Top Picks - Non-Fiction

Enid

From the bestselling author of Sheila comes the story of a bewitching Australian socialite who fascinated the world.

Enid Lindeman stood almost six feet tall, with silver hair and flashing turquoise eyes. The girl from Strathfield in Sydney stopped traffic in Manhattan, silenced gamblers in Monte Carlo and dared walk a pet cheetah on a diamond collar through Hyde Park in London.

In early twentieth-century society, when women were expected to be demure and obedient, the granddaughter of Hunter Valley wine pioneer Henry Lindeman waltzed through life to the beat of her own drum. She drove an ambulance in World War I and hid escaped Allied airmen behind enemy lines in World War II, played bridge with Somerset Maugham and entertained Hollywood royalty in the world’s most expensive private home on the Riviera, allegedly paid for by her winnings in a game of cards.

Enid captivated men with her beauty, outlived four husbands-two shipping magnates, a war hero and a larger-than-life Irish earl-spent two great fortunes and earned the nickname ‘Lady Killmore’. From Sydney to New York, London to Paris and Cairo to Kenya, Robert Wainwright tells the fascinating story of a life lived large on the world stage.

The Climate Cure

$24.99

Emergencies test governments, organisations and individuals. Although Australia’s prompt, science-led response to COVID-19 has not been perfect, it has saved tens of thousands of lives. But for decades, governments have ignored, ridiculed or understated the advice of scientists on the climate emergency.

Now, in the wake of the megafires of 2020, a time of reckoning has arrived. In The Climate Cure renowned climate scientist Tim Flannery takes aim at those responsible for the campaign of obfuscation and denial that has already cost so many Australian lives and held back action on climate change.

Flannery demands a new approach, based on the nation’s response to COVID-19, that will lead to effective government policies. The Climate Cure is an action plan for our future. We face a fork in the road, and must decide now between catastrophe and survival.

Old Seems to be Other People

$24.99

In Old Seems to be Other People, Lily Brett’s unique take on getting older is simultaneously hilarious, serious and utterly irresistible.

‘I didn’t want to derail myself by thinking about my vulva and whether it was hospitable enough…’

Most of us would like to live to an old age, but few of us actually want to be old.

In this disarming, intimate and self-deprecating collection of vignettes about aging, Lily Brett gives us snapshots of her life in New York. After avoiding a large dog that turns out to be a fire hydrant, and mistaking a tall, grey-haired woman for her husband, Lily has to concede that her ophthalmologist is right: she does need cataract surgery. She’s transfixed by a speed-dating dinner at a local cafe, and is told they also have speed-dating dinners for seniors. In the crowded Apple store, in Soho, two young Apple assistants decide it will take both of them to help her.

In Old Seems to be Other People, Lily Brett’s unique take on getting older is simultaneously hilarious, serious and utterly irresistible.

Toxic

$24.99

Is Tasmanian salmon one big lie?

In a triumph of marketing, the Tasmanian salmon industry has for decades succeeded in presenting itself as world’s best practice and its product as healthy and clean, grown in environmentally pristine conditions. What could be more appealing than the idea of Atlantic salmon sustainably harvested in some of the world’s purest waters?

But what are we eating when we eat Tasmanian salmon?

Richard Flanagan’s exposé of the salmon farming industry in Tasmania is chilling. In the way that Rachel Carson took on the pesticide industry in her ground-breaking book Silent Spring, Flanagan tears open an industry that is as secretive as its practices are destructive and its product disturbing.

From the burning forests of the Amazon to the petrochemicals you aren’t told about to the endangered species being pushed to extinction you don’t know about; from synthetically pink-dyed flesh to seal bombs . . . If you care about what you eat, if you care about the environment, this is a book you need to read.

Toxic is set to become a landmark book of the twenty-first century.

Toxic

$24.99

Is Tasmanian salmon one big lie?

In a triumph of marketing, the Tasmanian salmon industry has for decades succeeded in presenting itself as world’s best practice and its product as healthy and clean, grown in environmentally pristine conditions. What could be more appealing than the idea of Atlantic salmon sustainably harvested in some of the world’s purest waters?

But what are we eating when we eat Tasmanian salmon?

Richard Flanagan’s exposé of the salmon farming industry in Tasmania is chilling. In the way that Rachel Carson took on the pesticide industry in her ground-breaking book Silent Spring, Flanagan tears open an industry that is as secretive as its practices are destructive and its product disturbing.

From the burning forests of the Amazon to the petrochemicals you aren’t told about to the endangered species being pushed to extinction you don’t know about; from synthetically pink-dyed flesh to seal bombs . . . If you care about what you eat, if you care about the environment, this is a book you need to read.

Toxic is set to become a landmark book of the twenty-first century.

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.

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