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Recommended Reading


On Awe, Wonder And Things That Sustain You When The World Goes Dark.

By: Julia Baird

The 'light within' that Julia Baird calls 'phosphorescence'.

This is a beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find and nurture within ourselves that essential quality of internal happiness which will sustain us even through the darkest times.

Over the last decade, we have become better at knowing what brings us contentment, well-being, and joy. We know, for example, that there are a few core truths to science of happiness. We know that being kind and altruistic makes us happy, that turning off devices, talking to people, forging relationships, living with meaning, and delving into the concerns of others offer our best chance at achieving happiness. But how do we retain happiness? It often slips out of our hands as quickly as we find it. So, when we are exposed to, or learn, good things, how do we continue to burn with them?

And more than that, when our world goes dark, when we're overwhelmed by illness or heartbreak, loss or pain, how do we survive, stay alive or even bloom? In the muck and grit of a daily existence full of disappointments and a disturbing lack of control over many of the things that matter most - finite relationships, fragile health, fraying economies, a planet in peril - how do we find, nurture and carry our own inner, living light - a light to ward off the darkness?

Absorbing, achingly beautiful, inspiring and deeply moving, Julia Baird has written exactly the book we need for these times.

About the Author

Julia Baird is a globally renowned author and award-winning journalist. She hosts The Drum on ABC TV and writes columns for The New York Times and The Sydney Morning Herald. After the publication of her first book, Media Tarts - based on her history PhD on the portrayal of female politicians - she moved to the United States to take up a fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2007, she became senior editor of Newsweek in New York. Her work has earned her four Walkley Our Watch awards, a Walkley Award for team election reporting, and two further Walkley nominations. 

MESHI. A personal history of Japanese food.


For Katherine Tamiko Arguile, the Japanese food her mother cooked was a portal to a part of her that sometimes felt lost in the past. In Japan, food is never just food: it expresses a complex and fascinating history, and is tied to tradition and spirituality intrinsic to Japanese culture. Exploring the meals of her childhood through Japan's twenty-four sekki (seasons), Katherine untangles the threads of meaning, memory and ritual woven through every glistening bowl of rice, every tender slice of sashimi and each steaming cup of green tea. With rich, visceral prose, vivid insight and searing emotional honesty, Meshi ('rice' or 'meal') reveals the culture and spirit of one of the world's most beloved cuisines.

No Spin. The Autobiography of the Late, Great Shane Warne.

The Autobiography of the Late, Great Shane Warne.

Everyone knows the story, or thinks they do. The leg-spinner who rewrote the record books. One of Wisden's five cricketers of the twentieth century. A sporting idol across the globe. A magnet for the tabloids. But the millions of words written and spoken about Shane Warne since his explosive arrival on the Test cricket scene in 1992 have only scratched the surface. The real story has remained untold. In No Spin, Shane sets the record straight. From his extraordinary family history to his childhood as a budding Aussie Rules footballer in suburban Melbourne. From the legendary 'Gatting ball' to his history-making 700th Test wicket. From the controversy surrounding the diuretic pill in South Africa to his high-profile relationship with Hollywood star Elizabeth Hurley. Nothing is off limits, and Shane tackles it all with his trademark directness and humour.

The Tattooist of Aushwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

It is a Fiction, but is based on a real story:

This novel is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews, who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia. In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Lale used the infinitesimal freedom of movement that this position awarded him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive. If he had been caught, he would have been killed; many owed him their survival.

Breath: the new science of a lost art

Breath the new science of a lost art

•             A New York Times Bestseller

•             Named a Best Book of 2020 by NPR

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art is a 2020 popular science book by journalist James Nestor. The book provides a historical, scientific and personal examination of breathing, with a specific interest in contrasting the differences between mouth breathing and nasal breathing.

"A fascinating scientific, cultural, spiritual and evolutionary history of the way humans breathe--and how we've all been doing it wrong for a long, long time." --Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic and Eat Pray Love.

Women Don't Owe You Pretty

The book cover of Women Dont Owe You Pretty


Women Don't Owe You Pretty is the ultimate book for anyone who wants to challenge the out-dated narratives supplied to us by the patriarchy. 

This is Florence Given's debut book where she explores all progresive corners of the feminist conversation; from insecurity ptojection and refusing to find comfort in other women's flaws, to deciding whether to date or dump them, al the way through to unpacking the male gaze and how it shapes our destiney. 

Through Florence's story you will learn how to protect your energy, discover that you are the love of your own life, and realise that today is a wonderful day to dump them.

Florence Given is here to remind you that you owe men nothing, least of all pretty.

Packed Lost Found

Packed Lost Found

Packed Lost Found
Personal Stories of the November 2019 bushfires in the MidCoast region.

Written by Tess Kerbel
Photographs by Julie Slavin

These stories about what survives. And how to survive.
How to regrow, as people and communities, through artmaking, after a crisis.
'Objects hold meaning, power, connections and memory."

Rachel Piercy
Director, Manning Regional Art Gallery

This book was kindly donated to Our Campus by Manning Regional Art Gallery​


The Guest List

The Guest List

By Lucy Foley 

Published 2020

Summary: On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year - the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater. The setting is spectacular, the atmosphere alive. But guests toast the golden couple, Jules and Will, dark secrets begin to spill. Old friends. Past grudges. Happy families. Hidden jealousies. Thirteen guests. One body. The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. As a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped - and the killer circulates amongst the guests. All have a secret. All have a motive. It starts with a party. It'll end in murder...​

The Dictionary of Lost Words

Dictionary of Lost Words

By Pip Williams

Published 2020

Esme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the 'Scriptorium', a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Esme's place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day a slip of paper containing the word 'bondmaid' flutters to the floor. Esme rescues the slip and stashes it in an old wooden case that belongs to her friend, a young servant in the big house. Esme begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men. Over time, Esme realises that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women's experiences often go unrecorded. While she dedicates her life to the Oxford English Dictionary, secretly, she begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completly Fine

Meet Eleanor Oliphant

By Gail Honeyman

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. That, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, tendency to wear the same clothes year in, year out), means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit (to say the least) and a bit of a loner. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kind of friends who rescue each other from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

The Brisbane Line

The Brisbane Line

By J.P Powell

As WWII ravages the world and the Japanese Empire has set its sights on Australia, the Americans have come to save us. But not all soldiers are heroes and not all heroes are soldiers. Sergeant Joe Washington, a US Military Police, loves music and photography but spends his days delving into the sordid and petty crimes committed by the thousands of American troops passing through town. While trying to find stolen gasoline stores, he is sent to investigate the body of an American soldier found dumped in a cemetery. Suddenly Joe is up against notorious detective Frank Bischof. Although ordered to leave the investigation alone, Joe fears that Bischof is protecting the most likely suspect while trying to pin the crime on an innocent -- and intriguing -- young woman, Rose. A woman who seems to walk between the parallel worlds of black market deals and Brisbane's high society.

The Lebs

The Lebs

By Michael Mohammed Ahmad

Award Winning book NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2019

and Finalist in the Miles Franklin Award 2019

Summary: As far as Bani Adam is concerned, Punchbowl Boys is the arse end of the earth. 

Though he's a Leb and they control the school, Bani feels at odds with the other students, who just don't seem to care. 

He is a romantic in a sea of hypermasculinity. 

Bani must come to terms with his place in this hostile, hopeless world, while dreaming of so much more.​

Brave New World

Brave New World

By Aldous Huxley

A Dystopian Fiction.

Far in the future, the world controllers have created the ideal society.

Huxley's ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present 

and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.

'Huxley was uncannily prophetic, a more astute guide to the future than any other 20th-century novelist...'

J.G. Ballard

The Lucky Galah

July 2020 Book of the Month

By Tracy Sorensen

Summary: It's 1969 and a remote coastal town in Western Australia is poised to play a pivotal part in the moon landing. Perched on the red dunes of its outskirts looms the great Dish: a relay for messages between Apollo 11 and Houston, Texas. Radar technician Evan Johnson and his colleagues stare, transfixed, at the moving images on the console -- although his glossy young wife, Linda, seems distracted. Meanwhile the people of Port Badminton have gathered to watch Armstrong's small step on a single television sitting centre stage in the old theatre. The Kelly family, a crop of redheads, sit in rare silence. Roo shooters at the back of the hall squint through their rifles to see the tiny screen. I'm in my cage on the Kelly's back verandah. I sit here, unheard, underestimated, biscuit crumbs on my beak. But fate is a curious thing. For just as Evan Johnson's story is about to end (and perhaps with a giant leap), my story prepares to take flight.

Study Guides- NESA workbooks

NESA Study Guide

Summary: This Exam Workbook is a resource for teachers and students as it helps students to prepare for their HSC using real exam material. Use this Workbook to: Test knowledge with past exam questions; Compare answers to real examples from top-scoring students with comments from HSC senior markers; Understand HSC marker guidelines for assessing student responses; Get tips for deciding which questions to answer, creating a plan and setting timings; Get familiar with the layout and style of HSC exams; Conduct test-runs of the HSC; and practice writing answers in the set exam time.

We have a selection for each subject.