The biography section is popular and there's always someone sitting in our comfy chair there, choosing a book to give them an insight into someone else's life. There are biographies and autobiographies of actors, writers, explorers, travellers, musicians, inventors, politicians, ordinary people, animals, and just about anyone else you can imagine!
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The Time of Our Lives
Reflecting on time, religion, painting, dancing and even grandchildren, Dessaix takes us on an enlivening journey across the landscape of growing older. Riffing on writers and thinkers from Plato to Eva Hoffman, he homes in on the crucial importance of a rich inner life.
The Time of Our Lives is a wise and timely exploration of not just the challenges but also the many possibilities of old age.
Russian Roulette - The Life and Times of Graham Greene
This new biography responds to the many thousands of pages of lost letters that have recently come to light and to new memoirs by those who knew Graham Greene best. It deals sensitively with questions of private life, sex, and mental illness; it gives a thorough accounting for the politics of the places he wrote about; it investigates his involvement with MI6 and the Cambridge five; above all, it follows the growth of a writer whose works changed the lives of millions.
'English Pastoral is the story of an inheritance - one that affects us all. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. And yet this elegy from the Lake District fells is also a song of hope - how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage a tiny corner of England that was now his, doing his best to restore the life that had vanished and to leave a legacy for the future. This is a book about what it means to have love and pride in a place, and how, against all the odds, it may still be possible to build a new pastoral - not a utopia, but somewhere decent for us all.
Out of Copley Street
Growing up in Adelaide's inner-northern suburbs, Geoff inherits a quick mind and quicksilver tongue from his father, a tender but troubled war veteran (and talented glassblower) who struggled with alcoholism. Geoff's dad teaches him to make things with his hands, staunch loyalty to family, to charm and cajole - and perhaps most enduringly, to tell stories.
This is a poignant snapshot of working-class Australian life in the 1950s and 60s, expertly rendered with the vivid lived detail and wry knockabout humour that Geoff Goodfellow is famous for.
Clothes...and other things that matter
By turns funny, refreshingly self-deprecating and often very moving, this startlingly honest memoir from the ex-Editor of British Vogue will encourage women of all ages to consider what their own clothes mean to them, the life they live in them and the stories they tell.
Diary of a Young Naturalist
Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty's world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling.
Julia Baird, Walkley award-winning author and ABC host of The Drum, returns with a book to help us look upwards and guide us towards caring for others in times of uncertainty. Phosphorescence is already an acclaimed bestseller, and Julia's biography of Queen Victoria was published in several countries to critical acclaim and was one of The New York Times' top ten books of 2016.
It's been almost fifty years since a teenage David Gulpilil illuminated screens worldwide with his breakout role in Walkabout. It was one of the first times we'd seen an Aboriginal person cast in a significant role. Gulpilil quickly became the face of the Indigenous world to white Australian audiences. A competent, strong, mysterious man able to exist in both worlds, but never truly home. Derek Rielly builds a narrative around the most beguiling of Australian entertainers, observing Gulpilil's own attempt to find a place in the world.
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America - the first African-American to serve in that role - she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments.
Adventures of a Young Naturalist
In 1954, a young television presenter was offered the opportunity of a lifetime - to travel the world finding rare and elusive animals for London Zoo's collection, and to film the expeditions for the BBC. This is the story of those voyages. Staying with local tribes while trekking in search of giant anteaters in Guyana, Komodo dragons in Indonesia and armadillos in Paraguay, he and the rest of the team battled with cannibal fish, aggressive tree porcupines and escape-artist wild pigs, as well as treacherous terrain and unpredictable weather, to record the incredible beauty and biodiversity of these regions. Written with his trademark wit and charm, Adventures of a Young Naturalist is not just the story of a remarkable adventure, but of the man who made us fall in love with the natural world, and who is still doing so today.
An Activist Life
An Activist Life is the story of an apparently ordinary woman - a high-school English teacher from northwest Tasmania - who became a fiery environmental warrior, pitted against some of the most powerful business and political forces in the country. Christine Milne tells her story through the objects that have symbolic meaning in both her personal and political life - from the butter pats in her kitchen that represent her journey from farm girl at Wesley Vale - to environmental and human rights activist at the national and global level, and to the Pride t-shirt she wore walking in Mardi Gras next to her son after years of fighting for the legal reform of gay rights in Tasmania.
The Return is at once a universal and an intensely personal tale. It is an exquisite meditation on how history and politics can bear down on an individual life. And yet Hisham Matar's memoir isn't just about the burden of the past, but the consolation of love, literature and art. It is the story of what it is to be human. Hisham Matar was nineteen when his father was kidnapped and taken to prison in Libya. He would never see him again. Twenty-two years later, the fall of Gaddafi meant he was finally able to return to his homeland. In this moving memoir, the author takes us on an illuminating journey, both physical and psychological; a journey to find his father and rediscover his country.
Winner of The Pulitzer Prize 2017.
Lion: A Long Way Home
One evening, five-year-old Saroo left his poor village home in India to watch his older brother work at the next town's train station. Lost and alone on an unfamiliar train, he found himself taken across the country and deposited in a strange city, unable to explain who he was or where he was from. He'd arrived in Calcutta and was taken in by a government agency. After failed attempts to find his family, Saroo was adopted by an Australian couple, the Brierleys, and taken to start a new life in Hobart. As an adult he never forgot his Indian roots and kept trying to work out where he came from. With the advent of Google Earth, his long inquiry began to bear fruit: as the technology improved, he was able to find what he thought was his home neighbourhood of Ganesh Talai - and go in search of his family. Even more astonishingly, he found them.
A Cook's Life
When Stephanie Alexander, opened Stephanie's Restaurant in 1976, it quickly became part of Melbourne food folklore, permanently raising the bar for restaurant dining in Australia. As a restaurateur, Stephanie championed small, local suppliers and also grew her own fresh produce. A Cook's Life is Stephanie's personal account of her uncompromising commitment to good food, and how this quest for the best shaped her life and influenced the dining habits of a nation
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