(all general books are sent freight free within NZ)
Wellington Literary Happenstance & New Books
Writers & Readers: The next week is rich in books and authors with the Writer & Readers Festival having kicked off on the 9th, there really are some fantastic visiting writers – check out the line-up on their website.
“In the tradition of the German Literaturhäuser, the Temporary Literaturhaus will focus on innovative programming, moving away from conventional readings to focus on “live” literature and providing a welcoming and stimulating atmosphere for people to engage in the wider conversation about literature, translation and books.”
The Listener Book Club: Booksellers NZ and The Listener have created this online book club, tune into the podcast, check out the Facebook page or flick to the website. S.J. Watson’s ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ is the first book, and Jennifer Egan and Emily Perkins are the next in line.
March Non-Fiction at vicbooks
by Susan Orlean, TP, $36.99
Susan Orlean, New Yorker staff writer and author of The Orchid Thief chronicles the rise of the iconic German shepherd Rin Tin Tin, tracing his history from the fields of WWI to the canine performer in the 1950s television show.
At its core, Rin Tin Tin is a poignant exploration of the enduring bond between humans and animals. It is also a richly textured history of twentieth-century entertainment and entrepreneurship. It spans ninety years and explores everything from the shift in status of dogs from working farmhands to beloved family members, from the birth of obedience training to the evolution of dog breeding, from the rise of Hollywood to the past and present of dogs in war. Filled with humor and heart and moments that will move you to tears, Susan Orlean’s first original book since The Orchid Thief is an irresistible blend of history, human interest, and masterful storytelling. “A dazzling celebration of a great American dog by one of our most gifted writers” – The Washington Post.
by Susan Cain, TP, $37
“Once in a blue moon, a book comes along that gives us startling new insights. QUIET is that book: part page-turner, part cutting-edge science, it will change the way you see yourself, other people, and the world.This charming, gracefully written, thoroughly researched book is simply masterful.” – Adam Grant
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She questions the dominant values of business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.
by Katie Dailey, PB, $19.99
How do you combat helmet hair? Wearing a skirt without losing your dignity? What are your pimp your ride options? This may be the book for those of you rediscovering the magic of your bicycle.
Learning to ride a bike is easy, but getting back on one if you’re over the age of 12 – and have developed a penchant for high heels – can be a daunting task. In Heels on Wheels Katie Dailey offers sage advice to the modern gal who would like to get back in the saddle after a short (or very long) hiatus. Find out how to choose your trusty steed, stay safe on the road, Fix a puncture and select the best lock for your bicycle. So whether you plan on being a weekend cruiser, or a riding-in-all-elements fanatic, Heels on Wheels will make you fall in love with cycling all over again.
by Michael Hastings, TP, $39.99
General Stanley McChrystal, the innovative, forward-thinking commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was living large. During a spring 2010 trip across Europe to garner additional allied help for the war effort, McChrystal was accompanied by journalist Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone. For days, Hastings looked on as McChrystal and his staff let off steam, partying and openly bashing the Obama administration for what they saw as a lack of leadership. When Hastings’s piece appeared a few months later, it set off a political firestorm: McChrystal was ordered to Washington, where he was fired unceremoniously.
In The Operators, Hastings picks up where his Rolling Stone coup ended. He gives us a shocking behind-the-scenes portrait of our military commanders, their high-stakes maneuvers and often bitter bureaucratic infighting. Hastings takes us on patrol missions in the Afghan hinterlands, to late-night bull sessions of senior military advisors, to hotel bars where spies and expensive hookers participate in nation-building gone awry. And as he weighs the merits and failings of old-school generals and the so-called COINdinistas-the counterintelligence experts-Hastings draws back the curtain on a hellish complexity and, he fears, an unwinnable war.
by William Gibson, TP, $37
‘The future’s already here: it’s just not evenly distributed’
William Gibson was writing fiction when he predicted the internet. And as his stories bled into reality so he became one of the first to report on the real-world consequences of cyberspace’s growth and development.
Now, with the dust settling on the first internet revolution, comes Gibson’s first collection of non-fiction – essays from the technological and cultural frontiers of this new world.
Amongst the variety of subjects covered, are:
Metrophagy – the Art and Science of Digesting Great Cities
An account of obsession in ‘the world’s attic’ – eBay
Reasons why ‘The Net is a Waste of Time’
Singapore as ‘Disneyland with the Death Penalty’
A primer on Japan, our default setting for the future
These and many other pieces, collected for the first time in Distrust that Particular Flavour, are studded with revealing autobiographical fragments and map the development of Gibson’s acute perceptions about modern life.
Here then is a guide to the new territory we find ourselves in – written by one of its discoverers.
‘A terrific writer. Gibson is a prophet and a satirist, a black comedian and an astounding architect of cool. He’s also responsible for much of the world we live in.’ – Spectator
by Caitlin Moran, PB, $27.99
“It’s a good time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven’t been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain… Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should we use Botox? Do men secretly hate us? And why does everyone ask you when you’re going to have a baby?”
Moran excels as a comic writer, taking societal pieties and inverting them in such a way as to make them gut wrenchingly funny. Nothing is too personal in her memoir-manifesto: masturbation, periods, snogs, bras, childbirth and abortion all make it, but there’s a sensibility and intelligence in her writing that’s rare. Her account of the birth of her first child is mind-boggling and nerve-racking, yet funny and beautifully described (especially the pain – good lord, the pain), with her husband’s proxy suffering offering a wonderful comparative experience.
The book is part memoir, part rant and part commentary, yet all of it is intelligent and truly, deeply, worryingly funny.
by the Dalai Lama, HB, $37.99
His Holiness enters the contemporary debate about religion vs atheism, and returns to the theme of ethics with a major new work: Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World. In this thought-provoking new book he argues that religion is not a necessity for pursuing a spiritual life. Rather, focusing on tolerance and understanding between religions, as well as tolerance and understanding between believers (of any faith) and non-believers is the way forward. The way to achieve such an approach, he proposes, is through a system of secular ethics grounded in a deep appreciation of our common humanity.
Aimed particularly at the general reader, Beyond Religion: Ethics and Happiness in a Global World is a modern-day polemic which outlines those ethics he believes should be central to our lives.
by Wael Ghonin, TP, $36.99
On the 25th of January 2011, a call for people to protest against the Egyptian government appeared on Facebook. ‘We are all Khaled Said’ was set up by Wael Ghonim. He wanted it to be a focal point for ordinary Egyptians to express their anger at the killing of a young student, and transform the feeling of injustice into a peaceful protest that brought people out onto the streets of Cairo.
But two days later, as the number of people in the streets grew, Wael disappeared. After 11 days in captivity, when he was finally released by Egyptian state security, he went straight on to Egyptian television to try and mobilise the people, and stood up in Tahrir Square to tell thousands of Egyptians ‘this is not the time for individuals, parties or movements. It’s time for all of us to say one thing: Egypt above all.’
In REVOLUTION 2.0 Wael gives his unique insight into Egypt’s history – how it shaped his life, and thousands like him. It introduces the problems and injustice of Egyptian politics before the revolution, and tells the full story of Wael’s journey – from ‘We are all Khaled Said’ to Wael’s imprisonment by State Security, and the last triumphant days of the revolution.