EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: The Incompetent Cook with Matt Moran, author of Matt’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook

Matt Moran is one of Australia’s favourite chefs. From his humble upbringing on a dairy farm, he now runs one of Australia’s finest restaurants, ARIA, and hosts one of the biggest shows on TV, From Paddock to Plate on The Lifestyle Channel. But can he teach The Incompetent Cook a thing or two from his new book Matt’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook?

Grab a copy of Matt’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook here

Grab a copy of Matt’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook here

matt-s-kitchen-garden-cookbook-order-your-signed-copy-Matt’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook

by Matt Moran

Acclaimed chef Matt Moran shares his passion for local produce with this stunning collection of recipes.

Inspired by the market garden at his Sydney restaurant Chiswick, as well as time spent visiting producers all around Australia for his TV series Paddock to Plate, Matt dishes up a mouth-watering selection of recipes with this trademark deft touch and winning flavour combinations. Try the fresh, palate-sharpening pickled vegetables and dukkah or seared kingfish with radish, avocado and wasabi to start with, then tuck into slow-cooked lamb with hummus, tomato salad and mint salsa.

For sweet treats, look no further than apricot and rosemary tarts or berries and meringue with passionfruit curd.

About the Author

Matt Moran is the executive chef and co-owner of the award-winning ARIA restaurant, which enjoys one of the most enviable reputations and locations in Sydney, overlooking the Sydney Opera House and the harbour. In 2009 he opened a second ARIA restaurant, in Brisbane, in another stunning waterfront location on Eagle Street Pier. In 2012 Matt opened the doors to CHISWICK, in Sydney’s leafy Woollahra. The heart of the restaurant is the kitchen garden, where much of the restaurant’s produce is grown.

While Matt’s main focus remains his restaurants, he displays his passion for cooking in TV shows MasterChef, Junior MasterChef, The Chopping Block, My Restaurant Rules and Heat in the Kitchen. He is the author of three bestselling cookbooks, Matt Moran, When I Get Home and Dinner At Matt’s.

Grab a copy of Matt’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook here

9781921383618-29781921383618-49781921383618-39781921383618-59781921383618-6

Fiona O’Loughlin to feature on #AustralianStory on #ABCTV

me-of-the-never-neverFiona O’Loughlin emerged out of Alice Springs some thirteen years ago as a ‘fully formed’ 36 year old stand up comedy sensation.

She wowed local and international audiences with unconventional stories of raising five children in the outback.

Then after collapsing on stage in Brisbane, she confessed she was an alcoholic. But behind the scenes, the drinking got worse.

On Australian Story tonight, Ms O’Loughlin and those closest to her candidly confront the darkest demons of an issue that has famously bedevilled many male comedians, but is less acknowledged by women in the public eye.

Grab a copy of Fiona O’Loughlin’s memoir Me of the Never Never here

Grab a copy of Fiona O’Loughlin’s memoir Me of the Never Never here

me-of-the-never-neverMe of the Never Never

by Fiona O’Loughlin

‘Nothing turns out as you plan, I guess; but I often think if I’d gone to a fortune teller when I was at school and been told I’d marry a guy who makes false teeth, move to Alice Springs, have five kids and become a standup comedian; well, I would have been surprised to say the least.’

Fiona O Loughlin is certainly the funniest (and possibly one of the busiest) working mothers in Australia today: a stand-up comedian based in Alice Springs and Adelaide, she is on the road for most of the year, doing live performances, plus regular television appearances. Fiona has also had successful shows at the Edinburgh and Adelaide fringe festivals, the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

This book contains her stories funny and sometimes sad about her upbringing as part of a large Irish-Catholic family on a wheat farm in South Australia, her chaotic and disorganised family life ever since, living in Alice Springs and making it as a stand-up comedian. She also talks of a darker side of the life of many performers alcohol.

This book is for anyone who likes to laugh (and cry), who wants to read about a woman living her life on her terms.

Grab a copy of Fiona O’Loughlin’s memoir Me of the Never Never here

Julia Gillard talks to Booktopia TV about her memoir My Story

Julia Gillard’s memoir My Story is one of the most anticipated books of 2014. She chats with Booktopia TV about her political battles, writing her memoir, and what the future holds.

Grab a copy of Julia Gillard’s My Story here

my-storyMy Story

by Julia Gillard

‘I was Prime Minister for three years and three days.Three years and three days of resilience.Three years and three days of changing the nation.Three years and three days for you to judge.’

On Wednesday 23rd June 2010, with the government in turmoil, Julia Gillard asked then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for a leadership ballot.

The next day, Julia Gillard became Australia’s 27th Prime Minister, and our first female leader. Australia was alive to the historic possibilities. Here was a new approach for a new time.

It was to last three extraordinary years.

This is Julia Gillard’s chronicle of that turbulent time – a strikingly candid self-portrait of a political leader seeking to realise her ideals. It is her story of what it was like – in the face of government in-fighting and often hostile media – to manage a hung parliament, build a diverse and robust economy, create an equitable and world-class education system, ensure a dignified future for Australians with disabilities, all while attending to our international obligations and building strategic alliances for our future. This is a politician driven by a sense of purpose – from campus days with the Australian Union of Students, to a career in the law, to her often gritty, occasionally glittering rise up the ranks of the Australian Labor Party.

Refreshingly honest, peppered with a wry humour and personal insights, Julia Gillard does not shy away from her mistakes, admitting freely to errors, misjudgements, and policy failures as well as detailing her political successes. Here is an account of what was hidden behind the resilience and dignified courage Gillard showed as prime minister – her view of the vicious hate campaigns directed against her, and a reflection on what it means – and what it takes – to be a woman leader in contemporary politics.

Here, in her own words, Julia Gillard reveals what life was really like as Australia’s first female prime minister.

Grab a copy of Julia Gillard’s My Story here

 

K.A. Barker, author of The Book of Days, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

K.A. Barker

author of The Book of Days

Ten Terrifying Questions
____________

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

This feels very Dickensian: “To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born on a Wednesday, at eleven o’clock in the morning”. I grew up in Brisbane, left for almost a year to try living in places where it actually snowed, and am now back again to enjoy its two-day winters and its mosquitos.

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

When I was twelve, I was deep in the grip of disaster movie mania. I wanted to be a smart-mouthed, always right, looks-good-when-running-away-from-danger vulcanologist/seismologist/archaeologist.

At eighteen I wanted to be a writer. So I could write smart-mouthed vulcanologists.

I haven’t reached thirty yet, but when it comes around we’ll see if I still enjoy this writing lark.

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

Author: K.A. Barker

I was certain that at twenty-six I would have found Prince Charming, had a couple of adorable children, and been at the peak of my career.  Not so much.

4. What were 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?

Treasure Island by R.L. Stevenson and the other great classic adventure stories. There was always a deplorable lack of girls. Wanting to remedy this led me to first become interested in writing.

It sounds silly, but I had a maze book as a kid that had the most fantastical illustrations. I used to want to write about all the settings – lost temple, islands connected by bridges, a burrow filled with cosy rooms.

The soundtrack to the 2002 The Time Machine movie. I think most writers like to write while listening to music, and this soundtrack got me through three drafts of The Book of Days.

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

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been drawn to telling stories. Believe me, if there was an avenue for selling abandoned stories written on post-it notes, I’d be rich. As there isn’t, I turned to the next best thing: novel-writing.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

The Book of Days is about a girl who:
a) wakes up with no memory of who she is and
b) finds out that a bunch of not-very-nice people are trying to kill her.

It’s a little steampunk, a little adventure, and hopefully a lot of fun.

Grab a copy of K.A. Barker’s novel The Book of Days here

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

I hope that they come away from it having enjoyed the ride, and hopefully wanting more!

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

I admire a lot of speculative fiction writers who create their own worlds: Tolkien, Martin, McKinley.  World building is a passion of mine, but it’s only since I started writing The Book of Days that I realised just how difficult it can be.

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

To take over the world and move to Mars.  Maybe a tad too ambitious, but realistically I’d like to be able to write full-time.  

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

It may be clichéd, but never give up.  The best writers don’t necessarily get published.  The ones that do have talent, perseverance, a little luck, and far too much stubbornness for their own good.

Kirilee, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of The Book of Days here


The Book of Days

by K.A. Barker

Most people believe the best way to forget someone is to throw them down a well. Or lock them in a room with eight keys, or bury them at a crossroad in the thirteenth hour. But they’re wrong. The best way to forget someone is for them never to have existed in the first place.

Madame Marisol’s Unreality House was where you brought people to make that happen.

When Tuesday wakes from sleep for the first time when she is sixteen, she opens her eyes to a world filled with wonder – and peril. Left with only a letter from the person she once was, Tuesday sets out to discover her past with the help of her charming and self-serving guide, Quintalion. Along the way she runs into a one-legged mercenary, flying cities, airships, and a blind librarian. But danger shadows her every move. The leader of the merciless daybreakers is hunting her, convinced that she killed the only woman he ever loved. Tuesday will need all her wits to survive long enough to find out who she is and her connection with the mysterious Book of Days: a book that holds untold power…

 Grab a copy of The Book of Days here

Check out these brilliant book reviews from Booktopians

At the recent Australian Book Expo, we set up a camera and asked Booktopians to review their favourite book. The response was amazing, with so many wonderful book lovers keen to chat about their favourite reads. Here are some of the best. Enjoy!


Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

by Morgan Matson

Click here for more details


Bitter Greens

by Kate Forsyth

Click here for more details


Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

by Haruki Murakami

Click here for more details


Daughter of Smoke and Bone

by Laini Taylor

Click here for more details


The Hunt for Pierre Jnr

by David M. Henley

Click here for more details


The Hunt for Pierre Jnr

by David M. Henley

Click here for more details


Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Click here for more details


Every Breath

by Ellie Marney

Click here for more details


Fallen

by Lauren Kate

Click here for more details


Falling Into Place

by Amy Zhang

Click here for more details


If I Stay

by Gayle Forman

Click here for more details


If I Stay

by Gayle Forman

Click here for more details


Masquerade

by Kylie Fornasier

Click here for more details


On the Jellicoe Road

by Melina Marchetta

Click here for more details


Poison Study

by Maria V. Snyder

Click here for more details


Room

by Emma Donoghue

Click here for more details


City of Bones

by Cassandra Clare

Click here for more details


Skinjob

by Bruce McCabe

Click here for more details


The Incredible Here and Now

by Felicity Castanga

Click here for more details


The Last Thirteen

by James Phelan

Click here for more details


The Regulators

by Stephen King

Click here for more details


These Broken Stars

by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Click here for more details


Three Men in a Boat

by Jerome K Jerome

Click here for more details


WeirDo 2: Even Weirder!

by Anh Do

Click here for more details


What Makes Us Tick?

by Hugh Mackay

Click here for more details


Women

by Charles Bukowski

Click here for more details


Exclusive video: Kate Forsyth chats to John Purcell about her new series The Impossible Quest

Kate Forsyth is one of Australia’s favourite authors and one of the most successful working today, thanks to a rather large royalty cheque from Russia. She chats with John Purcell about that cheque and book 1 of her new series for children The Impossible Quest: Escape from Wolfhaven Castle.

Grab a copy of Escape from Wolfhaven Castle here

escape-from-wolfhaven-castleEscape from Wolfhaven Castle

by Kate Fosyth

Tell your lord to beware, the wolves smell danger in the wind.

Wolfhaven Castle has been attacked, and only four escape capture … Tom, trained to scrub pots, not fight; Elanor, the Lords daughter; Sebastian, a knight in training and Quinn, the witchs apprentice.

Somehow, if they are to save their people, these unlikely heroes must find four magical beasts from legend. But first, they have to make it out of the castle alive…

Best-selling, award-winning storyteller, Kate Forsyth, weaves battles, beasts and bravery in this epic new five-book series.

Grab a copy of Escape from Wolfhaven Castle here

Tune into the ABC tonight for Brilliant Creatures

The cultural cringe will be closely examined on the ABC tonight in Brilliant Creatures, a documentary on Australia’s propensity to send its intellectuals packing.

Hosted and largely conceived by British novelist Howard Jacobson, Brilliant Creatures is a two-part look at the endowments to and departures from Australia by four of its very best minds: Germaine Greer, Robert Hughes, Barry Humphries, Clive James.


germaine

Germaine Greer

The Female Eunich
by Germaine Greerthe-female-eunuch

A worldwide bestseller, translated into over twelve languages, The Female Eunuch is a landmark in the history of the women’s movement.

Drawing liberally from history, literature and popular culture, past and present, Germaine Greer’s searing examination of women’s oppression is at once an important social commentary and a passionately argued masterpiece of polemic.

Probably the most famous, most widely read book on feminism ever.


 

Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes

The Fatal Shore
by Robert Hughesthe-fatal-shore

In 1787, the twenty-eighth year of the reign of King George III, the British Government sent a fleet to colonize Australia…

An epic description of the brutal transportation of men, women and children out of Georgian Britain into a horrific penal system which was to be the precursor to the Gulag and was the origin of Australia.

The Fatal Shore is the prize-winning, scholarly, brilliantly entertaining narrative that has given its true history to Australia.


 

Barry_Humphries_July_2001

Barry Humphries

Handling Edna
by Barry Humphries

An intimate and penetrating examination of the world’s most famous woman, Dame Edna Everage, by the man who knows her best.

handling-edna

In this unauthorised biography, acquired for an unprecedented advance and in spectacular secrecy, long-time manager and the man who was there from the very beginning, Barry Humphries takes a behind-the-scenes, no-holds-barred look at an icon of our times – Dame Edna Everage.

Superstar, swami, confidante and advisor to royalty, Hollywood stars and international political leaders, Dame Edna s life has catapulted her far from her humble Moonee Ponds beginnings as a suburban housewife to the most elite social and artistic circles in the world. Who would have thought that this modest Australian woman could achieve so much from London to Louisiana to New York to Tokyo? Who could have anticipated her global fame? Barry Humphries certainly didn’t.


 

clive

Clive James

Unreliable Memoirs
by Clive James

The first volume of Clive James’s autobiography.

‘I was born in 1939. The other big event of that year was the outbreak of the Second World War, but for the moment, that did not affect me.’unreliable-memoirs

In the first instalment of Clive James’s memoirs, we meet the young Clive, dressed in short trousers, and wrestling with the demands of school, various relatives and the occasional snake, in the suburbs of post-war Sydney. His adventures are hilarious, his recounting of them even more so, in this – the book that started it all…

 

 


Presenter

Howard-Jacobson_1737896c

Howard Jacobson

J
by Howard Jacobson

A life-changing novel by one of Britain’s greatest novelists, winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2010.

Set in the future, a world where the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited, J is a love story of incomparable strangeness, both tender and terrifying.

Two people fall in love, not yet knowing where they have come from or where they are going. Kevern doesn’t know why his father always drew two fingers across his lips when he said a world starting with a J. It wasn’t jthen, and isn’t now, the time or place to be asking questions. Ailinn too has grown up in the dark about who she was or where she came from. On their first date Kevern kisses the bruises under her eyes. He doesn’t ask who hurt her. Brutality has grown commonplace. They aren’t sure if they have fallen in love of their own accord, or whether they’ve been pushed into each other’s arms. But who would have pushed them, and why?

Hanging over the lives of all the characters in this novel is a momentous catastrophe – a past event shrouded in suspicion, denial and apology, now referred to as What Happened, If It Happened.

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