Literature / Books about Books

We love books about books, and keep a collection of books on reading, books on book design, and books on writers and writing. There are also collections of literary essays and biographies of important literary individuals.

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The Pleasures of Leisure
Cover Image, North Water

Robert Dessaix
Random House
ISBN 9780143780045     
Hardback 2017
Price $AU 29.99
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In today's crazily busy world the importance of making time for leisure is more vital than ever. Yet so many of us lack a talent for it. Robert Dessaix shows, in this thoughtful and witty book, how taking leisure seriously gives us back our freedom - to enjoy life, to revel in it, in fact; to deepen our sense of who we are as human beings. He explains how we can reclaim our right to 'rest well', and to loaf, groom, nest and play, as he looks at leisure from many angles- reading, walking, travelling, learning languages, taking siestas and simply doing nothing. The result is a terrifically lively and engaging conversation that reminds us that at leisure we are at our most intensely and pleasurably human.


Frantumaglia: A Writer's JourneyCover Image, Patissiers

Elena Ferrante
Text Publishing
ISBN 9781925240542     
Trade Paperback 2016
Price $AU 29.99
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Frantumaglia is a riveting compilation, created over the course of Ferrante's writing career.  Her letters to her publisher, interviews with editors and journalists, and responses to readers' questions will be a joy for fans of literature and of Ferrante.  This is an enigmatic writer who not only knows her own mind, but can also see deep into ours. 


Everywhere I LookCover Image, Helen Garner

Helen Garner
Text Publishing
ISBN 9781925498080
Paperback 2017
Price $AU 23.99
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Helen Garner is one of Australia's greatest writers. Her short non-fiction has enormous range. Spanning fifteen years of work, Everywhere I Look is a book full of unexpected moments, sudden shafts of light, piercing intuition, flashes of anger and incidental humour. It includes Garner's famous and controversial essay on the insults of age, her deeply moving tribute to her mother and extracts from her diaries, which have been part of her working life for as long as she has been a writer. Everywhere I Look glows with insight. It is filled with the wisdom of life.


Romantic Modernscover image romantic moderns

Alexandra Harris
Thames & Hudson
ISBN 9780500289723
Paperback 2015
Price $AU 35.00
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While the battles for modern art and society were being fought in France and Spain, it has seemed a betrayal that John Betjeman and John Piper were in love with a provincial world of old churches and tea-shops. In this multi-award winning book now available in paperback Alexandra Harris tells a different story. In the 1930s and 1940s, artists and writers explored what it meant to be alive in England. Eclectically, passionately, wittily, they showed that the modern need not be at war with the past. Constructivists and conservatives could work together, and even the Bauhaus emigre, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, was beguiled into taking photographs for Betjemans nostalgic Oxford University Chest. This modern English renaissance was shared by writers, painters, gardeners, architects, critics, tourists and composers. John Piper, Virginia Woolf, Florence White, Christopher Tunnard, Evelyn Waugh, E. M. Forster and the Sitwells are part of the story, along with Bill Brandt, Graham Sutherland, Eric Ravilious and Cecil Beaton.


The Kraus ProjectCover image, The Kraus Project

Jonathan Franzen
Fourth Estate
ISBN 9780007517442
Paperback 2014
Price $AU 24.99
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A hundred years ago, the Viennese satirist Karl Kraus was among the most penetrating and prophetic writers in Europe: a relentless critic of the popular media's manipulation of reality, the dehumanizing machinery of technology and consumerism, and the jingoistic rhetoric of a fading empire. But even though his followers included Franz Kafka and Walter Benjamin, he remained something of a lonely prophet, and few people today are familiar with his work. Thankfully, Jonathan Franzen is one of them.

In The Kraus Project, Franzen not only presents his definitive new translations of Kraus but annotates them spectacularly, with supplementary notes from the Kraus scholar Paul Reitter and the Austrian writer Daniel Kehlmann. Kraus was a notoriously cantankerous and difficult author, and in Franzen he has found his match: a novelist unafraid to voice unpopular opinions strongly, a critic capable of untangling Kraus's often dense arguments. While Kraus lampoons the iconic German writer Heinrich Heine and celebrates his own literary heroes, Franzen's annotations soar over today's cultural landscape and then dive down into a deeply personal recollection of his first year out of college, when he fell in love with Kraus. Painstakingly wrought, strikingly original in form, The Kraus Project is a feast of thought, passion, and literature.


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