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Nonfiction offers a truly unique read as their historical veracity makes the tension all the more thrilling, the triumphs all the more exhilarating and the thoughtful messages even more inspiring. We feel the character’s pain, and are more heavily affected by the events and the lessons they bring. 

Memoirs and historical accounts based on real people and events provide incredible insights into history and humans’ phenomenal capabilities. These recently released nonfiction publications are five truly inspiring, fascinating and educational stories of true events and people that will be sure to linger with you long after you turn the final page. 

The Gillard Project: My Thousand Days of Despair and Hope by Michael Cooney
Read it if: you want to be inspired by the true story of Australia’s first female Prime Minister

Michael Cooney was the speechwriter behind much of Julia Gillard’s most monumental policies and speeches. From the controversial carbon tax to that ‘misogyny’ speech, Cooney was a key part of both the turmoil and success of Julia Gillard’s term as Prime Minister. This tale is a raw and authentic account of Gillard’s political triumphs and failures. It is humorous, passionate, argumentative, but most of all it is fascinating. Most importantly it give readers previously unseen insight into the high stakes of Australia’s first female Prime Minister.  

“Of all the Gillard books, Cooney's is far and away the best defence of her legacy. This is a full-throated love letter to ''the Gillard Project'' – Canberra Times


Publisher: Penguin Books Australia RRP $32.99

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
Read it if: you wish to learn the truth of one of the biggest disasters in history

Erik Larson is a number one New York Times Bestselling author who has been hailed as the master of narrative nonfiction. His latest work is an ambitious tale of the sinking of the luxury ocean liner, the Lusitania in May 1915. Larson chronicles one of the greatest disasters in history with unflinching energy. He expertly details the strategic warfare between the German U-Boats and allied forces, while also evoking the climate of fear through an array of powerful characters. The thrilling account reveals new evidence in the tragic war disaster and captures the emotional turbulence of the many women and children on board the ship. 

"An intriguing, entirely engrossing investigation into a legendary disaster.”- Kirkus Reviews


Publisher: Scribe Publications RRP $32.99

Ardennes 1944: Hitler's Last Gamble by Antony Beevor
Read it if: you enjoy immersing yourself in an ‘unputdownable’ novel

Much-loved English historian Antony Beevor returns to the literary world to deliver his latest historical epic for the ages. Ardennes 1944: Hitler's Last Gamble investigates Hitler's maddening descent into military failure. But it does much more than merely recount the historical facts. The high-stakes and sheer size of the showdown, which involved more than a million soldiers, is fascinating. The latest offering from the author of Stalingrad and D-Dayis a five hundred-page chronicle worth the time investment.

“It is much more than just a humane account; it is compellingly readable, deeply researched and beautifully written.” - Simon Sebag Montefiore, Spectator. 


Publisher: Viking RRP $49.99

The Wright Brothers By David McCullough
Read it if: you’ve ever defied the odds to realise your dream (or want to!)

In this intriguing talemaster historian and two-time Pullitzer Prize-winning author, David McCullough tells of the unwavering courage and perseverance of Wilbur and Orville Wright, the brothers responsible for the first powered flying machine to carry a pilot. McCullough documents the Wright brothers’ surprisingly destitute upbringing, their insatiable appetite for constant advancement as well as the little-known contribution of their sister, Katharine. As always, McCullough expertly reveals a refreshingly personal side to some of the most influential characters of history. 

“McCullough has masterfully used his access to the Wright Brothers' papers at the Library of Congress, pulling telling details and weaving them into a story of inspiration, dedication and sometimes frustration.” – USA Today 


Publisher: Simon and Schuster RRP $52.99

Hope: A Memoir of Survival by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus
Read it if: you want to hear a truly harrowing and inspiring story in which hope ultimately prevails

The two victims of one of the most harrowing forms of abuse in our lifetime share the true story of their 10 years of imprisonment at the hands of infamous Cleveland school-bus driver, Ariel Castro. Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus tell all about their decade of rape, psychological abuse and their ultimate desperate escape from their twister captor. Their stories are interweaved with original reporting on efforts to find the missing girls from Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan. The final result is a phenomenal story of survival that will make you angry, distressed but ultimately adrenalised by the phenomenal willpower and resilience humans are capable of in the face of unspeakable cruelty.  

“Hope is a harrowing yet inspiring chronicle of two women whose courage, ingenuity, and resourcefulness ultimately delivered them back to their lives and families” – Goodreads

Publisher: Bantam Press RRP $35

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