We might be unassuming from the outside, but it’s a whole other story inside… 📸 @phanuphan.v #bookshop #bookstagram #bookworm #londonbookshop #shoreditch
‘She who is my original has forwarded me to you, and although you see her drawn, you will never see her withdrawn; completely transformed in me, she hands you the conquest: her love; do not wonder at the calm and silence you find in me: my original, for your sake, I believe has lost her soul’ #decimas #rhyme
‘Pyramidal, funeral, a shadow born of earth, aspiring to highest heaven, the haughty tip of its great obelisks striving in vain to climb up to the stars’ 🌟✨🌘🌛🌒🌚 #poetrylovers
Gotta do it, now @penguinbooks @greenpeaceuk #environment #plasticfree
Cool #fisheye shot of Libreria by @arwaflemban
@secondhome_io x @librerialondon 📸🎥💜👁
Stunning piece goo.gl/m3T2T4 in the @guardianreview by @jamesbridle on AI/tech emergence, such a remarkable talent – goo.gl/m3T2T4 @VersoBooks VersoBooks
Basement synth workshops with producer Cy An in full swing! @SECONDHOME_IO #moog #roland Libreria Analog Weekend
A pick of the freshest titles just in – pop in to get you hands on these books by brilliant authors, prize-winners and Booker Prize nominees. #bookstagram #bookworm #bookshop #spitalfields #librerialondon
Today’s weather is perfect for settling down with a great book. Whether you are curling up at home or in the haven of our bookshop, enjoy your day! Thanks @szeyuin for your great photo ✌
#books #librerialondon #londonbookshop #spitalfields #eastlondon
The new edition of Lily Cole’s magazine “Impossible To Print” has arrived as part of our refreshed range including Monocle, Dazed and Confused and Delayed Gratification
#libreria #magazine #magazinedesign #spitalfields #zine #londonbookshop
A reflection of @helprefugeesuk #chooselove mural in the windows of @secondhome_io #viewfromthebookshop #hanburystreet #spitalfields
Happy 😃 📸💜 Friday! #weekend #bookstagrammer
Super 😎 cool #debeauvoir edition #colour #londoncool @pantheonbooks
We are excited to be supporting #laurencescott at the launch party for his excellent new book Picnic Comma Lightning. Thanks @penguinrhuk and @wmheinemann for the invite! #bookstagram #booklover #hotoffthepress #newrelease
#humidnightbluefruit Libreria 🌛🌙⭐️🌚
We rarely use ‘radical’ but a language fatigued, sex-less Joan of Arc/Christine de Pizan in the year 2049, works. Knock-out deco/sci-fi cover art, too #lydiayuknavitch @canongatebooks #metropolis
Beautiful book project by #DonatellaBernardi from @anagrambooksdistribution published by #humboldtbooks – Design by #nodenods #environment
David Bowie shelf at Libreria #alternative reads
Make your way down to Libreria this weekend and get your #alternative summer reads #Camus #stranger #summerreading
Highs in the high 20s in London and Libreria is #hot #heatwave
Happy #independentbookshopweek . #bookshoplove #bookshoplondon #thingstodoinlondon
Join us on this crucial conversation this Thursday (14th June). #feministeventsinlondon #fightingpatriarchy #consensualpleasure #powerequality
Fierce discussion last night at @prideofarabia bookclub, drawing in insights from the academic postcolonial to psychology to the personal. #bookclub #seasonofmigrationtothenorth #postcolonialliterature
Our pop-up poetry table at @secondhome_io today, to get you in mood for next week’s #poetryfestival. #poetry #thingstodoinlondon #londonpoets #orangetable
May 30, 2018 (9:10 pm)
We are celebrating today’s powerfully disruptive poetry scene with a week long Poetry Festival at @secondhome_io kicking off June 5th, with Libreria favourites @yrsadaleyward & @anthony_anaxagorou check out the the amazing headlining and get your tickets through the link in bio #poetryfestival #londonpoets #poetrycommunity
Our May subscription picks – Find out about our future subscription titles by signing up today through the link in bio. #giftideas #booksubscription #creativefix #readingnow
We are super excited to announce we will be hosting the second @prideofarabia book club on the 7th June at 19:30. We will be discussing Tayeb Salih’s post-colonial novel, Season of Migration to The North.
Plans for the long weekend? Come down for serendipitous discovery of you next read! #longweekendvibes #londonbookshops #creativity #thingstodoinlondon
We do love these Calvino editions…and some new ones have arrived #italocalvino #bookgram #londonbookstores
The grande dame of American letters, Didion’s limpid prose burns with controlled force, ever true. #bookgram #bookworms #joandidion #nowreading
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