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
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS : Stories of Friends, Enemies and Figuring Things Out
    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS : Stories of Friends, Enemies and Figuring Things Out
    ISBN: 9781460759790
    Title: ACKNOWLEDGMENTS : Stories of Friends, Enemies and Figuring Things Out
    Author: LUCAS BECKY
    Publishing status: June 2021 New Release

    A postmodern memoir about the power of saying thank you to the ones you may not have wanted to thank at the time ...

    There's no such thing as a perfect life, but there are perfectly hilarious moments. The best stories are often about the lowest points in our lives - the soul-crushing jobs, the bad boyfriends, the terrible holidays, the betrayals and heartbreaks. These are the stories I tell people to make them like me, but, more importantly, they've helped me learn how to like myself.So this book is a collection of thankyous and acknowledgments:Thank you to the woman called 'Becky' whom I was named after - because of you, no one expects me to amount to anything great and that is true freedom.Thank you to an ex-lover who said I was 'in good nick', as though I were a 1998 Toyota Corolla with a new paint job.Thank you to the coked-up real estate agent who, while lecturing me and my friend about the importance of travelling, fell down a flight of stairs.Thank you to the woman who approached me after a gig and told me I needed to download the Headspace app.You've all taught me that you can't control who comes into your life or what happens to you, but you can decide just what it is you take from them.From critically acclaimed comedian Becky Lucas comes a funny, consoling and very candid collection of stories and essays about growing up and figuring it out that establishes her as one of today's most original comedy writers.

    Imprint: Harper Collins
    RRP: $29.99
    Price: $29.99
    ISBN: 9780702259814
    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.

    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
    ISBN: 9781788166546
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: July 2021 New Release

    "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: Allen and Unwin Publishers
    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
  • 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
    ISBN: 9781788311304
    Title: AGENT MOLIERE : The Life of John Cairncross, the Fifth Man of the Cambridge Spy Circle
    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
    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
  • ALEXANDER THE GREAT : His Life and His Mysterious Death
    ALEXANDER THE GREAT : His Life and His Mysterious Death
    ISBN: 9780425286524
    Title: ALEXANDER THE GREAT : His Life and His Mysterious Death
    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
    ISBN: 9780241515037
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Imprint: Penguin Books
    RRP: $19.99
    Price: $19.99
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