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July 28, 2017
Culture

Winter book shelf

A personal recommendation is the best way to guarantee a good book (or magazine) comes home with you. Here’s what we’re reading, and why we think you should be reading it too.

Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine

Recommended by Farrin Foster, CityMag editor

Putting paid to the myths that say women and men have different brains, and are therefore suited to different roles in life, Cordelia Fine’s Testosterone Rex is highly informative and also very, very funny.

The book examines the out-dated and often inaccurate science that is called upon to reinforce stereotypes about the genders, and is the perfect weapon for anyone who has found themselves trying in vain to argue that women can be just as good at business (and everything else) as men.


Insomniac City by Bill Hayes

Recommended by Jason Lake, Imprints Booksellers co-owner

If you’ve ever been to New York City, or want to go, and if you’ve ever been in love, then this book is for you. At 48, after decades in San Francisco, Bill Hayes, author, flanuer, and photographer, moves across the country and unexpectedly falls in love with his neighbour.

Insomniac City is both a heart breaking love letter to Oliver Sacks and the marvel that is NYC and a meditation on life, grief and the magic of love. You will weep.


Being a Beast by Charles Foster

Recommended by Joshua Fanning, CityMag publisher

I heard about Charles Foster – like a lot of good things – on Radio National. He was describing his penchant for the natural world and borderline obsession with animals. A fair explanation seeing as though he lived as a badger (and other native British animals) for an extended period of time.

Read this book if you want to understand what you’re feeling in the midst of the current technology boom. While we become ever-more cerebral and demand peakier sensations, Charles gets down in the dirt and practices his senses. It’s poetry and it’s a holiday and it’s a warning for the bipedal animals we are – feeling conscious may be better than thinking with your consciousness.


System Magazine published by Tartan Publishing Ltd

Recommended by Louie Quilao, CityMag graphic designer

Fashion Magazines are usually an archive of advertisements featuring objects regular people can’t afford. System has all of the ads – but in between contains in-depth conversations about the relationship between the fashion industry and contemporary culture.

It offers readers an insight into the thought process and opinions of some of the most well-known players in the game, whilst looking into aspects of fashion that are often forgotten about or skimmed over. Ten extra points for having nice photos.


Storyland by Catherine McKinnon

Recommended by Lauren Bezzina, CityMag design director

Sitting between This American Life and Monocle 24’s The Stack on my cluttered podcast app lies the only Australian radio show I subscribe to: Conversations with Richard Fidler. Aware that my Australiana cultural consumption was therefore somewhat anemic, I decided to read Storyland by SA author / theatre director / playwright Catherine McKinnon, which is set in New South Wales.

Stories from close to home feel different, more real almost, and reading the Aussie vernacular was so enjoyable I was compelled to binge watch a season of ‘Round the Twist on Netflix after finishing the book.

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