My Family and Other Animals by
Escaping the ills of the British climate, the Durrell family – acne-ridden Margo, gun-toting Leslie, bookworm Lawrence and budding naturalist Gerry, along with their long-suffering mother and Roger the dog – take off for the island of Corfu. In a series of colourful villas, the Durrells give a sometimes reluctant home to a trail of local fauna, among them scorpions, geckos, toads, bats and butterflies. Recounted with immense humour and charm, this is a wonderful account of a rare and magical childhood.
Library Call Number: BIO 591.56 DUR
Marley : a dog like no other by John Grogan
A heart-warming story about the World’s Worst Dog, adapted from John Grogan’s phenomenally bestselling memoir, Marley and Me. Meet Marley, a yellow furball of a puppy who quickly grows into a large, rowdy Labrador retriever. Marley is always getting into trouble, whether he is stealing underwear, crashing through doors, or drooling on guests, some may say he’s the World’s Worst Dog! But those who know and love Marley accept him as a dog like no other. His heart is pure and his larger-than-life personality irresistible. He brings joy to his family, the Grogans, and teaches them what really matters in life.
Library Call Number: BIO 5636.752 GRO
The Happiest Refugee by Do, Anh
Anh Do nearly didn’t make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives on the sea as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. But nothing – not murderous pirates, nor the imminent threat of death by hunger, disease or dehydration as they drifted for days – could quench their desire to make a better life in the country they had dreamed about.
Library Call Number: BIO 792.702 DO
Mao’s Last Dancer : by Li Cunxin
The extraordinary biography of a young Chinese peasant boy who emerged from abject poverty, defected to the USA, and became principal dancer for the Houston ballet, a star in the US, friend to George and Barbara Bush, and a star of the Australian ballet as well. This book is a condensed edition for children.
Library Call Number: BIO 792.9092 LI
Boy and Going Solo by Dahl, Roald
Boy is the story of Roald Dahl’s very own boyhood, including tales of secret sweet-shops and chocolate, mean old ladies and a Great Mouse Plot – the inspiration for some of his most marvellous storybooks in the years to come. Going Solo tells of how, when he grew up, Roald Dahl left England for Africa and later went flying with the Royal Air Force, before he became the world’s number-one storyteller.
Library Call Number: BIO 823 DAH
Chinese Cinderella : The Secret Story of an Unwanted Daughter by MAH, Adeline Yen
When Adeline Yen Mah’s mother died giving birth to her, the family considered Adeline bad luck and she was made to feel unwanted all her life. Chinese Cinderella is the true story of her struggle for acceptance and her triumph against almost overwhelming odds.
Library Call Number: BIO 951.25 MAH
Perspective by Ellyse Perry
A book of shared insights from one of Australia’s most exceptional athletes. Ellyse Perry is among the all-time cricket greats, and the only player, female or male, to represent Australia in both cricket and football World Cups, making her international debut in both sports at the age of 16. Perspective is about sitting back from the world you’re involved in and evaluating what it means to you.
Library Call Number: BIO 796.358 PER
Walking free by Munjed Al Muderis
Dr Munjed Al Muderis grew up in Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s reign. He went to school with Saddam’s sons, then started his medical training at Basra University just as the Iran. Iraq War began. One day, as he was working as a trainee surgeon at the Saddam Hussein Medical Centre, he and his colleagues were ordered to remove the tops of the ears of army deserters. He could not bring himself to act in defiance of the medical code of conduct and cause intentional harm, so he had no choice but to flee Baghdad that same day. In Kuala Lumpur he paid people smugglers to get him to Australia, where he was incarcerated in a detention centre and known only as ‘982’.
After nine months of being repeatedly brutalised for standing up for himself and other detainees, Munjed was finally freed. But he had to start his medical training again, from scratch. Now, 15 years later, Munjed is at the forefront of orthopaedic medicine as he pioneers a new form of prosthesis that, ironically, transforms the lives of soldiers mutilated in the Iraq War. ‘Walking Free’ is the extraordinary story of a clever young man, born into one of Iraq’s ruling families, who was forced to flee the country of his birth and forge a new and extraordinary life in Australia
Library Call Number: BIO 617.4 AL
Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover
A mother who invented her past, a father who was often absent, a son who wondered if this could really be his family. Richard Glover’s favourite dinner party game is called ‘Who’s Got the Weirdest Parents?’. It’s a game he always thinks he’ll win. There was his mother, a deluded snob, who made up large swathes of her past and who ran away with Richard’s English teacher, a Tolkien devotee, nudist and stuffed-toy collector. There was his father, a distant alcoholic, who ran through a gamut of wives, yachts and failed dreams. And there was Richard himself, a confused teenager, vulnerable to strange men, trying to find a family he could belong to. As he eventually accepted, the only way to make sense of the present was to go back to the past – but beware of what you might find there. Truth can leave wounds – even if they are only flesh wounds.
Library Call Number: BIO A823 GLO
Becoming by Michelle Obama
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America, she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private. A deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations.
Library Call Number: BIO 973.932 OBA
Educated by Tara Westover
Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag.” In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. As a way out, Tara began to educate herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.
Library Call Number: BIO 371.8092 WES
Songs of a War Boy by Deng Thiak Adut
Deng Adut’s family were farmers in South Sudan when a brutal civil war altered his life forever. At six years old, his mother was told she had to give him up to fight. At the age most Australian children are starting school , Deng was conscripted into the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. He began a harsh, relentless military training that saw this young boy trained to use an AK-47 and sent into battle. He lost the right to be a child. He lost the right to learn. The things Deng saw over those years will stay with him forever. He suffered from cholera, malaria and numerous other debilitating illnesses but still he had to fight. A child soldier is expected to kill or be killed and Deng almost died a number of times. He survived being shot in the back. The desperation and loneliness was overwhelming. He thought he was all alone. But Deng was rescued from war by his brother John.
Hidden in the back of a truck, he was smuggled out of Sudan and into Kenya. Here he lived in refugee camps until he was befriended by an Australian couple. With their help and the support of the UN, Deng Adut came to Australia as a refugee. Despite physical injuries and mental trauma he grabbed the chance to make a new life. He worked in a local service station and learnt English watching The Wiggles. He taught himself to read and started studying at TAFE. In 2005 he enrolled in a Bachelor of Law at Western Sydney University. He became the first person in his family to graduate from university. This is an inspiring story of a man who has overcome deadly adversity to become a lawyer and committed worker for the disenfranchised, helping refugees in Western Sydney. It is an important reminder of the power of compassion and the benefit to us all when we open our doors and our hearts to fleeing war, persecution and trauma.
Library Call Number: BIO 305.896 ADU
Shoe Dog : a memoir by the creator of Nike by Phil Knight
Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands. In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his lime green Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed $8,000 his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of startups, Nike is the plus ultra of all startups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today.
But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, in a memoir that is candid, humble, gutsy, and wry, he tells his story, beginning with his crossroads moment. At 24, after backpacking around the world, he decided to take the unconventional path, to start his own business–a business that would be dynamic, different. Knight details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream–along with his early triumphs. Above all, he recalls the formative relationships with his first partners and employees, a ragtag group of misfits and seekers who became a tight-knit band of brothers. Together, harnessing the transcendent power of a shared mission, and a deep belief in the spirit of sport, they built a brand that changed everything.
Library Call Number: BIO 338.7 KNI
Able by Dylan Alcott
The incredible life of an astonishing athlete Dylan Alcott has never let his disability get in the way of what he wanted to achieve. His family treated him no differently to any other kid, and it was the best thing they ever did. Growing up, Dylan always had a positive attitude to life. So when he discovered sport, he’d have a go at anything and could always be found at the centre of the action, giving his best and playing to win. Then he tried wheelchair basketball and tennis and was hooked. Fast forward ten years or so, and the now three-time Paralympic gold medallist, Order of Australia recipient, Grand Slam tennis champion and philanthropist combines elite sport with a love for music (he’s a triple j radio announcer and is famous for his crowd surfing).
But Dylan’s greatest passion is changing the way those with disabilities are perceived, and to inspire young people – whether they have disabilities or are able-bodied – to achieve their dreams. It’s a passion that drives him every day of his life. In Able, Dylan shares his story. It’s the tale of someone who’s proud of who he is, who has a go, does everything with heart and soul, who always sees the upside and never takes himself too seriously. As inspiring, honest and funny as its author, Able proves that for every one thing you can’t do, there are 10,000 other things that you can.
Library Call Number: BIO 796.045 ALC
A Dream about Lightning Bug by Ben Folds
Ben Folds is an internationally celebrated musician, singer-songwriter and former frontman of the alternative rock band, Ben Folds Five, beloved for songs such as ‘Brick’, ‘You Don’t Know Me’,’Rockin’ the Suburbs’ and ‘The Luckiest’. In A Dream About Lightning Bugs, Folds looks back at his life so far. He opens up about finding his voice as a musician, becoming a rock anti-hero, and hauling a baby grand piano on and off stage for every performance. From growing up in working class North Carolina amid the race and class tensions that shaped his early songwriting, to painful life lessons he learned the hard way, he also ruminates on music in the digital age, the absurdity of life on the road, and the challenges of sustaining a multi-decade, multi-faceted career in the music business.
Library Call Number: BIO 782.421 FOL