INTERVIEW: A simpler life: Inga Simpson on ‘Mr Wigg’

In his review, John Purcell credited Inga Simpson’s Mr Wigg with giving him ‘that warm feeling which comes from having read something that has strengthened or even reawakened a sense of what is right and good about the world’. John spoke with the author about her life and work.

Click here for more details or to buy Mr WiggJohn: You’ve taken some of the most conservative aspects of rural life and have turned them into a rebel’s song. What do you want city folk to take away from this novel?

Inga: I guess I wanted to capture—for all readers—the pleasures of a simpler life, one connected to the natural world. Ideas about ‘slow food’ and self sufficiency are not really new but were a way of life, a necessity even, for my grandparents’ generation. Looking back, it seems like such a rich life to me—one many of us now hanker for. I don’t always recognise the gothic rural Australia featured in contemporary fiction as the same place where I grew up. I wanted Mr Wigg to have an alternate, more celebratory, voice.

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RWA’s 2013 Romantic Book of the Year finalists announced

Congratulations to the R*BY finalists!rby

For all of those not in the know, every year the brilliant women (and a few supporting men) at the Romance Writers of Australia award the best of romance written by Australian and New Zealand authors. Much like the Academy Awards, these awards are highly desired, and the awards ceremony has its fair share of glamour, champagne and the occasional (happy) tears. Oh, and like the Academy Awards, the Romantic Book of the Year awards have a nickname too – the ‘Rubies’.

Below are the finalists for the RWA’s Romantic Book of the Year competition: Continue reading

Booktopia a Five-Time Finalist in the 2013 Online Retail Industry Awards

We’re very excited and proud to announce we’ve been selected as a finalist in five categories of this year’s Online Retail Industry Awards.

Those categories are:

– Best Pure Play Online Retailer
– Best Social Commerce Initiative
– Most Innovative Online Retailer
Best Online Retail Marketing Initiative

And last but not least, our CEO Tony Nash has been nominated along with four others for the Industry Recognition Award.

Awarded to the individual who has made the most outstanding contribution to the eCommerce industry in Australia, the Industry Recognition Award is an acknowledgment of leadership shown to the benefit of the broader Australian online retail industry. Congratulations Tony!

And a huge thanks has to go to you, our Booktopia customers. Without you none of this would be possible.

So thank you for choosing Booktopia, a proudly 100% Australian Owned and Operated Bookstore. Rest assured, we’re committed to keeping books alive and well for many years to come!

First Trailer for Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor

Ladies and Gentlemen, I warn you I may get a little fanboy up in here. Because the first trailer for Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor, based on his screenplay, has arrived.

While this is McCarthy’s first screenplay, many of his books have been adapted into major films, the most notable being 2007’s No Country For Old Men, which snared the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Other novels adapted into films include The Road, starring Viggo Mortensen, and Billy Bob Thornton’s All The Pretty Horses.

Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson also appeared in a HBO production of McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited, a brilliant novel in dramatic form.

But The Counselor represents a huge leap into the film world for McCarthy, and with Ridley Scott directing a cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz and Cameron Diaz, methinks this film is going to be very, very special.


The Vatican Diaries: A Review from Guest Blogger Justin Cahill

Guest Blogger Justin Cahill shares his thoughts on John Thavis’ much talked about book The Vatican Diaries.

What is it about large, hierarchical institutions that attracts so much interest? Is it their enormous wealth and power? The eccentricities of their leaders? When that leader is, in name at least, Jesus Christ, and its power are said to include universal salvation, such questions assume vital interest. In his Vatican Diaries, John Thavis sets out to answer them. A ‘vaticanista’ (Vatican journalist) for 30 years, Thavis eagerly follows in the footsteps of Bill Shirer and Tim Crouse to give us some insight into how this two thousand year old behemoth works.

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Nicola Marsh, author of Banish, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Nicola Marsh

author of Banish

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I’m a Melbourne girl through and through. Love living in this amazing cosmopolitan city. Went to a Catholic girls’ high school, then completed a four year physiotherapy degree at Lincoln Institute/LaTrobe University. Worked as a physio for 13 years before finally following my dream to write!

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At twelve I wanted to be a doctor or journalist. At eighteen I’d already chosen my university path as a physio. At thirty I wanted to be a writer, and that’s the dream I followed.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

That every guy I dated/liked/lusted after was a potential life-long partner. Continue reading

Claire Scobie, author of The Pagoda Tree, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Claire Scobie

author of The Pagoda Tree

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in Newbury, England, and brought up near Oxford. We always lived about an hour from London so in my teens I’d go shopping on Carnaby Street and buy ridiculously uncomfortable winklepicker shoes (it was the eighties).

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