There is a ridiculous number of writers in my family. Some of them have books that you can get for free or cheap. A few of those are below.
Blind step into life in 1970s Delhi is co-written by my mum and dad, Anne and Howard Rawson, who moved to India in 1970. My mum’s side of the story is the aerogrammes she sent home to her family; my dad’s, his memories of going to work in an Indian agricultural research institute. Worth it for the photos alone.
Download a PDF: Blind step into Delhi
We were going to be different is my mother’s history of the secret society formed by her mother and aunt, Nancy and Jean Bradley. This story of the Kosmopolitan Klub is a fascinating insight into life as a girl in the 1920s and ’30s, including romance, feminist struggles, death and sandwiches. I intend to steal some of this story for my next novel.
Download a PDF: We were going to be different
I’ve just been reading Inga Simpson’s Understory: a life with trees about her move to the forest and the highs and lows of bush life. If you enjoyed that, I recommend Not a Farm, just useless scrub by my dad, Howard Rawson, which tells the story of his shift to a bush block in south-east NSW. Includes loads of pictures.
Download a PDF: Not a Farm just useless scrub
Hey Toby is written by my uncle, Adrian Rawson. An autonomous vehicle, Toby, with highly developed Artificial Intelligence questions the purpose of the Human Race when it forms a friendship with its designer. But then the tables are turned when its eyes are opened to ambition. If you like Douglas Adams, give this a go: it’s available on Kindle from Amazon UK. If you enjoy it, download the sequel, Order delivered.
My brother, Ben Rawson, is an expert on primate conservation in South-East Asia. He’s an expert on a lot of things, really; that’s just one of them. He was the lead author on a book, The conservation status of gibbons in Vietnam, which you can read for free.
Download a PDF: Conservation status of gibbons in Vietnam
My uncle, John Hirst, wrote a lot of books, mostly about the history of Australia. He had some opinions, and a wonderful turn of phrase. You can get most of his books for grown-ups at Black Inc. Harder to get is his children’s book, Don’t.
Another uncle! Andrew Hirst’s Dodging Vietnam is his very personal account of being conscripted into the Australian Army and spending two years in Melbourne, filling an administrative job that didn’t need filling. Although this story was written 40 years after the events took place, it is a detailed account of the life and training of a National Serviceman. It seems that the author’s unhappiness and dislike of the whole army experience have seared it upon his memory. Get the paperback here.