Judy Nunn comes to Booktopia!

One of Australia’s most loved authors, Judy Nunn, came to Booktopia HQ to sign copies of her new book Spirits of the Ghan!

Judy signed A LOT of copies, but as she’s also one of Australia’s bestselling authors make sure you place your order now to secure your signed copy!


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Grab your signed copy of Spirits of the Ghan here!

Spirits of the Ghan

by Judy Nunn

spirits-of-the-ghanMaster storyteller Judy Nunn has now sold over 1 million books worldwide. In her spellbinding new bestseller she takes us on a breathtaking journey deep into the red heart of Australia.

It is 2001 and as the world charges into the new Millennium, a century-old dream is about to be realised in the Red Centre of Australia: the completion of the mighty Ghan railway, a long-lived vision to create the ‘backbone of the continent’, a line that will finally link Adelaide with the Top End.

But construction of the final leg between Alice Springs and Darwin will not be without its complications, for much of the desert it will cross is Aboriginal land … Read more.

Taylor Swift Partners With Scholastic to Donate 25,000 Books to New York schools

You may hear that Taylor Swift stays out too late, has nothing in her brain, or that she goes on too many dates and can’t make them stay. But that’s just what people say.

What is more important (and a fact) is that she will be partnering with Scholastic in donating 25,000 books to New York City-based schools in 2016, in support of the Open a World of Possible initiative.


Twenty-five schools will each receive 1,000 new children’s books through the Scholastic Possible Fund as a result of Taylor’s support. As a long-time literacy advocate, Taylor hosted a webcast for classrooms during which she shared how books, reading and writing have influenced her and opened her world.

Scholastic said in a press release yesterday:

The importance of increasing access to books in schools was highlighted in the most recent Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report which found that children ages 6–17 from lower-income households are more likely to read books for fun in school and far less likely to read books outside of school than their higher-income peers.

Further, having a selection of texts for independent reading can be a powerful tool to encourage kids to pick up a book. The same report revealed that nine in ten kids agree their favorite books – and the ones they are the most likely to finish – are the ones they pick out themselves.

Big props to both Taylor Swift and Scholastic for supporting such a wonderful endeavour.

Children’s literacy levels are a growing concern throughout many parts of the US (as they are in Australia), with the correlation between lower income households and poor literacy levels simply impossible to shake off.

You can’t shake that data off.

Shake it off.


Okay, we’ll stop there. But seriously, awesome stuff Tay Tay…



We play our favourite PJ Harvey tracks to celebrate our exclusive signed copies of her book The Hollow of the Hand!

CaptureWe’re kind of obsessed with PJ Harvey in the Booktopia office, so it doesn’t take much to make us spread the good word of PJ.

But wowee, do we have big news…

We have an Australian Exclusive. The only signed copies of The Hollow of the Hand, PJ Harvey’s beautiful collaboration with artist Seamus Murphy!

Step One: Listen to these tasty licks.

Step Two: Order your signed copy of The Hollow of the Hand.

Step Three: Feel pure joy wash over you. Then repeat Step One for the rest of the day.

Grab your copy of The Hollow of the Hand here

the-hollow-of-the-handThe Hollow of the Hand

Signed Copy – Exclusive to Booktopia in Australia

The debut book by artist and writer PJ Harvey, in collaboration with film-maker and photographer Seamus Murphy, emerges as a one-of-a-kind collection of poetry and images.

Between 2011 and 2014 PJ Harvey and Seamus Murphy set out on a series of journeys together to Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Washington, D.C.

Harvey collected words, Murphy collected pictures, and together they have created an extraordinary chronicle of our life and times.

The Hollow of the Hand marks the first publication of Harvey’s powerful poetry, in conversation with Murphy’s indelible images.

About the Author

PJ Harvey has released eight critically acclaimed albums, been nominated for six Grammy Awards, and is the only artist to have been awarded the UK’s prestigious Mercury Prize twice (for her albums Stories from the City, Stories From The Sea and Let England Shake). In 2013, she was awarded an MBE for services to music. The Hollow of the Hand is her first published collection of poetry.

Seamus Murphy has documented life and change around the world. He has won seven World Press Photo awards for work from Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Gaza, Lebanon, Peru, Ireland and England. His depiction of Afghanistan and the Afghans over more than a decade was published as a book, A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan.

Grab your copy of The Hollow of the Hand here

Steve Silberman’s Neurotribes wins 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize

Steve Silberman’s Neurotribes, an investigation into autism, has won the 2015 Samuel Johnson prize, with judges praising it for ‘injecting a hopeful note into a conversation that’s normally dominated by despair’.

Following on from his groundbreaking article The Geek Syndrome, Wired reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years.

Neurotribes beat shortlisted titles including Jonathan Bate’s biography of Ted Hughes, Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks, and Emma Sky’s The Unravelling. Silberman receives £20,000 for winning the prestigious award, last year taken out by Helen Macdonald for H is for Hawk.

‘NeuroTribes is a sweeping and penetrating history, presented with a rare sympathy and sensitivity.it will change how you think of autism.’

– Oliver Sacks

Grab your copy of Neurotribes here


by Steve Silberman

A groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently.

What is autism: a devastating developmental condition, a lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more – and the future of our society depends on our understanding it.

Going back to the earliest autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle, while mapping out a path towards a more humane world in which people with learning differences have access to the resources they need to live happier and more meaningful lives.

kG3hWgJ__400x400Along the way, he reveals the untold story of Hans Asperger, the father of Asperger’s syndrome, whose ‘little professors’ were targeted by the darkest social-engineering experiment in human history; exposes the covert campaign by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner to suppress knowledge of the autism spectrum for fifty years; and casts light on the growing movement of ‘neurodiversity’ activists seeking respect, technological innovation, accommodations in the workplace and education, and the right to self- determination for those with cognitive differences.

About the Author

Steve Silberman is an award-winning investigative reporter and has covered science and cultural affairs for Wired and other major magazines for more than twenty years. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, TIME, Nature and Salon.

Grab your copy of Neurotribes here

Gary Oldman Set To Publish Novel About Vampire Cowboys

Oscar-nominated acting great Gary Oldman and his longtime collaborator Douglas Urbanski have signed a book deal to publish a novel about Vampire Cowboys.

Let that sink in.Paranoia-gifs-gary-oldman-34801263-500-200

The book will be entitled Blood Riders, and it’s going to be amazing. And possibly ridiculous.


It’s going to be Amiculous.

Oldman and Urbanski gave this joint statement in the press release:

“We have always wanted to write a story of vampire cowboys, set in the Wild West, the gold rush—and we have had these characters and this story kicking around in our heads for years.

We hope everyone is drawn to Magnus and we envision a series of books that follow his curse and struggles with the forces of good and evil, and also the ever present vampire ingredients of blood, and love.”

We have no idea who Magnus is.

The book is due to be published Autumn next year.

Marlee Jane Ward, author of Welcome To Orphancorp answers The Booktopia Book Guru’s Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru askswelcome-to-orphancorp

Marlee Jane Ward

author of Welcome To Orphancorp

Six Sharp Questions


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

I grew up on the Central Coast of New South Wales, went to university in Wollongong and spent a good number of years in Sydney. Now I’m based in Melbourne and I like it best of all the places.

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

At twelve, a doctor. At eighteen, an actor. At thirty, a writer. Actually, I’ve wanted to be a writer all along – I was just never sure I could make a living from it.

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

I didn’t really think much of myself or see a bright future at eighteen, so I’m glad I’ve developed a greater sense of self and belief in my own abilities.

4. What are three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?
When I was thirteen I read Stephen King’s The Stand and it instilled in me a love of genre fiction and a somewhat disturbing fascination for the end of the world that I’ve never been able to shake.

I’ve always loved artists who blend the physical with the aesthetic – artists like Marina Abramovich and Monika Tichacek who test their bodies physical limits in beautiful, powerful ways.

Music wise – I’m a sucker for girl rock. Artists like Shirley Manson from Garbage, Courtney Love of Hole, Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill and Chrissy Amphlett from The Divinyls have really helped shape me into someone who isn’t afraid to push the limits of femininity and sexuality.

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

Writing is a way to get the worlds I’ve got inside my head to come out. I have such rich worlds in there, and make up characters that feel so real that I have an obligation to write them out, or else they won’t exist.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel… 

Welcome to Orphancorp is the story of Miriiyanan Mahoney’s last week in a corporate orphanage. It’s about friendship, loyalty and strength, about power imbalance and the corruption inherit when corporate interests overwhelm human rights. It’s queer-friendly, sex-positive and diverse.

Mostly, it’s a story about someone trying to get through the next hour, day, week, up against a system, up against other people, up against herself.

Marlee with book

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

I want people to read it and be entertained, to laugh, to see something of themselves in it. Maybe to come away with a bit of hope. A reader’s time is a precious investment, so I want the things I write to be worthy of the time they put in.

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

More people than I can fit into this space. Stephen King, for making characters I care so much about, think of often, and miss as if they were real friends.

Kij Johnson, for creating such magnificent, evocative short stories – I’d love to be able to create masterful short pieces like hers.

I adore Stephen Baxter’s cold, hard sci-fi tomes and Neal Stephenson’s richly imagined and researched worlds.

I love Isobelle Carmody’s imagination and her characters that I have grown up with.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To have people read my stuff and like it. The prospect of that is so exciting for me. I’d love to make at least part of my living writing one day. At heart, I’m a realist, so I’m always modest in my ambitions. That way, I’m never disappointed and often pleasantly surprised.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Don’t try to be anyone else when you write. Not every piece needs to be a sacred work of glorious genius. Just tell good stories, write the stories you would want to read and never write to the market. Make your own damn market.

 Grab your copy of Welcome To Orphancorp here!

Welcome To Orphancorp

Marlee Jane Ward

welcome-to-orphancorpWinner of the 2015 Seizure Viva La Novella Prize

‘Takes all of your dystopian nightmares and connects them to a mother lode of pure emotional intensity. There’s so much keen detail here about the cruel logic of oppressive institutions, you’ll feel Mirii’s yearning for freedom in your bones – and you’ll rejoice at every tiny moment of escape that she achieves.

Welcome to Orphancorp is harrowing, scarily real, and ultimately super moving.’ – Charlie Jane Anders (i09)

‘Punchy, crunchy, sexy and smart, Welcome to Orphancorp is a short, sharp shock of a story with bruised-but-not-broken … Read more.

Grab your copy of Welcome To Orphancorp here!


MAN BOOKER WINNER: Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings wins the 2015 Man Booker Prize

1114-MarlonJames_640x640Marlon James has become the first Jamaican author to win the coveted Man Booker Prize with his incredible novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, a masterfully written novel that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s.

James says ‘The Booker is that thing you hear about, and it just shapes your writing. This is so surreal. I feel like I’m going to wake up or fall into a barrage of tears.’

xa-brief-history-of-seven-killings.jpg.pagespeed.ic._SLViLO_8m (1)

The novel begins in 1976 as seven men storm Bob Marley’s house with machine guns blazing. The reggae superstar survives, but leaves Jamaica the following day, not to return for two years.

Inspired by this near-mythic event, A Brief History of Seven Killings is an imagined oral biography, told by ghosts, witnesses, killers, members of parliament, drug dealers, conmen, beauty queens, FBI and CIA agents, reporters, journalists, and even Keith Richards’ drug dealer.

Marlon James’s dazzling novel is a tour de force. It traverses strange landscapes and shady characters, as motivations are examined – and questions asked – in a masterpiece of imagination.

Grab your copy of A Brief History of Seven Killings here


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