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					A Nes

Unity Books
      Issue 31  Summer 2007–08 

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Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name Vendela Vida (Atlantic) pb $28.00 On the day of her father’s funeral, twenty-eight-year-old Clarissa Iverton discovers that he wasn’t her father after all. Her mother disappeared fourteen years earlier, and now Clarissa is alone and adrift. Vida’s exquisite writing and sparkling wit turn a bleak story about damage and identity into a blackly comic and compelling novel.

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Playing With the Grown Ups Sophie dahl (Bloomsbury) hb $35.00 Kitty is struggling to grow-up; her mother Marina is refusing to. Witty, lyrical and heartbreaking, Playing with the Grown-ups is a modern coming-of-age story that has obvious parallels with Dahl’s own life. “Sparkling, poignant, beautiful — I loved it.”—Cecelia Ahern

Get your pre-reading for New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week (11–16 March 2008 in Wellington). The turbo stars include nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz; fiction

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Spook Country William giBSon (Viking) pb $37.00 What happens when old spies come out of the woodwork for one last game? An utterly original thriller on the nature of the media, espionage and America post-9/11 and post-Iraq. “A devastatingly precise reflection of the American zeitgeist . . . Gibson, like DeLillo, writes fiction that is powerfully attuned to the currents of dread, dismay and baffled fury that permeate our culture.” —The Washington Post Darkmans nicola BaRkeR (Fourth Estate) pb $37.00 Shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize, Darkmans is a very modern book about two very old-fashioned subjects: love and jealousy. It’s also a book about invasion, obsession, displacement and possession, about comedy, art, prescription drugs and chiropody. And the main character? The past, which creeps up on the present and whispers something quite dark—quite unspeakable—into its ear. “At the end of 838 blinding, high-octane pages, I was bereft that there weren’t 838 more.” —The Guardian Bridge of Sighs RichaRd RuSSo (Chatto & Windus) pb $37.00 Six years after the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize–winning Empire Falls, Russo returns with a novel that expands his widely heralded achievement. This is a story of parents and children, of family both benevolent and malevolent, of small-town community and its toxic effects. “Russo’s most intricate, multifaceted novel . . . enormous and enormously moving.” The Washington Post The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot diaz (Faber) pb $38.00 Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight Dominican ghetto nerd. He dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, he dreams of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the curse that has haunted his family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. “Funny, street-smart and keenly observed . . . . decisively establishes [Diaz] as one of contemporary fiction’s most distinctive and irresistible new voices.” —The New York Times

The New Granta Book of the American Short Story RichaRd FoRd ed (Granta) pb $40.00 and Granta 99: What Happened Next pb $30.00 Richard Ford’s 1992 Granta Book of the American Short Story became the definitive anthology of American short fiction written in the last half of the twentieth century. This new collection, of more than 40 writers, includes stories that Ford overlooked the first time around as well as many by a new generation, including Junot Diaz, Deborah Eisenberg, Nell Freidenberg, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Z.Z. Packer. What Happened Next is also about storytelling: the stories we invent, the stories we tell about other people, and the stories we tell ourselves; and includes a fascinating interview with Ford himself.

The Quiet Girl peteR hØeg (Harvill) pb $37.00 A world-famous clown with mystic musical powers and tax problems is drawn into a conspiracy surrounding a missing girl . . . The long-awaited new novel from the author of Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow is part labyrinthine thriller, part philosophical fantasy, and wholly unique. “Høeg writes prose that is both changeable and deepfathomed as poetry . . . [it] demands to be read aloud and savoured.” —The New Yorker

writers Ian McEwan, David Mitchell and James Meek; nonfiction authors George Monbiot and Richard Davenport-Hines; poets Paul Muldoon and Christian Bok; gourmand Ruth Reichl; and 

Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame. Programmes for Writers and Readers Week will be available from both Unity Books (Festival booksellers) by late January 2008.

The Indian Clerk daVid leaVitt (Bloomsbury) pb $38.00 On a January morning in 1913, the British mathematician G. H. Hardy receives a rambling letter from a self-professed genius who claims to be on the brink of cracking the most important unsolved mathematical problem of all time. Based on the true story of the strange and ultimately tragic relationship between an esteemed British mathematician and an unknown and unschooled mathematical genius, The Indian Clerk transforms an extraordinary slice of history into a spell-binding story about human connection and our need to find order in the world. Tokyo Year Zero daVid peace (Faber & Faber) pb $38.00 Based on real events this novel follows Detective Minami as he hunts down a serial killer in post WWII Tokyo. Unblinking in its vision of a nation in a chaotic, hellish period in its history and conveying the rawness of emotion left in the wake of war Tokyo Year Zero is unforgettable. A darkly lyrical and stunningly original crime novel.

Yacoubian Building alaa al aSWanY (HarperCollins) pb $28.00 All manner of flawed and fragile humanity reside in the Yacoubian Building, a once-elegant temple of Art Deco splendor now slowly decaying in the smog and bustle of downtown Cairo. A fading aristocrat; a sultry, voluptuous siren; a corrupt and corpulent politician, twisting the Koran to justify his desires: these disparate lives careen toward an explosive conclusion in Alaa Al Aswany’s remarkable international bestseller. Teeming with frank sexuality and heartfelt compassion, this book is an important window on to the experience of loss and love in the Arab world. Acts of Love SuSan peaRce (Victoria University Press) pb $30.00 Rita Harper met her husband in a religious cult in the United States. They are happily married but Rita is still obsessed with their former leader, Leyland Swan, and when Leyland invites himself into the family home and announces his plan to revive the cult in New Zealand, Rita believes he is offering her a last chance at salvation. Meanwhile Rita’s daughter has retreated home after a broken relationship and is in no mood to flatter a guru. Rita embraces Leyland’s quest, but if she can’t face the truth about what happened 40 years before, she risks alienating her daughter and destroying her marriage. The Gathering anne enRight (Jonathan Cape) pb $35.00 Winner of 2007 Man Booker Prize. Liam walks into the Brighton sea and drowns himself. His sister Veronica, the voice of this remarkable novel, is middle aged, now middle class, with husband and two children. She is swept into a state of regression and must deal with the present in the form of those in the large Haggarty family who have survived Liam. Exquisitely written, Enright’s insight into human relationships and behaviour is acute. She’s also very funny in a not-laugh-out-loud way.

Towards another Summer Janet FRame (Vintage) pb $30.00 A new glimpse into the life of a New Zealand icon, this novel was judged too personal by Frame to be published in her lifetime. Written in the 1960s, this novel finally sees the light of day twenty years after her last. A meditation on the nature of “home” that goes beyond cultural and geographical concerns into that most familiar, if most elusive of Frame terrains, the metaphysical Tree of Smoke deniS JohnSon (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) hb $45.00 In this tense, seductive hall of mirrors that will transport readers to the edge of morality and reality, Denis Johnson has written a masterpiece. The narrative follows four characters through 20 years of service in America’s military & intelligence service. Tree of Smoke is a dark, indelible epic about human folly, loneliness and the American empire in decline. The Uncommon Reader alan Bennett (Faber) hb $30.00 HM the Queen accidentally becomes a bookaholic (J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, Ivy Compton Burnett, and the classics). But her reading subverts her world view and her relationship with people such as the oleaginous prime minister. She questions the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with much that she has to do. “‘Pass the time?’ said the Queen. ‘Books are not about passing the time. They’re about our lives. Other worlds. Far from wanting the time to pass, Sir Kevin, one just wished one had more of it. If one wanted to pass the time, one could go to New Zealand’.” Quirky, charming. Returning to Earth Jim haRRiSon (Grove Press) pb $30.00 Beloved by his family and friends, Donald has always lived his life with vigour and passion. When at 45, he is stricken with and dying slowly of Lou Gehrig’s disease, he fearlessly looks death squarely in the eye. Dealing with family origins and endings, Returning to Earth is a tender and profound novel about finding redemption in unlikely places. 

The Lost Dog michelle de kRetSeR (Allen and Unwin) hb $40.00 Lost at the beginning and reclaimed at the end, a city dog lost on a country excursion grounds a sophisticated exploration of the weight of history. The novel, by a surprise star author of the 2006 NZ Post Writers and Readers Week, is not only filled with luminous writing and startlingly wise observations, it’s also funny, contemporary, moving, a beautiful Australian love story and a juicy mystery all at once. The Echo Maker RichaRd poWeRS (Vintage) pb $27.00 Winner of the U.S. 2006 National Book Award, The Echo Maker follows the consequences and investigations of Mark Schluter’s near fatal accident and the neurological damage it leaves him with. Expertly written, it’s a gripping mystery that explores the improvised human self and the even more precarious brain that splits us from and joins us to the rest of creation.

Biography
Things I Didn’t Know: a Memoir RoBeRt hugheS (Knopf) pb $28.00 Robert Hughes has trained his critical eye on many subjects and produced numerous major works of criticism and cultural deciphering. Now he turns that eye on himself and the world that formed him. Emerging from the “cultural quarantine” that was Australia in the late 50’s Hughes takes us on a tour of his life and his mind. Like any perfect tour it is educational, funny, expansive and genuinely entertaining, never veering into self-indulgence, and always looking back with sharpness of insight to examine a rebellious period in art, politics and sex. Seize the Hour: When Nixon Met Mao maRgaRet macmillan (John Murray) pb $35.00 This highly readable account of Nixon’s surprise 1972 visit to China draws upon new sources and interviews to illustrate the meeting between one-time red baiter Nixon and communist dictator Mao Tse Tung. An insightful book on American and Chinese negotiations, MacMillan’s book illustrates why Nixon’s gamble visit proved to be a cunning stroke of policy. This ought to appeal to a wide-ranging audience. The Rise and Rise of Kerry Packer paul BaRRY (Bantam) pb $38.00 As a child, Kerry Packer was considered an idiot by his schoolmates and family; today he is Australia’s richest and most powerful man. Two years of intensive research and hundreds of interviews went into this compelling biography of Australia’s least understood tycoon. A disturbing portrait of power in Australia and how it can be used and misused. Riveting! The Age of Turbulence alan gReenSpan (Allen Lane) hb $65.00 The fascinating autobiography of the man who chaired the Federal Reserve Board for eighteen tumultuous years, The Age of Turbulence is not only a gripping memoir, but also a comprehensive look at the new global economy: how we got here, what we’re living through, and what lies over the horizon, for good and for ill—channelled through Greenspan’s own experiences working in the command room of the global economy for longer and with greater effect than any other single living figure.

The Life of Kingsley Amis zachaRY leadeR (Vintage) pb $35.00 Previously editor of The Letters of Kingsley Amis, Leader gives a full picture of Amis’s childhood, school days, life as a teacher, critic, political and cultural commentator, professional author, husband, father and lover. He explores Amis’s fears and phobias, and the role that drink played in his life. And of course he and Martin also pay due attention to Amis’s work, arguing that Amis was not only the finest comic novelist of his generation, but a dominant figure in post-war British writing as a novelist, poet, critic and polemicist. The Life of Kingsley Amis is very long, very thorough and very straight-talking. Authorised but not sentimental. Searching for Schindler tom keneallY (Knopf) hb $50.00 History chronicled, powerful history, history to be remembered, never to be forgotten. This is the book of the journey that led to book and film. Searching for Schindler is candid, powerful and also—given the circumstances—frequently amusing. If the book reveals anything it is that Schindler displayed virtue when it was needed most, and that in the heart of darkness hope can sometimes prevail. Other Colours oRhan pamuk (Faber & Faber) hb $55.00 Other Colours is a personal selection of essays from Orhan Pamuk, spokesman for a writer’s freedom and winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature. Ranging from lyrical autobiography to provocative discussions of art it never loses its immediate relevance and narrative richness. Intimate memories are interspersed with Pamuk’s reflections on international politics and culture, skillfully capturing his devotion to literature and truth. Muck cRaig SheRBoRne (VUP) pb $30.00 Set in New Zealand and Australia, Muck features a cow called Miss Beautiful and a church-going atheist who sings like Dean Martin. It is a book about overbearing parents, mental illness and the extremes of human vanity. Most of all it is about a young man and the world he constructs in order to survive his family and discover a self of his own.

Daughter of the Desert: the Remarkable Life of Gertrude Bell geoRgina hoWell (Pan) pb $28.00 Documenting the life of one of the greatest female explorers of her time, Daughter of the Desert brings to life the indomitable character of this great author, linguist and political heroine. Born in 1868 into a world of privilege, Gertrude Bell transcended the restrictions of her gender and class and in so doing forged an enduring legacy, superbly expressed in this fluent and celebratory biography. Kiwi Keith: A Biography of Keith Holyoake BaRRY guStaFSon (AUP) hb $50.00 Gustafson argues that Holyoake was one of N.Z’s greatest prime ministers. Born into poverty, he left school at 12 and became the country’s youngest MP in 1932. Holyoake is revealed as highly astute, skilled at defusing division and preserving order whilst encouraging gradual progress. He was bluntly anti-nuclear, sceptical to say the least about the Vietnam war and was the first P.M to stop all-white All Black teams playing apartheid South Africa. Gustafson’s biography is thoroughly surprising and enlightening.



WiLD chiLDs
Memories, Dreams & Reflections maRianne FaithFull (Fourth Estate) pb $37.00 It has been ten years since the publication of Marianne Faithfull’s tell-all autobiography Faithfull, and now she’s back with this chronicle of the last ten years of a life lived to the fullest (pun intended). Since her last book Marianne has, in her own words, “made quite a few records, gone on many tours, tried to play it straight, and, well, the rest is the subject of this book.” Anecdotal, conversational, intimate and revealing; this is one for all those who can’t remember the sixties, and everyone else who wishes they were there. Re-make/ Re-model michael BRaceWell (Faber & Faber) hb $60.00 Re-make/Re-model recounts the story of the period, individuals and circumstances that led to the formation of Roxy Music—a group that in the words of its inventor, Bryan Ferry, was “above all, a state of mind”. Written with the assistance of all those involved, this is also the account of how Pop Art, the avant-garde underground of the 1960s, and the heady slipstream of London during that decade were transformed into the fashion cults of revivalism, nostalgia and pop futurism in the early 1970s.

Redemption Song: The Definitive Biography of Joe Strummer chRiS SaleWicz (Harper Collins) pb $29.00 Chris Salewicz was a close friend of Joe Strummer from 1977 until his shocking death five years ago. With the full approval and cooperation of relatives, companions and fellow musicians, he has written the definitive account of one of British rock ’n’ roll’s greatest idols. Friends and fellow musicians from Chrissie Hynde to Elvis Costello have contributed to the book, which also contains never-before-seen photos. Now in paperback, Redemption Song is a moving yet comprehensive insight into the man behind The Clash. Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of A Shattered Rock Star nikki SiXX (Simon & Schuster) hb $45.00 Infamous sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll memoir, The Dirt, by Motley Crue, shocked the world with the sheer level of debauchery and excess within its pages and became an overnight classic. Nikki Sixx, guitarist for Motley Crue, now uses his personal diary entries, with commentary from his band mates Tommy, Vince and Mick, to tell his own side of the story, focusing on the one year in which his crippling heroin addiction brought him close to losing his talent, his career, his family and his life.

Ronnie Ron Wood (Macmillan) hb $55.00 True story: Ronnie Wood came from a family of water gypsies. And in the 1960s, he was the guitar player for everyone from the Birds to Jeff Beck to the Faces to Rod Stewart. These are just a few tasters of the extraordinary life of Ronnie Wood, Rolling Stones guitar hero. This is a fascinating portrait not just of the Stones and Wood himself, but also of the greatest rockers of the 1960’s and beyond including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon and Jimi Hendrix. Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson WenneR & SeYmouR (Sphere) pb $40.00 Jann Wenner and Corey Seymour have interviewed over 100 of Hunter S. Thompson’s friends, family and colleagues—including Hell’s Angels leader Sonny Barger, Ralph Steadman and Jack Nicholson— and woven their memories into this brilliant oral biography of the notorious writer and journalist. It’s all here: the creative frenzies, the love affairs, the drugs, booze and guns, and, ultimately, the tragic suicide. As Thompson was fond of saying, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” Wonderful Today: The Autobiography of Pattie Boyd pattie BoYd (Headline) pb $40.00 So much of what we know about Pattie Boyd is surface and speculation: the beauty, the rock-star marriages, the affairs and the tragedies—all have been filtered through the perceptions of others until now. Boyd finally tells her own story of an equally cursed and blessed life, including her childhood in Kenya, the glamour and excitement of modelling in ’60s swinging London, her relationships with George Harrison and Eric Clapton, the stories behind those songs, as well as her secret trials and heartbreaks.

In the Frame: My Life in Pictures helen miRRen (Weidenfield & Nicholson) hb $60.00 Anyone—male or female—with even the slightest crush on Helen Mirren (pretty much everyone) will be intrigued and delighted by this beautifully produced memoir. In the Frame includes photos from the archives of Mirren’s aristocratic Russian grandfather, her tenure at the Royal Shakespeare Company, various saucy modelling shoots, and her most glamorous and public moments, right up to the present day. The words are great too—Mirren’s writing is heartfelt, fascinating and full of the juicy details we all secretly crave! 

non-Fiction
Collected Non-fiction nigel coX (Victoria University Press) pb $35.00 When Nigel Cox died in late July 2006, shortly before the publication of his sixth and last novel, The Cowboy Dog, he had plans for a non-fiction collection with a draft contents list and an Afterword: “What I Would Have Written”. This book contains pieces published over 20 years, from “Boys on Islands”, on his childhood influences, to “Before I Went Blind”, the Going West keynote address giving his impressions of New Zealand on his return from five years in Berlin. Previously unpublished material fills out the story of the Berlin years, and of the planning and opening of the Jewish Museum. Due Considerations: Essays & Criticism John updike (Hamish Hamilton) hb $70.00 With essays on travel, and on faith; introductions to classics; reviews of lesser known foreign writers and new books by English and American contemporaries; as well as non-fiction topics from the sinking of the Lusitania to Coco Chanel’s “unsinkable career”, and much more, this is a cruise through the cultural waters of the past decade with as delightful, witty, sensitive and articulate a guide as you could hope for. A voyage not to be missed. Psychogeography Will SelF Illus. Ralph Steadman (Bloomsbury) hb $55.00 This work reveals the split in Self’s Jewish American British psyche and its relationship to the political geography of the post 9/11 world. He presents a meditation on the vexed relationship between psyche and place in a globalised world, bringing together his very best “Psychogeography” columns for the “Independent”. Ranging from the Scottish Highlands to Istanbul and from Morocco to Ohio, Self’s engaging and disturbing vision is perfectly counter pointed by Ralph Steadman’s edgy and beautiful artwork. Gomorrah: Italy’s Other Mafia RoBeRt SaViano (Macmillan) top $38.00 Saviano is a very brave man who may soon be a very dead man. This bestseller reveals the inner workings of the Gomorrah, the gang network in Naples whose power and influence now rivals that of the Sicilian Mafia. Born in Naples, Saviano recalls seeing his first murder at the age of 14, and how his own father, a doctor, suffered a brutal beating for trying to help an 18-year-old victim, left for dead in the street. I’ll hazard a guess that he is the only author in this newsletter under police protection. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain 0liVeR SackS (Picador) pb $38.00 Described in The NZ Listener as the Ancient Mariner of the world of neuroscience, compelled to bring back his tales from the wilds of human brain dysfunction, Sacks shows that music is not simply about sound, but also movement, visualization, and silence. He follows the experiences of patients suddenly drawn to or suddenly divorced from music, and in so doing he shows, as only he can, both the extraordinary spectrum of human expression and the capacity of music to heal. Compellingly readable, Musicophilia is uniquely literate. On Ugliness umBeRto eco (Harvill) hb $95 RRP our price $80 (while stock lasts) This book is the follow up to Eco’s On Beauty. In his usual erudite manner, he interrogates manifestations of ugliness over the centuries and finds them to be richer and more unpredictable than is commonly thought. The anthological quotations and the extraordinary illustrations in this book lead us on a surprising journey among the nightmares, terrors, and loves of almost three thousand years. Among demons, freaks and the living dead (to name but three of the hundreds of things defined as “ugly”), we discover a vast and often unsuspected iconographic vein. Somehow, Eco always delivers. Never-Ending Days of Being Dead maRcuS choWn (Faber) pb $30.00 Dispatches from the front lines of science . . . Chown fearlessly addresses the big questions on the nature of the universe, the nature of reality, and the place of life in the universe. Ultimately, he says, science is about the down-to-earth things that matter to all of us. Where did the universe come from? Where did we come from? And what the hell are we doing here?

This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession daniel J leVitin (Plume) pb $32.00 Why are some chord sequences a delight to listen to while others create an allergy? Levitin’s answer is that it’s largely due to your brain’s analysis of structure—whether it recognises patterns and so finds some meaning. Memory also plays a part: without it there would be no music. This is an exciting book from a neuroscientist who was once a record producer. With fantastically satisfying examples of the interaction between music and the geography of the brain, the book is more than stimulating.

The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature Stephen pinkeR (Allen Lane) pb $40.00 Steven Pinker possesses a rare combination of scientific aptitude and verbal eloquence that enables him to provide lucid explanations of deep and powerful ideas. In The Stuff of Thought, Pinker marries two of the subjects he knows best: language and human nature, into a fascinating exploration of how our words explain ourselves and our societies. Brilliantly crafted and highly readable. 

A History at the End of the World Jonathan kiRSch (HarperCollins) pb $32 The Book of Revelation, with its terrifying images of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Antichrist, the Whore of Babylon and Armageddon is the most controversial book in the Bible. Kirsch shows how its prophecies of the afterlife have been used to manipulate the course of western civilisation. “An important book that is essential reading in our torn, conflicted world: it is articulate, learned and balanced.” — Karen Armstrong

Cultural Amnesia: Notes in the Margin of my Time cliVe JameS (Picador) pb $45.00 An energetic survey of modern culture with an annotated index of who-was-who and what-was-what, Cultural Amnesia is James’ take on the places and faces that shaped the twentieth-century. From Anna Akhmatova to Stefan Zweig, via Charles de Gaulle, Hitler, Thomas Mann and Wittgenstein, this varied and unfailingly absorbing book is both story and history, both public memoir and personal record—and is an essential field-guide to the movements of taste, intellect, politics and delusion that underscore the times we live in now. Not poetry. On the Bible kaRen aRmStRong (Allen & Unwin) pb $30.00 Leading theologian Karen Armstrong has written this, the latest in the “Books that Shook the World” series. The Bible is a complex and contradictory document created by scores of people over hundreds of years. Armstrong reveals the many and varied influences, from the origins of the earliest books of the Hebrew Bible, the Christian cult of Jesus, the influence of Paul’s letters on the Reformation and the manipulation of Revelations by Christian fundamentalism. Fascinating and enlightening reading.

The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football daVid goldBlatt (Penguin) pb $40.00 900 pages might seem a tad too much but then even a cursory dip into this opus reveals it’s more than Soccer as sport. It’s politics, sociology, art, economics, revolutions, wars and globalization. But Goldblatt never loses sight that it is, first and foremost, a game. As he ruminates on players, games and the World Cup he illustrates, with grace and style, why it is still the beautiful game.

The Lloyd Geering Reader: Prophet and Modernity paul moRRiS (Victoria University Press) pb $40.00 Geering has been instrumental in keeping religion and theology in the public debating arena in an open and rational manner. His concerns have given voice to a wider, secular society attempting to come to terms with the legacy of the 20th century, with globalisation and with modernity itself. This book is a collection of Geering’s writings covering a period of nearly 50 years and portrays how in retrospect Geering must be seen to be New Zealand’s prophet of modernity.

KiWiana
Soundtrack: 118 Great NZ Albums gRant SmithieS (Craig Potton Publishing) pb $50.00 A gloriously subjective celebration of New Zealand music, from Flying Nun guitar bands to Maori showbands, punk to folk and Polynesian hip-hop to Wellington soul. Smithies describes the book as being “crammed with blind prejudices, foggy memories, rash declarations, unsubstantiated assertions and, quite probably, lies.” But it’s also full of passion and emotion—a love song to our musical culture that shouldn’t be missed. Send Me a Postcard: New Zealand Postcards and the Stories they Tell William main (Craig Potton Publishing) pb $35.00 A charming and nostalgic collection of postcards from New Zealand: popular history at its best with a wide appeal. The cards are graphically fascinating, while the story they tell provides an intriguing view of life in New Zealand in the last century. Absolutely captivating. Wetlands of New Zealand: A bitter-sweet story Janet hunt (Random House) hb $70.00 Wetlands are the unheralded gems of the New Zealand landscape. Beautiful, fragile, breakable and broken—their story is one for celebration and for sorrow. Sorrow for the historical and ongoing loss; celebration because enough have survived to open our eyes to their wonder and value, and are being protected and restored. Wetlands of New Zealand takes us on a journey through a selection of these special landscapes. Beautifully complemented by Arno Gasteiger’s photography.

Looking Flash: Clothing in Aotearoa New Zealand BRonWYn laBRum (AUP) pb $50.00 Looking Flash examines what we wear and what we have worn over the past three centuries, from the shrinking bathing suit to the black singlet. Despite a reputation for being wary of “looking flash”, New Zealand has not always been a dowdy country. Essays span the clothing of pre-colonial Maori society, marching girls and castaways. There are also extraordinary stories about the fate of a Maori cloak and an Otago farmer’s remarkable collection of 1970s high-fashion garments. Proves that clothing reveals as much as it conceals. 

The Big Picture: A History of New Zealand Art from 1642 hamiSh keith (Godwit) pb $50.00 1642? Yes, we have an art history that dates back that far, to the engravings made during Tasman’s voyage to depict the first contact between European and Maori. In this taut, provocative and passionately argued history, Hamish Keith takes readers on a fascinating and illuminating exploration of our heritage. With over 300 illustrations, this remarkable survey of New Zealand’s art and culture is indispensable to our understanding of who we are. Nest of Singing Birds: 100 Years of the New Zealand School Journal gRegoRY o’BRien (Learning Media) pb $40.00 Over the course of its 100 years The School Journal has attracted work from an amazing range of writers and artists, including Margaret Mahy, James K. Baxter, Janet Frame, Rita Angus and Dick Frizzell. This glorious, full-colour, lavishly illustrated book celebrates the publication that has shaped the country we live in.

Southern Alps aliSon Ballance (Random House) hb $90.00 The stories of the Southern Alps—the geology, the weather, the glaciers, the rivers, the flora, the fauna, the Maori history and European history, lovingly illustrated with many images both modern and historical—ranging from Arno Gasteiger’s stunning photography through to botanical illustrations from the National Library. Readable and accessible natural and human history that is also beautifully written and beautifully presented—a ground breaking title in the New Zealand natural history genre.

Mau Moko: The World of Maori Tattoo ngahuia te aWekotuku (Viking) hb $65.00 Taia o moko, hei hoa matenga mou . . . Take your moko, as a friend forever. This magnificently illustrated book by a group of Maori scholars from the University of Waikato is the closest there has ever been to a ’complete’ book on moko. It explores the history, culture and spirituality of moko, and relates dozens of stories from contemporary wearers and artists. A stunningly beautiful, fascinating and authoritative work.

history
Napoleon’s Wars: An International History 1803-1815 chaRleS eSdaile (Allen Lane) hb $80.00 No other soldier has provoked as much argument as Napoleon Bonaparte. Was he a monster, driven on by an endless, ruinous quest for military glory—or was he a political visionary brought down by petty, reactionary kings and emperors, clinging to their privileges? Charles Esdaile has no doubt about Napoleon’s insatiable greed for glory, but he is profoundly interested in a pan-European context: what was it that made the countries of Europe fight each other, for so long and with such devastating results. This is history on the grandest and most ambitious scale: a superb reassessment of a tumultuous era. City of Laughter: Sex and Satire in Eighteenth-Century London Vic gatRell (Atlantic Books) pb $40.00 Satire is criticism by stealth, and thus cloaked, can escape the object’s ire and still serve as a currency. This detailed account reveals how the occupants of the then richest city in the world used satire as form of internal revolution; allowing the incumbent elite to modify and criticize without drawing direct attention to their mistakes and failures. The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia oRlando FigeS (Allen Lane) hb $70.00 The Russian language has two words for a whisperer: one for someone who whispers for fear of being overheard; another for the person who whispers behind people’s back to the authorities. The distinction arose in the Stalin years, when every Russian was a whisperer of one sort or the other. Drawing on a huge range of sources, Figes tells the story of how Russians endured life under Stalin, brilliantly conveying the reality of their terrible choices. As gripping as a thriller and as harrowing as Shakespearean tragedy, this is Figes’ masterpiece. God’s War: A New History of the Crusades chRiStopheR tYeRman (Penguin) pb $35.00 The Crusades are perhaps both the most familiar and most misunderstood phenomena of the medieval world, and here Christopher Tyerman seeks to recreate, from the ground up, the centuries of violence committed as an act of religious devotion. The result is a stunning reinterpretation of the Crusades, revealed as both bloody political acts and a manifestation of a growing Christian communal identity.  The Sun Kings: A History of Kingship hYWel WilliamS (Quercus) hb $50.00 From Ramses II through Nebuchadnezzar, to Catherine the Great and Napoleon, the great ‘Sun Kings’ of history have shaped and dictated the course of nations and empires. ‘The Sun Kings’ examines the lives and achievements of 50 of these historical luminaries, their power, opulence and influence, while making an overall study of the changing role of kingship. Travels with Herodotus RYSzaRd kapuScinSki (Allen Lane) hb $55.00 The young Kapuscinski wanted nothing more than to travel outside the borders of Poland. One day his editor called him into her office and told him he was being sent to India. As a parting gift she gave him a copy of The Histories of Herodotus. Travels with Herodotus records how Kapuscinski set out—to India, China and Africa—with the great Greek historian constantly in his pocket, feeling that he was embarking on two journeys—the first his assignment as a reporter, the second following Herodotus’ expeditions. A fascinating combination of memoir, history and philosophy from the greatest traveller-reporter of our time. Nemesis: The Battle for Japan, 1944–45 maX haStingS (HarperCollins) pb $43.00 Nemesis is a superb narrative history of the final battles of the Second World War. The battle for Japan that ended several months after the war in Europe involved enormous military operations and this book reflects the first-hand experiences of the airmen, sailors and soldiers at war in the Far East and the Pacific. There is no better chronicler of these events than military historian Max Hastings. This is history on an epic scale. History’s Greatest Hits: Famous Events We Should Know More About JoSeph cumminS (Pier 9) $50.00 This book is perfect if your mind was elsewhere during history lessons or you want to brush up on world-changing events that you may have forgotten. Cummins encapsulates our history from 250 BC to the present, including such hits as the Black Death, the Irish Potato Famine, the Battle of the Bulge and, my personal favourite, the Fall of the Berlin Wall. If you believe in conservation you’ll be pleased to know that each chapter is only eight pages and very accessible.

Sacred Causes: Religion and Politics from the European Dictators to Al Qaeda michael BuRleigh (Harper Perennial) pb $28.00 Following on from the highly successful Earthly Powers, this second volume provides a telling assessment of how religion—either as a driving force or as a combatant against extreme political movements—shaped the political landscape of Twentieth Century Europe, and how the spread of postwar Communism aided its entrenchment in the present-day political mindset.

The Discovery of France gRaham RoBB (Picador) hb $60.00 In this curious and engrossing book, noted biographer Graham Robb eschews the orthodox map of French history, finding instead a land of terra incognita, a France of ancient tribal divisions, regional dialects and pre-Christian beliefs. Embarking on a 14,000 mile bicycle journey, Robb explores how this enigmatic modern nation came to be, and how much of it—past and present—remains to be discovered.

FooDies’ corner
Table Talk: Sweet and Sour, Salt and Bitter a.a gill (Weidenfeld and Nicolson) hb $62.00 This unashamedly intolerant perfectionist has been writing about food in the U.K Sunday Times for over 10 years. This book is an idiosyncratic selection of these columns. For Gill, a meal is never just a meal. Famously his reviews are as much ruminations about society at large with insights on everything from yaks to cowboys, picnics to politics. Fizzing with wit—a treat for anyone who relishes brilliant journalism. A Hedonist In the Cellar JaY mcineRneY (Bloomsbury) pb $30.00 McInerney, renowned author of Bright Lights, Big City continues his “other” career with this collection of short essays on wines and their makers. Never dull or pretentious, his skill as a storyteller spills into these cheeky, informative pieces brimming with literary and pop-culture metaphor. “From start to finish, first sip to last . . . crisp, stylish and very funny.”—New York Times Book Review. Spilling the Beans claRiSSa dickSon WRight (Hodder and Stoughton) pb $48.00 We know Clarissa Dickson Wright as one half of that much loved T.V. cooking partnership, Two Fat Ladies. But her whole life has been extraordinary. Her mother was an Australian heiress, her father a brilliant surgeon—but also a tyrannical drunk. Clarissa at 21 became the youngest woman ever called to the bar—later her dramatic downfall and then the road to recovery, sobriety and peace. Humorous and inspiring. Eating for England nigel SlateR (Fourth Estate) hb $40.00 The British have a relationship with their food unlike that of any other country: once never discussed, it is now a national obsession. Slater’s latest celebrates the glory, humour, eccentricities and embarrassments that are “The British at Table”. An entertaining, detailed and somewhat tongue-in-cheek observation of his countrymen. Maggie’s Harvest maggie BeeR (Lantern) hb $135.00 Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! With an exquisite tapestrylike cover, pages that look and feel like the best cream, beautiful and often surprising photographs—this massive tome is a reminder of just what a beautiful art publishing can be. And then there’s the 350 recipes with Maggie’s descriptions of her favourite ingredients and accounts of memorable meals. Related in a chatty, interesting, informative and non-pretentious style. Fantastic. 1080 Recipes Simone oRtega (Phaidon) hb $80.00 First published in Spain over 35 years ago, it has been a bestseller ever since, undergoing several updates to keep it relevant. The recipes have now been adapted to suit readers in the western world and covers everything from tortilla to bacalao. ‘1080’ is presented in a user-friendly, no-fuss style—perfect for anyone who has ever wanted to cook authentic Spanish food. Turquoise malouF (Hardie Grant) hb $70.00 Following on from the success of Saha, Greg and Lucy Malouf bring their own inimitable blend of food and travel writing to the Turkish culinary landscape; and what a landscape—Byzantine churches, ancient teahouses, spice markets, mosques, tiny soup kitchens— and what food! “Slow cooked lamb, sticky pistachio baklava, tulum cheese salad with roasted walnuts, rocket and mint . . .” Buy this and drool! Moro East Sam & Sam claRk (Ebury Press) hb $80.00 The third cookbook in the critically acclaimed Moro series follows a year in the life of the Clarks as they renew their passion for the food of Spain and the Muslim Mediterranean by growing their own produce in an East End allotment. At Manor Garden allotments, a community of Turks and Cypriots cultivate and cook an extraordinary range of ingredients—and it is here that the two Sams experiment with plants and recipes. Holiday Bill gRangeR (Murdoch) hb $55.00 Bill Granger has three Sydney restaurants and a TV series—he’s a busy man but not too busy to take a break with his young family. His latest cookbook—Holiday is full of uncomplicated, big flavoured recipes. “My holidays are about laying down memories and the way I do that almost always involves food . . . this food that I’m enjoying with my family will, hopefully, one day whisk my children back to their own magical moments.” 

No Reservations anthonY BouRdain (Bloomsbury) pb $40.00 With his trademark wit and soulful charm, Bourdain takes readers with him on a hell for leather world tour, from New Jersey to NZ and everywhere in between mixing beautiful photos and mementos with Bourdain’s outrageous commentary on what really happens when you give a bad boy chef an open ticket to the world.

chiLDren’s BooKs
Teatro Olivia ian FalconeR (Universe) hb $35.00 This is a special one! Fans of Falconer’s imaginative pig, Olivia, kids of all ages and, well, pretty much everyone, will find hours of diversion in this delightful box. Inside, it folds out into a fabulous theatre where Olivia, the leading lady extraordinaire, can act out scenes from Romeo and Juliet, Turandot and Swan Lake while little brother Ian gracefully assists. Teatro Olivia also contains a book of plot summaries and biographies of the players, told in Falconer’s inimitably hilarious style. Also new: Olivia Helps With Christmas! hb $30.00. Iggy Peck Architect andRea BeattY, daVid RoBeRtS (Abrams) hb $32.00. Ignacious Peck is a gifted architect who, from the age of two, builds towers, sphinxes and temples using dirty diapers, apples and chalk, among other things. His parents encourage him, but Iggy encounters a teacher with a traumatic past who fears and loathes all buildings! Will Iggy Peck save his teacher and his class from peril using his precocious ability?! This is an absolutely stunning production, with gorgeous, stylish illustrations, and a clever, funny, rhythmic story. This is one for everyone! The Bearskinner lauRa Schlitz, maX gRaFe (Walker) hb $30.00 A poor man is tricked by the devil into wearing a huge, heavy bearskin and not shaving or washing for seven years. In return he receives limitless wealth but imperils his immortal soul. This fable by the Brothers Grimm is dark but beautifully retold by Schlitz, who emphasises the message to hold onto life even when things seem hopeless. Grafe’s illustrations are rich and textured and perfectly compliment the story. A special book for adults and kids 7 years +. M is for Metal: The Loudest Alphabet Book on Earth m. mcneil & BaRRY diVola (Love Police) hb $28.00 “For Those Who Are About to Learn, We Salute You!” Yes folks, that’s right. It’s an alphabet book about heavy metal! From “A is for Angus” (Angus Young from AC/DC that is) to “Z is for Zeppelin”, M is for Metal runs the gamut of rock ’n’ roll culture whilst providing laughs and a delightfully alternative version of the ABCs. Music lovers, children and adults alike will adore this under-the-radar gem. The Way Back Home oliVeR JeFFeRS (HarperCollins) hb $30.00 Fans of the contemporary classics How to Catch a Star, Lost and Found and more recently, The Incredible BookEating Boy will appreciate Oliver Jeffers’ brilliance as a writer and illustrator of children’s books. This new book is just as sweet and imaginative as his past titles. A small boy discovers a rocket-ship in his wardrobe and goes on an adventure, making an unexpected friend along the way . . . poignant, magical and utterly charming.  The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming lemonY Snicket (McSweeny’s) hb $23.00 Lemony Snicket says it best: “Latkes are potato pancakes served at Hanukkah, and a particularly irate latke is the star of The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming. Many other holiday icons appear and even speak . . . Santa Claus is briefly discussed as well. People who are interested in any or all of these things will find this book so enjoyable it will feel as though Hanukkah were being celebrated for several years, rather than eight nights.” An hilarious alternative to Christmas story schmaltz. Oy vey!

How to Find Flower Fairies cicelY maRY BaRkeR (Frederick Warner) hb $40.00 Barker’s timeless fairy illustrations are brought to three-dimensional life in this gorgeous new pop-up. Explore the five best places to find fairies, marvel at the amazing pop-up devices and discover hidden facts and cheeky fairies behind the flaps! Little girls and boys will be completely spellbound, as will collectors of Barker’s exquisite artwork. Moby Dick Pop-Up Sam ita (Cameron House) hb $35.00 Messrs Sabuda and Reinhart have dominated the rebirth of the pop-up book, but Sam Ita is a Sabuda apprentice with an eye on the pop-up crown! His Moby-Dick combines comic-book storytelling with innovative pop-up techniques to produce a version of the great novel that loses little of the dynamism of the original. Meet Captain Ahab, look through his telescope, hunt the great whale and watch the Pequod disappear into a terrible whirlpool! The Reed Treasury of NZ Children’s Books VaRiouS (Reed) hb $40.00 This must-have collection of books for New Zealand children draws on the best from Reed’s extensive list of illustrated books published over the past century. Ranging from high country stories to Maori tales, from tales of wartime bravery and cheeky animals, to counting and picture books and extracts from junior non-fiction, this illustrated anthology will have something for every young reader.

Pippi Longstocking aStRid lindgRen, lauRen child (Oxford University Press) hb $40.00 Pippi Longstocking lives all by herself with a horse, a monkey, and a big suitcase full of gold coins. The grown-ups in the village try to make Pippi behave in ways that they think a little girl should, but Pippi would much rather spend her days arranging wild, exciting adventures, wrestling a circus strongman or dancing a polka with burglars. This timeless classic is now illustrated for contemporary children by the great Lauren Child, whose playful, funny illustrations perfectly complement Pippi’s hilarious mischief-making.

Mirrorscape mike WilkS (Egmont) pb $20.00 Poor apprentice, Mel, is mesmerised by his new Master’s vividly coloured and detailed paintings, because there are no colours back home. To have colour in your life, you have to buy the Pleasure, and the sinister scarlet-robed Fifth Mystery own the rights to such Pleasures. Soon, Mel finds himself caught in a power struggle between the Mystery and the Master that involves stepping through paintings into a world where angels, pyramid mazes, talking houses and a simple paintbrush all combine to form a hugely original and deeply compelling fantasy.

The Cure michael coleman (Orchard) hb $35.00 It is the year 274 AD (After Darwin), in a world where religion has been completely rejected and science is the only belief system. In this world, Raul and his sister Arym live in a nurture house, cared for by the state. But Raul begins to have doubts about the regime and as a result, he and his sister are sent away to be ‘Cured’ of their disbelief. Will Raul become an unthinking believer like his sister? An original and thoughtful novel for young adults about belief, tolerance, and the power of critical thinking. Outcast michelle paVeR (Orion) hb $35.00 Torak is cast out from the clans in his fourteenth summer. Hunted and on the run he takes refuge in unknown territory—the haunted reedbeds of Lake Axehead, where he is menaced by the Hidden People. Other threats lurk nearby and his battle with the Soul-Eaters is far from over . . . as he fights for his life Torak uncovers a deception too awful to contemplate, one that threatens to shatters his world. The gripping fourth installment in Paver’s bestselling Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series.

The Declaration gemma malleY (Bloomsbury) hb $35.00 In a society in which aging is no longer feared, and death is no longer inevitable, Anna Covey is a “surplus”. Like all surpluses, she is imprisoned to make amends for the selfish act her parents committed in having her. Then one day, Peter arrives and starts telling Anna shocking things about her parents, the Declaration and life on the outside. This is a tense and thrilling story for teens about a society behind a wall, and the way in which two young people take the chance of breaking free.

giFt BooKs
Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: Sixth edition (Oxford) 2vol hb RRP $350.00 Special Price $300.00 while stocks last! (not eligible for Unity loyalty card) “Bumble-bee” is now “bumblebee”, “ice-cream” is “ice cream” and “pot-belly” is “pot belly”. In this first revision since 2002 two billion words have been reviewed and the SOED has been updated, enlarged, enlivened by 2,500 new words, new definitions of old words with new illustrative quotations. And 16,000 words lost their hyphens! If the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary is the mother of all dictionaries, the Shorter is its most accomplished offspring. The Times Comprehensive World Atlas 12th ed. (HarperCollins) hb $400 RRP Special Price $200.00 while stocks last (not eligible for Unity loyalty card) This atlas is universally recognized as the most prestigious and authoritative reference. This fully-revised 12th edition brings all the maps and detailed thematic information up to date with the latest geographical and geo-political changes. Featuring one of the most comprehensive indexes in the world, including alternative spellings for place names, the Atlas is a must-have for any home. 30,000 Years of Art: 1,000 Great Works of Art from all Periods and Regions in the World (Phaidon) hb $80.00 This novel follow-up to the coveted The Art Book offers a chronology of art history from 28,000 BC through to the present day, debunking usual classifications by showcasing the different types of art produced simultaneously in far-flung cultures. Thus the Venus de Milo is alongside a mural from the Mayan civilisation, and Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon is side-by-side with door panels from a Nigerian palace. Turning its pages is like wandering through a spectacular museum filled only with masterpieces. 0 Ralph Lauren Ralph lauRen (Rizzoli) hb $275.00 Unlike many designers Ralph Lauren is not known for a single signature look, but rather for his sweeping career and iconic status in the fashion world. In this visually stunning book, he speaks candidly for the first time about himself and his art; first his private life, with rare personal photos, then, second, he displays and writes about his most important and most loved work. New 100 Houses x 100 Architects BeaVeR (Images) hb $98.00 This is the fourth in the dynamic and best-selling series looking at the very best in international residential architecture around the world. Representing everything from modern to classical and captured by outstanding colour photography, the scope is far more international than earlier titles in the series. Architects from exotic locations such as the Aegean Coast of Turkey, Slovenia and Peru’s arid coastline feature alongside those from traditional locations in North America, the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. This book can be browsed through time and again, with each viewing guaranteed to inspire, delight and surprise. New New Zealand Houses patRick ReYnoldS, John WalSh (Godwit) hb $90.00 With New Zealand practices attracting international attention and local architecture awards attracting wide public interest, New Zealand architecture has come of age. In this intelligent survey of contemporary residential architecture, leading architectural photographer Patrick Reynolds and Architecture New Zealand magazine editor John Walsh take the pulse on New Zealand housing design. The book features magnificent photos of 25 of the best new New Zealand houses and incisive text that gets to grips with the issues and strengths of each house.

Stylist: the Creation of Style SaRah moWeR (Rizzoli) hb $150.00 Featuring 16 of today’s top tastemakers—selected for their sixth sense and, in many cases, enduring fame—this luscious book focuses on the fashion insiders whose precocious sense for the next big thing often results in trends of global proportions. The photography is by such luminaries as Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, and Annie Leibovitz. Mower interviews the best stylists known to Style.com and they tell us what it means to be at the threshold of the cutting edge. Tintin & Co michael FaRR (Egmont) hb $60.00 Leading British Tintinologist and journalist Michael Farr reveals the origins and inspiration behind a dozen of the most important characters featured in Tintin’s adventures. Lavishly illustrated, this book is a fine addition to Farr’s other books and will enrich your appreciation of the world Hergé created.

aLso in stocK
Runnin’ Down a Dream tom pettY & the heaRtBReakeRS $70.00
The essential collector’s item for Petty fans. Newly released photographs, interviews and more!

Jimi Hendrix: An Illustrated Experience Janie hendRiX & John mcdeRmott $75.00
Memorabilia including drawings, lyrics, photos and a 70 min CD of interviews and jam sessions.

The Jim Morrison Scrapbook JameS henke $70.00
Contains fascinating new reproductions of handwritten poetry, lyrics, sketches and interviews!

humour
The Dead Guy Interviews michael a. StuSSeR (Penguin) pb $25.00 Here’s your chance to chat with 45 of the most accomplished, notorious and deceased personalities in history. Quiz them about their lives, conquests and what’s on their i-pods. Ask Napoleon about his complex, Van Gogh about the ear episode or Cleopatra about how Caesar stacked up against Mark Antony? Wickedly gossipy and wildly educational. Includes Caligula, Buddha, Joan of Arc, Churchill and Henry VIII amongst others. Hot . . . and bothered michael leunig (Penguin) pb $28 Yaaaay!! This new Leunig is a collection of the cartoons that he has done since A New Penguin Leunig in 2005. Mostly in colour, it includes a few paintings and roughly half a dozen unpublished pieces of pure silliness, providing a mix of biting political pieces and the whimsical. Another hilarious treasure from the much loved artist. The Wit and Wisdom of P.G Wodehouse tonY Ring Hutchinson) hb $35 An absolutely cracking anthology of the Masters with epigrams and longer humorous extracts that will entertain, provide food for thought and have you laughing out loud. Touch Me I’m Sick: The 52 Creepiest Love Songs You’ve Ever Heard tom ReYnoldS (Random House) pb $25.00 The author of the bestselling I Hate Myself and Want to Die (the 52 most depressing songs) returns with creepy love songs that have gone off the rails. Categories include restrainingorder-inducing stalker ditties, narcissistic anthems and bitter break-up tunes. Complete with a ranked countdown of creepiness and black and white art throughout, this little stocking filler will change the way you listen to song lyrics.

BestseLLers From 2007 not to Be Forgotten
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