One minute my wife was there. In a flash she was gone. In the ten months of Kerryn's dying, I prepared myself for everything except for her death. Now that she is gone, I am desperate to know her as I never knew her. Thirty Days is a portrait of grief, of a marriage and of a family. It is the moving memoir of Mark's wife of 33 years, Kerryn Baker, who died ten months after her diagnosis, aged 55, from stomach cancer. It is also a study in how we construct our own version of the past, after Mark discovers a cache of Kerryn's letters in the laundry cupboard and has to rethink their relationship. It is a book about memory and its uncertainties, as Mark sifts through photos and home movies, as his wife gets sicker, and his search for clues about their relationship grows more desperate. In her last days, Kerryn reveals her traumatic childhood to Mark for the first time. She emerges as the rock of the family, a brave and wise woman, clear-eyed about her treatment, focused on finding the path to a peaceful death. Paradoxically, her dying brings the couple back to the intensity of their first love. In the tradition of Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air and Cory Taylor's remarkable memoir, Dying, Mark Baker's Thirty Days is an inspirational book about death and dying.
The time I have spent writing this book has caused me a lot of pain. Sometimes because of what I have remembered about my childhood and sometimes because of what I couldn't remember. It is funny how your mind blocks things out when those things can hurt you. There are a lot of things I wish I didn't remember...
A household name, an Australian rock icon, the elder statesman of Ozrock - there isn't an accolade or cliche that doesn't apply to Jimmy Barnes. But long before Cold Chisel and Barnesy, long before the tall tales of success and excess, there was the true story of James Dixon Swan - a working class boy whose family made the journey from Scotland to Australia in search of a better life.
Working Class Boy is a powerful reflection on a traumatic and violent childhood, which fuelled the excess and recklessness that would define, but almost destroy, the rock'n'roll legend. This is the story of how James Swan became Jimmy Barnes. It is a memoir burning with the frustration and frenetic energy of teenage sex, drugs, violence and ambition for more than what you have.
Raw, gritty, compassionate, surprising and darkly funny - Jimmy Barnes's childhood memoir is at once the story of migrant dreams fulfilled and dashed. Arriving in Australia in the Summer of 1962, things went from bad to worse for the Swan family - Dot, Jim and their six kids. The scramble to manage in the tough northern suburbs of Adelaide in the 60s would take its toll on the Swans as dwindling money, too much alcohol, and fraying tempers gave way to violence and despair.
This is the story a family's collapse, but also a young boy's dream to escape the misery of the suburbs with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to join a rock'n'roll band and get out of town for good.
As in life, Sam Dastyari's memoir is unexpected and unorthodox. This is the man who introduced Pauline Hanson to the halal snack pack and accountability to big banks.
Named Sahand by his hippy Iranian parents, he changed his name to Sam to fit in with his schoolmates. But Sam was always going to stand out. He joined the Labor Party when he was 16 and was elected as a senator only 13 years later.
Sam brings his super-charged approach to life to his writing and the result is hilarious: part-memoir, part-political treatise and part-reflection on hard times. We learn about his cats, Lenin and Trotsky; how to deal with neighbours when their front lawns are under siege from the media thanks to your misdemeanour; and how the most dangerous mosh pits are to be found among parents at the school nativity play.One Halal of a Story
is a no-holds-barred look at the good and bad of family, politics and being Sam Dastyari.
Leading Australian journalist John Lyons will take readers on a fascinating personal journey through the wonders and dangers of the Middle East. From the sheer excitement of arriving in Jerusalem with his wife and eight-year-old son, to the fall of dictators and his gripping account of what it feels like to be taken by Egyptian soldiers, blindfolded and interrogated, this is a memoir of the Middle East like no other.
Drawing on a 20-year interest in the Middle East, Lyons has had extraordinary access - he's interviewed everyone from Israel's former Prime Ministers Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert to key figures from Hezbollah and Hamas. He's witnessed the brutal Iranian Revolutionary Guard up close and was one of the last foreign journalists in Iran during the violent crackdown against the 'Green Revolution'. He's confronted Hamas officials about why they fire rockets into Israel and Israeli soldiers about why they fire tear gas at Palestinian school children.
By telling the story of his family travelling through the region, this book is extremely readable and entertaining, full of humour, colour. It is sometimes dazzling in its detail, sometimes tragic. Lyons says he has written it in a way that readers can feel they are there with him - so they can smell the wonderful markets of the Middle East and feel the fear of what it is like to be blindfolded and have your hands bound with electrical cord. Lyons also looks at 50 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank - the mechanics of how this works and the effect it now has on both Israelis and Palestinians.
Lyons explains the Middle East through every day life and experiences - his son's school, his wife's friends and his own dealings with a range of people over six years. If you only read one book on the Middle East, this is it.
Australia's official war correspondent during WWI, Charles Bean was also Australia's first official war historian and the driving force behind the creation of the Australian War Memorial. Famously criticised for his deliberate myth-making as editor of The Anzac Book, Bean was also a public servant, institutional leader, author, activist, thinker, doer, philosopher, and polemicist. In Charles Bean, Man, myth, legacy, Australia's top military historians - including Peter Stanley, Peter Burness, Michael McKernan, Jeffrey Grey, Peter Edwards, David Horner, Peter Rees and Craig Stockings - analyse the man, the myth, and his long-reaching legacy.
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'I'm okay!' The bestselling author of The Anti-Cool Girl returns with a devastating, heartbreaking, brilliant, brave and laugh-out-loud funny memoir of telling lies and being on the brink...
'I had made it! All my dreams had come true. I had an operating fridge, I was doing brilliantly, and I had written the memoir to prove it. I even had online haters. I had conquered life at 30 and nothing was ever going to go wrong again!' It was all going so well for Rosie Waterland.
Until it wasn't. Until, shockingly, something awful happened and Rosie went into agonising free fall. Until late one evening she found herself in a hospital emergency bed, trembling and hooked to a drip. Over the course of that long, painful night, she kept thinking about how ironic it was, that right in the middle of writing a book about lies, she'd ended up telling the most significant lie of all.
A raw, beautiful, sad, shocking - and very, very funny - memoir of all the lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves.
A father and son's life-changing journey through Autism, adolescence and Africa. Inspiring, entertaining and a beacon of hope for those touched by autism.
Life with a teenage boy on the autism spectrum has its challenges. Fourteen-year-old Sam is a world authority on Harry Potter but can't get to the corner store on his own.
Sam's parents Dr James Best and Benison O'Reilly decide to think radically to help their son. They sell the family home to finance a six-month-long trip to Africa for James and Sam, in the hope that it will have far-reaching and life-changing results for Sam.
Their plan is to take Sam a long way out of his comfort zone, so that he has to face new challenges and learn to navigate the completely unexpected - and that the exposure of all of these new experiences will help Sam grow emotionally and conversationally to achieve what he hasn't been able to in a familiar environment.
The results were extraordinary and will give hope to many families dealing with autism.
Sam's Best Shot is the moving and inspiring account of the amazing journey James and Sam took through the teeming cities and stunning landscapes of ten African countries - nerve-wracking and hugely challenging, but also transformative, fulfilling and entertaining. This is a father and son story like no other.
Sport is such an important part of our national identity that is hardly possible that a sportsperson can come along and transcend the sport they play. But it does happen, every generation or so, someone comes along with skills so finely tuned, that they change the game they play and forever become synonymous with that sport. More than that, their skills and attitudes come to symbolise that sport. For millions of people in Australia and around the world The Don was Australian cricket.
Sir Donald Bradman was, beyond any argument, the greatest batsman who ever lived and the greatest cricketer of the 20th century. In that time, his reputation not merely as a player but as an administrator, selector, sage and cricketing statesman only increased.
The shape of the family tree has changed irrevocably in recent decades, and there is hardly such a thing as a 'typical dad' anymore (though dad jokes, like cockroaches, never seem to die). From the grim archetype of the emotionally distant father, to the bumbling man-child who's only a pair of underpants away from being an ape and the sensitive-new-age man with a pram, there has never been more freedom for men to choose what sort of dad they want to be. Or, for that matter, so many opportunities to stuff it up! In Father Figures, twenty of Australia's brightest and funniest writers share the joys, hazards and mysteries of fatherhood and how we all relate to 'dad'.
‘I was written out of the family story. This book is my attempt to write myself, and my mother, back into it.’
In this singular memoir, historian and biographer Jim Davidson writes about his fraught relationship with his authoritarian and controlling father, whose South African background and time in Papua New Guinea and Fiji prompted his own post-war mini-empire of dominance. A manipulative and emotionally ferocious man, he rejects his son and creates a second family, shutting Jim out and eventually disinheriting him, but never really leaving him alone.
Traversing territory across Australia, South Africa, India, and London, this beautifully written book tells of a time of crushing conformity, sharply reminding us that some experiences can never be written out of our personal histories.
This is the true story of a young Australian soldier whose life of opportunity was challenged by trauma and salvaged by strength.
Nelson Ferguson, from Ballarat, was a stretcher-bearer on the Western Front in France in World War I. He survived the dangers of stretcher-bearing in some of Australias most horrific battles: the Somme, Bullecourt, Ypres and Villers-Bretonneux. In April 1918, at Villers-Bretonneux, he was severely gassed. His eyes were traumatised, his lungs damaged.
Upon his return home, he met and married Madeline, the love of his life, started a family, and resumed his career teaching art. But eventually the effects of the mustard gas claimed his eyesight, ending his career. Courageously enduring this consequence of war, he continued contributing to society by assisting his son and son-in-law in their stained-glass window business. Advances in medicine finally restored his sight in 1968, allowing him to yet again appreciate the beauty around him, before his death in 1976.
The story of this Anzac will stir your soul. It is a story of war and bravery, pain and strength, hope and miracles.
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For many returned service men and women, coming home is when the battle really begins.
Read the deeply personal and often hidden stories of 16 special men and women, including Vietnam veterans, peacekeepers, first responders and relatives, whose greatest struggle has been the return to everyday life after service or dealing with the loss of loved ones who lost that battle.
Among them is Paul Stewart, whose brother was one of five journalists killed in Balibo while covering the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, Black Hawk helicopter crash survivor Gary Wilson, and Janny and Hugh Poate, whose son was killed by one of the Afghanistan troops he was mentoring. For John Bale, a retired army captain who served in Afghanistan where his friend Lieutenant Michael Fussell was killed in an explosion, the aftermath of war service led to him co-founding Soldier On, an organisation that supports those who have served to assist with their physical and mental health.
These are the stories of those who’ve seen it all, and fought to find a way to live with the aftermath of their experiences.
Royalties earned from the sale of Gimme Shelter are being shared with Soldier On.
Romulus Gaita fled Yugoslavia aged thirteen, and came to Australia with his wife and their son soon after World War II. Tragic events were to overtake the boy's life, but Raimond Gaita has an extraordinary and moving tale to tell of growing up with his father in country Victoria. Romulus, My Father is the much-loved story of how a compassionate, honest man taught his son the meaning of living a decent life.
Peter Heerey AM QC was a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia for 18 years. While on the Court he also served as President of the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal and as a Deputy President of the Australian Competition Tribunal. After retirement he chaired the Australian Electoral Commission for five years. This is a story of life both on and off the Court. A member of the pre-baby boomer generation, Peter tells of growing up after the Second World War, University life and National Service in Tasmania in the 1950s, and some highlights, and lowlights, from 23 years at the Victorian Bar. On the Federal Court there is experience with major cases, some thoughts about the use of experts, and the writing of judgments. Peter and his wife Sally have been tireless travellers, especially by bicycle - ranging from the Camino de Santiago de Compostela to Budapest to New Zealand's South Island.
"Was it luck that gave me the chance to race at Bathurst? They say Luck is when Skill meets Opportunity. In my case, Luck came when Not-Quite-Enough-Skill overshot the braking marker, speared off the track and slammed into Opportunity while Opportunity was doing its best to get out of the way."
Shane Jacobson collects vehicles the way some people collect spoons. He's driven everything from rattletraps to racing cars, sedans to semis, forklifts to Ferraris, Fords, Holdens and everything in between.
In Rev Head, Shane puts his foot to the floor and takes us on a wild ride down the highways and byways of his motoring obsession - deadly billycarts, drag racing in a Commodore station wagon packed with dental supplies, driving the world's rarest, strangest and fastest cars, competing at Bathurst, rallying and some spectacular crashes.
This fast-paced, often hilarious, collection of motoring yarns will keep rev heads everywhere on the edge of their seats!
In the not-so-small world of surfing, Phil Jarratt has seen it all. Luckily for us, he's a fearless, funny storyteller, with a reporter's unsentimental eye and an endearing modesty. But his memoir is, above all, a haunting self-portrait: the boy practising drop-knee cutbacks in his mother's full-length mirror in mid-century Wollongong becomes a man. William Finnegan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Barbarian DaysLife of Brine is the memoir of Phil Jarratt, one of the world's best-known chroniclers of surfing culture whose lifelong pursuit of the perfect wave has placed him in the midst of some of the most exciting moments in surfing's modern history. Jarratt, who has courted controversy in his long career as a journalist, editor and documentarian, pulls no punches as he rides an exhilarating wave of nostalgia from the sixties up until now, through the heady days of drugs, alcohol and excess in Bali and Biarritz and other exotic locations in between. Filled with debauchery, reflection and insight, this is a book that will be devoured by surfers young and old.
Few names in international motorsport are treated with the same reverence as Alan Jones. When he speaks, they listen.
He is one of only two Australians to win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship, and the first driver to do it for the now famous Williams team. His efforts brought Formula One to Australian TV screens, and today he is the voice of Formula One on Network Ten and a board member of the Australian Grand Prix. He is also a Formula One Steward at a couple of Grands Prix a season.
AJ is the son of Stan Jones, the winner of the 1959 Australian Grand Prix, and from an early age he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and race cars. He started with billycarts in Balwyn and climbed to the top of the motorsport tree in Formula One. His career was potted with highs and lows, the latter coming mainly from a lack of financial support compared with his rivals.
But when he hit the big time with Williams, he turned that into the 1980 World Championship and all the fame and fortune that brought with it. But he stopped enjoying himself, the cars were painful to drive and he didn’t feel he could give it his all, so he quite at the height of his powers.
He did return to F1, but he wasn’t the same driver and it wasn’t the same team and it didn’t last. He finished his racing career in touring cars in Australia.
His no-nonsense style brought him both admirers and detractors, but he always spoke as he saw it. He still does that today. There are many stories to tell from his racing career, his personal life and business. Some stories that only time allows them to be told.
Cassie Lane had a quintessentially Australian, dysfunctional, single-parent upbringing.
They loved each other, but in a stealing-Christmas-trees-together kind of way. For as long as she remembers she wanted to be somebody else. Miraculously, aged 16, her prayers were answered and she got boobs. Great boobs! And a body that would make Hugh Hefner blush. She went from awkward, gawky bogan to international model, jet-setting around the world and hanging out with A-listers in LA. But the dream turns into a nightmare; and when she resists the exploitation of the industry the is shunned. Cassie’s health suffers and her life spirals.
She returns to Australia to find herself. She enrolls in university and starts dating someone who becomes a famous footballer. She attends the Brownlow and refuses a Collingwood alpha female’s invitation to do cocaine and finds herself declared ‘the worst dressed at the Brownlow’ by the Herald Sun (while the best dressed by Mx). Suddenly the media is full of scathing commentary commenting about the way she looks, everything from the size of her lips to her hair and dress. She is labelled a slut, a skank and a stripper. Her famous footballing partner has become abusive and she ends the relationship. His form suffers and staff from Collingwood call her and pressurises her into getting back with him. She yearns for an ordinary life; she finishes university and starts looking for entry-level jobs despite being in her late 20's.
Cassie eventually comes full circle and realises that beauty is not about a symmetrical face or a 24-inch waist but it actually thrives in the imperfect and vulnerable. She learns to accept herself, and see how a woman should be.
For more than thirty years Nicholas Lee was a cameraman on 60 Minutes, Australia's most respected and watched current affairs program, alongside Ray Martin, George Negus, Ian Leslie, Richard Carleton, Mike Munro, Jennifer Byrne, Liz Hayes and Tara Brown, among others. All This in 60 Minutes is the revealing and often hilarious memoir of his time with the show - of the crazy days of unlimited expense accounts, of late nights and bleary mornings, the fun and fear on the road, and in the refugee camps and war zones. It goes inside the IRA, Idi Amin's torture cells, and into palaces and mud huts. It recounts unforgettable trips on B-52s, ultra-lights and the Orient Express. And it takes you behind the interviews with the famous and infamous - from presidents, rock stars, despots and kings, to pygmies and manic, charismatic gurus.The result is a book that is compelling, funny and utterly eye-opening. As Ellen Fanning describes it, All This in 60 Minutes 'Perfectly captures the controlled chaos, the seat-of-the-pants improvisation, the behind the scenes exhilaration of 60 Minutes. All of which goes to prove that often the best bits never make it to the screen.'
This book provides insight into the fast-paced life of one of the country's most celebrated sportsmen through photos of D.K.'s private life, his career and everything in between. As well as reflections and yarns from DK himself, it will feature dozens of written contributions from a who's who of Australian and international cricketers including Jeff Thomson, Rod Marsh, Ian and Greg Chappell, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Adam Gilchrist, Ian Botham, David Gower, Bob Willis, Gary Sobers and Viv Richards to name just a few.
These people are very different, but they have much in common. They're the salt of the outback, but they're not from long ago and far away. You can rub shoulders with them here and now. They're our outback legends. Immerse yourself in these armchair travels and heart-warming life stories as Evan McHugh, bestselling author of Outback Heroes and Outback Pioneers, catches up with some of the most remarkable and inspiring characters our country has to offer. Meet icons such as boxing impresario Fred Brophy, who turned 'You can't' into 'I will', to Shannon Warnest, world champion shearer. Discover unsung heroes such as 'mother of the Barkly' Bernadette Burke, convenor of one of the world's biggest women's networks, and nurse June Andrew, who has dedicated a lifetime to running a remote health service, often single-handedly. You may not have heard of some of these people but you'll be enriched by meeting them now. Outback Legends is a unique and colourful celebration of Aussie characters who've earned themselves a reputation for their achievements and contributions in the most far-flung and challenging corners of our country. None of the people in this book has sought fame but every one of them deserves it.
What happens when a death occurs within your body, but you survive? Two days after Christmas, law lecturer Hannah Robert, eight months pregnant, was driving her partner and stepkids home from a picnic when their car was crushed by a four-wheel-drive. Hannah's baby didn't survive.When Hannah told her story in court, the judge wept. In her struggle to make sense of the personal and legal aftermath, Hannah had to find out what it means to mother a dead child and to renegotiate her own relationship with hope. Her powerful story is written with clarity and beauty, shining light on an unimaginably dark event and is, unexpectedly, tempered with life and promise.
Jimmy is the world's most successful racing skipper, and at just 37, this Sydney-born sailor has already reached legendary status. In 2013 he led Oracle Team USA to victory against New Zealand against massive odds, recovering from 1-8 to win 9-8 (the Wall Street Journal called it 'one of the greatest comebacks in sports history'), and is the skipper for Oracle's upcoming 2017 America's Cup defence as well.
This is his autobiography, and it opens with a young Jimmy in hospital about to have surgery on his leg, being told by the doctors he'll never be much good at sport. This sparks a life-long determination to prove them wrong. He won his first race aged 10, and using a credit card to pay for travel he went on winning races all over the country, and then the world. He debuted in the America's Cup as a skipper at age 20, and after a tough legal battle to free himself from his contract with the Young Australia team, he sailed in the next two Cups before becoming the youngest ever winner of the America's Cup in 2010, as helmsman and skipper of BMW Oracle Team 90, only to win it again three years later in 2013.
This book is far from the usual media-trained official account you often get, especially in the closed-off world of the America's Cup. Jimmy's open, honest style gives us a rare insight into what goes on in the head of an extremely focused man at the top of his game. It's a rags-to-riches story of fierce determination, court cases, seasickness, crashed boats and cars, alcohol and winning against all the odds. And it all contributed to turning a quiet, bullied, water-loving blue-collar redhead born in Sydney into one of sailing's biggest rockstars.
A compelling read, with many lessons in leadership, teamwork and achieving your dreams, no matter how impossible they seem.
'Flak jackets are dreadful things. Sure, they have a purpose, and if one ever stopped a bullet or piece of shrapnel from spearing into my vital organs, I would kiss it, hang it up, and frame it. But that hasn't happened, yet.'For almost ten years Peter Stefanovic was Channel Nine's foreign correspondent in Europe, the US, Africa and the Middle East. During that time he witnessed more than his fair share of death and destruction, and carried the burden of those images - all while putting his own personal safety very much in the firing line.From flak jackets to tuxedos. From the funerals of world leaders and icons, to war zones and natural disasters. This is a thrilling account of a life lived on camera, delivering the news wherever it happens, whatever the risk.
After 34 years in the game at a thousand kilometres an hour, Mark 'Bomber' Thompson stepped away from AFL footy following the Essendon drugs scandal. In this candid and uncompromising autobiography, he sets the record straight on his often controversial career. We ride the bumps of the playing field, the coaches' box the boardroom and the press conferences as Thompson handles things his own way. He talks about his mentors, his protUgUs and his contemporaries with insight and candour, and reveals what he considers to be the trademarks of a successful coach. This is as good a book about football as you'll get, by a purist who understands and loves the game, and who refuses to put up with politics. Mark Thompson's legacy is some of the greatest footy to be played in the modern era.
This memoir, Bella and Chaim, is a flowing collage which embraces and mingles memory, historical record, fragments of the 1950s, real-time journal entries and musings on the light, dark, and potential, of being alive. The whole is a testament to the human spirit. For eighteen months from late 1943, Vidal's parents lay in a small hole in the ground under a wood cutting machine in the backyard workshop of a retired Polish policeman in a suburb of occupied Warsaw. In claustrophobic dark, they waited while outside a world war raged. Their story is inspirational; it begins with life in Warsaw in loving families, transcends the catastrophic circumstances in which they meet, fall in love, are witness to the destruction of a way of life and the murder of their entire families, endure entombment, and concludes with liberation, and immigration to make a new life.
Clive 'Killer' Caldwell was a natural and brilliant pilot, a superb shot, and a born leader. He saw action against the Germans, Italians and Japanese, and remains Australia's greatest ever fighter pilot - this is his definitive biography.
Born and brought up in Sydney, it was obvious from an early age that nothing would stand in Caldwell's way. He bluffed his way into the RAAF, then made sure that he was posted exactly where he thought he should be.
His ability was unquestioned by all those around him, and he devised the vital 'shadow shooting' technique which contributed so much to Allied success in the air in the North African campaign, and in northern Australia. But he was never afraid of voicing his opinions to all those above and below him, be it about the training of pilots, or the equipping of Spitfires for use against the Japanese - or trying to run the show his way.
Caldwell ended his military career in the Morotai Mutiny in 1945, where he and a number of other Australian pilots tried to resign their commissions in protest at not being allowed by General MacArthur - and the RAAF - to take part in the main action. And then he was embroiled in the Barry inquiry into booze smuggling by him and other pilots.
Killer Caldwell is a colourful portrait of this colourful Australian. Now part of the Hachette Military Collection.