Block of Books
  • 1599 : A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare
    1599 : A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare
    ISBN: 9780571214815
    Title: 1599 : A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    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
    ISBN: 9781782117735
    Title: ABUNDANCE
    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 Books
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
    ISBN: 9781743057537
    Author: JELLIE DAVID
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Within the narrative of An Accidental Engineer there is a revealing truth about a kid from the bush who never had a life plan but always seemed to enjoy the journey. A story familiar to many.

    David Jellie was lucky in the timing of his engineering career. Following the Second World War, Australia was throwing off the shackles of austerity with the rapid expansion and upgrading of the road network. In the second half of his career, he worked on international projects in Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa and the Middle East. He witnessed the start of the rise of China, the aftermath of partition of Pakistan and India, and the aspirations of the people of the world for security, shelter, food and love - regardless of their ethnicity.

    His love of drawing as a boy led to a passion for landscape painting in later life. He describes this journey with intimacy and self-deprecating humour.

    This book, by the author's own admission, is a memoir of a nobody - but nonetheless, a great story about growing up in rural Australia in the 1940s. Eloquently written and moving, it reaches out to the reader and draws them into the stories being told.

    David Jellie commenced his career as a structural engineer with the Country Roads Board of Victoria in 1961. David participated in the development of Australian design codes and has written many technical papers and books - mainly relating to bridge design and construction and safety in construction. He was an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University.

    Imprint: WAKEFIELD
    RRP: $39.95

    Price: $39.95
    ISBN: 9780733645976
    Author: MAC SAM
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The Accidental Weatherman is the story of what happens when a hilarious Adelaide boy who knows nothing about meteorology scores the coveted weatherman gig on the highest rating breakfast TV show in Australia.

    As the Sunrise weatherman, Sam Mac has bungee jumped, swum with sharks, got his cat on the cover of Pussweek magazine, taken his mum to the Logies when he was nominated for gold, stripped naked for The Real Full Monty and even recorded a song with The Wiggles. But, ultimately, his job is about people - from primary schoolers to pensioners, Sam's gift is how he connects with them all. He uses heart and humour in his role on Sunrise to introduce viewers to the true characters of Australia. He prides himself on bringing awareness to causes such as mental health and animal rescue, and on championing underdogs who might need a hand up or a shout out. His genuine nature and open-book approach to social media has won him hundreds of thousands of fans along the way - although even he would admit that many of them only like him for his cat Coco (who is rapidly catching up to him in Instagram followers).

    After presenting more than 25 000 minutes of live TV in over 800 different Australian towns, Sam really has seen the absolute best of Australia, and it's brought out the best in him.

    Imprint: Hachette Publishers
    RRP: $32.99
    Price: $32.99
  • ACUTE MISFORTUNE : The Life and Death of Adam Cullen
    ACUTE MISFORTUNE : The Life and Death of Adam Cullen
    ISBN: 9781760640873
    Title: ACUTE MISFORTUNE : The Life and Death of Adam Cullen
    Author: JENSEN ERIK
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    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.

    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
    ISBN: 9780141987118
    Title: ADAM SMITH : What He Thought And Why It Matters
    Author: NORMAN JESSE
    Format: PAPER 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: Penguin Books
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG NATURALIST : The Zoo Quest Expeditions
    ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG NATURALIST : The Zoo Quest Expeditions
    ISBN: 9781473664968
    Title: ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG NATURALIST : The Zoo Quest Expeditions
    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
  • AFTER THE STORM : Postnatal Depression and the Utter Weirdness of New Motherhood
    AFTER THE STORM : Postnatal Depression and the Utter Weirdness of New Motherhood
    ISBN: 9781788166546
    Title: AFTER THE STORM : Postnatal Depression and the Utter Weirdness of New Motherhood
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    "How did it come to this? I am tough, I am smart, I have lived alone. Now I am cracking, right down the middle..."

    Six months after the birth of her son, Emma Jane Unsworth finds herself in the eye of a storm. Nothing - from pregnancy to birth and beyond - has gone as she expected. A birth plan? It might as well have been a rough draft! Furious and exhausted, her life is the complete opposite of what it used to be. She's swapped all night benders for a grazed labia and Whac-a-Moling haemorrhoids. How did she end up here?

    In this brave and hilarious account of postnatal depression, Emma tells her story of despair and recovery. She tackles the biggest taboos around motherhood and mental health, from botched stitches and bleeding nipples to anger and shame. How does pregnancy adapt our brains? Is postnatal depression a natural reaction to the trauma of modern motherhood? And are people's attitudes finally changing?

    Dazzling and vital, After the Storm is a celebration of survival, holding out a hand to women everywhere.

    Imprint: Wellcome Collection
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
    ISBN: 9781529342871
    Author: OWUSU NADIA
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    I have lived in disaster and disaster has lived in me. Our shared languages are thunder and reverberation. When Nadia Owusu was two years old her mother abandoned her and her baby sister and fled from Tanzania back to the US. When she was thirteen her beloved Ghanaian father died of cancer. She and her sister were left alone, with a stepmother they didn't like, adrift. Nadia Owusu is a woman of many languages, homelands and identities. She grew up in Rome, Dar-es-Salaam, Addis Ababa, Kumasi, Kampala and London. And for every new place there was a new language, a new identity and a new home. At times she has felt stateless, motherless and identity-less. At others, she has had multiple identities at war within her. It's no wonder she started to feel fault lines in her sense of self. It's no wonder that those fault lines eventually ruptured. Aftershocks is the account of how she hauled herself out of the wreckage. It is the intimate story behind the news of immigration and division dominating contemporary politics. Nadia Owusu's astonishingly moving and incredibly timely memoir is a nuanced portrait of globalisation from the inside in a fractured world in crisis.

    Imprint: Hodder and Stoughton
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • AGAINST ALL ODDS : The inside account of the Thai cave rescue and the courageous Australians at the heart of it
    AGAINST ALL ODDS : The inside account of the Thai cave rescue and the courageous Australians at the heart of it
    ISBN: 9781760899455
    Title: AGAINST ALL ODDS : The inside account of the Thai cave rescue and the courageous Australians at the heart of it
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    'I just want to warn you. You're going to dive to the end of the cave. You're going to see these kids. They're all looking healthy and happy and smiley. Then, you're going to swim away, and they're probably all going to die.'

    In June 2018, for seventeen days, the world watched and held its breath as the Wild Boars soccer team were trapped deep in a cave in Thailand. Marooned beyond flooded cave passages after unexpected rains, they were finally rescued, one-by-one, against almost impossible odds, by an international cave-diving team which included Australians Dr Richard Harris and Dr Craig Challen.

    These two men were chosen for their medical expertise and cave diving knowledge, but this dangerous rescue asked so much more of them. They had to remain calm under extreme pressure and intense scrutiny, adapt to constantly changing circumstances and importantly, build trust among the rescue team and with the young boys and their coach, whose lives were in their hands.
    Here is the story of these two Australian men who became international heroes - it is a story of determination, cunning and triumph that will long be remembered.

    Imprint: Penguin Books
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
    ISBN: 9781786690036
    Author: CHERNOW RON
    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: $27.99

    Price: $27.99
    ISBN: 9781760879310
    Author: REES YVES
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: September 2021 New Releas

    A timely and thought-provoking memoir about the trans experience.

    Was I always trans, part boy beneath my skin, or was it that I landed in a place where 'girl' was a container so small it could break your bones?

    I learn that a ready smile and sympathetic ear are the only props required to impersonate a woman. The performance becomes so familiar I almost forget that it's staged.

    What happens when, aged 30, you realise you're transgender?

    This was the question that confronted Yves Rees, a historian whose life was upended by gender transition in 2018. Then known as a woman called Anne, Yves was forced to grapple with the sudden realisation that they were not, in fact, female at all. But did this realisation mean that Yves was a man-or something else altogether? When you've lived a lie for so long, how do you discover who you really are? And how do you re-learn to live in the world as a different gender?

    This book follows Yves on their raw journey of re-becoming, telling a transmasculine transition story that digs into the messiness of bodies, gender and identity. It brings to light the challenges and joys of being transgender in Australia today, and reveals how much trans experience can teach all of us about what it means to be man or woman.?

    The time is right for stories that reveal what is means to be a transmasculine person in Australia today. What are the realities of this experience? How does it feel to be gripped by gender dysphoria? What does 'gender transition' involve? What is it like to be on the receiving end of transphobia? And perhaps most importantly: what can transmasculine experience teach all of us about gender, patriarchy, power and privilege?

    All about Yves: Notes from a Transition is timely, thoughtful and thought-provoking.

    Imprint: Allen and Unwin Publishers
    RRP: $32.99
    Price: $32.99
  • ALL IN : The Autobiography of Billie Jean King
    ALL IN : The Autobiography of Billie Jean King
    ISBN: 9780241988459
    Title: ALL IN : The Autobiography of Billie Jean King
    Publishing status: August 2021 New Release

    An intimate self-portrait encompassing the life, times, and career of one of the most transformative individuals--let alone athletes--of recent times.

    Journeying from a blue-collar childhood to shatter tennis's exclusive country-club culture, Billie Jean King paved the way for a more open, inclusive, and equal sports environment. In her memoir, she takes us behind the scenes of the pro tennis tour, through her five years as the top-ranked woman in the world, her twenty Wimbledon championships, her thirty-nine grand-slam titles, and her watershed defeat of Bobby Riggs in the famous "Battle of the Sexes."

    With her ever-present candour, King also describes the high personal price of public greatness. We see how she struggled to live authentically and the challenges she grappled with beneath the mask of fame, including entrenched sexism, an eating disorder and struggles with her sexual identity until her "outing" by a former lover led her to embrace her true self. We come to understand how, through it all, her unshakeable integrity, resilience, and sense of purpose allowed her time and again to overcome her obstacles, and, at a few dire moments, to rebound from near ruin.

    Hers is the story of a pathbreaking fighter for equality, world-class athlete, and an indomitable spirit.

    Imprint: Penguin Books
    RRP: $35.00
    Price: $35.00
    ISBN: 9781474610292
    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
  • AN EVENT PERHAPS : A Biography of Jacques Derrida
    AN EVENT PERHAPS : A Biography of Jacques Derrida
    ISBN: 9781788732802
    Title: AN EVENT PERHAPS : A Biography of Jacques Derrida
    Author: SALMON PETER
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Who was Jacques Derrida, and why does he have such a towering, and foreboding reputation across modern philosophy? For some he is the source of the crisis of alternative facts. For far right terrorist Anders Brievik, 'Derridian deconstruction' was the cause for the end of truth. In 1992, 18 philosophers wrote an open letter to the Times to complain when he was awarded an honorary degree by Cambridge University. For others, he is a film star thinker who covered every possible subject from literature, politics, and language.
    Born in Algiers, the young Jackie, named after a character in a Chaplin movie, only to change to Jacques once he moved to Paris, was always an outsider. Here, despite an obvious genius, he found it difficult to find himself. However, in 1967, he changed the whole course of philosophy in one go- with the development of the ideas of deconstruction. Immediately, his reputation as a complex and confounding thinker was established. Feted by some, abhorred by others, Derrida's influence across late 20th century thought is unquestionable. And here Peter Salmon introduces the key concepts, showing that, despite the impression of being eclectic, Derrida was a writer who spent his life on a series of interlinked themes- ethics, friendship, language.
    Accessible, provocative and beautifully written, An Event, Perhaps introduces to a new readership the life and thinking of a philosopher whose influence over the 21st century is likely to be as important as it was on the previous century.

    Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing
    RRP: $39.99
    Price: $39.99
  • AND HOW ARE YOU DR SACKS? : A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks
    AND HOW ARE YOU DR SACKS? : A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks
    ISBN: 9780374236410
    Title: AND HOW ARE YOU DR SACKS? : A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    The untold story of Dr. Oliver Sacks, his own most singular patient.

    The author Lawrence Weschler began spending time with Oliver Sacks in the early 1980s, when he set out to profile the neurologist for his own new employer, The New Yorker. Almost a decade earlier, Dr. Sacks had published his masterpiece Awakenings--the account of his long-dormant patients' miraculous but troubling return to life in a Bronx hospital ward. But the book had hardly been an immediate success, and the rumpled clinician was still largely unknown. Over the ensuing four years, the two men worked closely together until, for wracking personal reasons, Sacks asked Weschler to abandon the profile, a request to which Weschler acceded. The two remained close friends, however, across the next thirty years and then, just as Sacks was dying, he urged Weschler to take up the project once again. This book is the result of that entreaty.
    Weschler sets Sacks's brilliant table talk and extravagant personality in vivid relief, casting himself as a beanpole Sancho to Sacks's capacious Quixote. We see Sacks rowing and ranting and caring deeply; composing the essays that would form The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; recalling his turbulent drug-fueled younger days; helping his patients and exhausting his friends; and waging intellectual war against a medical and scientific establishment that failed to address his greatest concern: the spontaneous specificity of the individual human soul. And all the while he is pouring out a stream of glorious, ribald, hilarious, and often profound conversation that establishes him as one of the great talkers of the age. Here is the definitive portrait of Sacks as our preeminent romantic scientist, a self-described "clinical ontologist" whose entire practice revolved around the single fundamental question he effectively asked each of his patients: How are you? Which is to say, How do you be?

    A question which Weschler, with this book, turns back on the good doctor himself.

    Imprint: Farrar Straus and Giiroux
    RRP: $42.99

    Price: $42.99
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