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  1. The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize Updated Edition: A life in Science
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  1. . WINX: BIOGRAPHY OF A CHAMPION BY TREVOR MARSHALLSEA Phar Lap, Kingston Town, Black Caviar – now a new superstar has captivated the heart of the nation. The beautiful bay Winx has transcended the track to become a national icon, earning the affection and acclaim usually reserved for just a chosen few. Since the start of her extraordinary winning streak, Winx has run like a horse possessed. Now ranked No 1 in the world, she has won 23 races in a row and counting, including three Cox Plates, matching Kingston Town’s record. As well, she’s won 17 Group 1 races, breaking a record held since 1984. In 2017 she was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame, only the third horse to be so honoured after Sunline and Black Caviar. At this rate, Winx might just become the greatest Australian horse that ever raced. But the wins and accolades are just part of the Winx story, a story that hasn’t been told in full until now. Winx: biography of a champion, is a book not just about an extraordinary horse, but about the people who made it all happen, their hopes, dreams, a whole lot of hard yakka and, sometimes, hard cash. By racing aficionado and bestselling writer of Peter Moody’s A Long Way from Wyandra and with 48 pages of stunning colour photographs, the book is essential reading for racing fans everywhere. This great Australian sporting legend deserves nothing less.
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  2. The highly acclaimed biography of the terrifying and fascinating Russian leader, Stalin, written by one of our greatest contemporary historians of Russia and author of the bestselling Trotsky, Lenin and Comrades. Drawing on a wealth of unexplored material – available for the first time since the collapse of the former Soviet Union – Robert Service’s biography of Stalin is the most authoritative yet published. It concentrates not simply on Stalin as dedicated bureaucrat or serial political killer, but on a fuller assessment of his formative interactions in Georgia, his youthful revolutionary activism, his relationship with Lenin, with his family, and with his party members.
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  3. A hundred years after his murder, Rasputin continues to excite the popular imagination as the personification of evil. The spectre of the lustful Siberian holy man and peasant still casts its eerie shadow over Russia’s bloody twentieth century. Numerous biographies, novels, and films recount his mysterious rise to power as Nicholas and Alexandra’s confidant and guardian of the sickly heir to the throne. His debauchery and sinister political influence are the stuff of legend, and the downfall of the Romanov dynasty was laid at his feet. Even during his lifetime Rasputin was shrouded in myth and his true story remains obscure today. Douglas Smith’s Rasputin separates fact from fiction to reveal the true life of one of history’s most alluring figures. Rasputin draws on a wealth of forgotten documents from archives in seven countries and is the most thoroughly researched biography ever written. Demolishing the caricature of the holy devil, Smith’s account presents Rasputin in all his complexity – man of God, voice of peace, loyal subject, adulterer, drunkard. More than just the story of an extraordinary life, Rasputin offers a fascinating portrait of the twilight of Imperial Russia as it lurched towards catastrophe.
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  4. Alfred Kinsey was this century’s first scientifically reputable and most influential researcher into sex. His Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male (The Kinsey Report), published in 1948, was an explosive bestseller, followed in 1953 by his even more radical statistics on female sexuality – both based on over 18,000 case histories. But Kinsey’s exploration went much further than that. Bisexual, he experimented with many of the behaviours he was hearing about; and his wife and close colleagues experimented as well. He pioneered observation and filming of sexual activity, the findings anticipating, and being confirmed by, Masters and Johnson thirty years later. The revolutionary nature of his views on female sexuality could not become current until the feminism of the 1970s and 80s. Kinsey remains a controversial figure. Gathorne-Hardy has interviewed in depth his remaining family, his close colleagues, friends and lovers. He reveals, in this subtle, often witty and penetrating study, whole new aspects of this complex, heroic, obsessive and ultimately sympathetic man.
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  5. An astonishing new work that radically changes how we think about, talk about and understand the vagina – and consequently how we think about women and sexuality – from Naomi Wolf, one of our most respected cultural critics and author of the modern classic, The Beauty Myth.Vagina: A New Biography combines cutting-edge science with cultural history to explore the role of female desire and how it affects female identity, creativity and confidence. Provocative and engaging, positive and inspiring, this book brings to light female impulses, history and dreams – and, in exploring what women really need – it goes to the very core of what it means to be female.For any woman who wants to understand her body and her mind and the culture that defines her – Vagina is essential reading.
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  6. In just a few years, what used to be an immobile piece of living room furniture, which one had to sit in front of at appointed times in order to watch sponsored programming on a finite number of channels, morphed into a glowing cloud of screens with access to a near-endless supply of content available when and how viewers want it. With this phenomenon now a common cultural theme, a writer of David Thomson’s stature delivering a critical history, or biography of the six-decade television era, will be a significant event which could not be more timely. With Television, the critic and film historian, who wrote what Sight and Sound’s readers called the most important film book of the last 50 years, has finally turned his unique powers of observation to the medium that has swallowed film whole. Over 22 thematically organized chapters, Thomson brings his provocatively insightful and unique voice to the life of what was television. David Thomson surveying a Boschian landscape, illuminated by that singular glow always on and peopled by everyone from Donna Reed to Dennis Potter, will be the first complete history of the defining medium of our time.
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  7. Jesus emerged from nowhere to become, in his short life – perhaps as few as 32 years – a thinker, teacher and preacher whose words and deeds would change the world and become the foundation for the world’s largest religion. But the biography as outlined in the New Testament and apocryphal writings only tells us so much. “LIFE’s” editors go, in words and pictures, in search of Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter’s son who would one day influence all. The great photographer Denis Waugh once made a thorough, colourful, and moving pictorial pilgrimage to the Holy Land exclusively for “LIFE”, and those images will anchor our quest. We will travel, as well, to the Vatican, to the missions of Africa, to the Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco – to all that has risen in Jesus, name. In the book’s final section, we will look at Christianity today: Its still vastly influential place in our tumultuous world.
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  8. One of Rolling Stone’s 10 Best Music Books of 2015An exhilarating and intimate account of the life of music legend Tom Petty, by an accomplished writer and musician who toured with PettyNo one other than Warren Zanes, rocker and writer and friend, could author a book about Tom Petty that is as honest and evocative of Petty’s music and the remarkable rock and roll history he and his band helped to write.Born in Gainesville, Florida, with more than a little hillbilly in his blood, Tom Petty was a Southern shit kicker, a kid without a whole lot of promise. Rock and roll made it otherwise. From meeting Elvis, to seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, to producing Del Shannon, backing Bob Dylan, putting together a band with George Harrison, Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne, making records with Johnny Cash, and sending well more than a dozen of his own celebrated recordings high onto the charts, Tom Petty’s story has all the drama of a rock and roll epic. Now in his mid-sixties, still making records and still touring, Petty, known for his reclusive style, has shared with Warren Zanes his insights and arguments, his regrets and lasting ambitions, and the details of his life on and off the stage.This is a book for those who know and love the songs, from “American Girl” and “Refugee” to “Free Fallin’” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” and for those who want to see the classic rock and roll era embodied in one man’s remarkable story. Dark and mysterious, Petty manages to come back, again and again, showing us what the music can do and where it can take us.
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  9. The epic story of Jerusalem told through the lives of the men and women who created, ruled and inhabited it.Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day and the battlefield of today’s clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of 3,000 years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism and coexistence. How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the ‘centre of the world’ and now the key to peace in the Middle East? In a gripping narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals this ever-changing city in its many incarnations, bringing every epoch and character blazingly to life. Jerusalem’s biography is told through the wars, love affairs and revelations of the men and women – kings, empresses, prophets, poets, saints, conquerors and whores – who created, destroyed, chronicled and believed in Jerusalem.Drawing on new archives, current scholarship, his own family papers and a lifetime’s study, Montefiore illuminates the essence of sanctity and mysticism, identity and empire in a unique chronicle of the city that many believe will be the setting for the Apocalypse. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem, and the only city that exists twice – in heaven and on earth.
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  10. When John Devitt won Olympic 100-metre freestyle gold in 1960, his inspiration was Healy. He always wanted to write his hero’s biography. Now, on the centenary of Healy’s death, Devitt has joined with Larry Writer to produce an extraordinary tale of a man who was born to swim, earned sporting immortality but then sacrificed all. The book recalls Australia’s first great era of swimming, our early Olympic achievements and the rise of the surf lifesaving movement. Healy helped organise the visit of Duke Kahanamoku to Australia in the summer of 1914-15, an adventure that inspired generations of board riders. Three years earlier, at the Stockholm Olympics, he refused to race in the 100 metres final unless the Duke, the race favourite, was also allowed to swim. The great Hawaiian had missed his semi-final, after a misunderstanding over the starting time. Cecil later won gold in the 4×200m freestyle relay, but it was his altruism that earned him a place in sport’s highest pantheon. When John Devitt adopted his sporting hero, he could not have chosen a finer man.
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  11. This biography studies the making of writer and artist’s wife Cynthia Nolan, born Violet Cynthia Reed. She was almost forty when she married Sidney Nolan and consigned her past to obscurity. It tracks this brave, elusive figure through historical sources, letters, her novels, the recollections of friends and family, and the photographs and portraits made of her. After a privileged but constrained childhood, she travelled to Europe. Inspired by what she’d seen, she returned to Australia and, with a small circle of artists and designers, created a brief but influential business in contemporary art and design. In 1934 she moved to Sydney, hoping to find work as an actress. Disenchanted, Cynthia travelled to America, then London, to train as a nurse. Nurse Reed was in France when war was declared. She returned to Melbourne, pregnant, and stayed at Heide. She made a life for herself and her daughter, Mosca Jinx, in a cottage in Sydney, where she completed her much overlooked novels. Cynthia met Sidney through her sister-in-law, Sunday, who was married to John Reed. The women were close, but in 1941 Cynthia and Sunday had a falling out. Sidney came knocking on Cynthia’s door in 1948. Once married, Sidney adopted Jinx, signalling his commitment to their family life. Cynthia had the requisite skills, experience and contacts to assist Sidney in his unprecedented success. From 1953, their home base was in Putney, London. Cynthia recorded their travels and preoccupations in four books, and also wrote a novel, A Bride for St Thomas, published in 1970. By this time she was frail, often in severe pain. In 1976, having confided in no-one, Cynthia died in a hotel room in London. In her letters and books we hear her distinctive and discriminating voice, despite the turmoil surrounding her at Heide. This book restores her rightful place in history, as an influential woman in her own right.
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  12. Originally published: London: Jonathan Cape, 1997.
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  13. A comprehensive, compelling biography following the life and style of the inimitable Elsa Schiaparelli by renowned biographer Meryle Secrest. One of the most extraordinary fashion designers of the twentieth century, Elsa Schiaparelli was an integral figure in the artistic movement of the times. Her collaborations with artists such as Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau and Alberto Giacometti elevated the field of women’s clothing design into the realm of art. Her story is one of pluck, determination and talent with scandal as spice. As the daughter of minor Italian nobility whose disastrous first marriage to a Theosophist caused near penury, she transformed herself into a designer of great imagination and, along with Coco Chanel, her greatest rival, she was one of the few female figures in the field at that time.
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  14. From the formation of Wham! to his untimely death, this is the ultimate biography of George Michael.George Michael is an enigma. He was one of the most open and vocal pop superstars on the planet, yet he was also fiercely protective of his privacy.From the formation of Wham! in 1981 he immediately found fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams. His music formed the soundtrack to the 1980s and he achieved all of this despite growing up in a dysfunctional family where his father openly proclaimed that George had no talent. Wham! Split in 1986 but Michael went on to greater things as a solo artist. Along the way he was embroiled in several controversies, but in a refreshing change to other superstars, he has been happy to address his issues head-on in the media. In the last decade he returned to touring with the massively successful 25Live tour and the critically acclaimed Symphonica after a serious health scare and a stint in prison. In the months before his death he was working on new material and a TV documentary. It was only after his death in December 2016 that stories of the full extent of his generosity came to light, adding another layer to the complex story of an unusual superstar. Rob Jovanovic’s newly updated biography of George Michael tackles the issues and glory that formed the superstar and his place as a cultural icon.
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  15. From bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs’ professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs’ family members, key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.
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  16. It was no wonder I was glad to be down in Woolloomooloo. The Old Fitzroy reminded me of how Kings Cross used to be. Told in his vivid and entertaining style, Louis Nowra writes Woolloomooloo’s biography, drink in hand, from the vantage point of the Old Fitzroy Hotel, the cosy, eccentric and wonderful pub on Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo. It’s a world of sex, sin, sly grog, sailors, razor gangs, larrikins, workers, artisans, murderers, fishermen, activists, drinkers, fashion designers, tradies, artists and the downright dangerous. It’s also a story of courage, resilience, tolerance, compassion. And though the pub has a real theatre, it’s the cast of real-life characters that are the stars of this show.Woolloomooloo’s past wraps around its present. Louis – often accompanied by Coco the Chihuahua and other two-legged locals, often walks the streets, uncovering history – some official, some never revealed. He stumbles across pockets of beauty and charm, and the derelict and abandoned. Unforgettable – and unspellable – Woolloomooloo in this book is a place as fascinating as its name. Listen to Louis Nowra’s interview on Radio National’s Books + Arts
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  17. A classic, accessible award-winning biography of Australia’s most iconic author, leading feminist and humanitarian.
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  18. In this elegant new book, the sequel to his earlier, much praised treatment of the Devil, Philip Almond reveals that – whether in Judaism, Christianity or Islam – God is seen to be at once utterly beyond our world yet at the same earnestly desiring to be at one with it. In the Christian chapter of this story the paradox arguably reaches its improbable zenith: in the fragile form of a human being the infinite became finite, the eternal temporal. The way these and other metaphysical tensions have been understood is, the author demonstrates, the key to unlocking the entire history of religion in the West. Expertly placing the narrative of divine presence within the wider history of ideas, Almond suggests that the notion of a deity has been the single greatest conundrum of medieval and modern civilization. In this rich, nuanced appraisal, ‘God’ is shown to be more complex and fascinating than ever before.
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  19. Who is the real Madonna? At the age of sixty, she is still one of the richest and most successful pop stars in the world. Her provocative behaviour continues to generate headlines yet she remains an enigma. Until now. In Madonna, J. Randy Taraborrelli has crafted a brilliant biography full of vivid detail, insight and humour. From the driven, ambitious young woman struggling to get a break in New York to the outrageous pop diva and more spiritual mother, the changing faces of Madonna are revealed. We see her relationships with men like Basquiat, Tupac, Prince and Warren Beatty, and what happened in her marriages to Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie. We see her embracing motherhood. And we see her today with five children, still recording and touring, finding happiness with much younger boyfriends, defiantly living life on her own terms. Madonna is based on decades of research and exclusive interviews with people speaking of her publicly for the first time – including friends, business associates and family members. Taraborrelli has also interviewed the star herself on numerous occasions, and he draws on first-hand experiences to bring Madonna to life as not merely a sensational tabloid delight, but as a flesh-and-blood woman with human foibles and weaknesses, as well as great strengths.
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