Words & Ideas

A humorous and philosophical trip through life, from the New York Times-bestselling author of Travels with Epicurus. As a young college student studying philosop... read more

Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change it - Wisdom from the Great Philosophers on How to Live
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Series:Penguin Specials

The Girl with the Dogs is a poignantly beautiful novella about what's really precious in life, from Miles Franklin Award-winning Anna Funder, author of All That I Am
Amid the debris of their friends' mar... read more

Girl with the Dogs (Penguin Special)
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Bill Shorten is the man who would be our next prime minister. David Marr is the nation's leading writer of political biography. Marr's Quarterly Essay profiles of Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott i... read more

Faction Man: Bill Shorten's Path To Power: Quarterly Essay Issue 59
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'I need a wife' It's a common joke among women juggling work and family. But it's not actually a joke. Having a spouse who takes care of things at home is a Godsend on the domestic front. It's a potent economic asset on the work front... read more

Wife Drought
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Ten years after his internationally bestselling The Weather Makers, acclaimed scientist and author Tim Flannery argues that Earth's climate system is approaching a crisis. Catastrophe is not... read more

Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis
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Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist: more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current... read more

Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science
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A funny and enlightening romp through the world of numbers with one of Australia's best-loved broadcasters. By popular demand, Australia's funniest and most famous mathematician is back with a brilliant new book. Adam S... read more

Adam Spencer's World of Numbers
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Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions ... read more

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
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In 2010, Clive James was diagnosed with terminal leukemia. Deciding that "if you don't know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do," James moved his library to his house in Camb... read more

Latest Readings: Clive James
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We're proud to announce that The Best Australian Essays is entering its seventeenth year. For 2015, we've invited acclaimed literary critic and author Geordie Williamson to take the editor's task in his capable hands. A c... read more

Best Australian Essays 2015
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Imagine controlling a machine with your mind. Imagine a communication line direct from your mind to someone else's. Imagine controlling a prosthetic limb with a thought, or 'seeing' thr... read more

Brain Electric: The Dramatic High-Tech Race to Merge Minds and Machines
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We are taught that the world is a top-down place. Acclaimed author, Matt Ridley, shows just how wrong this is in his compelling new book. We are taught that the world is a top-down place. Generals win battle... read more

Evolution of Everything : How New Ideas Emerge
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sel'Whom to marry and when will it happen - these two questions define every woman's existence.' So begins Spinster, a revelatory and slyly erudite look at the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single. Using h... read more

Spinster - Making a Life of Ones Own
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From the No. 1 bestselling author of What If? - the man who created xkcd and explained the laws of science with cartoons - comes a series of brilliantly simple diagrams ('blueprints' if you want to be c... read more

Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words
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From a creative crisis to a dissatisfied editor, and from a bizarre twist of fate to an untimely death, behind each unpublished book lies a unique and compelling story. ... read more

Greatest Books You'll Never Read: Unpublished Masterpieces by the World's Greatest Writers
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The Laws of Medicine follows Pulitzer-Prize-winning author, Dr Mukherjee as he investigates some of the most perplexing and illuminating cases of his career - the cases that ultimately led him to identify the three key princ... read more

TED Talk: Laws of Medicine
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World-leading natural and social scientists shed light on their discoveries and lives in conversation with an award-winning science writer.
Wh... read more

We are All Stardust: Scientists Who Shaped Our World Talk About Their Work, Their Lives, and What They Still Want to Know
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'Non-freedom to the Western mind is inevitably linked with images of backwardness - Soviet tractors, East German Trabants, Kim Jong Il's haircut. But non-freedom these days ... read more

The Australian Disease on the Decline of Love and the Rise of Non-Freedom: Short Black 1
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From the man who won the Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize 2014 and married a human statue comes a book of weird and wonderful psychological science from the far-flung corners of human experience. Richard ... read more

Black Sheep : The Hidden Benefits of Being Bad
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Recent research suggests there are only six basic emotions. But if this makes you feel uneasy, suspicious and maybe even a little bereft, The Book of Human Emotion is for you. From... read more

Book of Human Emotions - An Encyclopaedia of Feeling from Anger to Wanderlust
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