Block of Books
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  • AUSTRALIAS SWEETHEART : The Amazing Story of Forgotten Hollywood star Mary Maguire
    AUSTRALIAS SWEETHEART : The Amazing Story of Forgotten Hollywood star Mary Maguire
    ADAMS MICHAEL
    ISBN: 9780733640292
    Title: AUSTRALIAS SWEETHEART : The Amazing Story of Forgotten Hollywood star Mary Maguire
    Author: ADAMS MICHAEL
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    This is the fascinating story of Mary Maguire, a 1930s Australian ingenue who sailed for Hollywood and a fabulous life, only to have her career cut short by scandal and tragedy. Packed with celebrity, history and gossip, AUSTRALIA'S SWEETHEART is perfect for readers of SHEILA and THE RIVIERA SET.

    Mary Maguire was Australia's first teenage movie star and she captivated Hollywood in the mid 1930s. Mary lived on three continents and was celebrated in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Los Angeles and London. Her life was lived in parallel with seminal incidents of the twentieth century: the Spanish Flu; the Great Depression; the Bodyline series; Australia's early radio, talkies and aviation; Hollywood's Golden Era; the British aristocracy's embrace of European fascism; London's Blitz; and post-war American culture and politics. Mary knew everyone, from Douglas Jardine, Don Bradman, Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan, to William Randolph Hearst, Maureen O'Sullivan and Judy Garland.

    AUSTRALIA'S SWEETHEART in an irresistible never-before-told story that captures the glamour of Hollywood and the turbulent times of the twentieth century, with a young woman at its centre.

    Imprint: HACHETTE
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • AUTOBIOGRAPHY
    AUTOBIOGRAPHY
    MORRISSEY
    ISBN: 9780141394817
    Title: AUTOBIOGRAPHY
    Author: MORRISSEY
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Manchester on May 22nd 1959. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Smiths (1982-1987), Morrissey has been a solo artist for twenty-six years, during which time he has had three number 1 albums in England in three different decades. Achieving eleven Top 10 albums (plus nine with the Smiths), his songs have been recorded by David Bowie, Nancy Sinatra, Marianne Faithfull, Chrissie Hynde, Thelma Houston, My Chemical Romance and Christy Moore, amongst others. An animal protectionist, in 2006 Morrissey was voted the second greatest living British icon by viewers of the BBC, losing out to Sir David Attenborough. In 2007 Morrissey was voted the greatest northern male, past or present, in a nationwide newspaper poll. In 2012, Morrissey was awarded the Keys to the City of Tel-Aviv. It has been said 'Most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that Morrissey has reached in his lifetime.'

    Imprint: PENGUIN MODERN CLASSICS
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • BABY
    BABY
    DARRIEUSSECQ MARIE
    ISBN: 9781911231264
    Title: BABY
    Author: DARRIEUSSECQ MARIE
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The Baby is a mother's project and a writer's project-how to reconcile these two demanding roles.

    What is a baby? And why are there so few of them in literature? Through notes taken in the months after her first child was born, Darrieussecq, in her characteristically ingenious style, makes observations that will bring smiles and grimaces of recognition, and raise important questions. Along with the banal drudgery of childcare, there is the euphoria, the obsession, the terror and the visceral focus on the body. Arguing with 'Saint de Beauvoir', Darrieussecq examines how women as mothers are targeted from all angles. How, she asks, can a woman be more and other than a mother?

    Imprint: TEXT PUBLISHING
    RRP: $27.99

    Price: $27.99
  • BAD BLOOD : A Memoir
    BAD BLOOD : A Memoir
    SAGE LORNA
    ISBN: 9780008329679
    Title: BAD BLOOD : A Memoir
    Author: SAGE LORNA
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    One of the most critically acclaimed memoirs ever written.

    One of the ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – that make up our Matchbook Classics' series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist. Lorna sage's outstanding childhood and adolescence brings to life her eccentric family and bizarre upbringing in rural Wales.The period is evoked through a wickedly funny and deeply intelligent account: from the 1940s, dominated for Lorna by her dissolute but charismatic vicar grandfather, through the 1950s, where the invention of fish fingers revolutionised the lives of housewives like Lorna's mother, to the brink of the 1960s, where Lorna's pregnancy at 16 outraged those around her, an event her grandmother blamed on ‘the fiendish invention of sex'.

    Bad Blood vividly and wittily explores a vanished time and place, and illuminate the lives of three generations of women.

    Imprint: FOURTH ESTATE
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • BANJO
    BANJO
    KIEZA GRANTLEE
    ISBN: 9780733335891
    Title: BANJO
    Author: KIEZA GRANTLEE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Balladeer, bushman, soldier, foreign correspondent - the remarkable life of Australia's greatest storyteller

    In Grantlee Kieza's landmark biography, we discover the real Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson. Australia's most celebrated poet and storyteller helped define our national traits of loyalty, mateship and laconic humour, but he did and was so much more. A soldier in the Boer War and WWI, the balladeer bushman was also a solicitor, newspaper editor, columnist, war and foreign correspondent and ABC broadcaster.

    Close friends with many luminaries of his time, including Rudyard Kipling, Winston Churchill, Field Marshal Haig, Breaker Morant and Henry Lawson, the tennis ace, notorious ladies man, brilliant jockey and celebrated polo player was eye witness to many of the great moments in Australian 20th century history.

    Extensively researched and written with Kieza's trademark verve, Banjo is a rich and captivating portrait of our most celebrated poet and a truly great Australian.

    Imprint: ABC PUBLICATIONS
    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
  • 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: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    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
  • BEATLES '66 : The Revolutionary Year
    BEATLES '66 : The Revolutionary Year
    TURNER STEVE
    ISBN: 9780062475589
    Title: BEATLES '66 : The Revolutionary Year
    Author: TURNER STEVE
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    A riveting look at the transformative year in the lives and careers of the legendary group whose groundbreaking legacy would forever change music and popular culture.

    They started off as hysteria-inducing pop stars playing to audiences of screaming teenage fans and ended up as musical sages considered responsible for ushering in a new era.

    The year that changed everything for the Beatles was 1966-the year of their last concert and their first album, Revolver, that was created to be listened to rather than performed. This was the year the Beatles risked their popularity by retiring from live performances, recording songs that explored alternative states of consciousness, experimenting with avant-garde ideas, and speaking their minds on issues of politics, war, and religion. It was the year their records were burned in America after John's explosive claim that the group was "more popular than Jesus," the year they were hounded out of the Philippines for "snubbing" its First Lady, the year John met Yoko Ono, and the year Paul conceived the idea for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

    On the fiftieth anniversary of this seminal year, music journalist and Beatles expert Steve Turner slows down the action to investigate in detail the enormous changes that took place in the Beatles' lives and work during 1966. He looks at the historical events that had an impact on the group, the music they made that in turn profoundly affected the culture around them, and the vision that allowed four young men from Liverpool to transform popular music and serve as pioneers for artists from Coldplay to David Bowie, Jay-Z to U2.

    By talking to those close to the group and by drawing on his past interviews with key figures such as George Martin, Timothy Leary, and Ravi Shankar-and the Beatles themselves-Turner gives us the compelling, definitive account of the twelve months that contained everything the Beatles had been and anticipated everything they would still become.

    Imprint: ECCO
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • Beautiful Fall : Fashion Genius and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris
    Beautiful Fall : Fashion Genius and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris
    DRAKE ALICIA
    ISBN: 9780747585466
    Title: Beautiful Fall : Fashion Genius and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris
    Author: DRAKE ALICIA
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: July 2019 New Release

    In 1954 they were two young talents from the provinces, both dreaming of Paris, glamour and glory. Yves Saint Laurent was the charmed youth, the enfant terrible inheritor of Dior's couture crown. Karl Lagerfeld was the jobbing freelance designer with a talent for ready-to-wear. Seemingly from a background of wealth and privilege, he was in fact a tireless workaholic, driven by his passion for capturing the pose of the moment. Then 1968 happened and Paris exploded like a champagne bottle left in the sun. The city embraced liberation and hedonism, making up for years of post-war insecurity. It was a decade dominated by intrigue, infidelities and addiction - and parties.

    Each designer created his own mesmerising world, drawing towards them people attracted by their power, charisma and fame. Paloma Picasso, Pierre Berg and Jacques de Bascher were all living in the mirror of fashion. The tensions of class and nationality, bohemia and luxury, youth and yearning, talent and ambition were subsumed in the creation of glamour. The two cliques could not help but become rivals. But as the 70s turned to the 80s, heroin and Aids cast their shadow; fashion became an industry, money prevailed and the beautiful people discovered the danger of living their dreams. The Beautiful Fall is Alicia Drake's brilliant chronicle of this dangerous, brazen, fabulous time.

    Imprint: BLOOMSBURY
    RRP: $26.95

    Price: $26.95
  • BECOMING
    BECOMING
    OBAMA MICHELLE
    ISBN: 9780241334140
    Title: BECOMING
    Author: OBAMA MICHELLE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    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. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

    In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her-from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it-in her own words and on her own terms.
    Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations-and whose story inspires us to do the same.

    Imprint: VIKING
    RRP: $49.99

    Price: $39.99
  • BEFORE I FORGET
    BEFORE I FORGET
    BLAINEY GEOFFREY
    ISBN: 9781760890339
    Title: BEFORE I FORGET
    Author: BLAINEY GEOFFREY
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: June 2019 New Release

    Now in his late-eighties, and listed by the National Trust as a 'Living Treasure', in Before I Forget Geoffrey Blainey reflects on his humble beginnings as the son of a Methodist Minister and school teacher, one of five children, and a carefree childhood spent in rural Victoria, from Terang to Leongatha, Geelong to Ballarat. From a young age these places ignited for Blainey a great affection for the Australian landscape, and a deep curiosity in Australia's history. He longed to travel, and would climb atop the roof of their home to stare out at the Great Dividing Range and imagine the world beyond.

    His mother created gardens wherever they went and had literary ambitions of her own; his father spent more on books than he could ever afford, and the library travelled with the family. Blainey's devotion to the Geelong Football Club began in Newtown from where he'd watch his team play at Corio, and as a newsboy he developed an early interest in current affairs, following the dramas and triumphs of the Second World War and the political careers of local identities John Curtin and Robert Menzies. With a burning desire to see Sydney but barely a penny to his name, he hitched there with a schoolfriend to see the harbour that greeted the First Fleet, and visited the national theatre of Parliament House on the way home to see Billy Hughes, JT Lang, Arty Fadden, Arthur Calwell, Enid Lyons and hero Ben Chifley in action.

    The course of Blainey's life changed when he was awarded a scholarship to board at Wesley College in Melbourne - an opportunity that instilled in him a great love of learning, under the tutelage of a group of inspiring teachers. This flourished further at the University of Melbourne, first as a wide-eyed student at Queen's Collage, where he was lectured by Manning Clarke, and later as a professor of history. Later he and Manning Clarke became great friends, both sitting on the Whitlam Government's new Literature Board. Hours spent at Melbourne's State Library as a student poring over the country's old newspapers cemented his calling to become a professional historian. Like Clarke Blainey has always been compelled to visit the places of our historical interest, including places of archaeological and Indigenous significance. Now the author of over forty books, Geoffrey Blainey claims he has discovered Australia's history his own way - and is still learning.

    Warm, insightful and lyrically written, Before I Forget recounts the experiences and influences that have shaped the astonishing mind of Australia's most loved historian. But in this book Blainey has given us something more - a fascinating and affectionate social history in and of itself.

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $45.00
    Price: $45.00
  • BEHIND THE SMILE : From the Slopes of Mount Kenya to Commonwealth Parliament of Australia
    BEHIND THE SMILE : From the Slopes of Mount Kenya to Commonwealth Parliament of Australia
    GICHUHI LUCY MURINGO
    ISBN: 9780646998947
    Title: BEHIND THE SMILE : From the Slopes of Mount Kenya to Commonwealth Parliament of Australia
    Author: GICHUHI LUCY MURINGO
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE


    Imprint: CONSIGNMENT STOCK
    RRP: $20.00
    Price: $20.00
  • 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 JOHN LENNON : A Restless Life
    BEING JOHN LENNON : A Restless Life
    CONNOLLY RAY
    ISBN: 9781474606813
    Title: BEING JOHN LENNON : A Restless Life
    Author: CONNOLLY RAY
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    John Lennon was a rock star, a school clown, a writer, a wit, an iconoclast, a sometime peace activist and finally an eccentric millionaire. He was also a Beatle - his plain-speaking and impudent rejection of authority catching, and eloquently articulating, the group's moment in history.

    Chronicling a troubled life, from that of the cast-aside child of a broken wartime marriage to his murder by a deranged fan, Being John Lennon analyses the contradictions in the singer-songwriter's creative and destructive personality. A leader who could be easily led, he was often generous and often funny, but sometimes scathingly cruel.

    As a journalist, author Ray Connolly had a close working relationship with Lennon, and the entire Beatles coterie. In this biography he unsparingly reassesses the chameleon nature of the perpetually dissatisfied star who just couldn't stop reinventing himself.

    Drawing on many interviews and conversations with Lennon, his first wife Cynthia and second Yoko Ono, as well as his girlfriend May Pang and song-writing partner Paul McCartney, this complex portrait is a revealing insight into a restless man whose emotional turbulence governed his life and talent.

    Imprint: WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
    RRP: $35.00
    Price: $35.00
  • BELLS OF OLD TOKYO
    BELLS OF OLD TOKYO
    SHERMAN ANNA
    ISBN: 9781529000467
    Title: BELLS OF OLD TOKYO
    Author: SHERMAN ANNA
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: May 2019 New Release

    In <i>The Bells of Old Tokyo</i>, Anna Sherman explores Japan and revels in all its wonderful particularity. As a foreigner living in Tokyo, Sherman’s account takes pleasure and fascination in the history and culture of a country that can seem startlingly strange to an outsider.

    Following her search for the lost bells of the city – the bells by which its inhabitants kept time before the Jesuits introduced them to clocks – to her personal friendship with the owner of a small, exquisite cafe, who elevates the making and drinking of coffee to an art-form, here is Tokyo in its bewildering variety. From the love hotels of Shinjuku to the appalling fire-storms of 1945 (in which many more thousands of people died than in Hiroshima or Nagasaki), from the death of Mishima to the impact of the Tohoku earthquake of 2011.

    For fans of <i>The Lonely City</i>, and <i>Lost in Translation</i>, <i>The Bells of Old Tokyo </i>is a beautiful and original portrait of Tokyo told through time.

    Imprint: PICADOR
    RRP: $32.99
    Price: $32.99
  • BEST FILM I NEVER MADE : And Other Stories about a Life in the Arts
    BEST FILM I NEVER MADE : And Other Stories about a Life in the Arts
    BERESFORD BRUCE
    ISBN: 9781925603101
    Title: BEST FILM I NEVER MADE : And Other Stories about a Life in the Arts
    Author: BERESFORD BRUCE
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    This entertaining collection of pieces from the acclaimed director of Breaker Morant, Driving Miss Daisy and Mao's Last Dancer features memoirs, brief lives and revealing accounts of the film world. Alongside unsung heroes from behind the camera and producers of dubious repute are Madeleine St John and Clive James, Margaret Olley and Jeffrey Smart, as well as a particularly seductive 1963 EH Holden - and Bruce Beresford's father, whose strange and startling decline in old age is charted in a brilliant, poignant essay. Opinionated, wry and engaging, The Best Film I Never Made will provoke and delight in equal measure. It is the ideal gift not only for cinema buffs but for anyone interested in music, art or literature.

    Imprint: TEXT PUBLISHING
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
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