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Biography

Half the Perfect World: Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra: 1955-1964

Half the Perfect World: Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra: 1955-1964

Paul Genoni ,  Tanya Dalziell

$39.95
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'Their years in the Aegean may have been half perfect at best, but it was on Hydra that they connected to a place, a lifestyle and a community that allowed them to live and express themselves intensely, and as they wished. They refused to believe their dreams were an illusion, or that boldness, ambition and a leap-of-faith might not allow them to reach beyond the constraints of their birthright'.

Half the Perfect World tells the story of the post-war international artist community that formed on the Greek island of Hydra. Most famously, it included renowned singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen and his partner Marianne Ihlen, as well as many other artists and writers including the Australian literary couple, Charmian Clift and George Johnston, who fostered this fabled colony.

Drawing on many previously unseen letters, manuscripts and diaries, and richly illustrated by the eyewitness photographs of LIFE magazine photo-journalist James Burke, Half the Perfect World reveals the private lives and relationships of the Hydra expatriates. It charts the promise of a creative life that drew many of them to the island, and documents the fracturing of the community as it came under pressure from personal ambitions and wider social changes. For all the unrealised youthful ambitions, internal strife and personal tragedy that attends this story, the authors nonetheless find that the example of these writers, dreamers and drifters continues to resonate and inspire.
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Stormy Daniels

$32.99
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She was already well-known in some circles before March 6, 2018, but that's probably the first time you heard the name Stormy Daniels. That's the day she filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump over a nondisclosure agreement negotiated before the election but never signed.

How did Stormy Daniels become the woman willing to take on a president? What is it like to be reviled by some, held up as a beacon of hope by others, and to be an object of fascination to all?

In this book, Stormy Daniels tells her whole story for the first time: everything about the events that led to the nondisclosure agreement and the behind-the-scenes attempts to intimidate her, how she came to be a leading actress and director in the adult film business, and the full truth about her journey from a rough childhood in Louisiana onto the national stage.

Stormy is funny, sharp, warm, and impassioned by turns. Her story is a thoroughly American one, of a girl who loved reading and horses and who understood from a very young age what she wanted - and who also knew she'd have to get every step of the way there on her own.

People can't stop talking about Stormy Daniels. And they won't be able to stop talking about her fresh, surprising, completely candid, nothing-held-back book.
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Inadvertent

Inadvertent

Karl Ove Knausgaard ,  Ingvild Burkey

$27.99
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The second book in the Why I Write series provides generous insight into the creative process of award-winning Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard, most famous for his 6-book series, My Struggle.

“Why I Write” may prove to be the most difficult question Karl Ove Knausgaard has struggled to answer, yet it is central to the project of one of the most influential writers working today.

To write, for the Norwegian artist, is to resist easy thinking and preconceived notions that inhibit awareness of our lives. Knausgaard writes to “erode my own notions about the world... It is one thing to know something, another to write about it.”

The key to enhanced living is the ability to hit upon something inadvertently, to regard it from a position of defencelessness and unknowing.

A deeply personal meditation, Inadvertent is a cogent and accessible guide to the creative process of one of our most prolific and ingenious artists.



The Why I Write series is based on the Windham-Campbell Lectures, delivered annually to commemorate the awarding of the Donald Windham - Sandy M Campbell Literature Prizes at Yale University. Administered by Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the series publishes works based on the lecture given by the event's keynote speaker.

The series launched in 2017 with the release of Devotion, by renowned musician, artist and author Patti Smith. Future editions are due from Pulitzer Prize winner Hilton Als and poet-playwright Elizabeth Alexander, who recited her poetry at the 2009 presidential inauguration of Barack Obama.
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Churchill: Walking with Destiny

Churchill: Walking with Destiny

Andrew Roberts

$69.99  $59.99
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Winston Churchill dominates our view of the history of Britain in the twentieth century - the brash, brave and ambitious young aristocrat who sought out danger in late Victorian wars, the mercurial First Lord of the Admiralty who was responsible for the Dardanelles disaster in 1915, the Colonial Secretary who rode with T. E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell at the Pyramids, the Chancellor who took the country back to the Gold Standard and crushed the General Strike in 1926, and then spent more than ten years in the political wilderness - and who, finally, was summoned to save his country in 1940. 'I felt that I was walking with destiny, and all my life had been but preparation for that hour.'

Andrew Roberts' titanic new biography re-interprets all these events, especially Churchill's leadership during the Second World War, which he sees through the prism of all Churchill's earlier life. He gives full visibility to Churchill's flaws, and brilliantly explains his genius. He has used over forty collections of papers not available to Churchill's previous biographer Roy Jenkins (2001) and he is the first Churchill biographer to be granted access by the Queen to the private diaries of King George VI. This is the Churchill biography for our times.
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Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth

Sarah Smarsh

$32.99
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ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Realising the odds were not in her favour, Sarah Smarsh chose not to bring a child into the world. Choice being the operative word, as she rejected the pattern of violent or absent men and teenage pregnancies that ran down generations of her Kansas farming family. Writing to the daughter she never had, in beautiful prose, Smarsh tells of hard work, hardship, bad policy, attitudes towards welfare, at times both confirming stereotypes but also breaking them down. We are left with the understanding that opportunity falls away as you move away from large urban cities. Perhaps this was always true, but it seems to have gathered pace sharply in the US, and also here in Australia (see Rusted Off). It seems unclear, to me at least, how people wanting a life away from dense urban environments can do so without also rejecting the opportunity to participate in the economy. Craig Kirchner

------

Born a fifth-generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side and the product of generations of teenage mothers on her maternal side, Smarsh grew up in a family of labourers trapped in a cycle of poverty. She learned about hard work, and also absorbed painful lessons about economic inequality, eventually coming to understand the powerful forces that have blighted the lives of poor and working-class Americans living in the heartland.

By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at daily life in America. Combining memoir with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, Heartland is a searing, uncompromising look at class, identity, and the particular perils of having less in a country known for its excess.
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Everyday Madness: On Grief, Anger, Loss and Love

Everyday Madness: On Grief, Anger, Loss and Love

Lisa Appignanesi

$34.99
'The small translucent bottle of shampoo outlived him. It was the kind you take home from hotels in distant places. For over a year it had sat on the shower shelf where he had left it. I looked at it every day.'

After the death of her partner of thirty-two years, Lisa Appignanesi was thrust into a state striated by rage and superstition in which sanity felt elusive. The dead of prior generations loomed large and haunting. Then, too, the cultural and political moment seemed to collude with her condition: everywhere people were dislocated and angry.

In this electrifying and brave examination of an ordinary enough death and its aftermath, Appignanesi uses all her evocative and analytic powers to scrutinize her own and our society's experience of grieving, the effects of loss and the potent, mythical space it occupies in our lives.

With searing honesty, lashed by humour, she navigates us onto the terrain of childhood, the way it forms our feelings of love and hate, and steers us towards a less tumultuous version of the everyday.

This book may be short, but life, death, madness, love, and grandchildren, are all there – seen through the eyes of a writer who is ever aware of the historical and current vagaries of woman's condition.
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Personal Impressions: Twentieth-Century Portraits

Personal Impressions: Twentieth-Century Portraits

Isaiah Berlin

$49.99
The third, enlarged edition of Isaiah Berlin's remarkable series of character portraits, Personal Impressions.

Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, Albert Einstein, Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova- Isaiah Berlin's Personal Impressions collects the essayist and intellectual historian's most remarkable portraits of prominent twentieth-century thinkers, writers and politicians.

For this third, enlarged edition, ten new pieces have been added, including portraits of David Ben-Gurion, Maynard and Lydia Keynes, and Stephen Spender, as well as Berlin's autobiographical reflections on Jewish Oxford and his Oxford undergraduate years. Rich and enlightening, Personal Impressions is a vibrant demonstration of Berlin's belief that ideas truly live only through people.
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Women who Changed the World: The most remarkable women of the last 100 years

Women who Changed the World: The most remarkable women of the last 100 years

$29.99
The 20th century began with a sense of great optimism after centuries of oppression. It was to be one of the most violent and tumultuous in world history, and paved the way for many people to seize opportunities and make a difference. It has also been the most progressive, tipping into the 21st century where those achievements are as publicised as ever. And women have been there every step of the way.

From extraordinary breakthroughs and inventions in science, to revolutionary political shifts, to artistic and cultural movements, this is a collection of some of the most remarkable achievements of women in the last century.

Some have changed the way people think, some the way people see and hear, and others have changed the course of events across the globe. All have shaped our history. And our future.

Profiles included women such as these, and so many more... Simone de Beauvior Marie Curie Indira Gandhi Coco Chanel Tracey Emin Virginia Woolf Angela Merkel Frida Kahlo Michelle Obama Princess Diana
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Made In Scotland: My Grand Adventures in a Wee Country

Made In Scotland: My Grand Adventures in a Wee Country

Billy Connolly

$35.00
All roads lead back home.

Billy Connolly may be a citizen of the world, but in his heart he's never been far from his homeland. Made in Scotland is Billy's unique and intimate portrait of his native Scotland, a love letter to the places and people that made him.

It's an adventure inspired by a single incident- the moment Billy received his Knighthood and was asked 'How does it feel to have achieved all this when you came from nothing?' His response was, 'But I did come from something!' So begins an odyssey through the Highlands, Lowlands and the Barrowlands on a shaggy dog quest to find out what that 'something' was and whether it is still there.

Far from a typical travelogue, Billy's quest is as much through his memories and experiences as it is through his excursions, with a series of key artefacts prompting reminiscences - a first pressing of a Hank Williams album (the first record he ever owned), Landseer's Monarch of the Glen, a bottle of air that recreates the smell of the old Glasgow Docks - each of which inspire moments of reflection, joy, drama and laughter.

Accompanying a major BBC TV series, Made in Scotland is Billy Connolly's insightful, moving and very funny account of the stuff that really matters. Family, love, sex, health, football, fishing, work, art, swearing, banjos, friends, going to the pub. And good tea.
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Manderley Forever: The Life of Daphne du Maurier

Manderley Forever: The Life of Daphne du Maurier

Tatiana de Rosnay

$24.99
Bestselling novelist Tatiana de Rosnay pays homage to Daphne du Maurier, the writer who influenced her deeply, in this startling and immersive new biography. A portrait of one writer by another, Manderley Forever meticulously recounts a life as mysterious and dramatic as the work it produced, and highlights du Maurier's consuming passion for Cornwall.

De Rosnay seamlessly recreates Daphne's childhood, rebellious teens and early years as a writer before exploring the complexities of her marriage and, finally, her cantankerous old age. With a rhythm and intimacy to its prose characteristic of all de Rosnay's works, Manderley Forever is a vividly compelling portrait and celebration of an intriguing, hugely popular and (in her time) critically underrated writer.
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How To Build A Boat: A Father, his Daughter, and the Unsailed Sea

How To Build A Boat: A Father, his Daughter, and the Unsailed Sea

Jonathan Gornall

$35.00
One man learns the ancient skills of boat-building to connect with fatherhood.

How to Build a Boat is the story of a thoroughly unskilled modern man who, inspired by his love of the sea and what it has taught him about life, sets out to build a traditional wooden boat as a gift for his newborn daughter. It is, he recognises, a ridiculously quixotic challenge for a man who, with a family and mortgage to support, knows little about woodworking and even less about boat-building. He isn't even sure what type of boat he should build, what type of wood he should use, the tools he will need or, come to that, where on earth he will build it. He has much to consider, and even more to learn.

But, undaunted by his ignorance, he embarks on a voyage of rediscovery, determined to navigate his way back to a time when a man could fashion his future and leave his mark on history using only time-honoured skills and the ancient tools and materials at hand. The journey begins with a search for clues in the once bustling, but now still, creeks and backwaters of his beloved Suffolk, where men once fashioned the might of Nelson's navy from the great oaks that shadowed the water's edge. If all goes to plan, it will end with a great little adventure, as father and daughter cast off together for a voyage of discovery that neither will forget, and both will treasure until the end of their days.

A writer following in the bestselling footsteps of Adam Nicolson, Tim Moore and Charlie Connelly - discovering what make modern man tick through the discovery of a craft long forgotten.
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I Am Football

I Am Football

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

$55.00
From the number one bestselling author of I am Zlatan comes... I am Football.

A photographic journey around planet Zlatan, including interviews with all the key people from his stellar career: Pogba, Mino Raiola, Jose Mourinho, and many others.

From Malmo, to becoming the Ligue 1's highest ever goal scorer with Paris Saint-Germain, before on further triumph at Manchester United.

Zlatan is Football!
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Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography

Eric Idle

$32.99
From the ingenious comic performer, founding member of Monty Python, and creator of Spamalot, comes an absurdly funny memoir of unparalleled wit and heartfelt candor.

known for his unforgettable roles in Monty Python, from the Flying Circus to The Meaning of Life, Eric Idle reflects on the meaning of his own life in this brilliantly entertaining memoir that takes us on an unforgettable journey from his childhood in an austere boarding school through his successful career in comedy, television, theatre and film.

Coming of age as a writer and comedian during the Sixties and Seventies, Eric stumbled into the crossroads of the cultural revolution and found himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of George Harrison, David Bowie and Robin Williams, all of whom became lifelong friends. With anecdotes sprinkled throughout that involve other close friends and luminaries such as Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Paul Simon and Mike Nichols - let alone the Pythons themselves - Eric captures a time of tremendous creative output with equal hilarity and heart. In Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, named after the song he wrote for Life of Brian that has since become the number-one song played at funerals in the UK, he shares the highlights of his life and career with the off-beat humour that has delighted audiences for decades.

A legend in his own lunchtime, Eric is the author of many books, some not half bad, some not even a quarter bad. Now he enters his anecdotage as the last word in Python memoirs, and the last of this extraordinary group to tell his story. 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Pythons, and Eric is celebrating the occasion with this laugh-out-loud memoir, chock-full of behind-the-scenes stories from a high-flying life that features everyone from Princess Leia to the Queen.
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The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Tragic and Glamorous Lives of Jackie and Lee

The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Tragic and Glamorous Lives of Jackie and Lee

Sam Kashner ,  Nancy J. Schoenberger

$29.99
A poignant, evocative, and wonderfully gossipy account of the two sisters who represented style and class above all else-Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill-from the authors of Furious Love.

When sixty-four-year-old Jackie Kennedy Onassis died in her Fifth Avenue apartment, her younger sister Lee wept inconsolably. Then Jackie's thirty-eight-page will was read. Lee discovered that substantial cash bequests were left to family members, friends, and employees-but nothing to her. I have made no provision in this my Will for my sister, Lee B. Radziwill, for whom I have great affection, because I have already done so during my lifetime, read Jackie's final testament. Drawing on the authors' candid interviews with Lee Radziwill, The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters explores their complicated relationship, placing them at the center of twentieth-century fashion, design, and style.

In life, Jackie and Lee were alike in so many ways. Both women had a keen eye for beauty-in fashion, design, painting, music, dance, sculpture, poetry-and both were talented artists. Both loved pre-revolutionary Russian culture, and the blinding sunlight, calm seas, and ancient olive groves of Greece. Both loved the siren call of the Atlantic, sharing sweet, early memories of swimming with the rakish father they adored, Jack Vernou Bouvier, at his East Hampton retreat. But Jackie was her father's favorite, and Lee, her mother's. One would grow to become the most iconic woman of her time, while the other lived in her shadow. As they grew up, the two sisters developed an extremely close relationship threaded with rivalry, jealousy, and competition. Yet it was probably the most important relationship of their lives.

For the first time, Vanity Fair contributing editor Sam Kashner and acclaimed biographer Nancy Schoenberger tell the complete story of these larger-than-life sisters. Drawing on new information and extensive interviews with Lee, now eighty-four, this dual biography sheds light on the public and private lives of two extraordinary women who lived through immense tragedy in enormous glamour.
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My Life in Football: The Autobiography

My Life in Football: The Autobiography

Kevin Keegan

$29.99
Kevin Keegan is one of the greatest players in English football history. Throughout his career as a player and manager he was famed for his style on the pitch and the passion for the game, which he shared with his fans.

In My Life in Football, Keegan tells the story of his life, from the streets of Doncaster to signing for Liverpool under Bill Shankly where he won three First Division titles, two UEFA Cups, a European Cup and the FA Cup before moving to Hamburg where he won the Bundasliga as well as the Ballon d'Or twice.

After retiring, Keegan enjoyed a legendary five-year spell as manager at Newcastle United during which the club was promoted to the Premier League and then finished runners up in the top flight, not once but twice.

In My Life in Football, Keegan tells the full story of the glorious highs, but also the pain of managing England and his unhappy return to Newcastle for a short-lived second tenure.

Brilliant, funny, passionate, deeply moving and incredibly honest, My Life in Football is the full story of an incredible journey from miner's son to being crowned 'King Kev' by his adoring fans.
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Sex vs. Survival: The Life and Ideas of Sabina Spielrein

Sex vs. Survival: The Life and Ideas of Sabina Spielrein

John Launer

$19.99
Who was Sabina Spielrein? Her dramatic life story is most famous for her notorious affair with Carl Jung, dramatised in the film A Dangerous Method starring Keira Knightley. Yet she was a woman who overcame family and psychiatric abuse to become an original thinker in the field of psychotherapy. This is the first biography to put her life and ideas at the centre of the story, and to examine Spielreins key role in the development of psychoanalysis and in the rift between Jung and Freud. Drawing on fresh research into Spielreins diaries, papers and correspondence, John Launer tells the story of a passionate woman who transformed herself from one of Jungs disturbed patients into a leading figure in Western psychology, then the Soviet intelligentsia, before losing her life in the Holocaust. At the heart of Sex Versus Survival is the gripping tale of Spielrein and Jungs tumultuous affair, which played such an important role in both of their lives and intellectual journeys. Launer shows how Spielreins overlooked ideas rejected by Jung and Freud, but substantially vindicated by later developments in psychology and evolutionary biology may represent the last and most important stage in the rediscovery of an extraordinary life.
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The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created

The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created

Jane Leavy

$58.95
From Jane Leavy, the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Boy and Sandy Koufax, comes the definitive biography of Babe Ruth - the man Roger Angell dubbed "the model for modern celebrity."

He lived in the present tense - in the camera’s lens. There was no frame he couldn’t or wouldn’t fill. He swung the heaviest bat, earned the most money, and incurred the biggest fines. He expanded notions of the possible. Like all the new-fangled gadgets then flooding the marketplace - radios, automatic clothes washers, Brownie cameras, microphones and loudspeakers - Babe Ruth "made impossible events happen." Aided by his crucial partnership with Christy Walsh - business manager, spin doctor, damage control wizard, and surrogate father, all stuffed into one tightly buttoned double-breasted suit - Ruth drafted the blueprint for modern athletic stardom.

His was a life of journeys and itineraries - from uncouth to couth, impoverished to spendthrift, abandoned to abandon; from Baltimore to Boston to New York, and back to Boston at the end of his career for a finale with the only team that would have him. There were road trips and hunting trips; grand tours of foreign capitals and post-season promotional tours, not to mention those 714 trips around the bases.

After hitting his 60th home run in September 1927 - a total that would not be exceeded until 1961, when Roger Maris did it with the aid of the extended modern season - he embarked on the mother of all barnstorming tours, a three-week victory lap across America, accompanied by Yankee teammate Lou Gehrig. This was Babe Ruth’s Louisiana Purchase: a star turn through the American heartland, during which he annexed, for Major League Baseball, for the Yankees, and for his own sweet self, uncharted major league territories.

Walsh called the tour a "Symphony of Swat." The Omaha World Herald called it "the biggest show since Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey, and seven other associated circuses offered their entire performance under one tent." In The Big Fella, acclaimed biographer Jane Leavy recreates that 21-day circus and in so doing captures the romp and the pathos that defined Ruth’s life and times. Drawing from more than 250 interviews, a trove of previously untapped documents, and Ruth family records, Leavy breaks through the mythology that has obscured the legend and delivers the man.

The Big Fella includes 32-pages of black-and-white photos and close to 40 black-and-white images throughout.
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On Sheep: Diary of a Swedish Shepherd

On Sheep: Diary of a Swedish Shepherd

Axel Linden ,  Frank Perry

$19.99
'Axel Linden is a shepherd-philosopher with James Herriot's knack for mishap and an almost Chekhovian deadpan humour.' Observer Why do we keep sheep? Alex Linden ruminates as he watches his sheep ruminating. Naive and inexperienced, he has ditched his doctoral studies in order to move to a fully working farm in the country with his family, where he is tasked with the responsibility of caring for a herd of sheep.

Linden records his new life in his diary, as he tries to manage life on the farm, the ever-escaping sheep and the trials and tribulations that come with being a shepherd - shearing, lambing and confronting the slaughterhouse.

As time passes and he gradually settles into the rhythm of shepherding, his naivete fades away and is replaced with stark realisations about what is now his everyday life. He finds himself applying his experiences of animal husbandry to consider our place - as individuals and as a collective organism - in the universe. Is he really the one caring for the sheep, or are they the ones keeping him? Linden finds both companionship in his flock and a sound, if complex, moral framework for examining the lives we lead.

The result is a sensitive and entertaining meditation on the small wonders in our world.

Translated by Frank Perry.
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Paramedic: The Remarkable Resilience of the Human Spirit

Paramedic: The Remarkable Resilience of the Human Spirit

Sandy Macken

$29.99
Experience the exhilaration and danger of emergency trauma, where a few seconds can mean the difference between life and death, but also the raw beauty, vulnerability and remarkable resilience of the human spirit.

We expect our ambos to be superhuman, remaining calm, controlling their emotions and thinking and acting clearly, however, the emotional depth of these stories will reveal a whole other side. Sandy is just like you, only she is at the wheel of an ambulance with life and death in her hands every day. Without shying away from the trauma, she shows the reader just how much a life deeply grounded in love can offer. Sandy's unique perspective as paramedic with the NSW Ambulance Service will open your mind, awaken your heart and shine a light in some very dark places.
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I Spy: My Life in MI5

I Spy: My Life in MI5

Tom Marcus

$29.99
Tom Marcus, former MI5, grew up on the streets in the north of England. He joined the Army at sixteen and went on to become the youngest member of the Armed Forces to pass the six-month selection process for Special Operations in Northern Ireland.

He was hand-picked from the Army into MI5 as a Surveillance Officer. He left the Security Service recently after a decade on the frontline protecting his country due to being diagnosed with PTSD.

An extraordinary battle and recovery took place which led Tom to write his first book, Soldier Spy, which has been vetted and cleared for publication by MI5; which was the first true ground-level account ever to be told.

I Spy takes us deeper into his life as a spy.
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Gloucester Crescent: Me, My Dad and Other Grown-Ups

Gloucester Crescent: Me, My Dad and Other Grown-Ups

William Miller

$29.99
Gloucester Crescent is a curving, leafy street hidden between Camden Town and Primrose Hill, unremarkable in many ways, unless you notice the lady in the van parked outside one house, and the famous-looking residents crossing the road... which of course you wouldn't if you were just one of the local children who played in the street and its gardens every day.

Written through the eyes of a growing child, this is the story of a family and their circle of well-known, left-wing, idealistic and intellectual friends, who all lived in one of the most iconic streets in London in the 60s, 70s and 80s. It not only captures an extraordinary time in Britain's cultural history - and provides a hitherto unseen portrait of some of the brightest minds of a generation - but it also tells the funny, tender and moving story of a young boy struggling to find his own identity.

We follow William through the ups and downs of an extraordinary ordinary childhood - sitting exams in the shadow of a brilliant but overbearing father, getting drugs from a philosopher's wife, being bullied for appearing on TV, and struggling to watch the moon landing in a room full of comedians - all set to the rhythmic clatter of competitive typing. Utterly absorbing, hilariously funny and at times totally heartbreaking.
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In My Mind's Eye: A Thought Diary

In My Mind's Eye: A Thought Diary

Jan Morris

$32.99
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'I have never before in my life kept a diary of my thoughts, and here at the start of my ninth decade, having for the moment nothing much else to write, I am having a go at it. Good luck to me.' So begins this extraordinary book, a collection of diary pieces that Jan Morris wrote for the Financial Times over the course of 2017.

A former soldier and journalist, and one of the great chroniclers of the world for over half a century, she writes here in her characteristically intimate voice - funny, perceptive, wise, touching, wicked, scabrous, and above all, kind - about her thoughts on the world, and her own place in it as she turns ninety. From cats to cars, travel to home, music to writing, it's a cornucopia of delights from a unique literary figure.
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Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life

Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life

Sir Andrew Motion

$45.00
Reissue of prizewinning biography of Larkin by his literary executor and close friend, former poet laureate Andrew Motion - with new jacket and introduction.

Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life won the Whitbread Award for Biography in 1993 and was championed as 'an exemplary biography of its kind' (The Times). With a new introduction written by the author, this edition offers an engrossing portrait of one of the twentieth century's most popular, and most private, poets.

'There will be other lives of Larkin, but Motion's, like Forster's of Dickens, will always have a special place.' - John Carey, Sunday Times

'Larkin lived a quietly noble and exemplary version of the writer's life; Motion - affectionate but undeceived about the man's frailties, a diligent researcher and a deft reader of poetry - has written an equally exemplary 'Life' of him.' - Peter Conrad, Observer

'Honest but not prurient, critical but also compassionate, Motion's book could not be bettered.' - Alan Bennett, London Review of Books   
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Who Is Michael Ovitz?

Who Is Michael Ovitz?

Michael Ovitz

$35.00
If you're going to read one book about Hollywood, this is the one.

As co-founder of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Michael Ovitz earned a reputation for ruthless negotiation, brilliant strategy and fierce loyalty to his clients. He reinvented the role of the agent and helped shape the careers of hundreds of A-list stars and directors, including Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Sean Connery, Steven Seagal, Bill Murray, Robin Williams and David Letterman.

But this personal history is much more than celebrity friendships and bare-knuckled deal-making. It's an underdog's story- How did a kid with no connections work his way into the William Morris mailroom, and become the most powerful person in Hollywood? How did a superagent also become a power in producing, advertising, mergers & acquisitions and modern art? And what were the personal consequences of all those deals?

After decades of near-silence in the face of intense controversy, Michael Ovitz is finally telling his whole story in this blistering, unforgettable memoir.
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Telling Tales: The Fabulous Lives of Anita Leslie

Telling Tales: The Fabulous Lives of Anita Leslie

Penny Perrick

$19.99
Anita Leslie (1914-85), best known for popular biographies of her relatives including Jennie Churchill, Winston's mother, was also an unlikely war heroine. In 1940, Anita volunteered as an ambulance driver.

By the end of the war, she was the only woman to have been awarded both the Africa Star and the Croix de Guerre, alongside the other medals for her service across all four fronts of WWII, as recounted in her remarkable memoir Train to Nowhere.

In this revealing biography, Penny Perrick brings Anita to life: her complicated early years, her love for her children, her passion for Ireland, her career as a writer, and the ongoing family drama about Castle Leslie. Telling Tales is a scintillating and poignant account of this flamboyant woman.
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The Letters of Sylvia Plath Volume II: 1956 - 1963

The Letters of Sylvia Plath Volume II: 1956 - 1963

Sylvia Plath

$69.99
The second volume of this landmark edition of Sylvia Plath's correspondence.

This selection of later correspondence witnesses Plath and Hughes becoming major, influential contemporary writers, as it happened.

Experiences recorded include first books and other publications; teaching; committing to writing full-time; travels; making professional acquaintances; settling in England; starting a family; and buying a house.

Throughout, Plath's voice is completely, uniquely her own.
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The Dark Interval: Letters for the Grieving Heart

The Dark Interval: Letters for the Grieving Heart

Rainer Maria Rilke ,  Ulrich Baer

$27.99
From one of the most famous poets in history comes a new selection of writings to bereaved friends and acquaintances, providing comfort in a time of grief and words to soothe the soul.

'A treasure. The solace Rilke offers is uncommon, uplifting and necessary' OBSERVER Throughout his life, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke addressed letters to individuals who were close to him, who had contacted him after reading his works, or who he had met briefly - anyone with whom he felt an inner connection. Within his vast correspondence, there are about two dozen letters of condolence. In these direct, personal and practical letters, Rilke writes about loss and mortality, assuming the role of a sensitive, serious and uplifting guide through life's difficulties. He consoles a friend on the loss of her nephew, which she experienced like the loss of her own child; a mentor on the death of her dog; and an acquaintance struggling to cope with the end of a friendship. The result is a profound vision of mourning and a meditation on the role of pain in our lives, as well as a soothing guide for how to get through it.

Where things become truly difficult and unbearable, we find ourselves in a place already very close to its transformation...
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Memoirs of an Infantry Officer

Memoirs of an Infantry Officer

Siegfried Sassoon

$27.99
'As I stepped over one of the Germans an impulse made me lift him up from the miserable ditch. Propped against the bank, his blond face undisfigured, except by the mud which I wiped from his eyes and mouth with my coat sleeve. He'd evidently been killed while digging, for his tunic was knotted loosely about his shoulders. He didn't look to be more than eighteen. Hoisting him a little higher, I thought what a gentle face he had, and remembered that this was the first time I'd ever touched one of our enemies with my hands. Perhaps I had some dim sense of the futility which had put an end to this good-looking youth. Anyhow I hadn't expected the Battle of the Somme to be quite like this.'

This first-hand account of the face of battle is as beautifully written as it is historically significant.
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The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel: John Williams, Stoner, and the Writing Life

The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel: John Williams, Stoner, and the Writing Life

Charles J. Shields

$54.95
When Stoner was published in 1965, the novel sold only a couple of thousand copies before disappearing with hardly a trace. Yet John Williams's quietly powerful tale of a Midwestern college professor, William Stoner, whose life becomes a parable of solitude and anguish eventually found an admiring audience in America and especially in Europe. The New York Times called Stoner a perfect novel, and a host of writers and critics, including Colum McCann, Julian Barnes, Bret Easton Ellis, Ian McEwan, Emma Straub, Ruth Rendell, C. P. Snow, and Irving Howe, praised its artistry. The New Yorker deemed it a masterly portrait of a truly virtuous and dedicated man.

The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel traces the life of Stoner's author, John Williams. Acclaimed biographer Charles J. Shields follows the whole arc of Williams's life, which in many ways paralleled that of his titular character, from their shared working-class backgrounds to their undistinguished careers in the halls of academia. Shields vividly recounts Williams's development as an author, whose other works include the novels Butcher's Crossing and Augustus (for the latter, Williams shared the 1972 National Book Award). Shields also reveals the astonishing afterlife of Stoner, which garnered new fans with each American reissue, and then became a bestseller all over Europe after Dutch publisher Lebowski brought out a translation in 2013. Since then, Stoner has been published in twenty-one countries and has sold over a million copies.
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Devotion

Devotion

Patti Smith

$17.99
From the renowned artist and author Patti Smith, a rare and generous look into the creative process.

A work of creative brilliance may seem like magic - its source a mystery, its impact unexpectedly stirring. How does an artist accomplish such an achievement, connecting deeply with an audience never met? In this groundbreaking book, one of our culture's beloved artists offers a detailed account of her own creative process, inspirations, and unexpected connections.

Patti Smith first presents an original and beautifully crafted tale of obsession-a young skater who lives for her art, a possessive collector who ruthlessly seeks his prize, a relationship forged of need both craven and exalted. She then takes us on a second journey, exploring the sources of her story. We travel through the South of France to Camus's house, and visit the garden of the great publisher Gallimard where the ghosts of Mishima, Nabokov, and Genet mingle. Smith tracks down Simone Weil's grave in a lonely cemetery, hours from London, and winds through the nameless Paris streets of Patrick Modiano's novels. Whether writing in a cafe or a train, Smith generously opens her notebooks and lets us glimpse the alchemy of her art and craft in this arresting and original book on writing.

The Why I Write series is based on the Windham-Campbell Lectures, delivered annually to commemorate the awarding of the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes at Yale University.
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Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time

Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time

Hilary Spurling

$22.99
'A landmark biography' The Times, Books of the Year

'One of our generation's greatest biographers' London Review of Books

'Witty, spirited, richly crowded with incident and character - a joy to read' Prospect

From the author of the prize-winning Matisse The Master comes an essential biography of one of 20th century Britain's greatest literary minds

Anthony Powell: the literary genius who gave us A Dance to the Music of Time, an epic twelve spectacular volume cyle of novels about twentieth century British society. This comic masterpiece teems with idiosyncratic characters, capturing Britain through war and peace in all its eccentricity. And it was inspired by the author's own life immersed in rich social intrigue - debutante balls, penniless muses, publisher feuds, summers on the French Riviera, weekend parties at country houses, and friendships with everyone from Evelyn Waugh to Graham Greene to VS Naipaul...

Hilary Spurling brings all this back to vivid life, investigating the friends, relations, lovers and acquaintances, fools and savants who surrounded Anthony Powell, and who he immortalised in his magnificent literary legacy.
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A Life in Culture: Selected Letters of Lionel Trilling

A Life in Culture: Selected Letters of Lionel Trilling

Lionel Trilling ,  Adam Kirsch

$63.95
A great critic's quarrels with himself and others, as revealed in his correspondence In the mid-twentieth century, Lionel Trilling was America's most respected literary critic. His powerful and subtle essays inspired readers to think about how literature shapes our politics, our culture, and our selves. His 1950 collection, The Liberal Imagination, sold more than 100,000 copies, epitomizing a time that has been called the age of criticism.

To his New York intellectual peers, Trilling could seem reserved and circumspect. But in his selected letters, Trilling is revealed in all his variousness and complexity. We witness his ardent courtship of Diana Trilling, who would become an eminent intellectual in her own right; his alternately affectionate and contentious rapport with former students such as Allen Ginsberg and Norman Podhoretz; the complicated politics of Partisan Review and other fabled magazines of the period; and Trilling's relationships with other leading writers of the period, including Saul Bellow, Edmund Wilson, and Norman Mailer.

In Life in Culture, edited by Adam Kirsch, Trilling's letters add up to an intimate portrait of a great critic, and of America's intellectual journey from the political passions of the 1930s to the cultural conflicts of the 1960s and beyond.
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Forgotten Women: The Artists

Forgotten Women: The Artists

Zing Tsjeng

$27.99
The 48 talented and influential female artists that history should never have forgotten.

The women who shaped and were erased from our history. FORGOTTEN WOMEN is a new series of books that uncover the lost herstories of influential women who have refused over hundreds of years to accept the hand they've been dealt and, as a result, have formed, shaped and changed the course of our futures. From leaders and scientists to artists and writers, the fascinating stories of these women that time forgot are now celebrated, putting their achievements firmly back on the map.

The Artists brings together the stories of 48* brilliant woman artists who made huge yet unacknowledged contributions to the history of art, including Camille Claudel, the extraordinarily talented sculptor who was always unfairly overshadowed by her lover, Rodin; Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, who has been claimed as the true originator of Marcel Duchamp's Fountain; and Ana Mendieta, the Cuban refugee who approached violence against women through her performance art before her own untimely death.

With chapters ranging from Figurative to Photography, and Craft to Conceptual, this is an alternative guide to art history that demonstrates the broad range of artistic movements that included, and were often pioneered by, female artists who have been largely overlooked.

*The number of Nobel-prize-winning women.
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Forgotten Women: The Writers

Forgotten Women: The Writers

Zing Tsjeng

$27.99
Putting 48 pioneering and innovative female writers firmly back on the modern map.

The women who shaped and were erased from our history. Forgotten Women is a new series of books that uncover the lost herstories of influential women who have refused over hundreds of years to accept the hand they've been dealt and, as a result, have formed, shaped and changed the course of our futures. From leaders and scientists to artists and writers, the fascinating stories of these women that time forgot are now celebrated, putting their achievements firmly back on the map.

The Writers celebrates 48* unsung genius female writers from throughout history and across the world, including the Girl Stunt Reporters, who went undercover to write exposes on the ills of 1890s America; Aemilia Lanyer, the contemporary of Shakespeare whose polemical re-writing of The Bible's Passion Story is regarded as one of the earliest feminist works of literature; and Sarojini Naidu, the freedom fighter and 'Nightingale of India' whose poetry echoed her political desire for Indian independence.

Including writers from across a wide spectrum of disciplines including poets, journalists, novelists, essayists and diarists, this is an alternative gynocentric history of literature that will surprise, empower, and leave you with a reading list a mile long.

*The number of Nobel-prize-winning women.
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Tina Turner: My Love Story: The Autobiography

Tina Turner: My Love Story: The Autobiography

Tina Turner

$35.00
Love's got everything to do with it.

Tina Turner is the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, a musical icon celebrating her 60th year in the industry. In this dramatic autobiography, she tells the story of a truly remarkable life in the spotlight.

From her early years picking cotton in Nutbush, Tennessee to her rise to fame alongside Ike Turner, and finally to her phenomenal success in the 1980s and beyond, Tina candidly examines her personal history, from her darkest hours to her happiest moments and everything in between.

Brimming with her trademark blend of strength, energy, heart and soul, My Love Story is a gripping, surprising memoir, as memorable and entertaining as any of her greatest hits.
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Henry David Thoreau: A Life

Henry David Thoreau: A Life

Laura Dassow Walls

$37.95
Walden. Yesterday I came here to live. That entry from the journal of Henry David Thoreau, and the intellectual journey it began, would by themselves be enough to place Thoreau in the American pantheon. His attempt to live deliberately in a small woods at the edge of his hometown of Concord has been a touchstone for individualists and seekers since the publication of Walden in 1854.

But there was much more to Thoreau than his brief experiment in living at Walden Pond. A member of the vibrant intellectual circle centered on his neighbor Ralph Waldo Emerson, he was also an ardent naturalist, a manual laborer and inventor, a radical political activist, and more. Many books have taken up various aspects of Thoreau's character and achievements, but, as Laura Dassow Walls writes, Thoreau has never been captured between covers; he was too quixotic, mischievous, many-sided. Two hundred years after his birth, and two generations after the last full-scale biography, Walls restores Henry David Thoreau to us in all his profound, inspiring complexity.

Walls traces the full arc of Thoreau's life, from his early days in the intellectual hothouse of Concord, when the American experiment still felt fresh and precarious, and America was a family affair, earned by one generation and about to pass to the next. By the time he died in 1862, at only forty-four years of age, Thoreau had witnessed the transformation of his world from a community of farmers and artisans into a bustling, interconnected commercial nation. What did that portend for the contemplative individual and abundant, wild nature that Thoreau celebrated?

Drawing on Thoreau's copious writings, published and unpublished, Walls presents a Thoreau vigorously alive in all his quirks and contradictions: the young man shattered by the sudden death of his brother; the ambitious Harvard College student; the ecstatic visionary who closed Walden with an account of the regenerative power of the Cosmos. We meet the man whose belief in human freedom and the value of labor made him an uncompromising abolitionist; the solitary walker who found society in nature, but also found his own nature in the society of which he was a deeply interwoven part. And, running through it all, Thoreau the passionate naturalist, who, long before the age of environmentalism, saw tragedy for future generations in the human heedlessness around him.

The Thoreau I sought was not in any book, so I wrote this one, says Walls. The result is a Thoreau unlike any seen since he walked the streets of Concord, a Thoreau for our time and all time.
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