Non-Fiction

Phosphorescence

$32.99

A beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find and nurture within ourselves that essential quality of internal happiness – the ‘light within’ that Julia Baird calls ‘phosphorescence’ – which will sustain us even through the darkest times.

Over the last decade, we have become better at knowing what brings us contentment, well-being and joy. We know, for example, that there are a few core truths to science of happiness. We know that being kind and altruistic makes us happy, that turning off devices, talking to people, forging relationships, living with meaning and delving into the concerns of others offer our best chance at achieving happiness. But how do we retain happiness? It often slips out of our hands as quickly as we find it. So, when we are exposed to, or learn, good things, how do we continue to burn with them?

And more than that, when our world goes dark, when we’re overwhelmed by illness or heartbreak, loss or pain, how do we survive, stay alive or even bloom? In the muck and grit of a daily existence full of disappointments and a disturbing lack of control over many of the things that matter most – finite relationships, fragile health, fraying economies, a planet in peril – how do we find, nurture and carry our own inner, living light – a light to ward off the darkness?

Absorbing, achingly beautiful, inspiring and deeply moving, Julia Baird has written exactly the book we need for these times.

 

Top End Girl

$32.99

A deadly memoir about being bold, black and brave in work, life and love.

‘Sharing my story is important … I think it is true that you don’t aspire to be what you cannot see. I would like this book to show you that you can push yourself to do things you never dreamed you would do.’

As a young Larrakia Tiwi girl Miranda Tapsell often felt like an outsider. Growing up, she looked for faces like hers on our screens. There weren’t many. And too often there was a negative narrative around First Nation lives, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women especially. As she got older, Miranda stopped expecting others would help change things and set about doing something herself. Combining her pride in her Aboriginality and passion for romantic comedies with her love of Darwin, the Tiwi Islands and the Top End, Miranda co-wrote, produced and starred in the box office hit Top End Wedding.

In this engaging memoir, Miranda shares the path she took to acting and how her role in The Sapphires and then in Love Child inspired her to create a film about coming back to family and culture. And, it would turn out, that as she was writing her romantic lead she was also conjuring up some magic that saw a real-life love ignite. This deadly, ballad-loving rom-com nerd also asks us all to open our minds and our hearts to the importance of country and culture, In doing so, Miranda shows us how we will all be richer for it.

The Fall of the House of Byron

$32.99

In the early eighteenth century, Newstead Abbey was among the most admired aristocratic homes in England. It was the abode of William, 4th Baron Byron – a popular amateur composer and artist – and his teenage wife Frances. But by the end of the century, the building had become a crumbling and ill-cared-for ruin. Surrounded by wreckage of his inheritance, the 4th Baron’s dissipated son and heir William, 5th Baron Byron – known to history as the ‘Wicked Lord’ – lay on his deathbed alongside a handful of remaining servants and amidst a thriving population of crickets.

This was the home that a small, pudgy boy of ten from Aberdeen – who the world would later come to know as Lord Byron, the Romantic poet, soldier, and adventurer – would inherit in 1798. His family, he would come to learn, had in recent decades become known for almost unfathomable levels of scandal and impropriety, from elopement, murder, and kidnapping to adultery, coercion, and thrilling near-death experiences at sea. Just as it had shocked the society of Georgian London, the outlandish and scandalous story of the Byrons – and the myths that began to rise around it – would his influence his life and poetry for posterity.

The Fall of the House of Byron follows the fates of Lord Byron’s ancestors over three generations in a drama that begins in rural Nottinghamshire and plays out in the gentlemen’s clubs of Georgian London, amid tempests on far-flung seas, and in the glamour of pre-revolutionary France. A compelling story of a prominent and controversial characters, it is a sumptuous family portrait and an electrifying work of social history.

REVIEWS
“[Brand] has combed through [Byron’s] forebears’ correspondence to show that the blend of traits that we call Byronic – violent temper, rapacious sexuality, hunger for danger, gobsmacking solipsism – was an old vintage . . . scrupulously researched” – The Times

Daddy Cool

$32.99

“Every family has secrets. Ours also has an award-winning biographer. My sister’s discoveries astonished me.” – Geraldine Brooks

Who can ever truly know their parents? He was a glamorous heart-throb, a famous American singer performing in front of Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Clark Gable and other stars at the Academy Awards. In the 1930s, his recording of ‘Hawaiian Paradise’ outsold those of Bing Crosby and Guy Lombardo. So how did he become an Australian infantryman, fighting alongside and performing for his fellow Diggers in Palestine, Beirut, Egypt and New Guinea? Why did he leave Hollywood and the ritziest hotels in America for a modest Californian bungalow in suburban Sydney? And what caused him to cease his endless drifting from one woman to another, one marriage to another, and settle with the love of his life?

She was a strong Aussie woman, a talented radio broadcaster and publicity agent. Why did she take a chance on this reckless vagabond and notorious womaniser? Seeking answers, Darleen Bungey turns her biographical skills on her own family, exploring her father’s multi-layered and at times tempestuous life with a truthful eye and loving heart.

REVIEWS
“This memoir does maximum honour to the idea that each family is its own unique story.” Tom Keneally

“Bungey’s writing is as spellbinding and wondrous as the subject she has so bravely, forensically, gracefully explored.” – Trent Dalton

“Unexpected, sweet and raw.” – David Marr

Hidden Hand

$32.99

In this landmark follow-up to the bestselling Silent Invasion, Hidden Hand exposes the Chinese Communist Party’s global program of influence and subversion, and the threat it poses to democracy.

With its enormous economic power, China is now a global political and military force engaged in an ideological struggle with the West. Combining a mass of evidence with unique insights, Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg lay bare the nature and extent of the Chinese Communist Party’s influence operations across the Western world – in politics, business, universities, think tanks and international institutions such as the UN. This new authoritarian power is using democracy to undermine democracy in pursuit of its global ambitions.

Combining meticulous research with compelling prose, Hidden Hand brings to light the Chinese Communist Party’s threats to democratic freedoms and national sovereignty across Europe and North America – and show how we might push back against its autocratic influence.

The Last Lighthouse Keeper

$32.99

A beautiful memoir from John Cook, one of Tasmania’s last kerosene lighthouse keepers. A story about madness and wilderness, shining a light onto the vicissitudes of love and nature.

In Tasmania, John Cook is known as ‘The Keeper of the Flame’. As one of Australia’s longest-serving lighthouse keepers, John spent 26 years tending Tasmania’s well-known kerosene ‘lights’ at Tasman Island, Maatsuyker Island and Bruny Island.

From sleepless nights keeping the lights alive, battling the wind and sea as they ripped at gutters and flooded stores, raising a joey, tending sheep and keeping ducks and chickens, the life of a keeper was one of unexpected joy and heartbreak. But for John, nothing was more heartbreaking than the introduction of electric lights, and the lighthouses that were left empty forever.

Evocatively told, The Last Lighthouse Keeper is a love story between a man and a dying way of life, as well as a celebration of wilderness and solitude.

Body Count: How Climate Change is Killing Us

$32.99

Suddenly, when the country caught fire, people realised what the government has not: that climate change is killing us.

But climate deaths didn’t start in 2019. Medical officers have been warning of a health emergency as temperatures rise for years, and for at least a decade Australians have been dying from the plagues of climate change – from heat, flood, disease, smoke. And now, pandemic.

In this detailed, considered, compassionate book, Paddy Manning paints us the big picture. He revisits some headline events which might have faded in our memory – the Brisbane Floods of 2011; Melbourne’s thunderstorm asthma fatalities of 2016 – and brings to our attention less well-publicised killers: the soil-borne diseases that amplify after a flood; the fact that heat itself has killed more people than all other catastrophes put together. In each case, he has interviewed scientists to explore the link to climate change and asks how – indeed, whether – we can better prepare ourselves in the future.

Most importantly, Manning has spoken to survivors and the families of victims, creating a monument to those we have already lost. Donna Rice and her 13-year-old son Jordan. Alison Tenner. The Buchanan family. These are stories of humans at their most vulnerable, and also often at their best. In extremis, people often act to save their loved ones above themselves. As Body Count shows, we are now all in extremis, and it is time to act.

Respected journalist Paddy Manning tells these stories of tragedy and loss, heroism and resilience, in a book that is both monument and warning.

Read an extract.

PRAISE FOR BODY COUNT

“A climate emergency tour de force” – Dr Bob Brown

“A stunningly powerful call to political leaders everywhere who hear the warnings of the devastating impacts of climate change on health but fail to act” – Dr Helen Haines

Glimpses of Utopia

$32.99

It’s hard to be excited about the future right now. Climate change is accelerating; inequality is growing; politics is polarised; institutions designed to protect us are strained; technology is disrupting the world of work. We need to upgrade the operating systems of our society. Jess Scully asks, ‘What can we do?’ The answer is: plenty!

All over the world, people are refusing the business-as-usual mindset and putting humans back into the civic equation, reimagining work and care, finance and government, urban planning and communication, to make them better and fairer for all. Meet the care workers reclaiming control in India and Lebanon, the people turning slums into safe havens in Kenya and Bangladesh, and champions of people-powered digital democracy in Iceland and Taiwan. There are radical bankers funding renewable energy in the USA and architects redesigning real estate in Australia, new payment systems in Italy and the Philippines that keep money in local communities, and innovators redesigning taxation to cut pollution and incentivise creative solutions.Glimpses of Utopia is a call for optimism.

Humans everywhere are rising up to confront our challenges with creativity, resilience and compassion. Harnessing technology and imagination, we can reshape our world to be fair and sustainable. This book shows us how.

PRAISE FOR GLIMPSES OF UTOPIA

‘Jess Scully has scoured the world for the best ideas to fix this mess we’re in.’ — Jess Hill

‘Glimpses of Utopia provided me the rarest thing in these grim times: hope.’ — Benjamin Law

Last Lions of Africa

$32.99

Stories from the frontline in the battle to save a species.

This is the riveting and illuminating story of Australian writer Anthony Ham’s extraordinary journey into the world of lions. Haunted by the idea that they might disappear from the planet in our lifetime, he ventured deep into the African wilderness, speaking to local tribespeople and activists as well as to rangers, scientists and conservationists about why lions are close to extinction and what can be done to save them.

In The Last Lions of Africa, we walk alongside Anthony as he reveals the latest extraordinary science surrounding the earth’s dwindling lion populations and their often surprising relationship to mankind. As he uncovers heartbreaking and astonishing accounts of individual lions, prides and habitats, each chapter unfolds as both gripping campfire story and deeply researched exploration of larger mysteries in the natural world.

Anthony’s vivid storytelling weaves together natural history, ancient lore and multidisciplinary science to show us a world in which human populations are growing and wild lands are shrinking; where lions and indigenous peoples fight not for sovereignty over the land but for their very existence. In this gripping and crucial book, Anthony Ham brings Africa, its people and its endangered lions to magnificent life and shows the surprising ways those last lions might be saved.

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