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Australian Biography

Out of the Forest

Out of the Forest

Gregory Smith

$34.99
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For ten years a man calling himself Will Power lived in near-total isolation in northern New South Wales, foraging for food, eating bats and occasionally trading for produce.

But who was this mysterious man who roamed the forest and knew all of its secrets and riddles? Some people thought he might be Jesus. Others feared he was a more sinister figure. The truth was that he was neither miraculous nor malevolent, but he was, most certainly, gifted. And when he finally emerged from the forest, emaciated and close to death, he was determined to reclaim his real name and 'give society another chance'.

Today, Dr Gregory Peel Smith, who left school at the age of fourteen, has a PhD and teaches in the Social Sciences at university. His profoundly touching and uplifting memoir is at once a unique insight into how far off track a life can go and powerful reminder that we can all find our way back if we pause for a moment in the heart of the forest.
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Eggshell Skull

Eggshell Skull

Bri Lee

$29.99
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A fiercely intelligent, heartbreakingly honest memoir and feminist call to arms in the tradition of Fight Like A Girl

Eggshell Skull: A well-established legal doctrine that a defendant must 'take their victim as they find them': If a thin skull caused the death of someone after a punch, that victim's weakness cannot mitigate the seriousness of the crime, nor the punishment.

But what if it also works the other way? What if a defendant on trial for sexual crimes has to accept his 'victim' as she comes: a strong, determined accuser who knows the legal system, who will not back down until justice is done?

Bri Lee began her first day of work at the Brisbane Magistrates Court as a bright-eyed judge's associate. Eighteen months later she was back as the complainant in her own case.

This is the story of Bri's journey through the Australian legal system; first as the daughter of a policeman, then as a law student, and finally as a judge's associate in both metropolitan and regional Queensland--where justice can look very different, especially for women. Confronted by horrific criminal behaviour every day in court, Bri's eyes were opened to the inequity of the legal system and how complainants in sex crime investigations and trials struggle to receive justice, are re-victimised, and let down by the system with heartbreaking frequency.

The injustice Bri witnessed, mourned and raged over every day finally forced her to confront her own personal history, one she'd vowed never to tell. And this is how, after years of struggle, she found herself on the other side of the courtroom, telling her story.

Bri Lee has written a fierce and eloquent memoir that addresses both her own reckoning with the past to speak the truth, as well as the stories around her, with wit, empathy and unflinching courage. Eggshell Skull is a haunting appraisal of modern Australia from a new and essential voice.
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A Fortunate Life

A Fortunate Life

A. B. Facey

$26.99
Albert Facey's story is the story of Australia.

Born in 1894, and first sent to work at the age of nine, Facey lived the rough frontier life of a labourer and farmer and jackaroo, becoming lost and then rescued by Indigenous trackers, then gaining a hard-won literacy, surviving Gallipoli, raising a family through the Depression, losing a son in the Second World War, and meeting his beloved Evelyn with whom he shared nearly sixty years of marriage.

Despite enduring unimaginable hardships, Facey always saw his life as a fortunate one.

A true classic of Australian literature, Facey's simply penned story offers a unique window onto the history of Australian life through the greater part of the twentieth century - the extraordinary journey of an ordinary man.
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Get Up Mum

Get Up Mum

Justin Heazlewood

$29.99
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It's 1992 in Burnie, Tasmania. Twelve-year-old Justin Heazlewood just wants to be a normal boy with a normal family. He's excited to finish primary school, listen to Rage with his friends over the holidays and play Yahtzee with Nan and Pop; but he lives alone with his mum and she is crying uncontrollably and won't get out of bed.

With High School on the horizon, Justin feels the need to grow up fast. He must learn to navigate new friends, girls and spirituality, all the while trying to deal with his mum's schizophrenia. Told with a youthful exuberance, Get Up Mum is a wildly endearing, entertaining and incredibly powerful memoir about love, family, mental illness and growing up.
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Am I Doing This Right?: Life Lessons from the Encyclopedia Bri-Tanya

Am I Doing This Right?: Life Lessons from the Encyclopedia Bri-Tanya

Tanya Hennessy

$29.99
Tanya Hennessy can't tell the time on an analogue clock, was once employed as a stilt-walker and still sleeps with Morris, her childhood teddy bear, so naturally, she is the most qualified person to write a guidebook for growing up.

AM I DOING THIS RIGHT? is an encyclopedia of life lessons that Tanya has learned so that you don't have to. From A is for Awkward, to B is for Bodies, right through to V is for Viral and Z is for, well, ZZZZ, Tanya has compiled an entire alphabet full of hilarious, horrible, humbling and happy experiences that will make you laugh, cry and ultimately leave you feeling less alone in this complicated world.
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Oppy: The Life of Sir Hubert Opperman

Oppy: The Life of Sir Hubert Opperman

Daniel Oakman

$39.95
Hubert 'Oppy' Opperman was a sporting icon, a cycling phenomenon whose epic feats of endurance captivated the cycling world. For over two decades, he dominated almost every race he entered and shattered record after record in Australia and Great Britain. In 1928, he led the first Australasian team to ever contest the Tour de France.

But Oppy was more than a just a champion. During the Great Depression, a time of painful economic and social change, he became a transcendent symbol of Australian fortitude. He became a household name, a legend - as popular as the cricketer Don Bradman and the racehorse Phar Lap.

Until now, Oppy has never been the subject of a complete biography.

By peeling away decades of mythology, Daniel Oakman tells Opperman's story like never before. As well as vividly retelling his sporting triumphs, this book is the first to consider the legacy of Opperman's post-cycling career. It explores the emotional pain of his private life, the controversies that dogged his seventeen-year political career, including his post as Immigration Minister in the Menzies Government and the remarkable and far-reaching changes he helped bring to Australian immigration policy.

This meticulously researched biography gives readers a thrilling insight into the brutal world of professional cycling and an intimate portrait of an extraordinary Australian.
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Cocaine and Surfing: A Love Story

Cocaine and Surfing: A Love Story

Chas Smith

$32.99
For readers of Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis, the Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort, Mp: the Life of Michael Peterson by Sean Doherty, Occy: the Rise and Fall of Mark Occhilupo by Tim Baker.

There is a certain cultural allure about surfers - they look like clean, bronzed athletes who love nature and tread lightly on the earth. But there has always been the darker side of surf culture, dating to early days of the competition circuit. Chas Smith explored some of that bad behaviour in his first book but now he's being more explicit: cocaine and surfing are in a permanent pas de deux, and it makes for one hell of a story.

Surf trade shows in the 1980s were flooded in cocaine. The surf tour of the 1990s had every virtually every competitor racking rails with the judges and the media before paddling out for heats. And in the new 21st century it has become completely untethered. There have been overdoses, bar fights, surf contests and murders and cover-ups all within the last three years and all fuelled almost purely by cocaine.

Cocaine's place in surfing's past is storied. Its place in surfing's present is undeniable. Its place in surfing's future is certain. There is something all too similar in riding a wave and smashing a bump. The rush is intense and beautiful and all too short. Altogether, it is a great untold story and Smith has interviewed everyone who matters, dug into the vibrant history, and exposed the inherent hypocrisy/cover-ups to create a rip-roaring ride through surf culture that is enthralling, hilarious and utterly fascinating.
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