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

Australian Biography

On Air

On Air

Mike Carlton

Double Reward Points
More info
Mike Carlton was born to controversy. His father Jimmy, a renowned Olympic athlete and later a Catholic priest, married his mother after a whirlwind wartime courtship. This scandal was hushed up at first, but eventually it made headlines. Six years later, Jimmy Carlton died in his wife's arms, felled by asthma.

It was a tough beginning. Mike would have a Sydney suburban childhood where every penny counted. Unable to afford a university education, he left school at sixteen to begin a life in journalism that would propel him to the top, as one of Australia's best-known media figures. In an often turbulent career of more than fifty years he has been a war correspondent, political reporter, a TV news and current affairs reporter, an award-winning radio presenter in both Sydney and London, an outspoken newspaper columnist and a biting satirist. In later life he realised a lifelong ambition - to write three bestselling books of Australian naval history.

On Air is his story, no holds barred. With characteristic humour and flair, Mike tells of the feuds and the friendships, the fun and the follies, writing candidly of the extraordinary parade of characters and events he has encountered in the unique life he has led.
Add this item to my basket
Any Ordinary Day: Blindsides, Resilience and What Happens After the Worst Day of Your Life

Any Ordinary Day: Blindsides, Resilience and What Happens After the Worst Day of Your Life

Leigh Sales

Double Reward Points
More info
As a journalist, Leigh Sales often encounters people experiencing the worst moments of their lives in the full glare of the media. But one particular string of bad news stories - and a terrifying brush with her own mortality - sent her looking for answers about how vulnerable each of us is to a life-changing event. What are our chances of actually experiencing one? What do we fear most and why? And when the worst does happen, what comes next? In this wise and layered book, Leigh talks intimately with people who?ve faced the unimaginable, from terrorism to natural disaster to simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Expecting broken lives, she instead finds strength, hope, even humour. Leigh brilliantly condenses the cutting-edge research on the way the human brain processes fear and grief, and poses the questions we too often ignore out of awkwardness. Along the way, she offers an unguarded account of her own challenges and what she?s learned about coping with life?s unexpected blows. Warm, candid and empathetic, this book is about what happens when ordinary people, on ordinary days, are forced to suddenly find the resilience most of us don?t know we have.
Add this item to my basket
Speaking Up

Speaking Up

Gillian Triggs

Double Reward Points
More info
As president of the Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs advocated for the disempowered, the disenfranchised, the marginalised. She withstood relentless political pressure and media scrutiny as she defended the defenceless for five tumultuous years.

How did this aspiring ballet dancer, dignified daughter of a tank commander and eminent law academic respond when appreciative passengers on a full airplane departing Canberra greeted her with a round of applause?

Speaking Up shares with readers the values that have guided Triggs' convictions and the causes she has championed. She dares women to be a little vulgar and men to move beyond their comfort zones to achieve equity for all. And she will not rest until Australia has a Bill of Rights.

Triggs' passionate memoir is an irresistible call to everyone who yearns for a fairer world.
Add this item to my basket
The Scandalous Freddie McEvoy: The True Story of the Swashbuckling Australian Rogue

The Scandalous Freddie McEvoy: The True Story of the Swashbuckling Australian Rogue

Frank Walker

Double Reward Points
More info
Swashbuckler, daredevil racing-car champion, Winter Olympian, gambler, smuggler, scoundrel, stud and suspected Nazi agent who died a mysterious death - this is the fascinating story of the scandalous Freddie McEvoy.

Born in Melbourne in 1907, Freddie's life took him from socialising with a young Errol Flynn in Sydney and on to the French Riviera in the heady years leading up to World War II.

With his dashing good looks and charm, Freddie lived a swashbuckling life, quickly figuring out his path to easy fortune was through lonely rich women. World War II didn't stop Freddie's hedonistic pursuits - he skipped enlistment for Australia and Britain to party on in Hollywood, where he renewed his friendship with the now infamous Errol Flynn. Always short of cash, Freddie smuggled guns and diamonds on his yacht between California and Mexico and was rumoured to have worked as a spy.

It was a life lived large and Freddie's death in 1951 was under the most mysterious circumstances off the coast of Morocco: his body was found naked and scalped...

Frank Walker, bestselling author of The Tiger Man of Vietnam and Maralinga, has for the first time uncovered the complete, outrageous and incredible true story of Freddie McEvoy, Australia's daredevil lothario.
Add this item to my basket
Challenge Accepted!

Challenge Accepted!

Celeste Barber

Funny woman, Instagram star and international comedy sensation, Celeste Barber's Challenge Accepted! is a hilarious and outspoken guide to life, unwanted gas and how to rock a sexy scar. It's real, like totally, really real.

Actor, writer and comedian, Celeste Barber is one very funny woman - not to mention a global social media comedy phenomenon. Amassing over 3.8 million followers in three years with her hilarious #celestechallengeaccepted pics, she has been dubbed 'Australian Comedy Queen' by ABC Online; voted The Funniest Lady on Instagram; gone on sold-out comedy tours of the US; and won herself fans ranging from Tom Ford and Ruby Rose to Amy Schumer and Dawn French.

In the tradition of Tina Fey's Bossypants, Challenge Accepted! is part memoir, part comedy routine, part advice manual. Calling out our ridiculous obsession with celebrity Instagram culture, Celeste reveals all, including her thoughts on keeping it real, the secrets to love, friendship, family and marriage ( oh hai, #hothusband), and how to deal with life's many challenges, like, motherhood, and what to do when your local bottleshop owner can't remember your name.

Celeste is raucous, real and hilarious. Bring it on.
Add this item to my basket
Greg Miles: My Lucky Life

Greg Miles: My Lucky Life

John Craven

Biography of "The Voice of Australian Racing", Greg Miles, a must-read for horse racing and sports enthusiasts.

Foreword by Bruce McAvaney. Greg Miles My Life Behind the Binoculars is a fascinating and inspirational gem of Australian horse racing literature. It digs deep into a life peppered by struggle, tears, failure, self-doubt, lucky breaks and, ultimately, supreme achievement and accolades. Melbourne-born Greg Miles called a record 36 Melbourne Cups, two more than the revered Bill Collins and three ahead of his mate and mentor Joe Brown.

He also called a record 36 Cox Plates and 36 Caulfield Cups. He became known as The Voice of Australian Racing, with the Herald Sun newspaper branding him Calling Royalty. He called his first Melbourne Cup in 1981, aged just 22, and his last in 2016, retiring soon after at 57. He called for radio and television, starting with the ABC, then Sky Channel, Sport 927 and Racing.Com. He was also the course broadcaster at the Flemington, Caulfield, Moonee Valley and Sandown tracks. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2016 for services to racing, and is a life member of the Victoria, Melbourne and Moonee Valley Racing Clubs.
Add this item to my basket
The Honey Badger Guide to Life

The Honey Badger Guide to Life

Nick Cummins

A fast, funny, deliciously feral collection of ripper yarns, jokes, and warped philosophy.

Utterly unique, often baffling, always inspiring. Nick 'The Honey Badger' Cummins is loved all over the planet for his larrikin wit, amazing adventures and incredible lust for living.

The Honey Badger Guide to Life is a handbook of maverick wisdom for anyone looking to go rogue, stand tall, dig in, have a dip ... and get smart, strong and happy in the process.

Want to survive and thrive in the urban jungle? Read on - The Badger's got your back!
Add this item to my basket
Heart and Soul: My Story

Heart and Soul: My Story

Paul Gallen ,  David Riccio

Paul Gallen's career in rugby league is extraordinary. For his club, his state and his country he's given everything he's got, and then some. He's captained his club, The Cronulla Sharks, to their first every premiership, he's led the NSW Blues to a drought-breaking series win in 2014, and he's played more than 30 tests for his country. In every game Gallen has left nothing in tank, giving his heart and soul for his team and his teammates. Yet his career has also known controversy, with Gallen's take-no-prisoners style polarising both media and fans, and his captaincy of the Sharks making him both a figurehead and a target in the club's darkest days during the long-running ASADA investigation into peptide use.

Gallen's autobiography is a frank, open and heartfelt account of the great highs and lows of his 18 years playing rugby league's highest level. It's a story as powerful, confronting and fascinating as the man himself.
Add this item to my basket
My Story: A Life in Basketball and Beyond

My Story: A Life in Basketball and Beyond

Lauren Jackson

'I've realised my dreams, been there for my teams, experienced so many highs and lows. The game of basketball, the game that has given me so much, is almost an analogy for my life. You take the hits, you get the ball, you score the buckets, you just play it to the best of your ability.'

Recognised as one of the finest women basketballers of all time, Lauren Jackson has had to overcome many challenges, both professional and personal, with determination and strength. But along the way, she has always been grounded and supported by her family in Australia and her basketball community as she battled anxiety and the demands of sporting fame to find a place in the world where she felt comfortable and secure.

Written with great honesty, Lauren details the missteps, set-backs, successes and controversies of a professional career that saw her representing her country and playing in the United States, Russia, Spain, Korea and China. But above all she reveals her compassion and intelligence. This is truly an inspiring story of a great Australian.
Add this item to my basket
Bill Lawry: Chasing a century

Bill Lawry: Chasing a century

Bill Lawry

Bill Lawry will always be one of the most iconic figures of Australian cricket. Whether you remember him best as the famously relentless batsman, stonewalling captain, or excitable, beloved commentator - Lawry has been at the heart of the game for almost sixty years.

Bill Lawry: Chasing a Century tells the story of his stellar cricketing career - from his youth in district cricket and his debut in the Australian team in 1961, a year in which he exceeded a staggering 2000 runs in his first tour of England; through the sixty-seven Australian Tests he played as opening batsman and his leadership in the captaincy of the Australian team; to his incontestable reign as one of the original voices of cricket.

Here, tales from colleagues, players, cricket writers and those who listened to his broadcasts every summer, bring Lawry's career to life and remind us of the colossal contribution this left-handed legend has made to Australian cricket.
Add this item to my basket
Skywriting: Making Radio Waves

Skywriting: Making Radio Waves

Robyn Ravlich

Skywriting - making radio waves is at once the captivating story of contemporary Australian cultural life and a personal biography of an acclaimed 'radio poet', whose signature radio features and documentaries on ABC RN have creatively conveyed ideas, personalities, and places. Timely and revelatory, it draws on the experiential riches of life in radio times from the youthful foment that rocked ABC airwaves in the 1970s until the advent of podcasting.

Skywriting ventures beyond the institution and invisible theatre of radio to enchant the mind's ear of readers with evocative portrayals and luminous portraits: chalking 'Eternity' on the midnight streets with artist Martin Sharp; examining the afterlife of poet Vicki Viidikas and photographer Carol Jerrems, artistic bright sparks of the author's generation; to name just a few. It's a love letter to the radio feature, a unique form of storytelling that has explored and contributed to shaping our culture, and whose story has not been told until now.

Links are provided to downloadable companion audio.
Add this item to my basket
Winx: the Authorised Biography

Winx: the Authorised Biography

Andrew Rule

'She just exploded,' Bowman recalls of that moment, the wonder not dimmed by time and retelling. 'She put the race to sleep in three strides. It was like a fairy tale. A star was born that day.' She wins that first Cox Plate by nearly five lengths, running away. The performance makes her name. A win with X factor.

Australia's world champion racehorse Winx has become a sporting giant, transcending racing in the same way that Muhammad Ali transcends boxing and Bradman transcends cricket. She is described by her trainer, Chris Waller, as a supreme athlete - a world-class sprinter with a freakish ability to dominate longer distances 'like Usain Bolt running in 1500-metre races'. She is the Phar Lap of the modern age, and one of the greatest racehorses in 300 years of thoroughbred racing.

In Winx: The Authorised Biography, Andrew Rule, her owners, her breeder, her trainer and her rider tell the real stories behind the world's greatest racehorse.
Add this item to my basket
Misfits & Me: Collected Non-Fiction

Misfits & Me: Collected Non-Fiction

Mandy Sayer

Double Reward Points
More info

I fell in love with my first misfit at the age of three. He was a disabled man in a wheelchair who sold newspapers every afternoon outside the Empire Hotel in Annandale. Whenever I glimpsed him in the distance I would break into a run, jump onto his lap, and smother him with kisses.

Misfits & Me represents a selection of Mandy Sayer's non-fiction writing from the past twenty years. Each essay has been chosen to reflect a different aspect of Mandy's attraction to Australia's misfits and outsiders, from child gangs and hoarders to pensioner drug dealers. Sayer also writes with her inimitable frankness about her unconventional family, her unusual marriage to playwright and author Louis Nowra, and her writing process.

'Mandy Sayer's Misfits & Me is warm and generous, deadly serious and very funny. Sayer is a terrific storyteller and the stories that she is telling us here are vital, surprising and necessary.' Christos Tsiolkas
Add this item to my basket
Ralph Doubell: Do Not Worry, It Is Only Pain

Ralph Doubell: Do Not Worry, It Is Only Pain

Michael Sharp

Fifty years after Ralph Doubell produced arguably the finest run in Australian Olympic history, author Michael Sharp tells the compelling story of the last of the three Australian male track athletes - after Edwin Flack and Herb Elliott - to win Olympic gold.

On the biggest day of his sporting life, he ran the perfect race. 'Beautifully executed right through,' is how the BBC's David Coleman called Doubell's 800 metres live. The Mexico City Olympics in 1968 were highly controversial, but Doubell pushed that turmoil from his mind. His winning time would have won the 800m gold at Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

As Doubell reveals his secrets, the book becomes essential reading for any aspiring athlete. He possessed a powerful inner-drive - as a runner, a student at the University of Melbourne and Harvard, and later as an investment banker in New York. He was coached by the legendary Franz Stampfl, mentor to Sir Roger Bannister. He was tactically astute and impervious to injury. He grew up in a famous era for Australian athletics, following John Landy, Herb Elliott and Ron Clarke. His blunt opinions on the decline of Australian middle-distance running will cause controversy.

Perhaps we took Ralph Doubell and his phenomenal victory for granted. He became more famous in America, where the press erroneously tagged him as something of a playboy. Today, aged 73 and still the Australian 800m record holder, he lives quietly with his wife in Melbourne.

Add this item to my basket
Johnathan Thurston: The Autobiography

Johnathan Thurston: The Autobiography

Johnathan Thurston ,  James Phelps

The autobiography of the league legend. Johnathan Thurston is widely regarded as rugby league's greatest player. This autobiography will follow Thurston's journey from a Brisbane kid who was written off as too skinny, too slow and too wild to play professionally, to his debut with the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2003, to State of Origin star, to Dally M and Clive Churchill Medal winner, and the fairytale premierships.
Add this item to my basket
No Spin

No Spin

Shane Warne

No Spin is the last word on Shane Warne’s extraordinary cricketing career and his life off the pitch.

Everyone knows the story, or thinks they do. The leg-spinner who rewrote the record books. One of Wisden’s five cricketers of the twentieth century. A sporting idol across the globe. A magnet for the tabloids. But the millions of words written and spoken about Shane Warne since his explosive arrival on the Test cricket scene in 1992 have only scratched the surface. The real story has remained untold.

In No Spin, Shane sets the record straight. From his extraordinary family history to his childhood as a budding Aussie Rules footballer in suburban Melbourne. From the legendary ‘Gatting ball’ to his history-making 700th Test wicket. From the controversy surrounding the diuretic pill in South Africa to his high-profile relationship with Hollywood star Elizabeth Hurley. Nothing is off limits, and Shane tackles it all with his trademark directness and humour.

These days an incisive, charismatic TV commentator and analyst, the ‘Sultan of Spin’ also lets us in on the mysterious art of leg-spin bowling, revealing the secrets of some of his deadliest deliveries. As Shane says, ‘Few batsmen, if any, truly know what I do.’

A sporting great, a celebrity, a family man and a self-confessed regular Aussie bloke from the suburbs, in No Spin Shane offers a compelling insight into how a boy from Black Rock changed the face of cricket forever.
Add this item to my basket
The Peter Norman Story

The Peter Norman Story

Andrew Webster ,  Matt Norman

Who is Peter Norman? He's the greatest Australian hero you don't know.

Peter Norman is the 'forgotten man' in one of the most powerful and influential photos of all time.

Peter is in the photo because he won Australia a silver medal at the 1968 Mexico Olympics after running the 200 metres in 20.06 seconds. In 2018, 50 years on, it is still the Australian record.

But Peter Norman is a hero to millions today not for the race or the record, but for what he did next.

Hearing of US medallists John Carlos and Tommie Smith's plans to protest against inequality on the dais, Peter pinned an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge on his green and gold tracksuit and said: 'I'll stand with you.' That act of solidarity cost Peter Norman everything. All three men were cast into exile, their lives sent spiralling. But it secured a unique friendship - and a legend that, in its 50th anniversary, is more powerful than ever.

This is the extraordinary story of the man behind the photo and a moment that changed the world. It's a strange odyssey of a working-class, Salvation Army-raised boy from Melbourne who became a global icon for equality and courage, yet who remained an enigma to even those closest to him.

It's a story about taking a stand and inspiring people everywhere to stand with you. The story of a unique hero who has gone unsung for too long. The Peter Norman Story.
Add this item to my basket
Remarkable: The Courage, Commitment and Contribution of Australia's National Living Treasures

Remarkable: The Courage, Commitment and Contribution of Australia's National Living Treasures

Melinda Williams

Accompanied by Michel Lawrence's new and revealing portraits, Melinda Williams has recorded the lives of 118 of Australia's most prominent artists, writers, entertainers, sportspeople, scientists and contributors to public life. Some are household names and others, while less well known, equally deserve the title.

Chosen by the people of Australia, not by an unseen and unknown committee, the National Living Treasures embody all that is great about this nation. It is timely recognition of their enduring contributions to our lives and an extraordinary legacy for the generations that follow.

Subjects presented (in alphabetical order):

1    Phillip Adams
2    Betty Archdale
3    Faith Bandler
4    Dame Marie Bashir
5    John Bell
6    Geoffrey Blainey
7    Arthur Boyd
8    Raelene Boyle
9    Sir Jack Brabham
10    Sir Donald Bradman
11    Father Frank Brennan
12    Dr Bob Brown
13    Julian Burnside
14    Don Burrows
15    Dr Harry Butler
16    Reverend Tim Costello
17    Ruth Cracknell
18    Reverend Bill Crews
19    Russell Crowe
20    Bart Cummings
21    Betty Cuthbert
22    Sir Roden Cutler
23    Judy Davis
24    Sir William Deane
25    Ernie Dingo
26    Mick Dodson
27    Patrick Dodson
28    Laureate Professor Peter Doherty
29    Don Dunstan
30    Slim Dusty
31    Ted Egan
32    Herb Elliott
33    John Farmham
34    Dawn Fraser
35    Malcolm Fraser
36    Ian Frazer
37    Catherine Freeman
38    Margaret Fulton
39    Peter Garrett
40    Jennie George
41    Evonne Goolagong Cawley
42    Shane Gould
43    Germaine Greer
44    Dr Catherine Hamlin
45    John Hatton
46    Hazel Hawke
47    Dr Basil Hetzel
48    Dr Peter Hollingworth
49    Gabi Hollows
50    Janet Holmes a Court
51    Donald Horne
52    John Howard
53    Robert Hughes
54    Barry Humphries
55    Elizabeth Jolley
56    Barry Jones
57    Caroline Jones
58    Paul Keating
59    Tom Keneally
60    Cheryl Kernot
61    Nicole Kidman
62    Ian Kiernan
63    The Honourable Michael Kirby
64    Dame Leonie Kramer
65    Dr Karl Kruszelnicki
66    John Landy
67    Rod Laver
68    Michael Leunig
69    Dr Jimmy Little
70    Ted Mack
71    David Malouf
72    Albert Edward 'Ted' Matthews
73    Colleen McCullough
74    Garry McDonald
75    Walter Mikac
76    Kylie Minogue
77    Jack Mundey
78    Les Murray
79    John Newcombe
80    Olivia Newton-John
81    Greg Norman
82    Sir Gustav Nossal
83    Lowitja O'Donoghue
84    Pat O'Shane
85    Sir Mark Oliphant
86    Margaret Olley
87    Mary Paton
88    Noel Pearson
89    Charles Perkins
90    Kieren Perkins
91    Pat Rafter
92    Henry Reynolds
93    Ken Rosewall
94    Peter Sculthorpe
95    Dick Smith
96    Shirley 'Mum Shirl' Smith
97    Professor Fiona Stanley
98    Dame Joan Sutherland
99    Mavis Taylor
100    Richard Tognetti
101    Tom Uren
102    Reverend Dr Sir Alan Walker
103    Nancy-Bird Walton
104    Anthony Warlow
105    Gai Waterhouse
106    Steve Waugh
107    Morris West
108    Gough Whitlam
109    Margaret Whitlam
110    R M (Reginald Murray) Williams
111    Robyn Williams
112    David Williamson
113    Tim Winton
114    Professor Fiona Wood
115    Roger Woodward
116    Judith Wright McKinney
117    John Yu
118    Galarrwuy Yunupingu
Add this item to my basket
The World Was Whole

The World Was Whole

Fiona Wright

The follow-up to Fiona Wright's essay collection Small Acts of Disappearance - winner of the Nita B. Kibble Award and the Queensland Literary Award for Non-fiction, shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the NSW Premier's Award for Non-fiction.

Our bodies and homes are our shelters, each one intimately a part of the other. But what about those who feel anxious, uncomfortable, unsettled within these havens? In The World Was Whole, Fiona Wright examines how we inhabit and remember the familiar spaces of our homes and suburbs, as we move through them and away from them into the wider world, devoting ourselves to the routines and rituals that make up our lives. These affectingly personal essays consider how all-consuming the engagement with the ordinary can be, and how even small encounters and interactions can illuminate our lives.

Many of the essays are set in the inner and south-western suburbs of a major Australian city in the midst of rapid change. Others travel to the volcanic coastline of Iceland, the mega-city of Shanghai, the rugged Surf Coast of southern Victoria. The essays are poetic and observant, and often funny, animated by curiosity and candour. Beneath them all lies the experience of chronic illness and its treatment, and the consideration of how this can reshape and reorder our assumptions about the world and our place within it.
Add this item to my basket
My Shopping Basket
Your cart does not contain any items.