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November 2011| Be Prepared
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TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

Biographies, memoirs and autobiographies have a habit of dominating the non-fiction bestseller lists. The lives of others shall always fascinate. And we  don't differentiate - we devour the lives of the great, of the small, the forgotten, the rare, the common, the unique, the dangerous - all with an appetite which shows no sign of abating. Why? Because biographies, memoirs and autobiographies take us to the very heart of the matter. They take us into the Oval office, they reveal the thoughts of the hostage held in solitary confinement, and because they can capture a person's most intimate thoughts, whether that person be Steve Jobs or Mark 'Chopper' Read.

Whose lives are people reading about today and who will they be reading about tomorrow? Look no further. We have the latest and greatest in biographies, memoirs and autobiographies right here. (Oh, and we have that biography of Geoffrey Edelsten)

John Purcell
The Booktopia Book Guru
Booktopia
WORSE THINGS HAPPEN AT SEA
Click here for more details or to buy Worse Things Happen At Sea WORSE THINGS HAPPEN AT SEA by William McInnes and Sarah Watt

WORSE THINGS HAPPEN AT SEA is about families, suburbs and homes, friends, love and day to day life written by bestselling author William McInnes and award winning filmmaker, photographer and animator Sarah Watt.

In William s first book A MAN S GOT TO HAVE A HOBBY he wrote about family life in the 1960s with humour, affection and honesty. WORSE THINGS HAPPEN AT SEA does the same for family life in 2000s; written by William and Sarah in a way that many Australians can relate to and enjoy.

This book celebrates the wonderful, messy, haphazard things in life -- bringing home babies from hospital, being a friend, a parent, son or daughter, and dog obedience classes. It's about living for twenty years in the family home, raising children there, chasing angry rabbits around the backyard, renovations that never end. It is also about understanding that sometimes you have to say goodbye; that is part of life too.

Illustrated throughout with Sarah Watt's photographs of family life and beautiful, everyday objects.

Sadly, Sarah Watt died on Friday morning, 4 November 2011, in her home surrounded by her family after living with secondary bone cancer for the last two years.

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A PRIVATE LIFE

AFTER WORDS
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A PRIVATE LIFE

Michael Kirby

A collection of reminiscences that reaveal the private Michael Kirby. Speaking in his own voice, he opens up as never before in a beautifully written, reflective and generous memoir - one that Michael Kirby's many admirers have been waiting for.

Michael Kirby is one of Australia's most admired public figures. At a time of spin and obfuscation, he speaks out passionately and straightforwardly on the issues that are important to him. Even those who disagree with him have been moved by the courage required of him to come out as a high-profile gay man, which at times has caused him to be subjected to the most outrageous assaults on his character.

This is a collection of reminiscences in which we can discover the private Michael Kirby. It allows the public figure speak in his own voice, without any intermediary. He opens up as never before about his early life, about being gay, about his forty-two year relationship with Johan van Vloten, about his religious beliefs and even about his youthful infatuation with James Dean, which sent him on a sentimental journey to Dean's home town in the year 2000, an adventure he here wryly recalls.

Beautifully written, reflective and generous, in that warm and gently self-deprecating voice that is so characteristic of him, this is a memoir that Michael Kirby's many admirers have been waiting for.

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AFTER WORDS

Paul Keating

A unique volume of speeches and occasional pieces written entirely by former Prime Minister Paul Keating.

Books of speeches are rarely published as a compendium of work by one person. After Words is unique in Australian publishing by virtue of its scale and range of subjects, and that all the speeches are the work of one eye and one mind: former Prime Minister Paul Keating.

Each speech has been conceptualised, contextualised and crafted by Paul Keating. Subject to subject, idea to idea, the speeches are related in a wider construct, which is the way Paul Keating has viewed and thought about the world.

The speeches reveal the breadth and depth of his interests - be they cultural, historical, or policy-focused - dealing with subjects as broad as international relations, economic policy and politics. Individual chapters range from a discussion of Jorn Utzon's Opera House through to the redesign of Berlin, the history of native title, the challenge of Asia, the role of the monarchy, to the shape of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2, and more.

After Words contains an analytic commentary on Australia's recent social and economic repositioning, in the minds of many, by its principal architect. The speeches, more often than not, go beyond observations, as Paul Keating sketches out new vistas and points to new directions. For those interested in matters that go to the future of Australia and the world, After Words presents, unmediated, a panoply of issues which the policy mind and writing style of Paul Keating has sculpted into a recognisable landscape.

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MAWSON
Click here for more details or to buy Mawson MAWSON by Peter Fitzsimons

The story of Australia's most famous polar explorer and the giants from the heroic age of polar exploration: Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton.

Douglas Mawson, born in 1882 and knighted in 1914, was Australia's greatest Antarctic explorer.

On 2 December 1911, he led an expedition from Hobart to explore the virgin frozen coastline below, 2000 miles of which had never felt the tread of a human foot. After setting up Main Base at Cape Denision and Western Base on Queen Mary Land, he headed east on an extraordinary sledging trek with his companions, Belgrave Ninnis and Dr Xavier Mertz.

After five weeks, tragedy struck. Ninnis was swallowed whole by a snow-covered crevasse, and Mawson and Mertz realised it was too dangerous to go on. With the scant food and provisions they had left, turning back was almost equally perilous. Their dwindling supplies forced them to kill their dogs to feed the other dogs, at first, and then themselves. Hunger, sickness and despair eventually got the better of Mertz, and he succumbed to madness and then to death. Mawson found himself all alone, 160 miles from safety, with next to no food.

Peter FitzSimons tells the staggering tale of Mawson's survival, despite all the odds, arriving back just in time to see his rescue ship disappearing over the horizon. He also masterfully interweaves the stories of the other giants from the Heroic Age of Polar Exploration - Scott of the Antarctic, Sir Ernest Shackleton and Roald Amundsen - to bring the jaw-dropping events of this bygone era dazzlingly back to life..

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SINS OF THE FATHER

ROAD TO NOWHERE
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SINS OF THE FATHER

Eamonn Duff

The story behind Australia's most famous drug case

A reckless father, his dark past, an Adelaide drug trafficker and the Gold Coast beauty school dropout who kept her mouth shut. This is the explosive untold story of Schapelle Corby and how she took the rap for her father's drug syndicate.

The result of a three year investigation, Sins of the Father returns to the beginning of Australia's most famous drug case, to a time when nobody had ever heard the name Schapelle Corby. Finally, the missing pieces of the jigsaw fall into place as we are led, step by step, through the important weeks, days and hours leading up to her dramatic arrest.

Shedding new light on her long-held claims of innocence, this is the book Schapelle's army of supporters do not want you to read.

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ROAD TO NOWHERE

Mark Read

"This book is about my journey through the Australian prison system. You'll have heard a few of these stories before, but not like this. It's a step-by-step history of my twenty three years behind bars; what day to day life was really like in jail, what I did to survive and why I'll never go back. It's not a nice story. I was not a nice prisoner..."

Mark "Chopper" Read is over fifty years old and has spent almost half that time in prison. He is a man who knows the Australian prison system better than any other. He knows how the definitive school of hard knocks turns juvenile delinquents into hardened criminals. How it feels to be thrust into a world of violent psychopaths and be changed, irrevocably, into the worst of their number.

He also knows how it feels to pull out a man's colostomy bag (like a rope going through a barbed-wire fence). How it feels to lose your ears to a prison-issue razor blade (a gurgling sound like a little brook). How it feels to fight, maim and mutilate to stay alive. And what it means when that way of life no longer makes sense.

This book is Chopper's redemption. It is the real story of the man, the criminal and the prisoner, told with black humour and surprising insight.

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STEVE JOBS
Click here for more details or to buy Steve Jobs STEVE JOBS by Walter Isaacson

'I've done a lot of things I'm not proud of . . . But I don't have any skeletons in my closet that can't be allowed out' - Steve Jobs to Walter Isaacson


An extraordinary book which gives a unique insight into the life and thinking of the man who has single-handedly transformed the world.

Written from hours of interviews with Steve Jobs himself, family, friends, colleagues and rivals.

'In the early summer of 2004, I got a phone call from Steve Jobs . . . It turned out that he wanted me to write a biography of him . . .

This is a book about the rollercoaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. You might even add a seventh: retail stores, which Jobs did not quite revolutionize, but he did reimagine. Plus, he opened the way for a new market for digital content based on apps.

This is also, I hope, a book about innovation . . . Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness, imagination, and sustained innovation. He knew that the best way to create value in the 21st century was to connect creativity with technology, so he built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering' - Walter Isaacson, from the Introduction of Steve Jobs

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THE LADY AND THE PEACOCK

NO HIGHER HONOUR
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THE LADY AND THE PEACOCK

Peter Popham

The definitive biography of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's pro-democracy leader.

Until she was released in November 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi had been under house arrest in Burma for fourteen of the previous twenty years. She was already confined to her home when the party she co-founded and led, the National League for Democracy, won a landslide victory in a general election in 1990. The result was never acknowledged by the military regime in power for many decades.

Yet, headline, tragic events have happened in Burma in recent years: the brutally put down uprising of the monks and nuns in 2007, the devastation left by Cyclone Nargis in 2008, and then Aung San Suu Kyi's trial following the entry into her home of an American intruder who swam across a lake to reach her. Since then there have been sham elections held in November 2010, and 'Daw Suu' (as the Nobel Peace Prize laureate is known) was released into an uneasy stand off with the junta.

Praised all over the world for her martyrdom, a matchless emblem of Buddhist fortitude and good humour to her people, there is no public figure in the world today who can compare to her. Yet no book has yet been written that does justice to her extraordinary story: brought up mostly in India, settled in N. Oxford with her English scholar husband and two sons, called back to Burma to look after her sick mother, then caught up in a revolutionary uprising for which she became leader, yet trapped inside the country - never to see her husband again.

The Lady and the Peacock is the first, accessible biography of Aung San Suu Kyi. It will become the definitive work on this extraordinary woman, of whom Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said: 'Aung San Suu Kyi is a remarkable and courageous human being. Listen to her voice and be inspired...'

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NO HIGHER HONOUR:
A Memoir of My Years in Washington
Condoleezza Rice

From one of the world's most admired women, this is former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's compelling story of eight years serving at the highest levels of government.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama who overcame the racism of the Civil Rights era to become a brilliant academic and expert on foreign affairs, Rice distinguished herself as an advisor to George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign. Once Bush was elected, she served as his chief adviser on national-security issues - a job whose duties included harmonizing the relationship between the Secretaries of State and Defense. It was a role that deepened her bond with the President and ultimately made her one of his closest confidantes.

With the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Rice found herself at the center of the Administration's intense efforts to keep America safe. Here, Rice describes the events of that harrowing day - and the tumultuous days after . No day was ever the same.

Surprisingly candid in her appraisals of various Administration colleagues and the hundreds of foreign leaders with whom she dealt, Rice also offers here keen insight into how history actually proceeds. In No Higher Honor, she delivers a master class in statecraft -- but always in a way that reveals her essential warmth and humility, and her deep reverence for the ideals on which America was founded.

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HAZEL: MY MOTHER'S STORY
Click here for more details or to buy Hazel HAZEL: MY MOTHERS STORY by Sue Pieters-Hawke

Hazel Hawke is one of our most loved and respected Australians. As the wife of a prime minister she brought a down-to-earth warmth to Canberra that influenced everyone she came into contact with. Whether it was working to improve life for the disadvantaged, supporting the arts community or passionately advocating her belief in equality and social inclusion, we all felt her energy, her practicality and her immense capacity for humour and enjoyment.

From the age of eighteen Bob Hawke was the love of her life, yet their journey from youthful idealism to the political realities of Canberra was at times far from easy. The very strengths that made Hawke one of Australia's longest-serving and most successful leaders - his passion and commitment, his gregariousness and his drive - created their own tensions and issues within the family. After leaving the Lodge, their marriage famously fell apart.

But Hazel's life was undiminished, as she continued to build her role as an advocate for tolerance and fairness in the broader community and as a mother and a grandmother within her own family. Public love and support for Hazel reached a new peak eight years ago when she publicly announced she'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

This intimate, beautiful biography of an extraordinary woman is written by Hazel's eldest daughter, Sue Pieters-Hawke. Candid, revealing and fascinating it explores Hazel's life as she navigated personal challenges and profound social changes, and celebrates her value as a mother, wife, role model and tireless worker for the rights and welfare of others.

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TEA WITH ARWA

MY LIFE IN SHORTS
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TEA WITH ARWA

Arwa El Masri

A memoir about finding home ... and yourself

Born of Palestinian migrants, Arwa did not have a country that she could call home. Just before her ninth birthday her parents came to Australia to give their daughters the greatest gift they could, the right of citizenship and a country that could call their own, a place they could belong.

It took a teenage Arwa time to find her way in her new country and to reconcile her Muslim faith with her life as a young woman in Australia. But she made friends and slowly Australia got under her skin and into her heart. When she was twenty-three and newly married, this Aussie girl who loved John Farnham and Vegemite decided to wear the veil. Many assumed she did not speak English or that her husband had told her what to wear. Both were incorrect.

For Arwa, it was a personal choice and about taking her faith to the next level. Through telling her story, Arwa demystifies the veil and shows the importance of belonging.

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MY LIFE IN SHORTS

H. G. Nelson

H.G. Nelson-Australia's foremost sports commentator, cultural critic, social observer and loud-mouthed heckler-is a legend of the tinny transistor and the small screen. But who exactly is the man behind the mike? Where did he come from? Why is he here?

In this astonishing memoir, H.G. takes us back to his Barossa childhood to show us how a very different Australia shaped the boy who was to become the man who was to become the legend. As an apprentice jockey riding nags saved from the abattoir, as an aspiring footballer for the Penrice Quolls and Moculta Parrots, as a contender in the famous Barossa Stuhl-one of the world's greatest whistling competitions-H.G. takes the lot off and reveals his formative years in full, unflinching detail.

Less fortunate than A.B. Facey, with fewer winners than Bart and more eating than Elizabeth Gilbert, H.G's My Life in Shorts is destined to become a classic of the I-grew-up-in-the-Barossa-Valley-and-now-I'm-famous genre.

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MASTER:  A PERSONAL PORTRAIT OF BART CUMMINGS
Click here for more details or to buy Master MASTER by Les Carlyon

In the world of horse racing, Bart Cummings is the master. His astonishing tally of twelve Melbourne Cup wins arguably makes him the greatest trainer in Australia's history and, by statistical measures, as freakish as Bradman. His laconic wit and indifference to the trappings of wealth and fame have seen him recognised as a national treasure in his own lifetime. He is one of Australia's great characters. As Les Carlyon writes, he simply isn't like anyone else. Cummings doesn't come into it: to everyone he's just Bart.

Carlyon is Australia's most revered observer of racing. For close to forty years he has known Bart and chronicled his remarkable career. Now, in The Master, Carlyon gives us a portrait of the man, his horses and his world away from the glamour of the big race days. It shows us a Bart few have seen before. Intimate, personal, informed and captivating - The Master is loaded with stories and characters that reveal much of the character and modus operandi of Bart.

Illustrated with more than 100 photographs and paintings, The Master is a sparkling piece of storytelling by one of Australia's most successful and acclaimed writers.

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KING OF THE OUTBACK

ENIGMA
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KING OF THE OUTBACK

Bill King

The life of the legendary pioneer of outback travel - the man who opened up Australia to adventure travel.

A modern-day explorer who took everyday Australians along for the ride.

Bill King is the pioneer who put the Australian outback on the map for both local and international tourists. Through an enterprise founded on hope and grit-now operating as AAT Kings-he opened up a completely new branch of Australian tourism. Thousands of Australians have experienced the adventure of a lifetime in Bill's capable hands, often walking in the footsteps of explorers such as Burke and Wills, Leichhardt, Sturt and Stuart.

Eccentric drivers, mad passengers and sticky situations abound against the backdrop of the glorious Australian outback. Bill and his tour groups sometimes got lost, bogged or stranded-sometimes even scared out of their wits-but there was always a fierce determination to bring the show back home. Bill never lost a passenger or brought one to harm, though by heck they did sometimes try his monumental patience.

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ENIGMA

Geoffrey Edelsten

Business entrepreneur and innovator, celebrity and medico, Professor Geoffrey Edelsten reveals all in this long-awaited biography. It covers his life from a musical entrepreneur with Festival Records, Glenn Shorrock and his company Hit Productions to his medical career as a country doctor, city businessman and nigh club owner. His ground-breaking medical clinics introduced computerised records to Australia, revolutionised pathology sampling processes and stayed open for 24 hours, a model that has been copied all over the world. When he bought the Sydney Swans in 1985, he was on top of the world. But it was not to be for long.

In a case involving innuendo and interpretation, and phone tapping, Edelsten was jailed for a year supposedly for bribing a hitman. After 12 months in jail and despite everything he has been through, Edelsten continues to fight to clear his name. Against all odds, his high-profile wedding to Brynne Gordon has been a major step on his road to recovery, as his super clinics thrive once again.

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LIFE WITHOUT THE BORING BITS
Click here for more details or to buy Life Without The Boring Bits LIFE WITHOUT THE BORING BITS by Colleen McCullough

World-famous writer and national treasure Colleen McCullough has always resisted the idea of writing an autobiography - books on the subject of the self tend to be stuffed to pussy′s bow with boring bits. But her mind has a life of its own. Here, finally, is its portrait.

Among the personal reminiscences and thought-provoking musings in Life Without the Boring Bits lie clues as to the shaping of this extraordinary mind: the confused, impulsive, thoughtlessly cruel mother; the miserly absentee father; the far-reaching effects bureaucrats can have on the lives of strangers; the riddle of Time ...

Colleen′s mind laughs at life. It cries at life. Its memory is phenomenal, its appetite for new knowledge insatiable. And though it holds the secrets to how the books were written, this is a mind that can tell stories against itself and see things that were never there.

If Colleen McCullough has any lesson to teach in Life Without the Boring Bits, it is that nothing above, below, or on the surface of the Earth can keep a good mind down, let alone break it.

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IRON MAN

CHASING THE DRAGON
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IRON MAN

Tony Iommi

The name 'Tony Iommi' sends shivers down the spines of guitarists around the world.

As lead guitarist and songwriter of Black Sabbath, Tony Iommi is considered to be one of the most influential musicians of the past four decades and the inventor of heavy metal. From working class, Midlands roots, his unique playing style - a result of a disfiguring hand injury he suffered working in a sheet metal factory ­- created a dark and gothic sound unlike anything that had been heard before and which captured the mood of its time. Sabbath went on to become a superband, playing to massive audiences around the world and selling millions of records, and Iommi led the life of a rockstar to the fullest - with the scars from all the drug-fuelled nights of excess and wildness to show for it.

Iron Man is the exclusive account of the life and adventures of one of rock's greatest heroes.

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CHASING THE DRAGON

Jeff Apter

He had it all-the heroin chic thing before it was chic, the scars, the swagger, an incredible stage presence. After bursting on to the Australian music scene in 1975, Dragon fast developed a reputation for both hard rocking and hard living.

As the highly visible and charismatic lead singer, Marc Hunter was the voice behind such timeless hits as 'April Sun in Cuba', 'Are You Old Enough?' and 'Rain'. Yet Hunter was also a maverick whose destructive genius and serious heroin addiction led to a turbulent relationship with his bandmates, including older brother Todd.

His fast living contributed to his early death, aged just 44. This intimate and revealing portrait is the first biography of one of the original hard men of Australia rock. It has been written with full co-operation of Marc's mother Voi and his brother and former bandmate Todd, as well contributions from many high-profile Australian music personalities such as James Reyne, John Paul Young, Kate Fitzpatrick, Richard Clapton, Don Walker, Kevin Borich, Tommy Emmanuel and Robert Forster.

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ABSOLUTELY
SERIOUSLY...I'M KIDDING
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ABSOLUTELY

Joanna Lumley

The absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley opens her private albums for this illustrated memoir.

Joanna Lumley is one of Britain's undisputed national treasures, an English actress, voiceover artist and author, best known for her roles in the British television series Absolutely Fabulous portraying Edina Monsoon's best friend, Patsy Stone, as well as parts in The New Avengers and Sapphire & Steel. A former model and Bond girl, her distinctive voice has been supplied for animated characters, film narration and AOL's "You've got mail" notification in the UK. She has spoken out as a human rights activist for Survival International and the recent Gurkha Justice Campaign and is now considered a 'national treasure' of Nepal as well as the UK because of her support. She is also an advocate for a huge number of charities.

She has won two BAFTA awards, but it is the sheer diversity of her life that has made her so compelling a personality - early years in Kashmir and Malaya, growing up in Kent, then a photographic model before becoming an actress, appearing in a huge range of roles, whether it is the Nimble bread TV ad, movies like On Her Majesty's Secret Service, dramas like Sensitive Skin and documentaries on the Northern Lights, Bhutan and the Nile and of course as the unforgettable Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous or as Purdy in The New Avengers, where her plummy vowels and upper-class demeanour has made her one of Britain's most recognisable actors.


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SERIOUSLY I'M KIDDING
Ellen DeGeneres

The most highly anticipated celebrity autobiography of 2011!

′I′m excited to be writing another book. I found that between my talk show and my late night blogging, I didn′t have enough ways to express myself.′

Everyone loves Ellen! She is a beloved television icon and entertainment pioneer. Her distinctive comic voice has resonated with audiences from her first stand-up comedy appearances through to her work today on television, film and in the literary world. DeGeneres′ hit syndicated talk show, THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW, is now in its eighth season and has earned a total of 29 Daytime Emmy awards. Additionally, DeGeneres has won 11 People′s Choice Awards for Favorite Daytime Talk Show Host, Favorite Funny Female Star and Favorite Talk Show. She′s hosted the Oscars and served as a judge on AMERICAN IDOL. Her previous books were both New York Times bestsellers. SERIOUSLY ... I′M KIDDING is a look at Ellen′s life through her humour.

Four Fun Facts about Ellen:

1. Before she got her start in comedy, Ellen worked as a vacuum-cleaner saleswoman and an oyster shucker in New Orleans.

2. There is a ride featuring Ellen DeGeneres at Walt Disney World′s Epcot park - Ellen' Energy World.

3. Oprah Winfrey played Ellen DeGeneres'therapist on the 1997 'coming out' episode of ELLEN.

4. Ellen DeGeneres used to love 'Hot Sox' - tall, glittery socks popular in the early '70s. But after moving to small-town Texas, she decided to give them away: 'I'm going to a place where they have gun racks on the back of the pickup trucks ... I just have to get rid of anything weird,' she told THE NEW YORK TIMES in 2001.

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