Category

Words & Ideas

For decades, feminism has argued the case for getting women into the workplace. Affirmative action, support schemes, paid maternity leavea all valuable devices, and yet still we agonise over why women aren't better represented in the boardrooms and ministries of this country. But the answer is so shriekingly obvious, and yet ... read more

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The Art of Belonging advances the argument put forward in Mackay's bestselling The Good Life: a 'good life' is not lived in isolation or in the pursuit of independent goals; a good life is lived at the heart of a thriving community, among people we trust, and within an environment of mutual respect. Drawing on 50 years' exper... read more

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AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY IN INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOPS FOR INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLERS WEEK - 28TH JUNE-5TH JULY 2014 Mark Forsyth - author of the Sunday Times Number One bestseller The Etymologicon - reveals in this essay, specially commissioned for Independent Booksellers Week, the most valuable thing about a really good bookshop. Alon... read more

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With sold-out live events around the country and a bestselling book, Women of Letters have revived the gentle art of letter writing. In this all-new collection of missives, a dazzling array of noteworthy Australians share their wisdom, wit and wildest dreams. Here Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire have preserved a year of ca... read more

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Who else, but a writer, is really able to interrogate the work of other writers? From Christina Stead, Les Murray and Patrick White to Proust, Shakespeare and Charlotte Bronte, David Malouf reads and examines the work of writers who have challenged, inspired and entertained us for generations. He also explores his own work an... read more

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Over the next two years, Australians will decide if and how Aboriginal people will be recognised in the Constitution. Professor Greg Craven writes: 'We have a committed Prime Minister, and a committed opposition. We have a receptive electorate. There will never be a better time. We have no choice but to address the question.

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Renowned for its unusual mammals, Australia is a land of birds that are just as unusual, just as striking, a result of the continent's tens of millions of years of isolation. Compared with birds elsewhere, ours are more likely to be intelligent, aggressive and loud, to live in complex societies, and to be large and long-lived... read more

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From the creator of the wildly popular xkcd.com, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions: How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) ... read more

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We seem to have given up on any serious effort to prevent catastrophic climate change. Despite mounting scientific evidence, denialism is surging in many wealthy countries, and extreme fossil-fuel extraction gathers pace. Exposing the work of ideologues on the right who know the challenge this poses to the free market all too... read more

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After the publication of his novel Slaughterhouse-Five (Delacorte, 1959) brought him worldwide acclaim in 1969, Kurt Vonnegut became one of America's most popular graduation speakers. There were years when public speaking was his main source of income and he put a great deal of thought and preparation into the things he said ... read more

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After decades of prosperity Australians are now worried about their jobs, their incomes and their future. The mining boom, said to explain Australia's past success, is declared to be over. Unemployment has increased, carmakers have folded, the government is running a huge deficit. In a striking analysis, economist John Edward... read more

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From the Orwell Prize shortlisted author of Freedom for Sale, The Richis the fascinating history of how economic elites from ancient Egypt to the present day have gained and spent their money. Starting with Ancient Egypt and Greece and culminating with the oligarchies of modern Russia and China, it compares and contrasts the ... read more

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We live in small worlds. An astonishing literary debut and the first book in the monumental How To Live trilogy, How We Are explores the power of habit and the difficulty of change. A story told in three parts, this profound and ambitious trilogy gets right to the heart of what it means to be human: how we work, how we break,... read more

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Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Category:

 Essays

Series:Writers on Writers

When facing a moral dilemma, Isabel Dalhousie - Edinburgh philosopher, amateur detective, and title character of a series of novels by best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith - often refers to the great twentieth-century poet W. H. Auden. This is no accident: McCall Smith has long been fascinated by Auden. Indeed, the nove... read more

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A central bond, a cherished value, a unique relationship, a profound human need, a type of love. What is the nature of friendship, and what is its significance in our lives? How has friendship changed since the ancient Greeks began to analyze it, and how has modern technology altered its very definition? In this fascinating e... read more

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Disease - specifically infectious disease - is what eventually kills the overwhelming majority of us. In fact, it's amazing that it doesn't get us sooner: we fight off millions of disease-causing germs every day. So how come we're not dead yet? In this lively and accessible book, Idan Ben-Barak tells us why. He explores the i... read more

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100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How ... read more

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An hilarious, enlightening romp through the world of numbers with one of Australia's best-loved broadcasters. Why do people get freaked out by Friday the 13th? Where does a 'dozen' come from? Who was Erno Rubik? And how do you become a master at Sudoku? In 100 bite-sized chapters, mathematician, broadcaster and comedian Adam ... read more

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In Molecules Gray goes beyond the 118 elements in the periodic table to explore, through fascinating stories and stunning photographic imagery, what he considers to be the most essential and interesting of the millions of possible chemical bonds. At the beginning of the Molecules Gray explains what molecules and compounds are... read more

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How did our mastery of artificial cold help give birth to at least four million babies, create the golden age of Hollywood and unlock the secrets of the universe? And what about our battle against dirt? How did that create the flat screen and the iPhone?This book is a celebration of ideas: how they happen and their sometimes ... read more

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