Abbey's Bookshop Logo
Go to my checkout basket
Login to Abbey's Bookshop
Register with Abbey's Bookshop
New Releases

Australian Biography

A Lot with a Little

A Lot with a Little

Tim Costello

$45.00
Double Reward Points
More info
In this evocative memoir, Tim Costello explores the people and experiences that have shaped him into a socially active fighter for the world's most challenging issues. Tracing each defining stage of his life with stark insight and honesty, Tim untangles his ongoing struggle to align his self-perceptions with his choices and what his life represents.

More than a simple life story, this is a book about individual and community, public and private, spiritual and material, equality and liberty - and, most of all, about faith and its power to sustain in the face of the world's big issues. Challenging and thought provoking no matter what your beliefs, this is a book to savour and re-read.

Praise for Tim Costello and his bestselling books, Hope and Faith:
'Tim has an extraordinary moral compass and sense of how the world needs to change.' - Paul Ronalds, CEO, Save the Children 'He just lives it [his faith].' - Nick Xenophon '

'I've known Tim Costello to be a man of faith who always speaks his mind - often as a powerful, prophetic voice for God's concern for justice and for the poor. Tim's thoughtful honesty is on display in his latest book, Faith, as he mines his life experiences to bring out how our beliefs shape us and enable us to makes sense of and engage in an often confounding world.' - Richard Stearns, President, World Vision U.S.

More IN STOCK for Biography
Add this item to my basket
Unrequited Love: Diary of an Accidental Activist

Unrequited Love: Diary of an Accidental Activist

Dennis Altman

$29.95
'Harvey was shot, along with Mayor George Moscone, in 1978, and San Francisco and much of the Castro feels as if not much has changed since he worked the streets to build a gay political machine. Where his camera shop stood there is now a manicure salon, next to the storefront of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, so that if one skews one's view it becomes possible to read their adjoining signs as: Hand Jobs are a Human Right , as indeed they are.' Dennis Altman first travelled from Australia to the United States when Lyndon Johnson was President, beginning a long obsession with the US. In the early 1970s he was involved in New York Gay Liberation; his 1971 study Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation, is widely regarded as a classic work in its field. In the 1980s Altman lived in San Francisco during the onset of the AIDS epidemic. Later he sat on the Australian National Council on AIDS and international organisations including, as president, the AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific.

The election of Donald Trump took place while Altman was back in California on one of his frequent visits. In this diarised memoir, moving between Australia, the United States, Europe and parts of Asia, Gore Vidal, James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, Christopher Isherwood and many others people a story of a half century of activism, intellectualism, friendship and conflict.

'From Lyndon Johnson to Trump, Altman's diary takes us from the early days of AIDS to gay liberation against a backdrop of Australia's strange love for America.' - Gillian Triggs `An ingenious combining of memoir and analysis, personal reflection and social science.' - Frank Bongiorno
Add this item to my basket
Working Class Man

Working Class Man

Jimmy Barnes

$24.99
THE SEQUEL TO THE NUMBER 1 BESTSELLER WORKING CLASS BOY It's a life too big and a story too extraordinary for just one book. Jimmy Barnes has lived many lives - from Glaswegian migrant kid to iconic front man, from solo superstar to proud father of his own musical clan. In this hugely anticipated sequel to his critically acclaimed bestseller, Working Class Boy, Jimmy picks up the story of his life as he leaves Adelaide in the back of an old truck with a then unknown band called Cold Chisel. A spellbinding and searingly honest reflection on success, fame and addiction; this self-penned memoir reveals how Jimmy Barnes used the fuel of childhood trauma to ignite and propel Australia's greatest rock'n'roll story. But beyond the combustible merry-go-round of fame, drugs and rehab, across the Cold Chisel, solo and soul years - this is a story about how it's never too late to try and put things right.
Add this item to my basket
The Grass Library

The Grass Library

David Brooks

$26.99
A philosophical and poetic journey recounting the author's relationship with his four sheep and other animals in his home in the Blue Mountains. Both memoir and eloquent testament to animal rights.

'One of the most beautifully written books about animals I have ever read. I know of nothing else like it published in this or any other country. Deep, sensitive, charming, instructive and above all, humble. I cannot imagine anyone reading it without coming away in some profound sense altered.' - Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of When Elephants Weep '...a gorgeous book. Anyone who loves animals will be enchanted...but it's a book that will challenge your thinking as well...highly recommended.' - ANZ LitLovers LitBlog
Add this item to my basket
The Kowloon Kid: A Hong Kong Childhood

The Kowloon Kid: A Hong Kong Childhood

Phil Brown

$29.99
From the author of Travels with My Angst and Any Guru Will Do, a vivid, nostalgic, and funny memoir of growing up in Hong Kong in the 1960s.

Phil Brown's life begins in small town Australia - Maitland, NSW to be precise - but in 1963 his father Ted hankers to return to the Hong Kong of his childhood and to cash in on a construction boom in the burgeoning colony.

Then under British rule, the world of Hong Kong is a truly fascinating place for gweilos or foreigners, both a colonial outpost and a region redolent with all the exoticism and contradictions of the Far East. The Brown's home, in the garden suburb of Kowloon Tong, buzzes with characters: the family's amah, Ah Moy, frequent visitors such as the inscrutable Mr Lai, the spy-like Tony Parr, and family members such as Uncle Cyril. Not to mention the kid from across the road, Michael Hutchence.

Combining recent visits to Hong Kong, where the author explores his childhood touchstones of the Kowloon Cricket Club, the beach at Shek O, the Peninsula Hong Kong and the bustling lanes of Kowloon, with an affectionate yet truly honest portrait of family, self and the 1960s The Kowloon Kid is an intimate and tender gem.

`An exquisite love letter to Hong Kong.' - Ross Fitzgerald
Add this item to my basket
Jean Blackburn: Education, Feminism and Social Justice

Jean Blackburn: Education, Feminism and Social Justice

Craig Campbell ,  Debra Hayes

$34.95
From the maelstrom of the Depression and World War II, from Communist Party membership in the 1930s-1950s, and early attachment to the feminism and peace, Jean Blackburn emerged as a significant public intellectual. Her life work was the attachment of education policy to the causes of social equality and opportunity. She worked with Peter Karmel on the most significant government report framing school policy in the twentieth century, the blue-print for the Australian Schools Commission.

Blackburn was the architect of the Disadvantaged Schools Program, which revolutionised the way that public and Catholic schools delivered education to families marked by many disadvantages, including poverty. She was an architect of the Girls, School and Society report of 1976. Jean Blackburn possessed a charismatic presence, never more in evidence than as she worked on senior secondary school reform in Victoria in the 1980s. As a feminist Blackburn bridged the generations. She was a fiercely independent, courageous, creative and effective social reformer and public intellectual.
Add this item to my basket
Poster Boy: A Memoir of Art and Politics

Poster Boy: A Memoir of Art and Politics

Peter Drew

$29.99
'When you're sneaking around the city at night you feel like a kid again. The seriousness of the world is unmasked as a series of facades, dead objects just waiting to be painted. I was immediately hooked. Out on the street I could say anything I wanted. So what did I want to say?' Peter Drew's posters are a familiar sight across Australia - his 'Real Australians Say Welcome' and 'Aussie' campaigns took on lives of their own, attaining cult status and starting conversations all over the country. But who made them, and why?

In this irresistible and unexpected memoir, Peter Drew searches for the answers to these questions. He traces the links between his creative and personal lives, and discovers surprising parallels between Australia's dark, unacknowledged past and the unspoken conflict at the core of his own family.

Packed full of Peter Drew's memorable images, Poster Boy is an intelligent, funny and brutally honest dive into the stew of individual, family and national identity. It's about politics and art, and why we need them both. And it's about making a mark.
Add this item to my basket
The Strong Man: A powerful journey to the brink and back through leadership, loss and love

The Strong Man: A powerful journey to the brink and back through leadership, loss and love

Grant Edwards

$35.00
Double Reward Points
More info
A powerful story of life under fire and one man's journey back from the brink.

Grant Edwards was once an elite athlete, Olympics qualifier and Australia's strongest man. His Guinness Book of Records feats of strength were acclaimed internationally, and as a high ranking police officer he spent decades protecting vulnerable people around the world. But nothing could shield him from catastrophic harm in the line of duty.

Rising above his tough beginnings in 1970s suburbia, Edwards found sanctuary in elite sport. But he found his true calling with the Australian Federal Police, rising swiftly through the ranks to Commander and personally establishing cybercrime units to fight child exploitation and human trafficking. A highly sought after and disciplined security advisor for governments around the world such as East Timor, Afghanistan and the Americas, Edwards was considered the last person to `crack' - but a narrow escape from a deadly attack in Kabul pushed him to breaking point.

This is the story of an extraordinary man and his extraordinary battle back from the brink.
Add this item to my basket
On Drugs

On Drugs

Chris Fleming

$29.95
`As far back as I can remember, I've had a strong sense of being permeable, porous, of my body being open to the unpredictable forces of outside matter.' On Drugs explores philosopher Chris Fleming's experience of addiction, which begins when he is a student and escalates into a life-threatening compulsion.

In a memoir by turns insightful and outlandish, Fleming combines meticulous observation with a keen sense of the absurdity of his actions. He describes the intricacies of drug use and acquisition, the impact of drugs on the intellect and emotions, and the chaos that emerges as his tightly managed existence unravels into hospitalisations, arrests and family breakdown. His account is accompanied by searching reflections on his childhood, during which he developed acute obsessive compulsive disorder and became fixated on the rituals of martial arts, music-making and bodybuilding.

In confronting the pathos and comedy of drug use, On Drugs also opens out into meditations on the self and its deceptions, religion, masculinity, mental illness, and the tortuous path to recovery.

`Philosopher Chris Fleming's memoir is a searching, considered account of drug and alcohol use and the mechanisms of addiction. Fleming traces his history of marijuana, codeine-based painkillers and alcohol consumption, as his fluctuating control over his drug use ultimately deteriorates....

As well as being an engaging writer, Fleming is skilled at pulling a diverse array of academic theory and ideas into his memoir, and making them relevant to his project of understanding addiction.' - Brad Jefferies, Books+Publishing
Add this item to my basket
The Gap: An Australian paramedic's summer on the edge

The Gap: An Australian paramedic's summer on the edge

Benjamin Gilmour

$34.99
Double Reward Points
More info
In this riveting memoir, Gilmour recounts the call-outs that summer- some dangerous, some gruesome, some downright ridiculous. And we meet fellow paramedic John who, they say, can get a laugh out of everyone except the dead. As the city heats up that summer, however, even John begins to lose his sense of humour. People are unravelling - and Benjamin and John are no exception.

The Gap is a vivid portrait of the lead-up to Christmas; an unflinching, no-holds-barred look at what happens after the triple-zero call is made - the drugs, nightclubs, brothels, drunk rich kids, billionaires, domestic disputes, the elderly, emergency births, even a kidnapping. Patients share their innermost feelings, and we witness their loneliness, their despair and their hopes.

Beautifully written and sharply observed, The Gap exposes the fragility of our lives and the lengths the paramedics will go to to try to save us.
Add this item to my basket
The Millionaire Castaway: The Incredible Story of How I Lost My Fortune But Found New Riches Living on a Deserted Island

The Millionaire Castaway: The Incredible Story of How I Lost My Fortune But Found New Riches Living on a Deserted Island

Dave Glasheen ,  Neil Bramwell

$32.99
Losing his fortune in the stock market crash of 1987 was the final straw for Dave Glasheen. After a series of catastrophes, he needed to take drastic measures to restore himself. Opting out of the rat race, he cast himself away to a deserted island off the north-east tip of Australia, as far off the grid as was humanly possible. He has lived there ever since.

One annual supermarket shop, a sketchy internet connection, and enough ingredients for a home brew satisfy all of Dave's material needs. He catches fish, traps rainwater and cooks on an open fire. For company he tames dingoes, meets with friends from the Aboriginal community 40 kilometres away, and entertains drop-ins such as Russell Crowe sailing past on his honeymoon or the chairman of McDonald's on a game-fishing trip. Then there's his running feud with Boxhead, an antisocial saltwater crocodile who just won't leave him in peace.

Between heartbreak and hair-raising adventures, Dave has found happiness on Restoration Island and dreams of creating a retreat to promote the profound healing that saved his life. Brimming with humour, eccentricity and hard-earned wisdom, THE MILLIONAIRE CASTAWAY is the feel-good autobiography of the year.
Add this item to my basket
Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen

Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen

Erik Jensen

$22.99
In 2008, the artist Adam Cullen invited journalist Erik Jensen to stay in his spare room and write his biography.

What followed were four years of intense honesty and a relationship that became increasingly claustrophobic. At one point Cullen shot Jensen, in part to see how committed he was to the book. At another, he threw Jensen from a speeding motorbike. The book contract Cullen used to convince Jensen to stay with him never existed.

Acute Misfortune is a riveting account of the life and death of one of Australia's most celebrated artists, the man behind the Archibald Prize-winning portrait of David Wenham. Jensen follows Cullen through drug deals and periods of deep self-reflection, onwards into his court appearance for weapons possession and finally his death in 2012 at the age of forty-six.

After much critical acclaim, Acute Misfortune was developed into a feature film, winning The Age Critics Award at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2018.

The story is by turns tender and horrifying- a spare tale of art, sex, drugs and childhood, told at close quarters and without judgement.
Add this item to my basket
An Awesome Ride

An Awesome Ride

Cameron Miller ,  Andrew Clarke

$34.99
'Hi guys. I have some bad news I want to tell you all.' So said seventeen-year-old Shaun Miller on YouTube in May 2012, shortly after receiving a devastating diagnosis about his heart condition. The clip has now been viewed millions of times.

In 1994, when Cameron Miller found out he was going to be a father, he hoped his boy would have an easier childhood than he'd had. Cameron had been in and out of hospital with chronic asthma and been relentlessly bullied. As it turned out, that had been the easy part. Life was about to get a lot tougher.

Before he was two weeks old, Cameron's son, Shaun, had his first operation. Suffering from Congenital Heart Disease (CHD), he had his second heart transplant when he was thirteen. Ultimately, he endured about 1000 medical procedures.

Through it all, Shaun maintained an incredibly positive outlook, inspiring children and adults alike. In his final days, he fulfilled his dream of making a cameo appearance on Neighbours and appeared on the AFL Footy Show, exchanging banter with his heroes.

Tragically, Shaun passed away only a few weeks after he'd posted his video, and his father struggled to cope. Suffering from crippling grief, Cameron attempted suicide and spent time in a psychiatric institution.

An Awesome Ride, however, is a story of hope. Only after reaching rock bottom did Cameron come to understand Shaun's message. Today, with the establishment of the Shaun Miller Foundation - he is the founder and CEO - Cameron is a warrior for all children with CHD and their families, just as he had been for his son.

Through his father, and through this book, Shaun's unbreakable spirit lives on.
Add this item to my basket
The Joy of High Places

The Joy of High Places

Patti Miller

$32.99
A soaring memoir of longing, resilience and delight in the natural world.

In this extraordinary and unexpected book, Patti tells the story of her own long-distance walking over hundreds of kilometres in Europe and of her brother's obsession with paragliding.

As adults, a tragic accident changes their relationship. One day, Barney's wing collapses and he plummets to earth, breaking his spine. The story of his struggle to walk again intersects Patti's long-distance journeys, creating an intense narrative of determination and triumph.

For Patti, walking is a radical act - a return to what has made us all human - that bestows a connection to wild nature and to creativity it self. But as she listens to her pragmatic and methodical brother tell his story, she learns that flying is his door to untrammelled joy too. She realises that she is `meeting' him for the very first time.

This beautiful and inspiring book tells their story and reveals that the siblings share a willingness to take risks and an indefatigable determination. With rare insight and poetic writing,The Joy of High Places combines physical adventure with a powerful emotional journey.

`Each time I opened this book, I felt as though I was returning to a wise and true friend. Patti Miller captures the pleasures of the body, the joy of landscape, the thrill of knowing and being known. More than that, she unpacks the mysteries of memory, and the way we carry our past into our present. I loved it.' - Kathryn Heyman, author of Storm and Grace 'Patti Miller's The Joy of High Places is a moving and delightful tale of the beauty of nature, the importance of human connection, and a determination that can cross mountains and soar through skies.' - Better Reading
Add this item to my basket
Scorched Earth: Peacekeeping in Timor During a Campaign of Death and Destruction

Scorched Earth: Peacekeeping in Timor During a Campaign of Death and Destruction

Tammy Pemper

$29.99
As a UN peacekeeper, I joined the East Timorese fight for life. By then, the earth had drunk the blood of one third of their population. But worse was still to come. I would see it for myself. I saw bodies carried to their deaths, machetes carve flesh from bone, and bullets spray into crowds of Timorese and at us peacekeepers. I learned the true meaning of fear, hopelessness, and courage. Shades of truth were twisted for evil gain. Every day I prepared to die. Decisions I made, which seemed so right, jeopardized the lives of others. Police held automatic weapons to my head, militia wrote my name on death lists, and people drew their last breath, all of them brave, braver than me. For this is the true story of my experience. In the midst of the East Timorese fight for independence, militia were determined to enact their scorched earth policy and raze Timor to the ground. Timorese voted; Timor burned. It is their story, our story: a story that must be told.
Add this item to my basket
Myself When Young

Myself When Young

Henry Handel Richardson

$12.95
It has never been my way to say much about my private life. Rightly or wrongly, I believed this only concerned myself. And I trusted to my husband to supply, on my death, any further information that might be asked for. Now that he is gone, however, there is no one to take his place, and so I propose to jot down a few facts about myself, and memories of my childhood, which may possibly be of interest to some who have read my books.

So begins Myself When Young (first published posthumously, in 1948) Henry Handel Richardson's frank and engaging account of her childhood living in the post offices of various rural towns, her adolescence at boarding school in Melbourne that would form the basis of her much loved novel The Getting of Wisdom, her time in Leipzig studying music and her early years of marriage. With insights into the inspiration for some of her most famous characters, and comments on the response to her depiction of those characters and events following the publication of her early novels, Myself When Young is not only a marvellous account of a life, but a fascinating companion to the fictional works of one of our greatest novelists.
Add this item to my basket
Man's Best Friend: The inspiring true story of Sergeant Luke Warburton, his police dog Chuck and the crime-busting Dog Unit

Man's Best Friend: The inspiring true story of Sergeant Luke Warburton, his police dog Chuck and the crime-busting Dog Unit

Luke Warburton ,  Simon Bouda

$32.99
At 10.30 p.m. on 12 January 2016 Acting Sergeant Luke Warburton thought he was taking his last breath. A decorated New South Wales Police Officer, the father of three was looking death in the face after a bullet pierced his femoral vein. If it wasn't for the fact that it happened in the Emergency Ward of Sydney's Nepean Hospital, Warburton would probably have been dead already. An hour earlier, he'd walked to his police van with his ever-faithful German shepherd, Chuck, trotting alongside.

Later, Luke would be awarded the Commissioner's Valour Award for conspicuous merit and exceptional bravery in the line of duty. He would maintain he was just a copper doing his job.

So, too, was Chuck, who was nationally recognised for bringing down Australia's most wanted man, Malcolm Naden, after a manhunt lasting more than seven years.

MAN'S BEST FRIEND is Luke and Chuck's story. It's the story of a boy who dreamed of one day being a policeman, of his love for dogs and his time at the NSW Police Dog Unit. It's also the story of an ordinary man and his ordinary dog doing extraordinary things in the line of duty.
Add this item to my basket
           
My Shopping Basket
Your cart does not contain any items.