Non-Fiction

Agent Sonya: Lover, Mother, Soldier, Spy

$35.00

The incredible story behind the greatest female spy in history from one of Britain’s most acclaimed historians

In a quiet English village in 1942, an elegant housewife emerged from her cottage to go on her usual bike ride. A devoted wife and mother-of-three, the woman known to her neighbours as Mrs Burton seemed to epitomise rural British domesticity.

However, rather than pedalling towards the shops with her ration book, she was racing through the Oxfordshire countryside to gather scientific intelligence from one of the country’s most brilliant nuclear physicists. Secrets that she would transmit to Soviet intelligence headquarters via the radio transmitter she was hiding in her outdoor privy.

Far from a British housewife, ‘Mrs Burton’ – born Ursula Kuczynski, and codenamed ‘Sonya’ – was a German Jew, a dedicated communist, a colonel in Russia’s Red Army, and a highly-trained spy. From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, and helping the Soviet Union build the atom bomb, Sonya conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century. Her story has never been told – until now.

Agent Sonya is the exhilarating account of one woman’s life; a life that encompasses the rise and fall of communism itself, and altered the course of history.

Banks

$39.99

Sir Joseph Banks was a man of passion whose influence spanned the globe. A fearless adventurer, his fascination with beautiful women was only trumped by his obsession with the natural world and his lust for scientific knowledge.

Fabulously wealthy, Banks was the driving force behind monumental voyages and scientific discoveries in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa and the Arctic. In 1768, as a galivanting young playboy, he joined Captain James Cook’s Endeavour expedition to the South Pacific. Financing his own team of scientists and artists, Banks battled high seas, hailstorms, treacherous coral reefs and hostile locals to expand the world’s knowledge of life on distant shores. He returned with thousands of specimens of plants and animals, generating enormous interest in Europe, while the racy accounts of his amorous adventures in Tahiti made him one of the most famous and notorious men in England.

As the longest-serving president of Britain’s Royal Society, Banks was perhaps the most important man in the scientific world for more than half a century. It was Banks, one of the first Europeans to set foot on Australia’s east coast, who advised Britain to establish a remote penal settlement and strategic base at Botany Bay, and he eventually became the foremost expert on everything Australian. Early governors in the colony answered to him as he set about unleashing Australia’s vast potential in agriculture and minerals. For decades, major British voyages of exploration around the globe only sailed with his backing.

By award-winning bestselling writer Grantlee Kieza, Banks is a rich and rollicking biography of one of the most colourful and intriguing characters in the history of exploration.

Chasing the Light

$35.00

A rare, controversial, and totally no holds barred memoir from one of Hollywood’s greats.

In this powerful and evocative memoir, Oscar-winning director and screenwriter, Oliver Stone, takes us right to the heart of what it’s like to make movies on the edge.

In Chasing The Light he writes about his rarefied New York childhood, volunteering for combat, and his struggles and triumphs making such films as Platoon, Midnight Express, and Scarface.

Before the international success of Platoon in 1986, Oliver Stone had been wounded as an infantryman in Vietnam, and spent years writing unproduced scripts while taking miscellaneous jobs and driving taxis in New York, finally venturing westward to Los Angeles and a new life.

Stone, now 73, recounts those formative years with vivid details of the high and low moments: we sit at the table in meetings with Al Pacino over Stone’s scripts for Scarface, Platoon, and Born on the Fourth of July; relive the harrowing demon of cocaine addiction following the failure of his first feature, The Hand (starring Michael Caine); experience his risky on-the-ground research of Miami drug cartels for Scarface; and see his stormy relationship with The Deer Hunter director Michael Cimino. We also learn of the breathless hustles to finance the acclaimed and divisive Salvador; and witness tensions behind the scenes of his first Academy Award-winning film, Midnight Express.

PRAISE FOR CHASING THE LIGHT

“Riveting.” – The New York Times

“Raw, savagely honest, as dramatic as any of his movies.” – Mail on Sunday

“A tremendous book – readable, funny and harrowing.” – The Sunday Times

“He provokes outrage. He stirs up controversy. He has no respect for safe places. Oliver Stone is larger than life. Chasing the Light says it all.” – Sir Anthony Hopkins

Culture is Life

$39.99

Culture is Life is a modern, photographic celebration of the diversity of Indigenous Australians. Pre-eminent Aboriginal photographer Wayne Quilliam has an archive of thousands of images and interviews with Indigenous people across the country.Through the images in this stunning collection, Wayne’s work explores the nuances of Indigenous thinking and identity, and focuses on how the First peoples view their place within the contemporary culture of Australia.

The people featured in Culture is Life include many high-profile Indigenous Australians, as well as community members of different ages from Tasmania to the Torres Strait, offering insights into the dreams of youth and the reflections of Elders. With various feature sections on significant events such as Sorry Day and the All Stars game, this book is an accessible gateway to better understand and appreciate the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, presented as a stunning and contemporary photo book.

Fathoms: the world in the whale

$35.00

‘There is a kind of hauntedness in wild animals today- a spectre related to environmental change … Our fear is that the unseen spirits that move in them are ours. Once more, animals are a moral force.’

When Rebecca Giggs encountered a humpback whale stranded on her local beach in Australia, she began to wonder how the lives of whales might shed light on the condition of our seas. How do whales experience environmental change? Has our connection to these fabled animals been transformed by technology? What future awaits us, and them? And what does it mean to write about nature in the midst of an ecological crisis?

In Fathoms: the world in the whale, Giggs blends natural history, philosophy, and science to explore these questions with clarity and hope. In lively, inventive prose, she introduces us to whales so rare they have never been named; she tells us of the astonishing variety found in whale sounds, and of whale ‘pop’ songs that sweep across hemispheres. She takes us into the deeps to discover that one whale’s death can spark a great flourishing of creatures. We travel to Japan to board whaling ships, examine the uncanny charisma of these magnificent mammals, and confront the plastic pollution now pervading their underwater environment.

In the spirit of Rachel Carson and John Berger, Fathoms is a work of profound insight and wonder that marks the arrival of an essential new voice in narrative nonfiction, and provides us with a powerful, surprising, and compelling view of some of the most urgent issues of our time.

Halliday Wine Companion 2021

$39.99

For over thirty years James Halliday has been Australia’s most respected wine critic, and his Halliday Wine Companion is recognised as the industry benchmark for Australian wine. A best-selling annual, the Halliday Wine Companion is the go-to guide for wine ratings, regions, best varietals, winery reviews and a curated selection of the best wines in Australia. The 2021 edition has been completely revised to bring readers up-to-the-minute information.

In his inimitable style, Halliday shares his extensive knowledge of wine through detailed tasting notes with points, price, value symbol and advice on best-by drinking, as well as each wine’s closure and alcohol content. He provides information about wineries and winemakers, including vineyard sizes, opening times and contact details. The perfect self-purchase or gift for the wine lover in your life.

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster

$39.99

In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical – and accessible – plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe.

Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet’s slide toward certain environmental disaster. In this book, he not only explains why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal.

He gives us a clear-eyed description of the challenges we face. Drawing on his understanding of innovation and what it takes to get new ideas into the market, he describes the areas in which technology is already helping to reduce emissions, where and how the current technology can be made to function more effectively, where breakthrough technologies are needed, and who is working on these essential innovations. Finally, he lays out a concrete, practical plan for achieving the goal of zero emissions-suggesting not only policies that governments should adopt, but what we as individuals can do to keep our government, our employers, and ourselves accountable in this crucial enterprise.

As Bill Gates makes clear, achieving zero emissions will not be simple or easy to do, but if we follow the plan he sets out here, it is a goal firmly within our reach.

It’s Not All Roses

$35.00

Jenny Ferguson’s memoir, It’s Not All Roses takes us on her journey from being born in the NSW countryside in the 1940s through to professional life as a teacher, asserting her independence as a feminist, wife and mother, travelling the world in search of inspiration in both restaurants and gardens.

Jenny faces chauvinism at many points in her life but firmly follows her own path and ignores the doubts and judgement of many. Her passion for cooking develops and with her customary determination, she launches her own restaurant in Sydney, as a self-taught chef. She achieves hard-won success, but after seven years, is disillusioned and weary and closes the restaurant. She moves to a large horse farm and starts an ambitious cottage garden, which eventually attracts thousands of admirers.

Her creativity and individuality shine through as she shares her varied life and reflects back on the people whose understanding and kindness helped her achieve her dreams.

JFK Volume 1

$35.00

The definitive biography of JFK, from Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall

This is the untold story of how the rise of President Kennedy and the rise of the United States mirror one another – from 1917, when Kennedy was born, to 1963, when he died and the US was at the peak of its power. Full of new material from sources including a huge number of Oval Office tapes, a large volume of interviews with Jackie Kennedy, and never-before-seen CIA documents, Harvard professor Logevall focuses on international relations more so than any other biographer of this misunderstood figure. For example, he uncovers detailed material not only on President Kennedy’s father as ambassador to Britain but also on his rapidly-established relationship with Harold Macmillan, and on his and Jackie’s relationships with individuals in the United Kingdom. Peerlessly authoritative, this is a biography for the ages.

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