Penguin Books Australia

Inside Story

$35.00

His most intimate and epic work to date, Inside Story is the unseen portrait of Martin Amis’ extraordinary life, as a man and a writer. This novel had its birth in a death – that of the author’s closest friend, Christopher Hitchens. We also encounter the vibrant characters who have helped define Martin Amis, from his father Kingsley, to his hero Saul Bellow, from Philip Larkin to Iris Murdoch and Elizabeth Jane Howard, and to the person who captivated his twenties, the alluringly amoral Phoebe Phelps.

What begins as a thrilling tale of romantic entanglements, family and friendship, evolves into a tender, witty exploration of the hardest questions: how to live, how to grieve, and how to die? In his search for answers, Amis surveys the great horrors of the twentieth century, and the still unfolding impact of the 9/11 attacks on the twenty-first – and what all this has taught him about how to be a writer.

The result is one of Amis’ greatest achievements: a love letter to life that is at once exuberant, meditative, heartbreaking and ebullient, to be savoured and cherished for many years to come.

Stalin’s Wine Cellar

$34.99

Order a copy of the book signed by John Baker!

The adventure of a lifetime to buy Stalin’s secret multimillion dollar wine cellar located in Georgia; it is the Raiders of the Lost Ark of wine.

In the late 1990s, John Baker was known as a purveyor of quality rare and old wines. Always entrepreneurial and up for adventure, he was the perfect person for an occasional business partner to approach with a mysterious wine list that was foreign to anything John, or his second-in-command, Kevin Hopko, had ever come across.

The list was discovered to be a comprehensive catalogue of the wine collection of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia. The wine had become the property of the state after the Russian Revolution of 1918, during which Nicholas and his entire family were executed. Now owned by Stalin, the wine was discreetly removed to a remote Georgian winery when Stalin was concerned the advancing Nazi army might overrun Russia, and inevitably loot artefacts and treasures. Half a century later, the wine was rumoured to be hidden underground and off any known map.

John and Kevin embarked on an audacious, colourful and potentially dangerous journey to Georgia to discover if the wines actually existed; if the bottles were authentic and whether the entire collection could be bought and transported to a major London auction house for sale.

Stalin’s Wine Cellar is a wild, sometimes rough ride in the glamorous world of high-end wine. From Double Bay Sydney to Tbilisi Georgia, via the streets of Paris, the vineyards of Bordeaux and iconic Château d’Yquem. A multimillion dollar cellar and a breathtaking collection of wine (and one very expensive broken bottle) is the elusive treasure. The cast of characters include Stalin, Hitler, Tsar Nicholas II and a motley bunch of Georgian businessmen/cowboys toting handguns, in the early days of Russian business development that led to the world of Putin and oligarchs.

Swainston’s Fishes of Australia

$80.00

A fascinating overview of the extraordinary diversity of Australia’s marine and freshwater fishes, illustrated with Roger Swainston’s breathtaking artwork.

Roger Swainston’s breathtaking artwork provides a fascinating overview of the extraordinary diversity of Australia’s marine and freshwater fishes.

More than 1500 remarkable illustrations portray every family of fishes ever recorded from Australian waters. The names of all known species are listed alongside detailed information on the taxonomy and biology of each family.

The Autumn of the Ace

$32.99

Louis de Bernières is the master of historical fiction which makes you both laugh and cry. This book follows an unforgettable family after the Second World War.Daniel Pitt has seen a lot of action. He was an RAF fighter in the First World War and an espionage agent for the SOE in the Second. Now the conflicts he faces are closer to home.Daniel and Rosie’s marriage has fractured beyond repair and Daniel’s relationship with their son, Bertie, has been a failure since Bertie was a small boy. But after his brother Archie’s death, Daniel is keen for new perspectives. He first travels to Peshawar to bury Archie in the place he loved best, and then finds himself in Canada, avoiding his family and friends back in England. But some bonds are hard to break. Daniel and Bertie’s different experiences of war, although devastating, also bring with them the opportunity for the two to reconnect. If only they can find a way to move on from the past.Louis de Bernieres’ new novel is a moving account of an extraordinary life in extraordinary times. Daniel is a flawed but captivating hero, and this coming-of-old-age story illuminates both the effect of two World Wars on a generation and the irrepressible spirit and love that can connect families despite great obstacles.

The Living Sea of Waking Dreams

$32.99

The Living Sea of Waking Dreams is an ember storm of a novel. This is Booker Prize-winning novelist Richard Flanagan at his most moving—and astonishing—best.

In a world of perennial fire and growing extinctions, Anna’s aged mother is dying—if her three children would just allow it. Condemned by their pity to living she increasingly escapes through her hospital window into visions of horror and delight.

When Anna’s finger vanishes and a few months later her knee disappears, Anna too feels the pull of the window. She begins to see that all around her others are similarly vanishing, but no one else notices. All Anna can do is keep her mother alive. But the window keeps opening wider, taking Anna and the reader ever deeper into a strangely beautiful story about hope and love and orange-bellied parrots.

Vesper Flights

$35.00

From the bestselling author of H is for Hawk comes a transcendent collection of essays about the natural world

Animals don’t exist to teach us things, but that is what they have always done, and most of what they teach us is what we think we know about ourselves.

Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best-loved writing along with new pieces covering a thrilling range of subjects. There are essays here on headaches, on catching swans, on hunting mushrooms, on twentieth-century spies, on numinous experiences and high-rise buildings; on nests and wild pigs and the tribulations of farming ostriches. Vesper Flights is a book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make the world around us. Moving and frank, personal and political, it confirms Helen Macdonald as one of this century’s greatest nature writers.

When America Stopped Being Great

$34.99

A comprehensive analysis of the political, economic, cultural and technological factors that contributed to America’s decline and inadvertently paved the way for Trump’s presidency.

The presidency of Donald Trump is commonly seen as an historical accident. In When America Stopped Being Great, Nick Bryant argues that by 2016 it had become almost historically inescapable. In this highly personal account, drawing on decades of covering Washington for the BBC, Bryant shows how the billionaire capitalised on the mistakes of his five predecessors – Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – and how also he became a beneficiary of a broken politics, an iniquitous economy, an ailing media, a facile culture, disruptive new technology and the creation of a modern-day presidency that elevated showmanship over statesmanship. Not only are we starting to see the emergence of a post-American world, Bryant fears we are seeing the emergence of a post-American America.

The history of Trump’s rise is also a history of America’s fall.