Biographies & memoir 2015

Spectacles

Spectacles

Sue Perkins

When I began writing this book, I went home to find what my mum might have kept some of my old stuff. What I found was that she hadn't kept some of it. She had kept all of it - every bus ticket, postcard, school report - from the...

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Living on Paper: Letters from Iris Murdoch 1934-1995

Living on Paper: Letters from Iris Murdoch 1934-1995

Iris Murdoch

Here for the first time is Murdoch in her own words, from her schoolgirl days to her last years. They also reveal her personal life, the subject of much speculation, in all its intriguing complexity: her emotional hunger and her...

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Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll

Peter Guralnick

How one man discovered B. B. King, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, and how his tiny label, Sun Records of Memphis, revolutionised the world.

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Wildflower

Wildflower

Drew Barrymore

Wildflower is a portrait of Drew's life in stories as she looks back on the adventures, challenges, and incredible experiences of her earlier years.

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Boys in the Trees: A Memoir

Boys in the Trees: A Memoir

Carly Simon

A rhapsodic and beautifully composed memoir from American singer-songwriter legend, Carly Simon.

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Trans: A Memoir

Trans: A Memoir

Juliet Jacques

Moving memoir and insightful examination of transgender politics.

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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

William Finnegan

A deeply rendered self-portrait of a lifelong surfer by the acclaimed New Yorker writer

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The Big Bad Book Of Bill Murray

The Big Bad Book Of Bill Murray

Robert Schnakenberg

Hes the sort of actor who can do Hamlet and Charlie's Angels in the same year. He shuns managers and agents and once agreed to voice the part of Garfield because he mistakenly believed it was a Coen brothers film.<br...

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The Lost Tudor Princess: A Life of Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox

The Lost Tudor Princess: A Life of Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox

Alison Weir

Royal Tudor blood ran in her veins. Her mother was a queen, her father an earl, and she herself was the granddaughter, niece, cousin and grandmother of monarchs. Some thought she should be queen of England. This is the biography...

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Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink

Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink

Elvis Costello

Born Declan Patrick MacManus, Elvis Costello was raised in London and Liverpool, grandson of a trumpet player on the White Star Line and son of a jazz musician who became a successful radio dance band vocalist. This book describes...

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Amazing Fantastic Incredible

Amazing Fantastic Incredible

Stan Lee, Peter David, Colleen Doran

Stan Lee is legendary in the history of comic books, the man behind Spider-Man, The X-Menand The Incredible Hulk. A graphic-memoir of his life.

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Pour Me: A Life

Pour Me: A Life

Adrian Gill

A. A. Gill's compulsive memoir of the days lost to addiction.

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I Am Sorry To Think I Have Raised A Timid Son

I Am Sorry To Think I Have Raised A Timid Son

Kent Russell

From one of the most ferociously brilliant and distinctive young voices in literary nonfiction: a debut shot through with violence, comedy, and feverish intensity that takes us on an odyssey into an American netherworld, exposing...

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Easily Distracted

Easily Distracted

Steve Coogan

Steve Coogan was born and raised in Manchester in the 1960s. From an early age he entertained his family with impressions and was often told he should 'be on the telly. This book deals with his life and work.

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Binge

Binge

Tyler Oakley

Tyler Oakley took the internet by storm when he uploaded his first video eight years ago, skyrocketing to fame with his signature blend of quirky comedy, personal material and strong opinions. Since then, the YouTube personality...

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The Forgotten Notebook

The Forgotten Notebook

Betty Churcher

The Forgotten Notebook is based on sketches Betty Churcher drew in the great galleries of the world when she raced through them as director of the National Gallery of Australia in the 1990s on her way to arrange the loans of...

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 Read reviewHunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir

Carrie Brownstein

From the guitarist of the pioneering band Sleater-Kinney, a candid, funny, and deeply personal look at making a life-and finding yourself-in music.

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My Life on the Road

My Life on the Road

Gloria Steinem

From journalist, activist and international feminist icon Gloria Steinem comes an inspiring, profound and enlightening memoir of one woman's life-long journey

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 Read reviewHome is Burning

Home is Burning

Dan Marshall

Hilarious, heart-wrenching and brilliantly written account of a twenty something returning home to his large, eccentric, foul mouthed family to care for his beloved, dying father.

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Born to Rule

Born to Rule

Paddy Manning

Unravels the many layers of the 29th Prime Minister of Australia.The highs and lows of Malcolm Turnbull's remarkable career are documented here in technicolour detail by journalist Paddy Manning. Based on countless interviews and...

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Big Blue Sky: A Memoir

Big Blue Sky: A Memoir

Peter Garrett

Peter Garrett's life has been fully and passionately lived. A man of boundless energy, compassion, intelligence and creativity, he has already achieved enough to fill several lives. From his idyllic childhood growing up in the...

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M Train

M Train

Patti Smith

Braiding despair with hope and consolation, illustrated with her signature Polaroids, M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the...

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Truths, Half Truths and Little White Lies

Truths, Half Truths and Little White Lies

Nick Frost

Surprising, frank and darkly funny memoir by a much loved comedy actor and writer.

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Why Not Me?

Why Not Me?

Mindy Kaling

The author has found herself at a turning point. In this book, she shares her ongoing journey to find fulfilment and adventure in her adult life, be it falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in unlikely places, or...

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Reckoning: A Memoir

Reckoning: A Memoir

Magda Szubanski

If you had met my father you would never, not for an instant, have thought he was an assassin.

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Second Half First

Second Half First

Drusilla Modjeska

Beginning with the disastrous events of the night before her fortieth birthday, in Second Half First Drusilla Modjeska looks back on the experiences of the past thirty years that have shaped her writing, her reading and...

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 Read reviewSix Square Metres: Reflections From A Small Garden

Six Square Metres: Reflections From A Small Garden

Margaret Simons

Life lessons from the ground up.

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Plain-Speaking Jane

Plain-Speaking Jane

Jane Caro

Jane Caro writes a fearless and frank memoir about career, family, feminism, mental illness, and what happens when they mix.

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The Long Haul: Lessons from Public Life

The Long Haul: Lessons from Public Life

John Brumby

Distils a series of practical lessons on leadership and public life from John Brumby's thirty years in politics. It offers insights into the challenges and opportunities Australia currently faces and argues for real political...

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Ettore Sottsass and the Poetry of Things

Ettore Sottsass and the Poetry of Things

Deyan Sudjic

The incredible life story of one of the 20th century's most important designers, who knew everyone from Hemingway to Picasso.

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Modern Love

Modern Love

Lesley Harding, Kendrah Morgan

Much has been written about the lives and art of Heide, but finally the remaining members of the inner circle have entrusted the truth to be told through this intimate biography of John and Sunday Reed. Equal parts romance and...

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Flesh Wounds

Flesh Wounds

Richard Glover

A mother who invented her past, a father who was often absent, a son who wondered if this could really be his family. Richard Glover's favourite dinner party game is called 'Who's Got the Weirdest Parents?'. It's a game he always...

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 Read reviewWendy Whiteley And The Secret Garden

Wendy Whiteley And The Secret Garden

Janet Hawley

For more than twenty years Wendy Whiteley has worked to create a public garden at the foot of her harbourside home in Sydney's Lavender Bay. This is the extraordinary story of how a determined, passionate and deeply creative woman...

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 Special priceHenry and Banjo

Henry and Banjo

James Knight

The fascinating lives and turbulent times of Henry Lawson and Andrew 'Banjo' Paterson - the two men who wrote Australia's story.

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Running Like China: A memoir of a life interrupted by madness

Running Like China: A memoir of a life interrupted by madness

Sophie Hardcastle

A brave, honest, unforgettable memoir about mental illness that breaks the silence and shatters the taboos to give hope to all those struggling to find their way through.

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 Read reviewThe Anti-Cool Girl

The Anti-Cool Girl

Rosie Waterland

A dark, funny and subversive memoir about surviving the very worst that life can throw at you, Rosie Waterland's story of her coming of age is a blackly comic Australian memoir for our times and a clarion call for all anti-cool...

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 Read reviewSmall Acts of Disappearance

Small Acts of Disappearance

Fiona Wright

Small Acts of Disappearance is a collection of ten essays that describes the authors affliction with an eating disorder which begins in high school, and escalates into life-threatening anorexia over the next ten years. Fiona...

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 Read reviewNot Just Black and White

Not Just Black and White

Lesley Williams, Tammy Williams

Two remarkable women tell an inspirational story about the power of family and pursuing your dreams. Lesley Williams is forced to leave Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement and her family at a young age to work as a domestic servant....

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These Things Happen

These Things Happen

Greg Fleet

Greg Fleet's memoir chronicles his two lives: his rise and rise in the comedy world, and his dark descent into heroin addiction.

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Everything is Teeth

Everything is Teeth

Evie Wyld, Joe Sumner

An intimate and unique visual memoir by the multi-prizewinning Evie Wyld.

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 Special priceGnarr: How I Became Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World

Gnarr: How I Became Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World

Jon Gnarr

It all started when J n Gnarr founded the Best Party in 2009 to satirize his country's political system. The financial collapse in Iceland had, after all, precipitated the world-wide meltdown, and fomented widespread protest over...

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 Read reviewThe Seven Good Years

The Seven Good Years

Etgar Keret

From the man the New Yorker declared 'a genius', here is a ridiculously enjoyable, tragicomic collection of essays about raising a son and losing a father

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We Are Here

We Are Here

Cat Thao Nguyen

Told through the bright and unflinching eyes of Cat Thao, a daughter born in a refugee camp, We Are Here is a memoir that begins in 1975 with her family's gripping exodus by foot out of post-war Vietnam - a dangerous journey,...

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The Iceberg: A Memoir

The Iceberg: A Memoir

Marion Coutts

Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. Beautifully written and full of unflinching truth, The Iceberg is a memoir which will leave an indelible mark on all who read it.

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My Story

My Story

Julia Gillard

I was prime minister for three years and three days.Three years and three days of resilience.Three years and three days of changing the nation.Three years and three days for you to judge.' On Wednesday 23 June 2010, with the...

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Sidney Nolan: A Life

Sidney Nolan: A Life

Nancy Underhill

Digging through the myths around Australia's most famous artist, many of which he created himself as a masterful self - promoter, this book is the biography that Sidney Nolan deserves. In an authoritative, insightful and often...

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Good Muslim Boy

Good Muslim Boy

Osamah Sami

Good Muslim Boy is a hilarious and heartbreaking memoir of loss, love and family. It's about what we'll do to live up to expectations - and what we must do to live with ourselves.

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Shining: The Story of a Lucky Man

Shining: The Story of a Lucky Man

Abdi Aden, Robert Hillman

A remarkably warm-hearted, uplifting and inspiring story of one boy's survival against the odds. Abdi's world fell apart when he was only fifteen and Somalia's vicious civil war hit Mogadishu. Unable to find his family and...

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 Read reviewNot My Father's Son: A Family Memoir

Not My Father’s Son: A Family Memoir

Alan Cumming

Presents the story of authors journey of discovery, both a memoir of his childhood in Scotland, and an investigation into his family history which would change him forever.

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More Fool Me

More Fool Me

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry invites readers to take a glimpse at his life story in the unputdownable More Fool Me.

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Settling Day: A Memoir

Settling Day: A Memoir

Kate Howarth

The much-awaited sequel to the The Age Non-fiction Book of the Year winner Ten Hail MarysFollowing on from Ten Hail Marys, which chronicled her volatile upbringing and the fight to save her son from...

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H is for Hawk

H is for Hawk

Helen Macdonald

As a child, Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer, learning the arcane terminology and reading all the classic books. Years later, when her father died and she was struck deeply by grief, she became obsessed with the...

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Airmail: Women Of Letters

Airmail: Women Of Letters

Michaela McGuire, Marieke Hardy

Women of Letters have conquered the world with their passion for correspondence. Taking their literary salons on a global tour, they've collected an astounding and sweeping array of contributions from some of the world's...

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Ransacking Paris

Ransacking Paris

Patti Miller

An exquisite memoir of a year spent daydreaming in Paris by award-winner Patti MillerIt must mean something, a dream that can propel you to the other side of the world. Couldn't it be the heart wanting something it...

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 Read reviewHello, Beautiful!: Scenes From A Life

Hello, Beautiful!: Scenes From A Life

Hannie Rayson

I realise that, despite all the references to my longing to be a writer, two things are apparent.The first is that I don't actually do much writing; the second is that my teenage reflections display...

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Leila's Secret

Leila’s Secret

Kooshyar Karimi

In fundamentalist Iran, new life sometimes means certain death. When Leila comes to see Doctor Karimi, both are in danger. Born in a slum to a Muslim father and a Jewish mother, Kooshyar Karimi has transformed himself into a...

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The Abyssinian Contortionist: Hope, friendship and other circus acts

The Abyssinian Contortionist: Hope, friendship and other circus acts

David Carlin

Following his acclaimed memoir Our Father Who Wasn't There, David brings us his 'not-me' book, travelling to Addis Ababa where he discovers ways of living so different to his own and confronts his Western fantasies...

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Being There

Being There

David Malouf

After exploring the idea of home, where and what it is in A First Place, what does it mean to be a writer and where writing begins in The Writing Life, David Malouf moves on to words and music and art and...

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Becoming Westerly: The Transformation of Surfing Champion Peter Drouyn into Westerly Windina

Becoming Westerly: The Transformation of Surfing Champion Peter Drouyn into Westerly Windina

Jamie Brisick

'Peter was always looking for a princess, he wanted to find his princess. Unfortunately, the princess was me. I'm the princess that Peter always wanted but never met.' Westerly Windina'Westerly's affection for Peter comes in many...

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 Read reviewJust Mercy: A Story Of Justice And Redemption

Just Mercy: A Story Of Justice And Redemption

Bryan Stevenson

A true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice. It is at once an account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer's coming of age, a moving window into the lives of...

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Before I Sleep: My Life Fighting Crime and Corruption

Before I Sleep: My Life Fighting Crime and Corruption

Ray Whitrod

In the early 1970s, Queensland was a haven for crooks from both sides of the law. It was into this hothouse that Ray Whitrod was controversially appointed as police commissioner in 1970. Just six years later he resigned from the...

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My History: A Memoir of Growing Up

My History: A Memoir of Growing Up

Lady Antonia Fraser

The childhood and early life memoir of Antonia Fraser, one of our finest narrative historians.

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 Read reviewRed Notice: How I Became Putin's No. 1 Enemy

Red Notice: How I Became Putin’s No. 1 Enemy

Bill Browder

November 2009. An emaciated young lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, is led to a freezing isolation cell in a Moscow prison, handcuffed to a bed rail, and beaten to death by eight police officers. His crime?

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