Australians At The Great War – 1914-1918, by Peter Burness

The rough and ready fighting spirit of the Australians had become refined by an experienced battle technique supported by staff work of the highest order. The Australians were probably the most effective troops employed in the war on either side.’ Major General John O’Ryan, US 27th Division.

Between 1914 and 1918, 250,000 Australians joined up to fight alongside soldiers from the Allied nations. 60, 000 of these men never came pack, and countless others were wounded. As Australia marks the one hundred year anniversaries of these terrible years, Australians at the Great War – 1914-1918 brings them to life with a stunning collection of photographs, paintings, diagrams and other images, along with commentary to help understand their significance.

There are pictures of destruction and misery, but also glimpses of quieter times, as well as maps, posters and more. This is an excellent visual resource, compiled by historian Peter Burness.

Australians at the Great War – 1914-1918, by Peter Burness
Murdoch Books, 2015
ISBN 9781743363782

Available from good bookstores and online.

A Duck is Watching Me: Strange and Unusual Phobias, commentary by Bernie Hobbs

Do you suffer from frigophobia, carnophobia or Anglophobia?

Do you fret about peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth?

Do you secretly fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you?

Everyone is afraid of something – heights, the dark, confined spaces – but what if your fear was that ducks are watching you? Or that peanut butter might stick to the roof of your mouth? What would  you call this fear?

A Duck is Watching Me: Strange and Unusual Phobias explores the wild and weird world of phobias. An introduction by science broadcaster Bernie Hobbs explains what a phobia is, and where they come from, with the remainder of the book giving names and definitions for a vast array of phobias, each illustrated with a photograph from the National Library of Australia’s image collection. Images chosen range from the quirky to the hauntingly beautiful and, while they do not show people exhibiting the necessary phobia, they instead relate in some way to the subject of the phobia. For example, the entry for nomophobia, the fear of losing mobile phone contact, is illustrated by a black and white image of old style telephone repairmen.

This is the kind of book which can be browsed cover to cover or left to be dipped into, and will be enjoyed by people of different ages and interests.

A Duck is Watching Me: Strange and Unusual Phobias, Bernie Hobbs
NLA Publishing, 2014
ISBN 9780642278647

Available from good bookstores or online.