Top Picks - Non-Fiction

A Bigger Picture

$55.00

Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s 29th prime minister, tells the remarkable story of his life in this lively political page-turner.

When Malcolm Turnbull took over the nation’s top job there was a sense of excitement in Australia. Sky-high opinion polls followed as the political outsider with a successful business, legal and media career took charge. The infighting that had dogged politics for the best part of a decade looked to be over. But a right-wing insurgency brutally cut down Turnbull’s time in office after three years, leaving many Australians asking, ‘Why?’

Exceptionally candid and compelling, A Bigger Picture is the definitive narrative of Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministership. He describes how he legalised same-sex marriage, established Snowy Hydro 2.0, stood up to Donald Trump, and many more achievements – remarkable in their pace and significance, and delivered in the teeth of so much opposition. But it’s far more than just politics. Turnbull’s life has been filled with colourful characters and controversies, success and failure. From his early years in Sydney, growing up with a single father, to defending ‘Spycatcher’ Peter Wright against the UK government; the years representing Kerry Packer, leading the Republican Movement and making millions in business; and finally toppling Tony Abbott to become prime minister of Australia. For the first time he tells it all – in his own words.

With revelatory insights on the workings of Canberra and the contentious events of Turnbull’s life, A Bigger Picture explores the strengths and vulnerabilities of one of Australia’s best-known and most dynamic business and political leaders. Lyrically written in highly readable and entertaining prose, this is a genuine page-turner that’s not just for political junkies.

A Promised Land

$65.00

A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency-a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective-the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

After The Australian Ugliness

$90.00

Robin Boyd’s The Australian Ugliness was published in 1960 and quickly took its place as a key work of architectural and cultural critique in the nation’s canon. This new book responds to Boyd’s most well-known text with new critical and creative writing by authors from a range of disciplines. Through different styles and approaches, each author makes Boyd’s work live in the contemporary moment, exploring enduring questions about the elusive, sometimes lucky and sometimes ugly character of Australia today.

Richly illustrated with new photography by David Wadelton and drawings by Oslo Davis, After The Australian Ugliness is a provocative reflection on how Australia sees itself today, and how others see it.

An Australian Garden

$70.00

The far south coast of New South Wales is a magical place, with remote coastlines, sheltered lagoons and pristine hinterland meeting mountain ranges. It was also once an area partly depleted by logging and long-term agricultural use. Some forty years ago, renowned architect Philip Cox and a group of like-minded friends purchased 80 hectares as a private retreat and a conservation exercise. Applying his own aesthetic principles of vista, light, texture, colour and mass, Philip worked with nature to reveal and enhance the bushland in an enticing way. He replanted trees in denuded areas, cleared scrubby undergrowth in others and added lakes and ponds. Carefully, he curated extensive walks through bush and gullies, along the coast and river, offering wondrous experiences. These walks are punctuated with drama and romance as you enter various garden rooms and encounter sculptures, waterlily-adorned lakes, ponds and art-filled pavilions. As the world becomes more global, maintaining indigenous Australian landscapes and gardens becomes important. This book captures a unique vision of a wild landscape and gives new meaning to the concept of creating an Australian garden.

Australia: The Cookbook

$65.00

A celebration of Australian cuisine like never before — 350 recipes showcasing the rich diversity of its landscapes and its people.

Australia is a true melting pot of cultures and this is reflected in its cooking. As an island of indigenous peoples alongside a global panoply of immigrants with different culinary influences and traditions, its foodways are ripe for exploration. As well as the regional flora and fauna that make up bush tucker, there are dishes from all over the world that have been adopted and adapted to become Australia’s own — making this recipe collection relevant to home cooks everywhere.

History of the World in 100 Animals

$49.99

A powerful and fascinating insight into the 100 animals – from the blue whale to the mosquito – that have had the biggest influence on humanity through the ages.

We are not alone. We are not alone on the planet. We are not alone in the countryside. We are not alone in cities. We are not alone in our homes. We are humans and we love the idea of our uniqueness. But the fact is that we humans are as much members of the animal kingdom as the cats and dogs we surround ourselves with, the cows and the fish we eat, and the bees who pollinate so many of our food-plants.

In The History of the World in 100 Animals, award-winning author Simon Barnes selects the 100 animals who have had the greatest impact on humanity and on whom humanity has had the greatest effect. He shows how we have domesticated animals for food and for transport, and how animals powered agriculture, making civilisation possible. A species of flea came close to destroying human civilisation in Europe, while the slaughter of a species of bovines was used to create one civilisation and destroy another. He explains how pigeons made possible the biggest single breakthrough in the history of human thought. In short, he charts the close relationship between humans and animals, finding examples from around the planet that bring the story of life on earth vividly to life, with great insight and understanding.

The heresy of human uniqueness has led us across the millennia along the path of destruction. This book, beautifully illustrated throughout, helps us to understand our place in the world better, so that we might do a better job of looking after it. That might save the polar bears, the modern emblem of impending loss and destruction. It might even save ourselves.

Ken Done

$80.00

Is it not time we placed Done into the context of Streeton and Roberts, Olsen and Nolan – all of whom lived by and painted the harbour? – Glenn Barkley, curator and artist

At once ad man and artist, designer and entrepreneur, Ken Done has achieved what few others have. His signature style has graced ad campaigns and art cars, magazine covers and doona covers, public spaces and landmark cultural events, but it is his unabating passion for painting that sustains him. For more than forty years, Done has chronicled the Australian way, documenting how it feels to be Australian with an exuberance that is immediately recognisable.

Ken Done: Art Design Life documents Done’s expansive art and design practice over four decades and provides a fascinating insight into the artist and his oeuvre. The book features both early and lesser-known works, as well as the iconic paintings of Sydney Harbour, the Outback and the reef. It opens an extensive archive, providing readers in-depth access to the catalogue of fashion and homewares, and the designs that came to define an era.

This book celebrates the man, his work and his enduring legacy, which has captured hearts around the world.

Kerstin Thompson Architects

$59.99

For over twenty-five years, Kerstin Thompson has explored how architecture can respond to local conditions to positively shape lives and communities. By harnessing the potential for beauty and delight and a sensitivity to landscape, each project resonates with a spirit of generosity and community value.

Kerstin Thompson Architects: Encompassing people and place takes readers on an immersive journey into the very heart of this extraordinary body of work, and documents how, over time, the practice has shifted its focus from individual housing to larger-scale public projects created by a collaborative and talented team. With high-quality images, sketches and drawings selected from Thompson’s archive and discursive texts, this monograph provides a deep insight into not only what architects do – the buildings they make – but also why and how they design.

Kim Gordon: No Icon

$80.00

As cofounder of legendary rock band Sonic Youth, best-selling author, and celebrated artist, Kim Gordon is one of the most singular and influential figures of the modern era.

This personally curated scrapbook includes a foreword by Carrie Brownstein and is an edgy and evocative portrait of Gordon’s life, art, and style. Spanning from her childhood on Californian surf beaches in the ’60s and ’70s to New York’s downtown art and music scene in the ’80s and ’90s where Sonic Youth was born. Through unpublished personal photographs, magazine and newspaper clippings, fashion editorials, and advertising campaigns, interspersed with Gordon’s song lyrics, writings, artworks, private objects, and ephemera, this book demonstrates how Kim Gordon has been a role model for generations of women and men.

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