Adult Non-fiction

Jessie Williamson was a courageous missionary nurse who de- voted 35 years of her life to tribal people in the remote and dan- gerous highlands of West Papua. 

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Charles Kingsford Smith was the most commanding flyer of the golden age of aviation. In three short years, he broke records with his as- tounding and daring voyages: the first trans-Pacific flight from America to Australia, the first flight across the Tasman, the first non-stop cross- ing of the Australian mainland. He did it all with such courage, modesty and charm that Australia and the world fell in love with him. A ticker- tape parade was held in his honour on New York’s Fifth Avenue. At home, he became a national hero, ‘Our Smithy’.

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The Fireflies of Autumn

San Ginese is a village where God lingers in people’s minds and many dream of California, Argentina or Australia. Some leave only to return feeling disheartened, wishing they had never come back, some never leave and forever wish they had. [click to continue…]

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Merdeka and the Morning Star

West Papua is a secret story. On the western half of the island of New Guinea, hidden from the world, in a place occupied by the Indonesian military since 1963, continues a remarkable nonviolent struggle for national liberation. In Merdeka and the Morning Star, academic Jason MacLeod gives an insider’s view of the trajectory and dynamics of civil resistance in West Papua. Here, the indigenous population has staged protests, boycotts, strikes and other nonviolent actions against repressive rule.

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Draw Your Weapons

How to live in the face of so much suffering? What difference can one person make in this beautiful, imperfect, and imperilled world?’

In Draw Your Weapons, Sarah Sentilles offers an impassioned defence of life lived by peace and principle. Through a dazzling combination of memoir, history, reporting, visual culture, literature and theology, Sentilles tells the true stories of a conscientious objector during World War II and a former prison guard at Abu Ghraib. [click to continue…]

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The Water Will Come

What if Atlantis wasn’t a myth, but an early precursor to a new age of great flooding? Across the globe, scientists and civilians alike are noticing rapidly rising sea levels, and higher and higher tides pushing more water directly into the places we live, from our most vibrant, historic cities to our last remaining traditional coastal villages. With each crack in the great ice sheets of the Arctic and Antarctica, and each tick upwards of Earth’s thermometer, we are moving closer to the brink of broad disaster.

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Chemistry

Our unnamed narrator is three years into her post-grad studies in chemistry and nearly as long into her relationship with her devoted boyfriend, who has just proposed. But while his path forward seems straight, hers is ‘like a gas particle moving around in space’: her research is stagnating, and she’s questioning whether she’s lost her passion for her work altogether. [click to continue…]

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Anaesthesia

Until a hundred and seventy years ago many people chose death over the ordeal of surgery. Now hundreds of thousands undergo operations every day. Anaesthesia has made it possible.

But how much do we really know about what happens to us on the operating table? Can we hear what’s going on around us? Is pain still pain if we are not awake to feel it, or don’t remember it afterwards?

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It has been twenty years since Ava Langdon published her much-lauded novel The Apple Pickers. Now, she leads a reclusive life in the Blue Mountains, with two rats and her typewriter as her companions. [click to continue…]

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Scatter, Adapt, and Remember

Climate change. Pandemics. Catastrophic Volcanoes. Should we just give up and accept our doom? Absolutely not. Homo Sapiens will survive the next mass extinction. [click to continue…]

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Snooze – The Lost Art of Sleep

Michael always had trouble sleeping, but the arrival of twins made him realise he’d never known true exhaustion. While he celebrated these small children who brought him so much joy, he also found himself desperately searching for a few extra winks a night. In Snooze, McGirr delves into the mysterious world of sleep: its many benefits, […]

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Destination Simple

Simplify your life – from the inside out. Brooke McAlary knows first-hand the power of simplifying and living with less. After being diagnosed with postnatal depression, she embraced a slower, more intentional life and rediscovered her health, energy and passion.

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The Case Against Fragrance

Kate Grenville had always associated perfume with elegance and beauty. Then the headaches started. Like perhaps a quarter of the population, Grenville reacts badly to the artificial fragrances around us- other people’s perfumes, and all those scented cosmetics, cleaning products and air fresheners. On a book tour in 2015, dogged by ill health, she started […]

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Sunlight and Seaweed

Acclaimed scientist Tim Flannery investigates exciting new technologies currently being developed to address our most pressing environmental threats in a book that presents a positive future for us and our planet. Climate change, food production and toxic pollution present huge challenges, but, as Flannery shows, we already have innovative, practical and inspiring solutions. Solar energy […]

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Being Here

Born in Germany in 1876, Paula Modersohn-Becker was the first female artist to paint herself not only naked but pregnant. Being Here is a moving account of the life of this ground-breaking Expressionist painter, by the acclaimed French writer Marie Darrieussecq.  As her art evolves, Paula is torn between Paris and her home in northern […]

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How to Fall in Love with Anyone

Why does love last? Does love ever work the way it does in films, books and social media? Or does our obsessing over love stories harm real relationships? These were questions Mandy Len Catron set out to answer when her parents’ 28-year marriage and her own 10-year relationship finished almost concurrently.

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The Fiftieth Gate

What right did I possess, as a child of survivors, to recreate an account of the Holocaust as if I was there? In writing The Fiftieth Gate, Mark Baker describes a journey from despair and death towards hope and life; it is the story of a son who enters his parents’ memories and, inside the […]

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Bonobo Handshake

Australian scientist Vanessa Woods through she had found her true love: chimpanzees. But in a reckless moment, she accepts a marriage proposal from a man she barely knows and agrees to join him on a research trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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A Horse Called Mighty

In April 1995, a plain brown colt was passed in at the famous Easter Yearling Sales in Sydney, virtually unnoticed. He would grow up to become an icon of the Australian turf, a national treasure. Might and Power was a giant in a golden era of exceptional thoroughbreds: the horse of a lifetime for owner […]

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Wild Man

In April 2012 a man was shot dead by police on a remote farm in New South Wales called the School of Happiness. The victim, who was high on a cocktail of drugs and who suffered from mental illness, had been threatening attendees of a hippie festival with a crossbow and hunting knife. When the […]

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