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Scribe Catalogue, July–December 2020

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The Case of George Pell

Melissa Davey

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The Doctor Who Fooled the World

Brian Deer

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The Palace Letters

Jenny Hocking

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What Is to Be Done

Barry Jones

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The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida

Clarissa Goenawan

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What Is Life?

Paul Nurse

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THE BIRD WAY

a new look at how birds talk, work, play, parent, and think Jennifer Ackerman

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Genius of Birds, here is a radical examination of the bird way of being and of recent scientific research that is dramatically shifting our understanding of birds — how they live and how they think.

‘There is the mammal way and there is the bird way.’ This is one scientist’s pithy distinction between mammal brains and bird brains: two ways to make a highly intelligent mind. But the bird way is much more than a unique pattern of brain wiring, and, lately, scientists have taken a new look at bird behaviours. What they are finding is upending the traditional view of how birds conduct their lives, how they communicate, forage, court, breed, and survive. They’re also revealing not only the remarkable intelligence underlying these activities, and disturbing abilities we once considered uniquely our own — deception, manipulation, cheating, kidnapping, and infanticide — but also ingenious communication between species, cooperation, collaboration, altruism, culture, and play.

Drawing on personal observations, the latest science, and her bird-related travel around the world, from the tropical rainforests of eastern Australia and the remote woodlands of northern Japan, to the rolling hills of lower Austria and the islands of Alaska’s Kachemak Bay, Ackerman shows there is clearly no single bird way of being. In every respect — in plumage, form, song, flight, lifestyle, niche, and behaviour — birds vary. It’s what we love about them. As E.O. Wilson once said, when you have seen one bird, you have not seen them all.

‘A wonderful read. Every page will increase your awe of birds.’

Tim Low

Jennifer Ackerman

Jennifer Ackerman has been writing about science, nature, and human biology for almost three decades. Her most recent books include Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: a day in the life of your body; Ah-Choo: the uncommon life of the common cold; Chance in the House of Fate: a natural history of heredity; The Genius of Birds; and Birds by the Shore. A contributor to Scientific American, National Geographic, The New York Times, and many other publications, Ackerman is the recipient of an National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Nonfiction, a Bunting Fellowship, and a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

WE ARE FAMILY

what really matters for parents and children Susan Golombok

Our understanding of what makes a family has undergone a revolution in the last few decades, from same-sex parenthood to surrogacy, donor conception, and IVF. But what has the impact been on children?

In We Are Family, Professor Susan Golombok visits lesbian mothers, gay fathers, single parents, donor conception parents, co-parents, trans parents, surrogates, and donors, and, more importantly, their children, to find out if they are as well-adjusted, happy, and emotionally stable as children from traditional nuclear families. And she discovers that the answer is yes — and sometimes even more so.

Susan’s work at the Centre for Family Research at Cambridge proves that any family set-up can provide a loving, secure home for a child — although, the children from these families will often face prejudiced attitudes from others. Since the 1970s, when she was first drawn to this area of research after reading about lesbian mothers whose children were being removed from their care, Susan has worked tirelessly to challenge outdated attitudes and prevent families being split up for no good reason. This book tells the stories of those families — their struggles and their triumphs — while celebrating love and family in all its wonderful variations.

‘In this important and compelling book, Professor Susan Golombok gives evidence that the expansion of domestic structures represents not the downfall of family, but the expansion of it to include previously unfathomed, rich possibilities. She explains the new ways people find to reproduce and to be parents, examines how the changes evolved over the last forty years or so, and illuminates the workings of previously undocumented kinds of households. In doing so, she supplies fresh and exquisite narratives of intimacy; this is, at heart, a book about love.’

Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree

Susan Golombok

Susan Golombok is professor of family research and director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, and a professorial fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge. Her pioneering research on lesbian mother families, gay father families, single mothers by choice, and families created by assisted reproductive technologies has been instrumental to our understanding of both child development and social and ethical issues related to family life.

THE FOGGING

Luke Horton

A compelling tale of the slow disintegration of a relationship and the unravelling of a man.

Tom and Clara are two struggling academics in their mid-thirties, who decide to take their first holiday in ten years. On the flight over to Indonesia, Tom experiences a debilitating panic attack, something he hasn’t had in a long time, which he keeps hidden from Clara.  At the resort, they meet Madeleine, a charismatic French woman, her Australian partner, Jeremy, and five-year-old son, Ollie, and the two couples strike up an easy friendship. The holiday starts to look up, even to Tom, who is struggling to get out of his own head. But when Clara and Madeleine become trapped in the maze-like grounds of the hotel during ‘the fogging’ — a routine spraying of pesticide — the dynamics suddenly shift between Tom and Clara, and the atmosphere of the holiday darkens.

Told with equal parts compassion and irony, and brimming with observations that charm, illuminate, and devastate, The Fogging dives deep into what it means to be strong when your foundation is built on sand.

‘Claustrophobic and vertiginous … an unshrinking and skilfully drawn portrait of a decaying relationship. In restrained prose, Horton illuminates the darker edges of masculinity. His is a frequency finely tuned to silences, gaps of language and meaning, things left unsaid — and their cumulative weight. Like a brewing storm on an oppressive summer day, The Fogging is quiet but assured, building towards the thunderclap of its final pages.’

Jennifer Down, author of Our Magic Hour

Luke Horton

Luke Horton’s writing has appeared in various publications, including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, and The Australian, and was shortlisted for the Viva La Novella prize. The former editor of The Lifted Brow Review of Books, he currently teaches creative writing at RMIT, and is a member of acclaimed indie-rock band Love of Diagrams. The Fogging is his debut novel, and was highly commended for the Victorian Premier’s Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in 2019.

PEOPLE WITHOUT POWER

the war on populism and the fight for democracy Thomas Frank

An eye-opening account of populism, the most important — and misunderstood — movement of our time.

Everything we think we know about populism is wrong. Today, populism is seen as a frightening thing, a term pundits use to describe the racist philosophy of Donald Trump and European extremists. But this is a mistake.

The real story of populism is an account of enlightenment and liberation; it is the story of democracy itself, of its ever-widening promise of a decent life for all. Here, acclaimed political commentator Thomas Frank takes us from the US’s tumultuous 1890s, when the radical left-wing Populist Party fought plutocrats, to the triumphs of reformers under Roosevelt and Truman.

Frank also shows that elitist groups have reliably detested populism, lashing out at working-class concerns; today’s moral panic in liberal circles is only the latest expression. Frank pummels the elites, revisits the movement’s provocative politics, and declares true populism to be the language of promise and optimism. People Without Power is a ringing affirmation of a movement that, Frank shows us, is not the problem of our times, but the solution.

‘With his usual verve, Frank skewers the elite voices of condescension that vilify the egalitarian and democratic strivings of working people. In so doing, he offers a passionate defense of populism, which he reveals as a deep and wide political tradition that remains as essential as ever for the hopes of a more just and equitable society.’

Charles Postel, author of Equality: an American dilemma, 1866–1896

Thomas Frank

Thomas Frank is the author of Pity the Billionaire, The Wrecking Crew, What’s the Matter with Kansas?, and Listen, Liberal (Scribe, 2016). A former columnist for The Wall Street Journal and Harper’s, Frank is the founding editor of The Baffler. He lives outside Washington, DC.

HOWL

Kat Patrick (illus. Evie Barrow)

Howl is a masterfully told and exquisitely drawn story of a young girl’s way of expressing and resolving big feelings.

Maggie has had a very bad day.

First of all, the sun was the wrong shape, in a sky that was too blue. The spaghetti was too long, and her pyjamas were the wrong kind of pyjama.

Then Maggie begins to have wolfish thoughts ...

‘In Howl Patrick’s warm storytelling style is beautifully enriched by Barrow’s bright, textured pencil drawings. Scribble has consistently put out fantastic children’s books since its launch in late 2016 and Howl is no exception. This is exactly the kind of gorgeous, imaginative, giftable picture book that booksellers will find themselves recommending far and wide come the lead-up to Christmas.’

Bronte Coates, Books+Publishing

Kat Patrick

Kat Patrick recently realised they never actually grew up, and so has been trying to make a living as a writer ever since. Originally from the UK, they have written their way around the world, and after stints in New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Paris and Patagonia, are now based in Glasgow.

THE CASE OF GEORGE PELL

reckoning with child sexual abuse by clergy Melissa Davey

Some people will have wanted me to give my opinion in this book about Pell’s guilt or innocence, and on whether the courts got it right or wrong. But that’s not what this book is about … I want to share what I have learned, including the facts as they unfolded. I want readers to have as much evidence as is possible before them as they consider the Pell trials. And I want any response to his conviction and appeals to be, at the very least, informed by the evidence.

Guardian Australia’s Melbourne bureau chief, Melissa Davey covered Cardinal George Pell’s evidence at the royal commission into child sexual abuses, and attended each of his trials for his alleged historic sexual offences against children — his committal hearing, mistrial, retrial, and appeals.

What she saw, heard, and read made her determined to produce a dispassionate and thorough rendition of what occurred. The Case of George Pell is the result — an authoritative account of those trials, of the basis for the verdicts, and of the backlash to the verdicts. It is inevitably not only about Cardinal Pell, but about justice in the age of conservative media, about culture wars, and about the broader context of clergy abuse.

Despite a five-year-long sexual-abuse inquiry, the trials of one of the most senior Catholics in the world, and saturation coverage of the issue, it became evident to Ms Davey that many myths about the nature of child sexual abuse persist — and that, for some people, the evidence of victims can never be allowed to tarnish the reputation of the church and its practitioners.

The Case of George Pell is not just about one alleged offender, and one complainant. It is also about how the sexual abuse of children occurs — and has been allowed to continue.

‘At last, the secret trials of George Pell are revealed in compelling detail by one of the very few who was there throughout. With unmatched authority, Melissa Davey answers the questions that haven’t gone away: why was the cardinal found guilty, and why was he then set free?’

David Marr

Melissa Davey

Melissa Davey is a Walkley award-winning journalist and has been The Guardian’s Melbourne bureau chief for several years. She has been nominated for three Walkley awards and two Quill awards, and has won two New York Festival awards for The Reckoning, a podcast series she collaborated on with David Marr and Miles Martignoni. She has also won awards from medical bodies for her work reporting on rheumatic heart disease in Aboriginal children, and for her investigation into the brutality of gynaecologist Emil Shawky Gayed. Her investigation into Gayed triggered a government inquiry.Melissa frequently appears on BBC World News, and commercial radio in Australia and overseas. Previously she worked for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun Herald, and News Ltd.

FALLOUT

the Hiroshima cover-up and the reporter who revealed it to the world Lesley Blume

New York Times bestselling author Lesley Blume reveals how a courageous reporter uncovered one of the greatest and deadliest cover-ups of the 20th century — the true effects of the atom bomb — potentially saving millions of lives.

In the days following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese surrendered unconditionally. But even before the surrender, the US had begun a secret propaganda campaign to celebrate these weapons as the ultimate peacekeepers — hiding the true extent and nature of their devastation. The cover-up intensified as Americans closed the atomic cities to Allied reporters, preventing information from leaking about the horrific and lasting effects of radiation that would kill thousands of people during the months after the blast. For nearly a year, the cover-up worked — until New Yorker journalist John Hersey got into Hiroshima and reported the truth to the world.

As Hersey and his editors prepared his article for publication, they kept the whistleblowing story secret — even from most of their New Yorker colleagues. When the magazine published ‘Hiroshima’ in August 1946, it became an instant global sensation, and inspired pervasive horror about the weapons that had been covertly waged in America’s name. Since 1945, no nuclear weapons have ever been deployed in war, partly because Hersey alerted the world to their true, devastating impact. This knowledge has remained among the greatest deterrents to using them since the end of World War II.

Released on the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, Fallout is an engrossing detective story, as well as an important piece of hidden history, which shows how one heroic scoop saved — and can still save — the world.

‘Lesley Blume brings a reportorial mastery worthy of her subject, compellingly told on every page. Here, finally discovered, is the dramatic story of how John Hersey produced what is widely regarded as the greatest piece of American journalism of the 20th century.’

Carl Bernstein, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, co-author of All the President’s Men, and author of A Woman in Charge

Lesley Blume

Lesley Blume is a Los Angeles–based journalist, author, and biographer. Her work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Paris Review, among many other publications. Her last nonfiction book, Everybody Behaves Badly, was a New York Times bestseller.

NO PRESENTS PLEASE

Mumbai stories Jayant Kaikini (trans. Tejaswini Niranjana)

Winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the Atta Galatta–Bangalore Literature Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, Jayant Kaikini is one of India's most celebrated short-story writers.

For readers of Jhumpa Lahiri and Rohinton Mistry, as well as Lorrie Moore and George Saunders, here are stories on the pathos and comedy of small-town migrants struggling to build a life in the big city, with the dream world of Bollywood never far away.

Jayant Kaikini’s gaze takes in the people in the corners of Mumbai — a bus driver who, denied vacation time, steals the bus to travel home; a slum dweller who catches cats and sells them for pharmaceutical testing; a father at his wits’ end who takes his mischievous son to a reform institution.

In this metropolis, those who seek find epiphanies in dark movie theaters, the jostle of local trains, and even in roadside keychains and lost thermos flasks. Here, in the shade of an unfinished overpass, a factory-worker and her boyfriend browse wedding invitations bearing wealthy couples’ affectations — ‘no presents please’ — and look once more at what they own.

Translated from the Kannada by Tejaswini Niranjana, these resonant stories, recently awarded the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, take us to photo framers, flower markets, and Irani cafes, revealing a city trading in fantasies while its strivers, eating once a day and sleeping ten to a room, hold secret ambitions close.

‘In No Presents Please, Jayant Kaikini cracks open with tender care an extraordinary city, bursting with the ambitions of people who are anything but ordinary. In Kaikini’s deft hands, Mumbai comes to life, exquisitely rendered, as much of a character as anyone else.’

Neel Patel, author of If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi

Jayant Kaikini

Jayant Kaikini is a Kannada poet, short-story writer, columnist, and playwright, as well as an award-winning lyricist and script and dialogue writer for Kannada films. He won his first Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Award at the age of nineteen in 1974, and has since won the award three times, in addition to winning various other awards in India, including the first Kusumagraj Rashtriya Bhasha Sahitya Puraskar. No Presents Please, his volume of selected stories, is the first book in translation to have won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.

THE WOMAN WHO CRACKED THE ANXIETY CODE

the extraordinary life of Dr Claire Weekes Judith Hoare

The true story of the little-known mental-health pioneer who revolutionised how we see the defining problem of our era: anxiety.

Panic, depression, sorrow, guilt, disgrace, obsession, sleeplessness, low confidence, loneliness, agoraphobia … Dr Claire Weekes knew how to treat them, but was dismissed as underqualified and overly populist by the psychiatric establishment. In a radical move, she had gone directly to the people. Her international bestseller Self Help for Your Nerves, first published in 1962 and still in print, helped tens of millions of people to overcome all of these, and continues to do so.

Weekes pioneered an anxiety treatment that is now at the cutting edge of modern psychotherapies. Her early explanation of fear, and its effect on the nervous system, is state of the art. Psychologists use her method, neuroscientists study the interaction between different fear circuits in the brain, and many psychiatrists are revisiting the mind–body connection that was the hallmark of her unique work. Face, accept, float, let time pass: hers was the invisible hand that rewrote the therapeutic manual.

This understanding of the biology of fear could not be more contemporary — ‘acceptance’ is the treatment du jour, and all mental-health professionals explain the phenomenon of fear in the same way she did so many years ago. However, most of them are unaware of the debt they have to a woman whose work has found such a huge public audience. This book is the first to tell that story, and to tell Weekes’ own remarkable tale, of how a mistaken diagnosis of tuberculosis led to heart palpitations, beginning her fascinating journey to a practical treatment for anxiety that put power back in the hands of the individual.

‘By thinking outside the box, and exercising extraordinary clinical sensitivity, the brilliant physician Claire Weekes created a treatment protocol to the unending benefit of tens of millions of patients over the years.’

Dr David Barlow, professor emeritus of psychology and psychiatry at Boston University

Judith Hoare

Judith Hoare is a journalist who worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The Australian Financial Review. She started her career on Chequerboard, a trailblazing social-issues program in the 1970s, and then moved to the AFR, reporting on federal politics in Canberra. She shifted to features writing, to eventually specialise in editing long-form journalism for the newspaper, and was appointed deputy editor, features, in 1995, a position she held for 20 years.

THE RARE METALS WAR

the dark side of clean energy and digital technologies Guillaume Pitron (trans. Bianca Jacobsohn)

The resources race is on. Powering our digital lives and green technologies are some of the Earth’s most precious metals — but they are running out. And what will happen when they do?

The green-tech revolution has been lauded as the silver bullet to a new world. One that is at last free of oil, pollution, shortages, and cross-border tensions. Drawing on six years of research across a dozen countries, this book cuts across conventional green thinking to probe the hidden, dark side of green technology.

By breaking free of fossil fuels, we are in fact setting ourselves up for a new dependence — on rare metals such as cobalt, gold, and palladium. They are essential to electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, our smartphones, computers, tablets, and other everyday connected objects. China has captured the lion’s share of the rare metals industry, but consumers know very little about how they are mined and traded, or their environmental, economic, and geopolitical costs.

The Rare Metals War is a vital exposé of the ticking time-bomb that lies beneath our new technological order. It uncovers the reality of our lavish and ambitious environmental quest that involves risks as formidable as those it seeks to resolve.

‘[T]he journalist and filmmaker warns against the optimistic belief that technology is the solution … At a time when many claim to be “citizens of the world” or retreat into naive or hypocritical protectionism, Pitron’s book is an attempt to open people’s eyes to the consequences of their societal choices and lifestyles.’

Green European Journal

Guillaume Pitron

Guillaume Pitron, who was born in 1980, is a French award-winning journalist and documentary-maker for France’s leading television channels. His work focuses on commodities and on the economic, political, and environmental issues associated with their use. The Rare Metals War is his first book, and has been translated into eight languages. Guillaume Pitron holds a master’s degree in international law from the University of Georgetown (Washington, DC), and is a TEDx speaker. More information at www.guillaumepitron.com.

THE END OF EPIDEMICS

how to stop viruses and save humanity now Jonathan D. Quick

It’s the dystopian nightmare pandemic experts have warned about. But it’s happening right now.

COVID-19 has catapulted us into a science-fiction scenario — now our lived reality across the globe. Seemingly overnight, literally billions of people around the globe have had their lives upended by fear, uncertainty, bankruptcy, illness, or death.

At home, we ask: will the job I’ve been preparing for even exist when COVID-19 has passed? Will the business I built with sweat ever reopen? When can we safely travel abroad — or even to some parts of our own country? Will everyday life ever go back to normal? When will we have a vaccine?

Boiled up from the blood of a bat in rural China, the novel coronavirus has scourged every continent except Antarctica, and every major city — from Sydney to Stockholm, New York to Nairobi, Moscow to Miami, and Brasília to Bangkok. By the time the pandemic has passed, COVID-19 will have killed hundreds of thousands of people, sickened millions of people, upended the lives of tens of millions, and cost the global economy trillions of dollars.

An outbreak of a new, deadly, highly contagious virus was inevitable. But an explosive global pandemic was not inevitable. There is hope.

In The End of Epidemics, leading public health authority Dr Jonathan D. Quick tells the stories of the heroes, past and present, who have succeeded in their fights to stop the spread of illness and death. He explains the science and the politics of combatting epidemics. And he provides a detailed seven-part plan showing exactly how world leaders, health professionals, the business community, media, and ordinary citizens can work together to prevent epidemics, saving millions of lives.

‘[Quick] rifles through the morass of preparedness and response initiatives and policy ideas that have arisen since 2014, synthesising a seven-point programme for epidemic prevention … Quick offers a humane, readable, coherent analysis for would-be health leaders and disease responders, organised simultaneously as a handy reference tool for crisis response, and an outbreak explainer that in parts, thanks to assisting science writer Bronwyn Fryer, sizzles … adept at identifying solutions: he finds hope in social mobilisation.’

Laurie Garrett, The Lancet

Jonathan D. Quick

Jonathan D. Quick is a family physician, health-management specialist, managing director for pandemic response, preparedness, and prevention at The Rockefeller Foundation, and an adjunct professor of global health at the Duke Global Health Institute. He is also senior fellow emeritus at the global non-profit organisation Management Sciences for Health, where he served as president and chief executive officer for 2004 to 2017. Dr Quick has carried out assignments to improve the health and lives of people in over 70 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

THE DOCTOR WHO FOOLED THE WORLD

Andrew Wakefield’s war on vaccines Brian Deer

A reporter uncovers the secrets behind the scientific scam of the century.

The news breaks first as a tale of fear and pity. Doctors at a London hospital claim a link between autism and a vaccine given to millions of children: MMR. Young parents are terrified. Immunisation rates slump. And as a worldwide ‘anti-vax’ movement kicks off, old diseases return to sicken and kill.

But a veteran reporter isn’t so sure, and sets out on an epic investigation. Battling establishment cover-ups, smear campaigns, and gagging lawsuits, he exposes rigged research and secret schemes, the heartbreaking plight of families struggling with disability, and the scientific deception of our time.

‘Andrew Wakefield is one of the darkest figures of our time, personally responsible for launching a mass panic about vaccines that has resulted in a resurgence of deadly childhood epidemics worldwide. He has also caused untold grief to misguided parents who view this con-man as a saviour, and to autistic people who face further stigma by being falsely portrayed as ‘vaccine-damaged’. Written with the meticulousness of a journalist determined to find out the truth and the pulse-pounding pacing of a thriller, The Doctor Who Fooled the World is a profoundly important book.’

Steve Silberman, author of Neurotribes: the legacy of autism and the future of neurodiversity

Brian Deer

Brian Deer is a veteran British investigative journalist, best known for his inquiries into the drug industry, medicine, and social issues for the Sunday Times of London. Among his awards, Deer was twice named the UK’s specialist reporter of the year, and in 2016 he was made Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) by York St. John University.

THE EXPENDABLES

how the middle class got screwed by globalisation Jeff Rubin

A provocative, far-reaching account of how the middle class got stuck with the bill for globalisation, and how, even before the coronavirus, the blowback — from Brexit to Trump to populist Europe — was going to change the developed world.

Real wages have not risen much for decades. Union membership has collapsed. Full-time employment is beginning to look like a quaint idea from the distant past. Falling tariffs, low interest rates, global deregulation, and tax policies that benefit the rich have all had the same effect: the erosion of the middle class.

Bestselling author Jeff Rubin argues that all this was foreseeable back when major Western countries started to believe their own propaganda about free trade, and especially when they allowed China to exploit weaknesses in the trading system they devised.

The result, growing global inequality, is a problem of our own making. And solving it won’t be easy if we draw on the same ideas about capital and labour, right and left, that led us to this cliff. Articulating a vision that, remarkably, dovetails with the ideas of both Naomi Klein and Donald Trump, The Expendables is an exhilaratingly fresh perspective that is at once humane and irascible, fearless and rigorous, and, most importantly, timely.

Praise for Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller:‘Rubin’s argument is powerful.’

Newsweek

Jeff Rubin

Jeff Rubin is a world-leading Canadian economist. An expert on trade and energy, and former chief economist and chief strategist at CIBC World Markets, he recently served as a senior fellow at Canada’s Centre for International Governance. His first book, Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller, was an international bestseller, and since then he has written two other bestsellers, The End of Growth and The Carbon Bubble.

DON’T APPLAUD. EITHER LAUGH OR DON’T. (AT THE COMEDY CELLAR.)

Andrew Hankinson

What counts as funny, what as toxic, and who gets to decide? Explore the serious business of stand-up with Andrew Hankinson, author of cult classic You Could Do Something Amazing with Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat].

AMY SCHUMER. LOUIS CK. JERRY SEINFELD. CHRIS ROCK. They all worked the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village, honing their acts, experimenting, taking risks. It was a safe space, thanks to the principles of its first owner, Manny Dworman, then his son Noam. The only threat to freedom of expression was a lack of laughs.

But how did a New York taxi driver, born in Tel Aviv, create comedy’s most important stage? How did he influence some of the biggest names in stand-up? What are the limits of a joke? Who decides? And why does the comedians’ table matter so much?

Andrew Hankinson speaks to the Cellar’s owner, comedians, and audience members, using interviews, emails, podcasts, letters, text messages, and previously private documents to create a conversation about the perils, pride, and prejudice of modern comedy. Moving backwards in time from Louis CK’s downfall to when Manny used to host folk singers including Bob Dylan, this is about a comedy club, but it’s also about the widening chasm in contemporary culture.

Praise for You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat]:‘Immersing the reader in Moat's self-justifications, You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat] is both an experiment in empathy and an exploration of the limits of empathy — holding the reader hostage in the echo chamber of an angry and confused man's head.’

Louis Theroux

Andrew Hankinson

Andrew Hankinson is a journalist who was born, raised, and lives in Newcastle upon Tyne. He started his career as a staff writer at Arena magazine and in 2012 won a Northern Writers Award. He is now a freelance feature writer who has contributed to many publications, including Observer Magazine, The Guardian, The New Yorker and Wired. He also teaches at Newcastle University. His first book You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat] won the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction in 2016.

VERITAS

a Harvard professor, a con man, and the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife Ariel Sabar

From National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Ariel Sabar, the gripping true story of a sensational religious forgery and the scandal that engulfed Harvard.

In 2012, Dr Karen King, a star professor at Harvard Divinity School, announced a blockbuster discovery at a scholarly conference just steps from the Vatican: she had found an ancient fragment of papyrus in which Jesus calls Mary Magdalene 'my wife'. The tattered manuscript made international headlines. If early Christians believed Jesus was married, it would upend the 2,000-year history of the world's predominant faith, threatening not just the celibate, all-male priesthood but sacred teachings on marriage, sex, and women's leadership. Biblical scholars were in an uproar, but King had impeccable credentials as a world-renowned authority on female figures in the lost Christian texts from Egypt known as the Gnostic gospels. 'The Gospel of Jesus's Wife’ — as she provocatively titled her discovery — was both a crowning career achievement and powerful proof for her arguments that Christianity from its start embraced alternative, and far more inclusive, voices.

As debates over the manuscript's authenticity raged, award-winning journalist Ariel Sabar set out to investigate a baffling mystery: where did this tiny scrap of papyrus come from? His search for answers is an international detective story — leading from the factory districts of Berlin to the former headquarters of the East German Stasi, before winding up in rural Florida, where he discovered an internet pornographer with a prophetess wife, a fascination with the Pharaohs, and a tortured relationship with the Catholic Church.

Veritas is a tale of fierce intellectual rivalries at the highest levels of academia, a piercing psychological portrait of a disillusioned college dropout whose life had reached a breaking point, and a tragedy about a brilliant scholar handed an ancient papyrus that appealed to her greatest hopes for Christianity — but forced a reckoning with fundamental questions about the nature of truth and the line between faith and reason.

‘This astonishing book — part detective story, part exercise in reporting conducted at its highest level — reaches hold of you by the shirt collar and doesn’t let go. … Exciting on every level, it poses the deepest question of faith: does it depend on the scholarly verification of ancient fragments or on what Heaney called a journey ‘into the marvellous’? I was bowled over by it.’

Caitlin Flanagan, author of Girl Land

Ariel Sabar

Ariel Sabar is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, The Washington Post, and many other publications. He is the author of My Father’s Paradise: a son’s search for his Jewish past in Kurdish Iraq, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

THE POWER OF DISCORD

why the ups and downs of relationships are the secret to building intimacy, resilience, and trust Ed Tronick, Claudia M. Gold

How can we create more meaningful and intimate connections with our loved ones? By using moments of discord to strengthen our relationships, explains this original, deeply researched book.

You might think that perfect harmony is the defining characteristic of healthy relationships, but the truth is that human interactions are messy, complicated, and confusing. And according to renowned psychologist Ed Tronick and paediatrician Claudia Gold, that is not only okay, but crucial to our social and emotional development. In The Power of Discord they show how working through the inevitable dissonance of human connection is the path to better relationships with romantic partners, family, friends, and colleagues.

Dr. Tronick was one of the first researchers to show, via ‘The Still-Face Experiment’, that babies are profoundly affected by their parents’ emotions and behaviour. His work, which brought about a foundational shift in our understanding of human development, shows that our highly evolved sense of self makes us separate, yet our survival depends on connection.

Working through the volley of mismatch and repair in everyday life helps us form deep, lasting, trusting relationships, resilience in times of stress and trauma, and a solid sense of self in the world. Drawing on Dr Tronick’s research and Dr Gold’s clinical experience, The Power of Discord is a refreshing and original look at our ability to relate to others and to ourselves.

‘This profoundly wise book sets out how the dance of connection and disconnection with attachment figures molds our nervous system, our emotional lives, our sense of self, and our ability to dance in tune with others. When we miss each other is when we truly learn to turn, reach, and connect. There are no slick tips for perfect relationships with your kids or lovers here. Just a deep understanding of how the imperfections of life and love can make us strong.’

Sue Johnson, author of Hold Me Tight

Ed Tronick

Dr Ed Tronick is a developmental and clinical psychologist, and the co-founder of the Child Development Unit at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Touchpoints program. He is a distinguished professor of psychology and director of the Infant-Parent Mental Health program at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and a research associate in newborn medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Claudia M. Gold

Dr Claudia M. Gold is a paediatrician and writer. She has practised general and behavioural paediatrics for 25 years, and specialises in early childhood mental health. She is the author of several books, including Keeping Your Child in Mind and The Silenced Child.

ELLIS ISLAND

a people’s history Malgorzata Szejnert (trans. Sean Gasper Bye)

A landmark work of history that brings the voices of the past vividly to life, transforming our understanding of the immigrant’s experience in America.

Ellis Island. How many stories does this tiny patch of land hold? How many people had joyfully embarked on a new life here — or known the despair of being turned away? How many were held there against their will?

To tell its manifold stories, Ellis Island draws on unpublished testimonies, memoirs and correspondence from many internees and immigrants, including Russians, Italians, Jews, Japanese, Germans, and Poles, along with the commissioners, interpreters, doctors, and nurses who shepherded them — all of whom knew they were taking part in a significant historical phenomenon.

We see that deportations from Ellis Island were often based on pseudo-scientific ideas about race, gender, and disability. Sometimes, families were broken up, and new arrivals were held in detention at the Island for days, weeks, or months under quarantine. Indeed the island compound has spent longer as an internment camp than as a migration station.

Today, the island is no less political. In popular culture, it is a romantic symbol of the generations of immigrants who reshaped the United States. But its true history reveals that today’s fierce immigration debate has deep roots. Now a master storyteller brings its past to life, illustrated with unique archival photographs.

‘To me Malgorzata Szejnert embodies the image of Poland … She has grace, a gentle tone, and a serene gaze.’

Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and author of Secondhand Time

Malgorzata Szejnert

For forty years, Malgorzata Szejnert (b. 1936) has been one of Poland’s most important nonfiction writers and editors, shaping a generation of Polish literary reportage. She began writing about challenging social issues in the 1970s, and was an active member of the opposition during the Solidarity period. After the fall of Communism, she co-founded Poland’s leading daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and led its reportage division for 15 years. Since retiring, she has devoted herself entirely to book writing. Her topics range from Poland to America to Zanzibar, always with a warm, personal focus, allowing marginalised people to speak for themselves through her work.

THE GENES THAT MAKE US

human stories from a revolution in medicine Edwin Kirk

Genes — we all have them and we’re all affected by them, often in unknown ways.

Whether directly inherited or modified by our environment, genes control or significantly influence almost every aspect of our lives. From the success of our conception and the development of our sexual characteristics, to the colour of our skin, hair, and eyes. From our height and weight, to our daily health. And, unfortunately, our genes are involved in an untold number of diseases. For many, the first time that genetics truly matters is in a doctor’s office as they learn about a condition that may affect them, their unborn children, or even their wider family. Yet from the first laborious survey of the human genome twenty years ago to the commercial machines that now sequence 6,000 genomes per year, a revolution is taking place in medicine. Genetic screening is already available for major diseases and will become an increasingly prevalent medical tool. Around the world, teams of researchers are working on cures for diseases such as cancer, certain degenerative disorders, and a host of syndromes, while others are inventing new ways to conceive — and even modifying our genome in ways that could change what it means to be human.

Navigating this world of heartbreaking uncertainties, tantalising possibilities, and thorny questions of morality is Professor Edwin Kirk, who in addition to having over two decades of experience is that rare doctor who works both in the lab and with patients. In The Genes That Make Us, he explains everything you need to know with humour, insight, and great humanity.

Edwin Kirk

Professor Edwin Kirk is both a clinical geneticist and a genetic pathologist, a rare combination. As a clinician, he sees patients at Sydney Children’s Hospital, where he has worked for more than 20 years; his laboratory practice is in the New South Wales Health Pathology Genomics Laboratory at Randwick.Kirk is a conjoint appointee in the School of Women’s and Children’s Health at the University of New South Wales, an experienced medical educator, and currently Chief Examiner in Genetics for the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. He is also a respected researcher, working in the fields of cardiac genetics, metabolic diseases, and intellectual disability, as well as studying reproductive carrier screening, and is a co-author of more than 100 publications in scientific journals, which have been cited by other researchers more than 4,000 times. He is one of the co-leads and public faces of the $20 million Mackenzie’s Mission carrier screening project.Kirk lives in Sydney with his wife and three children. In his spare time, he competes in ocean swimming races, slowly, and plays the saxophone, loudly.

THE SCANDINAVIAN SKINCARE BIBLE

the definitive guide to understanding your skin Johanna Gillbro (trans. Fiona Graham)

The Swedish bestseller that will revolutionise the way you treat your skin.

Beautiful, healthy skin is a holy grail for teens with acne and adults with wrinkles alike, and multi-step beauty routines are all the rage. But we know surprisingly little about our largest organ.

Think drinking water will replenish your skin? Think again. More products, better skin? Nope. And an expensive product doesn’t guarantee reliable results. You don’t need to cleanse your skin in the morning; in fact, too much cleansing can be damaging. Toner is redundant, natural products are not always best, and bacteria are not the enemy — and that’s just the beginning!

Learn how to read the labels on products, know exactly what it is you’re putting on your skin, and make better decisions about how you care for it.

Using cutting-edge research about the microbiome, as well as the relationship between gut health and skin, The Scandinavian Skincare Bible challenges how we look at beauty today. By revealing the science and exposing commercial tricks, Dr Gillbro empowers us to lay the foundation for healthy, beautiful skin.

Johanna Gillbro

Johanna Gillbro, PhD, is an award-winning skin scientist with more than 15 years of experience in experimental dermatology, clinical research, and skincare product development, as well as substantial experience within the pharmaceutical industry. Gillbro is frequently engaged as a speaker at international dermatological and cosmetic science conferences to present her cutting-edge research, and for the past decade has been the most cited author in The International Journal of Cosmetic Science.

ANCIENT BONES

unearthing the astonishing, new story of how we became human Madelaine Böhme, Rüdiger Braun, Florian Breier (trans. Jane Billinghurst)

A leading palaeontologist discovers the missing link in human evolution.

Somewhere west of Munich, Madelaine Böhme and her colleagues dig for clues to the origins of humankind. What they discover is beyond anything they imagined: the fossilised bones of Danuvius guggenmosi ignite a global media frenzy. This ancient ancestor defies our knowledge of human history. His nearly twelve-million-year-old bones were not located in Africa — the so-called birthplace of humanity — but in Europe, and his features suggest we evolved much differently than scientists once believed.

In prose that reads like a gripping detective novel, Ancient Bones interweaves the story of the dig that changed everything with the fascinating answer to a previously undecided and now pressing question: how, exactly, did we become human? Placing Böhme's discovery alongside former theories of human evolution, the authors show how this remarkable find (and others in Eurasia) are forcing us to rethink the story we've been told about how we came to be, a story that has been our guiding narrative — until now.

‘A very important and readable book.’

Tim Flannery

Madelaine Böhme

Madelaine Böhme, geo-scientist and palaeontologist, is professor of terrestrial palaeoclimatology at the University of Tübingen and founding director of the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeo-environment. She is one of the most esteemed palaeoclimatologists and palaeoenvironmental scientists examining human evolution with regard to changes in climate and environment. Böhme lives in Tübingen, Germany.

Rüdiger Braun

Rüdiger Braun is a science journalist interested in translating cutting-edge science into gripping stories for the general public to effect societal change. He studied biology and philosophy at the Julius Maximilian University in Würzburg. He contributes to Stern and Geo. Braun lives in Ahrensburg, Germany.

Florian Breier

Florian Breier is a science journalist and works as a filmmaker and author for ZDF television, arte, SWR broadcasting, and others. Breier lives in Cologne, Germany.

THE COMEDY OF ERROR

why evolution made us laugh Jonathan Silvertown

What is humour? Why do we laugh? And why is the root of a good joke almost always error?

Good jokes, bad jokes, clever jokes, dad jokes — the desire to laugh is universal. But why do we find some gags hilarious, whilst others fall flat? Why does explaining a joke make it less amusing rather than more so? Why is laughter contagious, and why did it evolve in the first place?

Using the oldest jokes and the latest science, in The Comedy of Error, Professor Jonathan Silvertown investigates why we laugh: from laughter’s evolutionary origins, to similarities and differences in humour across cultures, and even why being funny makes us sexier.

As this unique book demonstrates, understanding how humour really works can provide endless entertainment.

Praise for Demons in Eden:Demons in Eden is a grand scientific narrative, full of vivid description, clear analysis, and personal warmth—an enthralling read and an important contribution to our understanding of biodiversity.’

Oliver Sacks

Jonathan Silvertown

Jonathan Silvertown is professor of evolutionary ecology in the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of seven previous books.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF SEEING

my journey Marie Younan

Marie Younan was born in 1952 into a family of Assyrian refugees living in north-eastern Syria. Accidentally blinded by her grandmother as a baby, Marie was the quiet, ever-present listener within her large extended family. Locked out of school, play, and social gatherings, she lived a brave inner life of reflection and acceptance.

The family migrated to Beirut, and then, in the mid-seventies, to Melbourne, Australia to escape the Lebanese civil war. Being blind, Marie was denied a visa, and was forced to wait in Syria and Athens for three years before the family could sponsor her to Australia. Unable to speak English, dependent for everything on her family, Marie, in her words, was ‘only half alive’. Then, in 1985, aged 33, she attended the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind. There she became fluent in English, literate in braille, and physically mobile with the help of a cane. Educated, independent, and professionally qualified at last, her life began to take off.

‘A story, raw with reality, full of love and hope, where the stream of resilience runs clear. We share the life of someone for whom blindness is not the insurmountable barrier many believe it to be. What most holds Marie back is the soft bigotry of low expectations. It is hard to put this book down.’

Graeme Innes AM

Marie Younan

Marie Younan is a professional interpreter with counsellors and refugees at the Foundation Centre for Survivors of Torture.

NORTHSIDE

a time and place Warren Kirk

From the photographer behind Westography and Suburbia, with an introduction by Christos Tsiolkas.

From West Brunswick to Reservoir, Fitzroy to Hadfield, Warren Kirk turns his keen eye upon the streets, buildings, and inhabitants of Melbourne’s northern suburbs, which are as iconic as they are rapidly changing. Both a tribute to the things we remember and a reminder to look anew at the world around us, the photos in Northside are a triumph of craft from an artist who invites us to really see.

Praise for Suburbia:‘When Warren Kirk’s bright-blue hardcover, Suburbia— complete with covershot of a homeowner reclining on their simple porch — arrived on my desk, I was instantly in awe of his ability to distil oft overlooked scenes of our vast city. These vignettes of life in the ‘burbs illicit a distinct sense of nostalgia.’

The Design Files

Warren Kirk

Warren Kirk has been a documentary photographer for over 30 years. His previous books are the acclaimed Westography (2016) and Suburbia (2018). He lives and works in Melbourne’s west.

THE PERFECT WORLD OF MIWAKO SUMIDA

Clarissa Goenawan

A bewitching novel set in contemporary Japan about the mysterious suicide of a young woman.

Miwako Sumida is dead.

Now those closest to her try to piece together the fragments of her life. Ryusei, who has always loved her, follows Miwako’s trail to a remote Japanese village. Chie, Miwako’s best friend, was the only person to know her true identity — but is now the time to reveal it? Meanwhile, Fumi, Ryusei’s sister, is harbouring her own haunting secret.

Together, they realise that the young woman they thought they knew had more going on behind her seemingly perfect façade than they could ever have dreamed.

‘An exquisite tale about the way secrets shape and transform young lives. Behind Goenawan’s crisp, spare prose lies a world of emotional complexity.’

Mira T. Lee, award–winning author of Everything Here Is Beautiful

Clarissa Goenawan

Clarissa Goenawan is an Indonesian-born Singaporean writer. Her debut novel Rainbirds won the 2015 Bath Novel Award and was shortlisted for three further prizes. Her short stories have won several awards and been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida is her second novel.

WHAT IS LIFE?

understand biology in five steps Paul Nurse

Life is all around us, abundant and diverse. It is truly a marvel. But what does it actually mean to be alive, and how do we decide what is living and what is not?

After a lifetime of studying life, Nobel Prize–winner Sir Paul Nurse, one of the world’s leading scientists, has taken on the challenge of defining it. Written with great personality and charm, his accessible guide takes readers on a journey to discover biology’s five great building blocks, demonstrates how biology has changed and is changing the world, and reveals where research is headed next.

To survive all the challenges that face the human race today — population growth, pandemics, food shortages, climate change — it is vital that we first understand what life is. Never before has the question ‘What is life?’ been answered with such insight, clarity, and humanity, and never at a time more urgent than now.

‘Paul Nurse is about as distinguished a scientist as there could be. He is also a great communicator. This book explains, in a way that is both clear and elegant, how the processes of life unfold, and does as much as science can to answer the question posed by the title. It’s also profoundly important, at a time when the world is connected so closely that any new illness can sweep from nation to nation with immense speed, that all of us — including politicians — should be as well-informed as possible. This book provides the sort of clarity and understanding that could save many thousands of lives. I learned a great deal, and I enjoyed the process enormously.’

Sir Philip Pullman

Paul Nurse

Sir Paul Nurse is a geneticist and cell biologist whose discoveries have helped to explain how the cell controls its cycle of growth and division. His contributions to cell biology and cancer research were recognised with a knighthood in 1999, and his endeavours relating to the discovery of cell cycle regulatory molecules saw him jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2001. Since 2011, he has been the director and chief executive of the Francis Crick Institute.

BEST AUSTRALIAN POLITICAL CARTOONS 2020

ed. Russ Radcliffe

Welcome to 2020. Brexit, Trump, leadership challenges: those were the days.

The Morrison government, after delivering its promised tax cuts, had only one thing on its policy mind: protecting its presumptive budget surplus. Sure, avoiding questions about such trifles as sports rorts, robodebt cock-ups, and water scams required an inordinate amount of energy. But, all in all, it must have seemed like a good time to take a holiday.

Anyway, other people were on the fire hoses — terrified, exhausted, selfless — as south-east Australia gave us a glimpse of the looming slow-motion catastrophe of a rapidly heating world. Meanwhile, in a wet market in Wuhan, events were unfolding that would shake all our societies to the core and change our world forever. The mantle and burden of heroism was about to be passed to a new cast of ordinary people on a very different front line.

Is this a time for joking? Too soon? Maybe we need the penetrating satirical intelligence and the dark, challenging humour of our political cartoonists more than ever.

Featuring Dean Alston, Peter Broelman, Pat Campbell, Andrew Dyson, John Farmer, First Dog on the Moon, Matt Golding, Fiona Katauskas, Mark Knight, Jon Kudelka, Alan Moir, David Pope, David Rowe, Andrew Weldon, Cathy Wilcox, and many more …

Russ Radcliffe

Russ Radcliffe created the annual Best Australian Political Cartoons series in 2003. His other books include: Man of Steel: a cartoon history of the Howard years in 2007; Dirt Files: a decade of Australian political cartoons in 2013; and My Brilliant Career: Malcolm Turnbull, a political life in cartoons in 2016.Russ has edited collections from some of Australia’s finest political cartoonists, including Matt Golding, Judy Horacek, Bill Leak, Alan Moir, Bruce Petty, John Spooner and David Rowe, and curated several exhibitions including Moments of Truth, Dirt Files and Suppositories of Wisdom.In 2013 Russ was awarded the Australian Cartoonists Association’s Jim Russell Award for his contribution to Australian cartooning.

WHAT IS TO BE DONE

political engagement and saving the planet Barry Jones

A follow-up to the author’s prescient bestseller, first published in 1982, that alerted the public to the likely impacts of information technologies and the emergence of a post-industrial society.

When Sleepers, Wake! was  released in Australia, it immediately became influential around the world: it was read by Deng Xiaoping and Bill Gates; was published in China, Japan, South Korea, and Sweden; and led to the author being the first Australian minister invited to address a G-7 summit meeting, held in Canada in 1985.

Now its author, the polymath and former politician Barry Jones, turns his attention to what has happened since — especially to politics, health, and our climate in the digital age — and to the challenges faced by increasingly fragile democracies and public institutions.

Jones sees climate change as the greatest problem of our time, but political leaders have proved incapable of dealing with complex, long-term issues of such magnitude. The Trump phenomenon overturns the whole concept of critical thinking and analysis. Meanwhile, technologies such as the smartphone and the ubiquity of social media have reinforced the realm of the personal. This has weakened our sense of, or empathy with, ‘the other’, the remote, and the unfamiliar, and all but destroyed our sense of community, of being members of broad, inclusive groups. The COVID-19 threat, which was immediate, and personal, showed that some leaders could respond courageously, while others denied the evidence.

In the post-truth era, politicians invent ‘facts’ and ignore or deny the obvious, while business and the media are obsessed with marketing and consumption for the short term. What Is to Be Done is a long-awaited work from Jones on the challenges of modernity and what must be done to meet them.

‘The author of this book is a genius. He irritates the hell out people of all political loyalties. He reads virtually everything that matters. In these pages we, his readers, are the beneficiaries. Forty years after his masterpiece Sleepers, Wake! he tackles the challenges of a new age: the digital world, climate change, COVID-19, and widespread political disillusionment. If any author can offer us thoughtful directions for what is to be done, it is Barry Jones.’

The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG

Barry Jones

Barry Jones was a Labor member of the Victorian and Commonwealth parliaments, led the campaign to abolish the death penalty, and became Australia’s longest-serving minister for science from 1983 to 1990. His books include Sleepers, Wake!, A Thinking Reed, Dictionary of World Biography, and The Shock of Recognition. He received a Companion of the Order of Australia, Australia’s highest award, in 2014, and, at the age of 87, is a ‘living national treasure’.

THE PALACE LETTERS

The Queen, the Governor-General, and the plot to dismiss Gough Whitlam Jenny Hocking

What role did the queen play in the governor-general Sir John Kerr’s plans to dismiss prime minister Gough Whitlam in 1975, which unleashed one of the most divisive episodes in Australia’s political history? And why weren’t we told?

Under the cover of being designated as private correspondence, the letters between the queen and the governor-general about the dismissal have been locked away for decades in the National Archives of Australia, and embargoed by the queen potentially forever. This ruse has furthered the fiction that the queen and the Palace had no warning of or role in Kerr’s actions.

In the face of this, Professor Jenny Hocking embarked on a four-year legal battle to force the Archives to release the letters. In 2015, she mounted a crowd-funded campaign, securing a stellar pro bono team that took her case all the way to the High Court of Australia.

Now, drawing on never-before-published material from Kerr’s archives and her submissions to the court, Hocking traces the collusion and deception behind the dismissal, and charts the private role of High Court judges, the queen’s private secretary, and the leader of the opposition, Malcolm Fraser, in Kerr’s actions, and the prior knowledge of the queen and Prince Charles.

Hocking also reveals the obstruction, intrigue, and duplicity she faced, raising disturbing questions about the role of the National Archives in preventing access to its own historical material and in enforcing royal secrecy over its documents.

Jenny Hocking

Jenny Hocking is emeritus professor at Monash University, Distinguished Whitlam Fellow at the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University, and Gough Whitlam’s award-winning biographer. Her appeal against the decision of the Federal Court in the Palace letters case was upheld by the High Court on 29 May 2020.

ANEMONE IS NOT THE ENEMY

Anna McGregor

Anemone lives alone in the rock pool. The tide comes in and the tide goes out.

All Anemone wants is a friend, but friends are hard to make when you accidentally sting everyone who comes near you.

Perhaps Clownfish has a solution to the problem ...

Anna McGregor

Melbourne based author/illustrator/designer Anna McGregor is devoted to giving her young readers modern, quirky, and conceptual stories from the heart. Her day job is graphic design, and when she’s not sitting at a desk, Anna enjoys travel, art, and picnics with friends.

ON GETTING OFF

sex and philosophy Damon Young

The curious reader’s companion to sex.

‘Wit, you know, is the unexpected copulation of ideas.’ Samuel Johnson

Why is screwing so funny?
How should we think about our most shocking fantasies?
What is so captivating about nudity?

Inspired by philosophy, literature, and private life, Damon Young explores the paradoxes of the bedroom. On Getting Off will f**k with your mind.

Praise for The Art of Reading:'For Damon Young, writers are like secret agents gone rogue, grabbing us by the lapels and inviting us into a realm of delicious ambiguity. The Art of Reading is an intimately conspiratorial book — erudite, surprising, and persuasive.’

Henry Hitchings, author of Browse: the world in bookshops

Damon Young

Damon Young is a prize-winning philosopher and writer. He is the author or editor of thirteen books, including The Art of Reading, How to Think About Exercise, Beating and Nothingness, and Distraction. His works have been translated into eleven languages, and he has also written poetry, short fiction, and children’s fiction. Young is an Associate in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne.

FRIENDLY FIRE

how Israel became its own worst enemy Ami Ayalon

A highly decorated Israeli military officer, leader, and former director of the internal security service, Shin Bet, sees the light on what his country must do to achieve a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

In this deeply personal journey of discovery, Ami Ayalon seeks input and perspective from Palestinians and Israelis whose experiences differ from his own. As head of the Shin Bet security agency, he gained empathy for ‘the enemy’ and learned that when Israel carries out anti-terrorist operations in a political context of hopelessness, the Palestinian public will support violence, because they have nothing to lose.

Researching and writing Friendly Fire, he came to understand that his patriotic life had blinded him to the self-defeating nature of policies that have undermined Israel’s civil society while heaping humiliation upon its Palestinian neighbours. ‘If Israel becomes an Orwellian dystopia,’ Ayalon writes, ‘it won’t be thanks to a handful of theologians dragging us into the dark past. The secular majority will lead us there motivated by fear and propelled by silence.’

Ayalon is a realist, not an idealist, and many who consider themselves Zionists will regard as radical his conclusions about what Israel must do to achieve relative peace and security and to sustain itself as a Jewish homeland and a liberal democracy.

‘How can a staunch Zionist who was raised on one of Israel’s earliest settlements and trained as a kill-or-be-killed elite commando spearhead a campaign for peace with his enemies? The answer, in Ami Ayalon’s captivating narrative, is an eye-opener for Palestinians and Israelis alike.’

Sari Nusseibeh, author of Once Upon a Country: a Palestinian life, former president of the Al-Quds University and former Palestinian National Authority representative in Jerusalem

Ami Ayalon

Admiral (Ret.) Ami Ayalon is the former commander of the Israeli navy, director of the Shin Bet security agency, cabinet minister, Knesset member, and recipient of the Medal of Valour, Israel’s highest military decoration. He organised and was featured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers.

THE MOMENTOUS, UNEVENTFUL DAY

a requiem for the office Gideon Haigh

Has COVID-19 ushered in the end of the office? Or is it the office’s final triumph?

For decades, futurologists have prophesied a boundaryless working world, freed from the cramped confines of the office. During the COVID-19 crisis, employees around the globe got a taste of it. Confined by lockdown to their homes, they met, mingled, collaborated, and created electronically. At length, they returned to something approaching normality. Or had they glimpsed the normal to come?

In The Momentous, Uneventful Day, Gideon Haigh reflects on our ambivalent relationship to office work and office life, how we ended up with the offices we have, how they have reflected our best and worst instincts, and how these might be affected by a world in a time of contagion. Like the factory in the nineteenth century, the office was the characteristic building form of the twentieth, reshaping our cities, redirecting our lives. We all have a stake in how it will change in the twenty-first.

Enlivened by copious citations from literature, film, memoir, and corporate history, and interspersed with relevant images, The Momentous, Uneventful Day is the ideal companion for a lively current debate about the role offices will play in the future.

Gideon Haigh

Gideon Haigh has been a journalist since 1984, and The Momentous, Uneventful Day is his fortieth book. His The Office: a hardworking history won the 2013 Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction.