Block of Books
  • BILL EVANS : How My Heart Sings
    BILL EVANS : How My Heart Sings
    ISBN: 9780300097276
    Title: BILL EVANS : How My Heart Sings
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A biography of the influential jazz pianist, Bill Evans. Peter Pettinger, himself a concert pianist, describes Evans's life, his personal tragedies and commercial successes, his music making, his technique and compositional methods, his approach to ensemble playing, and his legacy.

    RRP: $28.99

    Price: $28.99
    ISBN: 9780099592624
    Author: SZWED JOHN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    When eighteen-year-old Billie Holiday stepped into Columbia studios in November of 1933 to record ‘Riffin' the Scotch' and ‘Your Mother's Son-in-Law', it marked the beginning of what is arguably the most remarkable and important career in twentieth-century popular music. Today, Billie Holiday is an icon – an artist whose voice has weathered countless shifts in public taste, and whose impact on contemporary music is unquestionable.

    Most of the writing on Holiday has focused on the tragic details of her life – her prostitution at the age of fourteen, a her heroin addiction and alcoholism, her series of abusive relationships, the ravages of her voice by the time she was forty-four – or tried to correct the many fabrications of her autobiography. John Szwed's Billie Holiday is a different book, one that stays close to her music, to her performance style, to the self she created and put on record and on stage. Drawing on revelatory new material, including unpublished memoirs and interviews, Billie Holiday is the first biography to consider the singer as an artist, examining how her life inflected her art, her influences, her uncanny voice and rhythmic genius, her singing style, a number of her signature songs, and her legacy.

    Published to coincide with the centenary of Holiday's birth on 7 April, Billie Holiday is a major new biography of America's First Lady of Jazz by one of the greatest music writers of today, offering a profound meditation on her art, and how it made sense of her life.

    Imprint: WINDMILL
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • BILLIE HOLIDAY : The Musician and the Myth
    BILLIE HOLIDAY : The Musician and the Myth
    ISBN: 9780670014729
    Title: BILLIE HOLIDAY : The Musician and the Myth
    Author: SZWED JOHN
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Imprint: VIKING
    RRP: $29.99
    Price: $29.99
  • BIRDS ART LIFE DEATH : The Art of Noticing the Small and Significant
    BIRDS ART LIFE DEATH : The Art of Noticing the Small and Significant
    ISBN: 9780008225049
    Title: BIRDS ART LIFE DEATH : The Art of Noticing the Small and Significant
    Author: MACLEAR KYO
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    ‘Now when I hear birdsong, I feel an entry to that understory. When I am feeling too squeezed on the ground, exhausted by everything in my care, I look for a little sky. There are always birds flying back and forth, city birds flitting around our human edges, singing their songs.'

    One winter, Kyo Maclear became unmoored. Her father had recently fallen ill and she suddenly found herself lost for words. As a writer, she could no longer bring herself to create; her work wasn't providing the comfort and meaning that it had before.

    But then Kyo met a musician who loved birds. The musician felt he could not always cope with the pressures and disappointments of being an artist in a big city. When he watched birds and began to photograph them, his worries dissipated. Intrigued, Kyo found herself following the musician for a year, accompanying him on his birdwatching expeditions; the sounds of birds in the city reminded them both to look outwards at the world.

    Intricate and delicate as birdsong, Birds Art Life Death asks how our passions shape and nurture us, and how we might gain perspective, overcome our anxieties and begin to cherish the urban wild spaces where so many of us live.

    Imprint: FOURTH ESTATE
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
    ISBN: 9780733637391
    Author: MUNDLE ROB
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    There's a lot more to Captain Bligh than mutiny, rum and convicts . . .

    The eighteenth century was an era when brave mariners took their ships beyond the horizon in search of an unknown world. Those chosen to lead these expeditions were exceptional navigators, men who had shown brilliance as they ascended the ranks in the Royal Navy. They were also bloody good sailors.

    From ship's boy to vice-admiral, discover how much more there was to Captain Bligh than his infamous bad temper. Meet a 24-year-old Master Bligh as he witnesses the demise of his Captain and mentor Cook; a 34-year-old Lieutenant Bligh at the helm of the famous Bounty then cast adrift by Fletcher Christian on an epic 47-day open-boat voyage from Tonga to Timor; and a 36-year-old Captain Bligh as he takes HMS Providence, in the company of a young Matthew Flinders, on a grand scientific voyage around the world. And all this before he was forty.

    Rob Mundle's BLIGH puts you at the heart of a great nautical life - it's a story that embraces the romance of the sea, bravery in battle, the adventure of exploration under sail and the cost of having the courage of your convictions.

    Imprint: HACHETTE
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
    ISBN: 9781743534809
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    George Gittoes defies categorisation as his life defies belief. One thing is certain: Gittoes is the greatest Australian hero working today and his epic story must be told.

    Equal parts artist and warrior, George is world-famous for waging war on war with art, circus, photography and film. "Soldiers die for flags. For me it is art," he says.

    George has been shot, stabbed, bombed, beaten, tortured, drowned and jailed. He has worked with Andy Warhol, dined with Fidel Castro, plotted with Julian Assange, been feted by Mandela, blessed by Mother Theresa, sneezed on by the Dalai Lama.

    Blood Mystic begins with George flying back to Jalalabad carrying a letter from the Taliban threatening to chop off his head and show the decapitation on live TV. George's mission is to film with street kids in the most dangerous city on earth - the Ghostbuster street exorcists, the Snow Monkey ice cream boys, the urchin girls and kuchi kids, the child gangsters with razor blades under their lips.

    As the danger grows, George reflects deeply on a life less ordinary - his boyhood being groomed as a gangster, his escape to New York, the Yellow House art revolutions, crazy brave adventures in outback Australia, ghetto America, jungle Nicaragua, war-torn Cambodia, badlands Baghdad, hollow Bosnia... and beyond.

    Imprint: MACMILLAN
    RRP: $44.99

    Price: $44.99
    ISBN: 9781925240900
    Author: KOVAL RAMONA
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    I looked up the name in the phone book and rang the number. I tried to imagine the conversation that might ensue. 'Hello? I was wondering if you're the man who was recently at an auction and asked a woman named Bernadette if I was married and had children and was happy - and if you are, are you my real father?'

    Ramona Koval's parents were Holocaust survivors who fled their homeland and settled in Melbourne. As a child, Koval learned little about their lives, but she always suspected that the man who raised her was not her biological father.

    One day in the 1990s, she decided she must know the truth. A phone call led to a photograph in the mail, then tea with strangers. Before long Koval was journeying to rural Poland, learning other languages and dealing with Kafkaesque bureaucracy, all in the hope of finding an answer.

    A quest for identity recounted with Koval's customary humour, Bloodhound is a moving story of the terrible cost of war and of family secrets.

    RRP: $23.99
    Price: $23.99
  • BLOWING THE BLOODY DOORS OFF : And Other Lessons in Life
    BLOWING THE BLOODY DOORS OFF : And Other Lessons in Life
    ISBN: 9781473689305
    Title: BLOWING THE BLOODY DOORS OFF : And Other Lessons in Life
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    With over 100 movies to his credit over six decades, Hollywood legend and British national treasure Michael Caine shares the wisdom, stories, insight and skills that life has taught him in his remarkable career - and now his 85th year.

    One of our best-loved actors Michael Caine has starred in a huge range of films - including all-time favourites - from the classic British movies Alfie, Zulu and The Italian Job to the Hollywood blockbusting Dark Knight trilogy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hannah and Her Sisters and Cider House Rules. Caine has excelled in every kind of role - with a skill that's made it look easy.

    He knows what success takes - he's made it to the top of his profession from the toughest beginning. But as he says 'Small parts can lead to big things. And if you keep doing things right, the stars will align when you least expect it.' Now in his 85th year he wants to share everything he's learned.

    With brilliant new insight into his life and work and with his wonderful gift for story, this is Caine at his wise and entertaining best.

    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
    ISBN: 9781911214526
    Title: BLUETS
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: BACK IN STOCK SOON

    A raw, cerebral work devoted to the inextricability of pleasure and pain, and to the question of what role, if any, aesthetic beauty can play in times of great heartache or grief.

    Bluets winds its way through depression, divinity, alcohol, and desire, visiting along the way with famous blue figures, including Joni Mitchell, Billie Holiday, Yves Klein, Leonard Cohen and Andy Warhol. While its narrator sets out to construct a sort of ‘pillow book’ about her lifelong obsession with the colour blue, she ends up facing down both the painful end of an affair and the grievous injury of a dear friend. The combination produces a raw, cerebral work devoted to the inextricability of pleasure and pain, and to the question of what role, if any, aesthetic beauty can play in times of great heartache or grief.

    Much like Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse, Bluets has passed between lovers in the ecstasy of new love, and been pressed into the hands of the heartbroken. Visceral, learned, and acutely lucid, Bluets is a slim feat of literary innovation and grace, never before published in the UK.

    Imprint: JONATHAN CAPE
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
    ISBN: 9781760550424
    Title: BOLD LIFE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: NOVEMBER 2017 NEW RELEASE

    Kerri-Anne Kennerley is Australia's queen of television. But behind the glamour of a public life is a private woman. And a survivor.

    A Bold Life is the tale of a Queensland girl who chased her dream of being a cabaret star to New York, only to find herself stranded in a violent marriage to a dangerous drug addict. It's the journey of a unique and driven woman who built a remarkable 50-year career in one of the most fickle and male-dominated industries of all, and instigated some of the most iconic moments in Australian TV history along the way.

    Yet away from the spotlight Kerri-Anne has stared down a series of personal crises with grace and dignity, the latest in 2016 when a freak fall left John, her devoted husband of 33 years, a quadriplegic. On their long road to recovery Kerri-Anne found herself reflecting on a lifetime's memories, good and bad.

    Honest, fabulous, powerful and poignant, this is Kerri-Anne Kennerley's own extraordinary and inspiring story of A Bold Life.

    Imprint: MACMILLAN
    RRP: $44.99

    Price: $44.99
  • BON : THE LAST HIGHWAY : The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC's Back In Black
    BON : THE LAST HIGHWAY : The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC's Back In Black
    ISBN: 9780857988928
    Title: BON : THE LAST HIGHWAY : The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC's Back In Black
    Author: FINK JESSE
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    In the early hours of 19 February 1980, Bon Scott, lead singer of the rock band AC/DC, left The Music Machine in Camden, London, with a man called Alistair Kinnear, whereupon he lost consciousness and was left to sleep in Alistair’s Renault 5, parked outside Alistair’s East Dulwich apartment.

    That evening, Bon’s lifeless body was found, still in the car. He was pronounced dead on arrival at King’s College Hospital.

    Less than two months later, far away in the Caribbean, recording began on Back In Black, AC/DC’s tribute to their fallen bandmate. Worldwide, it would go on to become the biggest selling rock album of all time.

    The legend of the man known around the world simply as ‘Bon’ only grows with each passing year – in death the AC/DC icon has become a god to millions of people – but how much of his story is myth or pure fabrication and how much of the real man do we know?

    There have been books that claim to tell his story. They haven’t even come close.

    Jesse Fink, author of the critically acclaimed international bestseller The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, leaves no stone unturned for Bon: The Last Highway, a book years in the making that finally solves the riddle of the death of Bon Scott.

    The 1977–80 period forged the legend of AC/DC. There wasn’t a harder working band in the music business. But, as Fink startlingly reveals, the relentless AC/DC machine was also threatening to come apart. Fink has answers to the nagging questions rock ’n’ roll fans have been asking since 1980 and reveals secrets that will change music history.

    Bon: The Last Highway is the original, forensic, unflinching and masterful biography Bon Scott has so richly deserved and music fans around the world have been waiting for.

    Imprint: EBURY
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • BOOK OF DANIEL : From Silverchair to Dreams
    BOOK OF DANIEL : From Silverchair to Dreams
    ISBN: 9781760296292
    Title: BOOK OF DANIEL : From Silverchair to Dreams
    Author: APTER JEFF
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: December 2018 New Release

    The highs, lows and incredible life of the enigmatic Daniel Johns, from Silverchair to Dreams.

    When Silverchair shuddered suddenly to a halt in 2011, there was no swansong, no farewell tour, just a brief statement and then they were gone, after 15 years of brilliant music, five hit albums, legions of fans, millions of record sales, scores of ARIAs and the odd controversy. Three teenagers from Newcastle had taken the world by storm, graduating from a loft above a family garage to centre stage of Madison Square Garden within the time it typically takes most bands to record their first single. Over their stratospheric career, Daniel Johns developed into a performer and songwriter with few peers in modern music.

    Shortly after the breakup of the band, Johns' marriage to pop star Natalie Imbruglia also ended. There were also some sordid headlines: a DUI charge, a snap taken of him asleep in an inner-city back alley, whispers of wayward behaviour. People feared what might happen next.

    But at the same time a new Daniel Johns emerged. His debut solo album, Talk, appeared to rapturous reviews in 2015 and raced to the top of the Australian charts, and then 2018 saw the advent of DREAMS, his long-awaited collaboration with Luke Steele. This was a vastly different Daniel Johns to the grungy, guitar-blazing teen of the 1990s. His new sound and image were slick, sophisticated and sexy as hell. It was a remarkable creative makeover, perhaps the most ambitious ever undertaken by an Australian rockstar. Former rockstar.

    The Book of Daniel documents how Johns also battled many personal demons, including life-threatening anorexia and crippling reactive arthritis, not to mention a wilful streak a mile wide. Drawing on more than 15 years spent documenting the life and times of Johns and Silverchair, author Jeff Apter has brought Johns' story to life, revealing in remarkable detail the many struggles and triumphs of one of Australia's most distinctive and dazzling talents.

    Imprint: ALLEN AND UNWIN
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
    ISBN: 9781742702582
    Author: CASE JO
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    RRP: $24.99
    Price: $24.99
  • BOOTLE BOY : An Untidy Life in News
    BOOTLE BOY : An Untidy Life in News
    ISBN: 9781925322828
    Title: BOOTLE BOY : An Untidy Life in News
    Author: HINTON LES
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    When Les Hinton first fulfils his schoolboy dream of working on Fleet Street, it is still a place awash in warm beer, black ink, fag ash, and hot metal. Fifty-two years after being sent out to buy a sandwich for his first boss, one Rupert Murdoch, when Les finally leaves Murdoch's employment in 2011, the business of news has been turned upside down, in a tumble of social and technological change.

    Les Hinton has been present at and noiselessly directed several key scenes in that tale of revolutionary transformation, as employee and later head of Murdoch companies in newspapers, magazines, and television, on three continents over five decades, in Wapping and Wall Street, Australia and California.

    Born amid the rubble of the blitzed docklands of Bootle, and schooled by an itinerant Army childhood, he came to the centre from the periphery, just as Murdoch did. There, with a gang of like-minded outsiders, he set about redrawing the map of the media.

    Hinton depicts the upheavals that swept his trade with the same widescreen perspective and sharp colours he deploys to show us how politicians from Clinton to Blair, from Brown to Cameron, alternately canoodled and raged inside their arranged media marriages. We see the death of Diana, the IRA bombings, the charisma of Bill Clinton, and the phone-hacking scandal from a revelatory new angle. And we get the most undeluded and undiluted portrait yet of the man who is perhaps the last of the great press barons.

    Above all, emerging out of Hinton's scintillating stories of half a century of Murdoch and news revolutions, comes the voice of a wandering Liverpudlian who is still in love with the life of a newspaperman, and now the author of one of the defining media memoirs of our age.

    Imprint: SCRIBE
    RRP: $49.99

    Price: $49.99
    ISBN: 9781471157820
    Title: BORN TO RUN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.

    He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work.

    Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.

    Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs (“Thunder Road,” “Badlands,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The River” “Born in the U.S.A,” “The Rising,” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” to name just a few), Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences.

    Imprint: SIMON & SCHUSTER
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • BOWIE UNSEEN : Portraits of an Artist as a Young Man
    BOWIE UNSEEN : Portraits of an Artist as a Young Man
    ISBN: 9781851498642
    Title: BOWIE UNSEEN : Portraits of an Artist as a Young Man
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    A collection of original and rare photographs from Bowie's debut album shoot, released for the first time as fine art prints in 2016. The pictures portray Bowie, pre-fame, pre-Ziggy Stardust, as a young man unaware of what the future holds.

    RRP: $36.99

    Price: $36.99
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