Top Picks - Non-Fiction

Nine Nasty Words

$39.99

One of the preeminent linguists of our time examines the realms of language that are considered shocking and taboo in order to understand what imbues curse words with such power–and why we love them so much.

Profanity has always been a deliciously vibrant part of our lexicon, an integral part of being human. In fact, our ability to curse comes from a different part of the brain than other parts of speech–the urgency with which we say “f&*k!” is instead related to the instinct that tells us to flee from danger.

Language evolves with time, and so does what we consider profane or unspeakable. Nine Nasty Words is a rollicking examination of profanity, explored from every angle: historical, sociological, political, linguistic. In a particularly coarse moment, when the public discourse is shaped in part by once-shocking words, nothing could be timelier.

Libertie: A Novel

$39.99

From the critically acclaimed and Whiting Award-winning author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman comes a book about what freedom actually means – and where to find it.

Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Brooklyn after the Civil War, Libertie Sampson was all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, had a vision for their future together: Libertie would go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie, drawn more to music than science, feels stifled by her mother’s choices and is hungry for something else – is there really only one way to have an autonomous life? And she is constantly reminded that, unlike her mother who can pass, Libertie has skin that is too dark.

When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it – for herself and for generations to come.

So You Think You Know What’s Good for You?

$39.99

We all want to be healthier, but do you know what’s good for you?

For over thirty years, Dr Norman Swan has been delivering straight, honest, common-sense health information to ordinary Australians as both a physician and much-loved broadcaster. And when Australia needed clear, scientifically backed COVID-19 facts and advice, it was Norman Swan who stepped up every day to provide the answers we required.

After many years of listening, Norman Swan knows what medical issues people are curious and concerned about. Drawing on the questions he hears time and again, from millennials to baby boomers and all the generations between, So You Think You Know What’s Good For You? is a one-stop handbook that will settle fruitless anxieties and allow people to focus on what matters to them. Replace medical myths, half-truths and misconceptions with the information you need to make better decisions about how to eat and how to live to put your mind at ease and ensure your and your family’s health is the best it can be.

So You Think You Know What’s Good For You? is the new authoritative must-have for every health-conscious Aussie household.

Ombra

$39.99

In Venice you’ll often hear the phrase Andiamo per un ombra? (‘Shall we go for a drink?’). And it’s this ‘ombra’, the Venetian name for a small tumbler of wine, that inspired Carlo Grossi’s restaurant – a modern take on an authentic Italian salumi bar right in the bustling heart of Melbourne.

Any time is a good time for a drink at Ombra, and when you step in the door at 76 Bourke Street you’ll always find a warm and hospitable welcome (and something delicious to eat). It’s an intimate, energetic place where all walks of life can drop by and come together over plates of finely cured meats and cheese, bringing with them a great sense of community – a community that thrives at the bar; that argues, loves and lives between slurps of white wine and Aperol.

The Ombra cookbook brings together the very best of Carlo’s food and hospitality, from lovingly aged meats and homemade sausages to mouth-watering pizzas, all sorts of irresistible bar snacks (cicchetti), hearty evening meals, fermented and pickled vegetables and fruits, and delectable desserts to finish off the evening. With family heirloom recipes and dishes inspired by Carlo’s travels all over Italy, the Italian ideals of preservation and quality produce are on proud display in this collection of familiar and tasty food that’s made for sharing over a lively conversation.

So pull up a seat – it’s time for un ombra!

The Walker

$39.99

There is no such thing as the wrong step; every time we walk we are going somewhere. Moving around the modern city becomes more than from getting from A to B, but a way of understanding who and where you are. In a series of riveting intellectual rambles, Matthew Beaumont, retraces a history of the walker.

From Charles Dicken’s insomniac night rambles to wandering through the faceless, windswept monuments of the neoliberal city, the act of walking is one of escape, self-discovery, disappearances and potential revolution. Pacing stride for stride alongside such literary amblers and thinkers as Edgar Allen Poe, Andrew Breton, H G Wells, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys and Ray Bradbury, Matthew Beaumont explores the relationship between the metropolis and its pedestrian life. He asks can you get lost in a crowd? It is polite to stare at people walking past on the street? What differentiates the city of daylight and the nocturnal metropolis? What connects walking, philosophy and the big toe? Can we save the city – or ourselves – by taking the pavement?

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.

Sweet Dreams

$39.99

Sweet Dreams charts the rise of the New Romantics, a scene that grew out of the remnants of post-punk and developed quickly alongside club culture, ska, electronica, and goth.

One of the most creative entrepreneurial periods since the Sixties, the era had a huge influence on the growth of print and broadcast media, and was arguably one of the most bohemian environments of the late twentieth century. Not only did it visually define the decade, it was the catalyst for the Second British Invasion, when the US charts would be colonised by British pop music – Depeche Mode, Culture Club, Wham!, Soft Cell, Ultravox, Duran Duran, Sade, Spandau Ballet, the Eurythmics and many more – making it one of the most powerful cultural exports since the Beatles.

For a while, Sweet Dreams were made of this.

Ultimate Campsites: Australia

$39.99

In Ultimate Campsites: Australia, Penny Watson maps out 75 of the country’s most wild and wondrous nature-based campgrounds, from the turquoise and white sandy beaches of Queensland and pristine national parks of New South Wales, to the wineries of South Australia and the wilderness areas of Tasmania.

Ever pitched a tent within a stone’s throw of a picturesque waterfall? Ever woken up in a sleeping bag to the gentle sound of waves? Ever seen the sun go down in the desert or fallen asleep in an ancient rainforest? Well, now’s the time to tick off these experiences on your camping bucketlist!

Each state-by-state chapter in Ultimate Campsites: Australia contains detailed maps and the what-when-why-where information about each campground, alongside tips and anecdotes about the surrounding regions. You’ll find special sections dedicated to remote-island campgrounds, as well as sites with great walks and places close by to Indigenous cultural experiences. There are also quick and easy lists for camping with pets, free camping, 4WD access and commercial campgrounds, and handy camping trail itineraries for when you want to tick off two or three campgrounds in one trip.

This book is an essential tool for the glovebox, be it in a 2WD or a motorhome. It’s also the kind of book that will get plenty of wear and tear on the coffee table while you’re planning that next big adventure in Australia’s great outdoors.

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.

1 2 3