Berlin detective Bernie Gunther bows out at last in the 14th and final book of the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling series. With an introduction by Ian Rankin.
Berlin, 1928, the dying days of the Weimar Republic shortly before Hitler and the Nazis came to power. It was a period of decadence and excess as Berliners - after the terrible slaughter of WWI and the hardships that followed - are enjoying their own version of Babylon. Bernie is a young detective working in Vice when he gets a summons from Bernard Weiss, Chief of Berlin's Criminal Police. He invites Bernie to join KIA - Criminal Inspection A - the supervisory body for all homicide investigation in Kripo. Bernie's first task is to investigate the Silesian Station killings - four prostitutes murdered in as many weeks. All of them have been hit over the head with a hammer and then scalped with a sharp knife.
Bernie hardly has time to acquaint himself with the case files before another prostitute is murdered. Until now, no one has shown much interest in these victims - there are plenty in Berlin who'd like the streets washed clean of such degenerates. But this time the girl's father runs Berlin's foremost criminal ring, and he's prepared to go to extreme lengths to find his daughter's killer.
Then a second series of murders begins - of crippled wartime veterans who beg in the city's streets. It seems that someone is determined to clean up Berlin of anyone less than perfect. The voice of Nazism is becoming a roar that threatens to drown out all others. But not Bernie Gunther's...
Where have I come from? From the land of rivers, the land of waterfalls, the land of ancient chants, the land of mountains...
Since 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani has been held in the Manus Island offshore processing centre. This book is the result. Laboriously tapped out on a mobile phone and translated from the Farsi. It is a voice of witness, an act of survival. A lyric firsthand account. A cry of resistance. A vivid portrait through five years of incarceration and exile.
In his homeland, people would run to the mountains to escape the warplanes and found asylum within their chestnut forests. Do Kurds have any friends other than the mountains?
"A chant, a cry from the heart, a lament, fuelled by a fierce urgency, written with the lyricism of a poet, the literary skills of a novelist, and the profound insights of an astute observer of human behaviour and the ruthless politics of a cruel and unjust imprisonment." Arnold Zable
The Comma Queen returns with a buoyant book about language, love, and the wine-dark sea.
In her New York Times bestseller Between You & Me, Mary Norris delighted readers with her irreverent tales of pencils and punctuation in the New Yorker's celebrated copy department. In Greek to Me, she delivers another wise and funny paean to the art of self-expression, this time filtered through her greatest passion- all things Greek.
Greek to Me is a charming account of Norris's lifelong love affair with words and her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo. Along the way, Norris explains how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, goes searching for the fabled Baths of Aphrodite, and reveals the surprising ways Greek helped form English. Filled with Norris's memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine-and more than a few Greek men-Greek to Me is the Comma Queen's fresh take on Greece and the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own.
For decades, we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. Mark Manson, however, doesn't sugar-coat or equivocate: "F**k positivity," he says in his wildly popular internet blog. "Let's be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it."
Backed by both academic research and well-timed poop jokes, Manson makes the argument that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. It's time to recalibrate what it means to be happy: there are only so many things we can give a f**k about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter.
An antidote to the coddling, let's-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society, and filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humour, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap in the face for a generation spoiled by being rewarded with gold medals just for showing up.
An important book about technology and capitalism - and what our response should be when these two giants collide.
Society is at a turning point. The heady optimism that accompanied the advent of the Internet has gone, replaced with a deep unease as technology, capitalism and an unequal society combine to create the perfect storm. Tech companies are gathering our information online and selling it to the highest bidder, whether government or retailer. In this world of surveillance capitalism, profit depends not only on predicting but modifying our online behaviour. How will this fusion of capitalism and the digital shape the values that define our future?
Shoshana Zuboff shows that at this critical juncture we have a choice, the power to decide what kind of world we want to live in. We can choose whether to allow the power of technology to enrich the few and impoverish the many, or harness it for the wider distribution of capitalism's social and economic benefits. What we decide over the next decade will shape the rest of the twenty-first century.
Exploring the social, political, business and technological meaning of the changes taking place in our time, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism tackles the threat of an unprecedented power free from democratic oversight, and shows how we can protect ourselves and our communities. This is a deeply reasoned examination of the contests over the next chapter of capitalism that will decide the meaning of information civilization. The stark issue at hand is whether we will be masters of the digital, or its slaves.
SIGNED COPIES SHIPPING NOW!
'You look the type to break your father's heart.'
'Yeah, but he broke mine first.'
When Rosie Gennaro first meets Jimmy Hailler, she has walked away from life in Sydney, leaving behind the place on Dalhousie that her father, Seb, painstakingly rebuilt for his family but never saw completed. Two years later, Rosie returns to the house and living there is Martha, whom Seb Gennaro married less than a year after the death of Rosie's mother. Martha is struggling to fulfil Seb's dream, while Rosie is coming to terms with new responsibilities. And so begins a stand-off between two women who refuse to move out of the home they both lay claim to.
As the battle lines are drawn, Jimmy Hailler re-enters Rosie's life. Having always watched other families from the perimeters, he's now grappling, heartbreakingly, with forming one of his own...
An unforgettable story about losing love and finding love; about the interconnectedness of lives and the true nature of belonging, from one of our most acclaimed writers.
Emperor Domitian has been awarded (or rather has demanded) yet another Triumph to celebrate two so-called victories. Preparations are going smoothly until one of the men overseeing arrangements for the celebration accidentally falls to his death from a cliff on the symbolic Capitoline Hill.
But Flavia Albia suspects there's more to the incident than meets the eye, as there are plenty of people who would have been delighted to be rid of the overseer. He was an abusive swine who couldn't organise a booze-up in a winery and was caught up in a number of scams, including one surrounding the supply of imperial purple dye and a family of shellfish-boilers.
As Flavia finds herself drawn into a theatrical world of carnival floats, musicians, incense and sacrificial beasts, can she see to the heart of the matter and catch those responsible for the unpopular man's untimely death?
An exceptionally accessible history of the Roman Empire...
Much of Ten Caesars reads like a script for Game of Thrones...
This superb summation of four centuries of Roman history, a masterpiece of compression, confirms Barry Strauss as the foremost academic classicist writing for the general reader today. -Andrew Roberts, The Wall Street Journal Bestselling classical historian Barry Strauss tells the story of three and a half centuries of the Roman Empire through the lives of ten of the most important emperors, from Augustus to Constantine.
Barry Strauss's Ten Caesars is the story of the Roman Empire from rise to reinvention, from Augustus, who founded the empire, to Constantine, who made it Christian and moved the capital east to Constantinople.
During these centuries Rome gained in splendor and territory, then lost both. The empire reached from modern-day Britain to Iraq, and gradually emperors came not from the old families of the first century but from men born in the provinces, some of whom had never even seen Rome. By the fourth century, the time of Constantine, the Roman Empire had changed so dramatically in geography, ethnicity, religion, and culture that it would have been virtually unrecognizable to Augustus.
In the imperial era Roman women-mothers, wives, mistresses-had substantial influence over the emperors, and Strauss also profiles the most important among them, from Livia, Augustus's wife, to Helena, Constantine's mother. But even women in the imperial family faced limits and the emperors often forced them to marry or divorce for purely political reasons.
Rome's legacy remains today in so many ways, from language, law, and architecture to the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. Strauss examines this enduring heritage through the lives of the men who shaped it: Augustus, Tiberius, Nero, Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, Diocletian and Constantine. Over the ages, they learned to maintain the family business-the government of an empire-by adapting when necessary and always persevering no matter the cost. Ten Caesars is essential history as well as fascinating biography.
'This book should be read by anyone interested in the way myths become accepted as history.' - Peter Edwards, author of Australia and the Vietnam War Why everything you think you know about Australia's Vietnam War is wrong.
When journalist and historian Mark Dapin first interviewed Vietnam veterans and wrote about the war, he swallowed (and regurgitated) every popular misconception. He wasn't alone. In Australia's Vietnam, Dapin argues that every stage of Australia's Vietnam War has been misremembered and obscured by myth. He disproves claims that every national serviceman was a volunteer; questions the idea that Australian troops committed atrocities; debunks the fallacy that there were no welcome home parades until 1987; and rebuts the fable that returned soldiers were met by spitting protesters at Australian airports.
Australia's Vietnam is a major contribution to the understanding of Australia's experience of the war and will change the way we think about memory and military history.
Angels of Mercy tells the story of two Australian nursing sisters. One, the outback's first flying sister, single handedly battled the dust, heat and isolation of the Far West of NSW to bring medical treatment to her far flung patients, before the advent of the Flying Doctor. The other sister took up nursing with an eye to overseas travel, unaware that she would find herself in a battle zone and spend more than three years as a prisoner-of-war in Sumatra, as a 'guest' of the Emperor of Japan.
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK
----- I own a number of books on Art Deco, and if like me you are a devotee of its elegance and style, then like me, you must have this glorious book! I've never seen such a comprehensive volume on the subject - it's 432 pages and absolutely chock-a-block full of crisp and beautiful photographs. It covers residential buildings, but also industrial, commercial and civic architecture. As well as the splendid contemporary photos, there are archival images of exteriors and interiors and the occasional example of furnishings, artwork, fashion and accessories. Text is informative, deeply knowledgable and well written, to complement the images. A truly fabulous tribute to Art Deco and to Sydney and worth every cent! Lindy Jones
For the first time, Sydney's Art Deco buildings of the 1930s and 1940s are identified and gloriously displayed with contemporary photographs alongside archival images.
Sydney Art Deco explores the impact of the Art Deco style on the landscape and life of Sydney during the 1930s and 1940s. Using contemporary and archival photos the book covers the whole gamut of moderne, functionalist and streamlined styling in the architecture of Sydney during the 1930s and 1940s. Art Deco was a global style and Sydney Art Deco explores its impact on the lifestyle of Sydneysiders with a glimpse of Australian artwork, fashion, furniture and accessories.
The time of Art Deco was a brief hiatus between two World Wars and compounded by the devastating effects of the Great Depression. Life was not always glamorous but in many ways the style ushered in a new sense of freedom for people from the Victorian era's restrictions of class and attachment to tradition. New technology, mass production and the machine age brought a promise of a new future and industrial design with new materials made affordable and stylish goods available to the whole community. Sydney was still steadfastly British in the 1930s but the international style of Art Deco made its mark in Sydney. The city is graced with some beautiful architectural examples which can be seen in Sydney Art Deco and which should be appreciated and maintained as part of Sydney's built heritage.
The bestselling novel that has taken Australia, and the world, by storm.
'Without exaggeration, the best Australian novel I have read in more than a decade ... A rollicking ride, rich in philosophy, wit, truth and pathos' Sydney Morning Herald
Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It's not as if Eli's life isn't complicated enough already. He's just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way - not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer.
But Eli's life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He's about to fall in love. And, oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day, to save his mum.
A story of brotherhood, true love and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe will be the most heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novel you will read all year - an instant Australian classic.
In the Closet of the Vatican exposes the rot at the heart of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church today. This brilliant piece of investigative writing is based on four years' authoritative research, including extensive interviews with those in power.
The celibacy of priests, the condemnation of the use of contraceptives, the cover up of countless cases of sexual abuse, the resignation of Benedict XVI, misogyny among the clergy, the dramatic fall in Europe of the number of vocations to the priesthood, the plotting against Pope Francis - all these issues are clouded in mystery and secrecy.
In the Closet of the Vatican is a book that reveals these secrets and penetrates this enigma. It derives from a system founded on a clerical culture of secrecy which starts in junior seminaries and continues right up to the Vatican itself. It is based on the double lives of priests and on extreme homophobia. The resulting schizophrenia in the Church is hard to fathom. But the more a prelate is homophobic, the more likely it is that he is himself gay.
`Behind rigidity there is always something hidden, in many cases a double life'. These are the words of Pope Francis himself and with them the Pope has unlocked the Closet.
No one can claim to really understand the Catholic Church today until they have read this book. It reveals a truth that is extraordinary and disturbing.
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK
----- Like many a girl of my schoolyears, I learnt embroidery and needlecraft. I can probably still do a row of chain stitch, or whip over stem stitch, or sew french knots if I had to, but mostly I remember being rapped over the knuckles for my untidy work... So if you told me I would enjoy a book about the social, emotional and political significance of sewing, I might have looked at you askance! But this book transcends my expectations and prejudices, and is one of those literary treasures you want everyone to know about.
Divided into chapters such as Power, Frailty, Connection, Protest and Place, this is a journey through the ages and various societies, full of fascinating, revelatory and engaging stories and anecdotes that beg to be shared. Did you know that embroidery was done around seams and openings to protect the wearer from devils in certain Asian cultures? That WWI veterans were encouraged to needlework as a form of successfully managing what we now call PTSD? That women in medieval times might have done the work, but only men could be in the powerful guilds (embroidering vestments for priests was a richly rewarding business). That Mary Queen of Scots embroidered as a form of declaring her status and power, despite her long captivity?
Whether the secret language of ethnic stitches, or the secret wishes sewn into prisoner-of-war works, or the bonding that comes from sewing political banners or the comfort gained from commemorative works, this really is a rich and rewarding history, and one that makes me want to find my old sewing basket and create my own piece of (probably still untidy!) embroidery as a link to the needleworkers before me... Lindy Jones
A history of sewing and embroidery, told through the stories of the men and women, over centuries and across continents, who have used the language of sewing to make their voices heard, even in the most desperate of circumstances.
From the political storytelling of the Bayeux tapestry's anonymous embroiderers and Mary, Queen of Scots' treasonous stitching, to the sewing of First World War soldiers suffering from PTSD and the banner-makers at Greenham Common, THREADS OF LIFE stretches from medieval France to 1980s America, from a Second World War POW camp in Singapore to a family attic in Scotland. It is as much about identity, protest, memory and politics as craft and artistry.
In an eloquent blend of history and memoir with a unique understanding of craft, Clare Hunter's THREADS OF LIFE is an evocative and moving book about the need we all have to tell our story.
The Overnight Kidnapper is the twenty-third Inspector Montalbano mystery, from the international bestselling author Andrea Camilleri.
After a hectic morning involving two rather irritating cases of mistaken identity, Inspector Montalbano finally arrives in his office ready find out what's troubling Vigata this week. What he discovers is unnerving. A woman on her way home from work has been held up at gunpoint, chloroformed and kidnapped, but then released just hours later - unharmed and with all her possessions - into the open countryside.
Later that day, Montalbano hears from Enzo, the owner of his favourite restaurant, that his niece has recently been the victim of the exact same crime. Before long, a third instance of this baffling overnight kidnapping has been reported.
As far as Montalbano can tell, there is no link between the attacker and the victims. So what exactly is this mystery assailant gaining from these fleeting kidnappings? And what can he do to stop them? Montalbano must use all his logic and intuition if he is to answer these pressing questions before the kidnapper finds his next victim . . .
Virginal, chaste, humble, patiently waiting for rescue by brave knights and handsome princes: this idealized - and largely mythical - notion of the medieval noblewoman still lingers. Yet the reality was very different, as Kelcey Wilson-Lee shows in this vibrant account of the five daughters of the great English king, Edward I.
The lives of these sisters - Eleanora, Joanna, Margaret, Mary and Elizabeth - ran the full gamut of experiences open to royal women in the Middle Ages. Living as they did in a courtly culture founded on romantic longing and brilliant pageantry, they knew that a princess was to be chaste yet a mother to many children, preferably sons, meek yet able to influence a recalcitrant husband or even command a host of men-at-arms. Edward's daughters were of course expected to cement alliances and secure lands and territory by making great dynastic marriages, or endow religious houses with royal favour. But they also skilfully managed enormous households, navigated choppy diplomatic waters and promoted their family's cause throughout Europe - and had the courage to defy their royal father. They might never wear the crown in their own right, but they were utterly confident of their crucial role in the spectacle of medieval kingship.
Drawing on a wide range of contemporary sources, Daughters of Chivalry offers a rich portrait of these spirited Plantagenet women. With their libraries of beautifully illustrated psalters and tales of romance, their rich silks and gleaming jewels, we follow these formidable women throughout their lives and see them - at long last - shine from out of the shadows, revealing what it was to be a princess in the Age of Chivalry.
Cousin to Elizabeth I - and very likely also Henry VIII's illegitimate granddaughter - Lettice Knollys had a life of dizzying highs and pitiful lows. Darling of the court, entangled in a love triangle with Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I, banished from court, plagued by scandals of affairs and murder, embroiled in treason, Lettice would go on to lose a husband and beloved son to the executioner's axe. Living to the astonishing age of ninetyone, Lettice's tale gives us a remarkable, personal lens on to the grand sweep of the Tudor Age, with those closest to her often at the heart of the events that defined it.
In the first ever biography of this extraordinary woman, Nicola Tallis's dramatic narrative takes us through those events, including the religious turmoil, plots and intrigues of Mary, Queen of Scots, attempted coups, and bloody Irish conflicts, among others. Surviving well into the reign of Charles I, Lettice truly was the last of the great Elizabethans.
When Hitler enabled the transformation of the Truppenamt into the general staff in 1935, General Beck saw an opportunity to re-establish a command of great power and influence that would act as a stabilising influence on Germany as a whole. Such a vision ran directly contrary to Hitler's ideology, however, setting up a tension that continued to ferment throughout the war, culminating in the assassination attempt on the Fuhrer by an internal resistance movement in 1944. In this new and comprehensive study, acclaimed author David Stone analyses the strengths and flaws of the command system, showing that the gradual marginalisation of the Army high command in favour of Hitler's own staff - including Himmler's SS - was rooted in the fact that the general staff both underestimated and misunderstood the true nature of the National Socialist movement that had gained control of Germany by 1933. He also examines the successes of the general staff in the context of the many trials and tribulations they faced as part of the Nazi war machine. Presenting an original interpretation of Germany at war, we get a picture of an organisation at the heart of Axis military planning, which was intentionally complicated by Hitler.
It's compulsory to vote in Australia.
We are one of a handful of countries in the world that enforce this rule at election time, and the only English-speaking country that makes its citizens vote.
Not only that, we embrace it. We celebrate compulsory voting with barbeques and cake stalls at polling stations, and election parties that spill over into Sunday morning.
But how did this come to be? When and why did we begin making Australians vote? What effect has it had on our political parties, our voting systems, our participation in elections? And how else is the way we vote different from other English-speaking democracies?
From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage is a brilliant essay-length book by the celebrated historian Judith Brett, the prize-winning biographer of Alfred Deakin. This is a landmark account of the character of Australian democracy.
Voted America's Best-Loved Novel by The Great American Read series, PBS Harper Lee's beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, now translated into Latin.
Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.
A haunting portrait of race and class, innocence and injustice, hypocrisy and heroism, tradition and transformation in the Deep South of the 1930s, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird remains as important today as it was upon its initial publication in 1960, during the turbulent years of the Civil Rights movement.
A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of young Scout, as her father Atticus Finch, a crusading local lawyer, risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.
Now, this most beloved and acclaimed novel is retold in this beautiful Latin language edition, translated by Andrew Wilson.
How is hate shaping our society? With the troubling rise of nationalist populism and the return of race politics, it's time to question the powers at play. On Hate is an urgent call for citizens to defend democracy against extremism.
Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years.
This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person's life - a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us - blazingly - about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney's second novel breathes fiction with new life.
From the author of the critically acclaimed bestseller The Ruin comes a compulsive new crime thriller featuring DS Cormac Reilly.
Being brilliant has never been this dangerous ...
When Dr Emma Sweeney stumbles across the victim of a hit and run outside Galway University late one evening, she calls her partner, Detective Cormac Reilly, bringing him first to the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him.
A security card in the dead woman's pocket identifies her as Carline Darcy, a gifted student and heir apparent to Irish pharmaceutical giant Darcy Therapeutics. The multi-billion-dollar company, founded by her grandfather, has a finger in every pie, from sponsoring university research facilities to funding political parties to philanthropy - it has funded Emma's own ground-breaking research. The enquiry into Carline's death promises to be high profile and high pressure.
As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac is sure she couldn't be involved, but as his running of the case comes under scrutiny from the department and his colleagues, he is forced to question his own objectivity. Could his loyalty to Emma have led him to overlook evidence? Has it made him a liability?
WINNER • STELLA PRIZE 2019
Dark, sharp, blackly funny and powerful, this is memoir, wielded as weapon, with the tightly compressed energy of an explosive device.
'We've been disowned and disinherited: there's not changing it, I say. When something bad happens to them, we'll know soon enough and we'll deal with it together. I don't realise it at the time, but when I say that, I imply I care. I imply there may be something to be salvaged. I misspeak. But I'm flying out anyway. Blood calls to blood; what can I tell you.' This is a memoir about a dysfunctional family, about a mother and her daughters. But make no mistake. This is like no mother-daughter relationship you know.
When Vicki Laveau-Harvie's elderly mother is hospitalised unexpectedly, Vicki and her sister travel to their parents' isolated ranch home in Alberta, Canada, to help their father. Estranged from their parents for many years, Vicki and her sister are horrified by what they discover on their arrival. For years, Vicki's mother has camouflaged her manic delusions and savage unpredictability, and over the decades she has managed to shut herself and her husband away from the outside world, systematically starving him and making him a virtual prisoner in his own home. Vicki and her sister have a lot to do, in very little time, to save their father. And at every step they have to contend with their mother, whose favourite phrase during their childhood was: 'I'll get you and you won't even know I'm doing it.' A ferocious, sharp, darkly funny and wholly compelling memoir of families, the pain they can inflict and the legacy they leave, The Erratics has the tightly coiled, compressed energy of an explosive device - it will take your breath away.
Winner of the Finch Memoir Prize in 2018, shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize and the 2019 NSW Premier's Literary Awards.
'If someone had told me this manuscript was by a young Margaret Attwood or Alice Munro, I wouldn't have been surprised. The bleak beauty of the Canadian landscape set against this wry memoir of a daughter's journey with her sister through their parents' decline into ill-health and dementia is an extraordinary read.' Candida Baker 'The Erratics grabbed me by the throat and never let go. Its sharp vinegary tone added a thrilling and bracing note to this portrayal of an extreme dysfunctional family. The writing has a visceral quality as well as a terrific sense of timing, irony and place - an unfamiliar and remote location far removed from Australia, but the author's tug back to Australia from this cold, inhospitable setting adds another dimension of contrast. There is a universality to the story, of ageing parents and conflicted children grappling with uncomfortable responsibilities. I loved it.' Caroline Baum, author, Only
The Sunday Times bestseller.
'Eye-opening, damning and hilarious' Tim Shipman, author of All Out War and Fall Out.
I'm a barrister, a job which requires the skills of a social worker, relationship counsellor, arm-twister, hostage negotiator, named driver, bus fare-provider, accountant, suicide watchman, coffee-supplier, surrogate parent and, on one memorable occasion, whatever the official term is for someone tasked with breaking the news to a prisoner that his girlfriend has been diagnosed with gonorrhoea.
Welcome to the world of the Secret Barrister. These are the stories of life inside the courtroom. They are sometimes funny, often moving and ultimately life-changing.
How can you defend a child-abuser you suspect to be guilty? What do you say to someone sentenced to ten years who you believe to be innocent? What is the law and why do we need it?
And why do they wear those stupid wigs?
From the criminals to the lawyers, the victims, witnesses and officers of the law, here is the best and worst of humanity, all struggling within a broken system which would never be off the front pages if the public knew what it was really like.
Both a searing first-hand account of the human cost of the criminal justice system, and a guide to how we got into this mess, The Secret Barrister wants to show you what it's really like and why it really matters.
Esther only just escaped the hangman in London. Aged 16, she stood trial at the Old Bailey for stealing 24 yards of black silk lace. Her sentence was transportation to the other side of the world.
She embarked on the perilous journey on the First Fleet as a convict, with no idea of what lay ahead. Once on shore, she became the servant and, in time, the lover of the dashing young first lieutenant George Johnston. But life in the fledgling colony could be gruelling, with starvation looming and lashings for convicts who stepped out of line.
Esther was one of the first Jewish women to arrive in the new land. Through her we meet some of the key people who helped shape the nation. Her life is an extraordinary rags-to-riches story. As leader of the Rum Rebellion against Governor Bligh, George Johnston became Lieutenant-Governor of NSW, making Esther First Lady of the colony, a remarkable rise in society for a former convict.
'North skilfully weaves together one woman's fascinating saga with an equally fascinating history of the early colonial period of Australia. The resulting true story is sometimes as strange and thrilling as a fairytale.' - Lee Kofman, author of The Dangerous Bride
Polarised, enraged and spiritually bereft, America under Donald Trump seems to be on the brink of failure.
In this dazzling debut, award-winning Australian writer Richard Cooke takes a close-up look at the state of the United States. From the theology of opioids to the aftermath of a mass shooting, from #MeToo to the paintings of George W. Bush, Cooke's reporting takes him from an East Coast ravaged by climate change to the dangerous world of the US-Mexico border.
This is not another diner-hopping week in Trump country- it's a radical effort to capture dissonant and varied Americas, across more than twenty states. In brilliantly rendered accounts of poets, politicians and poisoned cities, Cooke finds a nation splintering under the weight of alienation - but showing resilience and hope in the most unexpected ways.
Entertaining and terrifying in equal measure, Tired of Winning reveals the schisms and the clamour of contemporary America.
What do Australians want most from their next government? In this vivid, grounded, surprising essay, Rebecca Huntley listens to the people and hears a call for change.
Too often we focus on the angry, reactionary minority. But, Huntley shows, there is also a large progressive centre. For some time, a clear majority have been saying they want action - on climate and energy, on housing and inequality, on corporate donations and the corruption of democracy. Would a Shorten Labor government rise to this challenge? What can be learnt from the failures of past governments? Was marriage equality just the beginning? In Australia Fair, Rebecca Huntley reveals the state of the nation and makes the case for democratic renewal - should the next government heed the call.
Often the claim is made that our politics and politicians are poll-driven. This is, on the whole, bunkum. If polls were influential, we would have invested much more in renewable energy, maintained and even increased funding to the ABC, and made child care cheaper. We may already have made changes to negative gearing and moved towards adopting elements of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We would have taken up the first iteration of the Gonski education reforms. These are some of the issues where a democratic majority comes together, a basic agreement crossing party lines. -Rebecca Huntley, Australia Fair
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The annual Commissario Brunetti novel is always much anticipated! They may not be the best written crime novels, but they are amongst the most addictive, as the reader follows Guido through the twisty maze of Venetian calles and even twistier contemporary society. In this outing, he is asked by his wealthy and well-connected father-in-law to investigate an old family friend, Gonzalo, who is on the point of doing something so ridiculous as to make him a laughing stock and outcast from high society. Reluctantly Guido agrees to help, but before long Gonzalo dies of natural causes and there seems to be no need to continue. That is, until one of Gonzalo's dearest friends is murdered… As always, the city of Venice is a character, and the morally upright Brunetti and the way he deals with the dilemmas of crime and existence make for a satisfying read. Lindy Jones
In the twenty-eigth novel in Donna Leon’s bestselling crime series, Commissario Guido Brunetti is drawn reluctantly into an old friend's long-hidden mystery.
As a favour to his wealthy father-in-law, the Count Falier, Commissario Guido Brunetti agrees to investigate the seemingly innocent wish of the Count’s best friend, the elderly and childless Gonzalo, to adopt a younger man as his son. Under Italian inheritance laws, this man would become the sole heir to Gonzalo’s substantial fortune, something which Gonzalo’s friends, including the Count, find appalling. For his part, Brunetti wonders why the old man can’t be allowed his pleasure in peace.
Not long after Brunetti meets with Gonzalo, the elderly man unexpectedly passes away from natural causes. Old and frail, Gonzalo’s death goes unquestioned, and a few of his oldest friends gather in Venice to plan the memorial service.
But when Berta, a striking woman and one of Gonzalo’s closest confidantes, is strangled in her hotel room, Brunetti is drawn into long-buried secrets from Gonzalo’s past. What did Berta know? And who would go to such lengths to ensure it would remain hidden?
Once again, Donna Leon brilliantly follows the twists and turns of the human condition, set against the ebb and flow of Venetian life.
She's addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. You haven't seen her in six months.
Then you find her busking in New York's Central Park.
But she's not the girl you remember. This woman is frail, filthy, terrified, and in more trouble than you ever imagined.
You don't stop to think. You approach her. You beg her to come home.
You follow. What choice do you have? And as you descend into the dark, dangerous world she's lost herself in, you quickly find yourself out of your depths. Down here, no-one is safe - and now both of you might never make it out alive...