Monday, 29 September 2008

George Soros on the Credit Crisis

We have just received stock of George Soros's The New Paradigm for Finanacial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What it Means in paperback.

I was leafing through it and found in the chapter called My Outlook for 2008 the following: "Eventually, the U.S. government will have to use taxpayer's money to arrest the decline in housing prices. Until it does, the decline will be self-reinforcing, with people walking away from homes in which they have negative equity and more and more financial institutions becoming insolvent..." He wrote that on 23rd March this year.

If you are looking for some insight into the current situation in the financial world, this book looks like a good place to start. Dave

Friday, 26 September 2008

Balance & Harmony

Amidst all the feverish preparations for the upcoming season of cheer and retail frenzy, there are calm oases of reward and the occasional cause to skite. The lovely people at Murdoch are publishing Neil Perry's forthcoming cookbook Balance & Harmony: Asian Food and they hosted a function at the master chef's Rockpool.

Mr Perry himself oversaw an Asian banquet for 22 lucky people (and didn't we all know how fortunate we were!) and before the food was served, we were treated to an explanation of the forthcoming dishes, and a bit of background to how the book came to be. Charming and articulate, he told us how he had grown up trying Chinese dishes (bringing back memories of the restaurants that had the little coda on the menus -Australian Dishes - for those who couldn't eat that foreign stuff!) but it wasn't until he toured Thailand with David Thompson of Darley St Thai fame, that he came to appreciate the beauty of the subtle depths of flavour achieved with spices used differently.

Everything we ate is featured in the new cookbook: White cut chicken (poached in a very simple method) with ginger and shallot; sichuan salt and pepper silken tofu (absolutely divine - not an adjective that has ever been paired with soybean curd in my words before!); steamed blue-eye trevalla with black beans; pork shoulder curry; sichuan style eggplant; and seasonal fruit to follow and cleanse the palate. Of course, the cooks amongst the company made a beeline for the finished copy on display, to try to work out what went into the dishes. Much to my amazement, the ingredients were simple, though you would have to source the occasional one from an Asian grocery, and the methods very easily achievable at home (as long as you have a good wok).

It will be a very beautiful book, with excellent paper and every now and then an insert to divide the sections, composed of art paper which is lovely to touch. The photography is delicious and the layout very easy to navigate. The limited first print run will be cased in a gorgeous cloth covered case, and subsequent printings will just be cloth covered binding without the box. Start hinting now to your principal gift-giver, how much you would like to cook for them out of this usefully beautiful book! Lindy

Saturday, 20 September 2008

David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)

Last week I was deeply saddened to hear the news of the death of the American novelist, David Foster Wallace. Best known for his darkly hilarious tome, Infinite Jest, Wallace was one of the shinning lights of American literature. According to Jonathan Franzen “He was a huge talent, our strongest rhetorical writer”.
Wallace was not just committed to fiction, he could write probing essays on tennis, the American political system, pornography and even mathematics. His book Everything and More was praised by New Scientist as one of the few books on mathematics that can have you laughing out loud. Although many compared him to Thomas Pynchon, I always saw him as the rightful successor to William Gaddis. He would look at the most painful of topics and have you laughing but between each giggle there was a brief moment of contemplation and unease. Wallace died on September 12, 2008, at the age of 46. He leaves behind a body of work that demands to be revisited again and again. Greg

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The Garnaut Climate Change Review

Cambridge University Press will be publishing The Garnaut Climate Change Review on 13th October 2008. It will be about 900 pages and will sell for $79.95.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Psst! Wanna Buy a Great Dictionary Real Cheap?

When Oxford University Press reduced the price of the Oxford English Dictionary to $1,999 in 1999 I thought that you would never see this amazing dictionary offered at a lower price.

Well, I was wrong. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of the OED, the price has been reduced to $1,300 for the 20-volume set - or $1,500 if you buy it bundled with the OED on CD-ROM.

This is an unbelievable price, and it's only available for a limited time. If you have always wanted to own all 20 volumes and 22,000 pages of this superb dictionary but didn't want to spend $2,500, then this is the news you have been waiting to hear.

If you have a computer, I would recommend buying the books plus CD-ROM bundle. Not only does the CD-ROM incorporate words that didn't make it into the printed volumes, it features powerful search capabilities which enable to explore the dictionary in ways not possible with books. It can also be loaded onto your computer, so if you have a laptop, you can take the world's greatest dictionary everywhere you go! Two things you need to know about the CD-ROM are: It is only available for the PC - there is no Mac version, and it is only licensed for a single-user (you cannot use it on a network).

We expect stock to arrive in October. Dave

Monday, 1 September 2008

The Lost Dog

We have just received stock of the paperback edition of Michelle de Kretser's The Lost Dog. As well as winning the 2008 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, it also was Book of the Year at this year's NSW Premier's Literary Awards and has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. So if you haven't read it yet, maybe you should, if only to see if you agree with the judges!