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Block of Books
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  • BARBARA HANRAHAN : A BIOGRAPHY
    BARBARA HANRAHAN : A BIOGRAPHY
    STEWART ANNETTE
    ISBN: 9781862548244
    Title: BARBARA HANRAHAN : A BIOGRAPHY
    Author: STEWART ANNETTE
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    This authoritative biography illuminates the life of a great Australian writer and artist. The story starts with Barbara Hanrahan's childhood in Adelaide, travels with her to 'swinging London' of the 1960s, and recounts her remarkable achievements in Britain and Australia in the following decades.

    Imprint: WAKEFIELD
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • BARBARIAN DAYS : A SURFING LIFE - Pulitzer Prize for Biography 2016
    BARBARIAN DAYS : A SURFING LIFE - Pulitzer Prize for Biography 2016
    FINNEGAN WILLIAM
    ISBN: 9781472151414
    Title: BARBARIAN DAYS : A SURFING LIFE - Pulitzer Prize for Biography 2016
    Author: FINNEGAN WILLIAM
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY 2016

    Surfing only looks like a sport. To devotees, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a mental and physical study, a passionate way of life. William Finnegan first started surfing as a young boy in California and Hawaii.

    Barbarian Days is his immersive memoir of a life spent travelling the world chasing waves through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa, Peru and beyond. Finnegan describes the edgy yet enduring brotherhood forged among the swell of the surf; and recalling his own apprenticeship to the world's most famous and challenging waves, he considers the intense relationship formed between man, board and water.

    BARBARIAN DAYS is an old-school adventure story, a social history, an extraordinary exploration of one man's gradual mastering of an exacting and little-understood art. It is a memoir of dangerous obsession and enchantment.

    Imprint: CORSAIR
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • BATTARBEE AND NAMATJIRA
    BATTARBEE AND NAMATJIRA
    EDMOND MARTIN
    ISBN: 9781922146687
    Title: BATTARBEE AND NAMATJIRA
    Author: EDMOND MARTIN
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Battarbee and Namatjira is the biography of two artists Rex Battarbee and Albert Namatjira, one white Australian from Warrnambool in Victoria, the other Aboriginal, of the Arrernte people, from the Hermannsburg Mission south of Alice Springs.

    From their first encounters in the early 1930s, when Battarbee introduced Namatjira to the techniques of water-colour painting, through the period of Namatjiras popularity as a painter, to the tragic circumstances leading to his death in 1959, their close relationship was to have a decisive impact on Australian art. This biography, illustrated with photographs, makes extensive use of Battarbees diaries for the first time, to throw new light on Namatjiras life, and to bring Battarbee, who has been largely ignored by biographers, back into focus. Some of its findings will be controversial.

    By moving between the artists and their backgrounds, and looking closely at the nature of their friendship, Edmond is able to portray the personal and social complexities the two men faced, while at the same time illuminating larger cultural themes the treatment of the Arrernte and Indigenous people generally, the influence of the Lutheran church, the development of anthropology, and the evolution of Australian art.

    Imprint: GIRAMONDO
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • BE LIKE THE FOX : Machiavellis Lifelong Quest for Freedom
    BE LIKE THE FOX : Machiavellis Lifelong Quest for Freedom
    BENNER ERICA
    ISBN: 9781846147074
    Title: BE LIKE THE FOX : Machiavellis Lifelong Quest for Freedom
    Author: BENNER ERICA
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A fascinating new biography of Machiavelli, which explores his true character and contradictions as never before.

    One needs to be a fox to recognize snares, and a lion to frighten the wolves.

    Niccolò Machiavelli lived in a fiercely competitive world, one where brute wealth, brazen liars and ruthless self-promoters seemed to carry off all the prizes; where the wealthy elite grew richer at the expense of their fellow citizens. In times like these, many looked to crusading religion to solve their problems, or they turned to a new breed of leaders - super-rich dynasties like the Medici or military strongmen like Cesare Borgia; upstarts from outside the old ruling classes. In the republic of Florence, Machiavelli and his contemporaries faced a choice: should they capitulate to these new princes, or fight to save the city's democratic freedoms?

    Be Like the Fox follows Machiavelli's dramatic quest for political and human freedom through his own eyes. Masterfully interweaving his words with those of his friends and enemies, Erica Benner breathes life into his penetrating, comical, often surprising comments on events. Far from the cynical henchman people think he was, Machiavelli emerges as his era's staunchest champion of liberty, a profound ethical thinker who refused to compromise his ideals to fit corrupt times. But he did sometimes have to mask his true convictions, becoming a great artist of fox-like dissimulation: a master of disguise in dangerous times.

    Imprint: ALLEN LANE
    RRP: $49.99

    Price: $49.99
  • BEING A BEAST
    BEING A BEAST
    FOSTER CHARLES
    ISBN: 9781781255353
    Title: BEING A BEAST
    Author: FOSTER CHARLES
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A lyrical exploration of what it is really like to 'be a beast', from swimming with otters to burrowing with badgers, and what this can tell us about the beast inside us all.

    Charles Foster wanted to know what it was like to be a beast: a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, a swift. What it was really like. And through knowing what it was like he wanted to get down and grapple with the beast in us all.

    So he tried it out; he lived life as a badger for six weeks, sleeping in a dirt hole and eating earthworms, he came face to face with shrimps as he lived like an otter and he spent hours curled up in a back garden in East London and rooting in bins like an urban fox.

    A passionate naturalist, Foster realises that every creature creates a different world in its brain and lives in that world. As humans, we share sensory outputs, lights, smells and sound, but trying to explore what it is actually like to live in another of these worlds, belonging to another species, is a fascinating and unique neuro-scientific challenge. For Foster it is also a literary challenge. Looking at what science can tell us about what happens in a fox's or badger's brain when it picks up a scent, he then uses this to imagine their world for us, to write it through their eyes or rather through the eyes of Charles the beast. An intimate look at the life of animals, neuroscience, psychology, nature writing, memoir and more, it is a journey of extraordinary thrills and surprises, containing wonderful moments of humour and joy, but also providing important lessons for all of us who share life on this precious planet.

    Imprint: PROFILE BOOKS
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • BEING ELVIS
    BEING ELVIS
    CONNOLLY RAY
    ISBN: 9781474604567
    Title: BEING ELVIS
    Author: CONNOLLY RAY
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    What was it like to be Elvis Presley? What did it feel like when impossible fame made him its prisoner? As the world's first rock star there was no one to tell him what to expect, no one with whom he could share the burden of being himself - of being Elvis.

    On the outside he was all charm, sex appeal, outrageously confident on stage and stunningly gifted in the recording studio. To his fans he seemed to have it all. He was Elvis. With his voice and style influencing succeeding generations of musicians, he should have been free to sing any song he liked, to star in any film he was offered, and to tour in any country he chose.

    But he wasn't free. The circumstances of his poor beginnings in the American South, which, as he blended gospel music with black rhythm and blues and white country songs, helped him create rock and roll, had left him with a lifelong vulnerability. Made rich and famous beyond his wildest imaginings when he mortgaged his talent to the machinations of his manager, 'Colonel' Tom Parker, there would be an inevitable price to pay. Though he daydreamed of becoming a serious film actor, instead he grew to despise his own movies and many of the songs he had to sing in them. He could have rebelled. But he didn't. Why? In the Seventies, as the hits rolled in again, and millions of fans saw him in a second career as he sang his way across America, he talked of wanting to tour the world. But he never did. What was stopping him?

    BEING ELVIS takes a clear-eyed look at the most-loved entertainer ever, and finds an unusual boy with a dazzling talent who grew up to change popular culture; a man who sold a billion records and had more hits than any other singer, but who became trapped by his own frailties in the loneliness of fame.

    Imprint: ORION
    RRP: $35.00

    Price: $35.00
  • BEING WAGER : THE TRIUMPH OF THE WILL
    BEING WAGER : THE TRIUMPH OF THE WILL
    CALLOW SIMON
    ISBN: 9780008105693
    Title: BEING WAGER : THE TRIUMPH OF THE WILL
    Author: CALLOW SIMON
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: APRIL 2017 NEW RELEASE

    Simon Callow plunges headlong into Wagner's world to discover what it was like to be Wagner, and to be around one of music's most influential figures.

    A hundred and thirty-five years after his death, Richard Wagner’s music dramas stand at the centre of the culture of classical music. They have never been more popular, nor so violently controversial and divisive. His music is still banned in Israel – the only classical composer whose music is banned in the western world. His ten great mature masterpieces constitute an unmatched body of work, created against a backdrop of poverty, revolution, violent controversy, critical contempt and hysterical hero-worship.As a man, he was a walking contradiction, aggressive, flirtatious, disciplined, capricious, heroic, visionary and poisonously anti-Semitic. At one point, he had four lengthy operas written with no hope of being performed when, as if in a fairy-tale, he was rescued by a beautiful young king with limitless wealth which he bestowed on the composer. When one of those works, Tristan and Isolde, was at last performed, it revolutionised classical music at a stroke. Finally he fulfilled his lifelong dream of creating a vast epic to rival the work of the great Greek playwrights, a music drama in four massive segments, ushering gods and dwarves, heroes and thugs, dragons and rainbows onto the stage, the apotheosis of German art as he saw it, so extreme in its demands that he had to train a generation of singers and players to perform it, and erect a custom-built theatre to house it. Wagner died, exhausted, after creating one final piece – Parsifal – that seems to point to an even more radical new future for music.Simon Callow recalls the intellectual and artistic climate in which Wagner worked, recording the almost superhuman effort required to create his work, and evoking the extraordinary effect he had on people – this composer like no other who ever lived, extreme in everything, creator of the most sublime and most troubling body of work ever known.

    Imprint: COLLINS
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • BELIEVE ME : A Memoir of Love Death and Jazz Chickens
    BELIEVE ME : A Memoir of Love Death and Jazz Chickens
    IZZARD EDDIE
    ISBN: 9781405922029
    Title: BELIEVE ME : A Memoir of Love Death and Jazz Chickens
    Author: IZZARD EDDIE
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: JULY 2017 NEW RELEASE

    Critically acclaimed, award-winning British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard details his childhood, his first performances on the streets of London, his ascent to worldwide success on stage and screen, and his comedy shows which have won over audiences around the world. Over the course of a thirty-year career, Eddie Izzard has proven himself to be a creative chameleon, inhabiting the stage and film and television screen with an unbelievable fervor. Born in Yemen, and raised in Ireland, Wales and post-war England, he lost his mother at the age of six. In his teens, he dropped out of university and took to the streets of London as part of a two-man escape act; when his partner went on vacation, Izzard kept busy by inventing a one-man act, and thus a career was ignited. As a stand-up comedian, Izzard has captivated audiences with his surreal, stream-of-consciousness comedy--lines such as "Cake or Death?" "Death Star Canteen," and "Do You Have a Flag?" have the status of great rock lyrics. As a self-proclaimed "Executive Transvestite," Izzard broke the mold performing in full make-up and heels, and has become as famous for his advocacy for LGBT rights as he has for his art. In Believe Me, he recounts the dizzying rise he made from street busking to London's West End, to Wembley Stadium and New York's Madison Square Garden. Still performing more than 100 shows a year--thus far in a record-breaking twenty-eight countries worldwide--Izzard is arguably one of today's top Kings of Comedy. With his brand of keenly intelligent humor, that ranges from world history to pop culture, politics and philosophy, he has built an extraordinary fan base that transcends age, gender, and race. Writing with the same candor and razor-sharp insight evident in his comedy, he reflects on a childhood marked by unutterable loss, sexuality and coming out, as well as a life in show business, politics, and philanthropy. Honest and generous, Izzard's Believe Me is an inspired account of a very singular life thus far.

    Imprint: MICHAEL JOSEPH
    RRP: $35.00

    Price: $35.00
  • BELLE : THE TRUE STORY OF DIDO BELLE
    BELLE : THE TRUE STORY OF DIDO BELLE
    BYRNE PAULA
    ISBN: 9780007542727
    Title: BELLE : THE TRUE STORY OF DIDO BELLE
    Author: BYRNE PAULA
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    The inspiration behind the powerful new film starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson, this is the story of Dido Belle, whose adoption by an aristocratic family challenged the conventions of 18th century England.

    Imprint: HARPER COLLINS
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • BETTER : A SURGEONS NOTES ON PERFORMANCE
    BETTER : A SURGEONS NOTES ON PERFORMANCE
    GAWANDE ATUL
    ISBN: 9781861976574
    Title: BETTER : A SURGEONS NOTES ON PERFORMANCE
    Author: GAWANDE ATUL
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The struggle to perform well is universal, but nowhere is this drive to do better more important that in medicine.

    In his book, Atul Gawande explores grippingly how doctors strive to close the gap between best intentions and best performance in the face of obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable.

    His vivid stories take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, to a polio outbreak in India, and to malpractice courtrooms around the country. He discusses the ethical dilemmas of doctors' participation in lethal injections, examines the influence of money on modern medicine, and recounts the astoundingly contentious history of hand-washing. And he gives a brutally honest insight into life as a practising surgeon.

    Unflinching but compassionate, Gawande's investigation into medical professionals and their progression from good to great provides a detailed blueprint for success that can be used by people in every area of human endeavour.

    Imprint: PROFILE BOOKS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • BETTER GIT IN YOUR SOUL : AN INTERPRETIVE BIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES MINGUS
    BETTER GIT IN YOUR SOUL : AN INTERPRETIVE BIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES MINGUS
    GABBARD KRIN
    ISBN: 9780520260375
    Title: BETTER GIT IN YOUR SOUL : AN INTERPRETIVE BIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES MINGUS
    Author: GABBARD KRIN
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Charles Mingus is one of the most important-and most mythologized-composers and performers in jazz history. Classically trained and of mixed race, he was an outspoken innovator as well as a bandleader, composer, producer, and record-label owner. His vivid autobiography, Beneath the Underdog, has done much to shape the image of Mingus as something of a wild man: idiosyncratic musical genius with a penchant for skirt-chasing and violent outbursts. But, as the autobiography reveals, he was also a hopeless romantic. After exploring the most important events in Mingus's life, Krin Gabbard takes a careful look at Mingus as a writer as well as a composer and musician. He digs into how and why Mingus chose to do so much self-analysis, how he worked to craft his racial identity in a world that saw him simply as "black," and how his mental and physical health problems shaped his career. Gabbard sets aside the myth-making and convincingly argues that Charles Mingus created a unique language of emotions-and not just in music.
    Capturing many essential moments in jazz history anew, Better Git It in Your Soul will fascinate anyone who cares about jazz, African American history, and the artist's life.

    Imprint: UNIVERISTY OF CALIFORNIA
    RRP: $63.00

    Price: $63.00
  • BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME
    BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME
    COATES TA-NEHISI
    ISBN: 9781925240702
    Title: BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME
    Author: COATES TA-NEHISI
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In the 150 years since the end of the Civil War and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, the story of race and America has remained a brutally simple one, written on flesh: it is the story of the black body, exploited to create the country’s foundational wealth, violently segregated to unite a nation after a civil war, and, today, still disproportionately threatened, locked up and killed in the streets. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can America reckon with its fraught racial history?

    Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates' attempt to answer those questions, presented in the form of a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his own awakening to the truth about history and race through a series of revelatory experiences: immersion in nationalist mythology as a child; engagement with history, poetry and love at Howard University; travels to Civil War battlefields and the South Side of Chicago; a journey to France that reorients his sense of the world; and pilgrimages to the homes of mothers whose children’s lives have been taken as American plunder. Taken together, these stories map a winding path towards a kind of liberation—a journey from fear and confusion, to a full and honest understanding of the world as it is.

    Masterfully woven from lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me offers a powerful new framework for understanding America’s history and current crisis, and a transcendent vision for a way forward.

    Imprint: TEXT PUBLISHING
    RRP: $27.99

    Price: $27.99
  • BETWEEN THEM  : Remembering my Parents
    BETWEEN THEM : Remembering my Parents
    FORD RICHARD
    ISBN: 9781408884690
    Title: BETWEEN THEM : Remembering my Parents
    Author: FORD RICHARD
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sportswriter comes a deeply personal account of his parents – an intimate portrait of American mid-twentieth century life, and a celebration of family love

    Richard Ford's parents volunteered little about their early lives – and he rarely asked. Later, he pieced their stories together from anecdote, history and the occasional photograph, frozen moments linking him to another time.

    Edna Akin, a dark-eyed Arkansas beauty whose convent education was cut short by her itinerant parents, fell in love aged only seventeen. Parker Ford was a tall country boy with a warm, hesitant smile, who was working at a grocery in Hot Springs. They married and began a life on the road in the American South, as Parker followed his travelling salesman's job. The 1930s were like one long weekend, a swirl of miles traversed, cocktails drunk and hotel rooms vacated: New Orleans, Memphis, Texarkana. Then a single, late child was born, changing everything.

    In this book, Richard Ford evokes a vivid panorama of mid-twentieth century America, and an intimate portrait of family life. Exploring children's changing perception of their parents, he also reflects on the impact of loss and devotion. Written with the intelligence, precision and humanity for which Ford is renowned, Between Them is both a son's great act of love and a redeeming meditation on family.

    Imprint: BLOOMSBURY
    RRP: $18.99

    Price: $18.99
  • BEYOND THE ROCK : The Life of Joan Lindsay and the mystery of Picnic at Hanging rock
    BEYOND THE ROCK : The Life of Joan Lindsay and the mystery of Picnic at Hanging rock
    MCCULLOCH JANELLE
    ISBN: 9781760405625
    Title: BEYOND THE ROCK : The Life of Joan Lindsay and the mystery of Picnic at Hanging rock
    Author: MCCULLOCH JANELLE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE


    Imprint: BONNIER
    RRP: $35.00
    Price: $35.00
  • BICYCLE DIARIES
    BICYCLE DIARIES
    BYRNE DAVID
    ISBN: 9780571241033
    Title: BICYCLE DIARIES
    Author: BYRNE DAVID
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Since the early 1980s, David Byrne has been riding a bicycle as his principal means of transportation in New York City.

    A few years later he discovered folding bikes, and starting taking them with him on music tour overseas, and experienced a sense of liberation as he pedalled around many of the world's principal cities. The point of view from his bike seat has given Byrne a panoramic window on urban life over the last thirty years as he has cycled round cities such as London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Manila, New York, and San Francisco. From music and the visual arts, to globalisation, politics, the nature of creative work, fashion and art, this book gives the reader an incredible insight into what Byrne is seeing and thinking as he pedals around these cities.Filled with intimate photographs, incredible musical stories and a powerful ecological message, this is a enchanting celebration of bike riding - of the rewards of seeing the world at bike level.

    Imprint: FABER AND FABER
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • BIG BLUE SKY : A MEMOIR
    BIG BLUE SKY : A MEMOIR
    GARRETT PETER
    ISBN: 9781760294199
    Title: BIG BLUE SKY : A MEMOIR
    Author: GARRETT PETER
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Peter Garrett's life has been fully and passionately lived. A man of boundless energy, compassion, intelligence and creativity, he has already achieved enough to fill several lives.

    From his idyllic childhood growing up in the northern suburbs of Sydney, to an early interest in equality and justice; from the height of 1960s culture shock at ANU to fronting iconic Australian band Midnight Oil; from his time as a galvanising activist for the environment to being the only unaligned Cabinet minister in two Labor governments, Garrett has an extraordinary story to tell.

    He writes movingly about his lifelong mission to protect the environment and his connection with Aboriginal people, about his love for his family and his passion for our country: what it means to him and what it can become.

    Provocative, entertaining, impassioned and inspiring, this memoir goes to the heart and soul of a remarkable Australian and raises questions crucial to us all.

    Imprint: ALLEN AND UNWIN
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
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