Showing all 4 results

  • A Bit of a Laugh

    ‘I was beginning to believe that waiting to get announced onto a comedy stage was the most excruciating wait imaginable. Sure, if you’re pulled aside at an Indonesian airport strapped with nine kilograms of cocaine the wait could be worse, but only a little. Here there could be somebody speaking on stage directly in front of you, yet you will have no comprehension of what they are saying. A 40-centimetre raised platform in the corner of a Richmond pub will suddenly feel like the concert stage at Rod Laver Arena down the road. I began to question why I was putting myself through this at all. Surely there were easier hobbies, like cliff diving or swimming with sharks…’

    On the verge of his 40th birthday, school teacher Ben Tiffen fulfilled a lifelong ambition by performing stand-up comedy for the first time. Not content with easing into mid-life in a comfy pair of Ugg boots, Ben soon became hooked on this exhilarating and increasingly challenging artform.

    A Bit of a Laugh is an intimate memoir that begins with Ben’s nervous debut in a pub on a Wednesday night and follows his journey into Melbourne’s huge and diverse amateur comedy scene. Along the way, he meets many fascinating and hilarious people, and faces a series of personal challenges that only the world of stand-up comedy can present.

    He also carries a box of fake laxatives across the Pacific Ocean for a punchline.

    Ben learns many lessons about comedic art and the value comedians can add to our lives, as well as the importance of facing our fears and stepping outside of our comfort zones. He gains wisdom from some of Australia’s most well-known comedians, and finds himself under the spotlight on stages he never would have anticipated.

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  • Bittersweet: Experiences of an Iranian living in Norway

    Karan Sotoodeh was born in the heart of Tehran. The son of a veterinarian and the grandson of renowned Iranian author and academic, Manouchehr Sotoodeh, who was a driving force in Karan’s life and inspired him to be the best man he could be.

    In Bittersweet: The Experiences of an Iranian Living in Norway, Sotoodeh traces his life, from when he was a toddler in his grandfather’s arms, moving through a childhood filled with carefree afternoons spent playing football that was occasionally interrupted by warnings of incoming Iraqi rockets, then to college and military service in Iran, graduate school in Scotland, marriage and a divorce in Iran, and finally, immigration and ten years spent in Norway.

    Sotoodeh strays from his story to provide an overview of the rich, vivid details and historical information about Iran and other places he has travelled and lived, portions of Persian literature that are near and dear to his heart, and tie-ins to contemporary films.

    This is the story of a man who decided what he wanted to do with his life when he was only five years old, and then systematically set out to accomplish every one of his goals. Along the way, he loved and he lost, he gave freely and had things forcibly taken from him, and he fought with his inner demons.

    In doing so, he found the sweetest things of all: Love, inner strength, and a determination to always move forward in life.

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  • The Gift of a Stolen Youth

    After a happy childhood, growing up and attending school in Croatia and Australia, everything changed for high school student Tihana Babic in 2003 when, after four years of mysterious symptoms, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

    Since then, her battles with her health have dominated her life, and she has overcome many hurdles with the help of her family, therapists and doctors. Along the way, she discovered natural medicine and other helpful remedies, which inspired her to change her lifestyle and to adopt a more natural diet and to cut out processed foods and chemicals.

    Tihana is now cancer free but still faces many challenges as a result of her illness. In The Gift of a Stolen Youth, she shares her journey in the hope that it will inspire others.

     

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  • The Stone of Life

    The Stone of Life is the beginning of the journey of Michael Anders, a sixteen year old boy who finds he has been in possession of a legendary magical artifact, the Stone of Life, for his entire life. Thought long lost, the stone is a part of an ancient prophecy, if one unites all the stones under his power, he shall become the god over all.

    After his father is murdered before his eyes, bringing to light his latent magical powers, he is forced into a quest to find the other stones of power, before the evil wizard Deldamar. Leaving his small village of Elisar, he begins his quest by setting off with his brother Alex and a few other companions, searching for the Stone of Water.

    Along the way he is separated from his companions by a magical trap set by Deldamar. Continuing on he travels to the legendary magical city of Spheria, where he enters the impenetrable crystal sphere and learns of his destiny and how he must achieve it.

    While in the city he is thrust into the attention of the entire magical world, stepping into his role as the leader of the Order of Life, and starting the Order to begin recruiting for the battles that lie ahead with Deldamar.

    Leaving the city he continues his journey, after being reunited with his brother and travels on to the last known location of the Stone of Water, a sleepy little hamlet called Drongalstone. Part way there he comes across a cave of wonders, an ancient repository of magical artifacts, known as the Cache of Life.

    Eventually he reaches Drongalstone, but too late, Deldamar had already been there and the elder had been murdered, the stones whereabouts lost with her.

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