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Words & Ideas

Just over a decade into the new millennium, America is beset by a sense of crisis. The seismic shifts that occurred in the space of a generation have created a country of winners and losers, leaving the social contract in pieces. In The Unwinding, George Packer narrates the story of America over the past three decades, bringi... read more

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Eating is the most pleasurable, gross, necessary, unspeakable biological process we humans undertake. But very few of us realise what strange wet miracles of science operate inside us after every meal. In her trademark style, Mary Roach breaks bread with spit connoisseurs and enema exorcists, stomach slugs, rectum-examining p... read more

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From GQ's "Nerd of the Year" to one of Time's most influential people in the world, Biz Stone represents different things to different people. But he is known to all as the creative, effervescent, funny, charmingly positive and remarkably savvy co-founder of Twitter-the social media platform that single-handedly changed the w... read more

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Author:Rhonda Hetzel
Series:Penguin Specials

Rhonda Hetzel feels passionately that living simply leads to a richer, more fulfilling existence. Having made the decision to live frugally, embrace sustainability and opt out of the capitalist consumerist mindset, she set about working out how to achieve her goal, learning traditional skills, reducing her spending and enviro... read more

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TED talks have redefined the elements of a successful presentation and become the gold standard for public speaking around the world. TED and associated Tedx conferences are held in more than 130 countries and are being viewed at a rate of 1.5 million times a day. These are presentations that set the world on fire, and the te... read more

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According to current thinking, anyone who fails to succeed must have something wrong with them. The pressure to achieve and be happy is taking a heavy toll, resulting in a warped view of the self, disorientation, and despair. People are lonelier than ever before. Today's pay-for-performance mentality is turning institutions s... read more

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In 2012, Anne Summers gave two landmark speeches about women in Australia, attracting more than 120,000 visits to her website. Within weeks of their delivery Prime Minister Julia Gillards own speech about misogyny and sexism went viral and was celebrated around the world. Summers makes the case that Australia, the land of the... read more

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Why do we like the foods that we do? What happens when we eat not for nutrient intake but for sensory pleasure? How far are our food preferences determined by genetic inheritance, by maternal diet, by cultural practice? These are some of the questions that sit at the heart of John Prescott's Taste Matters, a book that provide... read more

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Why do underdogs succeed so much more than they should? How do the weak outsmart the strong? In David and Goliath Malcolm Gladwell takes us on a scintillating and surprising journey to uncover the hidden dynamics that shape the balance of power between the small and the mighty. From the conflicts in Northern Ireland and Vietn... read more

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David Gillespie has six kids. When it came time to select high schools, he thought it worth doing some investigation to assess the level of advantage his kids would enjoy if he spent the required $1.3 million to send them all to private schools. Shockingly, the answer was: none whatsoever. Intrigued, David continued his resea... read more

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In her attempts to juggle work and family life, Brigid Schulte has baked cakes until 2 a.m., frantically (but surreptitiously) sent important emails during school trips and then worked long into the night after her children were in bed. Realising she had become someone who constantly burst in late, trailing shoes and schoolbo... read more

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Category

Words & Ideas > Essays

A collection of personal essays and writing from David Malouf to celebrate his 80th birthday. Topography, geography, history. Multiculturalism, referendums, the constitution and national occasions. Parental and grandparental romances, the sensual and bountiful beauty of Brisbane, the mysterious offerings of Queenslander house... read more

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In Quarterly Essay 53, Paul Toohey looks at one of Tony Abbott's signature promises: to stop the boats. Has his government succeeded? If so, at what cost? In Java, Toohey observes asylum seekers heading for Australia and reports on the Indonesian response.

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This is a hilarious look at the aging baby boomer generation from the author the Spectator labelled 'what happens when America does Grumpy Old Men'. The Baby Boom - over-sized, overwrought, overbearing, and all over the place, from Donovan to Obama. The generation that said with a straight face, 'We are the world.' What's so ... read more

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Cardinal George Pell is the most prominent Catholic leader in Australia at a time when Church's handling of sexual abuse is being closely investigated. He is also the confessor of prime-minister-in-waiting Tony Abbott. A news-breaking and definitive portrait of Pell, at a time of maximum tension and scrutiny for both him and the church.

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Nikki Gemmell's columns in the AUSTRALIAN WEEKEND MAGAZINE have proved to be hugely popular, shrewdly observed and provocative. In PERSONALLY, she tackles a variety of subjects ranging from female bullying, tenderness, the urge to apologise and becoming an embarrassing parent, to celibacy and the tyranny of technology. Packed... read more

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Donna Leon has won a huge number of passionate fans and a tremendous amount of critical acclaim for her international bestselling mystery series featuring Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti. These accolades have built up not just for her intricate plots and gripping narratives, but for her insight into the culture, politics,... read more

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Keith Houston's entertaining book, inspired by his popular blog shadycharacters.co.uk, tells the unexpected stories of some unusual, and familiar, typographical marks and reveals a fascinating history of writing. Every character we write or type is a link to the past, and in today's printed, electronic and scrawled handwritin... read more

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Category

Words & Ideas > Science

Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is possibly the most perfect intellectual achievement in modern physics. Anything that involves gravity, the force that powers everything on the largest, hottest or densest of scales, can be explained by it. From the moment Einstein first proposed the theory in 1915, it was recei... read more

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Exhilarating and inspiring - with proven results - Smarter provides real scientific solutions to anyone wanting to better their own thinking, give their children the best start in life or to stave off the rapid declines of advancing years.

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