We recommend

  • Yrsa Daley-Ward – Bone “If you are walking down a aisle with a dim fluorescent hue
    By the tinned fish and canned beans
    Stir lighting above, cracked tiles beneath
    With the realisation that most things are futile
    And get the sudden urge to end it all

    Don’t stop. Call a friend”
    Above is Yrsa reminding us of the importance of reaching out in difficult times in her poem ‘Mental Health’. Eve Barlow in the Guardian writes about this book: “Daley-Ward’s debut collection of poetry, Bone, is anything but introverted. Aptly titled, it’s a visceral read candidly documenting her religious upbringing, sexuality and mental-health battles – an uncomfortable, uninhibited read.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #mentalhealthawareness #bone

  • The promise of Happiness – Sara Ahmed
    In this book Ahmed analyses the regulatory power of “the promise of happiness”, arguing that happiness, much more than a psychological attribute, is nowadays used as a moral imperative to ‘restore’ the natural goodness of the so called normative family, community, state, or nation, attributing unhappiness to other particular bodies and identities: “the feminist killjoy”, “the unhappy queer” and the “melancholic migrant.”
    Sean Grattan writes about the book in Social Text: “Ahmed’s language is a joy, and her work on each case study is filled with insight and rigor as she doggedly traces the social networks of dominance concealed and congealed around happiness.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #mentalhealthawareness

  • Blitz – Norman Ohler

    This book reveals the shocking extent to which the Third Reich was riddled with hardcore drugs, from Hitler to the ordinary German citizen, and the major role certain methamphetamines like Pervitin, played in the war.
    Dagmar Herzog states in the review of the book for the New york times that “the strengths of Ohler’s account lies not only in the rich array of rare documents he mines and the archival images he reproduces to accompany the text, but also in his character studies”, characters such as Otto F. Ranke, the head of the Research Institute of Defense Physiology, or central to the book Theodor Morell, Hitler’s private physician.
    #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #Blitz #Normanohler

  • Periodic Table – Primo Levi

    For our August Guest Curation subscription, we chose this beautiful marriage of life and science, which follows the rhythm of the the Periodic Table. These micro- masterpieces collectively paint a picture of isolation, grief, joy and redemption – telling the story of a young chemist at the beginning Second World War.

    Tim Radford shares his experience reading Periodic Table in Guardian: “You cannot, in a book that invokes Auschwitz, fascism and the reconstruction of a devastated continent, disentangle the human drama from the science, but each time I read The Periodic Table I also discover myself marvelling at the excitement locked in obdurate and mundane matter and the chemist’s attempts to transmute it into something new, and fresh, and potent: whoever would have thought that tin could preserve such secrets, that industrial varnish could be so thrilling?” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #periodictable #primolevi

  • The Mediterranean in History – David Abulafia

    This richly illustrated book looks at various epochs in Mediterranean history, describing how different groups have interacted with one another across the sea, enjoying commercial and political ties as well as sharing ideas and religious beliefs from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.
    Rochelle Caviness reviews the book for History in review in 2003: “The information presented in this text will enthrall general readers as well as historians. The text is authoritative, yet easily accessible to non-scholars. Reading this text will provide you with a general overview of the history of Mediterranean Region. More importantly, it will provide you with the necessary background information to gain an understanding of the intricate interactions between the various peoples and cultures that developed around the Mediterranean sea. This information will also allow you to understand how the political, religious, and cultural institutions in the region developed. In addition, it shows how the geographical aspects of the region influence these developments.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #Mediterraneanhistory #Mediterraneansea

  • Lanzarote – Michel Houellebecq

    For our August Hot Pick we escorted Michel Houellebecq’s unnamed character on his one week package to Lanzarote, a holiday that is both nightmare and nirvana.
    Nicholas Blincoe reviews Lanzarote in Telegraph: “Houellebecq counters airy intellectualism with a mordant common sense. He opposes the wilder forms of permissiveness with his own honest, self-deprecating libertarianism. In short, he offers nothing very different to, say, the late Auberon Waugh. True, Waugh championed the rights of the drinker and the smoker against political orthodoxy, while Houellebecq is more interested in the chronic masturbator and sexual obsessive. Yet there is a common philosophical ground here.” #Lanzarote #libreriarecommends #libtryptich

  • Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter – Mario Vargas Llosa

    This triptych of interwoven stories that explores Peru in the 1970s is a masterwork of comic realism.

    Sean Carmen reviews it for The Rumpus: “The novel’s three stories all work perfectly against each other. At first, the sensational radio serials are more captivating than the “real” story they interrupt. But as Mario’s romance with Aunt Julia blossoms, as he makes slow progress on the stories he writes in his spare time, and as the scriptwriter Pedro Camacho drifts into insanity, producing increasingly bizarre serial episodes that threaten to unravel his grand narrative enterprise, the “real” story becomes more powerful than the intercut melodramas. It all adds up to an entertaining romantic comedy that doubles as a sly treatment on the storyteller’s art.”
    #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #rumpusreviews #vargasllosa #peruviantales

  • Pedro Paramo – Juan Rulfo

    Sparse, spooky and haunting. Juan Rulfo conjures a lost world of Mexican beauty and wanderlust.

    Suhayl Saadi explains why Pedro Paramo is his book of a lifetime: “Redolent of the hallucinatory work of Poe, Lovecraft, Bulgakov, Laxness, Burroughs and perhaps Faulkner, this fluid, Dantean “Mexican Gothic” tale is part socio-historical commentary, part transformative song. Rulfo’s immigration job took him all over southern Mexico. He was an excellent photographer and later he became publishing director of the National Indigenist Institute. His is a text in which meaning is subsumed into an architecture of shadows and whispers, and into the ebb and flow of the vernacular.”
    #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #independentreviews #lostmexico #juanrulfo

  • Black Panther – World of Wakanda : Ta Nehisi-Coates & Roxane Gay

    In the fourth in the ‘World of Wakanda’ series the partnership of Ta Nehisi-Coates and Roxane Gay makes for heros, villains and arcing stories we can’t put down.

    Here Osvaldo Oyola reviews the first Black Panther comic for the LA Review of Books: “Instead of playing second fiddle to white characters, as black superheroes have most often had to do, Coates’s Black Panther shares the title both with a range of black women (like his mother Ramonda and his renegade female bodyguards, the Dora Milaje) and sympathetic opponents whose resistance to the autocratic rule of the Black Panther stems from a desire for a more democratic nation. While problematic legacy characters like rival tribal chieftain Man-Ape also appear, they are soon removed from the game to make room for more nuanced black characters with more complex motivations.”
    #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #loveforcomics #worldofwakanda #lareviewofbooks

  • Here – Richard Mcguire

    At the other end of the comic spectrum we have Mcguire’s gorgeous and wordless meditation on the passage of time. A book to gaze at and gaze in to.

    Dwight Garner explores Mcguire’s cinematic eye for the New York Times: “There’s a lot of marrow in this unusual volume’s bones. It’s the story of the corner of a single room, which does not sound at all promising. Corners of rooms are where children are sent when they are being loathsome. What Mr. McGuire does with this corner, though, is moving and mind-expanding. From this single vantage point, in painterly images, he moves back and forth in time, like a man sifting through a box of photographs taken from the same motionless camera.”
    #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #loveforcomics #newyorktimesreviews #ifthesewallscouldtalk

  • Guns Germs Steel – Jared Diamond

    Diamond skillfully combines biology, ecology and geography in this brilliant book that offers a new way to look at the past and the future of humans.
    Here’s how William H. McNeill was inspired by Diamond’s book: “Guns, Germs, and Steel is an artful, informative, and delightful book, full of surprises for a historian like myself who is unaccustomed to examining the human record from the vantage point of New Guinea and Australia, as Jared Diamond has set out to do. […] No matter: there is nothing like a radically new angle of vision for bringing out unsuspected dimensions of a subject, and that is what Jared Diamond has done.”
    #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #Jareddiamond #thehistoryofeveryone #ilovelearning
    Background image credit: Wang Quinsong

  • Black Hole Blues – Janna Levin

    One of our favourite popular science books, Levin recounts in poetic prose a journey of cosmological discovery and the quest to detect gravitational waves.

    Richard Lea puts this mammoth task into perspective in his review for the TLS “The chances of finding yourself within earshot of two colliding black holes are remote, but then the universe is very big. It’s so big that – as long as you’re prepared to wait a little – you can expect a pair of black holes to collide somewhere in this vast expanse while you listen. And the final stages of this collapse are so very loud that – if you listen with sensitive enough equipment – you can expect to hear it. The disturbance may have travelled at light speed across space for a billion years, Levin continues, spreading out until “the din of the crash is imperceptibly faint. Fainter than that. Quieter than can be described with conventional superlatives”. Black Hole Blues is a book-length attempt to reach beyond those superlatives and describe a fifty-year project to spot these minute traces, a project that culminated with the discovery of gravitational waves this February. It is a story of the very big and the very small – you need a huge machine to detect a tiny signal.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #jannalevin #blackholeblues #theworldismyclassroom
    Background image credit: Wang Quinsong

  • Say Something Back: Denise Riley

    For the April Guest Curation we took a leaf out of Max Porter’s literary book. Porter’s selection was so wide ranging and rich it was a hard choice, but Riley’s poems were a revelation and a delight.

    Fiona Sampson writing in the Guardian pinpoints the beauty of Riley’s work: “Perhaps Riley’s most disorienting poem is ‘Cardiomyopathy’, which places the book’s narrator and her son in a new, radical relationship. ‘Unlovely meaty thing, a heart unlikeliest / ‘seat of the affections’’ it starts, pulling no punches, before going on to imagine the young man’s final fatal arrhythmia. Later, the poet admits: ‘But you’ll go on with your dead, / go on as far as you can’. This beautiful, strange book goes further than we knew was possible.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #libreriasubscriptions #guestcuration #maxporter #deniseriley

  • Risograph printed sketchbook

    Our subscription services give you the opportunity to engage with the wonderful world of literature without even leaving your home. Let us show you something we love, and learn what books make some of the world’s most important thinkers tick, both packages will surprise, delight and inform.

    Both subscriptions are wrapped and posted out so you receive your package at the start of every month. The Hot Pick even comes with in-house designed risograph extras and wrapped in specially printed paper. Get in touch at hello@libreria.io if you want to know any more details.

    #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #libreriasubscriptions #hotpick #guestcuration #risographjoy

  • Beyond a Boundary: CLR James

    For the July Guest Curation award winning author and expert in international law, Philippe Sands, chose us this celebrated biography of cricket. This fascinating book explores so much more than just the nuances of the sport, and you’ll find yourself more informed and inspired for having read it.

    Writing in the Guardian Selma James explains just how important her late husband’s book was and the continuing impact it has on sport: “It was a book CLR had to write. He understood the game, he believed, in ways most experts did not and could not. He considered himself more scrupulous about the game’s technique and how it grappled with team dynamics, skills, players’ concentration and the psychological war between batsman and bowler, batsman and fielders. And he saw the game not only as it was played but as it was lived – and for West Indians that meant first of all a colonial society stratified by race and class. His unblinking description of the shades of status among cricket clubs cuts like glass.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #guardianreviews #idontlikecricket #ilovelit #libreriasubscriptions #guestcuration

  • Treat Yourself

    Our subscription services give you the opportunity to engage with the wonderful world of literature without even leaving your home. Let us show you something we love, or learn which books make some of the world’s most important thinkers tick, both packages will surprise, delight and inform.

    Both subscriptions are wrapped and posted out so you receive your package at the start of every month. The Hot Pick even comes with in-house designed risograph extras and wrapped in specially printed paper. Get in touch at hello@libreria.io if you want to know any more details.

    #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #libreriasubscriptions #hotpick #guestcuration #risographjoy

  • Anthropocene or Capitalocene: Jason W. Moore (ed.) The essays in this collection are definitely not comfortable reads, but they are important and go a long way toward diversifying the climate change conversations.

    This write-up for the Marx & Philosophy Review of Books praises the complexity of the arguments: “The essays in Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Provide an invaluable contribution to the debate over what we should call this strange new epoch, wrought by centuries of capitalist depredations upon our biosphere. As these ecosocialists so ably tell us, from their individual perspectives, that humanity’s best hope to save the planet (and its species, including our own) relies on finding ways to replace an unsustainable Capitalocene with socialist relations of production and consumption.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #donnaharaway #marxreviews #readingforthefuturegeneration

  • Staying with the Trouble: Donna Haraway

    An important book for our times that explores the link between gender politics and ecosocialism. All written in Haraway’s deliciously eccentric prose.
    This review in the ArtReview summarises Haraway’s main concerns: “Attacking ‘bounded individualism’, but acknowledging that population control has historically been led with ‘the interests of biopolitical states more in view than the well-being of women and their people’, her argument is brave and persuasive: we can be as ‘green’ as we like, but with the current estimate of a world human population of 11 billion by the end of the twenty-first century, it’s not going to make much diff’erence. Instead – and given Haraway’s interest in language, it perhaps comes as no surprise that she encapsulates her solution in an elegant catchphrase – she pleads: ‘Make kin, not babies!’” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #artreview #haraway #howdoyoupronouncechthulucene?

  • Complete Stories: Clarice Lispector

    Reading Lispector this Summer will change your life. Full of difficult extremes and enervating tensions, her stories begin with a caress and end with a horsewhip.
    Terrence Rafferty’s detailed review in the New York Times pinpoints what is so compelling about this unique writer: “There’s a whiff of madness in the fiction of Clarice Lispector. She always wanted her writing to go right to the flaming center of life. When the sun comes up on a character of hers and the world looks fresh, just born, her prose turns atypically restful, as if it were home at last. ‘It was one of those mornings that seem to hang in the air,’ one story begins. ‘And that are most akin to the idea we have of time. The veranda doors stood open but the cool air had frozen outside and nothing was coming in from the garden, as if any overflow would break the harmony.’ What bothered her more than messiness, more than instability, more even than failure, was the idea that the world — or the language in which she rendered it — could with a moment’s lapse of attention become fixed, impermeable, hostile.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #newyorktimesreviews #darkstoriesforlightdays #cultofclaricelispector

  • Complete Stories: Clarice Lispector

    Reading Lispector this Summer will change your life. Full of difficult extremes and enervating tensions, her stories begin with a caress and end with a horsewhip.
    Terrence Rafferty’s detailed review in the New York Times pinpoints what is so compelling about this unique writer: “There’s a whiff of madness in the fiction of Clarice Lispector. She always wanted her writing to go right to the flaming center of life. When the sun comes up on a character of hers and the world looks fresh, just born, her prose turns atypically restful, as if it were home at last. ‘It was one of those mornings that seem to hang in the air,’ one story begins. ‘And that are most akin to the idea we have of time. The veranda doors stood open but the cool air had frozen outside and nothing was coming in from the garden, as if any overflow would break the harmony.’ What bothered her more than messiness, more than instability, more even than failure, was the idea that the world — or the language in which she rendered it — could with a moment’s lapse of attention become fixed, impermeable, hostile.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #newyorktimesreviews #darkstoriesforlightdays #cultofclaricelispector

  • Theft by Finding: David Sedaris
    If you haven’t discovered David Sedaris reading on Radio 4 yet then do it right now, without delay.
    This new collected edition of his diaries will have you snorting on the tube and reading aloud to your colleagues during lunch break. Annalisa Quinn explains why for NPR reviews: “It’s relentlessly interesting to read about daily life in a time that’s within memory but somehow also impossibly far away — not only the wildly different attitudes towards homosexuality, but all the weird stuff they (we) ate, the fact that people were named things like ‘Ronnie,’ that typing was considered a skill, that people were always just calling each other up and stopping by, without texting first…It could be dull, but instead it’s mesmerizing, like watching spinning chickens. Since many of the things he describes happen in his stories, reading Theft by Finding feels like watching a favorite play from behind the scenes, in the company of a friend who can identify what is absurd and heartbreaking and human about every person on stage.”
    #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #davidsedaris #nprreviews #thekingofmeanandfunny

  • No One Belongs Here More than You: Miranda July
    Although July’s first collection of stories was published a decade ago, these odd little tales still feel as funny and fresh as when we first read them.
    Sheelah Kolhatkar writing for the New York Times back in 2007 identifies what makes them so compelling, funny and raw: “This volume isn’t a comfortable place to be: July specializes in awkward encounters, cringe-inducing moments that play out between co-workers, lovers or strangers on the street. A handful of these stories are sweet and revealing, although in many cases the attempt to create ‘art’ is too self-conscious, and the effort comes off as pointlessly strange…Then there are stories like ‘Something That Needs Nothing,’ about two girls who run away together. This is July at her best — funny and insightful, offering moments of utter heartbreak through deeper, more sophisticated storytelling. The exploits of the narrator and her girlfriend, Pip, who ‘saw herself as a charming street urchin, a pet for wealthy mothers,’ as they cope with a roach-infested apartment, break up and reconnect, are both tender and gripping. Even as the narrator discovers a talent for peeling off her clothes in a grimy peep-booth, one can’t help rooting for her, awkwardness and all.”
    #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #nytimesreviews #mirandajuly #whenlolstillmeantlotsoflove

  • Sudden Death: Alvaro Enrigue

    If you’re in to Mexican history, literary conversations and tennis then this funny, complex and absorbing book is the perfect match for you.
    Argentinian writer, translator and all round smart guy Alberto Manguel writes up Sudden Death for the Guardian: “Sudden Death is a complex historical pageant of astonishing richness that portrays the imperial ambitions of Spain and the power struggles of the Italian states, the cultural clashes between the Catholic church and the people of the new world, the conflict between the creative arts and the political and religious dogmas of the time. It is also a history of the game of tennis. And beneath all this, like an undercurrent, runs the troubled question of Mexico’s identity.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #guardianreviews #albertomanguel #threestrikesandyoureout

  • Hopscotch: Julio Cortazar
    We always find something new and surprising in Cortazar’s brilliant and bizarre novel that uses the game of hopscotch as a
    template for its jumpy structure.
    Author David Flusfeder explains for The Independent why, for him, it’s a book of a lifetime: “Hopscotch (originally published in 1963; translated into English in 1966) is probably a young person’s book. Argentinian émigrés in 1950s Paris have long arguments about art and philosophy. It rains. They fall in and out of love to a jazz soundtrack. The book itself is in love with the modern city and chance collisions. The narrator returns home and disintegrates over the course of the increasingly fragmented novel, whose form provides a more reliable cohesion than consciousness.

    There’s an exhilaration of structure, a deadpan formal playfulness that still thrills. And while the young-man yearning doesn’t have the same significance for me now as when I first picked it up, I still love Hopscotch. It’s the book that taught me most about reading. And, not entirely coincidentally, it’s the book that made me realise I was going to become a writer.” #libreriarecommends #libtryptich #independentreviews #juliocortazar #amazingbookmazes

  • 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. […]
    INTERVIEWER
    How do you feel about the term science fiction, as connected to your work?
    LE GUIN
    Well, that’s very complicated, Wray.
    INTERVIEWER
    I’m sorry. Are you at peace with it? Do you find it reductive?
    LE GUIN
    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

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