Block of Books
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  • 1599 : A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
    1599 : A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
    SHAPIRO JAMES
    ISBN: 9780571214815
    Title: 1599 : A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
    Author: SHAPIRO JAMES
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    An intimate life of Shakespeare and his age, following him through a single year that changed not only his fortunes but the course of literature


    How did Shakespeare go from being a talented writer of comedies and histories to become one of the greatest writers of tragedies who ever lived? In this one exhilarating year we follow what he reads and writes, what he saw and who he worked with as he rebuilds the Globe theatre and writes four of his most famous plays - Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It and, most remarkably, Hamlet.

    James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeare's staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599: sending off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathering an Armada threat from Spain, gambling in a fledgling East India Company, and waiting to see who would succeed their ageing and childless Queen.

    This book brings the news, intrigue and flavour of the times together with wonderful detail about how Shakespeare worked as a showman, businessman and playwright, to create an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of a fascinating and inspiring moment in history.

    Imprint: FABER AND FABER
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • ABUNDANCE
    ABUNDANCE
    DILLARD ANNIE
    ISBN: 9781782117735
    Title: ABUNDANCE
    Author: DILLARD ANNIE
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Annie Dillard has spent a lifetime examining the world around her with eyes wide open, drinking in all things intensely and relentlessly. Whether observing a sublime lunar eclipse or a moth consumed in a candle flame, the trembling of lily pads on a pond or hundreds of red-winged blackbirds taking flight, Dillard's awe at the fragility of the natural world rejuvenates and inspires pleasure and heartache. Precise in language and deeply meditative in spirit, this is a landmark collection from one of America's masters.

    Imprint: CANONGATE
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • ACTVIST LIFE
    ACTVIST LIFE
    MILNE CHRISTINE
    ISBN: 9780702259814
    Title: ACTVIST LIFE
    Author: MILNE CHRISTINE
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    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.

    In it, 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, 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. She describes how politics actually works- the deals, the promises kept and broken, the horse-trading and treachery involved in some of the most controversial and difficult issues of our time, including the attempts to forge a workable and effective climate change policy for Australia, and our treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

    This is a fascinating insider's account of what it means to be a woman in politics- the sacrifices of family life and relationships, the relentless misogyny and sexism that must be endured, the gritty conviction that you must never, ever give up the pursuit of the greater good. It is the story of Australian politics and the fight to save the world, and essential reading for anyone who cares about either.

    Imprint: UNI OF QUEENSLAND PRESS
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • ACUTE MISFORTUNE : The Life and Death of Adam Cullen
    ACUTE MISFORTUNE : The Life and Death of Adam Cullen
    JENSEN ERIK
    ISBN: 9781760640873
    Title: ACUTE MISFORTUNE : The Life and Death of Adam Cullen
    Author: JENSEN ERIK
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: August 2018 New Release

    In 2008, the artist Adam Cullen invited journalist Erik Jensen to stay in his spare room and write his biography.
    What followed were four years of intense honesty and a relationship that became increasingly claustrophobic. At one point Cullen shot Jensen, in part to see how committed he was to the book. At another, he threw Jensen from a speeding motorbike. The book contract Cullen used to convince Jensen to stay with him never existed.
    Acute Misfortune is a riveting account of the life and death of one of Australia's most celebrated artists, the man behind the Archibald Prize-winning portrait of David Wenham. Jensen follows Cullen through drug deals and periods of deep self-reflection, onwards into his court appearance for weapons possession and finally his death in 2012 at the age of forty-six.
    After much critical acclaim, Acute Misfortune was developed into a full-length feature film, receiving The Age Critics Award for best Australian feature at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2018.
    The story is by turns tender and horrifying- a spare tale of art, sex, drugs and childhood, told at close quarters and without judgement.
    Awards for Acute Misfortune
    Winner, 2015 Nib Waverley Library Award for Literature
    Shortlisted, 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards
    Shortlisted, 2015 Walkley Book Award

    Imprint: BLACK INC
    RRP: $22.99
    Price: $22.99
  • ADAM SMITH : What He Thought and Why it Matters
    ADAM SMITH : What He Thought and Why it Matters
    NORMAN JESSE
    ISBN: 9780241328491
    Title: ADAM SMITH : What He Thought and Why it Matters
    Author: NORMAN JESSE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Adam Smith is now widely regarded as 'the father of modern economics' and the most influential economist who ever lived. But what he really thought, and what the implications of his ideas are, remain fiercely contested. Was he an eloquent advocate of capitalism and the freedom of the individual? Or a prime mover of 'market fundamentalism' and an apologist for inequality and human selfishness?

    This exceptional book, by a writer who combines to an unusual degree intellectual training and practical political experience, dispels the myths and caricatures and gives us Smith in the round. It lays out a succinct and highly engaging account of Smith's life and times, explores his work as a whole and traces his influence over the past two centuries. Finally, it shows how a proper understanding of Smith can help us grasp - and address - the problems of modern capitalism. The Smith who emerges from this book is not only the first thinker to place markets at the heart of economics but also a pioneering theorist of moral philosophy, culture and society.

    Imprint: ALLEN LANE
    RRP: $49.99

    Price: $49.99
  • ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG NATURALIST : The Zoo Quest Expeditions
    ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG NATURALIST : The Zoo Quest Expeditions
    ATTENBOROUGH DAVID
    ISBN: 9781473664968
    Title: ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG NATURALIST : The Zoo Quest Expeditions
    Author: ATTENBOROUGH DAVID
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    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. His name was David Attenborough, and the programme, Zoo Quest, not only heralded the start of a remarkable career in broadcasting, but changed the way we viewed the natural world forever.

    Written with his trademark wit and charm, Zoo Quest 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.

    Imprint: TWO ROADS
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • ADVENTURES OF MAUD WEST LADY DETECTIVE : Secrets and Lies in the Golden Age of Crime
    ADVENTURES OF MAUD WEST LADY DETECTIVE : Secrets and Lies in the Golden Age of Crime
    STAPLETON SUSANNAH
    ISBN: 9781509867301
    Title: ADVENTURES OF MAUD WEST LADY DETECTIVE : Secrets and Lies in the Golden Age of Crime
    Author: STAPLETON SUSANNAH
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: June 2019 New Release

    Maud West ran her detective agency in London for more than thirty years, having starting sleuthing on behalf of society’s finest in 1905. Her exploits grabbed headlines throughout the world but, beneath the public persona, she was forced to hide vital aspects of her own identity in order to thrive in a class-obsessed and male-dominated world. And – as Susannah Stapleton reveals – she was a most unreliable witness to her own life.

    Who was Maud? And what was the reality of being a female private detective in the Golden Age of Crime?

    Interweaving tales from Maud West’s own ‘casebook’ with social history and extensive original research, Stapleton investigates the stories Maud West told about herself in a quest to uncover the truth.

    With walk-on parts by Dr Crippen and Dorothy L. Sayers, Parisian gangsters and Continental blackmailers, The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective is a portrait of a woman ahead of her time and a deliciously salacious glimpse into the underbelly of ‘good society’ during the first half of the twentieth century.

    Imprint: PICADOR
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • AFTER
    AFTER
    GEMMELL NIKKI
    ISBN: 9781460753064
    Title: AFTER
    Author: GEMMELL NIKKI
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Australia's bravest and most honest writer explores the devastating aftermath of her elderly mother's decision to end her own life.

    Nikki Gemmell's world changed forever in October 2015 when the body of her elderly mother was found and it became clear she had decided to end her own life. After the immediate shock and devastation came the guilt and the horror, for Nikki, her family, relatives and friends. No note was left, so the questions that Elayn's death raised were endless. Was the decision an act of independence or the very opposite?

    Was it a desperate act driven by hopelessness and anger, or was her euthanasia a reasoned act of empowerment?

    After is the story of Elayn Gemmell - and the often difficult, prickly relationship between mothers and daughters, and how that changes over time. As anguished as it truthful, as powerful as it is profound, After is about life, death, elderly parents, mothers and daughters, hurt and healing, and about how little, sometimes, we know the ones we love the most.

    A deeply intimate, fiercely beautiful, blazingly bold and important book.

    'A bold work of nonfiction ... a work that will raise questions and start conversations' Bookseller + Publisher
    'Compassion, humanity and love shines through every page' Caroline Overington

    Imprint: FOURTH ESTATE
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • AFTER KATHY ACKER : A Biography
    AFTER KATHY ACKER : A Biography
    KRAUS CHRIS
    ISBN: 9780141986654
    Title: AFTER KATHY ACKER : A Biography
    Author: KRAUS CHRIS
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The first authorized biography of the avant-garde punk writer Kathy Acker, a legend in her own time, by the author of the bestselling I Love Dick.

    Rich girl, street punk, lost girl and icon ... scholar, stripper, victim and media-whore: The late Kathy Acker's legend and writings are wrapped in mythologies, created mostly by Acker herself. In this first, fully authorized biography, Kraus approaches Acker both as a writer, and as a member of the artistic communities from which she emerged. At once forensic and intimate, After Kathy Acker traces the extreme discipline and literary strategies Acker used to develop her work, and the contradictions she longed to embody. Using exhaustive archival research and ongoing conversations with mutual colleagues and friends, Kraus charts Acker's movement through some of the late 20th century's most significant artistic enterprises.

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • AFTERMATH
    AFTERMATH
    CUSK RACHEL
    ISBN: 9780571351640
    Title: AFTERMATH
    Author: CUSK RACHEL
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: July 2019 New Release

    In the winter of 2009, Rachel Cusk's marriage of ten years came to an end. In the months that followed, life as she had known it came apart, 'like a jigsaw dismantled into a heap of broken-edged pieces'.

    Aftermath chronicles this perilous journey as the author redefines herself as a single woman and creates a new version of family life for her daughters. She discovers previously unknown strengths and freedoms but also finds herself suddenly vulnerable to outsiders, unwelcome advice, social displacement and the absence of a clear authority. The pressure to reconstruct a 'normal' life for her daughters competes with the sense that nothing feels normal at all.

    Aftermath is a masterly work in which the author, at her most candid and rigorous, charts the largely unwritten journey back to order from the chaos that is left when a family breaks apart.

    Imprint: FABER AND FABER
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • ALEXANDER HAMILTON
    ALEXANDER HAMILTON
    CHERNOW RON
    ISBN: 9781786690036
    Title: ALEXANDER HAMILTON
    Author: CHERNOW RON
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The bestselling life of one of America's founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, which became the basis for the hugely successful Broadway show Hamilton.

    Alexander Hamilton was an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean who overcame all the odds to become George Washington's aide-de-camp and the first Treasury Secretary of the United States. Few figures in American history are more controversial than Alexander Hamilton. In this masterful work, Chernow shows how the political and economic power of America today is the result of Hamilton's willingness to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. He charts his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Monroe and Burr; his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds; his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza; and the notorious duel with Aaron Burr that led to his death in July 1804.

    Imprint: HEAD OF ZEUS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • ALFRED STIEGLITZ : TAKING PICTURES MAKING PAINTERS
    ALFRED STIEGLITZ : TAKING PICTURES MAKING PAINTERS
    ROSE PHYLLIS
    ISBN: 9780300226485
    Title: ALFRED STIEGLITZ : TAKING PICTURES MAKING PAINTERS
    Author: ROSE PHYLLIS
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: June 2019 New Release

    Alfred Stieglitz was an enormously influential artist and nurturer of artists even though his career is often overshadowed by his role as Georgia O’Keeffe’s husband. This new book from celebrated biographer Phyllis Rose reconsiders Stieglitz as a revolutionary force in the history of American art.


    Born in New Jersey, Stieglitz later studied in Germany, where his father, a wool merchant and painter, insisted he would get a proper education. After returning to America, he became one of the first American photographers to achieve international fame. By the time he was sixty, he gave up photography and devoted himself to selling and promoting art. His first gallery, 291, was the first American gallery to show works by Picasso, Rodin, Matisse and other great European modernists. His galleries were not dealerships so much as open universities, where he introduced European modern art to Americans and nurtured an appreciation of American art among American artists.

    Imprint: YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS
    RRP: $44.99

    Price: $44.99
  • ALICE TO PRAGUE
    ALICE TO PRAGUE
    HEASLIP TANYA
    ISBN: 9781760529765
    Title: ALICE TO PRAGUE
    Author: HEASLIP TANYA
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    'I loved it! I laughed and cried and it was very hard to put down.' Fleur McDonald, bestselling author of Where the River Runs

    'Vivid and detailed...captures the pain and freedom of dislocation and questions what it is to belong.' Kathryn Heyman, author of Storm and Grace

    In 1994, with a battered copy of Let's Go Europe stuffed in her backpack, Tanya Heaslip left her safe life as a lawyer in outback Australia and travelled to the post-communist Czech Republic.

    Dismissing concerns from family and friends that her safety and career were at risk, she arrived with no teaching experience whatsoever, to work at a high school in a town she'd never heard of, where the winters are frigid and plunge to sub-zero temperatures.

    During her childhood on an isolated cattle station in Central Australia, Tanya had always dreamt of adventure and romance in Europe but the Czech Republic was not the stuff of her dreams. On arrival, however, she falls headlong into misadventures that change her life forever.

    This land of castles, history and culture opened up to her and she to it. In love with Prague and her people, particularly with the charismatic Karel, who takes her into his home, his family and as far as he can into his heart, Tanya learns about lives very different to hers.

    Alice to Prague is bittersweet story of a search for identity, belonging and love, set in a time, a place and with a man that fill Tanya's life with contradictions.

    Imprint: ALLEN AND UNWIN
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • ALLURE OF CHANEL   (Illustrated)
    ALLURE OF CHANEL (Illustrated)
    MORAND PAUL
    ISBN: 9781908968920
    Title: ALLURE OF CHANEL (Illustrated)
    Author: MORAND PAUL
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: BACK IN STOCK SOON

    'Chanel is France's greatest figure... the most impetuous, the most brilliantly insufferable woman there ever was.' Paul Morand

    Paul Morand's last book, one of the most appealing of his oeuvre, brings together around the figure of Chanel, portraits of Misia Sert, Erik Satie, Serge Lifar, Georges Auric, Raymond Radiguet, Jean Cocteau, Picasso and Churchill, among others.
    Based on a series of intimate conversations between Morand and Coco Chanel, written in the great storyteller's marvellous prose, this book artfully sketches the character of the elusive, mysterious and charming creature who inspired Malraux to say: Chanel, De Gaulle and Picasso are the greatest figures of our times.

    Hailed on its publication in 1976 as a great celebration of a book, a finely cut, sparkling gem, The Allure of Chanel attracted the attention of Karl Lagerfeld, who embellished it with seventy-three drawings, sketched for this special illustrated edition.

    Imprint: PUSHKIN PRESS
    RRP: $49.99

    Price: $49.99
  • ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY : A Memoir of Exile and Home
    ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY : A Memoir of Exile and Home
    MSIMANG SISONKE
    ISBN: 9781925603798
    Title: ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY : A Memoir of Exile and Home
    Author: MSIMANG SISONKE
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Sisonke Msimang was born in exile, the daughter of South African freedom fighters. Always Another Country is the story of a young girl’s path to womanhood - a journey that took her from Africa to America and back again, then on to a new home in Australia.

    Frank, fierce and insightful, she reflects candidly on the abuse she suffered as a child, the naive, heady euphoria of returning at last to her parents’ homeland - and her disillusionment with present-day South Africa and its new elites. Sisonke Msimang is a bold new voice on feminism, race and politics - in her beloved South Africa, in Australia, and around the world.


    Imprint: TEXT PUBLISHING
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE
    ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE
    IDLE ERIC
    ISBN: 9781474610292
    Title: ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE
    Author: IDLE ERIC
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Best known for his unforgettable roles in Monty Python, from the FLYING CIRCUS to THE MEANING OF LIFE, Eric Idle reflects on the meaning of his own life in this brilliantly entertaining memoir that takes us on an unforgettable journey from his childhood in an austere boarding school through his successful career in comedy, television, theatre and film.

    Coming of age as a writer and comedian during the Sixties and Seventies, Eric stumbled into the crossroads of the cultural revolution and found himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of George Harrison, David Bowie and Robin Williams, all of whom became lifelong friends. With anecdotes sprinkled throughout that involve other close friends and luminaries such as Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Paul Simon and Mike Nichols - let alone the Pythons themselves - Eric captures a time of tremendous creative output with equal hilarity and heart. In ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE, named after the song he wrote for LIFE OF BRIAN that has since become the number-one song played at funerals in the UK, he shares the highlights of his life and career with the off-beat humour that has delighted audiences for decades.

    A legend in his own lunchtime, Eric is the author of many books, some not half bad, some not even a quarter bad. Now he enters his anecdotage as the last word in Python memoirs, and the last of this extraordinary group to tell his story. 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Pythons, and Eric is celebrating the occasion with this laugh-out-loud memoir, chock-full of behind-the-scenes stories from a high-flying life that features everyone from Princess Leia to the Queen.

    Imprint: WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
    RRP: $22.99
    Price: $22.99
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