What happens when Game of Thrones catches up with A Song of Ice and Fire?

Ever wondered what happens when Game of Thrones, the TV Show, catches up with A Song of Ice and Fire, the books?

It’s cool. George R.R. has it covered. He tells us it’s all going to be okay in this Variety magazine interview.

The season that’s about to debut covers the second half of the third book. The third book [A Storm of Swords] was so long that it had to be split into two. But there are two more books beyond that, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons.

A Dance with Dragons is itself a book that’s as big as A Storm of Swords. So there’s potentially three more seasons there, between Feast and Dance, if they split into two the way they did [with Storms]. Now, Feast and Dance take place simultaneously. So you can’t do Feast and then Dance the way I did. You can combine them and do it chronologically. And it’s my hope that they’ll do it that way and then, long before they catch up with me, I’ll have published The Winds of Winter, which’ll give me another couple years.

It might be tight on the last book, A Dream of Spring, as they juggernaut forward.

He’s a smart cookie, Georgie. Clever boy.

Now listen, gather round.

The show is good. Very good. But the books are extraordinary.

I turned my nose up at them for years thinking, because I wasn’t a fantasy reader, that they weren’t for me. But I was wrong. They’re brilliant. Hard to believe, but better than the show, much better.

So don’t wait for 5 years to see what happens next. Get reading, you’ve still got time, and take pleasure in spilling spoilers to all your friends!

Do we really need to tell you how good the Song of Ice and Fire books are?
Grab one today!

 

Tiny Tiffiny Hall teaches Giant John Purcell how to be a Ninja – Laughter Guaranteed

imageBlack Warrior

by Tiffiny Hall

The town of Lanternwood is under attack. There’s a Tigon, a monster that is half-dragon, half-tiger, on the loose. Roxy is being hunted by a fire-breathing army and her best friend Cinnamon has been kidnapped. It seems that everyone Roxy loves has been cursed and it’s up to her to save them.

Somebody wants revenge. And when life couldn’t be more dangerous, Roxy loses her powers and all seems lost, particularly when she is plagued by ferocious nightmares that entwine her fate in a quest, not only to hunt down the Tigon, but also to find her estranged father.

Forced into a life on the run, Roxy is chased out of town by the Tigon’s fire-breathing army. The search for her father means Roxy must try to stay alive as the friends Roxy once trusted betray her. And what awaits her is more horrifying than any of the terror she’s suffered so far.

Grab a copy of Black Warrior today

Which Book Is Now The Biggest Drama in Australia?

Some time ago a friend of Booktopia threw a book on my desk, a post it note attached with just two words on it.

Read This

The book was a supernatural tale from a debut US author. That sentence is probably the most common used by booksellers over the past decade, and not really my cup of tea, but I took it home and flicked through it that night.

And I then I flicked through it a little more. And a little more after that.

And then I stopped flicking through it and looked at the clock.

It said 4:30am.

That’s when you know it’s a pretty good one.

And now that book is one of the biggest TV shows in Australia.

The book is The Returned, by Jason Mott.

The TV Show is Resurrection, which on Tuesday become the highest rating TV drama launch in two years, with 1.911 million viewers for the opening episode. Crazy numbers.

Sure, the TV series is good. But the book, let’s face it, is always better, and adds layers you never know existed.

The Returned. Grab a copy today. It’s big, and is going to get even bigger.

Grab a copy of Jason Mott’s The Returned today

The Returned

by Jason Mott

Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That’s what all the Returned were.

Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they’ve settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time … Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.

All over the world people’s loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it’s a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he’s their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.

With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, award-winning poet Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. A spellbinding and stunning debut, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

Grab a copy of Jason Mott’s The Returned today

A Game of Memes: The Best Game of Thrones Memes of All Time

In honour of tonight’s final episode of Game of Thrones Season 4, we’ve plucked some of our favourite memes from Westeros and beyond.

Want to know the spoilers and plot twists for the next season? Creator George R.R. Martin has written a series of extensively detailed manifestos containing details on what will happen next season. Click here to find out.

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Pie Chart Fun

 

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We’ve got a soft spot for a witty Venn Diagram

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And another onetumblr_n2lf73oCvv1qz581wo7_400

 

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We also love Hodortumblr_n2lf73oCvv1qz581wo1_400

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Sage advice for anyone travelling to Kings Landing this Wintertumblr_n2lf73oCvv1qz581wo5_400

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At the end of the day, we can all just blame Robert Baratheonrobert-meme

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Game of Thrones > Harry Potter? game-thrones-memes-4

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Seriously, did we mention how much we love Hodor?378d99de8e195661bfa0c76dd62ceca35c7441951dda790a03ce981fafd296c8

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If only this name wasn’t already taken…

 

First Look at Tara Moss’ First Non-Fiction Work The Fictional Woman

“The year is 2002, I am 28 years old and I am sitting in a small, unfamiliar hotel room hooked up to a lie detector machine…”

Tara Moss has worn many labels in her time, including ‘author’, ‘model’, ‘gold-digger’, ‘commentator’, ‘inspiration’, ‘dumb blonde’, ‘feminist’ and ‘mother’, among many others.

Now, in her first work of non-fiction, she blends memoir and social analysis to examine the common fictions about women.

She traces key moments in her life – from small-town tomboy in Canada, to international fashion model in the 90s, to bestselling author taking a polygraph test in 2002 to prove she writes her own work – and weaves her own experiences into a broader look at everyday sexism and issues surrounding the underrepresentation of women, modern motherhood, body image and the portrayal of women in politics, entertainment, advertising and the media.

Deeply personal and revealing, this is more than just Tara Moss’s own story. At once insightful, challenging and entertaining, she asks how we can change the old fictions, one woman at a time.

For more about Tara Moss’ The Fictional Woman click here

Influential Australians share their stories on the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence

Today is the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence. The National Day of Action provides a focus for schools and the wider school community, including parents and carers, to strengthen their everyday messages against bullying and violence.

Did you know that one in four Year 4 to Year 9 Australian students reported being bullied every week or more during the last term at school?

Some of Australia’s most influential writers, actors, sportspeople, musicians and politicians have banded together to write about their experiences with bullying, culminating in the extraordinary book Bully for Them. Take a look and play your part to help stop bullying today.

Bully For Them

Outstanding Australians on Hard Lessons Learned

One of the most difficult things about being bullied is the feeling that nobody else knows what it’s like.

Twenty-two of Australia’s most talented and successful people know exactly what it’s like.

In candid and entertaining interviews, leading lights from across Australian life recount how they were bullied and shunned at school just for being different. Not only did they survive the ordeal but their experiences helped shape them into the remarkable individuals they are today.

Contributors include:
Missy Higgins (musician), Hazem El Masri (NRL), Christos Tsiolkas (writer), Tiffiny Hall (TV), Alice Pung (writer), Sam Bramham (paralympian), Stella Young (disability advocate), Eddie Perfect (actor), Megan Washington (musician), Brendan Cowell (actor), Marieke Hardy (writer), Adam Goodes (AFL), Adam Boland (TV), Bindi Cole (artist), Charlie Pickering (TV), Kate Miller-Heidke (musician), Tim Ferguson (comedian), Penny Wong (politician), Benjamin Law (writer), Judith Lucy (comedian), Paul Capsis (musician) and Wendy Harmer (TV).

Grab a copy of Bully for Them here

2014 Stella Prize Shortlist announced

The shortlist for the 2014 Stella Prize has just been announced, containing a great mix of exciting new talents and familiar faces.

Named after one of Australia’s most important female authors, Stella Maria Miles Franklin, The Stella Prize celebrates Australian women’s contribution to literature. The prize is worth $50,000, with both fiction and nonfiction books eligible for entry.

Don’t miss your chance to grab a copy of these fantastic books and judge them for yourself with the help of Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore.


burial-ritesBurial Rites

by Hannah Kent

In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.

Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes’ spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul. As the summer months fall away to winter and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes’ ill-fated tale of longing and betrayal begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn’t she?

Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about personal freedom: who we are seen to be versus who we believe ourselves to be, and the ways in which we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland’s formidable landscape, where every day is a battle for survival, and asks, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

HK-Draft-Author-Image-v2About the Author

Hannah Kent was born in Adelaide in 1985. As a teenager she travelled to Iceland on a Rotary Exchange, where she first heard the story of Agnes Magnusdottir. Hannah is the co-founder and deputy editor of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings, and is completing her PhD at Flinders University. In 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award. Burial Rites is her first novel.

Grab a copy of Burial Rites here


night-gamesNight Games

by Anna Krien

‘The Pies beat the Saints and the city of Melbourne was still cloaked in black and white crepe paper when the rumour of a pack rape by celebrating footballers began to surface. By morning, the head of the sexual crimes squad confirmed to journalists that they were preparing to question two Collingwood players … And so, as police were confiscating bed sheets from a townhouse in Dorcas Street, South Melbourne, the trial by media began.’

In the tradition of Helen Garner’s The First Stone comes another closely observed, controversial book about sex, consent and power. At the centre of it is Anna Krien’s account of the rape trial of a footballer.

Krien offers a balanced and fearless look at the dark side of footy culture – the world of Sam Newman, Ricky Nixon, Matty Johns, the Cronulla Sharks and more. What does a young footballer do to cut loose? At night, some play what they think of as pranks, or games. Night games involving women. These games sometimes involve consensual sex, but sometimes they don’t, and sometimes they fall into a grey area.

annakrienBoth a courtroom drama and a riveting piece of first-person narrative journalism, this is a breakthrough book from one of the young leading lights of Australian writing.

About the Author

Anna Krien is the author of Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania’s Forests and Us and Them: On the Importance of Animals (Quarterly Essay 45).

Grab a copy of Night Games here


the-night-guestThe Night Guest

by Fiona McFarlane

One morning Ruth wakes thinking a tiger has been in her seaside house. Later that day a formidable woman called Frida arrives, looking as if she’s blown in from the sea. In fact she’s come to care for Ruth. Frida and the tiger: both are here to stay, and neither is what they seem.

Which of them can Ruth trust? And as memories of her childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency, can she even trust herself?

The Night Guest is mesmerising novel about love, dependence, and the fear that the things you know best can become the things you’re least certain about. It introduces a writer who comes to us fully formed, working wonders with language, renewing our faith in the power of fiction to tap the mysterious workings of our minds, and keeping us spellbound

0000007167About the Author

Fiona McFarlane was born in Sydney, and has degrees in English from Sydney University and Cambridge University, and an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a Michener Fellow.

Her work has been published in Zoetrope: All-Story, Southerly, the Best Australian Stories and the New Yorker, and she has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Phillips Exeter Academy and the Australia Council for the Arts. The Night Guest, her debut novel, has sold into fifteen territories around the world. She lives in Sydney.

Grab a copy of The Night Guest here


boy-lostBoy, Lost

by Kristina Olsson

Kristina Olsson’s mother lost her infant son, Peter, when he was snatched from her arms as she boarded a train in the hot summer of 1950. Yvonne was young and frightened, trying to escape a brutal marriage, but despite the violence and cruelty she’d endured, she was not prepared for this final blow, this breathtaking punishment. Yvonne would not see her son again for nearly forty years.

Kristina was the first child of her mother’s subsequent, much gentler marriage and, like her siblings, grew up unaware of the reasons behind her mother’s sorrow, though Peter’s absence resounded through the family, marking each one. Yvonne dreamt of her son by day and by night, while Peter grew up a thousand miles and a lifetime away, dreaming of his missing mother.

Boy, Lost tells how their lives proceeded from that shattering moment, the grief and shame that stalked them, what they lost and what they salvaged. But it is also the story of a family, the cascade of grief and guilt through generations, and the endurance of memory and faith

kristina-olssonAbout the Author

Kristina was born in 1956 and raised in Brisbane of Swedish and Australian heritage. She studied journalism at the University of Queensland and went on to write for The Australian, The Courier-Mail and Sunday Mail, the Sydney Sunday Telegraph and Griffith Review.

She has also worked as an advisor to government and as a teacher of creative writing and journalism
at tertiary and community level. She supervises and mentors several post-graduate writing students and also works as a manuscript assessor and editor.

University of Queensland Press published her first novel, In One Skin, in 2001. This was followed by Kilroy Was Here (Random) in 2005 and The China Garden in 2009. Boy, Lost, a family memoir, was published by UQP in March 2013.

Kristina has two adult children, as well as three grandchildren. She lives in Brisbane.

Grab a copy of Boy, Lost here


the-swan-bookThe Swan Book

by Alexis Wright

The new novel by Alexis Wright, whose previous novel Carpentaria won the Miles Franklin Award and four other major prizes including the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year Award. The Swan Book is set in the future, with Aboriginals still living under the Intervention in the north, in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change. It follows the life of a mute teenager called Oblivia, the victim of gang-rape by petrol-sniffing youths, from the displaced community where she lives in a hulk, in a swamp filled with rusting boats, and thousands of black swans driven from other parts of the country, to her marriage to Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, and her elevation to the position of First Lady, confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city. The Swan Book has all the qualities which made Wright’s previous novel, Carpentaria, a prize-winning best-seller. It offers an intimate awareness of the realities facing Aboriginal people; the wild energy and humour in her writing finds hope in the bleakest situations; and the remarkable combination of storytelling elements, drawn from myth and legend and fairy tale.
art-wright-620x349About the Author

Alexis Wright (born 25 November 1950) is an Indigenous Australian writer best known for winning the Miles Franklin Award for her 2006 novel Carpentaria.

Grab a copy of The Swan Book here


the-forgotten-rebels-of-eurekaThe Forgotten Rebels of Eureka

by Clare Wright

The Eureka Stockade. The story is one of Australia’s foundation legends, but until now it has been told as though only half the participants were there.

What if the hot-tempered, free-wheeling gold miners we learnt about in school were actually husbands and fathers, brothers and sons? And what if there were women and children inside the Eureka Stockade, defending their rights while defending themselves against a barrage of bullets?

As Clare Wright reveals, there were thousands of women on the goldfields and many of them were active in pivotal roles. The stories of how they arrived there, why they came and how they sustained themselves make for fascinating reading in their own right. But it is in the rebellion itself that the unbiddable women of Ballarat come into their own.

Groundbreaking, absorbing, crucially important—The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka is the uncut story of the day the Australian people found their voice.

catsmlAbout the Author

Clare Wright is an historian who has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. Her first book, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans, garnered both critical and popular acclaim. She researched, wrote and presented the ABC television documentary Utopia Girls and is currently writing a four-part series to commemorate the centenary of WWI for ABC1. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children.

Grab a copy of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka here


Stella Prize Longlist


letter-to-george-clooney

Letter to George Clooney

by Debra Adelaide

Debra Adelaide’s new collection of short stories intricately maps both the sublime and the mundane landscape of ordinary lives, with her trademark dark wit and luminous intelligence.

In Glory in the Flower, distinguished but disillusioned British poet, Bill, crosses the world on the promise of a prestigious literary festival only to find himself roughing it with an unlikely group of amateur poets, with surprising results. One man’s attempt to negotiate the Australian taxation system reads like a noir thriller in The Pirate Map, and the minefield of internet dating in Chance artfully balances the absurd and dark side of the human psyche. Harder Than Your Husband follows a serious-minded administrator as he attempts to navigate the induction of a new, and rather perplexing, employee. And the final eclipsing story, Letter to George Clooney, opens a door into a world of terror and deprivation: searing in its devastating restraint, it demonstrates why Adelaide is one of the finest Australian writers of her generation.

DebraAdelaide01-239x300About the Author

Debra Adelaide is the author of several novels, including The Household Guide to Dying (2008), which was sold around the world, Serpent Dust (1998) and The Hotel Albatross (1995). She is also the editor of several themed collections of fiction and memoirs, including Acts of Dog (2003) and the bestselling Motherlove series (1996-1998). As well as a creative writer she has also been a freelance researcher, editor, book reviewer and literary award judge, and is now associate professor at the University of Technology, Sydney where she teaches creative writing.

Grab a copy of Letter to George Clooney here


9780702249921Moving Among Strangers

by Gabrielle Carey

Two literary lives defined by storytelling and secrets.

As her mother Joan lies dying, Gabrielle Carey writes a letter to Joan’s childhood friend, the reclusive novelist Randolph Stow. This letter sets in motion a literary pilgrimage that reveals long-buried family secrets. Like her mother, Stow had grown up in Western Australia. After early literary success and a Miles Franklin Award win in 1958 for his novel To the Islands, he left for England and a life of self-imposed exile.

Living most of her life on the east coast, Gabrielle was also estranged from her family’s west Australian roots, but never questioned why. A devoted fan of Stow’s writing, she becomes fascinated by his connection with her mother, but before she can meet him he dies. With only a few pieces of correspondence to guide her, Gabrielle embarks on a journey from the red-dirt landscape of Western Australia to the English seaside town of Harwich to understand her family’s past and Stow’s place in it. Moving Among Strangers is a celebration of one of Australia’s most enigmatic and visionary writers.

Gabrielle CareyAbout the Author

Gabrielle Carey lives in Sydney, writes books occasionally, and may or may not be related to Peter Carey.

Grab a copy of Moving Among Strangers here


mullumbimbyMullumbimby

by Melissa Lucashenko

When Jo Breen uses her divorce settlement to buy a neglected property in the Byron Bay hinterland, she is hoping for a tree change, and a blossoming connection to the land of her Aboriginal ancestors. What she discovers instead is sharp dissent from her teenage daughter Ellen, trouble brewing from unimpressed white neighbours, and a looming Native Title war among the local Bundjalung families. When Jo stumbles into love on one side of the Native Title divide she quickly learns that living on country is only part of the recipe for the Good Life.

Told with humour and a sharp satirical eye, Mullumbimby is a modern novel set against an ancient land.

indexAbout the Author

Melissa Lucashenko is an Australian writer of mixed European and Murri (Aboriginal) heritage. She was born in Brisbane in 1967, and attended public primary and secondary schools there. Melissa received an honours degree in public policy from Griffith University, graduating in 1990. She lives between Brisbane and the Bundjalung nation.

Grab a copy of Mullumbimby here


the-misogyny-factor

The Misogyny Factor

by Anne Summers

In 2012, Anne Summers gave two landmark speeches about women in Australia, attracting more than 120,000 visits to her website. Within weeks of their delivery Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s own speech about misogyny and sexism went viral and was celebrated around the world. Summers makes the case that Australia, the land of the fair go, still hasn’t figured out how to make equality between men and women work. She shows how uncomfortable we are with the idea of women with political and financial power, let alone the reality. Summers dismisses the idea that we should celebrate progress for women as opposed to outright success. She shows what success will look like.

annesummersAbout the Author

Anne Summers PhD AO (born 12 March 1945) is a writer and columnist, is best known as a leading feminist, editor and publisher. She was formerly Australia’s First Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Status of Women. Her long-term partner is Chip Rolley, the 2010 Creative Director of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Grab a copy of The Misogyny Factor here


madeleineMadeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John

by Helen Trinca

At the age of fifteen Madeleine saw herself as a painter and pianist, but Ms Medway peered down at Madeleine during her entrance interview in 1957 and announced: ‘You know dear, I think you might write.’

Madeleine would write. But not for some time. The Women in Black, a sparkling gem that belied the difficulties that had dogged her own life, was published when Madeleine St John was in her fifties. Her third novel, The Essence of the Thing, was shortlisted for the 1997 Booker Prize, and she continued to write until her death in 2006.

Helen Trinca has captured the troubled life of Madeleine St John in this moving account of a remarkable writer. After the death of her mother when Madeleine was just twelve, she struggled to find her place in the world. Estranging herself from her family, and from Australia, she lived for a time in the US before moving to London where Robert Hughes, Germaine Greer, Bruce Beresford, Barry Humphries and Clive James were making their mark. In 1993, when The Women in Black was published, it became clear what a marvellous writer Madeleine St John was.

HelenTrinca_20credit_20NickCubbin_regularAbout the Author

Helen Trinca has co-written two previous books: Waterfront: The Battle that Changed Australia and Better than Sex: How a Whole Generation Got Hooked on Work. She has held senior reporting and editing roles in Australian journalism, including a stint as the Australian’s London correspondent, and is currently Managing Editor of the Australian.

Grab a copy of Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John here


all-the-birds-singingAll the Birds, Singing

by Evie Wyld

Who or what is watching Jake Whyte from the woods?

Jake Whyte is the sole resident of an old farmhouse on an unnamed island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. It’s just her, her untamed companion, Dog, and a flock of sheep. Which is how she wanted it to be. But something is coming for the sheep – every few nights it picks one off, leaves it in rags.

It could be anything. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, rumours of an obscure, formidable beast. And there is Jake’s unknown past, perhaps breaking into the present, a story hidden thousands of miles away and years ago, in a landscape of different colour and sound, a story held in the scars that stripe her back.

Set between Australia and a remote English island, All the Birds, Singing is the story of one how one woman’s present comes from a terrible past. It is the second novel from the award-winning author of After the Fire, A Still Small Voice.

evie-wyldAbout the Author

Evie Wyld runs Review, a small independent bookshop London. Her first novel, After the Fire, a Still Small Voice, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and a Betty Trask Award. In 2011 she was listed as one of the Culture Show’s Best New British Novelists. She was also shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Grab a copy of All the Birds, Singing here

5 Choose Your Own Adventure Books You Never Knew Existed

What child’s bookshelf isn’t complete without a collection of Choose Your Own Adventure Books? While the rules could always be bent (finger still on the page means you haven’t chosen yet), they remain one of the best ways to get young kids into books.

But as the craze wore on and more and more titles began to flood the shelves, authors began to take some strange turns with the adventures. Here are some of our favourites.

the-brilliant-dr-woganThe Brilliant Dr. Wogan

by R. A. Montgomery

It takes a hell of a lot of imagination to create a choose your own adventure book. With twists and turns you never see coming, characters that come and go, villains that will take your breath away. One wonders who decided to call the most brilliant mind in the world Dr. Wogan. It’s an odd decision.

You need to save Dr. Diana Wogan, presumably from the ghost of Guy Fawkes by the look of the cover. She has created a machine that will neutralise radiation, putting an end to nuclear war and microwaves until the end of time. You need to save Wogan. Save Wogan!

Who is the shadowy figure? Is he a government official? Is he a terrorist? Is he the CEO of a profitable microwavable pizza company? With 20 possible endings, I’m sure all these questions will be revealed. Answered, no. But revealed, yes.

Want to save Dr. Wogan from the Microwave Lobby? Click here

Track Star!

by R. A. Montgomery

Don’t let that optimistic exclamation mark fool you, Track Star! is a searing tale of right and wrong. This book was actually endorsed by the World Anti-Doping Agency when it was published, so it’s fair to say you probably shouldn’t take that flu jab your coach wants you to take on page 114.

With 12 possible endings, I’m going to go out on a limb and say taking steroids may land you in hot water. Just my thoughts.

Track Star! is another example of the power of the Choose Your Own Adventure series in teaching kids the right thing to do. I had a friend who would always choose to keep the suitcase of money he found, flick to page 213, and be immediately arrested by the police. I won’t say what he’s doing now, but rest assured, he chose his own adventure. He chose his own adventure.

I’m not sure if one of the adventures ends with you in tears on Oprah ten years after retiring, but it’s a twist I like.

Want to make a tearful confession on Oprah? Click here

The Island of Time

by R. A. Montgomery

The Island of Time.

It doesn’t really make the heart leap out of the chest does it? Perhaps The Island of Thyme would have been worse I suppose, although much better with fish.

You go on a boat. You hit a storm. You go back in time. To The Island of Time. Monty really phoned this one in didn’t he?

I’m guessing Aztecs, sacrifice, all that. The CYOA series loved the Aztecs. The floating shadowy figure also makes another appearance, looking mysteriously like Jafar from Aladdin.

In Choose Your Own Adventure World, as in life, never trust anyone with a goatee.

Want to defeat The Evil Manscaper? Click here

Prisoner of the Ant People

by R. A. Montgomery

From the outset you’ll notice that the graphics department at CYOA didn’t liaise with the publishers all that much. Granted I’m an amateur zoologist, but I’m pretty sure the cover of Prisoner of the Ant People just shows giant ants, along with a shadowy figure.

Where are these Ant People? Do they have their own planet or is there some sort of Planet of the Apes scenario and Earth is actually Ant Planet now? Have we been breeding with the ants to make Ant People? I have my questions about how that works logistically.

Prisoner of the Ant People contains 28 possible endings, which is about as many as the series usually gives you. With 28 endings, I’m confident that one of your adventures could land you as King of the Ant People. I’m extremely okay with that. They’re great workers, and a stable agrarian based economy is essential for both Homo sapiens and Hymenoptera to live in perfect harmony.

Want to become King of the Ant People? Click here

A Girl Walks into a Bar

by Helena S. Paige

I know what you’re thinking. Why all this Choose Your Own Adventure love? Has something happened in the CYOA universe?

Yes, my friends. Behold. We now have Choose Your Own Adventure Erotica!

When your friend cancels on your girls’ night out at the last moment, you suddenly find yourself all dressed up and alone at an exclusive bar. What do you do now?

Will you spend the evening drinking tequila with a rock star? Or perhaps the suave and charming millionaire businessman is more your style? But the angelic young barman with a body made for sin has also caught your eye. . .

Then there’s the bodyguard who has the keys to his boss’s sports car and is offering you a ride. . .

Maybe you want to head home instead – to your sexy new neighbour. Whichever way you decide to go, each twist and turn you make will lead to an unforgettable encounter. Can you choose the ultimate sensual experience? The power is entirely yours…

Choose Your Own Erotic Adventure with A Girl Walks into a Bar

Naomi Wood, author of Mrs. Hemingway, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Naomi Wood

author of Mrs. Hemingway

Ten Terrifying Questions

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

I grew up in York in the north of England. When I was eight my parents announced we were moving to Hong Kong. We’d never been to the continent of Asia, nevertheless China, and we’d certainly never been to Hong Kong. My dad worked for the international schools, and my sister and I had most of our schooling out there. Now she’s in Sydney, I’m in London and my parents are in Italy. We’re spread out like butter on the toast of the globe.

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

At twelve I told people I wanted to be “a bloodsucking lawyer”. It was a brattish answer that I stole from The Addams Family movie (my favourite, at that age; for a year I watched it every afternoon over a bowl of noodles, and can still remember most of the lines.) At eighteen I was getting vibes that I wanted to be a writer. I’m thirty now, and I write and teach Creative Writing at Goldsmiths University in London, which is a pretty good combination.

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

That writing would build me a big house and swimming pool. The economics of my dreams have shrunk a little.

4.     What were three works of art – book, painting, piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Reading The Old Man and the Sea made me interested in Hemingway and made me want to find out everything about him – that powerful sense of loss in all of its pages made me want to write about a troubled soul and his relationships with women.  My first novel, The Godless Boys, emerged after I set about writing a short-story based on what I saw in Lucian Freud’s painting The Village Boys. If I could produce something tonally close to the cascading elegy that is Anthony and the Jonson’s ‘Hope There’s Someone’ – I’d be very happy.

5.     Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

No good at painting. Can’t sing. Can dance, but only like an idiot. I love books – short-stories, novels and poetry, and I love language, so writing seemed the obvious artistic avenue.

6.     Please tell us about your latest novel…

Mrs. Hemingway is historical fiction, set between 1921-61 in France and America. It tells the story of Hemingway’s four marriages from the perspective of each wife (and former mistress) – Hadley Richardson, Pauline Pfeiffer, Martha Gellhorn and Mary Welsh.

7.     What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

It’s definitely written for people who’ve never read any Hemingway before, so I hope people take away a portrait of him, as well as a portrait of his four incredible wives. And maybe they’ll go away and read some of Martha Gellhorn’s war reportage – or maybe some fiction of Hemingway’s.

8.     Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

I’ll choose a living writer here. I really love Marilynne Robinson’s work. I think she is a very robust, very beautiful writer. Gilead is one of my favourite novels.

the-old-man-and-the-sea9.     Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

I set myself achievable rather than ambitious goals.  My current goal is to write a first draft of my third novel.

10.   What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Not to worry too much about early drafts. They’re exploratory and first stabs in the dark. I must admit this is advice I find very difficult to accept myself. I’d like things to be perfect right from the get-go. Maybe I’m quite like Wednesday Addams in this as well!

Naomi, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Mrs. Hemingway here

What would you pay to have a role in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay?

US online auction house Charitybuzz is giving fans of The Hunger Games the chance to appear in the The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.

The first item, a non-speaking role for the movie, is estimated to be worth $10,000. Whoever wins will be given time to meet some of the actors and crew working on the film. Bids will be accepted until March 27th.

This is the opportunity of a lifetime! You will have a chance to be a non-speaking extra on the set of the highly anticipated movie, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, which is currently filming in Atlanta, GA, through April 18th. You’ll hang out with the actors (no guarantee to meet the principals) and key crew while you have this amazing experience.

The second item, a visit to the set of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, is valued at $5,000. Producer Jon Kilik will serve as an escort for the winner and one friend. Bidding ends on March 20th.

Witness movie making live and in person on the set of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. You and a friend will be the special guests of Producer Jon Kilik, who will escort you around the set, let you listen in on the actors’ scenes, personally introduce you to some the cast and key members of the crew, and take you to lunch so you can pick his brain about The Hunger Games and being an award-winning movie producer (Babel, Hunger Games, A Bronx Tale, Malcolm X, Dead Man Walking and many more.)

So how big a fan are you? Would you be willing to fork out the big cash to have this once in a lifetime experience? Let us know in the comments below.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland

Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark.

Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victors Tour” of the districts.

Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.

Grab a copy of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire here

The Hunger Games

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sisters place and must rely upon her sharp instincts when shes pitted against highly trained Tributes who have prepared their entire lives.

If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Grab a copy of The Hunger Games here

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