The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays: Albert Camus
Camus’ essays are brilliant philosophical enquiries into life written through complex literary frames and drawing on human warmth and wit.
This write-up in the Telegraph for the centenary of his birthday explains his play with the absurd: “The essays are some of the clearest expressions of Camus’ arguments. The Myth of Sisyphus, which at around 130 pages is similar in length to The Outsider, introduces Camus’s interest in the absurd: the futility of a search for meaning in an incomprehensible world, and how humans might deal with the hostile realities of life.
Camus’s theories on the absurd became so widely admired that he reportedly stopped using the phrase ‘that’s absurd’ in conversation, as people kept thinking he was making a subtle philosophical point.”
#libreriarecommends #libtryptich #camusreview #telegraphreviews #sisyphushadahardtime
The Plague: Albert Camus
We were so happy to have found this gorgeous copy of ‘The Plague’. It’s an important read and one of the greatest allegorical portraits of small-town contagion and fear.
Acclaimed writer Marina Warner recounts her return to the book and its timeless ability to comment on human nature: “Far from being a study in existential disaffection, as I had so badly misremembered, The Plague is about courage, about engagement, about paltriness and generosity, about small heroism and large cowardice, and about all kinds of profoundly humanist problems, such as love and goodness, happiness and mutual connection. Camus published the novel in 1947 and his town’s sealed city gates embody the borders imposed by the Nazi occupation, while the ethical choices of its inhabitants build a dramatic representation of the different positions taken by the French. He etches with his sharp, implacable burin questions that need to be faced now more than ever in the resistance to terrorism. Perhaps even more than when La Peste was published, the novel works with the stuff of fear and shame, with bonds that tie and antagonisms that sever.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #marinawarner #camusreview #guardianreviews
Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life: Peter Godfrey-Smith
We’ve always had a thing for cephalopods at Libreria. Godfrey-Smith’s detailed examination finally gives these fantastic creatures the attention they deserve.
Acclaimed biographer and aqua enthusiast Philip Hoare reviews ‘Other Minds’ for the Guardian:“Godfrey-Smith’s interest in octopuses goes beyond the academic. An experienced scuba diver, his empathy is a product of personal observation, mostly in the Pacific Ocean close to Sydney, where he teaches. It is this that makes him ask what it feels like to be an octopus. Consciousness is required to perform novel acts – beyond routine or instinct. Octopuses will manipulate half-coconut shells in ways that suggest they are investigating the shapes as much as using them. They play; they recognise individuals (both human and octopus); and, like us, they exhibit qualities of caution and recklessness as they intuit the world.
Returning again and again to his many-armed friends in their Octopolis off the Australian shore, Godfrey-Smith evokes a cephalopod utopia. In the process, he proves that, like all aliens, these strange, beautiful creatures are more like us than our hubris allows. Only evolutionary chance separates us. After all, as he concludes, ‘When you dive into the sea, you are diving into the origin of us all.’” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #guardianreviews #cephalopodsareprobablylordsofusall #deepbluesea
10:04: Ben Lerner
Ben Lerner’s skill lies in his brilliant marriage of external and internal human interactions. Anyone who has read Lerner’s clever second novel remembers the opening chapter and the narrator’s fraught description of eating baby octopuses.
This review for NPR explores the octopus image as central to the structure of the novel: “Here is a snippet where our narrator describes New York City girding for Hurricane Irene. Note how octopuses and aortas swirl into the hurricane update in this passage: ‘From a million media, most of them handheld, awareness of the storm seeped into the city, entering the architecture and … inflecting traffic patterns … I mean the city was becoming one organism, constituting itself in relation to a threat viewable from space, an aerial sea monster with a single centered eye around which tentacular rain bands swelled. There were myriad apps to track it … the same technology they’d utilized to measure the velocity of blood flow through my arteries.’ … The final scene of this novel, where our narrator and his pregnant close friend walk through a blacked-out Lower Manhattan as Hurricane Sandy bears down, is as beautiful and moving as any of the tributes to New York written by other famous literary ‘walkers in the city,’ like Walt Whitman and Alfred Kazin, who are presiding presences here. 10:04 is a strange and spectacular novel. Don’t even worry about classifying it; just let Lerner’s language sweep you off your feet.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #benlerner #nprreviews #ivegottostopeatingdeliciousdeliciousoctopus
Democracy, A Life: Paul Cartledge
Paul Cartledge shares his abundant knowledge and love of ancient Greece in this informed and engaging book. No bookshelf should be without it.
The review from Kirkus Reviews shows how insightful and surprising Cartledge’s study is:
“The author stresses the difference between the direct and representative forms of government, noting how population numbers preclude direct participation in modern times. By 30 B.C.E., the Romans had engulfed the Hellenistic world, stamped out her democratic institutions, and set the tone for political life until the 18th century. Democracy was effectively shunted aside as the Catholic Church and feudalism dictated the divinely ordered power of kings and lords. Moving onward toward the Enlightenment, we find so many of the same arguments among Rousseau, Voltaire, Burke, and Thomas Paine, where men want equality, as long as some are more equal than others.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #kirkusreviews #welovedemocracy #votingmakesyousexy
Addlands: Tom Bullough
Bullough’s novel is a loving portrait of loss, change and the bitter-sweet nature of ‘progress’. Stuart Kelly reviews it for the Spectator: “The novel has an elegant structural conceit. It begins in 1941, with Oliver being born and his father telling the midwife that ‘I had best fodder the beasts, I had’, then cycles through the decades to conclude in 2011. At the same time, the individual chapters inch through the seasons, from ‘cloud-scratched skies’ back to the ‘pearl-like’ mistletoe. Newspaper cuttings intersperse the text, as neat little indicators of social change. […] One of the most impressive features of the book is how language changes. It is like an incarnation of the argument put forward in Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks. In the opening chapter we get ‘whilcar’, ‘fescue’, ‘copps’, ‘reens’, ‘glat’, ‘tump’ and ‘flem’. ‘Addlands’ itself means the border of a ploughed field, the part done last — and this is a novel of last things. In the final chapter we get ‘Whazzup (-;’. The lilt and timbre of spoken voices is handled beautifully, but even here what is distinctive is gradually eroded.”
#libreriarecommends #libtryptich #spectatorreviews #beautifulborderlands #countrybumpkins
Commonwealth: Ann Patchett
By turns funny and furious, we loved how Patchett swept us along with her deft prose and brilliant dialogue.
Ron Charles, writing for the Washington Post, explains Patchett’s skill with narrative form: “In someone else’s hands, ‘Commonwealth’ would be a saga, a sprawling chronicle of events and relationships spread out over dozens of chapters. But Patchett is daringly elliptical here. Not only are decades missing, but they’re also out of order. We’re not so much told this story as allowed to listen in from another room as a door swings open and closed. When that door opens again in Chapter 2, Franny is taking her elderly father to chemo. By now, the divorces sparked by an illicit kiss at her christening are history, but the adult children of the Keating and Cousins families are still living amid the wreckage of their parents’ broken and reconstituted marriages.”
#libreriarecommends #libtryptich #washintonpostreviews #annpatchett #theyf**kyouupyourmumanddad
The Editorial Magazine
Our friends at @antennebooks introduced us to the wonderfully whacky Editorial magazine. This independently published, Montreal based magazine is jam-packed with original content, riotous colour and comes with a riso insert by @clayhickson What’s not to love?
Here’s what VICE’s Amelia Abraham had to say about the magazine: “The Editorial Magazine’s message is cryptic. They publish almost every kind of work conceivable, from fashion editorials to amateur photography to excellent photography to poetry to essays to interviews to paintings to that CGI art everyone’s always arguing about. There are very few adverts. They’re open to subscriptions but without guidelines.
One of the best Editorial features I read was in Issue #12 , and it was an interview with Hollywood stuntwoman and photographer Hannah Kozak, who talked about throwing punches and leaping out of buildings. Kozak had been sneaking onto sets and shooting the world of Hollywood make-believe since before she was actually invited onto them as a stunt double, and shared some of her candid portraits with Editorial, including those of Nicholas Cage and Isabella Rossellini on the set of David Lynch’s Wild at Heart.
This got me thinking; The Editorial Magazine is kind of Lynchian. And maybe that’s all it needs to be, an intriguing series of timeless images with no collective thread.”
Background image credit: Tan and Loose Press / Clay Hickson
#Theeditorialmagazine #editorialmagazine #Libtriptych #libreriarecommends #magazines #independentpublishing
Cause & Effect Magazine
We discovered Cause & Effect this week and were immediately taken by it. Inclusive, ethical, political, and diverse – it is a refreshing rebuff to the fashion industry, challenging norms and showcasing cultural diversity on every page.
Here’s what i-D magazine have to say about Cause & Effect: “A hardback, soft-paged creation of beauty, the magazine raises a middle finger to the whitewashed, male-dominated, and slightly deranged political climate of now. It shifts the focus onto marginalized communities and places them center stage. As the brainchild of Saudi Arabian editor-in-chief Amnah Hafez and Tom Rasmussen, Cause & Effect doesn’t tiptoe around race, gender, and sexuality like most mainstream magazines do, but, instead, embraces the topics as its chief matters.
Issue One took almost a year to put together and you can immediately see why: the magazine’s long-reads and think pieces sensitively tackle issues around body image, HIV activism, and what goes on in the wardrobe of a leather fetishist. Then there’s the contributor list, a roll call for some of the most exciting people in fashion and art right now: Vince Larubina is senior fashion editor, Nadine Ijewere, Thurstan Redding, and Gwénaëlle Trannoy head editorial photography, and the mag’s cover stars include NYC voguing legend and portrait photographer Kia LaBeija and bad boy designer Walter Van Beirendonck.”
Background image credit: Hatty Carman
#Cause&Effect #Libtriptych #libreriarecommends #magazines #independentpublishing #queer #diversity #political #ethical #inclusive @causeandeffectmag
Ada Twist, Scientist: Andrea Beaty & David Roberts
Along with ‘Rosie Revere, Engineer’ and ‘Iggy Peck, Architect’, ‘Ada Twist’ is a bright and dynamic look at the curiosity of youth, and a moral lesson for those who try to stifle it. “Ada amazes her friends with her experiments. She examines all the clocks in the house, studies the solar system, and analyzes all the smells she encounters. Fortunately, her parents stop her from putting the cat in the dryer, sending her instead to the Thinking Chair. But while there, she covers the wall with formulae. What can her parents do? Instead of punishing her passion, they decide to try to understand it. ‘It’s all in the heart of a young scientist.’ […] Beaty delightfully advocates for girls in science in her now-trademark crisply rhyming text. Roberts’ illustrations, in watercolor, pen, and ink, manage to be both smart and silly; the page compositions artfully evoke the tumult of Ada’s curiosity, filling white backgrounds with questions and clutter.” Read the full review on Kirkus here: http://bit.ly/2qgFHUj
#libreriarecommends #libtryptich #hurrahforcuriousgirlsandwomen #kirkusreviews
Image credit: Ana Galvan
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: Favilli & Cavallo
It’s been called the feminist bedtime story book you’ll wish you had growing up, but it’s also a fantastically illustrated tour through incredible moments of history. Not just for girls but certainly for rebels, the stories are so exciting that I’m not sure they’re conducive to sleepiness…: “From ancient philosophers to modern sports stars there is real richness to the nationalities, ethnicities and professions of these inspirational role models. Much of the charm is in the juxtapositions: queens sit alongside activists, ballerinas with lawyers, pirates and computer scientists, weight lifters and inventors, creating a thrilling sense of possibility. The biographies share a lyrical, fairytale lilt. ‘There was a time when only boys could be whatever they wanted,’ in Hillary Clinton’s case. The stories are not sugar-coated, and the emphasis is on overcoming obstacles and persevering, the book’s dedication page urging readers to ‘dream bigger, aim higher, fight harder’.” Read the full review and story of the kickstarter campaign here: http://bit.ly/2qqhcjG
#libreriarecommends #libtryptich #hurrahforrebelgirlsandwomen #guardianreviews #kickstartercampaigns
Image credit: Zozia Dzierzawska
Cain: Luke Kennard
A brilliant work of rich intertextuality, ‘Cain’ is Kennard’s latest offering and as usual pries apart the definitions of genre to reveal something deliciously new and spicy. Phil Brown talks it up on the Huffington Post blog: “Kennard’s poetry has always hinged on the tension of self-aware, deconstructive wit undermining the desire to achieve emotional honesty. From his debut collection onwards, Kennard’s most entertaining works often read like an esoteric, polysyllabic riff on the antagonism between ventriloquist and dummy. His previous creations include the recurring character of ‘The Wolf’, the sadistic social worker in ‘The Murderer’ and the asylum-bound poet in ‘Planet Shaped Horse’, all of whom represent the internal bickering which plagues the creative process […] Like listening to John Berryman’s The Dream Songs being remixed by Stewart Lee, Kennard elevates himself, his craft and his peers by masterfully undermining them.” Read the full review here: http://huff.to/2oTf1UN
#libreriarecommends #libtryptich #pennedinthemargins #lukekennard #whenwilllukekennardtakeaholiday
Ticker-Tape: Rishi Dastidar
Rishi Dastidar, rising star of the contemporary poetry scene, has really hit his stride with this collection. It oscillates between a smart otherworldliness and a colloquial personal voice. Interviewed here for the Asian Writer Magazine he talks about his first brush with poetry: “Q. Where did your journey of writing poetry begin?
Very atypically, I can pinpoint an exact moment where I had a damascene conversion – where poetry very suddenly entered my life properly, for the first time. Back in about 2008 I was in the big Borders on Oxford Street in London, idly browsing – I’d just got back from a weekend away in Berlin, and was looking for a book, to ‘commemorate’ the weekend, as it were. I was in that state of drifting, not really concentrating, and I found myself in the poetry section; on display was ‘Ashes for Breakfast’ by the German poet Durs Grünbein, in a translation by Michael Hofmann. I started flicking through it… and it was like a light going on. I was transfixed – not just by the sheer sensation of, ‘My God, words can do this?’ but the sudden sense of ‘Wow, this is the stuff I want to be writing. Why did no one tell me this existed before?’ In my memory, I think I booked myself on an Introduction to writing poetry course at City Lit the day after. There might actually have been a few months in between, but hey!, that’s not as good a story.” Read the full interview here: http://bit.ly/2pJd0PS
#libreriarecommends #libtryptich #rishidastidar #onedayillhavemyowntickertapeparade #poems
Versailles: Yannick Hill
And for brand new fiction that beautifully presents the complexities of utopian/dystopian fiction look no further than this gripping debut novel from Yannick Hill, reviewed in The Irish Times:
“Casey Baer is chief executive of the world’s largest social network: “All he ever wanted was a family to love and love him right back.” But passion has mutated into obsessive control, and Versailles, the beachfront mansion with 100 rooms, where his wife and two children could “have everything they wanted”, has instead become a fortress where 1,000 cameras record every moment of their lives.
Casey’s American dream is turning to nightmare on the first page as his daughter, Missy, flees Versailles on her 16th birthday. She knows that “Missy Baer #Running Away . . . is a story that would break the internet”, but Missy has deleted her online profile and cut loose from her millions of followers. For the first time in her life she discovers the joy of privacy, the thrill of experience that goes unrecorded except in memory.
Versailles is a beautifully imagined version of a world we already inhabit, where our love affair with technology is transforming the human experience.” Read the full review here: http://bit.ly/2ph2NpJ
#libreriarecommends #libtryptich #utopiadystopia #newshelfnewshelfnewshelf #versailles
Utopia for Realists: Rutger Bregman “Rutger Bregman is a 28-year-old Dutchman whose book, Utopia for Realists, has taken Holland by storm and could yet revitalise progressive thought around the globe. His solutions are quite simple and staunchly set against current trends: we should institute a universal basic income for everyone that covers minimum living expenses – say around £12,000 a year; the working week should be shortened to 15 hours; borders should be opened and migrants allowed to move wherever they choose.
If that all sounds like fantasy politics, then Bregman has assembled a wealth of empirical evidence to make his case. Better than that, though, it is not a dry, statistical analysis – although he doesn’t shy from solid data – but a book written with verve, wit and imagination. The effect is charmingly persuasive, even when you can’t quite believe what you’re reading.” Read the full article here:http://bit.ly/2omc56C
#libreriarecommends #libtryptich #utopiadystopia #newshelfnewshelfnewshelf #guardianreviews
Machiavelli: A Portrait – Christopher S. Celenza
With so many new books out on Machiavelli some may be wondering what all the fuss is about. This New York Times opinion piece succinctly illustrates why the great mover and shaker of Renaissance Italy is as relevant now as he’s ever been:
“Machiavelli has long been called a teacher of evil. But the author of ‘The Prince’ never urged evil for evil’s sake. The proper aim of a leader is to maintain his state (and, not incidentally, his job). Politics is an arena where following virtue often leads to the ruin of a state, whereas pursuing what appears to be vice results in security and well-being. In short, there are never easy choices, and prudence consists of knowing how to recognize the qualities of the hard decisions you face and choosing the less bad as what is the most good.
Those of us who see the world, if not in Manichaean, at least in Hollywoodian terms, will recoil at such claims. Perhaps we are right to do so, but we would be wrong to dismiss them out of hand. If Machiavelli’s teaching concerning friends and allies in politics is deeply disconcerting, it is because it goes to the bone of our religious convictions and moral conventions. This explains why he remains as reviled, but also as revered, today as he was in his own age.
Read the full review here: http://nyti.ms/1j0jjFl
#libreriarecommends #libtryptich #bigboysoftherenaissance #newyorktimesreviews #everymanforhimself
Montaigne: A Life – Philippe Desan
Adam Gopnik writing in the New Yorker critique’s Desan’s new biography of the influential writer and thinker Montaigne:
“‘Que sais-je?’ ‘What do I know?’ was Montaigne’s beloved motto, meaning: What do I really know? And what do we really know about him now? We may vaguely know that he was the first essayist, that he retreated from the world into a tower on the family estate to think and reflect, and that he wrote about cannibals (for them) and about cruelty (against it). He was considered by Claude Lévi-Strauss, no less, to be the first social scientist, and a pioneer of relativism—he thought that those cannibals were just as virtuous as the Europeans they offended, that customs vary equably from place to place. Though some of his aphorisms have stuck, both funny (Doctors ‘are lucky: the sun shines on their successes and the earth hides their failures’) and profound (‘We are, I know not how, double in ourselves, so that what we believe we disbelieve, and cannot rid ourselves of what we condemn’), he is not really an aphorist. He is, we think, a philosopher, and somehow accounted the father of modern liberalism, though he was aristocratic in self-presentation. We think of him, above all, as we do of Thomas More: a nice guy, an ideal intellect. S. N. Behrman, the American playwright and diarist, began but never finished a heroic play about Montaigne called ‘The Many Men,’ which might have sealed him as the man for all seasons before the other guy got there.” Read the full review here: http://bit.ly/2icRdN8
#libreriarecommends #libtryptich #bigboysoftherenaissance #newyorkerreviews #aintnomontaignehighenough
Wanderlust: Rebecca Solnit
The Kirkus brilliantly summarises what makes Solnit such a capacious writer. She’s one of our favourite intellectuals and oddballs:
“Moving with ease from discussions of early hominid skeletal structure to the place of wandering on foot in the development of the Romantic poetic sensibility, Solnit embraces nature and culture alike in this vigorous look at all things peripatetic. Walking, she observes, is good for us humans, and not only for the exercise it affords; it also “allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them.” Her portraits of famous walkers of city streets and rural byways alike—Henry Thoreau, John Muir, Aristotle, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Charles Baudelaire among them—suggest that the best thinking is indeed done, as Saint Jerome observed, by walking around; the author’s remarks on the history of pilgrimage show the importance of peregrination in contemplative spiritual traditions. And Solnit’s own memoirs of wandering on foot across the hills of California and England and down the busy streets of Europe’s great capitals—and, in a particularly inspired turn, along the Las Vegas Strip—offer inspiration and succor to anyone who rails against the soulless supremacy of automobiles in the modern age. Walking alone can mark a person as an oddball, she observes (especially if, like the French poet Gerard de Nerval, the walker chooses a lobster on a leash as a strolling companion). And walking alone can mark a woman as a potential victim or a prostitute, with all the attendant perils. Even so, the careful reader, duly warned, will emerge from Solnit’s pages moved to wander. Full of learned asides and juicy historical tidbits: a fine addition to the literature of rambling.” Read the full review here:http://bit.ly/2nSfUA8
#Wanderlust #rebeccasolnit #kirkusreviews #walkingandthinking #whoneedsapedometer #libreriarecommends #libtriptych #libreria
Rings of Saturn: W.G. Sebald
Sebald’s best known work opens as “the dog days were coming to an end” and takes the reader on a physical and intellectual journey that examines the whole spectrum of human experience. Mark O’Connell explores Sebald’s incredible legacy a decade after his sudden death. He writes: “Reading [Sebald] is a wonderfully disorienting experience, not least because of the odd, invigorating uncertainty as to what it is, precisely, we are reading. His books occupy an unsettled, disputed territory on the border of fiction and fact, and this generic ambivalence is mirrored in the protean movements of his prose. Often what is on the page, the writing itself, gives the impression of being only the faint, flickering shadow of its actual referent. What Sebald seems to be writing about, in other words, is frequently not what he wants us to be thinking about.
The psychoanalyst Adam Phillips’s claim that “Sebald is more like a new kind of historian than a new kind of novelist” might be too provocative for its own good, but it is an indication of the extent to which his work has yet to be placed within a secure canonical niche. The books are fascinating for the way they inhabit their own self-determined genre, but that’s not ultimately why they are essential reading. There is a moral magnitude and a weary, melancholy wisdom in Sebald’s writing that transcends the literary and attains something like an oracular register. Reading him feels like being spoken to in a dream. He does away with the normal proceedings of narrative fiction—plot, characterization, events leading to other events—so that what we get is the unmediated expression of a pure and seemingly disembodied voice. That voice is an extraordinary presence in contemporary literature, and it may be another decade before the magnitude—and the precise nature—of its utterances are fully realized.” Read the full article here from the New Yorker: http://bit.ly/1yqhcfm
#Walkingwithsebald #leavingdogdaysbehind #writingandwalkingandthinking #markoconnell #libreriarecommends #libtriptych #libreria
The Mothers: Brit Bennett
This stunning debut novel from a rising star in American Literature is full of heart and hope in a difficult world. Marta Bausells reviews it for the Guardian: “The Mothers starts with two traumatic endings: a death and an abortion. The novel’s protagonist, 17-year-old Nadia, grief-stricken after her mother’s suicide, takes up with the local pastor’s son and gets pregnant. She decides to have a termination. The novel follows Nadia as she enters adulthood (“Like most girls, she’d already learned that pretty exposes you and pretty hides you”) in an African American community in a Californian military town. Brit Bennett perceptively portrays the impact Nadia’s choice has on her life and relationships, focusing on her friendship with another motherless girl, Aubrey. Her decision to put abortion front and centre in the story is in itself extraordinary, given how absent it is in cultural narratives about young women, but she doesn’t linger on it, nor does she judge her characters. She is much more interested in what happens afterwards.
The Mothers is a beautiful and precise portrayal of female friendship, first loves and societal expectations of black women. Bennett breaks the stereotype of absent African-American fathers, removing mothers from the picture instead. Written between her own high-school years and her mid-20s, it presents Bennett as an exceptionally promising new voice in American fiction.” Read the full review here: http://bit.ly/2nh0gxC
#Libreriarecommends #libtryptich #britbennett #guardianbooks #mothersday
The Journey: Francesca Sanna
This Sunday 26th March at 11am we’ll be hosting a reading with Francesca Sanna of her beautiful picture-book ‘The Journey’. Sanna’s book follows a family in search of a safe place to live. The beautifully illustrated words address the reasons people leave their homes and how hard those journeys can be. It is a sensitive portrayal of the pressures on families all over the world, and how we need to rely on each other for strength in times of darkness.
The Journey has been shortlisted for the prestigious Waterstones Children’s Prize, shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and endorsed by Amnesty International to help spread the message of love and hope to children and parents. Join us in Libreria on Mother’s Day with Francesca Sanna to hear her read her book and discuss, using Amnesty International teaching aids, themes of motherly love, migration and humanity. £8 tickets available here: http://bit.ly/2mwANBs
Suitable for ages 4-8.
Refreshments (juice, tea, coffee) provided.
#Libreriarecommends #libtryptich #francescasanna #nobrowpress #mothersday #mymumsstrongerthanyourmum #londonactivity
Nobody Told Me: Mollie McNish
In celebration of our literal, literary and non-biological mothers we bring you a trio of books that look at motherhood in all it’s beauty, hardship and power.
Hollie McNish’s brilliant meditation on the joys and pitfalls of motherhood is reviewed in The Skinny. Ceris Aston has this to say: “A diary of poems, written in snatched moments away from her roles as mother and lover, the book offers an immediate, seemingly unfiltered insight into McNish’s life, and into her experience of motherhood.
In her diary, the poet records her guilt, pain, wonder, exhaustion, frustration, joy, anger and love. There’s no photoshopping here, no smoothing out of the bags under tired eyes or images of serenely smiling mothers breastfeeding on white sofas. There’s crying from exhaustion and cracked nipples and wiping snot from noses and hiding in public loos to feed. There’s the endless barrage of judgment on how to do motherhood right. There is love: for her partner, for her family, for Little One. There is wonder. ‘It is indescribable/ witnessing this small human change.’ It’s a moving and profoundly personal account. Yet at the same time, Nobody Told Me offers an insight into the shared, unspoken experiences of many mothers. McNish describes Nobody Told Me as ‘All the things I couldn’t talk about.’ It feels like time that we started talking.” Read the full review and more great work from ‘The Skinny’ here: http://bit.ly/2nrFHie
Don’t forget to check out our Mother’s Day event in Libreria this Sunday with writer and artist Francesca Sanna: http://libreria.io/the-journey-francesca-sanna/
#theskinnymag #Libreriarecommends #libtryptich #getyourboobsoutforthekids #holliemcnish
Subtly Worded: Teffi
Peter Pomerantsev, writing for the London Review of Books, explores Teffi’s clever and humane writing that looked back toward Russia even as she was living in exile: “How does a comic writer describe a world that has stopped being funny? What to say when the system you satirise is swept away, when parts of the population are killed, when the survivors become refugees, drifting away en masse but it’s unclear where to? Teffi was faced with these questions as she tried to make sense of revolution in St Petersburg, as she fled through the Civil War, as she crossed the Black Sea along with other refugees to start a new life in a place which would in turn be engulfed by fascism and war. By the time she left Russia she was one of its most famous journalists and short-story writers, a favourite of both Lenin and the tsar, with her own brand of ‘Teffi chocolates’ and perfume. She was best known for a bittersweet tone that left it unclear whether one was to laugh or cry: ‘A joke is not so funny when you are living inside it. It begins to seem more like a tragedy,’ she wrote more than once. ‘My life has been one long joke. Therefore a tragedy.’”
Read the full review by subscribing to the LRB here: http://bit.ly/2mxhTZq
#libreria #libreriarecommends #libtriptych #londonreviewofbooks #pushkinpress #thepeasantsarerevolting
1917 Stories and Poems: Selected by Boris Dralyuk
Anna Aslanyan reviews this brilliantly curated selection of poems and stories that were written during and immediately after the 1917 revolution. This new selection is also published by Pushkin Press who are fighting the good fight when it comes to new translations of classic literature: “Don’t you find that too much poetry is being written?” Vladimir Lenin once asked Maxim Gorky, referring to the literary scene of the young Soviet state. The writer replied that it was natural to turn to poetry in times of great upheaval. 1917, an anthology published to commemorate the forthcoming centenary of the Russian Revolution, is proof of that; a third of it is devoted to poetry and, compared to the rest, it is the poems that paint the more vivid portrait of their era.
Written between early 1917 and late 1919, these pieces are immediate reactions to the cataclysmic period that saw the overthrow of the Russian monarchy, the October Revolution and the devastating civil war.
The works and fates of these authors create an image of hope and despair, struggle and exile, triumph and death. Even as the revolution devoured its own writers, they remained its chroniclers. A century on, their writings — some revisited, some resurrected in this collection — can be read as historical documents, but also for their sheer literary value. The best of them bear a mark of the process described by Kuzmin: ‘Tough sandpaper has polished all our words.’” Read the full review in the Financial Times here: http://on.ft.com/2fPCNNE
#libreria #libreriarecommends #libtriptych #ftreviews #pushkinpress #thewritingsonthekremlinwall
The Left Hand of Darkness: Ursula LeGuin
Reading Ursula LeGuin will change your life. This excellent interview in the Paris Review offers an insight into the psyche of a visionary: “No single work did more to upend the genre’s conventions than The Left Hand of Darkness (1969). In this novel, her fourth, Le Guin imagined a world whose human inhabitants have no fixed gender: their sexual roles are determined by context and express themselves only once every month. The form of the book is a mosaic of primary sources, an interstellar ethnographer’s notebook, ranging from matter-of-fact journal entries to fragments of alien myth. […]
How do you feel about the term science fiction, as connected to your work?
Well, that’s very complicated, Wray.
I’m sorry. Are you at peace with it? Do you find it reductive?
I don’t think science fiction is a very good name for it, but it’s the name that we’ve got. It is different from other kinds of writing, I suppose, so it deserves a name of its own. But where I can get prickly and combative is if I’m just called a sci-fi writer. I’m not. I’m a novelist and poet. Don’t shove me into your damn pigeonhole, where I don’t fit, because I’m all over. My tentacles are coming out of the pigeonhole in all directions.”
Read the full interview here: http://bit.ly/2mNWZ6K
#libreriarecommends #libtriptych #libreria #leguin #ursulaleguin #lefthandofdarkness #scifi
The Transition: Luke Kennard
This debut fiction from a well seasoned poet will unsettle and disturb. For any ‘Black Mirror’ fans out there the horrors are clear, for any landlords it could read like a positive manifesto. Justine Jordan reviews it for the Guardian: “We’re in Britain, a few years from now: driverless cars and self-stocking fridges are a reality, but the housing crisis has only got worse. Like most thirtysomethings, ‘middle-class underachiever’ Karl and his wife, Genevieve, find that their rent always outstrips their earnings, even though their living space is a wallpapered conservatory in a shared house. Credit‑card juggling and a spot of last‑ditch online fraud land Karl in trouble, but instead of prison, he and Genevieve are offered a place on The Transition: a six‑month hiatus during which they will live with an older, more successful couple, learn from them about all that boring adult stuff like self-reliance, financial planning and dental hygiene, and save up enough money for a starter rabbit hutch on the bad side of town.
In the grimly impoverished world of Nineteen Eighty-Four, real coffee is only for the elite. In Kennard’s vision of social control, flat whites are constantly on tap, although they cost more than the baristas serving them make in an hour: even dystopias are gentrified these days. His dissection of the way contemporary capitalism harnesses every response to it, using rebellion and dissent as fuel for expansion, is all the more chilling for its aspirational flourishes.”
Read the full review here: http://bit.ly/2mlTneA
#libreriarecommends #libtriptych #libreria #thetransition #lukekennard
Exit West – Mohsin Hamid
We’ve all been waiting to see what magic Hamid would weave next and he hasn’t disappointed us. Writing for the New York Times Michiko Kakutani explores what it is that makes Exit West an important and beautiful book: “Mohsin Hamid’s dynamic yet lapidary books have all explored the convulsive changes overtaking the world, as tradition and modernity clash headlong, and as refugees — fleeing war or poverty or hopelessness — try to make their way to safer ground. His compelling new novel, ‘Exit West,’ is no exception, recounting the story of the migrants Saeed and Nadia, who leave an unnamed country in the midst of a civil war and journey to Greece, England and eventually the United States in an effort to invent new lives for themselves. […] Hamid, however, is less interested in the physical hardships faced by refugees in their crossings than in the psychology of exile and the haunting costs of loss and dislocation. […] In ‘Exit West,’ Hamid does a harrowing job of conveying what it is like to leave behind family members, and what it means to leave home, which, however dangerous or oppressive it’s become, still represents everything that is familiar and known.” Read the full review here: http://nyti.ms/2lZwDjG
#libreria #libreriarecommends #libtriptych
The Burning Ground – Adam O’Riordan
His poems from ‘In the Flesh’ enchanted and disturbed us, and so do these taught and atmospheric stories that play with the ideas and landscapes of Los Angeles. Adam Foulds (whose novel The Quickening Maze was one of our favourite reads) shows O’Riordan’s mastery of context and form: “An epigraph from Christopher Isherwood indicates the kind of place O’Riordan’s LA will be: ‘Don’t cry to me for safety. There is no home here … Understand this fact, and you will be free. Accept it, and you will be happy.’ The first story, ‘A Thunderstorm in Santa Monica’, neatly follows from this warning of homelessness. Harvey, a young British man, is spending more money than he should on flights to the city to pursue a love affair with the older, more successful Teresa. On this occasion, Teresa has had to go to New York on business and Harvey is left to his own devices. Turbulence on the flight over, Harvey’s enforced, dislocated solitude and an approaching storm together accumulate an uncomfortable atmosphere of diffuse threat and depleting emptiness in sumptuous surroundings (surely one of LA’s signature experiences). […] When it works well, the stories linger in the mind as strong impressions, simultaneously complete and unresolved. When less convincing, the stories feel anecdotal and limited by their avoidance of direct confrontation. Still, you are never in doubt that you are reading the work of an elegant and greatly accomplished writer whose future promises much.” Read the full review here: http://bit.ly/2ljeSgo
#libreria #libreriarecommends #libtriptych
What I Have Loved – Siri Hustvedt
Benjamin Markovits neatly summarises Hustvedt’s novel that addresses the tension between people who embody familial roles while having chosen to reject other roles imposed by society: “What I Loved deals in the lives of critics, painters, academics, writers: people who possess what has been called the leisure of the theory classes. It’s also a book about a couple of couples who together have children, grow old and become unhappy. The worries about art and about life inevitably overlap, and Hustvedt asks two simple and serious questions: can art help us to understand our lives? And can it change them for the better?” Suscribe to the London Review of Books and read the full article here: http://bit.ly/2kvAZyA
#Librerialondon #libtryptich #libreriarecommends
A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women – Siri Hustvedt
Lara Feigel’s piece in the FT examines how Hustvedt’s latest collection of essays showcase the relationships between intellectual women as much as between men and women. She writes; “Hustvedt met Sontag once and was flattered when the older writer remarked that her essay on Gatsby was one of the best she had read, because ‘it was written from the inside, not from the outside.’ This seems to be the strength of all Hustvedt’s best writing. She is able to combine this personal perspective with erudite analysis and she is always open to uncertainty, which she sees, rightly, as a political stance. […] ‘Doubt is a virtue of intelligence,’ claimed Simone Weil. Hustvedt agrees, adding that intelligent doubt doesn’t swagger. ‘Military parades do not march to tunes of doubt. Politicians risk mockery if they admit to it. In totalitarian regimes people have been murdered for expressing doubt.’ Now, as the complex warnings of experts are decried and swaggering lies broadcast on the news, this kind of uncertainty matters more than ever and it is best expressed through writing that begins with the contradictions of individual experience. We are fortunate to have Hustvedt voicing doubt so intelligently.” Sign up to the FT and read the full review here: http://on.ft.com/2fNsyvU
#Librerialondon #libtryptich #libreriarecommends
Possession – A.S Byatt
Love and obsession can take many forms, such as the love between a reader and words. Carmen Callil summarises Byatt’s rich tale of mental and physical possession: “In this Booker-winning, bestselling novel (subtitled “A Romance”), Byatt makes great play with the notions of possession — between lovers, and between biographers and their subjects. When research assistant Roland Michell discovers — and then steals — a cache of letters from the London Library, he not only uncovers a clandestine relationship between two Victorian poets, but finds romantic fulfilment for himself. Part thrilling academic quest, part Victorian pastiche (with impressively rendered 19th century letters, diary entries and poetry), ‘Possession’ restores sex to the Victorians and romance to the 20th century — and shows that while the language of love might change, love remains the same.” Read this summary and many others in this Guardian article: http://bit.ly/2knVM6Q
#Librerialondon #libtryptich #libreriarecommends #guardianreviews #igotthehotsforarchivematerial #loveforbooks
I Love Dick – Chris Kraus
Jonathan Gibbs writing for The Independent explains why this book, a playful discussion on the artistic process, is as much about the serious business of love and sex: “What remains so brilliant about the book is the real, useful thought that Kraus builds out of her romantic fantasy. This starts, though doesn’t end, with her consideration of love and desire, how ‘sex short-circuits all imaginative exchange’. Chris and Sylvère separate; Chris and Dick do sleep together, but still he remains distant, callous, even as Chris is driven to lonely despair, spending a cold winter holed up in Upstate New York. She gets lost in the woods and nearly dies, and goes to the toilet in the yard because the pipes in her house have frozen: images such as these go a long way to balancing out the discussions of critical theory – Deleuze and Guattari and the like – that dominate later parts of the book.” Read the full review here: http://ind.pn/2kizjp5
#Librerialondon #libtryptich #libreriarecommends #chriskraus #independentreviews #dickisalovableguy #loveforbooks
Farmageddon – Philip Lymbery & Isabel Oakeshott
Tristram Stuart provides his own view of Farmageddon in an insightful Guardian article: “This catalogue of devastation [explored in Farmageddon] will convince anyone who doubts that industrial farming is causing ecological meltdown. Whether it’s a question of the wellbeing of individual farm animals, the biodiversity in rainforests or the harm caused to peoples such as the Toba tribe – displaced to the grim suburbs of Lima by the onward march into their traditional forests of GM soy plantations that feed European livestock – fixing the food system has to be a priority. […]With every meal we eat, we choose whether or not to contribute to these problems. The businesses we buy our food from are our servants; they want to keep us happy. It follows that they will change only if we show them we are unhappy with, or, even better, enraged by, the current system.[…]
Lymbery brings to this essential subject the perspective of a seasoned campaigner – he is informed enough to be appalled, and moderate enough to persuade us to take responsibility for the system that feeds us.” Read the full review here: http://bit.ly/2kVfUyF
#Librerialondon #libtryptich #libreriarecommends #farmageddon #guardianbookreviews #youarewhatyoubuy
Waste, Uncovering the Global Food Scandal – Tristram Stuart
Paul Kingsnorth, author of Beast, and The Wake, and general agitator for (un)civilisation shows how Tristram Stuart’s exploration into food production and waste, uncovers some shocking truths: “This is one of those books that everybody should read, but that too few probably will. In particular, it should be read by every politician, bureaucrat, restaurateur and sandwich manufacturer in Britain; anyone with a kitchen and an appetite will benefit, if that is the right word, from reading Waste. It may well change your view of the way we treat food forever. And that goes for those of you who, like me, smugly compost their kitchen waste, grow their own veg, re-use plastic bags and try not to buy any more packaging than necessary. However hard you try, Stuart shows that you are probably contributing to the biggest, most wasteful system of food production the world has ever seen […]
[However,] there are solutions: this is the book’s final, hopeful message. Stuart provides us with a manifesto for what he calls “Utrophia” – a land of good eating. He wants to scrap output-based farm subsidies, impose mandatory food-waste production targets on companies, ban the sending of waste food to landfill, ban the discarding of “bycatch” in the fishing industry, and much more. It’s a workable, well-researched and practical plan which only awaits a political party to start making it happen.” Read the full review from the Independent here: http://ind.pn/2jGCeHf
#Librerialondon #libtryptich #libreriarecommends #independentbookreviews #tristramstuart #reducereuserecycle
Meatonomics – David Robinson Simon
Forget ‘you are what you eat,’ these three writers explain how in today’s world it should be ‘you are what you buy’. Executive Director of the Good Food Institute, Bruce Friedrich, discusses David Robinson Simon’s practical and political solutions to confronting sustainable consumption, he writes: “Simon’s solution comes in three parts: An excise tax on all products that contain animal ingredients, a tax credit for every American (basically giving back most of the tax revenues), and a reformulation of the USDA’s mission away from promoting the consumption of animal products to instead promote the public health. […] Though enacting Simon’s proposals will require a steep climb, Simon makes his case persuasively: The meat industry is harming our health, destroying our environment, and abusing billions of animals annually. As he notes in discussing prospects for his plans: ‘Change does happen, often in swift and surprising ways.’ Meatonomics deserves a prime spot in the library of everyone who cares about the politics of food.” Read the full review on the Huffington Post website: http://huff.to/1NMSe1K #Librerialondon #libtryptich #libreriarecommends #meatonomics #huffingtonpostreviews #goodfoodinstitute #inolongertakepaymentinhams
‘Remembrance of Things Past’ — Marcel Proust
In an interview with @nybooks, Justice Stephen Breyer explains how we should all relate to Proust: “It’s all there in Proust—all mankind! Not only all the different character types, but also every emotion, every imaginable situation. Proust is a universal author: he can touch anyone, for different reasons; each of us can find some piece of himself in Proust, at different ages. For instance, the narrator of the Recherche is obsessed with the Duchesse de Guermantes. To him, Oriane embodies a slice of the history of France and glows like a stained-glass window, wreathed in the aura of her aristocratic lineage.” Read the full interview here: http://bit.ly/2jpv75J
#librerialondon #libreriarecommends #libtriptych #newyorkreviewofbooks #justicestephenbreyer #getyourprouston
‘Moby Dick’ — Herman Melville
As part of his ‘100 best novels’ series literary editor of The Observer Robert McCrum explains how a new reader can find their own way into the great American epic: ‘Moby-Dick is usually described as an elemental novel in which the outsider Ishmael is pitted against the fathomless infinity of the sea, grappling with the big questions of existence. That’s not inaccurate, but there’s also another Moby-Dick, full of rough humour, sharp comic moments, and witty asides. “Better sleep with a sober cannibal”, says Ishmael, when forced to share a bed with the tattooed harpooner Queequeg, “than a drunken Christian.” For those readers intimidated by the novel’s bleak majesty, I think the humour offers a good way in.’ You can read his review here: http://bit.ly/2anKoTp
#librerialondon #libreriarecommends #libtriptych #guardianreviews #robertmccrum #thewhalethewhalethewhitewhale
‘Middlemarch’ — George Eliot
Anyone would #BeBetter at reading the classics if they owned the special editions on Libreria’s shelves. Here are 3 we think you’ll enjoy:
The New Yorker’s Rebecca Mead describes how she emotionally evolves every time she reads George Eliot’s ‘Middlemarch’: ‘I have gone back to ‘Middlemarch’ every five years or so. In my judgmental twenties, I thought that Ladislaw, with his brown curls and his callow artistic dabbling, was not entirely deserving of Dorothea; by forty, I could better measure the appeal of his youthful energies and Byronic hairdressing, at least to his middle-aged creator, who was fifty-three when the book was published. My identification with Eliot’s heroine and my dismissal of her simpler sister was shaken when I became the besotted mother of a son. (To a friend, a professor of English literature, I giddily wrote, ‘All these years I’ve thought of myself as Dorothea, and now I’ve turned overnight into Celia.’) And as I grew older the unfolding of Dorothea’s life became less immediately poignant to me than the story of Lydgate, who at the start of the book has the bold aim to ‘make a link in the chain of discovery,’ but who, thanks to his own misguided marriage, becomes a society doctor known for a treatise on gout—’a disease which has a good deal of wealth on its side,’ in Eliot’s pointed observation.’ You can read the full article here: http://bit.ly/1y17154
#librerialondon #libreriarecommends #libtriptych #newyorker #eliotvaustenIknowwhereImbetting
‘The Glass Universe’ – Dava Sobel
November’s edition of ‘Nature’ reviews ‘The Glass Universe’: ‘There are half a million photographic plates in the Harvard College Observatory collection, all unique. They date to the mid-1880s, and each can display the light from 50,000 stars. These fragments of the cosmos furthered our understanding of the Universe. They also reflect the dedication and intelligence of extraordinary women whose stories are more than astronomical history: they reveal lives of ambition, aspiration and brilliance. It takes a talented writer to interweave professional achievement with personal insight. By the time I finished ‘The Glass Universe’, Dava Sobel’s wonderful, meticulous account, it had moved me to tears.’ #Libtriptych #Libreriarecommends #bebetter #naturemagazine #badasswomenofscience
Background photo credit: Anders Andersson @penguinrandomhouse
‘Storm in a Tea Cup’ – Helen Czerski
Sientist Helen Czerski spoke at Second Home on the physics of everyday life in December and we’re glad to stock her latest work at Libreria. As Alexander Larman writes in The Guardian this month: ‘Helen Czerski’s engaging debut book seeks to demystify physics in everyday life, so whether you know your refraction from your reflection, or find the entire subject incomprehensible, this should be an invaluable primer. Dealing with the everyday – such as what really happens when you spill a few drops of coffee, or how magnetism really works – is a winning ploy. It enables Czerski to offer a mixture of erudition and enthusiasm to explain her chosen topics, leading the reader gently by the hand into some surprisingly complicated areas, but mostly keeping the discussion light, accessible and interesting.’
#Libtriptych #Libreriarecommends #bebetter #guardianreviews #scienceisfun #helenczerski Background photo credit: Abrar Mohsin @penguinrandomhouse
‘Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’ – Carlo Rovelli
Rovelli is reviewed eloquently in The Scientific American: ‘This small book—fewer than 100 pages—contains some large ideas. In a series of translated essays first published in an Italian newspaper, theoretical physicist Rovelli, one of the founders of a popular theory called loop quantum gravity, explains the major concepts of modern physics. His concise and comprehensible writing makes sense of intricate notions such as general relativity, quantum mechanics, cosmology and thermodynamics. Rovelli’s enthusiastic and poetic descriptions communicate the essence of these topics without getting bogged down in details.’
#Libtriptych #Libreriarecommends #bebetter #thescientificamerican #scientificamericanreviews #scientificlibrarian #carlorovelliisthekingofmatter
Background photo credit: Andrei D. @penguinukbooks
‘Participation – Documents of Contemporary Art’ – Ed. Claire Bishop
These survey books produced by the Whitechapel Gallery publishers cover every aspect of modern art from ‘Abstraction’ to ‘Utopia’. Take along a copy of ‘Participation’ to the Guerrilla Girls exhibition and shake up any ideas you thought you had about who, what or why art is. Book your tickets in advance here: http://bit.ly/29Vf0LR
#Libtriptych #Libreriarecommends #bebetter #whitechapelgallery #guerillagirls #weshouldallbefierce
‘Essays and Interviews’ – Wolfgang Tillmans
Photographer and performance artist Wolfgang Tillmans is exhibiting his work in February at the new Switch House extension at Tate Modern (Tillmans’ collaboration with Frank Ocean was one of our highlights from last year). Libreria have his book of thoughtful essays and inventive interviews that will inform your experience of his exhibition. Book tickets to his show via Tate Modern here: http://bit.ly/1U6DVgz
#Libtriptych #Libreriarecommends #bebetter #wolfgangtillmans #tatemodern #whosaysartcantbefun?
‘Ways of Seeing’ – John Berger
#BeBetter at engaging with art this week with our directions to the galleries, exhibitions and books of the contemporary art world.
Ways of Seeing is a seminal guide for using eyes and mind, and is summarised perfectly by Lesley McDowell in the Independent (2008): “In a world full of reproductions, the currency of art (as much as the currency of the human body) is so much a part of our culture that we barely notice it – except, perhaps, when a Damien Hirst is bought for millions of pounds during the beginnings of a credit crunch. Berger is a political reminder of what that exchange means. Put it on the school curriculum! Every adolescent should read it.” #Libtriptych #Libreriarecommends #bebetter #johnberger #theindependent #wecanallbecriticswejusthavetolookproperly
‘Gut’ – Giulia Enders
Giulia Enders is her name, gut-cleanse is her game. Her excellent book goes some way to explains how our guts seriously factor into our mental and physical wellbeing. Enders opens with the question, ‘How does pooing work?’ and closes with helpful and effective advice on bacterias. This book is written in an entertaining and informative way, and had reviewers at New Scientist “laughing aloud”. In 2017, let’s all be grownups and listen to our guts. (Photo: Hong Hao)
#Libtriptych #Libreriarecommends #bebetter #tidyguttidylife #pooliaenders–hehehe #ineverknewthataboutmylowerabdominaltract
‘The Life-changing Magic of Tidying’ – Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo has seen your sock drawer and she doesn’t like it. You will be strangely comforted by her ruthless mantras and commands, and your space will never have looked so good. According to The Guardian review, Kondo has been “obsessed with tidying since she was five, opting to arrange shoes and pencils while other kids played outside. She began communing with her belongings in high school and, after years of work at a Shinto shrine, realised her calling as a professional consultant on attaining the joy of minimalism.” Come, join the converted and banish untidiness forever. (Photo: Hong Hao)
#Libtriptych #Libreriarecommends #Mariekondo #bebetter #tidyhousetidymind #guardianreviews #ihonestlyneverknewsockscouldformsuchanimportantpartofmylife
‘The World Beyond Your Head’ – Matthew Crawford
How are your New Year’s resolutions holding up? Yup, same here (our dry January is having a rainy season). Libreria this week is recommending 3 books to bully, inspire and cajole you to #BeBetter in work and life for 2017.
Our first is a book by Matthew Crawford. So you’ve thrown away any distracting physical objects, now it’s time to de-clutter your mind-hive. ‘The World Beyond Your Head’ uses moral philosophy and cognitive science to help you focus on the most important things. The Guardian’s Iain Morris comments: “Although its title is suggestive of the breezily written self-help guide, the text transcends this genre to evoke a full-blown philosophical inquiry.” (Photo: Hong Hao)
#Libtriptych #Libreriarecommends #bebetter #expandyourmind #tidymindtidyhouse #guardianreviews #finallyawayofimprovingmyattentionsp–oohadog!
‘Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter’ – Peter Singer
Peter Singer, our guide to the world’s moral dilemmas. In September, The Economist reviewed Singer’s new collection of essays: “Despite their brevity, the essays do not shirk the big moral questions including perhaps the biggest of all: can there be objectively true answers to the question of how one ought to act? In a piece about ‘On What Matters’ by Derek Parfit, a philosopher, Mr Singer distils more than 1,400 pages of argument down to a scant three and concurs with him that moral judgments can, indeed, be true or false…However, agreeing with Mr Singer that objective ethical truths exist and imagining anyone, even a moral philosopher, has a monopoly on divining what these might be are not the same. Among the best essays in this collection are those that demonstrate that Mr Singer is alive to the possibility of being wrong …A welcome admission that even a much-feted moral philosopher may sometimes err.” Just what we need for 2017… #Libreria #Libtriptych #Libreriarecommends
‘How Will Capitalism End?’ – Wolfgang Streeck
Historian Adam Tooze delves into Wolfgang Streeck in this week’s @londonreviewofbooks: “It has been said that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism: Streeck believes we may one day witness the proof of that. Capitalism will end not because it faces serious opposition but because over the course of the coming decades and centuries it can be relied on to consume and destroy its own foundations… ‘Life in a society of this kind,’ [Streeck] writes, ‘demands constant improvisation, forcing individuals to substitute strategy for structure, and offers rich opportunities to oligarchs and warlords while imposing uncertainty and insecurity on all others, in some ways like the long interregnum that began in the fifth century CE and is now called the Dark Age.” Heavy! You can find this review in the London Review of Books and many other great magazines now available at Libreria. #Libreria #Libtriptych #Libreriarecommends
‘Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue’ – Sam Harris & Maajid Nawaz
Libreria is hitting 2017 running and we will be selecting three of our top picks every week, to keep you informed and prepared for the year ahead – after all, chance favours a prepared mind.
Our first pick begins with a dialogue on religion from Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz. Writing in @nytimes Sunday Book Review, Canadian author Irshad Manjinov touches on an engaging discourse: “How refreshing to read an honest yet affectionate exchange between the Islamist-turned-liberal-Muslim Maajid Nawaz and the neuroscientist who advocates mindful atheism, Sam Harris. ‘Islam and the Future of Tolerance’ begins on an impolitic note. Harris tells Nawaz that to reform Islamic practices one must ’pretend’ that ‘jihad is just an inner spiritual struggle, whereas it’s primarily a doctrine of holy war.’ Nawaz counters: ’Religion doesn’t inherently speak for itself’ because ‘no scripture, no book, no piece of writing has its own voice.’ Human interpretation is everything.” Hear, hear. #Libreria #Libtriptych #Libreriarecommends
‘The Beautiful Struggle’ Ta-Nehisi Coates
Libreria stocks the freshest, brightest and most distinguished faces on the literary scene.
An exceptional father-son story from National Book Award–winning author of ‘Between the World and Me’ about realities that test us, myths that sustain us, and the love that ultimately saves us. Coates writes a memoir following life on the journey to manhood in 1980s Baltimore, Black America – a city on the precipice of chaos.
#LibreriaLondon #bookrecommends #libreriatryptich #Goodmorningbaltimore #comingofage #wemakeourownstories #tanehisicoates
‘The Palm-Wine Drinkard’ – Amos Tutuola
This novel written in 1952 remains timeless in craft and message and was the first African novel published in English outside of Africa. The tale follows a man whose life revolves around drinking palm wine, a sweet, cloudy alcohol brewed from palm tree sap. After the death of his palm tapster, The Drinkard buries his body and sets out to find him in the land of the dead. Many supernatural perils abound along the journey – and it is a truly haunting and powerful story.
#LibreriaLondon #bookrecommends #libreriatryptich #drinkingrituals #cantwaittobesober #thedrinkard #amostutuola
‘The Vegetarian’ – Han Kang
A beautiful and unsettling novel set in three acts: rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and metamorphosis of the soul. This autobiographical novel follows one woman’s physical and mental transformation, after choosing to stop eating meat. From this moment on, she spirals into fantasies of abandoning the fleshly prison of her body to live a a more ‘plant-like’ existence. This is a surreal and spellbinding read examining the bravery and folly of challenging convention… #LibreriaLondon #bookrecommends #libreriatryptich #southkorea #mmmmkoreanbbq #vegetablesaregoodtoo #weirdanddelightful
Yours Sincerely, Giraffe — Megumi Iwasa & Jun Takabatake
Just imagine, the ethically sourced whole-nut roast has been eaten, the Swedish light box is set to hygge, organic water-free cotton socks have been donned and the little angels are snuggled down with their favourite gift of all: the gift of the printed word. ‘Yours Sincerely, Giraffe’ chronicles an unlikely pen-pal relationship between giraffe and penguin, attempting to understand one other through letters. There are many touching meditations, like, “Dear Giraffe. When I read your letter, I learned for the first time that there is such a thing as a neck. I think maybe I don’t have a neck. Or maybe I am all neck?” A moving story full of unexpected twists, illustrations and rich characters. This story can be read aloud or on your own.
#LibreriaLondon #bookrecommends #libreriatryptich #whatsoverthehorizen? #weallhavefriendswedontunderstand #lovetoreadaloud
The Fox and The Star — Coralie Bickford-Smith
Bickford-Smith is one of our favourite book cover designers. ‘The Fox and The Star’ tells of the magical partnership between the two. This book is Coralie Bickford-Smith’s own complete project and is illustrated with memorable designs of woodlands, rabbit burrows and bracken. A truly special gift to nurture a child’s imagination.
#LibreriaLondon #bookrecommends #libreriatryptich #coraliebickfordsmith #illustratethis #magicalforests #classic
The Land of Nod — Robert Hunter & Robert Louis Stevenson
Hunter here reimagines the classic Stevenson tale, illustrated with blushing pallets of blues and pinks to create enchanting landscapes. It’s published by @flyingeyebooks and is one of the reasons why we have asked Robert Hunter to speak at Libreria, in January 2017. We’ll be celebrating the re-launch of his amazing graphic novel ‘Map of Days’. Find out more at: http://libreria.io/robert-hunter-map-of-days/.
#LibreriaLondon #bookrecommends #libreriatryptich #roberthunter #flyingeyebooks #sleepytimenow #readitagainreaditagainreaditagain #didntyoujusthearmesaysleepytime?
Hate Mail by @mr_bingstagram Mr Bingo sends elaborate abusive postcards to anyone who tweet him with an address. You can expect a vintage view of Blackpool, which on the reverse reads ‘Dear Jude, you have a tiny brain’, or the Margate Harbour Arm accompanied with ‘Dear Jeremy, you are the Quality Street nobody wants.’ We long to be insulted by Mr Bingo and recommend for the stocking of someone who has a thick skin, too.
#libreriarecommends #libtriptych #libreria #mrbingo #veryveryfunny #iknowyoulikemereallymrbingo #somepeopledeserveit
Melville House Novellas
We have a rainbow of novellas in the shop, brought out from Melville House publishers. Nikolai Leskov appears in lime green, Baudelaire in rosy pink and Gogol comes in lovely apricot. For great literature to jolly up a stocking, look no further. The only difficulty is choosing which…
#libreriarecommends #libtriptych #libreria #melvillehouse collectemall #oneformeoneforyou
Soviet Bus Stops by Christopher Herwig
St Nicholas called and asked us to help with stocking fillers, so we are providing a selection of @nobrowpress books. (All books are photographed on a beautiful leporello.)
Think of Soviet Union architecture and what comes to mind are brutalist edifices that adhere to strict form and design. But here, bus stops look more like mosaiced curling snakes or scalloped concrete seashells. This lovely compact photographic essay exposes a human expression that defied the totalitarian regimes of the USSR. There’s a foreword written by Jonathan Meades; you’ll be coming away from this book wiser and more enlightened.
#libreriarecommends #libtriptych #libreria #jonathanmeades #wouldntmindwaitinginoneofthesebusstops #sovietunion #concretecanbepretty
Colourful Chimamanda Ngozi Adichies
4th Estate have released a limited run of the Nigerian novelist’s collection in fantastically bright patterns. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichies’ writing shines through the pages. If you’ve not read her before, start with Half a Yellow Sun, an epic of interwoven lives set against a backdrop of 60s Nigeria. It’s atmospheric, warm, difficult and uplifting; you’ll be recommending it for years. You will want to give this collection its own bookshelf.
#libreriarecommends #libtriptych #libreria #solovleyyouwontwanttoshare #chimamandangoziadichie #shesmyhero #didyouseehertalkingabouttrump? #lookitup