Words & Ideas

A Simple Guide to Mastering the Art of Modern Manners 1970s Australia was a hotbed of social change, facilitated by the introduction of key policy changes: Not at fault divorce and free university education. The first had an enormous impact on the traditional nuclear family. This meant more women were entering full time work,... read more

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Women are standing up and #shoutingback. In a culture that's driven by social media, for the first time women are using this online space (@EverydaySexism to come together, share their stories and encourage a new generation to recognise the problems that women face. This book is a call to arms in a new... read more

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The Freakonomics books have come to stand for challenging conventional wisdom; using data rather than emotion to answer questions. Now Levitt and Dubner have turned what they've learned into a readable and practical toolkit for thinking smarter, harder, and different - thinking, that is, like a Freak. Think Like a Freak offer... read more

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What if everything we thought about power was wrong? What if, in the ancient story of the shepherd boy who topples a giant, David actually had the advantage? This thought sets Malcolm Gladwell on an extraordinary journey that takes him from art to basketball, the brain to revolutions, along the way weaving unforgettable stori... 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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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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After decades of prosperity Australians are now worried about their jobs, their incomes and their future. The mining boom, said to explain Australia's past success, is declared to be over. Unemployment has increased, carmakers have folded, the government is running a huge deficit.

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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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In this timely Quarterly Essay, Andrew Charlton demolishes some myths about Australia's long boom. Around 2000 Australia's economy became tied to the supercharged rise of China. We had the good fortune to have exactly the resources it wanted.

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Wide-ranging in theme and context, it explores the imaginative effects of his writing. A tribute to Chris on the occasion of this eightieth birthday, in many ways it suggests an alternative cultural history of Australia since the 1950s. Containing biographical and critical pieces, poems (including new work by Chris) and essay... read more

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

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Author: Alexander McCall Smith


Series:Writers on Writers

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

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Author: Julianne Schultz


Series:Griffith Review

Intractable social problems persist despite legal sanctions and economic incentives. It is time to try a new approach. The answer may lay in culture - using creativity, story telling and community engagement to motivate and inspire. Cultural Solutions documents the great success stories of lives and communities transformed. I... read more

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Only dead languages don't change; living ones change all the time. From aitch to amazeballs, from mondegreens to man boobs, there is no topic too controversial or complex for Australia's most influential editor, Susan Butler. Sue, long-time editor of the Macquarie Dictionary, takes you on an insightful, often hilarious explor... read more

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The author of "Reading the OED" presents an eye-opening look at language "mistakes" and how they came to be accepted as correct--or not. English is a glorious mess of a language, cobbled together from a wide variety of sources and syntaxes, and changing over time with popular usage. Many of the words and usages we embrace as ... read more

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Born Bad is the latest book from James Boyce, acclaimed author and historian. Boyce traces a history of original sin from Adam and Eve, St Augustine and Martin Luther to Adam Smith, Sigmund Freud and Richard Dawkins. According to original sin, humans are 'born bad' and only God's grace can bring salvation. Although Christiani... read more

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

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

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