Book talk: Non-fiction


Jeff Popple reviews three interesting Australian non-fiction books for winter reading. More of Jeff’s reviews can be found on his blog:

Staying Alive by Kate Gregorevic

Macmillan, $34.99

The COVID-19 epidemic has highlighted the vulnerability of older people to disease. In Staying Alive, Kate Gregorevic draws on her extensive experience as a physician and geriatrician to look at how we can better manage the major diseases that impact upon us as we grow older. By the time we turn 60, most of us will still have a third of our lives to live. It is important, therefore, to be healthy to enjoy these years well. This book provides great advice on how to use lifestyle strategies to enhance our health and quality of life. A valuable and very timely book.

The Last Navigator by Paul Goodwin and Gordon Goodwin

Allen & Unwin, $32.99

Gordon Goodwin died in 2012 after a fascinating life that took him from the Queensland bush to flying bombers during World War II to a successful career at Qantas. Drawing upon his father’s unpublished memoir and verbal accounts of his experiences, Paul Goodwin has written an engrossing account of Gordon’s life. The stories of his wartime experiences contain a wealth of information about the Pathfinder planes that guided the Allied bombers into Germany, but it is the recalling of his harsh childhood during the Depression which is the most revealing. An illuminating insight into some dark periods of Australian history.

Enid by Robert Wainwright

Allen & Unwin, $32.99

Enid Lindeman was the controversial heir to the Hunter Valley wine fortune created by her grandfather, Henry Lindeman. Married off at 21 to a much older wealthy American, who she hardly knew, Enid left Australia in 1913 and went onto to live an extraordinary life that saw her married and widowed four times before she died in 1973. She drove ambulances during World War I, hid escaping allied soldiers during World War II, entertained European and Hollywood royalty at her villa in the Riviera, including John F. Kennedy and Frank Sinatra, and spent two great fortunes. It is a fascinating story told very well by the always entertaining Robert Wainwright.

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