1944, in the ruined wine cellar of a Tuscan villa, as bombs fall around them, two strangers meet and share an extraordinary evening. Ulysses Temper is a young British soldier, Evelyn Skinner is a sexagenarian art historian and possible spy. She has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the wreckage and relive memories of the time she encountered EM Forster and had her heart stolen by an Italian maid in a particular Florentine room with a view.
Evelyn’s talk of truth and beauty plants a seed in Ulysses’ mind that will shape the trajectory of his life – and of those who love him – for the next four decades. Moving from the Tuscan Hills and piazzas of Florence, to the smog of London’s East End, Still Life is a sweeping, joyful novel about beauty, love, family and fate.
Love in Five Acts
Five women attempt the impossible – to love, to be strong, and to stay true to themselves.
Bookseller Paula has lost a child, and a husband. Where will she find her happiness? Fiercely independent Judith thinks more of horses than men, but that doesn’t stop her looking for love online. Brida is a writer with no time to write, until she faces a choice between her work and her family. Abandoned by the “perfect” man, Malika struggles for recognition from her parents. Her sister Jorinde, an actor, is pregnant for a third time, but how can she provide for her family alone?
Love in Five Acts explores what is left to five women when they have fulfilled their roles as wives, mothers, friends, lovers, sisters and daughters. As teenagers they experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall, but freedom brings with it another form of pressure: the pressure of choice. Punchy and entirely of the moment, Love in Five Acts engages head-on with what it is to be a woman in the twenty-first century.
China in the nineteenth century: a proud and ancient empire forbidden to foreigners. The West desires Chinese tea above all other things but lacks the silver to buy it. Instead, western adventurers resort to smuggling opium in exchange. The Qing Emperor will not allow his people to sink into addiction. Viceroy Lin is sent to the epicentre of the opium trade, Canton, to stop it. The Opium Wars begin – heralding a period of bloody military defeats, reparations, and one-sided treaties which will become known as the Century of Humiliation.
From Hong Kong to Beijing to the Great Wall, from the exotic wonders of the Summer Palace and the Forbidden City, to squalid village huts, the dramatic struggle rages across the Celestial Kingdom. This is the story of the Chinese people, high and low, and the Westerners who came to exploit the riches of their ancient land and culture. We meet a young village wife struggling with the rigid traditions of her people, Manchu empresses and warriors, powerful eunuchs, fanatical Taiping and Boxer Rebels, savvy Chinese pirates, artists, concubines, scoundrels and heroes, well-intentioned missionaries and the rapacious merchants, diplomats and soldiers of the West. Fortunes will rise and fall, loves will be gained and lost.
This is an unforgettable tale told from both sides of the divide. The clash of worldviews, of culture and heritage, is shown in a kaleidoscope of jaw-dropping set pieces. China is a feat of the imagination that will enthral, instruct and excite, and show us how things once were, and how the turmoil of the nineteenth century led to modern China’s revolution and rebirth.
The Girl Remains
On the evening of September 22, 1998, three teenage girls venture out for a night of mischief in the coastal town of Blairgowrie. But only two return . . .
For over twenty years the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Cecilia May remains a baffling cold case – until human bones are discovered on an isolated beach.
Now it’s up to Detective Emmett Corban and his team to dig up decades of trauma, and find the missing piece of an investigation that’s as complex as it is tragic.
Does the answer lie with the only suspect, a registered sex offender who confessed, then immediately provided a rock-solid alibi? Or with the two teen survivors – neither of whom can keep their story straight?
But the police aren’t the only ones hunting for the truth- someone else has arrived in the seaside town. And she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to find her own version of justice…
Before You Knew My Name
This is not just another novel about a dead girl.
When she arrived in New York on her 18th birthday carrying nothing but $600 cash and a stolen camera, Alice Lee was looking for a fresh start. Now, just one month later, she is the city’s latest Jane Doe, an unidentified murder victim.
Ruby Jones is also trying to start over; she travelled halfway around the world only to find herself lonelier than ever. Until she finds Alice’s body by the Hudson River.
From this first, devastating encounter, the two women form an unbreakable bond. Alice is sure that Ruby is the key to solving the mystery of her life – and death. And Ruby – struggling to forget what she saw that morning – finds herself unable to let Alice go. Not until she is given the ending she deserves.
Before You Knew My Name doesn’t ask whodunnit. Instead, this powerful, hopeful novel asks: Who was she? And what did she leave behind? The answers might surprise you.
The woman moves through the city, her city, on her own.
She moves along its bright pavements; she passes over its bridges, through its shops and pools and bars. She slows her pace to watch a couple fighting, to take in the sight of an old woman in a waiting room; pauses to drink her coffee in a shaded square.
Sometimes her steps take her to her grieving mother, sealed off in her own solitude. Sometimes they take her to the station, where the trains can spirit her away for a short while. But in the arc of a year, as one season gives way to the next, transformation awaits. One day at the sea, both overwhelmed and replenished by the sun’s vital heat, her perspective will change forever.
A rare work of fiction, Whereabouts first written in Italian and then translated by the author herself brims with the impulse to cross barriers. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement. A dazzling evocation of a city, its captures a woman standing on one of life’s thresholds, reflecting on what has been lost and facing, with equal hope and rage, what may lie ahead.
Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (River of Dreams)
Gundagai, 1852: The powerful Murrumbidgee River surges through town leaving death and destruction in its wake. It is a stark reminder that while the river can give life, it can just as easily take it away. Wagadhaany is one of the lucky ones. She survives. But is her life now better than the fate she escaped?
Forced to move away from her miyagan, she walks through each day with no trace of dance in her step, her broken heart forever calling her back home to Gundagai. When she meets Wiradyuri stockman Yindyamarra, Wagadhaany’s heart slowly begins to heal. But still, she dreams of a better life, away from the degradation of being owned. She longs to set out along the river of her ancestors, in search of lost family and country. Can she find the courage to defy the White man’s law? And if she does, will it bring hope … or heartache?
Set on timeless Wiradyuri country, where the life-giving waters of the rivers can make or break dreams, and based on devastating true events, Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (River of Dreams) is an epic story of love, loss and belonging.
The Perfect Lie
He jumped to his death in front of witnesses. Now his wife is charged with murder. Five years ago, Erin Kennedy moved to New York following a family tragedy. She now lives happily with her detective husband in the scenic seaside town of Newport, Long Island. When Erin answers the door to Danny’s police colleagues one morning, it’s the start of an ordinary day. But behind her, Danny walks to the window of their fourth-floor apartment and jumps to his death. Eighteen months later, Erin is in court, charged with her husband’s murder. Over that year and a half, Erin has learned things about Danny she could never have imagined. She thought he was perfect. She thought their life was perfect. But it was all built on the perfect lie.
Circus of Wonders
It is 1865 and in a coastal village in southern England, Nell picks violets for a living. Set apart from her community because of the birthmarks that pepper her skin, Nell keeps her head down and her sights small: her world is her beloved brother and devotion to the sea. Then, Jasper Jupiter’s Circus of Wonders arrives on the outskirts of the village. Nell keeps her distance, but the night after the circus has apparently left, she is kidnapped. Her father has sold her, promising Jasper Jupiter his very own leopard girl. It is the greatest betrayal of Nell’s life, but as she comes to know the other performers and Jasper’s quieter, gentler brother Toby, Nell begins to wonder if becoming part of the Circus of Wonders is the best thing that has ever happened to her.
Toby has always stuck to his brother’s side: the shadow to his brother’s luminous light. When Jasper served in the Crimean War, Toby followed with his camera, and they share a secret – hidden amongst the carnage of those battlefields – which binds them together. But Toby is captivated by Nell. She has become Nellie Moon, the star of Jasper’s show. In London she is written up in the papers as the eighth wonder of the world, figurines are cast in her image, and crowds rush to watch her soar through the air. But who gets to tell Nell’s story? And as she falls in love with Toby, can they plot their escape? As the world Jasper has created threatens to crash to the ground around him, Toby must decide where – finally – his loyalty lies.
This is a novel with a vivid, brilliant cast of characters and themes of creativity and ownership, beauty and power, success and crashing failure, and the Victorian obsession with spectacle.
The Road Trip
Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend’s wedding in rural Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed. But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs. The driver is none other than Addie’s ex, Dylan, who she’s avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier. Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they’ve totalled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with four hundred miles ahead of them, Dylan and Addie can’t avoid confronting the very messy history of their relationship… Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly… is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?
The Shadow of Gods
A century has passed since the gods fought and drove themselves to extinction. Now only their bones remain, promising great power to those brave enough to seek them out. As whispers of war echo across the land of Vigrio, fate follows in the footsteps of three warriors: a huntress on a dangerous quest, a noblewoman pursuing battle fame, and a thrall seeking vengeance among the mercenaries known as the Bloodsworn. All three will shape the fate of the world as it once more falls under the shadow of the gods. Set in a brand-new, Norse-inspired world, and packed with myth, magic and bloody vengeance, The Shadow of Gods begins an epic new fantasy saga from bestselling author, John Gwynne.
St Christopher’s College, Cambridge, is a closed world to most. For Mariana Andros – a group therapist struggling through her private grief – it’s where she met her late husband. For her niece, Zoe, it’s the tragic scene of her best friend’s murder. As memory and mystery entangle Mariana, she finds a society full of secrets, which has been shocked to its core by the murder of one of its own. Because behind its idyllic beauty is a web of jealousy and rage which emanates from an exclusive set of students known only as The Maidens. A group under the sinister influence of the enigmatic professor Edward Fosca. A man who seems to know more than anyone about the murders – and the victims. And the man who will become the prime suspect in Mariana’s investigation – an obsession which will unravel everything… The Maidens is a story of love, and of grief – of what makes us who we are, and what makes us kill.
Darwin, Summer, 1963. The humidity sat heavy and thick over the town as Senior Constable Ned Potter looked down at a body that had been dragged from the shallow marshland. He didn’t need a coroner to tell him this was a bad death. He didn’t know then that this was only the first. Or that he was about to risk everything looking for answers.
Late one night, Charlotte Clark drove the long way home, thinking about how stuck she felt, a 23-year-old housewife, married to a cowboy who wasn’t who she thought he was. The days ahead felt suffocating, living in a town where she was supposed to keep herself nice and wait for her husband to get home from the pub. Charlotte stopped the car, stepped out to breathe in the night air and looked out over the water to the tangled mangroves. She never heard a sound before the hand was around her mouth.
Both Charlotte and Ned are about to learn that the world they live in is full of secrets and that it takes courage to fight for what is right. But there are people who will do anything to protect themselves and sometimes courage is not enough to keep you safe.
The Missing Sister (#7 Seven Sisters)
They’ll search the world to find her.
The six D’Aplièse sisters have each been on their own incredible journey to discover their heritage, but they still have one question left unanswered: who and where is the seventh sister? They only have one clue – an image of a star-shaped emerald ring. The search to find the missing sister will take them across the globe – from New Zealand to Canada, England, France and Ireland – uniting them all in their mission to complete their family at last. In doing so, they will slowly unearth a story of love, strength and sacrifice that began almost one hundred years ago, as other brave young women risk everything to change the world around them.
I drove myself out of New York City where a man shot himself in front of me. He was a gluttonous man and when his blood came out it looked like the blood of a pig. That’s a cruel thing to think, I know. He did it in a restaurant where I was having dinner with another man, another married man. Do you see how this is going? But I wasn’t always that way. I am depraved. I hope you like me.
At thirty-six, Joan knows more than most of the price of pleasure, the quotidian horror of being a woman at the mercy of a man. She knows men, too their penchant for cruelty, the violence she has absorbed over decades that now threatens to burst from her own hands.
Reeling from the public suicide of a former lover, Joan abandons her apartment in New York and drives west for California, in search of the one person who might help her unravel the past. It’s here, consumed by a familial trauma that slips through the generations, that she finds herself part of a disparate LA community, while coyotes roam the sweltering hills above the city, poised for the scent of fresh blood.
In a haunting, visceral novel of women surviving men, Lisa Taddeo has produced one of the most compelling anti-heroines in fiction. Seductive and relentless, Animal draws readers closer to Joan and the brutal mystery of her past, holding them captive until the very last page.
In this stunning collection Tony Birch invites the reader into a tender conversation with those he loves – and has loved – the most. He also challenges the past to speak up by interrogating the archive, including documents from his own family history, highlighting forcefully the ways in which the personal is also intensely political.
Divided into three sections – Blood, Skin and Water – the poems in Whisper Songs address themes of loss (of people and place), the legacies of colonial history and violence, and the relationships between Country and memory.
Whisper Songs reveals Birch at his lyrical and intimate best.
‘There is a connection, Jack. Find it, or you’ll never find him.’
Police are baffled by several deaths, each unique and bizarre in their own way – and shockingly brutal. Scotland Yard sends in its crack DCI, the enigmatic Jack Hawksworth, who wastes no time in setting up Operation Mirror. His chief wants him to dismiss any plausibility of a serial killer before the media gets on the trail.
With his best investigative team around him, Jack resorts to some unconventional methods to disprove or find a link between the gruesome deaths. One involves a notorious serial killer from his past, and the other, a smart and seductive young journalist who’ll do anything to catch her big break.
Discovering he’s following the footsteps of a vigilante and in a race against time, Jack will do everything it takes to stop another killing – but at what personal cost for those he holds nearest and dearest?
By the bestselling author of Bye Bye Baby and Beautiful Death comes this heart-stopping new thriller that questions whether one life is worth more than another.
One Hundred Days
One hundred days. It’s no time at all, she tells me. But she’s not the one waiting.
In a heady whirlwind of independence, lust and defiance, sixteen-year-old Karuna falls pregnant. Not on purpose, but not entirely by accident, either. Incensed, Karuna’s mother, already over-protective, confines her to their fourteenth-storey housing-commission flat, to keep her safe from the outside world – and make sure she can’t get into any more trouble.
Stuck inside for endless hours, Karuna battles her mother and herself for a sense of power in her own life, as a new life forms and grows within her. As the due date draws ever closer, the question of who will get to raise the baby – who it will call Mum – festers between them.
One Hundred Days is a fractured fairytale exploring the fault lines between love and control. At times tense and claustrophobic, it is nevertheless brimming with humour, warmth and character. It is a magnificent new work from one of Australia’s most celebrated writers.
Off the Charts
Showering in gumboots. Bomb threats. Tables of turds. Welcome to the life of a nurse.
Nurses are our number-one unsung heroes. They’re the ones in the trenches mopping up bodily fluids, holding hands, keeping things ticking – and always with a smile on their face. In Off the Charts, Australia’s favourite straight-talking nurse and comedian Georgie Carroll lets you peek behind the curtains to see the inner workings of a hospital. Taking us ward to ward, limb to limb, stitch to stitch, Georgie does not hold back as she shows us the human fragility and fierceness she sees every day at work. This is a laugh-out-loud funny celebration of the big-hearted, no-bullsh*t nurses who, sooner or later, play a huge role in all of our lives.
The Kindness Revolution
Revolutions never start at the top. If we dare to dream of a more loving country – kinder, more compassionate, more cooperative, more respectful, more inclusive, more egalitarian, more harmonious, less cynical – there’s only one way to start turning that dream into a reality: each of us must live as if this is already that country.
Following the ravages of 2020’s bushfires and pandemic on our mental and emotional health and on the economy, Hugh Mackay reflects on the challenges we faced during that year of upheaval and the questions many of us have asked. What really matters to me? Am I living the kind of life I want? What sort of society do I want us to become?
Urging us not to let those questions go, and pointing to our inspiring displays of kindness and consideration, our personal sacrifices for the common good and our heightened appreciation of the value of local neighbourhoods and communities, he asks in turn: ‘Could we become renowned as a loving country, rather than simply a “lucky” one?’
Absorbing, wise and inspiring, The Kindness Revolution is a distillation of Hugh Mackay’s life’s work. Written for our times, this truly remarkable book shows how crises and catastrophes often turn out to be the making of us.
A roadmap of recovery and transformation, this is the story of becoming heroic in a culture which doesn’t see heroism in the shape of a girl.
At the age of twenty, after a traumatic sexual assault trial, Kathryn Heyman ran away from her life and became a deckhand on a fishing trawler in the Timor Sea.
Coming from a family of poverty and violence, she had no real role models, no example of how to create or live a decent life, how to have hope or expectations. But she was a reader. She understood story, and the power of words to name the world. This was to become her salvation.
After one wild season on board the Ocean Thief, the only girl among tough working men, facing storms, treachery and harder physical labour than she had ever known, Heyman was transformed. Finally, she could name the abuses she thought had broken her, could see ‘all that she had been blind to, simply to survive’. More than that, after a period of enforced separation from the world, she was able to return to it newly formed, determined to remake the role she’d been born into.
A reflection on the wider stories of class, and of growing up female with all its risks and rewards, Fury is a memoir of courage and determination, of fighting back and finding joy.
House of Kwa
The dragon circles and swoops … a tiger running alone in the night …
Mimi Kwa ignored the letter for days. When she finally opened it, the news was so shocking her hair turned grey. Why would a father sue his own daughter? The collision was over the estate of Mimi’s beloved Aunt Theresa, but its seed had been sown long ago. In an attempt to understand how it had come to this, Mimi unspools her rich family history in House of Kwa.
One of a wealthy silk merchant’s 32 children, Mimi’s father, Francis, was just a little boy when the Kwa family became caught up in the brutal and devastating Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II. Years later, he was sent to study in Australia by his now independent and successful older sister Theresa. There he met and married Mimi’s mother, a nineteen-year-old with an undiagnosed, chronic mental illness. Soon after, ‘tiger’ Mimi arrived, and her struggle with the past – and the dragon – began …
Riveting, colourful and often darkly humorous, House of Kwa is an epic family drama spanning four generations, and an unforgettable story about how one woman finds the courage to stand up for her freedom and independence, squaring off against the ghosts of the past and finally putting them to rest. Throughout, her inspiration is Francis’s late older sister, the jet-setting, free-spirited Aunt Theresa, whose extraordinary life is a beacon of hope in the darkness.
The CSIRO Women’s Health & Nutrition Guide
Associate Professor Beverly Muhlhausler, Dr Jane Bowen and Gemma Williams
The CSIRO Women’s Health & Nutrition Guide offers research-based advice from the CSIRO on the critical role of lifelong healthy eating as the cornerstone of overall good health for women. While body weight is one risk factor for developing chronic diseases later in life, being active, eating well, not smoking and avoiding or limiting alcohol are also very important factors for maximising health and avoiding disease. Here you will find advice on lifestyle practices to support good health, from puberty through to pregnancy and menopause, as well as 80 delicious recipes, all of which are: – quick and easy to prepare – suitable for the entire family – nutritionally complete. This is the essential guide to what women can do throughout their life, to make a difference to their long-term health and wellbeing.
Wherever there is human judgment, there is noise.
Imagine that two doctors in the same city give different diagnoses to identical patients – or that two judges in the same court give different sentences to people who have committed matching crimes. Now imagine that the same doctor and the same judge make different decisions depending on whether it is morning or afternoon, or Monday rather than Wednesday, or they haven’t yet had lunch. These are examples of noise: variability in judgments that should be identical.
In Noise, Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein show how noise produces errors in many fields, including in medicine, law, public health, economic forecasting, forensic science, child protection, creative strategy, performance review and hiring. And although noise can be found wherever people are making judgments and decisions, individuals and organizations alike commonly ignore its impact, at great cost.
Packed with new ideas, and drawing on the same kind of sharp analysis and breadth of case study that made Thinking, Fast and Slow and Nudge international bestsellers, Noise explains how and why humans are so susceptible to noise and bias in decision-making. We all make bad judgments more than we think. With a few simple remedies, this groundbreaking book explores what we can do to make better ones.
Still Life Drawing
Still Life Drawing is a creative drawing activity book filled with quick, achievable and fun exercises from graphic artist and designer Alice Oehr. It takes inspiration from the traditions of still life drawing, helping you to create artworks with what you have on hand and encouraging you to slow down and notice the world around you.
Since the dawn of time, humans have drawn the items that surround them. Ancient Roman paintings of fruits and flowers kicked off a tradition adopted by artists from Caravaggio to Van Gogh. Still life requires us to pay attention to often-overlooked details – an art in itself. Colours, patterns and textures are everywhere, and the shape of the coffee cup on our desk or the orange of a pumpkin at the market can spark all kinds of ideas.
With Still Life Drawing learn to:
- Use uncomplicated techniques to represent objects on paper;
- Experiment with pattern and colour:
- Create texture with different mediums: collage, paint or even pixels;
- Take the time to appreciate the small things and build creativity into your routines;
- And of course use artistic license and find your own style.
So many people say they can’t draw, but everyone can. Still Life Drawing reminds us that putting pen to paper is a simple pleasure, available to anyone. And when it comes to combining colours, playing with pattern and exploring shapes, there are no rules. Taking inspiration from the objects we encounter is a great place to start, and can help us to find creativity and meaning in our everyday lives.
My Dog Eats Better Than Me
Fiona Rigg & Jacqui Melville
My Dog Eats Better Than Me is a collection of recipes, tips and advice for dog lovers who understand that dogs are family and deserve to be catered for accordingly with nourishing, healthy, considered meals and treats. Fiona Rigg and Jacqui Melville make this possible with more than 60 recipes across multiple chapters, from biscuits to main meals, from puppies to doggie celebrations.
This fully photographed, beautiful book (starring a cast of pooches, big, small and in-between) offers tips on dog nutrition, ingredients to use (and avoid) and storage tips as well as easy visual recipe references for people who are looking to prepare create a homemade diet for their dog. My Dog Eats Better Than Me also offers a bonus chapter on wellness that includes doggie yoga and spa treatments.
The Book of Australian Trees
Trees tell stories about places. Australia has some of the tallest, oldest, fattest and most unusual trees in the world. They have changed over thousands of years, adapting to this continent’s deserts, mountains, and coasts. Many have found clever ways of dealing with drought and fire. Their leaves, flowers and seeds are food for birds, insects and mammals. Old trees have lots of hollows, which make good homes for possums, sugar gliders, birds and bees. But trees aren’t just important for other animals, we need them too. What trees breathe out, we breathe in. They are a vital part of the Earth’s ecosystems. When you first stand in a forest, the trees all seem the same. But if you look more closely, they are each a little different, like people.
This book is a love song to Australian trees, from the red ironbark to the grey gum, the Moreton Bay fig to the Queensland bottle tree. A great book for also sharing with children.
MELMO: Modernist Architecture in Melbourne
In the three decades after World War II, major changes to design, materials, and construction methods in architecture occurred as tall buildings spread across the city centre and the suburbs continued to spread. Two new universities were opened, and huge industrial precincts were developed in the outer suburbs as Melbourne became the manufacturing centre of the nation. Car ownership rocketed and freeways emerged, television arrived, and the eyes of the world focused on Melbourne during the 1956 Olympic Games. Mass migration, generally from Europe, forever changed and improved the city. A new generation of architects emerged, applying stylish and innovative designs to housing and commercial buildings.
MELMO – Modernist Architecture in Melbourne is a comprehensive description of the development of Modernism in Melbourne and tells the story of the effects of the massive changes that occurred in rapidly growing post-war Melbourne. Fully illustrated, this book targets a broad audience of readers seeking to appreciate how the city embraced and exploited modernist design in a variety of fields.
A mother of small children trusts her ‘gut feeling’ and it saves her life. A young dad is able to grieve for his lost baby – using a song. What if there were parts of our minds that we never use, but if awakened, could make us so much happier, connected and alive? What if awakening those parts could bring peace to the conflicts and struggles we all go through?
From the cutting edge, where therapy meets neuroscience, Steve Biddulph explores the new concept of ‘supersense’ – the feelings beneath our feelings – which can guide us to a more awake and free way of living every minute of our lives. And the Four Storey Mansion, a way of using your mind that can be taught to a five-year-old, but can also help the most damaged adult.
In Fully Human, Steve Biddulph draws on deeply personal stories from his own life, as well as those of his clients, and from the frontiers of thinking about how the brain works with the body and the wisdom of the ‘wild creature’ inside all of us. At the peak of a lifetime’s work, one of the world’s best-known psychotherapists and educators shows how you can be more alive, more connected. More Fully Human.
The School: The Ups and Downs of One Year in the Classroom
Brendan James Murray
One teacher. One school. One year.
Brendan James Murray has been a high school teacher for more than ten years. In that time he has seen hundreds of kids move through the same hallways and classrooms – boisterous, angry, shy, big-hearted, awkward – all of them on the journey to adulthood. In The School, he paints an astonishingly vivid portrait of a single school year, perfectly capturing the highs and lows of being a teenager, as well as the fire, passion and occasional heartbreak of being their teacher.
Hilarious, heartfelt and true, it is a timeless story of a teacher and his classes, a must-read for any parent, and a tribute to the art of teaching. By the second page you care, and from the fourth you are absolutely hooked. Murray wades into the nightmare lives that many Australian kids inhabit in our unjust and unequal society. He reminds us how schools and caring teachers can provide the only chance of a life that some kids have.
Who Gets to be Smart
In 2018 Bri Lee’s brilliant young friend Damian is named a Rhodes Scholar, an apex of academic achievement. When she goes to visit him and takes a tour of Oxford and Rhodes House, she begins questioning her belief in a system she has previously revered, as she learns the truth behind what Virginia Woolf described almost a century earlier as the ‘stream of gold and silver’ that flows through elite institutions and dictates decisions about who deserves to be educated there. The question that forms in her mind drives the following two years of conversations and investigations: who gets to be smart?
Interrogating the adage, ‘knowledge is power’, and calling institutional prejudice to account, Bri once again dives into her own privilege and presumptions to bring us the stark and confronting results. Far from offering any ‘equality of opportunity’, Australia’s education system exacerbates social stratification. The questions Bri asks of politics and society have their answers laid bare in the responses to the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, COVID-19, and the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020.
Care: The Radical Art of Taking Time
There is little doubt that the world is in desperate need of care; however, despite the overwhelming global problems that face us, we can find ourselves caring too much, while at the same time caring too little. By spending so much time and energy caring about the big problems of the world, we’ve lost sight of what smaller, personal acts of care can look like and just how powerful these small acts can be.
Care: The radical art of taking time explores what it means to care in smaller ways – for ourselves, our loved ones and our communities – and discovers that caring doesn’t need to cost us our wellbeing, happiness or relationships. That making simple changes to how we live, spending more time in nature, putting down our devices and connecting with each other face-to-face, finding awe and wonder in the world around us and remembering how to play, will have ripple effects that reach far beyond our own corner of the planet.
With unwavering compassion and understanding, Brooke McAlary takes us on a journey to rediscover the small pleasures that create large ripples, reminding us that no one needs to shoulder the burden of doing it all by themselves – we only need to cast our eyes forward and start small, with care.
Do Something for Nothing
When you’re on the fringes of society, being recognised can mean everything.
In 2015, while working at a London hair salon, Joshua Coombes took to the streets with his scissors to build relationships with people sleeping rough in the capital, and began posting transformative images on social media to amplify their voices. These stories resonated and thousands of people got involved in their own way. From this, #DoSomethingForNothing was born – a movement that encourages people to contribute their skills and time to those who need it.
This book explores themes of love, acceptance, shame and perseverance, while inviting us to see ourselves in one another and challenge the negative stigmas surrounding homelessness. Through the simple act of a haircut, Joshua takes you on a journey into the lives of people experiencing homelessness in different cities across the world.
Featuring before-and-after photographs, street art and stories, this book is an inspiring and uplifting account of one man’s experiences with people who have more in common with all of us than you might imagine.
A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to organisations dedicated to assisting unsheltered people, as well as supporting future not-for-profit art projects.