COMING SOON: Keating by Kerry O’Brien

Paul Keating and Kerry O'Brien

Paul Keating and Kerry O’Brien

The long awaited biography of former Prime Minister, Paul Keating, by influential political interviewer Kerry O’Brien will be available this month.

Keating is a treasure trove of anecdotes, insights, reflections and occasional admissions from one of the most loved and hated political leaders Australia has ever seen – a man who was the driving force through thirteen years of Labor government that changed the face of Australia.

Pre-order your copy of Keating here.


Kerry O’Brien


Paul Keating is widely credited as the chief architect of the most significant period of political and economic reform in Australia’s history. Twenty years on, there is still no story from the horse’s mouth of how it all came about. No autobiography. No memoir. Yet he is the supreme story-teller of politics.

This book of revelations fills the gap. Kerry O’Brien, the consummate interviewer who knew all the players and lived the history, has spent many long hours with Keating, teasing out the stories, testing the memories and the assertions.

Keating, who as prime minister personally negotiated the sale of a quarter of the government-owned Qantas … Read more

Pre-order your copy of Keating here

About the Author

Kerry O’Brien is one of Australia’s most respected journalists, with six Walkley awards including the Gold Walkley and the Walkley for Outstanding Leadership in journalism.

In a 50-year career, Kerry has worked for newspapers, television and wire service, and as a foreign correspondent. Thirty-three of those years have been at the … Read more.

Pre-order your copy of Keating here.

Paul Keating being interviewed by Kerry O'Brien on the documentary Keating: The Interviews.

Paul Keating being interviewed by Kerry O’Brien on the documentary Keating: The Interviews.

Toni Collette joins the cast of Jasper Jones: The Movie!

One of Australia’s most acclaimed actors, Toni Collette, has joined the cast of the upcoming film adaptation of Jasper Jones.

Collette joins Levi Miller, Angourie Rice and Aaron McGrath as headliners for the long awaited production of Craig Silvey’s seminal 2010 novel.

Jasper Jones will be directed by Rachel Perkins (Bran Nue Day, Redfern Now, Mabo) and produced by David Jowsey (Toomelah, Mystery Road) and Vincent Sheehan (Animal Kingdom, The Hunter). The script has been penned by Shaun Grant (Snowtown). Both Screen Australia and ScreenWest are supporting the project.

Despite narrowly missing out on the 2010 Miles Franklin Literary Award, Jasper Jones is one of the most acclaimed Australian novels of the 21st century and a regular at book clubs and in schools since its release.

Grab your copy of Jasper Jones here

jasper-jonesJasper Jones

by Craig Silvey

‘If we see a more entertaining, heartfelt piece of Australian literature in the next 12 months, it will be a rare year indeed – an Australian To Kill a Mockingbird.’ – The Monthly

Late on a hot summer night in the tail end of 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress.

Jasper takes him through town and to his secret glade in the bush, and it’s here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper’s horrible discovery. With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother, falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu.

And in vainly attempting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.

Grab your copy of Jasper Jones here

John Flanagan talks to Booktopia TV about his Ranger’s Apprentice prequel, The Tournament at Gorlan + signed copies available!

Bestselling Australian fantasy author, John Flanagan, talks to us about the long awaited prequel to his Ranger’s Apprentice series, The Tournament at Gorlan.

For a limited time only, order The Tournament at Gorlan and you will receive a signed copy. Offer available while stocks last.

The Tournament of Gorlan

John Flanagan

the-tournament-at-gorlan-signed-copies-available-The Ranger’s Apprentice origin story fans have been waiting for.

Before they became the most famous Ranger in the land and the hard-working Ranger Commandant, Halt and Crowley were young friends determined to change the world.

The scheming Baron Morgarath is drawing other power-hungry knights and barons to his banner. King Oswald is wasting away and, if gossip can be believed, Prince Duncan is causing havoc in the north.

Halt and Crowley set out to find the prince, uncover the truth, and re-form the weakened Ranger Corps. Once-loyal Rangers are scattered across the … Read more


For a limited time only, order The Tournament at Gorlan and you will receive a signed copy. Offer available while stocks last.

Martyna Angell, author of The Wholesome Cook answers Ten Terrifying Questions

 The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Martyna Angell

author of The Wholesome Cook

Ten Terrifying Questions

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

Martyna Angell Cover

I was born and raised in Poland and real food was always part of my upbringing. I grew up in and around Warsaw, the capital, and the city’s food scene was an interesting mixture of the old and the new. So you would have daily fresh produce markets, neighbourhood grocers selling veggies (I loved buying fermented pickles as snacks after school) as well as the modern fast food chains opening outlets in the city for the first time and big supermarkets setting up shop. It was a very interesting time in terms of exposure to the new but culturally we were still respecting traditions and cooking from scratch. Indeed, it was in one of my fifth-grade home economics classes that I learnt to make sauerkraut (recipe page 69).

I completed my high school studies here in Sydney, then dabbled in law and business administration studies before realising I needed a more creative outlet, so I completed a communications degree. Food, however, has always remained my true passion  and styling and photography followed suit naturally and are a big part of what I do now.

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

I was around twelve years old when I first discovered my passion for cooking and the joy it could bring to others as well as me. On weekends, I’d rummage through the fridge, pantry and freezer then write up a dinner menu for my parents to order from. Then I’d get cooking.

Most of my fondest childhood memories revolve around food, family celebrations and meals enjoyed together. When I turned eighteen cooking was not really considered a career choice so I went off to do a whole range of things but none of them made me truly happy. It wasn’t until I got closer to thirty that I realised where my heart lay, and food became the main focus for me again. This time, having recovered from a junk food past that put me on the edge of obesity, I wanted to share my story and make sure that my cooking, the recipes I shared with my friends, family and readers were all about real food, (and an occasional indulgence).

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

That life begins at 18. Martyna Angell 1Now I think it really begins at 30, but if you ask me the same question in ten years’ time I have a feeling I know what the answer might be…40?

4.What were three big events in your life or the world around you that had a great effect on you and influenced your cooking?

Moving to Australia definitely opened my taste buds to a whole new world of food — fresh seafood and South East Asian flavour influences and ingredient availability — which I absolutely adored. However, it also introduced me to a whole new range of processed and fast foods. Despite a short-term infatuation with junk food in my early twenties, real food has been one of the most grounding forces in my cooking. I’ve realised it is the easiest single choice we can make for our health and well-being. Cooking from scratch and eating real food that’s best for our bodies with an occasional indulgence is a philosophy I’ve adopted after completing studies with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition — another game changer for me. It’s also a philosophy I now live with my family and share in The Wholesome Cook.

5.What are some dishes you wouldn’t eat as a child that you love now?

I was never a fussy eater: I thoroughly enjoyed tripe and liver and had fermented pickles as a snack almost every day. However, and I think many might agree with me here, Brussels sprouts were not really my thing. Our school diner used to serve soup filled with overcooked mushy Brussels sprouts that sent the pungent aroma permeating through the entire school. It was nauseating. No one was a big fan. I’ve since learnt to prepare them in a more palatable way. They are fantastic shredded into a raw slaw or gently charred, roasted or stir-fried (see page 111 for recipe). They are sweet, slightly nutty and delicious that way.

6.Please tell us about your latest book…

The Wholesome Cook is not a diet book or an eat-that-but-not-this book. It’s all about making a lifestyle change for the long term that suits you; it focuses on eating clean, real food that’s best for you, most of the time. It contains over 170 refined sugar-free recipes for how we eat now — theMartyna Angell 3 bioindividual way. What it means is that every recipe has a gluten-free option and many come with options for other dietary needs such as diary-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan. Many are also egg- and nut-free. They are all delicious.

As mentioned earlier, I was brought up with wholesome food — packets and processed food weren’t allowed in our house — but when I hit my twenties, I fell in love with junk food. The result? Within a year I had piled on 20 kilograms and when I stopped fitting into my favourite work suits that ran out at size 14, I knew I had to make a change. It wasn’t the size or particular numbers on the scales that scared me, although they helped make it real, it was the threat of being technically and truly obese that made me decide enough was enough. I needed to take back control of my cravings, my weight and my life.  But I wanted this change to be permanent. And so, I went back to basics: the basics of eating real food.

7.If you had to create one dish to show off your repertoire, what would it be?

It would most likely be Pulled Lamb Nachos (page 240) because they are a simple slow cooker number that uses deboned shoulder — a secondary meat cut from pasture-raised animals. Both have become fashionable terms, but having grown up with a grandfather who was a butcher and uncle who had a cattle farm, this kind of sustainable nose-to-tail eating was commonplace in our family. It is something that had, perhaps, waned in popularity but is now starting to see a comeback.

The dish is a favourite with the kids and most of our guests who have tried it are really pleasantly surprised with the use of lamb and a few additional tricks I’ve learned over the years to make the junk food to wholefood makeover easier. It’s served with a good choice of fresh salads, good fats from the avocado and probiotic-rich yoghurt instead of sour cream. Even the corn chips are plain — Martyna Angell 5a little indulgence without the junk.

8.Whom do you most admire and why?

I always find stories of those who have made a sea change inspiring, especially those who have done so to grow real food. I admire the courage it takes to drop everything for a simpler (if not necessarily easier) and happier life.

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

My goal is to create a ripple effect by highlighting the merits of eating real, wholefood while at the same time acknowledging that we are all a little different and no single diet fits everyone the same, no matter how fashionable it may be. My goal is also to teach our kids that being able to cook real food from scratch and listening to their body is not hard, nor does it have to be super expensive or time consuming. I believe it’s a skill that will set them up for life of real nourishment. While I will continue to share recipes on the blog, I would love to write another cookbook/wellness guide focused on the benefits of eating well seasonally.

10.What advice do you give aspiring chefs?

Never stop exploring and learning. Practical experience is invaluable, whether it’s through travel, eating out, working in a restaurant kitchen or a farmer’s market or by helping out with animal-rearing. And always keep an open mind to fuel your creativity.

Thank you for playing, Martyna.

Grab your copy of The Wholesome Cook here

The Wholesome Cook

Martyna Angell

Martyna Angell profileThese days we all want to eat the kind of food that doesn’t compromise on flavour or health: clean wholefoods, fresh fruit and vegetables, pasture-raised meat. But it’s also true that what works in your diet for you, may not work for someone else. In The Wholesome Cook, talented cook and award-winning blogger Martyna Angell offers 170 nutritious and delicious recipes that are endlessly adaptable, cater to dietary restrictions and inspire lifestyle changes.

Every recipe is gluten – and processed sugar – free with an emphasis on wholefoods, and many also accommodate dairy-free, nut-free, paleo, vegan and vegetarian diets. These recipes are all about options …  Read more


Grab your copy of The Wholesome Cook here



Fiona Palmer talks to Booktopia TV about her new book, The Saddler Boys!

Bestselling Australian rural author Fiona Palmer talks to us about her new novel The Saddler Boys. And for the lucky that get in quick, they’ll receive a signed copy!

For a limited time only, order The Saddler Boys and you will receive a signed copy. Offer available while stocks last.

The Saddler Boys

Fiona Palmer

the-saddler-boysSchool teacher Natalie has always been a city girl. She has a handsome boyfriend and a family who give her only the best. But she craves her own space, and her own classroom, before settling down into the life she is expected to lead.

When Nat takes up a posting at a tiny school in remote Western Australia, it proves quite the culture shock, but she is soon welcomed by the inquisitive locals, particularly young student Billy and his intriguing single father, Drew.

As Nat’s school comes under threat of closure, and Billy’s estranged mother turns up out of the blue, Nat finds herself fighting for the township and battling with her heart. Torn between her society … Read more

For a limited time only, order The Saddler Boys and you will receive a signed copy. Offer available while stocks last.

Michael Robotham beats Stephen King and J.K. Rowling to win Gold Dagger Award for the best crime novel of the year

FB_IMG_1443558403338Australia crime writing superstar Michael Robotham has won the prestigious British Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for the best crime novel of the year.

A longtime Booktopia favourite, Michael beat the likes of Stephen King, Belinda Bauer and J.K. Rowling (writing as Robert Galbraith).


“For all the fact that it’s lovely to have commercial success, to sell lots of books, to be able to be a full-time writer, something like the Dagger makes you feel you have the respect of your peers and you are part of a long tradition of very fine writers.”


Michael Robotham

In a 2014 review of Life or Death, we remarked ‘What sets Michael Robotham apart? A simple, but often neglected factor. He’s just a wonderful writer.’

It’s always nice to see the world agree.

Grab your copy of Life or Death here

Life or Death

Review by Andrew Cattanach

There seems to be two types of people in this world. Those who love Michael Robotham, and those who haven’t heard of him yet.

life-or-deathIt can be difficult for a crime writer to receive critical acclaim and popularity. Books by design are denser than any cop drama on TV, asking questions designed for reflection rather than ratings. Formulas are examined and broken down, cliches noted, thin characters ridiculed.

What sets Michael Robotham apart? A simple, but often neglected factor.

He’s just a wonderful writer.

Life or Death starts with an intriguing premise. Audie Palmer is on the run, having escaped from jail. 10 years of beatings and torture are behind him. But what’s the twist?

He has escaped just one day before he was due to be released.

In Audie Palmer, Robotham has created a character we can all root for. Lucky in his unluckiness, stoic, brave, principled. He is haunted by the ghosts of the past and by a crime he swears he didn’t commit. But can we trust him? Can we really trust anyone?

While Audie is the heart of the story,  there is plenty of meat around him, an ensemble cast of crooked politicians, kind-hearted criminals and shady FBI agents, not to mention a missing seven million dollars. The waters are murky, and Robotham revels in it.

Life or Death is for the crime fan who likes a story, not just an account. Brilliantly written, intelligent, funny, sad and meticulously mapped out, it’s easy to understand why there has already been so much interest in a big screen adaptation of the novel.

There is nothing more exciting than an author operating at the peak of their powers. With Life or Death, Robotham is doing just that, further strengthening his hold as one of Australia’s finest crime writers. Find out why Audie is on the run, before it’s too late.

Grab your copy of Life or Death here

Grab your copy of Life or Death here

BOOK REVIEW + PRE-ORDER TO WIN: The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (Review by Caroline Baum)

Geraldine Brooks is brilliant at taking dusty historical research and bringing it to life by animating obscure figures in flesh and blood. In this case her subject is King David. Outside of his The Secret Chordappearances in the Bible, we know little about him. Yes, he slew (or is that slayed?) the giant Goliath, yes he played the harp and sang divinely, but what else?

Through the eyes of his friend, the courtier and prophet Natan, we get an intimate portrait of David the man and of the era in which he lived: 1000BC, the Second Iron Age.

Just as Brooks herself did as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, when she spent a lot of time talking to the wives of powerful men as a way of understanding local politics, Natan too talks to the women in David’s life to understand his motives and desires: his mother and two wives.

We follow his life’s arc from obscurity to fame, as a king, despot and patriarch in an almost Shakespearean sweep: he is a very flawed human being. In some of the narrative’s most dramatic scenes, he fails as both a father and a ruler, with women paying the price for his decisions. These episodes give the character of David the kind of rich moral complexity which allows Brooks to shine, deploying all her skills as a storyteller and as a chronicler of human folly, vanity and excess.

Order The Secret Chord by October 6th and you could win a Secret Chord hamper, featuring a limited edition copy of the book signed by Geraldine Brooks!
*Terms and Conditions apply.

The Secret Chord

by Geraldine Brooks

The Secret ChordA unique and vivid novel that retells the story of King David’s extraordinary rise to power and fall from grace, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of People of the Book, Year of Wonders and March, Geraldine Brooks.

1000 BC. The Second Iron Age. The time of King David.

Anointed as the chosen one when just a young shepherd boy, David will rise to be king, grasping the throne and establishing his empire. But his journey is a tumultuous one and the consequences of his choices will resound for generations. In a life that arcs from obscurity to fame, he is by turns hero and traitor, glamorous young tyrant and beloved king, murderous despot and remorseful, diminished patriarch. His wives love and fear him, his sons will betray him. It falls to Natan, the courtier and prophet who both counsels and castigates David, to tell the truth about the path he must take.

With stunning originality, acclaimed author Geraldine Brooks offers us a compelling portrait of a morally complex hero from this strange age – part legend, part history. Full of drama and richly drawn detail, The Secret Chord is a vivid story of faith, family, desire and power that brings David magnificently alive.

Order The Secret Chord by October 6th and you could win a Secret Chord hamper, featuring a limited edition copy of the book signed by Geraldine Brooks!
*Terms and Conditions apply.

About the Author

Geraldine Brooks is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning March, Year of Wonders, and the non-fiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Previously, Brooks was a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Bosnia, Somalia, and the Middle East.

Born and raised in Australia, she divides her time between Sydney and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. She lives with her husband, the author Tony Horwitz, and their two sons, Nathaniel and Bizuayehu.

Visit Geraldine Brooks’s Booktopia Author Page

Foreign correspondence Nine parts of desire Year of Wonders



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