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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Mary's Last Dance
The highly anticipated memoir of Australian ballerina Mary Li - and the long-awaited sequel to her husband Li Cunxin's bestselling memoir, Mao's Last Dancer.
Mary's Last Dance is a powerful and uplifting memoir about chasing an impossible dream, and sacrificing one's own ambition for the love of a child. It is a moving and unforgettable story of passion, dedication and devotion - and the highly anticipated sequel to one of the world's most beloved books.
Tom Stoppard: A Life
In this gripping narrative, Hermione Lee builds a unique portrait of one of our greatest playwrights. Meticulously researched, it tracks its subject from his Czech origins and childhood in India to every school and home he's ever lived in, every piece of writing he's ever done, and every play and film he's ever worked on. It tells the whole story, from his family's wartime escape from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, to his English upbringing and lifelong love of his adopted country. It describes a career spanning over five decades, right up to his new, movingly personal play Leopoldstadt, opening in 2020, soon before the publication of this book.
Searching for Charlotte
*Longlisted for the 2021 Indie Book Awards: Non-Fiction*
For almost 140 years, the author of Australia's first book for children was a mystery. Known only by the descriptor 'a Lady Long Resident in New South Wales', she was the subject of much speculation. It was not until 1980, that her identity was reavealed: Charlotte Waring Atkinson. And not only a name, but an extensive creative family history, connecting her to two of the nation's celebrated contemporary children's writers, Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell. To Forsyth and Murrell, Atkinson (also known as Barton) is great-great-great-great grandmother and the subject of the stories they grew up on—part of a thread of creative women that runs through the history of their family. It is a sometimes confronting but ultimately heartwarming journey into the story of a family with writing in its blood.
Son of the Brush
Tim Olsen is the son of arguably Australia's greatest living artist, Dr John Olsen. Son of the Brush is his fascinating, candid memoir of what it was like to grow up in the shadow of artistic genius, with all its wonder, excitement and bitter disappointments. Son of the Brush is a memoir about a son and his father, and what it takes to forge your own identity and chart your own course in life, but it is also about the wider world of art, artists and the joy, inspiration and sacrifices of the creative life.
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.
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.
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.
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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