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The Worst Woman in Sydney: The Life and Crimes of Kate Leigh

The Worst Woman in Sydney: The Life and Crimes of Kate Leigh

Leigh Straw

$29.99
ABBEY'S CHOICE JULY 2016 ----- Matriarch of the criminal underworld... or the Robin Hood of inner Sydney?

The legend of Kate Leigh, Sydney's famed brothel madam, sly grog seller and drug dealer, has loomed large in TV's Underbelly and every other account of Sydney's criminal history from the 1920s to the 1960s. But she has never had a biography of her own.

Despite having more than 100 criminal convictions to her name, Kate Leigh is also remembered as a local hero, giving money to needy families and supporting her local community through the hard times of Depression and war. 

Here, novelist and historian Leigh Straw teases out the full story of how this wayward Reformatory girl from Dubbo made a fortune in eastern Sydney and defied the gender stereotyping of the time to become a leading underworld figure.


The Worst Woman in Sydney: The Life and Crimes of Kate Leigh by Leigh Straw at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street Sydney

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Phillip Schuler: The Remarkable Life of One of Australia's Greatest War Correspondents

Phillip Schuler: The Remarkable Life of One of Australia's Greatest War Correspondents

Mark Baker

$32.99
Phillip Schuler, a handsome young journalist from the Melbourne Age, covered the Gallipoli campaign alongside Charles Bean. His bravery was legendary. His dispatches were evocative and compassionate. He captured the heroism and horror for Australian newspaper readers in ways the meticulous yet dry prose of Bean never could. Gallipoli would also propel Schuler on a collision course with his former friend and Age colleague Keith Murdoch, who made his name lobbying against the campaign after a brief visit to Anzac. After his classic account of the campaign, Australia in Arms, was completed in early 1916, Schuler abandoned the relative safety of a correspondent's job and joined the AIF as a humble soldier. In June 1917, he was killed in Flanders. He was 27 years old. Mark Baker's meticulously researched account of Schuler's brief but extraordinary life gives us a true insight into the man. As a correspondent, a lover and a soldier, Schuler left an indelible mark on all who encountered him. He was a shining light of the generation decimated by the war. Baker's biography gives us a new and compelling perspective on the power of journalism and Australia at war.
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Finding a Way

Finding a Way

Graeme Innes

$29.95
I learned from my family that most things could be achieved - the challenge was finding a way. Blind from birth, Graeme Innes was blessed. Blessed because he had a family who refused to view his blindness as a handicap and who instilled in him a belief in his own abilities. Blessed because he had the determination to persevere when obstacles were put in his way. And now, after a long and successful career - from lawyer to company director to Human Rights Commissioner - he has written his story. Finding a Way shares his memories of love and support, of challenges and failures, and of overcoming the discrimination so many people with disabilities face.
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Bad Medicine

Bad Medicine

Terry Ledgard

$45.00
Terry Ledgard is no stranger to mischief and adventure. Having survived childhood in outback Australia, he joined the Army and rose through the ranks to become an SAS medic in Afghanistan. As he endured explosive action, blood-curdling trauma and gut-wrenching humanitarian aid missions, he found the modern-day soldier's larrikin spirit was the perfect prescription for intense combat conditions. Armed with a new-found perspective on life, Terry returned to the Real World, but soon realised it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. His life became a slow-motion train wreck as he faced a gritty battle with post-traumatic stress disorder. But in a stroke of ironic fortune, he realised that the Army had taught him everything he needed to overcome the affliction, and that his most important weapon was a sense of humour. Evocative, moving and outrageous in its humour and honesty, Bad Medicine is an exhilarating account of life as an SAS medic in the world's most intense warzone.
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One Hundred Letters Home

One Hundred Letters Home

Adam Aitken

$29.95
Beautifully written, tightly structured, One Hundred Letters Home is as profoundly moving as it is intelligent and playful. There is the experience here of time's shifting nature, the way memory, need and desire work across the layers of narrative that shape a life, told, untold, remembered, misremembered and forgotten. Memory's work rolls through Aitken's perfectly measured storytelling, vivid and mesmerising in its detail, in the detours and return, in a work that is as aware socially and politically, as it is compassionate and vulnerable. This is a rare work of memoir, expansive in its cultural scope, in the precision of detail and acceptance of the failures of memory, self and family, common to all of us in their variation. Between laughter and tears, the underlying emotional grit and relentlessness of One Hundred Letters Home shifts things, changes you, as Aitken calls to account the past's ongoing presence in how we are to ourselves and each other.
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Labour of Love: A Story of Generosity, Hope and Surrogacy

Labour of Love: A Story of Generosity, Hope and Surrogacy

Shannon Garner

$29.99
Shannon Garner met and married the man of her dreams, had two gorgeous children and lived an idyllic life on the New South Wales coast. So why did she decide one day to pursue altruistic surrogacy? And what made her choose a gay male couple from Sydney?

Labour of Love is Shannon’s honest and engaging story – a rollercoaster of emotion set against the backdrop of a highly regulated ‘industry’. This is no account of heartache and conflict but an uplifting story of ‘a collective love’ – one that involves a handful of people from very different walks of life who end up being so much more than family.

As Shannon travels her journey of body, mind and soul, she lays bare the loving reality behind surrogacy, but also the trouble she found along the way. Finding strength in unexpected places, Shannon pushed past the negativity of others to discover the courage she needed to selflessly carry and birth a baby that will not be her own – and to bring the gift of a precious life and soul into the world, to be loved and cared for by her new adoring parents.
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An Ordinary Man, an Extraordinary Life

An Ordinary Man, an Extraordinary Life

Malcolm Linsell

$27.99
The inspirational memoir of a plastic surgeon making an incredible difference.

After suffering serious burns to his hands that would later require surgery, Malcolm Linsell set his heart on becoming a plastic surgeon at an early age so that he too could make a difference and inspire others.

Raised in a Salvation Army family in a modest environment of love, compassion and trust, in 1993 Malcolm Linsell was introduced to Wesley Koni, a young boy from the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Wesley was brought to Australia for life-saving medical treatment after suffering horrific, disfiguring burns when he fell into a fire.
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Amazing Grace: The Man Who Was W.G.

Amazing Grace: The Man Who Was W.G.

Richard Tomlinson

$24.99
On a sunny afternoon in May 1868, nineteen-year-old Gilbert Grace stood in a Wiltshire field, wondering why he was playing cricket against the Great Western Railway Club. A batting genius, 'W. G.' should have been starring at Lord's in the grand opening match of the season. But MCC did not want to elect this humble son of a provincial doctor. W. G's career was faltering before it had barely begun.

Grace finally forced his way into MCC and over the next three decades, millions came to watch him - not just at Lord's, but across the British Empire and beyond. Only W. G. could boast a fan base that stretched from an American Civil War general and the Prince of Wales's mistress to the children who fingered his coat-tails as he walked down the street, just to say 'I touched him'.

The public never knew the darker story behind W. G.'s triumphal progress. Accused of avarice, W. G. was married to the daughter of a bankrupt. Disparaged as a simpleton, his subversive mind recast how to play sport - thrillingly hard, pushing the rules, beating his opponents his own way.

In AMAZING GRACE, Richard Tomlinson unearths a life lived so far ahead of his times that W. G. is still misunderstood today. For the first time, Tomlinson delves into long-buried archives in England and Australia to reveal the real W. G: a self-made, self-destructive genius, at odds with the world and himself.
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Menzies: The Shaping of Modern Australia

Menzies: The Shaping of Modern Australia

John Nethercote

$59.95
It is impossible to make sense of modern Australia without understanding the achievements of Sir Robert Menzies. Half a century after Menzies left the Lodge, this timely work invites us to think again about the Menzies legacy and the enduring influence of his Liberal philosophy.
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