicting claims of ambition, duty and love.
Anne Kennedy (Allen and Unwin) pb $38.00
Against the backdrop of Auckland’s 1998 five week power blackout, Megan Sligo runs a mending and alterations business from her house. With their rips and holes, the clothes she mends for her customers reveal much about their personal lives and when a tatty vintage Irish costume arrives, things get messy in this novel of vividly written scenes and charming characters.
NZ NON FICTION
Lloyd Jones (Text) $38.00 pb
Contemplating the piece-by-piece deconstruction and reconstruction of the basilica in Christchurch in the wake of the 2011 earthquake, Lloyd Jones was prompted to explore the foundations of his own past and family. Reassembling a history – sometimes deliberately forgotten and certainly not discussed – brings the revelation that the tale he expected to be telling is in fact not the whole story.
Audrey Eagle (Te Papa) $50.00 pb
This collection of life-size paintings of New Zealand’s unique native plants by renowned botanical artist Audrey Eagle makes a treasured gift for anyone interested in flora, New Zealand’s natural history or fine art. This beautiful tome includes enlargements revealing Eagle’s technical expertise in depicting the details of the flowers, seeds and leaves of each plant, and an introduction by scientist Patrick Brownsey.
Sally Blundell (Craig Potton) pb $40.00
Travelling to India in the 1970s to work with Tibetan refugees, New Zealand couple Vi and Richard Cottrell founded the company Trade Aid. With an interest in maintaining fair trade, workers’ rights and environmental issues continuing to rise, this is a timely story of a company that has made a difference to millions of lives worldwide.
Dianne Bardsley (Te Papa) $45.00 hb
Engaging and up-to-date, this book from lexicographer Dianne Bardsley contains more than 1500 unique New Zealand words and expressions. The sources of our vocabulary, from sports, politics and farming to Te Reo Maori and popular culture, reveal much about our history and the current state of society.
Shaun Hendy & Paul Callaghan (AUP) pb $35.00
In this book Hendy and Callaghan propose that the long term solution to a successful, sustainable New Zealand economy, and a youth that don’t feel the need to leave their native shore for success, is a technologically focused business plan. They propose high-tech solutions while still taking time to cover economic history and an understanding of the global economic arena.
Bob Jones (Random House NZ) pb $30.00
Having observed the frequency with which boxing terms are used in situations far from their original context, Bob Jones decided to investigate the process by which phrases such as “’On the Ropes”, “The Gloves Are Off” and “Taking it on the Chin” migrate to become standard usage when discussing politics, business and other matters. A real “Knock-out”!
Max Rashbrooke (Bridget Williams Books) pb $40.00
A staggering rise in wealth disparity over recent years has seen New Zealand transformed from one of the world’s most equal societies to one of the least equal. In this important book, some of the country’s leading commentators address how we can begin to tackle the widening gap between rich and poor. For fans of Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger.
Will Ferguson (Head of Zeus) pb $30.00
Have you ever had one of those “Dear Sir, I am the daughter of a Nigerian diplomat, and I need your help…” emails? 419 renders real the story of the infamous online scamming phenomenon known as 419. A sharp witted story, this is both a thriller about a woman avenging her father’s death and a portrait of morality and corruption across the globe.
Anthony Marra (Hogarth) pb $38.00
Set against the vicious backdrop of the Chechen war, this knockout novel follows the lives of an eight year old girl and the man from her remote village who looks after her when her father is killed. Tough and affecting, this is a powerful insight into the resilience, humour and kindness that can emerge from the human soul during times of adversity.
Hiromi Kawakami (Portobello) pb $30.00
In this offbeat and gentle old fashioned romance set in modern Japan, a slow burning intimacy grows between two solitary figures – Tsukio and her former high school teacher – when they unexpectedly reconnect by chance. A beguiling and lyrical tale that blossoms across the seasons, Strange Weather in Tokyo establishes Hiromi Kawakami as Japan’s thrilling new literary voice.
Jaspreet Singh (Bloomsbury) pb $35.00
Years after witnessing the brutal, haunting murder of his university professor during the anti-Sikh riots which followed Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s 1984 assassination, Raj, now a New York professor travels back to his native New Delhi to confront the darkest time in India’s post-independence history. Artist sketches and archival photographs illustrate this atmospheric novel of collective silences, memory and personal trauma.
Cormac McCarthy (Picador) pb $38.00
For a feature film to be directed by Ridley Scott, this is the first original screenplay from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy and you can expect his usual depth and finely tuned narrative. Things spiral out of control when driven by a hunger to get rich, the counsellor gets hooked into a drug trafficking venture which takes him across the Mexican border.
Rachel Kushner (Harvill) pb $38.00
With its heady mix of art, politics, Italian class warfare and motorcycles, this is a stylish firecracker of a novel. Reno is a beautiful young artist navigating her way around the thriving and humming 1977 New York City art scene, a world populated by dreamers, crooks and radicals. Moving through Nevada, New York, and Rome, The Flamethrowers has a psychological sharpness.
Marisha Pessel (Hutchinson) pb $38.00
From the author of the sensational cult hit Special Topics in Calamity Physics comes this hypnotic high tension wire of a psychological thriller. Journalist Scott McGrath is investigating the lower Manhattan apparent suicide of the daughter of filmmaker Stanislas Cordova, enigmatic director of harrowing horror films who has not been seen in public since 1971. For lovers of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.
Thomas Pynchon (Jonathan Cape) pb $38.00
In 2001’s Manhattan’s Silicon Alley, a world of bloggers, hackers and entrepreneurs, Maxine runs a fraud investigation business by her own rules. During the lull between the collapse of the dotcom boom and the devastating effects of September 11, she investigates the finances of a geeky computer security firm billionaire CEO. This is Thomas Pynchon at his stunning post-modern best.
Paul Harding (William Heinemann) pb $30.00
The successor to Paul Harding’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2010 debut Tinkers, Enon is the deeply elegiac and fiercely beautiful novella in which Charlie Crosby, grandson of George from Tinkers, grapples with grief after the loss of his child. A richly observed emotional journey of anguish and growth, this gem of a quiet novella is a poetic montage set in New England.
Sam Toperoff (Random US) pb $33.00
The electrifying story of the fiery affair between the hard drinking literary couple Dashiell Hammett and Lillian Hellman. Spanning three decades which saw the Spanish Civil War, McCarthyism and both World Wars, Lillian and Dash is exhilarating, blending a juicy mix of hard facts, fiction and gossip. The erudite star-crossed lovers are joined by a cat of New York literati.
Margaret Atwood (Bloomsbury) hb $40.00
The universally adored Margaret Atwood returns with this satisfying final installment to her dystopian trilogy, following Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. After the waterless flood pandemic has wiped out most of humanity, Toby and Ren rescue their friend Amanda from the menacing Painballers. This is classic Atwood.
Adam Thirlwell (ed) (Portobello) pb $35.00
Featuring a stellar line-up including Jeffrey Eugenides, David Mitchell and Colm Toibin, this is an inventive literary game. The first writer translates a story into English, which a second then translates into a different language after which a third translates the story back into English. As the stories are told and re-told, they take on fresh lives, transforming into whole new works.
Susan Choi (Short Books Ltd) pb $29.00
An intoxicatingly kaleidoscopic novel, My Education is an elegantly written work with a startling visual beauty which puts a new spin on the classic student/professor romantic affair. Regina, a precocious graduate student is infatuated with her charismatic and much older professor, Nicholas. After a drunken evening, a curveball is thrown into the mix when Nicholas’ wife is introduced into the equation.
Tao Lin (Canongate) pb $25.00
A delirious and caustic critique of the vapid Tumblr generation, written by a hip gunslinger insider who has been called “a Kafka for the iPhone generation”. Moving between Manhattan’s fickle literary and art scenes and Taiwan’s Taipei, Paul navigates contemporary life, awkward social interactions, alienation, obsession, drugs and sex all while compulsively hitting the refresh button on his Twitter and Facebook pages.
Daniel Woodrell (Sceptre) pb $35.00
From the master of the country-noir comes a stunningly austere work of poetic prose. A deadly dancehall fire in Missouri 1929 has a devastating impact over several generations of two families at opposite ends of the social scale. Who was to blame? Mobsters, gypsies, a wayward preacher or was it simply a tragic accident?
Rhidian Brook (Viking) pb $37.00
In Hamburg 1946, thousands remain uprooted in what is the British Occupied Zone. Colonel Lewis Morgan oversees the rebuild of the ravaged city houses on the banks of the Elbe. In one, rather than force its owners to leave their home, Lewis insists that the two families live together. A quietly unsettling novel, The Aftermath is an alluring study of loyalty and tragedy.
James Lee Burke (Orion) pb $40.00
This is the welcome return of Dave Robicheaux, the all-too-human homicide detective from the Louisiana Bayou country in the 20th instalment in James Lee Burke’s series of gripping Robicheaux novels. Light of the World takes a personal spin when Robicheaux’s daughter Alafair, a writer, interviews a convicted serial killer, which puts her in danger when she least expects it.
Kent Wascom (Grove Press) pb $37.00
For lovers of Deadwood comes this pitch black and gritty novel, which is at once a personal and national story. In 1861, Angel Woolsack, a Confederate, sets out to record his testament. From falling in with a charismatic highwayman to the bordellos of Natchez and the Mississippi plantations and New Orleans, his story is bloodthirsty, brutally savage and wildly funny
Anya von Bremzen (Random House) pb $30.00
In this sweeping tragicomic memoir, von Bremzen recreates seven decades of the Soviet experience. She reconstructs a moving family history spanning three generations through the filter of food and cooking. As Anya and her mother cook their way through the history of the Soviet Union, she brings history and culture to the table in an intensely immediate and personal way.
Philip Hoare (Fourth Estate) pb $35.00
The author of Leviathan, a wondrous book about whales which won the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, continues his maritime exploration with a book that is part bestiary, part memoir, and part travelogue. Philip Hoare’s enthusiasm for this salty subject is infectious and his observations are always interesting as he travels from the south coast of England to Banks Peninsula.
Jay Harman (Allen & Unwin) pb $37.00
Biomimicry is the mimicking of life or nature using science in action. The Shark’s Paintbrush reveals how nature is inspiring design to be more efficient, effective, resilient and beautiful. Jay introduces us to pioneers who are making technological breakthroughs by uncovering and copying nature’s hidden marvels and technologies, while preserving the planet and maximising sustainability.
Jim Baggott (Murdoch) pb $37.00
This unusual exploration of theoretical physics asks startling questions about the relationship between science, self-promotion and spin. Are invisible holograms and imaginary cats really the building blocks of the cosmos? Or are they a retreat from the provability and materialism which underlie scientific tradition? Farewell to Reality challenges prevailing wisdom to illustrate the difference between explication and obfuscation.
Douglas Smith (Pan) pb $28.00
Douglas Smith illuminates the history of the Russian aristocrats, caught in the Bolshevik Revolution and the creation of Stalin’s Russia. Smith’s well researched and substantial account of two grand old families is also a dramatic portrait of their homeland during a time of violent change. Epic, intimate and heart-breaking.
Bill Bryson (Doubleday) hb $55.00
The ever-engaging Bill Bryson takes us back in time to the American summer of 1927, and the end of the provocative “Roaring Twenties”. Focusing on encounters with larger than life characters like baseball legend Babe Ruth, high-flying Charles Lindbergh, and the infamous Al Capone, One Summer is an educational and engaging romp through an exciting American year.
Richard Dawkins (Bantam) pb $40.00
Richard Dawkins is, and always will be, controversial. Here he takes us on a personal journey ranging from his childhood days spent exploring his exotic surroundings in Africa to Oxford where his opinions were formed. Filled with anecdotes of family, friends and inspirational mentors, An Appetite for Wonder allows anyone interested in Dawkins to see the man behind the persona.
Simon Schama (Bodley Head) pb $40.00
A total history of Jewish religion and culture will inevitably be a tour de force, and Simon Schama’s work exemplifies this. Spanning across the birth of the religion, the nomadic nature of the search for a homeland, to great hardship and great accomplishment; Story of the Jews illustrates a strength, gravity and exuberance that only a history traversing millennia can develop.
Mark Cocker (Vintage) hb $105.00
Celebrated nature writer Mark Cocker has created a definitive and ground-breaking book exploring humankind’s relationship with birds. This spectacular work includes anecdotes from over 600 people, 81 different nationalities, and is coupled with David Tipling’s renowned photography. Birds & People is a vast and visually stunning documentation that celebrates the diverse roles that birds play in our lives.
Berthould & Elderkin (Text) pb $40.00
An apple a day will keep the doctor away, but on the other hand (or: with a tome in one hand) a book can solve your ailments. Broken hearts, loneliness, stress: the authors take you on a literary journey through the works of Hemingway, Austen and Murakami displaying a deft touch in the search for fulfillment through the written word.
Richard King (Scribe) pb $35.00
On Offence explores how changing social perceptions of emotion and argument have given rise to a situation where hurt feelings and apologies have become powerful tools in a diminished political vocabulary. From religion to censorship and social media, On Offence surveys an anguished discursive landscape and imagines how a more reasoned politics might be brought about.
George Monbiot (Allen Lane) hb $50.00
George Monbiot has long been one of our strongest communicators on issues of society and the environment. In Feral, he tackles the vexed question of ecology’s forward trajectory; where are the spaces and situations where wildness can prevail within a more-developed world? As always, Monbiot asks questions which are both revealing and unexpected, challenging the assumptions which support the status quo.
Rebecca Solnit (Granta) hb $40.00
One summer, Rebecca Solnit was bequeathed a hundred pounds of apricots. The fruit came from a tree that her mother, gradually succumbing to memory loss, could no longer tend to. From this unexpected inheritance came stories. As she looks back on the year of apricots and emergencies, Solnit weaves her own story into fairytales and the lives of others.
Artemis Cooper (John Murray) pb $30.00
In an age appearing to celebrate mediocrity, it’s refreshing to recall the robustness of character. Paddy, to his friends, was a polymath performing impromptu sonnets or translating P. G. Wodehouse into Greek with equal facility; a spy, theologian and gigolo. That Artemis Cooper knew him adds depth to the telling of Fermor’s story, while resisting the temptation to beatify the dead.
David Kynaston (Bloomsbury) hb $50.00
Modernity Britain describes a transitional period between two well-documented eras, investigating the ‘quiet moment’ between post-war austerity and the social upheavals of the 1960s. Kynaston delves into the changing cultural and home lives of Britons at a time when new questions were being asked and old answers questioned amid growing prosperity, expanding horizons and expanding dissatisfaction.
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
Various (Bloomsbury) hb $40.00
Last played in 1912, The Authors Cricket XI was made up of the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle and J.M. Barrie and played against teams of publishers and actors. Resurrected for one season, each team member writes on various aspects of the game from scoring, women in cricket and the sound of leather on willow.
Jeremy Seal (Vintage) pb $28.00
From ancient Phrygia to the Aegean Sea, the snaking narrow river Buyuk Menderes (Maeander) is explored by Jeremy Seal in his one-man canoe; travelling 548 kilometres and eight millennia in one month. Along its banks Seal explores the past in evidence alongside the 21st century. Perfect for wet weekends when a bit of gentle IQ reading is desired.
Simon Winder (Picador) pb $40.00
In his latest offering, Simon Winder turns his finely sharpened pencil toward Mittel Europe. From 1278 until a 1918 assassination on a Sarajevo bridge, various scions of this Austrian family ruled and, like all families, had their share of loonies and legends. Mirth, mayhem and derring-do abound in this hilarious retelling of nearly 700 years of history.
Robert Macfarlane (Penguin) pb $30.00
Robert Macfarlane is a highly skilled writer and The Old Ways demonstrates his parallel expertise as a rambler and a dweller in special places. Walking along Britain’s ancient paths from his home in Cambridge, Macfarlane uses his journey as an exercise in noticing and wondering, painting vivid pictures of Britain’s history and nature. Perfect deep-focus for the bus-ride home!
Douglas Hurd & Edward Young (Weidenfeld & Nicholson) hb $60.00
A UK Prime Minister on two separate occasions, this book explores the personal as well as the political aspects of Benjamin Disraeli’s life, a man who, despite his political successes, had not originally intended on pursuing public office. An examination of his impressive ascent to power, this new biography reveals Disraeli as an incomparable wit and politician of remarkably disparate beliefs.
Chinua Achebe (Penguin) pb $30.00
Acclaimed author, the late Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart) relives the Nigerian Civil War, a war that ripped apart the earth, bodies and minds of his homeland. Poetry, history and memoir bind from a silence that spanned over 40 years. This is the record of an author at their most brave, vulnerable and explosive.
David Mackintosh (HarperCollins) hb $30.00
Lincoln Green has created a doppelganger for all the boring things he doesn’t want to do; after all, there are far more important things to do than chores! His double doesn’t particularly enjoy doing these things either, and now he’s found it is a lot more fun teaming up with Billy the kid next door than doing things for Lincoln Green…
Drew Daywalt (HarperCollins) hb $30.00
When Duncan opens his box of crayons, he only finds letters, all saying the same thing: ‘We quit!’ Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown; Blue needs a break; Green has no complaints; and Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking to each other. What is Duncan to do? A concept clever enough to entice Oliver Jeffers to illustrate the book.
Anouck Boisrobert & Louis Rigaud (Tate) hb $44.00
On the sailboat Oceano we are taken on a journey across the surface of the world, but the focus of this new pop-up book by two award-winning illustrators is: what is underneath? Prepare to be amazed as the depths of the ocean leap out. A great family gift that will be appreciated by younger and older readers alike.
David Levithan (Text) pb $26.00
An established hero of Queer YA literature, David Levithan’s latest will be published on the 10-year anniversary of his debut novel Boy Meets Boy. Two 17-year-olds are about to take part in a 32-hour kissing marathon to set a new record. Their stand becomes a focal point for other individuals who are slowly growing up and finding themselves. A teen novel with verve.
Elizabeth Knox (Gecko) pb $30.00
Elizabeth Knox returns to Southland in her latest novel of magic and mystery. Aided by her big brother and his (very opinionated) girlfriend, Canny sets off to investigate a mining disaster. The team soon find themselves in a village populated by children who all share the same surname and all have magic abilities. This is consummate fantasy storytelling from one of New Zealand’s best.
David Hill (Penguin) pb $20.00
Another captivating historical read from novelist David Hill. On Boy Seaman, a New Zealand Navy frigate during the Korean War, Russell Purchas is determined to prove he can be brave when it comes to battle with the Communists. But he is about to find that courage isn’t just about being a conquering hero.
Komako Sakai (Gecko) pb $20.00
In this simply told and beautifully illustrated picture book, night-time is no longer painted as scary, but a wonderful world to be explored. Hannah wakes one evening and, with her cat Shiro, finds that night is a place of adventure, a place where she can do as she pleases. A place with no one awake to tell her off…
Jonathan Stroud (Doubleday) pb $28.00
London has a problem: It is being haunted by a host of unfriendly ghosts, ghouls and other nasty creatures of the night. Only the city’s children have the psychic presence to tackle them. Join Lockwood & Co. once again in this thrilling mystery adventure that will keep you reading well into the night.
Anna Benaroya (Thames & Hudson) hb $50.00
Illustration Next is an authoritative overview of today’s leading edge visual communication. Combining a survey of the moment’s most exciting studios and designers with a suite of specially commissioned collaborative images, Illustration Next also extends the domain it describes so well, contextualising beautiful and inspiring work alongside the latest in design criticism.
Thomas Pavitte (Ilex) pb $26.00
A dot-to-dot book like no other. An entertaining way to while away a leisurely afternoon, make your boredom creative and connect some impressive dots. It is indeed a dot-to-dot coloring book, but the iconic images are made to appeal to the young at heart, and there’s no shame in that!
Marian Bantjes (Thames & Hudson) hb $110.00
A roughly chronological canon of Marian Bantjes much sought-after work as a legendary graphic designer, this new publication covers her early work as a typesetter and her adoption of progressive digital technologies. At 272 pages this will be a great addition to any designer’s collection, whether for inspiration or appreciation.