Ole Thorstensen - Making Things Right - Quercus

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback £13.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9780857056696
    • Publication date:05 Oct 2017
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780857056672
    • Publication date:05 Oct 2017
  • Paperback £8.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9780857056702
    • Publication date:04 Oct 2018

Making Things Right

A Master Carpenter at Work

By Ole Thorstensen

  • Hardback
  • £16.99

A celebration of good craftsmanship by a Norwegian master carpenter - the anatomy of a job well done.

A celebration of good craftsmanship by a Norwegian master carpenter - the anatomy of a job well done.

"An enriching and poetic tribute to manual labour" Karl Ove Knausgård

"In Thorstensen's skilled hands, the everyday story of a suburban loft conversion is turned into an urgent study on the value of doing good work. It should be widely read." Robert Penn - author of The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees

This is, quite simply, the story of a loft conversion. It is also a book about work and identity, about collaboration and pride in skilled craftsmanship, and about what it means to make things with your hands in a consumerism-driven world.

A master carpenter and builder with thirty years' experience, Thorstensen gives a matter-of-fact, reflective voice to the workers who construct our living spaces and our urban environment. He looks upon his tools as an important part of himself and as a reflection of his respect for his trade, and he addresses the gulf in understanding and communication between skilled craftsmen and "academic" workers.

From the moment of a client's phone call to their occupation of a newly constructed living space, Making Things Right tracks the project as it takes shape: the delicate negotiation to establish an optimum plan; the collaboration with a trusted team of specialist painters, plasterers, plumbers, electricians; the handling of materials; the blood, sweat and frustration involved in doing a job well.

Why is it that manual skills are underestimated? After all, working with your hands gives you time to think. With all its practical detail, Making Things Right is the simple philosophy of a working life.

Will interest readers of The Craftsman by Richard Sennett: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain; The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees by Robert Penn; Do No Harm by James Marsh and A Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks

Translated from the Norwegian by Sean Kinsella

Biographical Notes

Ole Thorstensen was born in Arendal, Norway, and makes his debut as an author with a story about work and identity and a tribute to manual labour. Thorstensen was raised on Tromøy, an island with five thousand inhabitants. He is a trained carpenter, and has worked for twenty-five years in the construction industry. He now lives in Eidsvoll, six miles north of Oslo.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780857056689
  • Publication date: 05 Oct 2017
  • Page count: 256
  • Imprint: MacLehose Press
It is so rich in descriptions of all pleasures related to mastering a craft: the portrayal of the working community, the joy of seeing something take shape, and the knowledge that one has left a piece of oneself behind. The pleasure of drinking coffee from a thermos, listening to good radio, observe the city from new angles, and feel the weight of history when you continue building on something that the craftsmen before you started . . . A nice mix of sociology, philosophy - not to mention ethics — Klassekampen
An important voice against knowledge deficiency . . . By documenting an entire course of a construction project in diary form, he offers insight into processes that very few people know anything about . . . The book is just as solid as the craft that he describes — Dagbladet
Thorstensen writes convincingly about heavy work as something honourable, without ever stumbling into romantic notions of physical work as a way to fill the emptiness . . . For Thorstensen the meaning already exists in the work itself and within him — Bokmagasinet
In Thorstensen's skilled hands, the everyday story of a suburban loft conversion is turned into an urgent study on the value of doing good work. It should be widely read. - Robert Penn, author of The Man Who Made Things out of Trees
An enriching and poetic tribute to manual labour, and to the ongoing importance of the art that goes into it. Ole Thorstensen writes about the values manual labour brings to society as a whole. Making Things Right is a sharp reminder that we cannot afford to lose them. — Karl Ove Knausgård
A surprisingly absorbing read . . . illuminating for the humble homeowner and giving a great sense of his world. A quirky offering. — Nadine O'Regan, Sunday Business Post
Making Things Right won't tell you how to do your loft conversion . . . but it should tell you what sort of guy you'd like to have it done by. — A.H.S. Smyth, Spectator.
Quercus

Craftfulness

Rosemary Davidson, Arzu Tahsin
Authors:
Rosemary Davidson, Arzu Tahsin

To read Crafty Therapy is to take the first step on the path to leading a more satisfying and fulfilling life. A book in three parts, it focuses on: · the science of creativity and the authors' down-to-earth craft ethos, as well as why everyone should develop a craft habit; · how to make time in a hectic life for everyday creative work, and how to overcome self-criticism and lack of confidence; · simple but immensely satisfying craft projects classified according to which itch needs to be scratched, from anxiety and anger to melancholia and frustration (complete with beautifully illustrated step-by-step instructions). The result is a wonderful piece of soul cleansing and healing, and an all-you-need-to-know friendly guide to give you the confidence to give crafting a go.

Quercus

On Sheep

Axel Lindén
Authors:
Axel Lindén

Why do we keep sheep? Alex Lindén ruminates as he watches his sheep ruminating. Naive and inexperienced, he has ditched his doctoral studies in order to move to a fully working farm in the country with his family, where he is tasked with the responsibility of caring for a herd of sheep.Lindén records his new life in his diary, as he tries to manage life on the farm, the ever-escaping sheep and the trials and tribulations that come with being a shepherd - shearing, lambing and confronting the slaughterhouse. As time passes and he gradually settles into the rhythm of shepherding, his naivete fades away and is replaced with stark realisations about what is now his everyday life. He finds himself applying his experiences of animal husbandry to consider our place - as individuals and as a collective organism - in the universe. Is he really the one caring for the sheep, or are they the ones keeping him? Lindén finds both companionship in his flock and a sound, if complex, moral framework for examining the lives we lead.The result is a sensitive and entertaining meditation on the small wonders in our world.

MacLehose Press

The Oblique Place

Caterina Pascual Söderbaum
Authors:
Caterina Pascual Söderbaum

An exceptional literary journey unlike any other, an achingly beautiful fusion of memories and history unlike any other. "Caterina Pascual Söderbaum has left a major European literary work of art as her legacy" STEVE SEM-SANDBERG, author of Emperor of LiesFrom idyllic Attersee in Austria, where the employees at Nazi extermination camps are sent for a well-deserved rest, to Schloss Hartheim, where the staff of the regime's euthanasia programme forget, with the help of alcohol and sex, the horrors that take place there, to Villa Saint-Jean, the summer residence where malnourished children from France's internment camps are sent to recover. In Uppsala, a woman scours her mother's albums for photographs of her christening, taken in the family's flat in Spanish Lérida. In one she is resting in her father's arms. In the next he toasts the camera, dressed in the uniform of Franco fascism and with his right arm extended. A whole family history in just a few photographs: a grandfather who joined Hitler's army; a father who dreamed of war and ended up in the Spanish Sahara; a mother who shares her surname with Kristina Söderbaum, a celebrated film star of the Third Reich. And the child in a white christening gown, who will become a mother herself and one day walk along the shores of the Attersee. In evocative prose that examines whether guilt can be passed down through generations, the late Caterina Pascual Söderbaum explores how Europe lost itself in a period of darkness.Translated from the Swedish by Frank Perry

Quercus

The Brain in Minutes

Rita Carter
Authors:
Rita Carter

The brain is considered the most complex structure in all of creation. But recent discoveries in neuroscience are now revealing the inner secrets of the brain - how it works, why it makes us who we are and what happens when it goes wrong. This cutting-edge and comprehensive guide explains why the human brain became so clever; how it controls everything from breathing, sleeping and seeing to identity, imagination, pleasure and pain; and what will happen when the brain integrates with computers or the latest genetic discoveries. Award-winning science writer Rita Carter also demystifies amnesia, multiple personalities, psychopathy, dreaming, hallucinations, addiction, autism, dyslexia, schizophrenia, dementia, and numerous other conditions of the mind.The Brain in Minutes covers: the origin and anatomy of the brain; control of the body; mood and emotions; perception; consciousness; memory and learning; personality; intelligence and other higher functions; language; strange states of the mind; malfunctions, disease and treatments; and the future of the brain. It also includes 200 high-tech scans, images and diagrams that detail and explain the structure and workings of the amazing human brain.

MacLehose Press

The Blind Spot

Javier Cercas
Authors:
Javier Cercas

Javier Cercas is one of the most enjoyable and innovative novelists at work today. Well known among English-language readers as the author of Soldiers of Salamis (winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize), The Anatomy of a Moment and The Impostor, Cercas is also Professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Girona. In 2015, following in the footsteps of George Steiner, Mario Vargas Llosa and Umberto Eco, as Weidenfeld Visiting Professor in Comparative European Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford, Cercas gave a series of five lectures on the novel today, which have since been revised and are now published in English for the first time as The Blind Spot.Starting with Don Quixote and his own experience as a writer, Cercas launches out into a consideration of the most challenging fiction of the last hundred years, from Kafka, Borges, Perec, Calvino and Kundera, to Sebald, Coetzee, Barnes, Foster Wallace and Knausgård. First, he defines and celebrates certain aspects of the novel in the twenty-first century which are also features of Cervantes' masterpiece: its essential irony and ambiguity, its total commitment to innovation, its natural, joyful and omnivorous desire to cram the whole world within its pages, and its intricate concern with fiction and reality. Then he moves on to consider the actual meaning of the novel, the uncertain and discredited role of the writer as intellectual, and the role of the reader in the creation of a form whose aim is to tell the truth by telling lies.The result is a dazzling short book which provides a new interpretation of novel from Cervantes and Melville to the present, and which will be as stimulating for readers and writers of literature in the twenty-first century as E. M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel or Milan Kundera's The Art of the Novel were in the last.

riverrun

The Italian Teacher

Tom Rachman
Authors:
Tom Rachman

'Deft characterisation, buoyant wit and imaginative richness' Evening Standard'Masterful . . . slick, entertaining' Guardian 'Funny poignant, occassionally breathtaking' Financial TimesRome, 1955The artists are gathering together for a photograph. In one of Rome's historic villas, a party glitters with socialites and patrons. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast, masculine, meaty canvases, is their god. He is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot.From the side of the room watches little Pinch - their son. At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, while Natalie faces her own wars with the art world. Trying to live up to his father's name - one of the twentieth century's fiercest and most controversial painters - Pinch never quite succeeds. Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, he enacts an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy.What makes an artist? In The Italian Teacher, Tom Rachman displays a nuanced understanding of art and its demons. Moreover, in Pinch he achieves a portrait of vulnerability and frustrated talent that - with his signature humour and humanity ­- challenges the very idea of greatness.

Quercus

Above Head Height

James Brown
Authors:
James Brown

'The Fever Pitch of five-a-side' TONY PARSONSA must-have for anyone who has ever played and enjoyed amateur football.James Brown has been playing football since growing up in the backstreets of Leeds. The sudden death of one of his long-standing team mates made James ponder the unique bond between men who meet each other once a week for years, but don't know any personal details beyond pitch prowess.Five-a-Side football is where you play the beautiful game for love, not money. You play it for life and you play it everywhere. Your kit is damp and your legs are a leopard's back of bruises. Shirts are often tight around the belly, with your hero's name plastered across your shoulder blades. The showers are too cold in winter and too hot in summer. Your used sports bag stays unpacked in the hall, and your water bottles are under the kitchen sink. The post-match warm down takes place in the pub. As does the match analysis. By contrast the warm up is non-existent. Your performance is patchy and maybe not what it used to be. But we all still think we played great. Five-a-Side is sporting Karaoke - a time and place to live out our dreams.This is a book for all of us - school mates, work colleagues, total strangers - bonded by the desire to blast one into the net from two feet away.

riverrun

Histories

Sam Guglani
Authors:
Sam Guglani
MacLehose Press

Lampedusa

Pietro Bartolo, Lidia Tilotta
Authors:
Pietro Bartolo, Lidia Tilotta

The essential testimony of an Italian doctor who has worked for twenty-five years on the front line of perhaps the largest mass migration in human history."Bartolo tells us about rescuing everyone he can, burying those he cannot, and saving their stories as if they were his own. This is a personal, urgent and universal book" GLORIA STEINEM"An urgent, wrenching dispatch from the frontline of the defining crisis of our times . . . Bartolo is at once the saviour and the coroner to boatload after boatload of migrants who risk everything to cross the deadly seas. It is also a damning indictment of the broader, collective indifference of humankind to both the drowned and the saved" PHILIP GOUREVITCH"Dr Pietro Bartolo has seen more suffering and death in his career than any one man should have to witness" Amnesty International"Through Bartolo we understand that it is impossible to do nothing in the face of such great human need" Vanity FairIt is common to think of the refugee crisis as a recent phenomenon, but Dr Pietro Bartolo, who runs the clinic on the Italian island of Lampedusa, has been caring for its victims - both the living and the dead - for a quarter of a century.Situated some 200 km off Italy's Southern coast, Lampedusa has hit the world headlines in recent years as the first port of call for hundreds of thousands of African and Middle Eastern migrants hoping to make a new life in Europe.The shipwrecks began in 1992. Before the Arab Spring, they came from Africa, but now they come from across the Arab world as well. And the death toll is staggering. On Christmas Eve, 1996, 286 bodies were recovered; on the night of October 3, 2013, 366 out of 500 migrants died after a shipwreck nearby.For the past twenty-five years, Doctor Bartolo has been rescuing, welcoming, helping, and providing medical assistance to those who survived. But, above all, he has been listening to them. Tales of pain and hope, stories of those who didn't make it, who died at sea, their bodies washed up on shore; stories of those who lost their loved ones, of babies that never had a chance to be born.Translated from the Italian by Chenxin Jiang

Quercus

Catfulness

A Cat
Authors:
A Cat
Quercus

The World of Tides

William Thomson
Authors:
William Thomson

In The Book of Tides, William Thomson took the reader on a mesmerising journey round the coast of Britain. Now, he sets out with his surfboard and tidal compass to encounter the waters of the world, charting his most extraordinary sights and experiences. These include the whirlpools of the Arctic circle, the world's biggest ever surfed wave off Portugal, the strongest whirlpool in Norway and, in Australia, the most dangerous rapids known to us.With the enticing combination of William's passionate text and collectible mapping illustrations, this is a book for anyone who feels the pull of the tides and call of the sea.FEATURING:New ZealandAustraliaPortugalFranceEnglandScotlandNorwayThe NetherlandsSpainIndonesiaChinaJapanUSACanadaBelize

Quercus

How to Draw Anything

Quercus

The Little Book of Ikigai

Ken Mogi
Authors:
Ken Mogi
MacLehose Press

The Sixteen Trees of the Somme

Lars Mytting
Authors:
Lars Mytting
MacLehose Press

The Sixteen Trees of the Somme

Lars Mytting
Authors:
Lars Mytting
Quercus

Maths 1001

Dr Richard Elwes
Authors:
Dr Richard Elwes
Quercus

Five Go Parenting

Bruno Vincent
Authors:
Bruno Vincent
Quercus

The Human Body in Minutes

Tom Jackson
Authors:
Tom Jackson
Quercus

How to Play the Piano

James Rhodes
Authors:
James Rhodes
Quercus

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k

Sarah Knight
Authors:
Sarah Knight