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Back You are here: Home Reviews Books Recommended Reading: April 2010

Recommended Reading: April 2010

BookgenericBe inspired, motivated, challenged and intrigued by this month's selection of books.








The Warmth of the Heart Prevents Your Body from Rusting
Marie de Hennezel

WarmthHeart“It’s up to us, the baby boomers, to invent a new art of growing old?—?which is a paradox, since it means accepting the inevitability of ageing without becoming ‘old’ says psychologist and psychotherapist Marie de Hennezel, who proposes that our exploration be guided by the belief that something within us does not grow old:

“I shall call it the heart. I don’t mean the organ, which does of course age, but the capacity to love and to desire. The heart I refer to is that inexplicable, incomprehensible force which keeps the human being alive …”

The inevitable ageing process does not condemn us to solitude, suffering, degradation, or dependency.

Without mincing her words, de Hennezel guides us through a true ‘art of growing old’. She recalls encounters within her clinical practice with ‘those who grow old gracefully’ – and through her experience shows us how to make the most of this time in our lives, how to avoid depression, and how to stay happy.



The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader (second edition)
Edited by Amelia Jones
Routledge (distributed in Australia through Palgrave Macmillan)

Feminism_Visual_ReaderFeminism is one of the most important perspectives from which visual culture has been theorized and historicized over the past forty years.

Challenging the notion of feminism as a unified discourse, this second edition of The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader assembles a wide array of writings that address art, film, architecture, popular culture, new media and other visual fields from a feminist perspective.

Contributors include bell hooks, Del LaGrace Volcano, Pratibha Parmar, Judy Chicago, Laura Mulvey, Judith Halberstam, Monique Wittig, Harmony Hammond, Judith Butler, Sue-Ellen Case, Donna Haraway and many more.

The essays, 40% of which are new to the second edition, are informed by the authors’ deep attention to historical, geographical, and disciplinary contexts as well as by cutting edge concerns such as globalization, diasporic cultural shifts, developments in new media technologies, and intersectional identity politics.

The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader combines classic texts with six specially commissioned pieces, all by leading feminist critics, historians, theorists, artists, and activists.

Articles are grouped into thematic sections, each of which is introduced by the editor. Providing a framework within which to understand the shifts in feminist thinking in visual studies, as well as an overview of major feminist theories of the visual, this reader also explores how issues of race, class, nationality, and sexuality enter into debates about feminism in the field of the visual.


Throwing off the Cloak: Reclaiming Self-Reliance in Torres Strait
Elizabeth Osborne
Aboriginal Studies Press 

ThrowingOffCloakThrowing off the Cloak opens a window onto the Torres Strait Islands peoples’ struggles for control over their own lives, and recognition of their unique island identities and aspirations.

For 160 years the Islanders have resisted governments’ continued dismissal of their ambitions. Foregrounding the Islanders’ views throughout, Osborne explores the debates centring on their struggle to recover their rights to their land, sea, fish resources, and to make decisions for their own wellbeing.

A successful example of their passive resistance and emerging skills in dealing with political leaders was the successful Border Not Change protest.

Torres Strait Islander fishers have struggled against governmental control of their sea resources and those who take mercilessly from them.

One Torres Strait Island leader articulated what identity means to him when asked, ‘What are you claiming, are you claiming the sea, the beach or the resources?’ He replied, ‘If an oil tanker ran aground it kills the bed, kills the fish and it kills me’.

Throwing off the Cloak is essential reading for anyone interested in Indigenous responses to colonisation.

Elizabeth Osborne’s association with Torres Strait began in 1967. For five years she and her husband lived on Thursday Island, and their relationship with Torres Strait continues today. Her book, Torres Strait Islander Women and the Pacific War, was published in 1997.

The Mighty Bras
Paul Connolly
Affirm Press 

Mighty_BrasIn the summer of 2003, a mob of mature women from Melbourne, Australia, threw caution, asthma inhalers and orthopaedic inserts to the wind and formed a football (soccer) team to play in the lower division of the metropolitan league.

The Mighty Bras - as the Brunswick Zebras became known - have defied the odds and their old bones ever since to prove that, well, winning isn't everything.

Coach and author Paul Connolly has steered the Bras through their occasional triumphs and frequent troubles.

His deft and delightful memoir is a suburban sports story about friendship, community and shared ideals. And testament that football is indeed 'a funny old game'. 



Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change
Clive Hamilton
Allen and Unwin 

Requiem_speciesWe know how dire the future looks. We know how little time we have left to act. Yet we continue to ignore the warnings ... One of Australia's sharpest thinkers explores the reasons why and offers his vison of our new future.

Sometimes facing up to the truth is just too hard. There have been any number of urgent scientific reports in recent years emphasising just how dire the future looks and how little time we have left to act. But around the world only a few have truly faced up to the facts about global warming.

This book is about why we have ignored those warnings, so that now it is too late. It is a book about the frailties of the human species: our strange obsessions, our hubris, and our penchant for avoiding the facts.

It is the story of a battle within us between the forces that should have caused us to protect the earth, like our capacity to reason and our connection to nature, and our greed, materialism and alienation from nature, which, in the end, have won out.

And it is about the 21st century consequences of these failures, and what we can do now.
Because we don't have to take this lying down.



Handmade Love
Julie R. Enszer
A Midsummer Night’s Press

Handmade_loveIn her first collection, Julie R. Enszer offers poems that are as unabashedly erotic as they are unabashedly feminist. Whether responding to queer cultural icons, fantasizing about sex, or mourning illness and loss, these poems are sweet and sultry, fierce and tender.

From demonstrations on the streets to bedroom romps, these smart and sexy poems interweave narrative and lyrical moments with the political and the sensuous.

Handmade Love renders a world that delights in the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans people and tells queer life stories sublimely and generously.






Books selected by Katrina Fox, Editor-in Chief.

For details of where to send review copies, click on the Contact menu.


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