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Dave
Shame and the Captives

Shame and the Captives

Tom Keneally

$32.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- During the second world war, in the fictional mid-west town of Gawell, Alice and her father-in-law run the farm while Alice's husband is confined to a prison camp in Europe.  Nearby is an army base and a detention camp for captured Italian and Japanese prisoners-of-war.  This camp is run in a benevolent way by its commanding officer, an Englishman with a difficult marriage and an uneasy relationship with his second in command. 
 
The Italians are sent out to work on farms in the area but the Japanese are not amenable to this practice for their shame at being captured prevents them from co-operating in any way with their guards, whom they despise.  Despite being completely perplexed by the their behaviour and values, their British and Australian captors treat them well, sticking strictly to the Geneva Convention, hoping that by doing so their soldier sons,  in turn prisoners of the Japanese in Asia, will benefit.  
 
Tom Keneally's new book explores the seemingly intractable cultural differences that exist between the two races, differences that will lead to the horrors of the 'breakout'.  Told from both the Australian and Japanese viewpoint this is an unsettling and, towards the end, harrowing read.  It is also a fascinating look at small town country life during the war and at the people there.  Isolation, loneliness, fear of the unknown and the unknowable all combine to erupt the terrible events of August 1944 that really occurred in Cowra, New South Wales. ~ David Hall
Dam Busters: The Race to Smash the Dams, 1943

Dam Busters: The Race to Smash the Dams, 1943

James Holland

$34.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is a riveting read. The author makes you feel like you are with the crews of the aircraft! He also gives a good assessment of the impact the attack had on the German war effort. Dave

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The night of May 16th, 1943. Nineteen specially adapted Lancaster bombers take off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, each with a huge 9,000lb special cylindrical bomb strapped underneath them. Their mission: to destroy the German dams, symbols of German engineering and identity, and which provide the lifeblood of the Third Reich's industrial heartland. From the outset, it was an almost impossible task, a suicide mission: to fly in formation, at less than one hundred feet, over many miles of enemy occupied territory at night at the very limit of the Lancasters' range, and drop a new weapon which had never been tried operationally before at a precise height of just sixty feet off the water at some of the most heavily defended targets in the German Reich. More than that, the entire operation had to be put together in less than ten weeks. At the moment Barnes Wallis' concept of the bouncing bomb was green lighted, he hadn't even drawn up his plans for the weapon that was the smash the dams. What followed was an incredible race against time, which, despite numerous set-backs and despite huge odds, became one of the most successful and game-changing bombing raids of all time.
Pacific 360: Australia's Battle for Survival in World War II

Pacific 360: Australia's Battle for Survival in World War II

Roland Perry

$50.00

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- It's hard for those of us who weren't there to imagine what it was like in Australia in early 1942. After Pearl Harbour, the fall of Singapore and the attacks on Darwin, Australia was virtually defends Pacific war, from Prime Minister Curtin and his dealings with Churchill and Roosevelt to the diggers who stopped, then pushed back, the Japanese army. Dave

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On 7 December 1941, Australia was pushed to centre stage as Japan entered World War II and began the offensive which triggered the Pacific War.  Roland Perry captures the drama and detail of the Australian Government's political and military struggle with allies and enemies alike as those at home prepared for a fight to the death, while in the Pacifc theatre Australia's armed forces fought for the nation's very existence.  This chronological dual narrative follows the story of Australia's Pacific War on the front lines and at home, and how such a critical moment in history has affected and shaped Australia's political and social culture.
The Secret Listeners: How the Wartime Y Service Intercepted the Secret German Codes for Bletchley Park

The Secret Listeners: How the Wartime Y Service Intercepted the Secret German Codes for Bletchley Park

Sinclair McKay

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The part played by the code-breakers at Bletchley Park in winning WWII is well known. This book tells the stories of the people who intercepted the messages that Bletchley Park decoded. The Y (for ‘Wireless’) Service was made up of men and women who were sent throughout the world to listen to German transmissions. The work was demanding and the conditions were often very uncomfortable and dangerous, but those involved were talented and dedicated and their stories make fascinating reading! Dave 

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Before Bletchley Park could break the German war machine’s code, its daily military communications had to be monitored and recorded by 'the Listening Service', the wartime department whose bases moved with every theatre of war (Cairo, Malta, Gibraltar, Iraq, Cyprus) as well as having listening stations along the eastern coast of Britain to intercept radio traffic in the European theatre. This is the story of the - usually very young - men and women sent out to farflung outposts to listen in for Bletchley Park, an oral history of exotic locations and ordinary lives turned upside down by a sudden remote posting - the heady nightlife in Cairo, filing cabinets full of snakes in North Africa, and flights out to Delhi by luxurious flying boat.
The Origin of Species: and, The Voyage of the Beagle

The Origin of Species: and, The Voyage of the Beagle

Charles Darwin ,  Ruth Padel

$12.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Great scientists don’t necessarily make great writers, but with these books Darwin showed he was indeed both. The Voyage is part travelogue, part natural history, describing his adventures and observations during the five year voyage of the Beagle. Originally written as part of the official history of the voyage, it was so well written that it was published as a separate book. The Origin is one of the more accessible 'great books of science' and a brilliant example of how to give people a multitude of reasons for accepting your argument. Either of these books would be a bargain for $12.95, but getting both for that price is a steal! Dave

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This title is presented with an introduction by Darwin's great-great-granddaughter, Ruth Padel. When the eminent naturalist Charles Darwin returned from South America on board the H.M.S Beagle in 1836, he brought with him the notes and evidence which would form the basis of his landmark theory of evolution of species by a process of natural selection. This theory, published as  The Origin of Species  in 1859, is the basis of modern biology and the concept of biodiversity. It also sparked a fierce scientific, religious and philosophical debate which still continues today.
           
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