Non-Fiction Bestsellers

the barefoot investor, scott pape

 This is the only money guide you'll ever need. That's a bold claim, given there are already thousands of finance books on the shelves. So what makes this one different? Well, you won't be overwhelmed with a bunch of 'tips' or a strict budget (that you won't follow). You'll get a step-by-step formula: open this account, then do this; call this person, and say this; invest money here, and not there. All with a glass of wine in your hand. This book will show you how to create an entire financial plan that is so simple you can sketch it on the back of a serviette and you'll be able to manage your money in 10 minutes a week. You'll also get the skinny on: saving up a six-figure house deposit in 20 months; doubling your income using the 'Trapeze Strategy'; saving $78,173 on your mortgage and wiping out 7 years of payments; finding a financial advisor who won't rip you off; handing your kids (or grandkids) a $140,000 cheque on their 21st birthday. Sound too good to be true? It's not. This book is full of stories from everyday Aussies -- single people, young families, empty nesters, retirees -- who have applied the simple steps in this book and achieved amazing, life-changing results. And you're next.

tHE rETURN, HISHAM MATAR

An extraordinary memoir of a son's search for his father and the return to a homeland he never thought he'd see again Hisham Matar was nineteen when his father was kidnapped and taken to prison in Libya. He would never see him again. Twenty-two years later, after the fall of Gaddafi, Hisham was finally able to return to his homeland for the first time. In this heart-breaking, illuminating memoir he describes his return to a country and a family he thought he would never see again. The Return is at once a universal and an intensely personal tale of loss. It is an exquisite meditation on history, politics and art. It's the story of what it is to be human.

 

LIGHT AND SHADOW, MARK COLVIN

Mark Colvin one of Australia's longest-serving broadcasters, as a reporter for more than two decades and the national radio evening institution he has become as host of PM since 1997. He reveals what it was like to discover his diplomat father was really an M16 spy, and the reality of covering some of the most dangerous flashpoints of recent history: Tehran during the hostage crisis, the end of the Cold War, Iraq in the buildup to the First Gulf War and Rwanda in the direct aftermath of one of the worst massacres of the century. It was in Rwanda that Colvin contracted a life-threatening disease that put him in hospital for six months, often close to death. He recovered and began as host of PM. However the slow deterioration of his kidneys in 2010 saw him undertake three punishing years of dialysis while he continuing to broadcast daily. In a remarkable twist of fate, an Australian he met as a contact decided to give him a kidney in 2013. In the Light and the Shadow is the story of how someone dedicated to reporting on the world first hand continued to try to do so by proxy when he was no longer able to:through the eyes of friends and fellow-correspondents, through reading and study, and more recently by putting himself at the forefront of the use of social media in journalism.

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR, PAUL KALANITHI

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade's training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity - the brain - and finally into a patient and a new father. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away? Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.

THE PRINCESS DIARIST, CARRIE FISHER

Carrie Fisher, the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, became an icon when she starred as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Her eclectic Hollywood career includes roles in numerous films such as The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally and the recent world-wide blockbuster, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She is the author of such international bestselling novels and non-fiction as Wishful Drinking, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma, The Best Awful, and Postcards from the Edge, which was made into a hit film starring Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep. Fisher's experience with addiction and mental illness--and her willingness to speak honestly about them--have made her a sought-after speaker and respected advocate.

A thoroughly original and intimate memoir by the bestselling author of Postcards from the Edge and Wishful Drinking.

FIGHT LIKE A GIRL, CLEMENTINE FORD
 

Online sensation, fearless feminist heroine and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford is a beacon of hope and inspiration to thousands of Australian women and girls. Her incendiary debut Fight Like A Girl is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, and exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women. Crucially, it is a call to arms for all women to rediscover the fury that has been suppressed by a society that still considers feminism a threat.

Fight Like A Girl will make you laugh, cry and scream. But above all it will make you demand and fight for a world in which women have real equality and not merely the illusion of it.

passchendale, paul ham

Passchendaele epitomises everything that was most terrible about the Western Front. The photographs never sleep of this four-month battle, fought from July to November 1917, the worst year of the war: blackened tree stumps rising out of a field of mud, corpses of men and horses drowned in shell holes, terrified soldiers huddled in trenches awaiting the whistle. The intervening century, the most violent in human history, has not disarmed these pictures of their power to shock.

At the very least they ask us, on the 100th anniversary of the battle, to see and to try to understand what happened here. Yes, we commemorate the event. Yes, we adorn our breasts with poppies. But have we seen? Have we understood? Have we dared to reason why? What happened at Passchendaele was the expression of the 'wearing-down war', the war of pure attrition at its most spectacular and ferocious.

Paul Ham's Passchendaele: Requiem for Doomed Youth shows how ordinary men on both sides endured this constant state of siege, with a very real awareness that they were being gradually, deliberately, wiped out. Yet the men never broke: they went over the top, when ordered, again and again and again. And if they fell dead or wounded, they were casualties in the 'normal wastage', as the commanders described them, of attritional war. Only the soldier's friends at the front knew him as a man, with thoughts and feelings. His family back home knew him as a son, husband or brother, before he had enlisted. By the end of 1917 he was a different creature: his experiences on the Western Front were simply beyond their powers of comprehension. The book tells the story of ordinary men in the grip of a political and military power struggle that determined their fate and has foreshadowed the destiny of the world for a century. Passchendaele lays down a powerful challenge to the idea of war as an inevitable expression of the human will, and examines the culpability of governments and military commanders in a catastrophe that destroyed the best part of a generation.

the odd woman and the city, vivian gornick

Vivian Gornick loves to walk—to absorb the drama, humor, and humanity of the New York City streets, to see “the fifty different ways people struggle to remain human.” After a lifetime of navigating the city on her own terms, Gornick uses the metropolis as both her mirror and her muse as she examines her fiercely independent life along with the dilemma of connection in our time.

Her closest walking companion is Leonard, a gay man with whom she has a long-standing relationship that is as gratifying as it is contentious. As her discussions with Leonard play in her mind, she dismantles the idea of the anonymous city, finding solace on a crowded bus, among the pundits in Times Square, and watching a bank of lights go on at dusk in an adjacent apartment building. “I have lived out my conflicts not my fantasies,” she writes, “and so has New York. We are at one.”

Engaging with a city that challenges, inspires, and sometimes thwarts a single woman, The Odd Woman and the City is a deeply moving ode to Gotham, and to the friendships and encounters that invigorate and ground a life in the city.

absolutely on music, haruki murakami and seiji ozawa

Haruki Murakami's passion for music runs deep. Before turning his hand to writing, he ran a jazz club in Tokyo, and the aesthetic and emotional power of music permeates every one of his much-loved books. Now, in Absolutely on Music, Murakami fulfills a personal dream, sitting down with his friend, acclaimed conductor Seiji Ozawa, to talk about their shared interest. Transcribed from lengthy conversations about the nature of music and writing, here they discuss everything from Brahms to Beethoven, from Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, from record collecting to pop-up orchestras, and much more. Ultimately this book gives readers an unprecedented glimpse into the minds of two maestros.

timekeepers, simon garfield

Not so long ago we timed our lives by the movement of the sun. These days our time arrives atomically and insistently, and our lives are propelled by the notion that we will never have enough of the one thing we crave the most. How have we come to be dominated by something so arbitrary? The compelling stories in this book explore our obsessions with time. An Englishman arrives back from Calcutta but refuses to adjust his watch. Beethoven has his symphonic wishes ignored. A moment of war is frozen forever. The timetable arrives by steam train. A woman designs a ten-hour clock and reinvents the calendar. Roger Bannister becomes stuck in the same four minutes forever. A British watchmaker competes with mighty Switzerland. And a prince attempts to stop time in its tracks. Timekeepers is a vivid exploration of the ways we have perceived, contained and saved time over the last 250 years, narrated in the highly inventive and entertaining style that bestselling author Simon Garfield is fast making his own. As managing time becomes the greatest challenge we face in our lives, this multi-layered history helps us tackle it in a sparkling new light.