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Australian Biography

Before I Forget

Before I Forget

Geoffrey Blainey

$45.00
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Now in his late-eighties, and listed by the National Trust as a 'Living Treasure', in Before I Forget Geoffrey Blainey reflects on his humble beginnings as the son of a Methodist Minister and school teacher, one of five children, and a carefree childhood spent in rural Victoria, from Terang to Leongatha, Geelong to Ballarat. From a young age these places ignited for Blainey a great affection for the Australian landscape, and a deep curiosity in Australia's history. He longed to travel, and would climb atop the roof of their home to stare out at the Great Dividing Range and imagine the world beyond.

His mother created gardens wherever they went and had literary ambitions of her own; his father spent more on books than he could ever afford, and the library travelled with the family. Blainey's devotion to the Geelong Football Club began in Newtown from where he'd watch his team play at Corio, and as a newsboy he developed an early interest in current affairs, following the dramas and triumphs of the Second World War and the political careers of local identities John Curtin and Robert Menzies. With a burning desire to see Sydney but barely a penny to his name, he hitched there with a schoolfriend to see the harbour that greeted the First Fleet, and visited the national theatre of Parliament House on the way home to see Billy Hughes, JT Lang, Arty Fadden, Arthur Calwell, Enid Lyons and hero Ben Chifley in action.

The course of Blainey's life changed when he was awarded a scholarship to board at Wesley College in Melbourne - an opportunity that instilled in him a great love of learning, under the tutelage of a group of inspiring teachers. This flourished further at the University of Melbourne, first as a wide-eyed student at Queen's Collage, where he was lectured by Manning Clarke, and later as a professor of history. Later he and Manning Clarke became great friends, both sitting on the Whitlam Government's new Literature Board. Hours spent at Melbourne's State Library as a student poring over the country's old newspapers cemented his calling to become a professional historian. Like Clarke Blainey has always been compelled to visit the places of our historical interest, including places of archaeological and Indigenous significance. Now the author of over forty books, Geoffrey Blainey claims he has discovered Australia's history his own way - and is still learning.

Warm, insightful and lyrically written, Before I Forget recounts the experiences and influences that have shaped the astonishing mind of Australia's most loved historian. But in this book Blainey has given us something more - a fascinating and affectionate social history in and of itself.
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Angel Of Death: Dulcie Markham, Australia's most beautiful bad woman

Angel Of Death: Dulcie Markham, Australia's most beautiful bad woman

Leigh Straw

$32.99
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The newspapers called her 'Australia's most beautiful bad woman' and she was deadly to know...

This is the story of 'Pretty' Dulcie Markham, a key figure of the underworld of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, who, according to one crime reporter, 'saw more violence and death than any other woman in Australia's history'. Nicknamed the 'Black Widow' and 'Angel of Death' by the crooks, reporters and police who knew her best, Dulcie's lovers were stabbed and gunned down in the most violent years of Australian crime, the 1920s to the 1950s. Not always by her ...
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No Man's Land: the untold story of automation and QF72

No Man's Land: the untold story of automation and QF72

Kevin Sullivan

$34.99
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A gripping account of how a major air disaster was averted, by the captain and former Top Gun pilot Instinctively, I release my pressure on the sidestick. Out of my subconscious, a survival technique from a previous life emerges: Neutralise! I'm not in control so I must neutralise controls. I never imagined I'd use this part of my military experience in a commercial airliner ...

On routine flight QF72 from Singapore to Perth on 7 October 2008, the primary flight computers went rogue, causing the plane to pitch down, nose first, towards the Indian Ocean - twice.

The Airbus A330 carrying 315 passengers and crew was out of control, with violent negative G forces propelling anyone and anything untethered through the cabin roof.

It took the skill and discipline of veteran US Navy Top Gun Kevin Sullivan, captain of the ill-fated flight, to wrestle the plane back under control and perform a high-stakes emergency landing at a RAAF base on the WA coast 1200 kilometres north of Perth.

In No Man's Land, the captain of the flight tells the full story for the first time. It's a gripping, blow-by-blow account of how, along with his co-pilots, Sullivan relied on his elite military training to land the gravely malfunctioning plane and narrowly avert what could have been a horrific air disaster.

As automation becomes the way of the future, and in the aftermath of Ethiopian Airlines flight 961 and Lion Air flight JT610, the story of QF72 raises important questions about how much control we relinquish to computers and whether more checks and balances are needed.

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Breaking Badly

Breaking Badly

Georgie Dent

$29.99
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At 24, life was good for Georgie Dent. After graduating with top marks she landed her dream job at a prestigious Sydney law firm and moved in with a boyfriend she adored. She had the world at her feet and no right to break. But she did. Badly.

Within a year Georgie was unemployed, back living with her parents and suffering such crippling anxiety that she ended up in a psychiatric hospital.

BREAKING BADLY is the story of a nervous breakdown in slow motion, a life that fell apart and what it took to put it back together again. Brutally honest and warmly engaging, it's a must-read for anyone who sometimes feels close to the edge.


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Outback Songman: My Life

Outback Songman: My Life

Ted Egan

$32.99
They don't make them like Ted anymore. He's the quintessential bush storyteller; he has rubbed shoulders with some of the best-known and least-known of his countrymen and women, and he can wring a heart-wrenching song out of a beer carton.

In Outback Songman, Ted Egan recounts the story of his rich and extraordinary life. Born to a working-class family in Melbourne's Coburg, he has never had a music lesson. Nonetheless, he has composed some of the first original songs about Australian history and ethos, many of which are now classics.

Through his stories of growing up during World War II, teaching in a bush school, working with Aboriginal people in the Gulf Country, and performing in Alice Springs and around the country, Ted Egan brings to life an Australia that has largely disappeared. His encounters offer insights into national politics and everyday life over the past eight decades. His generosity of spirit and his deep understanding of his country shine from every page.

'Ted Egan is a national treasure.' - Russell Crowe, actor 'Ted Egan is a gifted natural born storyteller and a wonderful writer.' - Geraldine Doyle, singer and comedian
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488 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Idiots

488 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Idiots

Kitty Flanagan

$29.99
Kitty Flanagan is all about giving the people what they want, and it's become increasingly apparent that people want 488 Rules for Life. Ever since she appeared on the ABC's The Weekly with her segment about this 'pretend' book, she's been stopped in the street, approached in the supermarket, the cafe, even the dog park by people wanting to know where they could get a copy.

Kitty says: 'Who knew other people loved rules as much as I do? I'm so excited, this feels like it could be more than a book, it could be a movement, a way of life even! With any luck, we may well see someone from the 488 Rules Party standing at the next election. However, let's be clear about one thing, it won't be me:

Rule no. 242 - Comedians should not be Prime Minister. Nor should Shannon Noll. Or any other actor or celebrity who just so happens to say something with which you agree.

488 Rules is a book for anyone who believes good manners and common sense are the way forward. It's time to make the world idiot-free and lovely.'
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Split

Split

Lee Kofman

$32.99
In this compelling anthology of personal essays, curated by award-winning author Lee Kofman, some of Australia's most beloved writers reveal, for the first time, powerful, occasionally funny and often heartbreaking stories of significant endings and their aftermath.

Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project, shares how he discarded his past - perhaps autistic - self, while comedian Sami Shah writes about his public split from Islam, the religion of his birth. Ramona Koval delves into the bittersweet end to her career at the ABC and Fiona Wright explores how her anorexia has affected her romantic relationships. Whereas Kate Holden suggests that for some, splitting - whether from memorabilia, books or lovers - is unimaginable.

Join eighteen acclaimed storytellers in their candid and courageous reflections on the intrinsic human experience of loss and leaving, which acknowledge the price we can often pay for a much-needed end, or new beginning.
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Winning for Women: A Personal Story

Winning for Women: A Personal Story

Iola Mathews

$29.95
What was it like to be involved in the heady days of `second wave' feminism in Australia, when the role of women at home and at work changed decisively? Iola Mathews was one of the founders of the Women's Electoral Lobby, a journalist at The Age, and later a leading ACTU advocate for women workers during the `Accord' with the Hawke-Keating Government. She was one of the first generation of women trying to `have it all' with a career and children.

In this honest and revealing memoir, she takes us inside the day-to-day groundwork required to bring about reforms in areas like affirmative action, equal pay, superannuation, childcare, parental leave and work-family issues. This is an important record of a pivotal time for women in Australia's history. Iola brings wisdom and experience to it, reflecting on where we are today, with suggestions for further reform. It's a vital source for policy makers and all those interested in women, work and families.

`Iola Mathews has written a fascinating insider account of how she battled for major reforms for women, especially during her time at the ACTU, where she won landmark cases on parental leave and wage justice for child care and clerical workers. It is so important to know the stories behind these historic victories.' - Anne Summers 'Iola's story shows what can be achieved when passionate people commit to changing the rules and fighting for fairness. Her story shows the best qualities of the union movement - people working to make life better for others and to pursue equality and fairness. A great story of a moment of immense change for working women in Australia, and of the people in the movement who made that change possible.' -Sally McManus
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Tripping with Jenny

Tripping with Jenny

Mudrooroo

$29.95
An autobiography of the Aboriginal writer Mudrooroo, following the publication of his book Wild Cat Falling, and travels to Europe and India with his first wife Jenny, runinating on his Aboriginal background and his interest in Buddhism in the period 1965 to 1968.

Book features :
- First autobiography of controversal figure in Australian literature.
- Review copies out in May to get extensive reviews, notable interest from the Australian and Fairfax.
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Little One

Little One

Peter Papathanasiou

$29.99
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Peter Papathanasiou is the son of migrants and grandson of refugees. His parents emigrated from Greece to Australia in 1956 but were unable to have children, a huge sorrow - and shame - for them among Australia's Greek community and their own family. Finally, in 1973, Peter's uncle and aunt in Greece offered to have a baby and give it to his parents to raise as their own in Australia. Peter was that baby, born in 1974 and given up by his biological parents so that a childless sister could become a mother.

Peter grew up an only child in Australia, finally discovering his true parentage in 1999 when his mother revealed the secret of his birth and the sacrifice that lay behind. By then, Peter's birth mother had died, but he found he had two older brothers still living in northern Greece. This is where the story begins.

What follows is a moving and compelling memoir of family and place, as Peter traces his parents' journey to Australia, their struggle as migrants, and the very different world that they came from - a world where the bond of family was so strong, a husband and wife were prepared to make an extraordinary gift.


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