Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction

20% OFF* selected non-fiction titles in August.

The world can be a crazy place.

Plenty of true stories are more wild and mystifying than those invented by the best fiction writers. Some are mind boggling, jaw dropping and terrifying.  Some leave us wondering what on earth our fellow humans can possibly be thinking. There are stories that fill us with wonder about the natural world, our own bodies and universal possibilities. And there are stories that make us cheer on human tenacity and resilience. These books only scratch the surface of an incredible pool of entertaining non-fiction.

The one thing they all have in common: the stories presented here really are stranger than fiction.


secret lifeThe Secret Life: Three True Stories

by Andrew O’Hagan

RRP $29.99  |  Sale price: $23.99

The slippery online ecosystem is the perfect breeding ground for identities: true, false, and in between. We no longer question the reality of online experiences but the reality of selfhood in the digital age. This book features three bulletins from the porous border between cyberspace and the ‘real world’.




draw your weaponsDraw Your Weapons

by Sarah Sentilles

RRP $32.99  |  Sale price: $26.39

In Draw Your Weapons, Sarah Sentilles offers an impassioned defence of life lived by peace and principle. Through a dazzling combination of memoir, history, reporting, visual culture, literature and theology, Sentilles tells the true stories of a conscientious objector during World War II and a former prison guard at Abu Ghraib. In the process she challenges conventional thinking about how violence is waged, witnessed and resisted.



bad ass librariansThe Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu

by Joshua Hammer

RRP $32.99  |  Sale price: $26.39

In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, salvaged tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from Timbuktu, later became one of the world’s greatest and most brazen smugglers.





its aliveIt’s Alive!: Artificial intelligence from the logic piano to killer robots

by Toby Walsh

RRP $34.99  |  Sale price: $27.99

The development of Artificial Intelligence is an adventure as bold and ambitious as any that humans have attempted. And the truth is that thinking machines are already an indispensable part of our lives. Without them, Google couldn’t answer your questions in a fraction of a second. And your smartphone would be . . . just a phone.

Leading researcher Toby Walsh takes us on a surprising and inspiring journey through the story of Artificial Intelligence – revealing how it is already transforming our societies, our economies and even ourselves – and makes ten fascinating predictions about what it will have achieved by the year 2050.


immortal life henrietta lacks smallThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

by Rebecca Skloot

RRP $19.99  |  Sale price: $15.99

Rebecca Skloot’s fascinating account is the story of the life, and afterlife, of one woman who changed the medical world forever. Balancing the beauty and drama of scientific discovery with dark questions about who owns the stuff our bodies are made of, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is an extraordinary journey in search of the soul and story of a real woman, whose cells live on today in all four corners of the world.



time travelTime Travel

by James Gleick

RRP $29.99  |  Sale price: $23.99

Gleick’s story begins at the turn of the twentieth century. A host of forces were converging to transmute the human understanding of time, some philosophical and some technological – the electric telegraph, the steam railroad, the discovery of buried civilisations, and the perfection of clocks. Gleick tracks the evolution of time travel as an idea in the culture – from Marcel Proust to Doctor Who, from Woody Allen to Jorge Luis Borges. He explores the inevitable looping paradoxes and examines the porous boundary between pulp fiction and modern physics. Finally, he delves into a temporal shift that is unsettling our own moment: the instantaneous wired world, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future.



field guide to getting lostA Field Guide to Getting Lost

by Rebecca Solnit

RRP $22.99  |  Sale price: $18.39

In this investigation into loss, losing and being lost, Rebecca Solnit explores the challenges of living with uncertainty. A Field Guide to Getting Lost takes in subjects as eclectic as memory and mapmaking, Hitchcock movies and Renaissance painting, Beautifully written, this book combines memoir, history and philosophy, shedding glittering new light on the way we live now.



rules do not applyThe Rules Do Not Apply

by Ariel Levy

RRP $29.99  |  Sale price: $23.99

Ariel Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she lived believing that conventional rules no longer applied – that marriage doesn’t have to mean monogamy, that aging doesn’t have to mean infertility, that she could be ‘the kind of woman who is free to do whatever she chooses’. But all of her assumptions about what she can control are undone after a string of overwhelming losses. Levy’s own story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed – and what never can.



art of the affairThe Art of the Affair

by Catherine Lacey

RRP $27.99  |  Sale price: $22.39

A vibrantly illustrated chain of entanglements (romantic and otherwise) between some of our best-loved writers and artists of the twentieth century. Poet Robert Lowell died of a heart attack, clutching a portrait of his lover, Caroline Blackwood, painted by her ex-husband, Lucian Freud. Lowell was on his way to see his own ex-wife, Elizabeth Hardwick, who was a longtime friend of Mary McCarthy. McCarthy left the father of her child to marry Edmund Wilson, who had encouraged her writing, and had also brought critical attention to the fiction of Anais Nin… whom he later bedded. And so it goes, the long chain of love, affections, and artistic influences among writers, musicians, and artists that weaves its way through the The Art of the Affair.


kitchen confidentialKitchen Confidential: Insider’s Edition

Anthony Bourdain

RRP $19.99  |  Sale price: $15.99

After twenty-five years of ‘sex, drugs, bad behaviour and haute cuisine’, chef Anthony Bourdain has decided to tell all. From his first oyster in the Gironde to his lowly position as a dishwasher in a honky-tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown; from the kitchen of the Rainbow Room atop the Rockefeller Center to drug dealers in the East Village, from Tokyo to Paris and back to New York again, Bourdain’s tales of the kitchen are as passionate as they are unpredictable, as shocking as they are funny.


slow daysSlow Days, Fast Company: The World, The Flesh, and L.A.

by Eve Babitz

RRP $24.99  |  Sale price: $19.99

There was a time when no one burned hotter than Eve Babitz. Possessing skin that radiated “its own kind of moral laws” and a figure that was the stuff of legend, she seduced seemingly everyone who was anyone in Los Angeles for a long stretch of the 1960s and ’70s. But there was one man who proved elusive, and so Babitz did what she did best, she wrote him a book. Slow Days, Fast Company is a full-fledged and full-bodied evocation of a bygone Southern California. In ten sun-baked, Santa Ana wind-swept sketches, Babitz re-creates a Los Angeles of movie stars distraught over their success; socialites on three-day drug binges, evading their East Coastbanking husbands; soap-opera actors worried that tomorrow’s script will kill them off; Italian femme fatales even more fatal than she is.


red partsThe Red Parts

by Maggie Nelson

RRP $22.99  |  Sale price: $18.39

In 1969, Jane Mixer, a first-year law student at the University of Michigan, posted a note on a student noticeboard to share a lift back to her hometown of Muskegon for spring break. She never made it: she was brutally murdered. In this book, the author gives an account of her aunt Jane’s death, and the trial that took place 35 years afterward.






by Douglas Smith

RRP $29.99  |  Sale price: $23.99

Nearly a century after his murder, Rasputin remains as divisive a figure as ever. Was he really a horse thief and a hard-drinking ruffian in his youth? Was he a a devout Orthodox Christian, or was he in fact a just a fake holy man? Are the stories of his enormous sexual drive, debauchery, and drunken orgies true or simply a myth? Was Rasputin running the government in the final years of his life? And if so, was he acting on his own or on the orders of more powerful, hidden forces? Did Prince Yusupov and his fellow conspirators act alone or were there other parties involved in Rasputin’s murder? And to what extent did Rasputin’s murder doom the Romanov dynasty? Drawing on major new sources hitherto unexamined by western historians, Douglas Smith’s book is be the definitive biography of this extraordinary figure for a generation.


octoberOctober: The Story of the Russian Revolution

by China Mieville

RRP $29.99  |  Sale price: $23.99

In February 1917, in the midst of bloody war, Russia was still an autocratic monarchy: nine months later, it became the first socialist state in world history. How did this unimaginable transformation take place? How was a ravaged and backward country, swept up in a desperately unpopular war, rocked by not one but two revolutions.

This is the story of the extraordinary months between those upheavals, in February and October, of the forces and individuals who made 1917 so epochal a year, of their intrigues, negotiations, conflicts and catastrophes.


very expensive poisonA Very Expensive Poison

by Luke Harding

RRP $22.99  |  Sale price: $18.39

1st November 2006: Alexander Litvinenko is brazenly poisoned in central London. Twenty-two days later he dies, killed from the inside by Polonium – a rare, lethal and highly radioactive substance. His crime? He had made some powerful enemies in Russia. This is the story of the life and death of Litvinenko and of Russia’s cold war with the west.





insane clown presidentInsane Clown President

by Matt Taibbi

RRP $35.00  |  Sale price: $28.00

In this groundbreaking battery of dispatches from the heartland of America, Matt Taibbi tells the full story of the Trump phenomenon, from its tragi-comic beginnings to the apocalyptic election. Full of sharp, on-the-ground reporting and gallows humour, his incisive analysis goes beyond the bizarre and disturbing election to tell a wider story of the apparent collapse of American democracy. Taibbi saw the essential themes right from the start: the power of spectacle over truth; the end of a shared reality on the left and right; the nihilistic rebellion of the white working class; the death of the political establishment; and the emergence of a new, explicit form of white nationalism.


killers of the flower moonKillers of the Flower Moon: Oil, Money, Murder and the Birth of the FBI

by David Grann

RRP $32.99  |  Sale price: $26.39

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. As the death toll climbed, the FBI took up the case. But the bureau badly bungled the investigation. In desperation, its young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. Together with the Osage he and his undercover team began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.


missoulaMissoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

by Jon Krakauer

RRp $26.99  |  Sale price: $21.59

Missoula, Montana, is a typical college town, home to a highly regarded state university whose beloved football team inspires a passionately loyal fan base. Between January 2008 and May 2012, hundreds of students reported sexual assaults to the local police. Few of the cases were properly handled by either the university or local authorities. In this, Missoula is also typical.

In these pages, acclaimed journalist Jon Krakauer investigates a spate of campus rapes that occurred in Missoula over a four-year period. Rigorously researched, rendered in incisive prose, Missoula stands as an essential call to action.


murder in mississippiMurder in Mississippi: The true story of how I met a white supremacist, befriended his black killer and wrote this book

by John Safran

RRP $22.99  |  Sale price: $18.39

‘Say, John Safran,’ he says. ‘Yes?’ I say. ‘I can get you killed from right behind this door, man. Real talk.’ ‘You can get me killed from behind your door?’ ‘Real talk,’ he says. ‘I can get your ass killed from behind this door, if you playin’.

Taking us places only John Safran can, Murder in Mississippi paints an engrossing, revealing portrait of a dead man, his murderer, the place they lived and the process of trying to find out the truth about anything.


voyuers motelThe Voyeur’s Motel

by Gay Talese

RRP $19.99  |  Sale price: $15.99

On January 7, 1980, in the run-up to the publication of Thy Neighbor’s Wife, Gay Talese received an anonymous letter from a man in Colorado. ‘Since learning of your long awaited study of coast-to-coast sex in America,’ the letter began, ‘I feel I have important information that I could contribute to its contents or to contents of a future book.’ The man went on to tell Talese a remarkable, shocking secret, so compelling that Talese travelled to Colorado to verify it in person. Over the next thirty-five years, the man occasionally reached out to Talese to fill him in on the latest developments in his life, but he continued to insist on anonymity. Finally, after thirty-five years, he’s ready to go public.


convicting averyConvicting Avery: The bizarre laws and broken system behind “Making a Murderer”

by Michael D. Cicchini

RRP $34.99  |  Sale price: $27.99

Cicchini, a criminal defense attorney and author in Wisconsin, enumerates the flaws in the states criminal justice system that led to the wrongful convictions of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey, as documented in the shocking Netflix documentary Making a Murderer. Making a Murderer left millions of viewers wondering how an apparently innocent man could be wrongfully convicted – not just once, but twice. This book explains, in plain English, the numerous flaws in Wisconsin’s criminal justice system that led to the wrongful convictions of Steven Avery and his mentally challenged nephew Brendan Dassey. Equally disturbing, it also reveals that similar flaws exist in other jurisdictions of the country.



An American Index of the Strange & UnfamiliarAn American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar

by Taryn Simon

RRP $135.00  |  Sale price: $108.00

First published in 2008, Taryn Simon’s An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar reveals objects, sites and spaces that are integral to America’s foundation, mythology or daily functioning, but which remain inaccessible or unknown to a public audience. Each image is accompanied by a brief text written by the artist, that precisely explains what is seen and why it is hidden or off-limits. Although An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar forces us to confront the darker side of democratic society, it also conveys the fascination that attends the exploration of forbidden territories.


The Prospect of ImmortalityThe Prospect of Immortality

by Murray Ballard

IMPORT $88.60  |  Sale price: $70.88

Ballard explores the theme of death in a way no photographer has done before, by following the small but dedicated international cryonics community. From the laboratories of America to the warehouses of Moscow, these sinister portraits of those stored in liquid nitrogen are a unique exploration of life and death.



A Forger's Tale 150dpiA Forger’s Tale: The memoir of one of Britain’s most successful and infamous art forgers

by Shaun Greenhalgh

RRP $ 32.99  |  Sale price: $26.39

In 2007, Bolton Crown Court in the United Kingdom sentenced Shaun Greenhalgh to four years and eight months in prison for the crime of producing artistic forgeries. Working out of a shed in his parents’ garden, Greenhalgh had successfully fooled some of the world’s greatest museums. During the court case, the breadth of his forgeries shocked the art world and tantalised the media. What no one realised was how much more of the story there was to tell.




ripleys believe it or notRipley’s Believe It or Not!

RRP $29.99  |  Sale price: $23.99

Jam-packed with a mind-boggling selection of incredible facts, crazy stories, jaw-dropping pictures, lists and interviews, this fantastic book also comes with bonus hidden content that’s accessible using our Ripley’s Believe It or Not! app.

Published annually, with brand new extraordinary material every year, this interactive series presents the best of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!



lionLion: A Long Way Home (Young Readers’ Edition)

by Saroo Brierley

RRP $16.99  |  Sale price: $13.59

A moving and inspirational true story of survival and triumph against incredible odds. It celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit – hope. Now in a young readers’ edition.
Saroo Brierley became lost on a train in India at the age of five. Not knowing the name of his family or where he was from, he survived for weeks on the streets of Kolkata, before being taken into an orphanage and adopted by a family in Australia. Despite being happy in his new home, Saroo always wondered about his origins. And one day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for. Then he set off on a journey back to India to see if he could find his mother.


my amazing body machineMy Amazing Body Machine

by Robert Winston

RRP $24.99  |  Sale price: $19.99

My Amazing Body Machine takes kids on a unique and exciting journey through all the working parts of human anatomy. From our intricately wired brain to our squeezing, squelching guts and relentlessly pumping heart, renowned scientist Robert Winston explores each part of this living machine through incredible, original papercraft artworks by Owen Gildersleeve. With clear text and fascinating bite-size facts about the human body, My Amazing Body Machine is a body book that makes learning about biology fun.




by Lauren Elkin

RRP $24.99  |  Sale price: $19.99

Flaneuse [flanne-euhze], noun, from the French. Feminine form of flaneur [flanne-euhr], an idler, a dawdling observer, usually found in cities.

What exactly is a flaneuse? In this gloriously provocative and celebratory book, Lauren Elkin defines her as ‘a determined resourceful woman keenly attuned to the creative potential of the city, and the liberating possibilities of a good walk’. Part cultural meander, part memoir, Flaneuse traces the relationship between the city and creativity through a journey that begins in New York and moves us to Paris, via Venice, Tokyo and London, exploring along the way the paths taken by the flaneuses who have lived and walked in those cities.


mothThe Moth: All These Wonders

Ed. by Catherine Burns

RRP $29.99  |  Sale price: $23.99

From storytelling phenomenon The Moth: a collection about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best stories ever told on their stages. Storytellers include writer Jung Chang and comedian Louis C.K, as well as a hip hop ‘one hit wonder’, an astronomer gazing at the surface of Pluto for the first time, and a young female spy risking everything as part of Churchill’s secret army during World War II. They share their ventures into uncharted territory – and how their lives were changed forever by what they found there. These true stories have been carefully selected and adapted to the page by the creative minds at The Moth, and encompass the very best of the 17,000+ stories performed in live Moth shows around the world.


lost at seaLost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

by Jon Ronson

RRP $19.99  |  $15.99

Jon Ronson has been on patrol with America’s real-life superheroes and to a UFO convention in the Nevada desert with Robbie Williams. He’s met a man who tried to split the atom in his kitchen and asked a conscious robot if she’s got a soul. Fascinated by madness, strange behaviour and the human mind, Jon has spent his life exploring mysterious events and meeting extraordinary people. Collected from various sources (including the Guardian and GQ) Lost at Sea features the very best of his adventures. Frequently hilarious, sometimes disturbing, always entertaining, these fascinating stories of the chaos that lies on the fringe of our daily lives will have you wondering just what we’re capable of.



weaponised liesWeaponised Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-truth Era

by Daniel Levitin

RRP $22.99  |  Sale price: $18.39

We live in a world where the line between truth and lies is increasingly blurred by euphemistic terms such as ‘post-truth’, ‘counter-knowledge’, ‘fringe theories’ and others. In a world where anyone can become an expert at the click of a button, we’re worse equipped than ever to evaluate the information we encounter and separate the truth from the lies. Daniel Levitin debunks the idea that truth no longer exists, and shows that we urgently need to learn the skills to effectively ask ourselves: can we really know that? And how do they know that?


mind clubThe Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels and Why It Matters

by Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray

RRP $32.99  |  Sale price: $26.39

Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray are award-winning psychologists who have discovered that minds – while incredibly important – are a matter of perception. Their research opens a trove of new findings, with insights into human behaviour that are fascinating, frightening, and funny. By investigating the mind perception of extraordinary targets – animals, machines, comatose people, god – Wegner and Gray explain what it means to have a mind, and why it matters so much.



other mindsOther Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life

by Peter Godfrey-Smith

RRP $27.99  |  Sale price: $22.39

What if intelligent life on Earth evolved not once, but twice? The octopus is the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien. What can we learn from the encounter? In Other Minds, Peter Godfrey-Smith, a distinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver, tells a bold new story of how nature became aware of itself – a story that largely occurs in the ocean, where animals first appeared. Tracking the mind’s fitful development from unruly clumps of seaborne cells to the first evolved nervous systems in ancient relatives of jellyfish, he explores the incredible evolutionary journey of the cephalopods. But what kind of intelligence do cephalopods possess? By tracing the question of inner life back to its roots and comparing human beings with our most remarkable animal relatives, Godfrey-Smith casts crucial new light on the octopus mind – and on our own.


art of losing controlThe Art of Losing Control: A Philosopher’s Search for Ecstatic Experience

by Jules Evans

RRP $29.99  |  Sale price: $23.99

Jules Evans is lying at the bottom of a mountain after a skiing accident. But he’s not thinking about his broken femur. He’s having an ecstatic revelation. Jules’s brush with ecstasy leads him on an investigation: why have we been happy to accept Greek philosophy’s attitude that rationality is the highest part of human nature for so many centuries, when we are capable of so many more states of experience? On his way, Jules discovers that by mastering the art of losing control, we can liberate ourselves from toxic habits and lead and better, deeper life. Balancing personal narrative, interviews, and readings from ancient and modern philosophers, The Art of Losing Control is a fascinating, funny and thrilling guide to the different ways we can experience ecstasy and how it can motivate us, heal us and set us free.


hidden life of treesThe Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate

by Peter Wohlleben

RRP $29.99  |  Sale price: $23.99

Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers.

After you have read The Hidden Life of Trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.


heartHeart: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Important Organ

by Johannes Hinrich von Borstel

RRP $29.99  | Sale price: $23.99

In this lively and informative exploration of all aspects of the heart, Johannes Hinrich von Borstel offers a perfect mix of medical fact and amusing anecdote. A doctor, prospective cardiologist, and former paramedic – as well as one of Germany’s most successful science-slammers – von Borstel’s own experiences provide a personal insight into the human side of heart medicine, while clearly explaining the science behind cardiac disease and healthcare for the heart. His many tips on how to give your ticker the best chance of enduring for as long as possible include one that will certainly be close to many people’s hearts: have more sex! Oh, and eat more vegetables…




charlatansCharlatan: The Dishonest Life and Dishonoured Loves of Thomas Guthrie Carr, Stage Mesmerist

by Catherine Jinks

RRP $32.99  |  Sale price: $26.39

Thomas Guthrie Carr is charged by Eliza Gray with mesmerising her and raping her while she was under his influence. But if mesmerism and Mr Carr are shams, was Eliza raped?

In the tradition of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Charlatan is the story of a notorious nineteenth-century court case involving a larger-than-life character. This scrupulously researched account of the life of Thomas Guthrie Carr, stage mesmerist – who lied, fought and sleazed his way around Australia and New Zealand between 1865 and 1886 – is more than just a fascinating piece of social history. It’s also a mystery, a piece of true crime, and a delicately humorous portrait of a man whose eye for the main chance and ferocious pursuit of publicity made him an oddly contemporary figure.


mysterious mr jacobsThe Mysterious Mr. Jacob: Diamond Merchant, Magician & Spy

by John Zubrzycki

RRP $29.99  |  Sale price: $23.99

It was a scandal that rocked the highest echelons of the British Raj. In 1891, a notorious jeweller and curio dealer from Simla offered to sell the world’s largest brilliant-cut diamond to the fabulously wealthy Nizam of Hyderabad. If the audacious deal succeeded it would set the merchant up for life. But the transaction went horribly wrong…

The dealer was Alexander Malcolm Jacob, a man of mysterious origins. Now for the first time, John Zubrzycki conveys the page-turning colour, romance and adventure of Jacob’s astonishing life. Zubrzycki enters into and truly captures the spirit of the mysterious Mr Jacob, one of the most enigmatic and charismatic figures of his time.


amazonsAmazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World

by John Man

RRP $34.99  |  Sale price: $27.99

Since the time of the ancient Greeks we have been fascinated by accounts of the Amazons, an elusive tribe of hard-fighting, horse-riding female warriors. Equal to men in battle, legends claimed they cut off their right breasts to improve their archery skills and routinely killed their male children to purify their ranks. For centuries people believed in their existence and attempted to trace their origins. In the absence of evidence, we eventually reasoned away their existence, concluding that these powerful, sexually liberated female soldiers must have been the fantastical invention of Greek myth and storytelling. Until now.



* Not in conjunction with any other offer. Discount applies to selected marked titles only until 31 August 2017.


You may also like

View all blog posts →

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please let us know you're not a robot: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.