Biography

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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Penny Wong

Cover Image, North Korea Journals

Margaret Simons
Black Inc.
ISBN 9781760640859
Trade Paperback 2019
Price $AU 34.99
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Senator Penny Wong is an extraordinary Australian politician. Resolute, self-possessed and a penetrating thinker on subjects from workplace relations to foreign affairs, she is admired by members of parliament and the public from across the political divide.


The GirlsCover Image, The Girls

Chloe Higgins
Picador
ISBN 9781760782238
Trade Paperback 2019
Price $AU 32.99
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In 2005, Chloe Higgins was seventeen years old. She and her mother, Rhonda, stayed home so that she could revise for her exams while her two younger sisters Carlie and Lisa went skiing with their father. On the way back from their trip, their car veered off the highway, flipped on its side and burst into flames. Both her sisters were killed. Their father walked away from the accident with only minor injuries. This book is about what happened next.


Poster BoyCover Image, The Yield

Peter Drew
Black Inc
ISBN 9781760641337
Trade Paperback 2019
Price $AU 29.99
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The heartfelt story of one man's desire to be a better citizen in a kinder Australia. Poster Boy is an intelligent, funny and brutally honest dive into the stew of individual, family and national identity. It's about politics and art, and why we need them both. And it's about making a mark.

Three WomenCover Image, The Yield

Lisa Taddeo
Bloomsbury
ISBN 9781526611659
Paperback 2019
Price $AU 32.99
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Three Women is a record of unmet needs, unspoken thoughts, disappointments, hopes and unrelenting obsessions.  It reads like true crime, and will strike a nerve with anyone interested in compulsion and the need for desire.


The Erratics

Cover Image, Binding

Vicki Laveau-Harvie
Harper Collins
ISBN 9781460758250
Paperback 2019
Price $AU 22.99
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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.

Winner of the Stella Prize 2019.


Becoming

Cover Image, Long Way Home

Michelle Obama
Viking
ISBN 9780241334140
Hardback 2018
Price $AU 45.00
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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.


Any Ordinary Day

Cover Image, Long Way Home

Leigh Sales
Hamish Hamilton
ISBN 9780143789963
Trade Paperback 2018
Price $AU 34.99
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As a journalist, Leigh Sales often encounters people experiencing the worst moments of their lives in the full glare of the media. But one particular string of bad news stories – and a terrifying brush with her own mortality – sent her looking for answers about how vulnerable each of us is to a life-changing event. What are our chances of actually experiencing one? What do we fear most and why? And when the worst does happen, what comes next?

Shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards 2019.


Calypso
Cover Image, Long Way Home

David Sedaris
Little Brown
ISBN 9781408707821
Paperback 2018
Price $AU 29.99
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With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny - it’s a book that can make you laugh ‘til you snort, and much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.  Highly recommended.


Eggshell SkullCover Image, Long Way Home

Bri Lee
Allen and Unwin
ISBN 9781760295776
Paperback 2018
Price $AU 26.99
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Bri Lee began her first day of work at the Brisbane Magistrates Court as a bright-eyed judge’s associate. Eighteen months later she was back as the complainant in her own case.

This is the story of Bri’s journey through the Australian legal system; first as the daughter of a policeman, then as a law student, and finally as a judge’s associate in both metropolitan and regional Queensland - where justice can look very different, especially for women.
 
Longlisted for the Stella Prize 2019.

Adventures of a Young Naturalist

Cover Image, Adventures of a Young Naturalist

Sir David Attenborough
Hodder and Stoughton
ISBN 9781473664968
Paperback 2018
Price $AU 22.99
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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 LifeCover Image, Jellyfish

Christine Milne
University of Queensland Press
ISBN 9780702259814
Trade Paperback 2017
Price $AU 32.95
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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
Cover Image, Great Irish Lives

Hisham Matar
Penguin
ISBN 9780241966280
Paperback 2017
Price $AU 24.99
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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 Cover Image, Long Way HomeHome

Saroo Brierley
Penguin Books
ISBN 9780143572305
Paperback 2016
Price $AU 22.99
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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.


Down the Dirt RoadsCover Image, Jellyfish

Rachael Treasure
Viking
ISBN 9780143786429
Paperback 2017
Price $AU 24.99
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Country girl and bestselling novelist Rachael Treasure had worked hard to build a long-dreamed-of lifestyle on her own patch of dirt in Tasmania's rugged and beautiful wilderness. But through the breakdown of her marriage, Rachael lost her family farm and, in her words, lost her way in life. Discovering an all-new compass to live by, she took her two kids and her dogs and left the beaten path. Intensive farming, men on the land and women in the home - everywhere Rachael looked she saw ongoing harm to the soil and the foodchain. By going down the dirt roads and getting back to grassroots, she discovered another set of stories about country life in Australia, and a different way to live on the land.


Island Home

Cover Image, Lure of the Thylacine

Tim Winton
Penguin Books
ISBN 9780143574095    
Paperback 2017
Price $AU 24.99
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In Tim Winton's novels the natural world is as much a living presence as any character.  From boyhood, his relationship with sea, scrub and swamp has been as vital as blood relations. The country has seeped into him, with its rhythms, its dangers, its strange sustenance. This is the story of how that relationship came to be, and also a passionate exhortation for all of us to feel the ground beneath our feet. Much more so than any political idea, the physical entity of Australia defines us, in ways we too often forget. Wise, rhapsodic, exalted, Island Home is a beautiful, evocative, sometimes provocative, investigation of how the land makes us who we are.


A Cook's LifeCover Image, Cook's Life

Stephanie Alexander
Puffin
ISBN 9781921384509
Paperback 2016
Price $AU 24.99
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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


Tolstoy: A Russian LifeCover Image, Tolstoy

Rosamund Bartlett
Profile Book
ISBN 9781781251911
Paperback 2013
Price $AU 24.99
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In November 1910, Count Lev Tolstoy died at a remote Russian railway station attended by the world's media. He was eighty-two years old and had lived a remarkable and long life during one of the most turbulent periods of Russian history. Born into a privileged aristocratic family, he seemed set to join the ranks of degenerate Russian noblemen, but fighting in the Crimean war alongside rank and file soldiers opened his eyes to Russia's social problems and he threw himself into teaching the peasantry to read and write. After his marriage he wrote War and Peace and Anna Karenina, both regarded as two of the greatest novels in world literature. Rosamund Bartlett's exceptional biography of this brilliant, maddening and contrary man draws on key Russian sources, including the many fascinating new materials which have been published about Tolstoy and his legacy since the collapse of the Soviet Union.


Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost

Cover Image, Hemmingways Boat

Paul Hendrickson
Vintage Publishing
ISBN 9780099565994
Paperback 2013
Price $AU 24.99
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'She'd been intimately his, and he hers, for twenty-seven years - which were his final twenty-seven years. She'd lasted through three wives, the Nobel Prize, and all his ruin. He'd owned her, fished her, worked her and rode her, from the waters of Key West to the Bahamas to the Dry Tortugas to the north coast and archipelagos of Cuba.'  Even in his most accomplished period, Hemingway carried within him the seeds of his tragic decline and throughout this period he had one constant - his beloved boat, Pilar. The boat represented and witnessed everything he loved in life - virility, deep-sea fishing, access to his beloved ocean, freedom, women and booze and the formative years of his children. Paul Hendrickson focuses on the period from 1934 to 1961, from the pinnacle of Hemingway's fame to his suicide. He has delved into the life of Hemingway and done the seemingly impossible - present him to us in a whole new light.


The Hare With Amber Eyes

Cover Image, The Hare with Amber Eyes

Edmund de Waal
Vintage Publishing
ISBN 9780099539551
Paperback 2011
Price $AU 19.99
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264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox- potter Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in the Tokyo apartment of his great uncle Iggie. Later, when Edmund inherited the netsuke , they unlocked a story far larger than he could ever have imagined. The Ephrussi's came from Odessa, and at one time were the largest grain exporters in the world; in the 1870s, Charles Ephrussi was part of a wealthy new generation settling in Paris. Charles's passion was collecting; the netsuke, bought when Japanese objects were all the rage in the salons, were sent as a wedding present to his banker cousin in Vienna. Later, three children including a young Ignace would play with the netsuke as history reverberated around them. The Anschluss and Second World War swept the Ephrussi's to the brink of oblivion. Almost all that remained of their vast empire was the netsuke collection, dramatically saved by a loyal maid when their huge Viennese palace was occupied. In this stunningly original memoir, Edmund de Waal travels the world to stand in the great buildings his forebears once inhabited.


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