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Turing’s Cathedral by George Dyson is all about English genius Alan Turing, who in deciphering the Nazi’s ‘enigma code’ paved the way for inventing the computer

Following World War II Alan Turing became a founding father of modern cognitive science and spent the rest of a very short career at Manchester University.

In George Dyson’s book Turing’s Cathedral, he focuses on a small group of men and women, led by John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, who built one of the first computers to realize Alan Turing’s vision of a Universal Machine.

Their work would break the distinction between numbers that mean things and numbers that do things–and our universe would never be the same. Using five kilobytes of memory (the amount allocated to displaying the cursor on a computer desktop of today), they achieved unprecedented success in both weather prediction and nuclear weapons design, while tackling, in their spare time, problems ranging from the evolution of viruses to the evolution of stars.

Dyson’s account, both historic and prophetic, sheds important new light on how the digital universe exploded in the aftermath of World War II. The proliferation of both codes and machines was paralleled by two historic developments: the decoding of self-replicating sequences in biology and the invention of the hydrogen bomb.

It’s no coincidence that the most destructive and the most constructive of human inventions appeared at exactly the same time. How did code take over the world?

Click to Read a Preview of the upcoming film starring Benedict Cumberbatch, about Alan Turing’s wartime efforts.

Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe

Dyson, George

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The Housekeeper’s Tale by Tessa Boase is about the women who really ran English country treasure houses from the ground up, catering for both upstairs and down!

In an interview for The Culture Concept Circle Tessa Boase said “…I honed my list down to five women – women who would give me the same scope to tell such a complex and dramatic story as Mrs Doar’s; also giving me a good geographical spread, and moving forward in time with each house. My choice is an arbitrary one – I’m sure there are many, many more such stories out there, and since finishing the book (three years later!) I have found quite a few.

Life in an English Country House was indeed a far cry from Downton Abbey and Mrs Hughes.

This book reveals ‘the personal sacrifices, bitter disputes and driving ambition that shaped these women’s careers. Delving into secret diaries, unpublished letters and the neglected service archives of our stately homes, Tessa Boase tells the extraordinary stories of five working women who ran some of Britain’s most prominent households’.

There is Dorothy Doar, Regency housekeeper for the obscenely wealthy 1st Duke and Duchess of Sutherland at Trentham Hall, Staffordshire. There is Sarah Wells, a deaf and elderly Victorian in charge of Uppark, West Sussex. Ellen Penketh is Edwardian cook-housekeeper at the sociable but impecunious Erddig Hall in the Welsh borders.

Hannah Mackenzie runs Wrest Park in Bedfordshire Britain’s first country-house war hospital, bankrolled by playwright J. M. Barrie. And there is Grace Higgens, cook-housekeeper to the Bloomsbury set at Charleston farmhouse in East Sussex for half a century an era defined by the Second World War.

The Housekeeper’s Tale

Boase, Tessa

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The Anzac Girls by Peter Rees

Posted on August 13th, 2014 by in War

The Anzac Girls by Peter Rees is the extraordinary real life story revealing the strength of Australian and New Zealand nurses on the front line of World War 1

Now a major ABC six part series, based on the stories of those serving at Gallipoli and on the Western front, after arriving in Egypt they soon realisde that war was not quite the ‘splendid adventure’ they had been led to believe.

By the end of the Great War, forty-five Australian and New Zealand nurses had died on overseas service and over two hundred had been decorated.

These were the women who left for war looking for adventure and romance but were soon confronted with challenges for which their civilian lives could never have prepared them.

Their strength and dignity were remarkable.

Using diaries and letters, Peter Rees takes us into the hospital camps and the wards, and the tent surgeries on the edge of some of the most horrific battlefronts of human history.

But he also allows the friendships and loves of these courageous and compassionate women to shine through and enrich our experience.

Profoundly moving, Anzac Girls is a story of extraordinary courage and humanity shown by a group of women whose contribution to the Anzac legend has barely been recognised in our history.

Peter Rees has changed that understanding forever.

About the Author

Peter Rees has been a journalist for forty years, working as federal political correspondent for the Melbourne Sun, the West Australian and the Sunday Telegraph. He is the author of The Boy from Boree Creek: The Tim Fischer Story (2001), Tim Fischer’s Outback Heroes (2002), Killing Juanita: A true story of murder and corruption (2004), which was a winner of the 2004 Ned Kelly Award for Australian crime writing, Desert Boys and Lancaster Men (2013). He lives in Canberra.

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The Anzac Girls

Rees, Peter

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Optimism Reflections on a Life of Action by Bob Brown who recalls in plain language being likened to ‘a latter-day John Lennon’ when the Greens leader 1996-2012

Then, as now, Brown conveyed ideas in plain yet poetic language. True to form, he addressed a 2012 audience in Hobart as ‘Fellow Earthians’ before advocating for global equity and personal optimism. Optimism, according to Brown, ‘gets things done’. The pillars of the Greens’ political philosophy (social justice, democracy, peace and ecological wellbeing) recur not just in Brown’s senate motions and town hall speeches, but also in a life lived conscientiously. His is a remarkable life for it.

Bob Brown, former Senator and Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens, is one of Australia’s most thoughtful and recognized public figures. Since his retirement from public life in 2012, Bob has had time to consider the things that are truly important. In this work narrated in his own inimitable laconic style Brown reflects on life choices that inspire all the more for his having overcome existential despair and common self-doubt.

Inspirational, compassionate and outraged, Bob’s stories are rich with metaphor, entertaining and full of warmth. His stories reveal a complex man with a quick wit, a passion for activism and a joy for life. Optimism reflects on the simple things, the moments that are meaningful, and the big questions that have concerned Bob Brown. It is a powerful read as well as a meditation on the great and the small.

Optimism (Hardcover)

Bob Brown

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High Tea from the MCGRATH FOUNDATION, contains favourite recipes from Stephanie Alexander, David Herbert, Belinda Jeffery and Not Quite Nigella

It’s all about raising funds for the McGrath Foundation, which works tirelessly to achieve their mission of a breast care nurse for every Australian family experiencing breast cancer, and to ensure all young women are breast aware.

Taking High Tea is a festival restorative in every way… it is an occasion for cake, for friends, for celebrating. Here are recipes for cakes big and small, sandwiches and savoury bites.

Including sumptuous ideas for how to host a high tea by Kyly Clarke, Samantha Wills and Eamon Sullivan, High Tea promises to make a special occasion out of any event. $5 from the sale of every copy of this book will be donated to the McGrath Foundation.

If you are cold, tea will warm you,
If you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are exhausted, it will calm you’

This charming poem was penned by William Gladstone, Queen Victoria’s prime minister and the Reverend Sidney Smith’s comment sums it up entirely and in a most characteristic English manner

High Tea (Hardcover)

McGrath Foundation

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Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant: True Tales and Gossip from the Galley by Owen Bedall with Libby Harkness says it as it is, a bumpy hilarious ride

Sex, drugs and lots of celebrity gossip; Katy Perry, Lily Allen, Kylie Minogue, Venus Williams and Cate Blanchett – are all in the galley having a gossip with Owen who lifts the lid on what you want to know about the glamorous world of flying. Put’s Pan Am in the shade…exotic places to visit, swanning about in five-star hotels, lazing around grandiose swimming pools, sipping cocktails by candlelight and table top dancing…this is what its really like to be a flight attendant.

No wonder the positions are so much in demand, as long as you don’t suffer from air-sickness, you’ll be in with half a chance.

About the Author

Owen born in Darwin and is of Anglo–Aboriginal descent and studied Arts/Law at the University of New South Wales before leaving to work in Hong Kong and then London. He became a first-class flight attendant and went to work in London for the opening of the new international base in 2005–06. Owen returned to Australia to continue his flying career post London and continued flying internationally. Owen suffered a workplace injury, breaking his back in three places. After a period of rehabilitation, he intermittently returned to flying but could no longer take the long, manual and tiring conditions of an international ‘hostie’. He has since put his energy and time into writing and retired from Qantas in 2013.

Along the way Owen travelled to over forty countries on six continents and among the countless people he met were Princess Anne and other royalty, political and religious leaders, and celebrities including Katy Perry, Russell Brand, Kylie Minogue, Lily Allen, Cate Blanchett, Kelly Osborne, Venus Williams, Lisa Raymond, Casey Dellacqua and Caroline Wozniacki, plus bands Franz Ferdinand and Oasis. Currently, Owen is writing, working with charity Beyondblue, and still recovering from his injury. He has signed with an agency in New York and lives between Sydney and a country home in Grafton.

Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant (Paperback)

Owen Beddall

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Frog on a Log in a Bog, Duck in a Truck in the Muck by Andy Griffiths will be sure to keep the kids amused for hours, and great ‘read aloud’ books for children

The wonders of rhyme and nonsense emerged from the prose and poetry of English artist, illustrator and writer Edward Lear (1812-1888).\

Around the world he inspired many great writers, including English novelist Roald Dahl (1916 – 1990) who wrote for adults and children and Australia’s leading children’s book author and comedy writer Andrew “Andy” Griffiths (1961-).

His books have become immensely popular with the current generation of early childhood readers and include

Frog on a Log in a Bog

It’s the frog on a jet-rocket log versus the dog on the jet-rocket cog! Who will win the race around the bog?

Frog on a Log in a Bog (Paperback)

Andy Griffiths

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Duck in a Truck in the Muck
Chuck the Duck’s ice-cream truck is stuck in the muck! Can his friend Buck and his muck-sucking truck save the day?

Both are rhyming stories about friendship and fun sure to delight Andy fans, especially beginner readers.

They are accompanied by talented creative Terry Denton’s energetically comic illustrations.

Duck in a Truck in the Muck (Paperback)

Andy Griffiths

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The HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY by Richard Morais is set in the world of haute cuisine in Southern France and now to be a major movie starring Helen Mirren as Madame

The Hundred-Foot Journey will undoubtedly be a succulent treat about family, nationality, and the mysteries surrounding defining good taste.

Morais story of life and passion hovering over a gas jet in the south of France is sure to entrance. Set in the testosterone pumping kitchens of the world of haute cuisine, there is more going on than mixing a great sauce.

A battle develops between an attractive highly skilled haute cuisine specialist Madame Mallory and an Indian family who open their Maison Mumbai colour and spice filled restaurant opposite her classic 2 star chic restaurant in a small village where it seems life is not going to be dull.

Now a major movie produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, it stars England’s academy award winning actor Helen Mirren as the irrepressible Madame.

The book is a delight, sure to tickle both your fancy and sheer delight while inspiring you to head for your favourite place to dine in style.

You can enter a GIVEAWAY AND Win a Double Pass to see the Movie in Australia – closes August 11, 2014 ENTER NOW

The Hundred-Foot Journey Format: Paperback

Morais, Richard C

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Secrecy by Rupert Thomson

Posted on July 24th, 2014 by in Uncategorized

Secrecy by Rupert Thomson is a tale of intrigue love and murder set in seventeenth century Florence where knowledge is the property of few who guard it fiercely

The obsessions of the top people are with art, sex and power. The city itself is a dark repressive place following the bonfires of the vanities.

The once enlightened city where humanism was reborn, has been replaced with one that is dark, sinister and repressive where a man can feel as if he’s being pursued by his past.

The protagonist Gaetano Zummo who lives in fear of criminal charges. At the age of 20 he was forced to flee Siracuse, but has now changed his life.

Cosimo III, head of the famous family of the Medici of Florence is the leader who gives him his most challenging commission ever. Can he carry it out?

This is a novel of ideas; a love story, a murder mystery, the portrait of a man and a place where in an age of austerity, just surviving on a daily basis is the penultimate challenge. Ingenious adn unsettling, this has a heartbeat pounding loudly with the pace of puzzle and surprise.

Twist after twist distorts and disorientates until finally in snow covered hills surrounding Florence a showdown reveals secrets the city has kept hidden, which have become far more explosive than his own.

About the Author

Rupert Thomson is the author of eight highly acclaimed novels: Dreams of Leaving, The Five Gates of Hell, Air & Fire, The Insult, Soft, The Book of Revelation, Divided Kingdom and most recently, Death of a Murderer, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award and by World Book Day for the Book to Talk About 2008. His memoir, This Party’s Got to Stop, also published by Granta, won him the Writers’ Guild Non-Fiction Award. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.

Secrecy

Rupert Thomson

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Keep Calm and Pedal On by Ebury Press is a pocket sized guide providing inspiration for why each and everyone of us should cycle daily, or on a regular basis

After all, in the words of John F. Kennedy, ‘Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.’

Today never ending streams of traffic and choking fumes of pollution impact on our world and cause us to have far more difficulty moving about, which is not helpful to our health or wellbeing.

This book is all about giving the average cycle enthusiast or, indeed novice, a collection of quotes, sayings and proverbs on even more reasons why we should ll get on our bike and take a hike, across hill and dale, cycling to save our lives.

The perfect gift for keen bikers, cyclists will gain a great deal of comfort in the knowledge that their passion for bikes is shared with some of world’s greatest leaders, personalities and authors.

Keep Calm and Pedal On

Author Name Tbc

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