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: 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
  • 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 Books
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • ACCIDENTAL ENGINEER
    ACCIDENTAL ENGINEER
    JELLIE DAVID
    ISBN: 9781743057537
    Title: ACCIDENTAL ENGINEER
    Author: JELLIE DAVID
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    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
  • 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: 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
    NORMAN JESSE
    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
    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
  • 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
    CHALLEN CRAIG / HARRIS RICHARD
    ISBN: 9781760899455
    Title: AGAINST ALL ODDS : The inside account of the Thai cave rescue and the courageous Australians at the heart of it
    Author: CHALLEN CRAIG / HARRIS RICHARD
    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
  • AGENT MOLIERE : The Life of John Cairncross, the Fifth Man of the Cambridge Spy Circle
    AGENT MOLIERE : The Life of John Cairncross, the Fifth Man of the Cambridge Spy Circle
    ANDREWS GEOFF
    ISBN: 9781788311304
    Title: AGENT MOLIERE : The Life of John Cairncross, the Fifth Man of the Cambridge Spy Circle
    Author: ANDREWS GEOFF
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    The Cambridge Spies continue to fascinate - but one of them, John Cairncross, has always been more of an enigma than the others. He worked alone and was driven by his hostility to Fascism rather than to the promotion of Communism. During his war-time work at Bletchley Park, he passed documents to the Soviets which went on to influence the Battle of Kursk. Now, Geoff Andrews has access to the Cairncross papers and secrets, and has spoken to friends, relatives and former colleagues. A complex individual emerges a scholar as well as a spy whose motivations have often been misunderstood. After his resignation from the Civil Service, Cairncross moved to Italy and here he rebuilt his life as a foreign correspondent, editor and university professor. This gave him new circles and friendships which included the writer Graham Greene while he always lived with the fear that his earlier espionage would come to light.

    The full account of Cairncross's spying, his confession and his dramatic public exposure as the 'fifth man' will be told here for the first time, while also unveiling the story of his post-espionage life.

    Imprint: I B TAURIS
    RRP: $40.00

    Price: $40.00
  • 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: $27.99

    Price: $27.99
  • ALEXANDER THE GREAT : His Life and His Mysterious Death
    ALEXANDER THE GREAT : His Life and His Mysterious Death
    EVERITT ANTHONY
    ISBN: 9780425286524
    Title: ALEXANDER THE GREAT : His Life and His Mysterious Death
    Author: EVERITT ANTHONY
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    More than two millennia have passed, but Alexander the Great is still a household name. His life was an adventure story and took him to every corner of the ancient world. His memory and glamour persist, and his early death at thirty-three has kept him evergreen in our imaginations with a legacy that meant something different to every age- in the Middle Ages he became an exemplar of knightly chivalry, he was a star of Renaissance paintings, and by the early twentieth century he even came to resemble an English gentleman. But who was he in his own time?

    In Alexander the Great, Anthony Everitt judges Alexander's life against the criteria of his own age and considers all his contradictions. We meet the Macedonian prince who was naturally inquisitive and fascinated by science and exploration, who enjoyed the arts and used the poet Homer's great epic, the Iliad, as a bible. As his empire grew, stretching from Greece and Macedonia to Ancient Egypt and Persia and all the way to India, Alexander exhibited respect for the traditions of his new subjects and careful judgment in administering rule over a vast territory. But his career also had a dark side. An inveterate conqueror, who in his short life built the largest empire to that point in history, Alexander glorified war and was known to commit acts of great cruelty.

    As debates continue about the meaning of his life, Alexander's death remains an unsolved mystery. Did he die of natural causes, felled by a fever, or did his marshals, angered by his tyrannical behavior, kill him? An explanation of his death can lie only in what we know of his life, and Everitt ventures to solve that puzzle, offering an ending to Alexander's story that has eluded so many for so long.

    Imprint: Random House Publishing
    RRP: $44.99

    Price: $44.99
  • 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
  • AMERICAN DUCHESS : THE REAL WALLIS SIMPSON
    AMERICAN DUCHESS : THE REAL WALLIS SIMPSON
    PASTERNAK ANNA
    ISBN: 9780008297305
    Title: AMERICAN DUCHESS : THE REAL WALLIS SIMPSON
    Author: PASTERNAK ANNA
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The intimate biography of one of the most misunderstood women in British royal history.Life has always been made difficult for those marrying into England's royal family. In 1936, just months into his reign, King Edward VIII proposed to Wallis Simpson, a divorced American woman. Gossip ran wild, and that cacophony of speculation and distrust both hid the real Wallis, and forced Edward into abdicating so that he might marry the woman he adored.In this intimate biography Anna Pasternak seeks to understand Wallis – and her relationship with Edward and The Crown. Using testimony from her closest friends, she shows the warm, loyal, intelligent woman who was written off and undermined by the powerful, often manipulative men of the Establishment. This is Wallis Simpson's story as it has never been told before.

    Imprint: William Collins
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • AN ALICE GIRL
    AN ALICE GIRL
    HEASLIP TANYA
    ISBN: 9781760529772
    Title: AN ALICE GIRL
    Author: HEASLIP TANYA
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    An Alice Girl is Tanya Heaslip's extraordinary story of growing up in the late 1960s and early 70s on a vast and isolated outback cattle property just north of Alice Springs.

    Tanya's parents, Janice and Grant 'the Boss', were pioneers. They developed the cattle station where water was scarce, where all power was dependent on generators and where a trip to town for supplies usually meant a full day's journey. Grant was determined to teach his children how to survive in this severe and isolated environment and his lessons were often harsh.

    Tanya and her siblings led a childhood unimaginable to many Australians. Whether working the mobs of cattle with the stockmen, playing cattle-duffing on horseback or singing and doing lessons at their School of the Air desks, the children were always aware of the demands of the land.

    But while her sister and brothers loved riding and working stock, Tanya's heart longed to be back at the homestead with her books and stories.

    In a childhood that many would consider very tough, Tanya tells of this precious time with raw honesty, humour, love and kindness. This is the story of an Alice girl.

    Imprint: Allen and Unwin Publishers
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • AND HOW ARE YOU DR SACKS? : A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks
    AND HOW ARE YOU DR SACKS? : A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks
    WESCHLER LAWRENCE
    ISBN: 9780374236410
    Title: AND HOW ARE YOU DR SACKS? : A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks
    Author: WESCHLER LAWRENCE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    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
  • ANDY WARHOL
    ANDY WARHOL
    SHORE ROBERT
    ISBN: 9781786276100
    Title: ANDY WARHOL
    Author: SHORE ROBERT
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Somewhere within the iconic images, carefully-made personae, star-studded milieu, million-dollar price tags and famous quotes lies the real Andy Warhol. But who was he? Robert Shore unfolds the multi-dimensional Warhol, dissecting his existence as undisputed art-world hotshot, recreating the amazing circle that surrounded him, and tracing his path to stardom back through his early career and his awkward and unusual youth. After Warhol, nothing would be the same - he changed art forever. Find out how with his remarkable story.

    Imprint: Laurence King Publishers
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
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