Top Picks - Non-Fiction

My Friend Fox

$27.99

The fox sits on the outer waiting for me to discover him because at the moment, I am on the outer too. He watches me. Can you see him? He’s clever at hiding.

Just like fox, Heidi has lived on the outer. The ‘official record’ of her life has been her mental health record: Primary diagnosis – Schizoaffective; Comorbidity – Major depression, juvenile autism, and not her own memories. This is the living, breathing version of Heidi’s mental health file that psych wards, doctors, mental health staff or rehab workers know little about or worse, use as evidence of diagnoses. This is Heidi’s account of what happened, shadowed by the story of a fox who knows he’ll never belong.


Part parable, part memoir, My Friend Fox is a story that might be familiar to some – searching everywhere to finally feel at home. With fox as her guide, Heidi comes to know how to live authentically, and venture into a future of her own making.

Alongside Heidi’s beautifully lyrical words are her exquisite line drawings, making My Friend Fox a book to be read, treasured, and gifted.

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Bush School

$29.99

In 1960, newly minted teacher Peter O’Brien started work as the only teacher at a bush school in Weabonga, two days’ travel by train and mail car from Armidale.

Peter was only 20 years old and had never before lived away from his home in Sydney. He’d had some teaching experience, but nothing to prepare him for the monumental challenge of being solely responsible for the education of 18 students, ranging in age from 5 to 15 years old. With few lesson plans, scant teaching materials, a wide range of curious minds and ages to prepare for, Peter was daunted by the enormity of the task ahead.

Because of Weabonga’s remoteness, the students were already at a disadvantage, but they were keen and receptive and had been blessed with an enthusiastic and committed teacher. Indeed it was the children and their thirst for learning who kept Peter afloat during the early days of shockingly inadequate living conditions, a deficient diet and the terrible loneliness he felt being isolated so far from family, friends and his burgeoning romance.

Bush School is an engaging and fascinating memoir of how a young man rose to a challenge most would shrink from today. It tells movingly of the resilience and spirit of children, the importance of learning and the transformative power of teaching.

Another Now

$29.99

What would a fair and equal society actually look like? The world-renowned economist and bestselling author Yanis Varoufakis presents his radical and subversive answer.

Imagine it is 2025. Years earlier, in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, a global hi-tech uprising has birthed a post-capitalist world in which work, money, land, digital networks and politics have been truly democratised.

In a thought-experiment of startling originality, world-famous economist Yanis Varoufakis offers a glimpse of this alternative reality. Through the eyes of three characters – a libertarian ex-banker, a Marxist-feminist and a maverick technologist – we see the genesis of a world without commercial banks or stock markets, where companies are owned equally by all staff, basic income is guaranteed, global imbalances and climate change cancel each other out, and housing is socialised.

Is a liberal socialism feasible? Can prosperity grow without costing the Earth? Are we able to build the good society, despite our flaws?

As radical in its form as in its vision, Another Now blends Platonic dialogue with speculative fiction to show that there is an alternative to capitalism, while also confronting us with the greatest question: how far are we willing to go to bring it about?

Why The Germans Do It Better

$29.99

A provocative and entertaining exploration of the country that Britons love to hate by one of our most respected journalists.

Emerging from a collection of disparate city states 150 years ago, no other country has had as turbulent a history as Germany or enjoyed so much prosperity in such a short time frame. Today, as much of the world succumbs to authoritarianism and democracy is undermined from its heart, Germany stands as a bulwark for decency and stability.

Mixing personal journey and anecdote with compelling empirical evidence, this is a searching and entertaining exploration of the country many in the West still love to hate. Raising important questions for our post-Brexit landscape, Kampfner asks why Germany has become a model for others to emulate, while Britain still languishes in wartime nostalgia and fails to tackle contemporary challenges. Part memoir, part history, part travelogue, Why the Germans Do It Better is a rich and witty portrait of an eternally fascinating country.

The Glamour Boys

$29.99

We like to think we know the story of how Britain went to war with Germany in 1939, but there is one chapter that has never been told. In the early 1930s, a group of young, queer British MPs visited Berlin on a series of trips that would change the course of the Second World War.

Having witnessed the Nazis’ brutality first-hand, these men were some of the first to warn Britain about Hitler, repeatedly speaking out against their government’s policy of appeasing him. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain hated them. Branding them ‘the glamour boys’ to insinuate something untoward about them, he had their phones tapped and threatened them with deselection and exposure.

At a time when even the suggestion of homosexuality could land you in prison, the bravery these men were forced to show in their personal lives gave them extraordinary courage in public. Undaunted, they refused to be silenced and when war came, they enlisted. Four of them died in action. And without them, Britain would never have faced down the Nazis.

Growing Up Disabled in Australia

$29.99

A rich collection of writing from those negotiating disability in their lives – a group whose voices are not heard often enough.

‘My body and its place in the world seemed normal to me. Why wouldn’t it?’
‘I didn’t grow up disabled; I grew up with a problem. A problem that those around me wanted to fix.’
‘We have all felt that uncanny sensation that someone is watching us.’
‘The diagnosis helped but it didn’t fix everything.’
‘Don’t fear the labels.’
‘That identity, which I feared for so long, is now one of my greatest qualities.’
‘I had become disabled – not just by my disease, but by the way the world treated me. When I found that out, everything changed.’

One in five Australians has a disability. And disability presents itself in many ways. Yet disabled people are still underrepresented in the media and in literature. In Growing Up Disabled in Australia – compiled by writer and appearance activist Carly Findlay OAM – more than forty writers with a disability or chronic illness share their stories, in their own words. The result is illuminating.

Contributors include senator Jordon Steele-John, paralympian Isis Holt, Dion Beasley, Sam Drummond, Astrid Edwards, Sarah Firth, El Gibbs, Eliza Hull, Gayle Kennedy, Carly-Jay Metcalfe, Fiona Murphy, Jessica Walton and many more.

Growing Up Disabled in Australia is the fifth book in the highly acclaimed, bestselling Growing Up series.

Comrade Aeon’s Field Guide to Bangkok

$29.99

The secrets hidden in an overgrown plot of land in the centre of Bangkok reveal the politics, society and culture of contemporary Thailand; in an authentic and luminous debut novel for readers of Jennifer Egan and Jonathan Coe.

In Bangkok, a plot of land behind a city slum resonates with the hopes, dreams and fears of the local community. For Comrade Aeon, a homeless insurgent who fled to the jungle after a military crackdown on student protestors in 1976, it’s a verdant refuge and the place from which he documents the underbelly of the city. For Ida Barnes, an ex-pat whose husband may be cheating on her, it’s an inviting retreat. For Witty, an urbane property developer married to one of the city’s most famous movie stars, it’s a ‘Bangkok Unicorn’ – that rare chance to make his mark on the Bangkok skyline. But the slum-dwelling spirits who guard its secrets know that it holds a much darker history, that it masks the silent politics at the heart of Thai culture.

Written with a tender compassion for Bangkok’s people and customs, Comrade Aeon’s Field Guide to Bangkok is a masterful, propulsive debut which introduces a fresh new talent in fiction.